I’m not a fan of Amy Schumer. I’ve never seen her show and I missed the season of Last Comic Standing that was her breakout moment. But I do like memoirs, even pretty bad memoirs can have one or two good moments. I love the title of The Girl With Lower Back Tattoo. That is pure fucking genius. By the way, Amy loves the word fuck. And the word fucking. And the words clit, cunt, pussy, vagina, asshole, cock, dick, penis, shit, bastard, and pretty much any other word you have ever heard that might in any way make you uncomfortable. Oddly, she is offended when someone asks her if she enjoys making people uncomfortable.
The two or three times that something funny happens in this book, they are pretty much laugh out loud funny. She tells two or three jokes and talks about how they were inspired and how hard it is to write new material. While she does seem to be trying for an Airplane level of humor, she doesn’t quite pull it off.
The Girl With Lower Back Tattoo is not a funny book. She tells not one, but two stories starring her father losing control of his bowels. She tells how she lost her virginity to an act of rape. She talks about an abusive boyfriend who threatened to kill her with a butcher knife, and how she moved back in with him later. She talks about body shaming and how sexist the world remains. She talks about getting blackout drunk and how she woke up from one blackout to find a strange guy going down on her. She brags about drinking, doing drugs, having sex with rather a lot of guys. But she proudly proclaims that she has only had one one-night stand.
Amy is amazingly preachy and self-righteous. This is something that happens to almost all successful people. They reach a point like Oprah where they realize they are no longer just a talk show host, they are a Voice and what they say needs to be Important. I can hear Amy yelling Fuck You as I type this, but it’s true. Yeah, it sucks that you were in an abusive relationship, but your advice to Get Out makes a little too light of the topic. This is like telling a homeless person to Get a Job.
Amy proves the old cliche that you can’t be funny unless you have suffered. She also makes a point of saying that she put in a hell of a lot of hours in the trenches getting her act together. Like all comics, she has a lot of mentors that she gives a shout out to. I’m pretty sure I never heard of any of them. I like The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory, but I couldn’t name a single writer for any show if a gun was put to my head. But Amy knows who these people are, and so do they, and maybe some big shot show producer will read their names and say Wow, that must be the Talent I’ve been looking for. Or maybe not.
I think my favorite WTF story was about the time she went home with a guy who turned out to have a really big penis. So big that she couldn’t get it in her tiny mouth and she wouldn’t even try to put in her vagina. She ends up giving the guy a handjob.
Amy performs under her own name and there is always a risk when doing this that people will think you actually are the person they see on stage. They will also assume that they know you. This can be a problem since her whole shtick is that she’s trailer trash from Jersey.Amy is shocked when a number of reporters treat her with no respect.
After reading this book, I feel like I know Amy a bit better myself. But not well enough to call her up and hit her up for a gift of a few thousand dollars or maybe an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii. That kind of stuff is just for her friends. (Note to self, become friends with Amy.)
I don’t like Amy’s cavalier attitude on drugs and alcohol. But I also found myself agreeing with her on a number of topics, such as common sense gun control and the fact that scones are pretty good.
The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo was a good book.