Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Journalism and Media Studies

First Committee Member

Olesya Venger

Second Committee Member

Greg Miller

Third Committee Member

David Nourse

Fourth Committee Member

Jennifer Guthrie

Number of Pages



Amy Schumer earned a spot as the first woman ever on Forbes Top Ten Highest Paid Comedians List. This was a huge accomplishment but it begs the question why Schumer is the first. Past research on female comedians like Lucille Ball and Lily Tomlin illuminates how comedy can be used as a rhetorical device and highlights the importance of women in comedy. Through an in-depth thematic analysis of Schumer's movies Trainwreck (2015), Snatched (2017), and I Feel Pretty (2018), this thesis examines how Schumer uses different comedic techniques and how that compares to the way other women used comedy in the past. The results reveal that Schumer employs comedic tactics to subvert and builds off of tactics used by previous female comedians. All of these tactics are used to comment on gender issues and break down gender stereotypes that are often harmful to society. Schumer’s ability to subvert many of these structures that limited her predecessors are what has made her so successful and will allow future females to succeed in comedy.


Amy Schumer; Comedy; Female comedians; Funny women


Broadcast and Video Studies | Journalism Studies