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Inside Amy Schumer and the trouble with topical comedy

Return of the sketch comedy show for the first time since 2016 demonstrates the ever-diminishing returns of political skits The Inside Amy Schumer skit “Dr Congress” depicts a recognizable hell: the comedian in a sterile examining room, seeking gynecological care from a doctor but instead met with four condescending, clueless, puritanical men. Her medical care is actually at the hands of politicians, members of the all-male, decidedly unscientific “House committee on women’s health.” The sketch, from the show’s fourth season, was released in April 2016. But watching it earlier this month, I mistook it as recent, a bit from the new season of Inside Amy Schumer on Paramount+, the show’s first since it went on hiatus half a year before Trump’s election. That’s in part because the sketch’s grotesque satire is only degrees removed from our current reality – especially absent Roe v Wade, unscientific committees of politicians are now making medical decisions for women across the country. (As Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr Oz put it in a recent debate: decisions over abortion should be between women, doctors and “local political leaders”.) Continue reading...

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