Season 3 of Inside Amy Schumer was the best season of a comedy series in recent history, rivaling its Comedy Network all-star, The Dave Chappelle Show for provocation, cultural resonance and just plain funniness. Many of this season’s highlights are destined for perennial Youtubification. They will be watched and rewatched online until they feel more like personal anecdotes than comic creations.
Though this is clearly Schumer’s moment—her big screen debut Trainwreck, out on July 17, caps off the summer of Schumer—season three was a study in extremes, marked by high LOLs, minor guffaws and the occasional bored silence.
Here are five skits that qualify for consideration in Schumer’s future Greatest Hits Compilation and five that veered just a little left of comic gold.
12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer, Episode 3
Quote: “Am I the only one thinking with my dick, here?”
Schumer could retire on the strength of this episode-long spoof of the classic film 12 Angry Men, which sees an all-star male cast (Jeff Goldblum, Paul Giamatti) act as jurors tasked to answer the question: Is Amy Schumer hot enough for TV? The skit doesn’t just goof on sexism; it skewers it, revealing its sophomoric locker talk underpinnings without preaching, pandering or playing coy.
Girl You Don’t Need Makeup, Episode 2
Quote: “You’d be the hottest girl in the nation with just a touch of foundation.”
Ripping on tween-baiting boybanders that peddle the virtues of “natural” beauty while hooking up with Victoria’s Secret models, Girl You Don’t Need Makeup is a spot-on satire of sappy pop hooks and the conflicting beauty messages girls are asked to absorb. It’s also as oddly intoxicating as the real thing. The guys are credibly cute, in the best tween-dream way, and the song is catchy!
Football Town Nights, Episode 1
Quote: “No raping? But coach, we play football.”
Josh Charles plays a renegade football coach—his game-changing tactic: No raping!–and Schumer his wine-loving wife in this satire of Friday Night Lights and the cult of high school football. The skit scores high for boldly connecting the dots between the ideals of the brutal sport and its off-field aberrations (can you say, rape culture?). Or as the Coach puts it: “Football isn’t about rape. It’s about violently dominating anyone that stands between you and what you want.”
Court of Public Opinion: The Trial of Bill Cosby, Episode 5
Quote: “Would anyone like a Pudding Pop?”
Schumer casts herself as a defense attorney defending Bill Cosby against more than 40 (!) allegations of sexual assault in the court of public opinion, a brilliant idea for a skit and could credibly make a wickedly funny courtroom TV show (spinoff please!) Schumer pokes fun at those that ignore the scandal’s implications because it makes watching reruns of The Cosby Show feel icky. Though the ending is too pat—Schumer gets served a drink courtesy of Cosby and decides to chuck it—Schumer’s bold approach to tackling the controversy is bad-ass.
The Universe, Episode 5
Quote: “We now know the universe is essentially a force sending cosmic guidance to white women in the 20s.”
Bill Nye, The Science Guy, breaks down the curious phenomenon by which white women in the 20s believe the Universe is conspiring to reveal their destinies–constantly. Reason to love it: because it shows that Schumer is always balancing the scales of gender justice. Schumer may be a feminist but she’s not blind to some of her tribe’s goofy-ass tendencies and she digs in greedily to poking fun at them. Episode 5 is also a wickedly funny episode that features the amazing ’80s Ladies and showcases Schumer riding a mechanical bull.
Babies and Bustiers, Episode 6
Quote: “I was put on this green earth to win pageants and spread the word of the Almighty.”
Amy plays “Amy Merryweather Sherman,” an overly large six-year-old suffering from Fetal Redbull Syndrome, in this Toddlers and Tiaras parody. The problem with the skit is that it’s too long, not that funny and, in a post-Honey Boo Boo world, treads pretty tired ground, culturally speaking. It’s also a waste of Christopher Guest mainstay Jennifer Coolidge.
Milk Milk Lemonade, Episode 1
Quote: “Milk, milk, lemonade. Around the corner fudge is made.”
This music video parody seems to have it all: celeb cameos (Amber Rose, Jemima Kirke, etc), a cultural hook—our increasing obsession with HUGE butts, which as Schumer points out is the place “where fudge is made,” a decidedly unsexy function. The video has all the zeitgeist-y ingredients for a viral video, but falls flat. It’s too long, short on big laughs, and almost too slickly produced to be funny. More importantly, it’s missing Schumer’s disarming vulnerability—her ability to make herself the butt of the joke (pun intended).
Don’t F–k My Sister in the A–, Episode 9
Quote: “Please don’t f–k my sister in the tushie.”
The skit which sees Schumer take her new BF to visit her brother and his wife gets creepily crude pretty fast when Schumer’s brother tells her BF he better not have anal sex with his sister. The punchline of the joke comes a few minutes later, when Amy’s sister-in-law emerges… in a wheelchair. Seems she lost the use of her legs after an anal sex incident gone wrong. It’s a weirdly crude, strangely unfunny gag that doesn’t have any cultural punch to make the crudeness significant.
Salem Witch Trial, Episode 9
Quote: “I can no longer glorify the Lord with hand congress.”
Amy and comedian Bridget Everett play two scarlet women that give themselves (and their raging STDs!) freely to the (married) townsmen of yore. Slut shaming as Salem Witch Trial sounds like a great premise for a comedy skit, but it gets too caught up in the playful and inventive old-timey sex euphemisms (“my plow has been riddled with pox!”) and doesn’t spend enough time making a new or creative point about the origins of the tradition. Watch Episode 9 now.
Mail Order Husband, Episode 7
Quote: “We’re not there yet.”
The sketch begins with Amy receiving her mail-order husband, Vlad, at her front door and quickly goes nowhere. What could have been a satire on the practice of greedy Westerners ordering up a perfectly compliant mate (who is fleeing poverty and political instability) turns into a surreal letdown. Amy and her amour enter an underwater nirvana (turns out her hubby is a merman) and the skit ends abruptly with Schumer admitting she wrote it under the influence of Ambien, which is less a punch line than an apology for a skit that collapses under its own unfunny weight. Watch Episode 7 now