15 of the Funniest Female Comedians

Allison Banko
Photo credit: KHADIJA HORTON I GETTY
Photo credit: KHADIJA HORTON I GETTY

From Cosmopolitan

“i JuST dON'T tHInk fEmale comEdiANs aRE fUnny.”

Well, I’m just a girl, standing in front the peeps spewing that noise, asking them to shut the *actual* eff up.

Comic chicks have been fighting the men-are-funnier-than-women battle for-ev-er. It seems like an uber-antiquated argument because... I dunno, it should be? Listen, gender dictating if someone is funny or not is like time of day dictating if someone should eat pizza or not. (Spoiler: It’s irrelevant!)

Nonetheless, let’s give the female side some examples, shall we? Behold: a handy lineup of funny ~female~ comedians.

Amy Schumer

The Queen of Raunch reigns. Amy Schumer has seriously taketh. over. Her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer gave us some of the funniest music videos ever, from Milk Milk Lemonade to Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup. On top of a slew of comedy specials, she hit the big screen with laugh-out-loud comedies, like Train Wreck and I Feel Pretty. Recently, Amy debuted a self-shot comedy cooking show, Amy Schumer Learns to Cook, in which her chef husband (read: the dream) Chris Fischer tries to teach Amz how to cook. Even when she’s not trying to be funny, she is.

Ali Wong

You may have gotten your first taste of Ali Wong courtesy of fellow female comedians, Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer. But she *really* made her mark with Baby Cobra, her first Netflix standup special on stuffs like sex, hoarding and feminism which she performed whilst seven months preggo (!) Oh, and she did it again with her second bébé with her Hard Knock Wife special. Her most recent ish? Writing and starring in the Netflix rom-com Always Be My Maybe.

Kate McKinnon

*looks around* Fine; I’ll say it. If you ask me, Kate McKinnon may be the funniest person on Saturday Night Live rn. Fun facts: She’s not only the longest-serving female cast member, Kate is also the first openly lesbian cast member. But let’s get right to her best shit: her impressions. Elizabeth Warren. Hilary Clinton. Justin Bieber. Ellen. Jeff Sessions. Her character work rules, too.

Leslie Jones

SPEAKING of kickass SNL comedians… Leslie Jones was nothing short of hilarious during her time at Studio 8H. Her Weekend Update guest spots were *iconic*, as were this and that. Since she closed her chapter on Saturday Night Live, she’s released, Leslie Jones: Time Machine, her “joyfully raw and outrageous” Netflix stand-up special.

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling first wracked up our laughs in the writer’s room and on-camera as The Office’s high maintenance drama queen, Kelly Kapoor. And that was just the tip of her comedy empire. This comedian has made Hollywood hers, from writing and starring in The Mindy Project and Late Night to creating and writing Netflix’s teen rom-com Never Have I Ever. In short: lucky for us, this funny lady continues to crush it. FYI: she’s set to co-write Legally Blonde 3. What, like it’s hard?


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This goes out to all my big tittied bitches.

A post shared by Heather McMahan (@heatherkmcmahan) on Apr 28, 2020 at 7:59pm PDT


Heather McMahan

This self-described “high-functioning hot mess” is no doubt, all of your friends’ fave funny Instagram follow. Comedian Heather McMahan is known for delivering hysterical gripings about life’s reg’ annoyances while also playing original comedic characters and nailing the best Ina Garten impression you’ve ever seen. Girl has a critically-acclaimed comedy tour, hosts a weekly comedy podcast and posts IG stories that’ll make you howl on the daily, proving she is, for real, doing the absolute most.

Rebel Wilson

“At first I did not know it was your diary, I thought it was a very sad handwritten book.” Rebel Wilson was THE breakout star in Bridesmaids. Since then, one of our faves from down unda’ has flexed her comedic chops in Pitch Perfect, How to Be Single, Isn’t It Romantic, Cats (whoopsies!) and so much more. And on top of everything else, she's the brightest spot of any awards show she’s at.

Sarah Silverman

While she made her mark in comedy over 10 years ago thanks to stand up, The Sarah Silverman Program and late-night comedy bits, Sarah’s focus now skews more toward a platform for politics, seen most recently in I Love You, America on Hulu.

Awkafina

Alright; did NOT realize Awkwafina’s first foray into comedy came via her “vag”: aka her rap music video that has well over 5 mil views. Awkwafina has since taken her comedic chops to big-time movies, including Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8. Um, she was also the first ever Asian American to win a Golden Globe in any lead actress film category for her role in com-dram The Farewell. If you *really* want to see her shine, you MUST watch her Comedy Central series Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens. Brace yaself for her hysterical show about a 27-year-old who moves back home and is struggling to “adult.”

Mary Beth Barone

You guys. She’s comedy’s new ~it girl~. Mary Beth Barone delivers sarcastic, self-aware content that hits for us 20-something chicks because she is a 20-something chick. She’s performed on Comedy Central’s Up Next and now hosts Drag His Ass “a live comedy show about fuckboys and the culture.”

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Sums it up

A post shared by Hannah Gadsby (@hannah_gadsby) on Oct 5, 2018 at 3:54pm PDT

Hannah Gadsby

Aussie Hannah Gadsby came onto the ~scene~ after winning a comedian competition in her homeland. But her humor hit the States thanks to Nanette, her Netflix standup spesh that is a rebellion against traditional standup comedy. This, paired with her super-honest commentary on trauma, gender, sexuality and childhood turmoil, won her hella awards, including an Emmy. Her followup performance, Douglas, just hit Netflix. *add to queue*

Chelsea Peretti

You may recognize Chels from her role as Gina on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Her standup special premiered on Netflix in 2014, but she just released her concept EP Foam and Flotsam (aka a record of funny songs). There’s a track about Oat Milk, for example. If you’re looking for an on-demand LOL, plz watch her Instagram “makeup tutorials.” Side note: her hubs is fellow comedian Jordan Peele and um, her bro is the CEO and co-founder of Buzzfeed. Casual.

Jenny Slate

She’s seriously *Jean Ralphio singing voice* the bestttttttt. Jenny Slate, who you may remember from her hysterical portrayal of Mona-Lisa Saperstein on Parks and Recreation, has a long list of comedic credits. For one, did you know she voiced Marcel the Shell?! Jenny has been on everything from Kroll Show to SNL, and she recently released her first standup special, Stage Fright: “a mix of stage time, funny stories about adulthood and conversations with family in her childhood home.” Yes pleaseeeee.

Iliza Shlesinger

So, comedian Iliza Shlesinger is the youngest (and only female!) winner of Last Comic Standing. YGG! She has—count ‘em—FIVE standup specials on Netflix, her most recent being The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show: “a fun, irreverent mix of kooky characters, sly social commentary and pop culture gags.”

Tiffany Haddish

Tiffany freaking Haddish. She started making us LOL in Girls Trip and she has *not* stopped since. She made history as the first African-American woman to host Saturday Night Live—and she won an Emmy for it, too. She’s been in hella comedies and sitcoms, like Night School and Nobody’s Fool (unintentional rhyme here). In her first standup special, Tiffany Haddish: She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood, Tiff delivered “a riotous stand-up ripe with the unpretentious and filthy tales of her meteoric rise to stardom.” And in her most recent Netflix standup, Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready, Tiffany gives other female comedians the stage. Females. Supporting. Females. You love to see it.

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