By any measure, 2015 was a pretty good year for Amy Schumer, with a hit film ("Trainwreck"), an Emmy-winning TV show ("Inside Amy Schumer"), a giant book deal and a well-received HBO standup special -- which may be why Comedy Central chose her to open its upfront presentation for journalists and advertisers Thursday.
"Do you guys know that I'm really famous now?" joked the comedian onstage at Town Hall in midtown Manhattan. "I think it's going to last another six months." Schumer sounded decidedly ambivalent about the whole celebrity thing anyway, and claimed she didn't know what it would be like.
"It turns out it really, actually ... blows," she said. "Yes, I'm very rich now -- very rich. But now, I get to have things like: If I walk down the street in New York, people going, 'Oh, my God, I never do this, but would you like [have sex with] my brother?'"
Then there's the scrutiny that comes with fame. Schumer said she had to lose weight for "Trainwreck" because "if you weigh over 140 pounds it hurts people's eyes."
True to her reputation, Schumer moved into some raunchy material about her sex life, and shared a clip from the new season of "Inside Amy Schumer" that's bound to be another viral hit. (In the spirit of "Girl, You Don't Need Makeup," it skewered the cliche of sexy women dressing up in men's shirts.)
Though she got top billing, Schumer was just one of many stars on hand for the talent-focused network. "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah played the role of emcee and got big laughs with jokes about the election. Noting that African Americans had long expressed interest in moving to Africa because of racial strife in the United States, Noah said the prospect of a Trump presidency had changed things.
"For the first time in my life, white people are coming up to me and saying, 'So, Trevor, tell me about Africa."
Of course, the point of the event was to drum up enthusiasm among media buyers and advertisers for the youth-skewing network, which is in a rebuilding phase after the loss of Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart and "Key & Peele."
While there were a few plugs for upcoming shows, including "Detroiters," executive produced by Jason Sudeikis, and the animated series "Jeff and Some Aliens" and "Legends of Chamberlain Heights," the focus was squarely on Comedy Central's established stable of talent rather than overwhelming the audience with news of greenlights and renewals.
The strategy seemed to be a success. There were yelps of joy when "Broad City" stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, dressed in all black to look like stagehands, darted across the stage between sets, and howls of laughter when they removed their clothes to reveal ... flesh-colored, anatomically correct bodysuits.
Wearing a red baseball cap emblazoned with "Make Television Great Again," roastmaster Jeff Ross joked that he would like to "build a wall around Netflix" as fake protestors were removed from the audience, like at a Donald Trump rally. Nathan Fielder, the 33-year-old star of "Nathan For You," might have gotten the biggest laughs: After a pretaped bit in which he interviewed a 16-year-old "fellow millenial," he came on stage aboard a very, very slow-moving hoverboard. (Trust us, it killed.)
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