Review: Amy Schumer gets raunchy, blasts Donald Trump at Tampa's Amalie Arena
Coming into her performance Sunday at Tampa’s Amalie Arena, you knew Amy Schumer had to address the elephants in the room.
One was the fact that in her recent book The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, the 35-year-old comic called the city of Tampa “horrendous” adding: “I’m not scared about writing that, because I know for a fact that no one who lives there has ever read a book. JKJKJKJKJK, but kind of not K.”
The other was the biggest elephant of them all: Donald Trump.
After a week-plus in which the Republican nominee for president faced numerous accusations of unwanted sexual advances, you had to think Schumer, a victim herself of sexual assault and domestic abuse, would have something to say on the matter.
Did she ever.
This always had the potential to feel like a historic show – only a handful of comics have ever headlined Amalie Arena, and the Inside Amy Schumer creator is the first woman to do so. At least 10,000 fans turned out to see her. And they didn’t have to wait long for her to bring up the book.
Shortly after dancing onstage with a mic in one hand and bottle of wine in the other, Schumer said: “Some of you may have been hurt by that. Some of you wrote to me on Twitter a very misspelled insult back.
“Please don’t get it twisted: I f---ing love Tampa, okay? I do. That’s the truth. It is the only place I’ve ever had a one-night stand. And so it is forever in my heart as an amazing city.”
Not your average warm-‘em-up crowd work, huh? But within a couple of minutes, it was over, and Schumer was off and running on blackouts, celebrity (“In the past year I’ve gotten very rich, famous and humble”) and her favorite topic of all: Gettin’ busy.
To borrow a title from one of her first specials, the first half hour or so was mostly sex stuff, all delivered in ultra-graphic detail.
“The first four rows, you are going to see my entire vagina,” said the miniskirted Schumer. “It’s like a Gallagher show.”
Every part of the sexual experience was covered. The smells. The tastes. The fluids. The mechanics. Some stories were familiar to readers of her book, but she sold them with natural flair and physicality, her theatrically outsized gestures projected on twin big screens flanking the stage.
You want to know what it’s like to have sex with Amy Schumer? “It’s like when someone’s painted all silver, standing on a box in a town square, and you’re not sure if they’re alive or not,” she said, acting it out as she spoke.
She was talking about her dating life, about meeting and sharing space with her boyfriend, when she eased into touchier material.
"You know what I love?" she said. "A famous guy that will just take me furniture shopping and just straight up grab my p---."
Yes, Schumer was getting political. Before the show, she even popped out to Amalie Arena’s plaza with a camera crew to register people to vote. And when she momentarily dropped the jokes to profess her endorsement of Hillary Clinton over Trump (an “orange, sexual-assaulting, fake-college-starting monster”), there were plenty of audible boos amidst the cheers.
Schumer scanned the crowd for Trump voters, and invited one up to the stage. He identified himself as Dave, an attorney and RINO (Republican In Name Only) who hadn’t voted for a GOP candidate since Reagan. He said he just felt safer with the country in Trump’s hands than Clinton’s.
“Do you get worried at all with how impulsive he is,” Schumer asked, frustration in her voice, “that he gets so fired up from Saturday Night Live doing a skit on him … do you worry he’ll be impulsive and get us in a lot of f---ing trouble we can’t get out of?”
This was risky business for a comic. This wasn’t some fun roast, where the fan was hoping to be ripped a new one. She asked the crowd to show Dave some respect – politics aside, he seemed like a nice guy, and showed real guts getting up there. And it’s not like the whole house was on Schumer’s side – the boos and even some walkouts made that clear.
“Of course, we’re in Florida, you’re going to boo,” she said. “I know you’re here to laugh, but you choose how you’re going to live your life, and it’s just too important.” To the catcallers and naysayers, she added: “Just so you know, from now on, if you yell out, you’re gonna get thrown out.”
She said that as an assault victim herself, she’s found the past week of Trump allegations “really triggering.” She asked the arena bring up the house lights, and then asked other sexual assault victims to stand up. I counted four in the first half of my section alone.
Those who walked out during Schumer’s political material also missed a bit on gun laws, a favorite cause after two moviegoers were shot at a screening of her 2015 film Trainwreck. But they also missed her steer the evening back into familiar, funny and self-deprecating material about her adventures on Hollywood’s A-list, performing for Clinton, hobnobbing with Bradley Cooper and getting stalked by the paparazzi.
And those who stayed? Let’s just say that by the end, they probably weren’t talking about the Tampa barb in Schumer’s book anymore. She’d given them much more to chew on.
-- Jay Cridlin