Amy Schumer is one of the top comedians of 2015—her stand-up became noticed years ago and now her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer has skyrocketed, receiving millions of views per sketch and having a seemingly endless supply of celebrity cameos. Known for her sex-driven self-deprecating humour, Schumer covers topics all the way from sexting to puberty, something that fans and critics find either relatable or pitiable.
Enter Judd Apatow, the king of quirky modern comedy. Known for writing and producing comedies such as Knocked Up, This is 40 and Pineapple Express, he continues to pump out high-quality work that has a distinctive feel each time. Pair him up with Schumer, then throw them in the mix with comedy superstars Dave Attell, Vanessa Bayer, Colin Quinn and Mike Birbiglia, and you’ve got yourself what Apatow referred to as “the Lollapalooza of comedy”. This was not your average Massey Hall event, but it was packed to the brim.
Going into this event, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The line-up was a mix of writers, stand-up comics, and actors, so it was a toss-up between a panel-style show, sketches, or individual acts. It ended up being a stand-up marathon starting with Saturday Night Live’s Vanessa Bayer, who got the audience warmed up with her tales from New York and living with leukemia in high school—not a topic you’d think could bring out many laughs, but she owned the stage the entire time she performed.
Next up was Mike Birbiglia. I have been listening to Birbiglia since his Snapple and Scrabble days, so I couldn’t be happier to see his success continuing on today. Netflix recently picked up his latest special, and he plays Schumer’s brother-in-law in Trainwreck. Most of his set poked fun at his personality and shyness, and stayed relatively clean.
The energy on the stage was completely changed when Colin Quinn came up—his personality contrasts with Birbiglia’s in a way that was almost shocking (going from docile and self-deprecating to the loud Brooklyn persona) but it worked. Quinn served as the perfect transition between Birbiglia and Dave Attell—the latter of which doesn’t shy away from crowd work and really gets people torn between finding his jokes hilarious and being offended.
With a quick intermission we were back for the final two comics of the night. I’d never seen much of Apatow himself besides brief interviews, but his on-stage act was unlike any of the other comedians. He came out on stage met by an explosion of applause, and he demanded a standing ovation (which, admittedly, he deserved without asking) and the audience obliged semi-awkwardly. His set was filled with small anecdotes about his time working in the film industry, gaining fame and wealth, and his experiences meeting Barack Obama.
Last but not least, it was time for Amy Schumer to come out and give the people what they wanted: filth. She started out with a few jokes about the way she looked, and then slowly progressed into the jokes about seeing vaginas after waxing and the smell of semen. The audience went wild for her on entrance and exit, and she brought out some brand new material along with some classic stories of her dieting habits and childhood troubles. She was far from disappointing and ended the night with a bang, tying together all of the comics into unison.
All of the proceeds of the night’s events went towards the David Lynch Foundation, which hardly went mentioned throughout the entire night which was refreshingly humble.
Trainwreck comes out in Canadian theatres July 17.