It’s the season of Schumer. Whether you’re watching Trainwreck or catching up on season three of Inside Amy Schumer as it trickles out on Hulu, Amy Schumer is hard to avoid these days. The good news is that you probably don’t want to keep too far away from her. So far, Schumer’s transition from the small screen to the silver screen is drawing generally positive reviews and there was an almost instant consensus this year that the third season of her sketch show was the best so far. If you missed it when it aired and want to pack the finest of season three into a half hour of pure enjoyment, here are the ten best sketches.
We haven’t seen nearly enough of Justin Long lately and his casting in a Say Yes to the Dress parody about a schlubby boyfriend who has to replace his “main shirt” is an inspired choice. Long usually plays lovably boyish characters but here he plays an annoyingly boyish one who groans and slouches as Amy drags him through the store. The sketch manages to simultaneously skewer its source material—Amy tells the salesperson that if the replacement shirt is “amazing,” they’d be willing to spend $12,000—as well as the shopping habits of apathetic young men who only care that their clothes don’t look “too gay,” as Long’s friend says at the end of the sketch.
The Internet rejoices with particular delight when Schumer makes fun of men but her comedy is just as sharp when she directs it at her fellow white women. In “The Universe,” childhood hero Bill Nye explains that the universe is not an expanse of time and space as previously thought but rather “a force sending a cosmic guidance to white women in their 20s.” His narration is cut between montages of said white women describing increasingly implausible coincidences that supposedly validate self-indulgent behavior like sleeping with a married boss or buying an “apricot puggle.” Nye swears at the end and all is well.
Amy’s fictionalized version of herself suffers through a lot of boyfriends in any given season of Inside Amy but Kyle Dunnigan’s deadbeat body-rapper stands tall above the rest. The sketch makes a solid point about long-suffering, overemployed women who stay with boyfriends who still want to chase their dreams—Amy literally works herself to death while he eats her food and records his rap album—but it’s Dunnigan and Schumer’s mutual commitment to their characters that makes the sketch work. No matter how much saliva Dunnigan sprays in her face with his beatboxing, Schumer looks at him with pure compassion. It’s awful. It’s incredible.
Available on Hulu.
Amy Schumer sketches draw the most attention when they hit a relevant cultural target, which makes it all the more important to point out that she’s also responsible for some delightfully absurd sketches, too. In “80s Ladies,” Amy joins up with a gaggle of skirt suit-wearing, cigarette-smoking, blush-drenched, aerobics-doing 80s women who swoop in to help their more modern sisters solve their problems. There’s no point here but that doesn’t matter. Just sit back and soak in the dozens of cultural references to the soundtrack of some sublime heel-clacking foley work.
Holocaust museums generally aren’t terrific sites for comedy but “The Museum of Boyfriend Wardrobe Atrocities” somehow gets away with comparing the questionable fashion choices of young 21st-century white dudes to one of the world’s greatest tragedies. In the sketch, a group of museumgoers tours a museum filled with tuxedo tees and a massive pile of Crocs as they listen to somber audio narration about the regrettable fashion choices of yesteryear. When you watch this sketch (for the full version, you’ll have to go to Hulu) but keep your finger on the pause button so you can read some of the exhibit descriptions, like this one below a bowling shirt: “It is now considered Charlie Sheen’s most heinous crime to have been the inspiration for this outfit.”
You know a parody works when you can still find it funny without having any knowledge of the source material. I’ve never seen Friday Night Lights but that doesn’t make the skewering of rape culture in “Football Town Nights” any less funny or insightful. In the sketch, a new football coach lays down a strict “no raping” rule for the team, inciting widespread protest from players and parents, and Amy plays the perpetually wine-drunk coach’s wife. A lot of the sketches this season were too short and had trouble sticking the landing but “Football Town Nights” takes its time and wraps up with Amy and the coach professing their love for each other over a four-foot-tall glass of white wine. It’s a touchdown good sketch (sorry).
Now that Cosby himself has admitted to coercive sex in a freshly-unearthed deposition, this sketch seems less relevant but Schumer’s “Trial of Bill Cosby” should forever stand as a relic from a time when some people were willing to ignore dozens of women in order to preserve their childhood nostalgia for The Cosby Show. Click play on this sketch for the cleverness of framing the public debate around Cosby’s legacy as a literal court case but keep watching for gems like Amy dancing to the Cosby soundtrack in a comically short miniskirt and tossing a pudding pop to the judge over her head without looking.
“Milk, Milk, Lemonade” was the magnet for all of season three’s advance press but the masterful One Direction parody “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup” in episode two ended up being the true musical star this year. Not only is it a catchier song, it also packs in more clever lines per minute than its flashier, one-note predecessor. These lines include: “Hold up girl, we spoke too soon / on this whole no makeup tune / We kinda changed our mind on the makeup thing,” once the guys realize what Amy—and any non-model woman, really—looks like without spending half an hour applying various paints to one’s face at the start of a day.
Some sketches this season got more credit than they deserved simply because they had cool guest stars but “Last F—-able Day”—which features Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Patricia Arquette—lives up to its own hype. In the sketch, Amy stumbles upon the actresses celebrating Louis-Dreyfus’ “last fuckable day,” the day when “the media decides … you’re not believably fuckable anymore.” Men, of course, never reach their LFD, a point that Fey highlights with a beautifully disgusting—and apparently improvised—line about “white spiders” that you should really experience in context instead of reading about here.
It’s only fitting that the best sketch on a show with the title Inside Amy Schumer is also the longest one: Schumer’s half-hour pastiche of 12 Angry Men in which the jurors debate whether or not Amy is “bangable” enough to be on television. Sure, it might be too long to count as a sketch—the OED defines “sketch” as “a short play or performance”—but forget the OED, there’s no way that this could not land at the top of the list. This episode is like the Neapolitan ice cream of Inside Amy Schumer, perfectly combining her three flavors of sharp writing, social commentary, and dildo-enhanced silliness. It could also send three people home with Emmys come September: Amy Schumer and Ryan McFaul for co-directing and Paul Giamatti for his incredible guest turn as Juror #10. Here’s a taste. The full episode is available on Hulu.