"My “Make A Wish” would be for Chris Rock to help me with stand-up. For that to happen is just insane. There’s no one better."
How are you different on and off stage?
The two ladies are getting closer and closer together. I used to do a character -- like an irreverent, kind of privileged idiot. Now, I’m more myself. I still say some things that are just the funniest, worst things I can think of, but it’s just more storytelling about the awful moments of my life.
Would you say the special is the most representative of you off-stage?
Oh yeah. The special definitely lets you know where I am right now.
Chris Rock directed this special. How did he get involved in the project?
I’ve known Chris for a long time. We’re friends, and I’d gotten better at stand-up. We did a show together and he was like, “Hey, if you’re working on a special or something, let me know and I’ll come give you notes” -- which he does for some of his friends. I immediately was like, “Yes! This week!” He showed up and was really helpful, so I just asked him [to direct]. He was like, “Alright, I got some time.” The special is so much stronger than it would have been without him. I’m so grateful.
Did he offer any notes or insights that really resonated with you?
Totally. He helped me with a lot of jokes and with structure. He helped me pick the venue. Chris is very present in this special.
It couldn’t be in better hands. I have so much respect for that guy. He’s like the best living comedian. Running around and doing all these different sets and being on the road with him has been the best dream come true of my life. My “Make A Wish” would be for Chris Rock to help me with stand-up. For that to happen is just insane. There’s no one better.
How do you balance comedy with the important social issues in your material?
I just say what I think and feel and make sure it’s funny enough to be included in stand-up. You’ve got to trust the crowd. I think the crowd, for me, is gospel. If what I’m saying is not getting necessarily laughs, but I hear people saying like, “Yes,” I’ll still leave it in -- as long as it’s working its way to something funny. But I would say the laughter and communicating something that’s important to me are equally important.
What advice do you have for women trying to make it in Hollywood?
Go home. Have a nice life. [Laughs.] No, I would say you got to write your own stuff and just don’t settle. Don’t take a job that you know you’ll immediately regret and just demand to be treated well. Don’t take any sh**. Set an example for the girls who are going to come after you.
You joke about devastating “twentysomething” love. Did you experience something like that?
What did you learn from it?
I learned how painful life can be and any time you’re going to get corrupt from joy and power, the rug will be ripped out from under you. Just when you think it’s gotten as bad as you can get, it’s going to get worse. [Laughs.] But you can’t control that, so you have to just enjoy the good parts while it’s happening -- as long as it’s not unhealthy.
Anything you wish you could tell twentysomething Amy?
Nah. I think it’s good to go through it all and I wouldn’t have listened to myself. I don’t do advice.
How much of your material comes from people-watching?
If it’s not just about myself, I guess all of it.
Is New York a particularly good place for that?
Yeah, ’cause you’re all together. It’s not isolating like L.A. You’re with each other every day on the subway and the street. It’s a packed little island. It just feels like everyone’s on an even playing field and no one’s better than anyone else. We all deal with each other like human beings, which I really like.
What was the first thing you did when you left the Apollo?
I went to my apartment with my brother and sister. We ate fried chicken and drank scotch.
What do you hope fans do after they finish watching your special?
I hope they smile and feel loved.
What’s next for you?
I’m going to host ‘Saturday Night Live’ before the special comes out, and then I’m back in the writers room for my TV show [‘Inside Amy Schumer’] and I’m doing a stand-up tour. I got some more movies and a book... And I’ll probably be dead in a year.
What other stand-up specials should your fans look out for?