Watch CBS News

​Amy Schumer explains herself

Standup comic-writer-actress Amy Schumer will tell you exactly what's on her mind, even when those words have four letters
Amy Schumer speaks her mind 09:08

She's a successful funny girl on cable TV as well as stand-up. Now Amy Schumer is bringing her provocative brand of comedy to the movies. Mo Rocca has our Sunday Profile:

"Sex is just explained incorrectly to us. It's like everything -- magazines, sitcoms. Men 'love' sex, and women just deal with it."

Rocca asked, "Why is sex such great source material?"

Because, Schumer replied, "it's an opportunity to be really honest about something that a lot of people aren't being open about.

"If you can be that honest about something that's so seemingly forbidden, 'cause that's when the most ridiculous stuff happens. It's such a weird thing."

Amy Schumer will tell you exactly what's on her mind, as she did recently at a sold-out show at New York's Beacon Theater.

"I'm a good person. I swear to God. I adopted a rescue pug this week. No, wait, I'm sorry, I bought a pair of Uggs!"

In just the past few months, things have changed so much for her. "Totally. I've been, like for eleven years, just little steps. But now it feels like I went from this one level [of recognition] and took a giant leap."

Now she's starring in a movie she wrote, "Trainwreck." Schumer plays "Amy," a girl who really doesn't seem to want to settle down. Her love interest is played by Bill Hader.

"Your character is behaving in a way that we expect guys to behave," said Rocca. "Is that intentional?"

"No, that's never occurred to me," she said. "It's not a role reversal in my mind. Girls have this reputation for, like, being crazy and 'Marry me!' right away. And I don't know any girls like that, actually. I know it exists. But for me with dating, it's like, you go out with someone and you're like, 'No, didn't really feel right. Guys become the crazy texter."

The dynamic in the movie, she says, is true to her experience.

How men and women actually see each other provides plenty of the material for her Peabody Award-winning TV series "Inside Amy Schumer":

Jury Foreman: "Let's take another vote: If anybody thinks that Amy Schumer shouldn't be on the TV because she's not hot enough, for whatever reason? And those who think that she is hot enough?"
Juror 2: "Has the world gone mad? This girl thinks she deserves to be on camera? She's not a 10!"
Juror 3: "Maybe you're not a 10, either!"

The sketch show, on Comedy Central, can be sometimes silly, sometimes raunchy, but it's almost never just that. Some of the show's topics sound like the farthest thing from funny.

Take the incidence of rape by student athletes. The show dealt with that issue in a pitch-perfect parody of the football drama, "Friday Night Lights":

Player 1: "But coach, we play football!"
Coach: "My team, my rules. You don't like it, don't let the door rape you on the way out."
Player 1: "Can we rape at away games?"
Coach: "No."
Player 2: "What if it's Halloween, and she's dressed like a sexy cat?"
Coach: "Nope."
Player 3: "What if she thinks it's great, but I don't?"
Coach: "Still no."
Player 4: "What if my mom in the DA and won't prosecute? Can I rape?"
Coach: "No, you cannot! ... How do I get through to you boys that football isn't about rape? It's about violently dominating anyone that stands between you and what you want."

"The statistics on girls getting raped in college is unreal," she said. "You know, it's horrible.

"We think this is funny, and also maybe a girl will see this that this happened to and she'll feel less alone. Maybe a guy sees it and think, 'Oh that joke where she said, It's not cool if the girl was sleeping, and it's not cool if I film it' -- you know, maybe that'll get in there."

"You're perfectly fine with your comedy being labeled feminist?"

"If I'm preaching for women's equality, then sign me up," she said. "It's so crazy that people don't identify as feminists. I think it's only people that don't know the definition."

Lest you think the show just beats up on the boys, it's Schumer who is actually the butt of the joke, playing sad sack and soused with equal relish.

"It seems like you're harder on no one more so than white girls," said Rocca.

"Yeah, well, they're the worst," she laughed.

"Take any subway anywhere, and you'll be very bummed out by overhearing all their conversations," said Kim Caramele -- Amy's younger sister - who writes for and occasionally appears on "Inside Amy Schumer."

"A lot of those girls will come up to me, and they're like, 'Oh my God, like, I'm you!'" Amy laughed. "Like, 'I'm literally you.' 'No, you're who I'm doing a parody of.'"

The sketch about the universe is good example:

Girl 1: "So, I was texting while I was driving and I ended up taking a wrong turn that took me directly past a Vitamin Shop. And I was just like, this is totally the universe telling me I should be taking calcium."
Girl 2: "Oh my God!"
Girl 1: "Right?!?"
Girl 2: "Universe!"

"Definitely more than anyone, it's white women in their 20s and 30s, just [believing] the universe is thinking about you," said Amy.

"The ways of not having to take any responsibility for what happens to them and around them, it's like, nobody cares!" said Kim.

But the universe hasn't always been kind to Schumer. Born in Manhattan, her family was at first well-off, until she was 12, "when s*** hit the fan," she said. "My dad got MS. We went bankrupt. Yeah, that's enough, right?"

The family moved to Long Island, and her parents divorced.

In high school Schumer was popular, captain of the volleyball team. Returning with Rocca to South Side High in Rockville Center, she seemed totally at ease, cracking wise, of course ... and captivating students when she walked into their drama class unannounced.

"Can we interrupt? Hi, guys!" she said. "This is such a time in your lives when all these, like, insecurities creep in and you're looking in the mirror like, 'I don't look like all the Kardashians.' And you think that that's wrong. But it's not. You should just, like, totally look in the mirror and just love yourself, and be like, 'This is the package I come in, and I'm just gonna embrace it.'

"And don't try and make your parents proud, because it's impossible. They don't understand!"

Amy Schumer crashes her old high school 06:55

The friends she made in high school, like Denise O'Connor and Caroline O'Marra, are still some of her closest. On this day, they were celebrating Schumer's recent birthday, with a cake modeled after a bottle of wine. Caroline told Amy that it reminded them of her, "because you know how much we like our chardonnay."

Amy's mother, Sandy Schumer, joined them on the Boardwalk in nearby Long Beach.

Rocca asked, "Do you ever think, 'Ooooh,' like with the sex and the booze talk?"

"I will tell you honestly, no," she replied. "I'm never embarrassed."

"She's the one who raised me, you know?" said Amy.

And of the guys her daughter dated, asked Rocca, which was her favorite?

"We've had conversations about everybody, actually, she's dated," said Sandy. "And there have been times that I've been like, 'Ooh, can this work out?' But not really a favorite."

Sex and relationships are subjects that Schumer doesn't just joke about.

Rocca asked: "Why do you think that people sabotage relationships?"

"I don't know why they do; I know why I do," she said. "Should I tell you why? I think the fear of getting hurt. Most relationships don't end well. And I'm 34, and I've been dating for a long time. And even if it's someone who really likes you and you like them, then at this age there's some discovery usually that's a deal-breaker.

"So sometimes you want to find out the thing that's going to hurt you so much that you can almost create it. You can, like, will it to happen. And then also believing that you deserve love and that you're not just, like, disgusting and unlovable is something that I think you need to learn, too."

"The sense I've got from spending time with you is that you really know how to have a good time," said Rocca.

"Oh, cool! Yeah. I love that. I think I do. I look to have fun. I think that's something also that comes with having a sick parent, is you don't know what's going to happen, and so I'll be like, 'I'm so psyched my legs still work!' And I want to experience all I can and make as many memories as I can."

Having cared for her dad with MS. Amy says, "really affects you. It affects your relationships for sure. Everybody I meet and I'm like, 'Yeah, he's cool, but would I push him in a wheelchair? Would I want him to push me?' So yeah, I go there pretty quick. I'm like, 'Do I want you to change my colostomy bag?' It just changes your perspective. You can't help it."

To watch a trailer for "Trainwreck" click on the video player below.

For more info:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.