Amy Schumer's Latest Netflix Special Is 'A Little' Jewish – Kveller
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Amy Schumer’s Latest Netflix Special Is ‘A Little’ Jewish

In "Emergency Contact," Schumer gives us the most adorably accurate rallying cry for Jewish solidarity.

Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact. Amy Schumer at The Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles in Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact.

via Elisabeth Caren/Netflix

In the promo to “Emergency Contact,” Amy Schumer’s latest comedy special for Netflix, the comedian calls her father to ask if he would be, well, her emergency contact.

When he answers with an “hola muchacha,” Amy marvels at his language skills. “I speak a bissel,” he tells her, and then asks if she knows what the Yiddish word means.

“A little?” she asks. Yes, he says, also reminding her that it’s the brand of a vacuum cleaner.

If you asked me how Jewish “Emergency Contact” is, I would probably also answer “a bissel,” especially in comparison to some extremely Jewish comedy specials that have recently graced our screens — from Alex Borstein’s “Corsets & Clown Suits” to Sarah Silverman’s brilliant “Someone You Love” And yet, the Jewishness in Schumer’s third special is pretty delightful.

“Emergency Contact” is generally funny, relatable and honest. Schumer opens up about the corporality of being a woman in her 40s and all the procedures she has done to change her body, from liposuction to laser facials, only for it to stay more or less the same.

She also touches on life as a mom. “I don’t know if I’m a good parent or if I’m just getting used to failing,” she shares, reminding us of how she accidentally named her son Gene Attell Fisher (the middle name is an ode to Jewish comedian Dave Attell, while Gene is after his paternal grandmother, who died before his birth).

“I was about a month into being a new mom sitting on the couch when I realized I named my son genital fissure. Anyone ever fucked up like that? I don’t think so,” she jokes. 

She also has some pretty real observations about the struggles of having sex postpartum, joking about doctors’ order to wait six weeks.

“Remember how you wolverined my FUPA open? How about six years,” Schumer imagines herself responding, and adds that, “It’s hard to have sex with your spouse because that’s your family.” Your emergency contact, if you will.

Schumer, who had a difficult pregnancy with her son, talks about how she could never do prenatal yoga because when she does downward dog, she simply falls (same). “My resting pose is upward humpback Jew,” she jokes, referring to the hump she recently discovered she had, and which becomes a recurrent joke throughout the special.

The most memorable Jewish moment from “Emergency Contact,” though, is when she talks about her husband’s autism diagnosis. Chris Fisher, a chef who she married 2018, was diagnosed with autism during their marriage.

Schumer explains that Fisher’s diagnosis would have once been Asperger’s, a syndrome named after Hans Asperger, an Austrian psychiatrist who pioneered research on autism. He was also a Nazi collaborator, getting into a position of authority partly thanks to the dismissal of Jewish doctors in the 1930s, and he helped facilitate the torture and killings of disabled and sick children at the Am Spiegelgrund clinic.

Schumer explains to the crowd that we don’t call it Asperger’s anymore because the doctor had “Nazi ties.”

“Like some of our neighbors,” the actress, who gave us one of the best sketches about antisemitism in the latest season of “Inside Amy Schumer,” continued.

“OK, can we please love Jews?” she then beseeches the crowd. “There aren’t that many of us left.”

It’s arguably the most adorably accurate rallying cry for Jewish solidarity.

Back in December of 2022, Schumer shared a message of solidarity with her LGBTQ and Jewish followers on Instagram. “I want to say I love you to my lgbtq and Jewish friends and family who are scared right now. I feel you. The DHS has us on high alert for attacks,” she wrote.

“I was bullied for being Jewish in the town I grew up in and was made to feel embarrassed for my Judaism,” Schumer wrote. “Now I am proud to be descended from survivors of Auschwitz.”

The recurring joke of “Emergency Contact” is that marriage is all about finding someone you can stand, but this show is surprisingly full of love. Love for her husband, whose autism is unrightfully stigmatized, love for sisterhood and her childhood friends. Love for finding a way to be comfortable in a body that, despite a constant desire to change it, finally feels better for Schumer after the surgical procedure she had to treat her endometriosis. And yes, love for her fellow Jews. Schumer doesn’t call for us to be tolerated or left alone — she calls for us to be loved. And there’s something so lovely about that.

Amy Schumer’s “Emergency Contact” isn’t going to solve antisemitism, but it does offer us all a chance to laugh and be distracted — at least for a bissel.

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