Comedy is “a blood sport” according to actress and female comedian, Sarah Silverman. It is a terrifying game for all performers and an even more challenging one for women aspiring to become comedians in the face of modern sexism. Despite Hollywood being the home to a large number of female comedians in the industry, we still carry this preconceived notion that men are a lot funnier than women.
To celebrate these women, I’ve compiled a list of brilliantly talented and empowering female veterans taking on the world of comedy one laugh at a time:
Abbi Jacobsen and Ilana Glazer: These Jewesses debuted on our screens in 2014 starring in their own TV show, Broad City. Praised for their wittiness and integration of modern feminism, the pair have redefined ‘stoner comedy’ using their refreshing millennial sense of humour.
Mindy Kaling: Mindy Kaling started her career in The Office alongside stars like Steve Carrell and BJ Novak. She created her own hysterical sitcom show much later called The Mindy Project being one of the first female Indian-Americans to lead as the protagonist. Her comedy also extends to writing having two published personal autobiographies: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) and Why Not Me?
Kristen Wiig: Known for her hilarious role in Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig is a great example of the Despite the unwarranted controversy towards her role in the all-female cast remake of the Ghostbusters movie franchise, Kristen Wiig continues to show everyone that women can be funny too.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler: SNL Queens, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler are gems when it comes to comedy. With 20 years of experience in the industry, appearances on Saturday Night Live doing brilliant impressions and a porfolio of comedy movies under their belt, they are TV’s most beloved comic actresses. #friendshipgoals.
Margaret Cho: The amazing Margaret Cho is known for her comedy stand-up routines addressing social and political issues such as racism and sexuality. She is not only an Asian-American comedian but also an actress, author, designer and songwriter.
Sarah Silverman: Often finding herself at the centre of controversy, Sarah Silverman endorses her views of social taboos, sexism, racism, and religion through her comic character in a sarcastic fashion. She thrives in the comedy world with stand-up routines as well as writing and producing her own TV shows.
Constance Wu: Constance Wu is one of the few Asian-American stars fighting for visibility in Hollywood and has demonstrated her amazing comedic abilities on the show Fresh Off The Boat. Not only does she perform well as a stereotypical Asian mum on-screen, she is a powerful advocate for diversity.
Ellen DeGeneres: She’s here, she’s queer and she’s adorable. Ellen Degeneres has danced her way into our hearts for as long as we could remember. With her cheesy dance moves and her cheeky pranks, Ellen is the queen of implementing comedy into her talk shows, as well as making everyone laugh with her ‘whale’ talk as the voice of Dory in Finding Nemo.
Betty White: And who could forget our lovely comedy sweetheart, Betty White who was the first woman to produce a sitcom in the 50s back when women were “supposed to be in the kitchen” and has continued to work in the industry for 75 years!