Three of the biggest comedians working today — Amy Schumer, Louis C.K., and Dave Chappelle — have released Netflix specials in the past eight weeks. Yes, the comedy gods have been good to us in 2017 (excellent timing considering literally everything else happening in the world this year). Amy Schumer graced the platform with The Leather Special, Louis C.K. shared a special appropriately called 2017, and Dave Chappelle made his long-awaited return to standup with a self-titled three-parter. And while all three talents provided us with some much needed laughs with their smart but bawdy humour, only one of them managed to appeal to men and women alike.
According to Jumpshot Analytics, Dave Chappelle's audience skewed the most heavily male: 83% of his audience was men, while a paltry 17% were women. Louis C.K. fared slightly better, with almost one in four of his viewers being female. And then there's Amy Schumer, who blew her male peers out of the water when it came to appealing to both sexes: her audience was 52% female, 48% male.
So, why is Schumer the only comic of the three to draw a roughly equal number of men and women? It's hard to say, but it's not a stretch to imagine that her being a woman has something to do with it. The Trainwreck star broaches a lot of the same R-rated subjects as Chappelle and C.K. — sex, race, and vice, chief among them. But Schumer has managed to pull in the ladies without losing male viewers. She broached the issue during an interview with GQ back in 2015. She said she realised early in her career that her strong suit was "providing a voice for women that was palatable for men also. An honest, unapologetic human voice."
While chatting with Matt Lauer on The Today Show that year, Schumer talked about how her humour isn't any dirtier than men's. "Honestly, when people say I'm dirty and I talk about sex a lot, I don't feel like I talk about it any more than is normal, and I think because I am a woman that people notice it more," she said."I don’t feel dirty, I'm just talking about my truth." And her truth is something people can laugh about, man or woman.