Amy Schumer And Tig Notaro’s Fake Friendship On Screen Might Be Too Real
Art often imitates life, and a recent interview with Tig Notaro in The Guardian reveals there may have been some truth to the Inside Amy Schumer episode where Schumer poses as Notaro’s friend. If you’re not familiar with the episode I’m referencing, the brilliantly executed plot features Schumer sucking up to Notaro after hearing the news of her cancer diagnosis, then explicitly using her “friend’s” cancer as an excuse to avoid events she doesn’t want to attend. The humor is gentle but scathing in the way it exposes how people will put up a front to look good when tragedy befalls someone they know.
While that was a fictional TV show, the recent interview with Notaro unfortunately gives the impression that Schumer is a fake friend in real life too. In Hadley Freeman’s profile of Notaro, Freeman explains that she asked the comedian about something Schumer once said to Vanity Fair. Speaking about Notaro, Schumer said: “Looking masculine and being gay, the challenges of the road are 20 times harder for Tig than other female comedians. People fear what they don’t understand.”
In response to Schumer’s assumptions about her life, Notaro told Freeman that her fellow comedian wouldn’t have said that if they were actually friends.
“I don’t know what she was talking about,” Notaro said. “It sounds like offensive nonsense to me. I find that so offensive and weird. If you knew me well, you would never say that.” UM, OOPS. According to Freeman’s account, the tension was palpable after Schumer was mentioned, which makes re-watching this exchange between the two comedians a game of what is truth and what is comedy. In this case, maybe there is no dividing line.
You can sense the annoyance in Notaro’s mannerisms throughout the episode. Originally, I though that was pure comedic acting, but now I feel it might be indicative of the deeper dynamic. During the interview Notaro confirmed the distance between her and Schumer, saying:
“I’ve worked with her. I worked with her for the first season [of Inside Amy Schumer]. Let’s leave it there.”
I’m actively wiping sweat from my brow right now while re-watching this very topical clip from the Schumer/Notaro episode in which Schumer uses Notaro’s cancer as an excuse to miss here sister’s bridal shower.
It is completely none of the public’s business if these two grown women aren’t active friends — there is no obligation for everyone in the entertainment industry to like each other. However, it is low key hilarious to have the revelation that this episode of Inside Amy Schumer was possibly more of a straight-up truth than exaggerated comedy. Did both of them fully realize this while shooting, and is that why it’s so brilliant? Either way, I’m grateful for the excuse to re-watch it.