by Melisa Wu
In honor of Women’s History Month we chose to highlight some of the very special women in our lives. These women in particular have been there for us when we’ve had a bad day, inspired us to break unfair stereotypes, motivated us to be our true selves, and maybe even made us laugh so hard that we peed our pants. You guessed it: We’re talking about our favorite female comedians.
Comedy has long been a boy’s club to which girls weren’t invited simply because they were deemed “not funny enough.” But that didn’t stop these hilarious women from crashing the party and making sure that everyone knew their name. Watch out, comedy world, because these 10 female comedians are changing the game — and they may actually even be the funniest
women people alive:
10. Rebel Wilson
In a world where women often feel ashamed of looking like anything less than Barbie, Rebel Wilson says “screw that!” The fact that she willingly called herself “Fat Amy” in two major blockbuster films shows us just how unapologetically confident she is. On being called “Fat Amy,” she once stated “If you reclaim a pejorative word, it can no longer be offensive to you. There is power in that.”
9. Kristen Wiig
Known for her work on SNL, Kristen Wiig gained worldwide fame for starring in and co-writing the blockbuster comedy Bridesmaids. Not only did this film earn two Academy Award nominations, but it was also the highest grossing female ensemble comedy film of all time, earning $288M at the box office. That would also make it the most successful Judd Apatow production of all time. (Take that, Seth Rogan and Steve Carrell!)
Mo’Nique started her career in the UPN sitcom The Parkers, but she’s come a long way since then. Not only is she one of the most recognized and well-respected comedians in Hollywood, but she’s also become a powerhouse entertainer. From hosting various TV shows, including her own talk show, to producing reality TV series like Mo’Nique’s Fat Chance, a beauty pageant for plus sized women, to winning an Oscar for her role in Precious, Mo’Nique has quite literally done it all.
7. Queen Latifah
This hip-hop artist turned Academy Award-nominated actress got he big acting break when she was cast as “Mama” in the musical Chicago, but we really love her for her hilarious roles in her many hit comedies of the early 2000s: Bringing Down the House, Scary Movie 3, Barbershop 2, Beautyshop, and Last Holiday were all enhanced by her natural comedic talents. All hail the Queen!
6. Kathy Griffin
Griffin gained mainstream success for being notoriously blunt and honest about her views on Hollywood and her relationships with other celebrities. Her Bravo show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List earned two Emmy awards for Outstanding Reality Program. She’s also starred in several of her own stand-up comedy specials, such as Kathy Griffin: She’ll Cut a Bitch, and Kathy Griffin: Whores on Crutches. What we love about Griffin is her ability to paint herself as an outsider in Hollywood (though she really isn’t). Nonetheless, it’s always refreshing to see someone famous call out the inherent ridiculousness of the entertainment industry.
5. Lisa Kudrow
Lisa Kudrow is most widely known for her role as the daffy Phoebe in the TV sitcom Friends. Although that show is long over, Kudrow will never stop making us laugh. Since her small screen days she’s appeared in quite a few smaller comedic films, but she can still be counted on to bring the funny, for example her role as a Jewish-American princess who had to take over her father’s hip-hop record label in the movie Marci X. And yes, it’s as hilarious as it sounds.
4. Amy Poehler
Hailing from Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation, Amy Poehler is one of the most recognized faces in comedy today. She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for playing Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation and has since starred in major comedy blockbusters like Sisters (released last year), Baby Mama (another with comedy bestie Tina Fey), Blades of Glory, A.C.O.D., and more.
3. Tina Fey
Any list that mentions Amy Poehler seems incomplete without Tina Fey (and vice versa). Tina Fey created Mean Girls, and that’s about all the credibility she needs to be considered one of the greatest comedic writers of all time. You go,
Glen Coco Tina Fey! Her résumé is both long and impressive: She was the head writer for SNL, earning her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing, and she created the hit comedy TV series 30 Rock.
2. Amy Schumer
You may know her from her comedy sketch series Inside Amy Schumer (which has been nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards), or you may know her as Jennifer Lawrence’s BFF, or maybe you know her as that outspoken celebrity who goes on every talk show and unhesitatingly mocks herself. But no matter where you’ve seen her you can’t deny that there’s a good reason she seems to be everywhere. Schumer is every girl’s friend — she’s that celebrity you feel like you can call up at night and gossip with. There’s no topic she’ll shy away from, and she regularly covers sex, humiliation, being a woman, her body image, and her off-beat love life. Schumer has taken all of the things that women are usually too embarrassed to discuss and spun it into comedy gold.
1. Ellen DeGeneres
As the host of her own talk show since 2003, Ellen often uses humor as way to inspire people or inform them about important issues happening around the world. She is a major advocate for the LGBT community, as well as a promotor of veganism and animal rights. In 2011 she was named a Special Envoy for Global AIDS Awareness by Hillary Clinton. Ellen invented a different type of mainstream comedy — one that allows her to be funny and serious at the same time. After the attacks on 9/11, she received a standing ovation at the Emmys when she joked “What would bug the Taliban more than seeing a gay woman in a suit surrounded by Jews?” It’s no wonder Ellen was named Forbes’ 50th most powerful woman in the world — and it’s no contest that she’s number one on our list.