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Amy Schumer hits personal, political notes at Philips Arena

This was posted on Rodney Ho's AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The most memorable moment at tonight's Amy Schumer concert at Philips Arena had nothing to do with her privates or the Kardashians or the inevitable heckler.

About 45 minutes in, she abruptly ended her run of hilarious stories focused almost exclusively on her sex parts, blacking out from drinking too much and various aspects of copulation that are far too explicit for me to mention in any detail. Instead, she brought up how triggered she felt hearing about several women alleging that Donald Trump sexually assaulted them. (She had told Howard Stern a few weeks ago about being raped herself by a former boyfriend.)

So she had the producers turn up the lights up and asked women brave enough to stand up if they were victims of sexual assault. Several dozen did.

Amazingly, Schumer turned an arena with 8,500-plus people into a safe place for people to acknowledge an incredibly personal aspect of their lives.

    A lot more people appeared to walk out over her political comments during her show the next night in Tampa, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

The comic has seen  her star rise steadily over the past decade, fueled by her award-winning Comedy Central show "Inside Amy Schumer," which tackles gender issues with a dollop of raunch and a playful sense of satire. Notably, she is the first female stand-up comic to headline a solo show at Philips Arena.

Schumer isn't one to forget her roots. She opened the show name-checking her original comedic home in Atlanta: the Punchline Comedy Club and referenced owner Jamie Bendall. Later, in self-deprecating tone, she said, "I'll be back at the Punchline next week!"

Schumer confidently filled the entire arena, aided by two screens enabling even the concertgoers in the rafters to see her often goofy facial expressions and occasional physical humor. She wore an extra-tight orange dress and black top, noting that she skipped the Spanx due to a cyst. She swigged straight from a bottle of wine. "I've become rich and famous and humble," she cracked.

Early on, she noted, "I'm sweating like Katt Williams!" (The often arrested Williams himself headlined shows at Philips Arena last year.)

She also expressed her full-throated support for Hillary Clinton, something she said she wouldn't have done if her opponent wasn't so "crazy," she said. A Trump supporter began yelling at her. She quickly offered for him to come on stage to explain why. He didn't. She could have mocked him for his cowardice but chose to move on, except to note, "You're coming to my show. Should you be surprised?"

The video screens before the show warned people not to use smartphones for pictures or recording or even sending texts to the babysitter while in the arena. Security guards watched attendees like hawks, shining lights on them or verbally chastising them if they saw even a glimmer of light from a phone. Do it three times and they were booted. Amazingly, some folks couldn't stop using their phones and were escorted away.

About an hour in, Schumer did allow folks to take pictures for a few minutes for those who absolutely had to Instagram the moment could. Otherwise, she wanted people to live in the moment and enjoy the show. It appeared most attendees did - save for a stray Trump supporter or two.

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.