Amy Schumer: Reality show survivor cuts to front of pack

10 Comics to Watch

Amy Schumer isn’t afraid to offend. Shortly after performing in Dubai for the first time, she volunteers, “I didn’t mention religion but talked about ass play, and it went so well!”

Her standup act — recently heard on her album, “Cutting,” and her top-rated “Comedy Central Presents” special — broaches taboo topics with brazen confidence.

It wasn’t always that way. Hailing from Long Island, Schumer dabbled in acting and improv before finding standup, catching national attention on “Last Comic Standing” only a few years into the game.

“The others in the running were some of my favorite New York comedians,” Schumer says. “Then I went home and Googled the cast from the year before, and thought, ‘Oh, this is a reality show, and I’m the young hopeful.’ ”

Schumer placed fourth, but the ensuing “LCS” tour and headlining gigs were eye-opening. “I didn’t do well,” she recalls. “(‘Last Comic Standing’) showed that I wasn’t this seasoned, tear-the-roof-off comic, but since then I’ve realized I like that. I’m going to do what I think is the funniest, and not try to be for everybody.”

Now she’s bringing her unapologetic voice to other projects. She secured parts on “30 Rock,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Delocated,” and the new Parker Posey comedy “Price Check.” She’s also paying it forward by executive producing a new reality show about female comics.

And her act is more honed and polished than ever, to the point where a bit about ass play has a purpose beyond shock. “It’s not a crude story,” she says. “I feel like we should be able to talk about this stuff like it’s nothing.”

LAUGH FACTS
P.O.V.:“Reality shows are very much a part of our society now, and all the women on them are these money-grubbing, horrible women. And this is who girls look up to. I want to show people that women can be funny and normal, and work their asses off.”
Influences: Dave Attell, Jim Norton, Jessica Kirson
Reps: United Talent Agency/Levity Entertainment Group

MONTREAL JUST FOR LAUGHS
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Jerrod Carmichael | Chris D’Elia | Josh Fadem | Pete Holmes | Thomas Middleditch | Tim Minchin | Amy Schumer | Rebel Wilson | Harris Wittels | Ali Wong

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