Amy Interviews AshleyMadison Creator Noel Biderman On 'Inside Amy Schumer' & Completely Takes Him Down With Subtlety
Just consider this the start of my official campaign to have Amy Schumer interview everyone the internet hates, immediately. This week on Inside Amy Schumer , Amy "Goes Deep" with Noel Biderman, creator and CEO of AshleyMadison.com, and she quietly serves him up on a silver platter to the feminist masses. If you can't quite remember why the name AshleyMadison gives you an icky feeling, it's because it's the website that is famous for acting as Match.com for marrieds who want to cheat. As Biderman described it in an interview with INC, "We'll help you meet someone and not get caught." Lovely.
Of course, this is why it's so perfect that Schumer sits down with Biderman on her show, in the clinky dive bar where she's interviewed so many buzzworthy people before him — and where's she's stirred up controversy as recently as last week. While we can read a million business-angled interviews with Biderman with the flick of a Google search, no one has gotten into it with him like Schumer does, and the beauty of it is, that this guy appears to think he's in on the joke. It almost reminds me of a Daily Show interview, but one that's dialed back a few notches: And when you take out the extreme camp, the resulting victory is almost more satisfying.
What's even more interesting, is that this interview hits just after news that AshleyMadison is going public in London later this year, and hoping to raise $200 million dollars, according to a report by Bloomberg. Now here comes the CEO, self-appointed "King of Infidelity" and someone BusinessWeek once called "possibly evil," to sit down with renowned feminist comedian Schumer. How could he not have had a bad feeling about this?
Still, Schumer is fair, so first, she lets Biderman speak his piece and explain his perspective on the whole thing, and I suppose I should include that bit:
Yes, people are furious. They don’t really understand the concept of monogamy. Most people don’t negotiate it even in their own marriages. Like I never sat down with my wife and said “What is acceptable? Can I massage Amy’s foot right now? Is that acceptable?”
This is the point of the interview where this guy actually grabs Schumer's feet. And Schumer, ever aware that she's conducting an interview for a comedy show, drives that gag on home, because Schumer is a freaking trooper in the name of comedy. But Biderman continues:
So the point is they don’t negotiate monogamy, who knows where this ends up, right?
But wait, we do know the answer, because he's spelled it out a thousand times: This ends up on AshleyMadison.com, where "they" who didn't "negotiate monogamy" are looking for clandestine extramarital hookups. Cue the Schumer face of disapproval above.
And having let this guy defend his controversial company, that's when Schumer breaks into the goods and actually confronts Biderman, asking him about an old AshleyMadison commercial that implied that a husband cheated because his wife got fat (I looked, but it seems to have been scrubbed from the internet, thankfully). His answer was, well, pretty expected.
"Why do people have affairs? People ask me all the time; [gaining weight] is a legitimate reason," says Biderman. Whoa, buddy. Real? Fine. Jerks do exist. Legitimate? Nah, bro.
And this is where Schumer becomes my hero. She doesn't go all Nancy-Grace-talking-to-2-Chainz-about-the-pot (which is admittedly not far from the rage I might have exhibited in this situation). Schumer very calmly, with a dose of her requisite self deprecating humor, offers this:
I just want you to hear from me, someone who’s had no kids… that I’ve kept: I feel like aging unfortunately doesn’t agree with women the way it agrees with men. And with kids you put on some weight, whatever, and even though I hear you, I did think that it was kinda mean and unsympathetic.
Sure, Biderman then comes back with the "well, you're not being realistic" retort. Oh, I'm sorry — is it unrealistic of me to expect that at a time when I'm likely to be feeling low or upset at the changes in my body and the insecurities those changes produce that the person who swore to love me forever is simply expected to be all "no fatties" and find a new model somewhere on the interwebs like it's no big deal? Hell no, buddy. (See? I'm already Nancy Gracing on y'all.)
But because he's not dug himself deep enough here, Biderman then clarifies that the moment most men cheat is when their wives get pregnant because "their sex lives go from a million miles an hour whenever wherever, to a bunch of restrictions put on it." I can't even begin to deal with the issues packed into that tiny little package, so I'm just going to give you this for now:
Luckily, Schumer delivers the final one-two punch, wrapped in a blanket of giggles and cordial behavior: "Do you ever get super depressed?" she says, to which Biderman says something about money — duh — and the interview essentially ends there. (Inside Amy's head writer Jessie Klein also comes out, while very pregnant — as Schumer says, "Jessie’s gonna be bummed, she’s pregnant as f—k" — to give Biderman a little taste of the reality he professes to know so much about.)
But what's great about this is that Schumer's interviews are doing actual work while Schumer is entertaining us with her wits — they're the perfect complement to sketches like "Last F—kable Day" about ageism in Hollywood and the Friday Night Lights parody-turned rape joke "Football Town Nights." And while I've always enjoyed Schumer's interview segments (shoutout to the one where she asked a Cosmo writer about the infamous "put a donut on his penis" sex tip), this season the segments have reached a new level of fearlessness and importance.
And the fact that a sketch show on Comedy Central is doing that throughout its various segments and with just 22 minutes of airtime is something that's absolutely worth celebrating.
Images: Comedy Central (2); ReplyGIF