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06/23/2014 12:47 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Comedian Amy Schumer Addresses Shock Value and Comedic Inspiration

These questions originally appeared on Quora.
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Answers by Amy Schumer, Comedian, actress, and writer

Q: Do comedians feel pressured to shock audiences and continue to push that envelope?

A: I think the most shocking thing is that I am not trying to shock anyone. I feel we should be able to talk about anything. I think it is therapeutic and fun. It takes the seriousness out of the world and we remember we can just take a deep breath and laugh. I talk about what interests me. Sex is one of those things. I think it's shocking that more people don't talk about it. I think it's the funniest thing that we do.

Q: What comedic or other performances have inspired your work?

A: The peers of mine that have inspired me the most are the comedians I'm closest to. I used to open for Dave Attell and Jim Norton on the road. They work so hard. They are so disciplined about writing and performing and keeping themselves sharp. I learned from them that there is no shortcut. You have to work your ass off. I am inspired by Louis Ck. He reminds us all to not just accept the way things have always been done. To question the systems in place and trust his own instincts and fight for what's fair. Judd Apatow is my biggest inspiration right now. He works harder than anyone. I am learning from him that it is all about collaboration and the result. He is egoless and loves comedy and takes zero shortcuts. He's the real deal.

Q: Who or what has inspired your writing?

A: My writing is inspired by what would make myself and my sister laugh. If it really cracks us up. Then I know I'm good. I also want it to make all the comics I'm friends with laugh and recognize a behavior in themselves. Like the scene about how women struggle with just saying thank you, when given a compliment. A scene we did called "Compliments" exemplified that behavior. It made a lot of people laugh and also recognize it in themselves.

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