Amy Schumer Talks Hair Pulling, Oscar Slapping, and Befriending Kim Kardashian
Comedian also gives Howard some exclusive news regarding her hit series “Life & Beth”April 13, 2022
Amy Schumer truly said it all in her Stern Show return on Wednesday morning. The comedian, recent Academy Awards co-host, and star behind the hit Hulu series “Life & Beth” broke big news about her show, talked how she went from falling in front of Kim Kardashian to actually becoming her friend, and opened up about her hair-pulling disorder she’s quietly endured for much of her life. Oh yeah, she also gave Howard the inside scoop on what went down behind the scenes when Will Smith took the stage at the Oscars and slapped her good friend Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
“It was a good show and then the slap happened,” Amy told Howard. “I had no thoughts of like how it affected me or my performance or anything. It was just upsetting as a person.”
Howard wondered if she’d replayed the moment in her head a million times or lamented how the showrunners handled the situation, but Amy admitted she was not sure herself what she would’ve done if the power had been in her hands. All she could speak to was how the slap made her feel.
“It was so upsetting. People made fun of me for saying that it was traumatizing, but I don’t think it was traumatizing for me. I think it was traumatizing for all of us,” she said, explaining that she counts Rock and Questlove—the musician and filmmaker who just seconds later won the award for Best Documentary Feature—as two of her best friends.
She also admitted it wasn’t easy to watch Smith, an actor she’d long idolized, resort to violence. “I don’t remember a time I didn’t think, ‘I love that guy,’” Schumer said of Smith, explaining that in the moment all she could think about was how he must be in “so much pain.” “It was upsetting for so many reasons and it was upsetting to everyone,” she concluded. “It was shocking, and it was a bummer.”
Howard marveled at how Rock handled the whole situation on stage. Amy suggested it was a result of his many years performing stand-up.
“The reason why Chris Rock could stand there, and get hit in the face, and then stay up there with composure and give his friend [Questlove] an Oscar is because he’s a comedian,” she told Howard. “Everything that you’re afraid of happens to you while you’re on stage, and then you’re just desensitized, so you’re not shocked by anything.”
Not every comedian who made a joke that night about the Smith family was physically assaulted, thankfully. Amy herself earned laughs from the audience and even Will when she cracked wise about the irony making a movie about Venus and Serena Williams—two of history’s most accomplished female athletes—only to center the story around a male, their father.
“To be honest, I did reach out to the people I was going to joke about [beforehand] to make sure it was okay with them because I’ve been burned too many times and I didn’t want the camera to cut to someone looking sad,” she said of her Oscar zingers. “So, I told the Williams sisters, I told Will, I told [Leonardo DiCaprio].”
Co-host Robin Quivers was amused that Leo gave Amy the greenlight for the barb in question, which poked fun at his penchant for dating far younger women.
“He said ‘Go ahead,’” Amy recalled. “They don’t care and [Camila Morrone], his girlfriend, is the shit.”
Though the celebrities in attendance loved her set, some viewers at home took issue with one joke involving Amy pretending to confuse Best Supporting Actress nominee Kirsten Dunst with a “seat filler.” Schumer has since assured the world that Dunst and her partner Jesse Plemons were both in on the gag, but that hasn’t stopped an unsettling amount of hatefulness from being directed her way.
“I got death threats. I got the Secret Service reaching out to me,” she revealed to Howard. “I’m like, ‘Oh, I think you have the wrong number. This is Amy, not Will,’ … Not that I want Will to get death threats [but] the misogyny is unbelievable.”
Based on a True Story
Amy’s new Hulu dramedy “Life & Beth” has earned praise from critics and fans alike for its sharp humor, unflinching drama, and talented cast. Amy and Michael Cera star as Beth and John on her somewhat autobiographical series, which at times grapples with very real events from her past and present. In one episode, Amy’s character looks back to a tumultuous childhood where she used to pull out her own hair. The compulsion is called trichotillomania, Schumer told Howard, and its one she continues to battle to this very day.
“When I was 13, I pulled out so much hair that I needed to get a wig and wear [it] to school, and it was humiliating. It was really hard,” she said, explaining the humiliation came from “feeling like you were deformed, feeling ugly and unlovable, and having big bald spots.”
“I ate my lunch in the nurse’s office because I heard someone say I made them sick,” Amy added.
Howard was stunned by her story.
“I was extra confident. I always had a boyfriend. I was like, ‘everybody cool has no hair,’ — I thought I was okay. I didn’t realize that I was not okay and the hair pulling was a symptom of that,” she continued. “I would not even realize I did it and I’d just look down and there was a pile of hair.”
Howard applauded Amy for speaking so candidly about her condition.
“It’s been my big secret. I have so much shame about it, and I really just wanted to try and let go of it and accept it about myself. This was part of that,” Amy told him as she started choking up. She went on to tell Howard she still pulls her hair. “If I didn’t have these Voël extensions, I couldn’t be on camera. I’d have probably have half the amount of hair I should have,” she explained, adding, “I’m lucky extensions have become so normalized … It’s just doing whatever you want to do to feel good.”
Amy didn’t have any trouble feeling good about herself a few minutes later when she received a text message with very exciting news. “Hulu and Endeavor Content have picked up ‘Life & Beth’ for a second season,” she told Howard with a smile. “I really wanted to share that news on here.”
Kicking It With the Kardashians
When reality star Kim Kardashian hosted “Saturday Night Live” awhile back, one of her biggest laughs came from a joke Amy had written for her. Schumer told Howard she first met Kim (sort of) when she made headlines by throwing herself at Kim’s feet on the red carpet. While Kim and her then-love interest Kanye West didn’t appear amused by Amy’s antics, Schumer insisted Kim got the joke. “I could feel in that moment that she wanted to laugh,” she told Howard. “It made me think she’s funny.”
The two later connected at the 2015 Met Gala and have since become friends, texting and talking all the time on the phone.
“She is the best. She laughs at herself. That [Kardashian] family is actually really cool,” Amy said. “[Kim] went after her family in that [“SNL”] monologue. She’s an amazing person. Think of what she’s accomplished.”
Amy is so tight-knit with the family, she recently considered reprising the red carpet joke at another star-studded Hollywood shindig. “I was behind her in line at the Vanity Fair party, her and her sister Kendall [Jenner] … I was saying to [my husband], ‘Should I go throw myself in front of her?’ And he’s like, ‘No,’” she recalled with a laugh.
Amy Schumer’s “Life & Beth” is streaming now on Hulu.