Some people think that women aren’t funny. But, these ladies of comedy are showing the boys how it’s done and kicking them to the curb. Here are 12 of the funniest women in comedy. If you are a stand up comedienne, there are lots of opportunities for you. Stand up comediennes aren’t just performers, but they are also writers, so they are able to parlay that gift into book deals. And if that book is successful, like a New York Times best seller, that can launch their career even further. Two of the comediennes on this list even turned their writing skills into late night talk show fame.
But, not everyone has written a book. Several of the comediennes on this list turned their sketch comedy or regular stand-up into lucrative television deals. And for those that have yet to get a full-blown television series deal, most of these women have had multiple television specials, at the very least.
One of the names on this list isn’t actually a comedienne per se, but she still cracks everyone up. Her previous career was actually being a rock star. And it turns out she is a rock star of comedy as well as music. Several of the women on this list and all of them in a sense, have truly broken ground and paved the way for each other and more brilliant female comedians to come and make us laugh in the future.
12. Chelsea Handler
There is no comedienne quite like Chelsea Handler. While her fans are missing her late night E! talk show Chelsea Lately, everyone is chomping at the bit for her upcoming show on Netflix, set to debut in October. Handler explained the difference between the two networks in a recent interview, “It’s such a different relationship than with E!; it’s nice to be involved in a show where I do respect their opinions. It’s like going out with a guy that you’re proud to be seen with.” Netflix also plans to air a special based on Handler’s book, Uganda Be Kidding Me.
11. Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
Stefanie Wilder-Taylor has been a stand-up comedienne for over 20 years and is also known for her hilarious mommytainment books, including the New York Times bestseller Sippycups Are Not For Chardonnay. She was the host of NickMom’s late night (or at least late night by the audience’s standards) show Parental Discretion. She currently co-hosts the podcast For Crying Out Loud with Adam Carolla’s wife, Lynette, which is popular amongst parents and non-parents alike. Stefanie’s newest book Gummi Bears Should Not Be Organic and Other Opinions I Can’t Back Up With Facts, is going to be released on April 7th.
10. Alison Rosen
Adam Carolla’s former newsgirl Alison Rosen, might not be the Aceman’s sidekick anymore, but she is kicking it into high gear on her own. Rosen’s podcast Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend, is killing it on the iTunes charts. Alison Rosen is the kind of woman you want to be your new best friend. Her warm, observational humor, interested in snacks, signature show segments like “Is It Just Me or Is It Everyone,” laugh-out-loud jingles and her ability to turn lemons into really funny lemonade makes her a keeper.
9. Heather McDonald
Heather “Long Boobs” McDonald came into the public eye when she was a writer and permanent round-table guest on Chelsea Lately. In 2010, McDonald also wrote a hilarious book called You’ll Never Blueball In This Town Again, about her early adventures in Hollywood, which proved she definitely worked for everything she earned. Furthermore, her Showtime special, I Don’t Mean To Brag was most certainly brag-worthy. McDonald has recently came back to late night, but in a different format, co-hosting TLC’s All About Sex, where she holds nothing back and talks about everything.
8. Rosie O’Donnell
From co-starring in A League of Their Own to her own talk show, Rosie O’Donnell has been called “The Queen of Nice” and “The Queen of Mean,” but either way, she’s certainly a jester of laughs. She recently exited the not-funny-at-all talk show The View for the second time because it had some not so funny affects on her health. In her most recent HBO comedy special, aptly called A Heartfelt Special, O’Donnell combines comedy and activism in her own unique way to raise awareness about heart disease.
7. Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer is one of the biggest names in comedy today. She stars on her own sketch comedy show on Comedy Central called Inside Amy Schumer. The trailer for her new movie Trainwreck, which co-stars and was co-written with Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader, was recently released and so far, the movie has been called “Hilarious,” and “Judd Apatow’s funniest movie in years”. The release date is still far away, scheduled for the summer. So, Schumer’s fans will just have to wait and enjoy her current comedy tour.
6. Carrie Brownstein
Unlike most of the funny women on this list, Carrie Brownstein isn’t a stand up comedienne. In fact, before she became the toast of the comedy world, she was the guitarist for indie band Sleater-Kinney. But, no one realized how funny Brownstein was until her IFC show, Portlandia with SNL alum Fred Armisen, became a hit. With sketches that go viral, making fun of hipster culture, Portland and especially feminist bookstores, Brownstein has made a new name for herself in the comedy world, doing something incredibly original.
5. Loni Love
How could you not love Loni Love? In 2006 she was a runner-up on Star Search, and by 2009, she was named one of the “Top 10 Comics to Watch” by Comedy Central and Variety. Like many comedians, Love had an interesting day job before she made it. She was an electrical engineer, which proves she is both funny and smart. Love currently combines her wit and humor as co-host of the syndicated talk show The Real, along with Adrienne Bailon, Jeannie Mai, Tamar Braxton and Tamara Mowery-Housley.
4. Joan Rivers
The late Joan Rivers was arguably the funniest women ever to walk the face of the Earth. She was making everyone laugh probably before you were even born (certainly way before I was born). Furthermore, she paved the way for every woman on this list. Prior to her untimely death, Rivers co-hosted E!’s Fashion Police. Although the hilarious Kathy Griffin was called in, no one could ever really replace Joan. Due to a feud between co-costs Kelly Osbourne and Giuliana Rancic, among other reasons, Griffin hung up her badge after only seven episodes. Fashion Police is on hiatus until September 2015.
3. Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin recently quit E!’s Fashion Police because, as she told Howard Stern, “I probably shouldn’t have taken the gig. Melissa [Rivers] is the one who called me and said, ‘You’re the only person that I feel my mom would truly have given her blessing to.’ So that was kind of the decider.” The other problem was that it just wasn’t the funny lady’s brand of humor; she said, “I don’t really feel it was my best work, I stand by my specials and my series. The lane that that show was in was so specific that they weren’t able to make the transition to the comedic lane that I work in. I just don’t think that it’s really what I do. I think Joan was the master of the one liners and the zingers.” We are looking forward to whatever Griffin is going to give us next.
2. Margaret Cho
Margaret Cho recently killed it, probably more so than Neil Patrick Harris, at the 2015 Academy Awards. But, truthfully, she’s been killing it for years. From her 90’s sitcom All American Girl (who undoubtedly must have inspired the recent ABC show Fresh Off The Boat), to her early stand up specials where she imitated her mother calling for her, “Mooorrrroonnnnn.” Most recently, Cho co-hosted the TLC late night show All About Sex with Heather McDonald, Marissa Janet Winokur and Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry.
1. Sarah Silverman
There are very few women as funny as Sarah Silverman is. From her early stand-up specials, to her brilliant musical movie Jesus Is Magic, and her unforgettable one-liners and zingers on every Comedy Central Roast (check out James Franco’s roast for some of her best work), Silverman is absolutely one of a kind. She is also branching out her career and embracing dramatic roles. The comedienne surprised audiences with her role (and hairstyle, so to say) as a train wreck alcoholic in 2011’s Take This Waltz, which co-starred Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen.
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