Drunk Girl parodies are standard comedy fare. At their worst, they're a malicious caricature of women, but most of the time, they're just stale. But an episode of Inside Amy Schumer gave me new hope when it comes to the comedic power of the Drunk Girl. In "Down for Whatever," Schumer spends much of the episode making fun of some of the scariest parts of relationships: commitment, breaking up, getting married. But one of her best sketches parodied one of the most feared sentences in wedding history: "Should anyone here know of any reason that this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace." Schumer, of course, is the lone objector, although she spends her 15 minutes of fame at the wedding too drunk to remember the reason why she's objecting.
The kind of Drunk Girl that Schumer plays here has become a sort of stock character now. But often, it's a character imitated by men, played by men in dresses, and written by men, and those jokes ring hollow. Think of How I Met Your Mother's "Woo Girls," who go out and get drunk because their lives are empty. Even Louie C.K.'s "Girls vs. Women" bit has a bitter edge to it — C.K. portrays young, drunk girls as silly and weak in one moment, and then wishes he could have sex with them in the next. It may be true and it may be funny, but the imitation still rings a little malicious. Even Saturday Night Live's former "Drunk Girl" character was yet another woman played by a man in a dress, and the skit was usually grating.
But women like Schumer can pull off the imitation because there's a kernel of truth to it. Schumer knows she's privileged and knows how she's often a mess, so much like her other characters on the show, it's simply a heightened version of her own persona. The truest and funniest Drunk Girl characters are the ones who have actually been Drunk Girl at some point in their life. Remember Ari Graynor in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist? She was one of the funniest parts of that movie because her Drunk Girl antics rang so true. Because being a drunk, demanding, silly mess does not mean you're a ditsy person.
The truth is, at some point in our lives, most of have all been Drunk Girl, but that doesn't make us worse people because of it.
Now, does anyone want to get some burritos? Because I am so hungry right now, I am literally dying. Woo!