Orthodoxy dictates that to be an attractive woman, one must be ladylike. To be ladylike, one must not make jokes, and especially not make vulgar jokes that attract chummy attention. At best, a lady can make a witty remark as though she belonged to the court of Louis XIV of France. However, certain women abandon traditional gender roles and pursue humor professionally. And thank goodness for that, because each of the following 15 women, more importantly than being beautiful, is very funny. The American comedy industry would be worse without them.
But, given the nature of the televised broadcast and the average consumer’s propensities, these women’s beauty aids their success. In other words, it’s much more fun to watch something, however hilarious it may be, if the person featured is also easy on the eyes.
As Amy Schumer, the great wit behind Inside Amy Schumer, exposes on her show: a woman in Hollywood, however talented she may be, will always eventually face her last “f***able day”. Julia Louis Dreyfus explains: “In every actresses’ life, the media decides when you finally reach the point when you’re not believably ‘f***able’ anymore”.
We recently exposed the 15 Hottest Men in Comedy. In this list, then, we break down the 15 women who are hilariously funny who are still years away from their last “f***able day”.
15. Ellie Kemper
Ellie Kemper’s beauty is much more corn-fed than other names on the list. She seems totally approachable, making her a perfect fit for the perennially jubilant titular character of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. In fact, Tina Fey, the creator of the show, noticed her on The Office and thought she was both too pretty for it, but also excellent at downplaying how pretty she actually is. The same thought comes up on Unbreakable, when her narcissistic boss Jacqueline tells her she only has a few years left of youthful beauty.
But, on top of being pretty, Kemper is very funny. Besides her comedy acting credentials which are plentiful, she wrote a letter for GQ called “Can Men Be Funny?,” lampooning the traditional assertion that women aren’t funny by suggesting in more or less the same terms that men are the ones who make no one laugh. It’s funny, thoughtful, and tongue-in-cheek, nailing down Kemper’s spot on this list.
14. Ilana Glazer
Ilana Glazer is a co-creator of the great Comedy Central show Broad City. The show follows two somewhat recent college graduates as they make their way in New York City all while smoking mad chronic. It’s one of few representations of female friendship with absolutely no cattiness. It’s also very funny, having acquired a cult following in only two seasons. It was nominated for best comedy series two years in a row at the Critics’ Choice Awards.
All that said, Ilana Glazer is also a beautiful young woman. She has nice white teeth and thick hair. In fact, in one episode of the show, her character, also named Ilana, becomes involved with a woman, not because she is attracted to women in general, but because the woman resembles her so much.
Given her comedy creds and her appearance, Ilana Glazer has a well deserved spot on this list.
13. Cecily Strong
We recently did a run-down of the best looking men in comedy. Two previous SNL Weekend Update hosts appeared on the list. But what about the hostesses? There have been some babes on Weekend Update in SNL’s past. One of the babes is the gorgeous Cecily Strong. Standing at an unusual 5’9” and with dark, luscious hair, Cecily Strong is a beautiful gal.
She’s also very funny. A recent interview with Men’s Health magazine positioned her on the leading representative of funny women. Although perhaps not exactly that, she is definitely a hoot. Her character on SNL, the girl you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with at a party, is a cultural phenomenon that has everyone saying: “it’s unconscionable!”
As beautiful and funny as she is, it won’t be long before Cecily Strong breaks into the major mainstream. Don’t be surprised if you see her at the box office soon. And remember! You heard it here first.
12. Carrie Brownstein
Carrie Brownstein co-writes the hilarious and undiscovered IFC show Portlandia with SNL alum Fred Armisen. She portrays a huge collection of characters, from an ultra-radical feminist bookstore owner, to a fleece-loving suburban wife, to a gutter punk, to a recent “cool-dresser” convert who will do such things as wear gloves to lunch: she literally occupies almost fifty percent of the show (with Armisen occupying almost the entire other half – they don’t like to share screentime with anyone but each other). Her immense comedic creativity and great timing makes her totally worth watching and totally hilarious.
Brownstein is also a pretty woman. Her large smile, exaggerated with signature dark red lipstick, is memorable and alluring, and her shiny brown hair contrasts with impossibly white skin for an interesting combination that makes her endlessly enjoyable to look at.
11. Jenny Slate
Having appeared on the three Comedy Central shows Kroll Show, @midnight, and Drunk History, as well as on Saturday Night Live, which is to comedy what Pixar is to family-friendly animation, as well as in Obvious Child as a comedienne, it’s hard to argue that Jenny Slate is not a funny woman. Given her appearance, it’s also hard to argue that she is not a pretty one.
And not only we noticed it. In 2014, the Huffington Post called Jenny Slate “smoking hot” as part of their best beauty list. This was no mistake, Jenny Slate has the ever-so-charming crooked smile so often celebrated in song and art as well as long, shiny hair and nice eyes.
Being both hilarious and elusively beautiful, Jenny Slate earned herself a prime spot on this top 15 list.
10. Kristen Wiig
Some people think that Kristen Wiig is weird looking. In one scene in her movie Bridesmaids, she gets into an argument with a girl in her jewelry store and the girl tells her that she looks like an old mop, a reference to her short, curled hair and her very thin body. But despite that, it’s pretty clear that however unusual, her beauty is present.
But, more importantly, she is absolutely hilarious. She co-wrote Bridesmaids, the female-led comedy with a 90% on RottenTomatoes. It was one of very few female comedies that had major cross-sectional appeal. Wiig also excelled as an SNL cast member, not only for her many imitations but also for her unique characters, such as Gilly and the surprise party woman.
With quick wit and cute looks, Kristen Wiig is a definite contender for one of the 15 sexiest women in comedy.
9. Natasha Leggero
Natasha Leggero’s comedy credits speak for themselves: she has been on five episodes of @midnight over only two seasons, she was a frequent member of the round table on Chelsea Lately, and she performed at the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber. On the Comedy Central show The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail, which alternates between comedians performing onstage and hanging out together backstage, the viewer gets to see her persona and her personality, both of which are effortlessly funny.
That all said, Leggero is also a good-looking woman. She regularly appeared in a two-piece bathing suit for her show Tubbin’ with Trash, and despite being in her forties, she looked lean and alluring, her long brown hair and amazing smile only serving to complement and contribute to her overall attractiveness.
8. Rashida Jones
Rashida Jones is self-evidently pretty. There need be no citing authority by tastemakers because her beauty reveals itself on her face, in her hair, and all over her body.
However, her comedy skills need a bit of explaining. Yes, she played Ann on Parks and Recreation and was cast alongside Paul Rudd in Our Idiot Brother, but what makes these comedy skills and not mere acting skills?
The important credit on her imdb page is a 4-episode arc on Lisa Kudrow’s hilarious brainchild Web Therapy. A little known fact about that show is that, unlike most shows, there is essentially no script. The actors just come in, discuss the plot and the character dynamics, and then ad-lib the entire content of the episode.
Therefore, Rashida Jones was not reciting someone else’s words in her role, but actively improvising and being funny all the while.
Given her beauty and skill, Jones is fit for the #8 spot on this list.
7. Grace Helbig
A funny girl on YouTube, the number 7 spot goes to Grace Helbig. Helbig started making YouTube videos years and years ago for the YouTube comedy conglomerate MyDamnChannel. At its peak, her Daily Grace account had two and a half million subscribers, each wanting to see Helbig’s daily comedy routine. That’s right: new comedy every single day, and comedy funny enough to attract 2.5 million stalwarts.
Now, she is an independent operator and growing ever more successful as she transitions into television and film. She has appeared several times on the Comedy Central show @midnight, a joke-based game show hosted by Chris Hardwick where contestants zing-in for points. Recently she made an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, marking her entry into bona fide comedy stardom.
As an unqualified knockout, Helbig is both pretty and funny enough to grace the list.
6. Gillian Jacobs
Gillian Jacobs is most known for her role as Britta Perry on NBC’s Community. On the show, she plays a total buzzkill. In fact, her role is listed as Britta Perry/ Buzzkill on imdb. But in real life, she’s far from it. She’s actually very funny.
She, like Grace Helbig, has appeared on @midnight with Chris Hardwick. Although all sorts of comics appear on the game show (it does happen every single night), there needs to be a basic aptitude for quick wit if one is going to participate. Having her on the show means that Jacobs is capable of more than pre-written comedy. Furthermore, she made an appearance in a 2013 episode of the hilarious Comedy Bang! Bang!
Jacobs, along with her Community co-star Alison Brie, was named one of the sexiest women in comedy by GQ. But here we decided that she, more than Brie, was equal parts cute and comedy and so included her solo on our list.
5. Anna Faris
Anna Faris is known to be very pretty. It is even the central theme of certain of the films she has made, for instance The Hot Chick and The House Bunny, both of which situate Faris as the central sex-appealer.
What differentiates Anna Faris is that, unlike most actresses, she’s very funny. She can carry a comedy all on her own, never the shrill counterpart to a hilarious male doofus (Katherine Heigl to Seth Rogen in Knocked Up, for instance.) Her role as Jane in the 2007 movie Smiley Face is absolutely hilarious and Faris’s spacey and stuttering delivery made her the perfect fit. Without her chops, the Scary Movie franchise would never have succeeded the way it did.
Given the fact that she is pretty enough to have big-budget movies claiming so and funny enough to have big-budget movies succeeding on it, Faris counts as one of the prettiest jokestresses out there.
4. Aubrey Plaza
Aubrey Plaza is known for playing snarky. She played snarky on Parks and Rec, snarky in Scott Pilgrim, and snarky in Funny People. But she deserved her role in that last example, because however snide, she’s always funny. In fact, she was nominated for an American Comedy Award in 2014 for best supporting actress for her role as April Ludgate in Parks and Rec.
A GQ writer once called Plaza “casually pretty.” Complex Magazine called her “freakin’ sexy. No sarcasm intended,” alluding to her habit of taking on sarcastic and disaffected roles. Given her comedy creds and her documented reputation for charming onlookers, Plaza is a prime example of a funny woman who’s attractive, too.
3. Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer is constantly saying that she’s unattractive. She jokes about her weight, her stds, her weird face, and so many more! But she’s actually not unattractive. She’s cute even though she’s plump, but her long hair and bootylicious booty make up for her what-can’t-be-qualified-as-anything-exceeding chubbiness.
She’s on the cover of GQ this month, pulling a Liz Lemon by doing funny instead of sexy for the photo shoot, but still somehow managing to look sexy as Princess Leia. On the cover of that GQ issue, the editors call her: “One of the funniest people in the galaxy,” and it’s true. Her show Inside Amy Schumer is a hit, with her looks making more enjoyable rather than only worth watching for.
2. Whitney Cummings
Whitney Cummings is a big deal in comedy these days. She created the NBC show Whitney, which ran for two seasons, and then later the show 2 Broke Girls, which was nominated for favorite network TV comedy at the People’s Choice Awards two years in a row (2014 and 2015.) She’s also participated in several Comedy Central Roasts, which read like a yearly updated who’s who of the American comedy circuit.
On top of that, Whitney Cummings is a cute-looking girl. Her long, dark hair, pink lips, and high cheekbones give her an editorial and unapproachable beauty that most actresses seem to shy away from. She’s like Angelina Jolie’s funny younger sister. But however able she would have been to ‘rely on her appearance,’ Cummings never did. This garnered her attention for being both whip smart and whiplash-ing.
1. Jenna Marbles
One of the new media for comedy is YouTube. A French YouTuber named Norman Thavaud leapfrogged from four-minute YouTube videos to packed theatres in every major French city for his comedy shows. It would be shortsighted not to include YouTube comedians on this list simply because they don’t operate in traditional spaces of joke-telling.
Jenna Marbles brings together comedy and beauty in interesting ways. Following the trend of the viral YouTube tutorial, Marbles posted a video five years ago titled: “How to trick people into thinking you’re good-looking.” The content of the video is much less desperate and deceptive than the title may suggest, including both self-deprecating humor (“if you’re born really ugly like me, have no fear, there’s steps you can take to be good looking kinda”) and actual styling tips. The video was a hit and got some 60 million views. Still making videos today, Marbles has upwards of 15 million subscribers.
Although she calls herself ugly in the video, it’s pretty clear that is not the case, as is visible in her “What I would have done in Cancun” video, which shows a body worthy of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover.
complex.com, menshealth.com, rottentomatoes.com