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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Friday, December 2

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Comedy Tue May 26 2015

Amy Schumer Jazzes Up Constellation

schumer-constellation.jpgBy Stuart Ross

Jazz and comedy are old friends. Fred Armisen has made some of his best jokes sitting at a piano. "The Cosby Show" brought Dizzy Gillespie and B.B. King into our living rooms. In the '50s, when jazz still served as popular music, comedians got their first shots opening up for bands. Audiences waited for the comedians to be done so the band would get on stage.

At Constellation Thursday night, May 21, those roles were reversed. The packed house waited for the band to finish so Amy Schumer would come out. The bandleader, Jason Stein, acknowledged our patience after the second song, telling us he appreciated us listening. About Amy Schumer, his half-sister, Jason joked, "We share only a dad, folks. Just a dad."

Schumer didn't disappoint. She started from a high place and kept it up for well over an hour. Her fame has grown in recent months in anticipation of her first feature film, Trainwreck.

Regarding the badly timed title of the film, in the wake of the Amtrak crash, Schumer joked things could've been worse: the film's original title was actually "Nepal Earthquake." Amy's so far behind the times, in fact, she just tried to do the ISIS bucket challenge, and she thinks UTI is the name of an online college.

Another thing jazz and comedy share in common is being most vital at their extremes. There's a don't-go-thereness in both art forms, which is exactly where the best are headed. Schumer and her half-brother Jason spend a lot of time at those extremes. Their hard work makes it look easy.

Jason Stein and Amy Schumer. Photo courtesy of Amy Schumer.


Stuart Ross is a writer living in Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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