The landscape of television, film, and print has changed immensely, featuring a host of women who have redefined what comedy embodies and represents. The sentiment that “women aren’t funny” is archaic and laughable in itself, as the following list shows.
Mindy Kaling: writer/comedian/actress/showrunner
Kaling’s comedic beginnings started at Dartmouth College, but began hitting a stride when she played Ben Affleck in Matt & Ben, a play written by her friend Brenda Withers and herself. The play was featured in TIME Magazine and shown at the New York International Fringe Festival. Since then Kaling has gone on to star and write for hit comedy shows such as The Office and The Mindy Project.
See: The Office, The Mindy Project, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (autobiographical memoir)
Funny line: “Maybe I won’t get married you know? Maybe I’ll do one of those Eat, Pray, Love things. Ugh, no. I don’t want to pray. Forget it. I’ll just die alone.”
Jessica Williams: comedian/actress/writer
Jessica Williams is currently the youngest correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart where she brings a unique blend of comedy with important current events and issues such as sexism, racism and equality. The up-and-comer was tipped to be Jon Stewart’s successor on The Daily Show and was recently featured on the cover of WIRED Magazine.
See: The Daily Show, Girls
Funny line: “The stand your ground defence is like bleach; it works miracles for whites, but it will ruin your colours”
Kelly Oxford: writer/comedian
Kelly Oxford is hardly a stranger to the comedy world. Oxford started writing comedy and skits from a young age, and began composing hilarious tweets on Twitter where she caught the attention of many celebrities for her acerbic wit. She has written pilots for many American networks including NBC and CBS and has also sold a script to Warner Bros. Her book Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar features hysterical essays including an account of when she travelled from Canada to Los Angeles in search of Leonardo DiCaprio.
See: Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar (autobiographical memoir)
Funny line: “If you can name 5 Kardashians but can’t name 5 countries in Asia, stick a knife in an electrical socket.”
Kristen Wiig: comedian/actress/screenwriter
Kristen Wiig was already making waves on Saturday Night Live when her acclaimed film Bridesmaids came out. The movie penned by her friend Annie Mumolo and herself was a hit, proving that there were still three-dimensional, funny roles available for women. Wiig is an excellent character actress, as she displays in SNL. Recently, the actress has forayed into more dramatic films The Skeleton Twins with her fellow SNL alum Bill Hader.
See: Saturday Night Live, Bridesmaids, Girl Most Likely, The Skeleton Twins
Funny line: “Help me I’m poor (from Bridesmaids)”
Tina Fey: writer/comedian/actress/showrunner
Fey’s career speaks for itself. The comedian started her career out like many comedians on SNL where she honed her craft as head writer and co-anchor of the show’s coveted Weekend Update segment. Shortly thereafter, Fey wrote and starred in Mean Girls, the funniest (and most quotable) teen film. Since then, Fey’s written and starred in her own show, 30 Rock, and more recently Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for Netflix. Fey is also often credited with starting the ‘comedian memoir’ trend with her entertaining debut Bossypants.
See: Saturday Night Live, Bossypants (autobiographical memoir), Baby Mama, Date Night, This is Where I Leave You, Mean Girls
Funny line: “You could put a blond wig on a hot-water heater and some dude would try to f*** it.”
Amy Poehler: writer/comedian/actress
Poehler’s career almost seems to parallel Fey’s, as both had career beginnings at the same time. Poehler also served as co-anchor on SNL’s Weekend Update segment and brought her own brand of wacky humour to the many characters she portrayed. Poehler recently ventured into writing too, releasing Yes Please in 2014, an autobiographical memoir that not only contained funny anecdotes, but also sage advice for any interested in the entertainment industry. Poehler recently completed the final season of her show Parks & Recreation on which she played the lead role.
See: Saturday Night Live, Baby Mama, Parks and Recreation, Yes Please (autobiographical memoir), Wet Hot American Summer, Mean Girls
Funny line: “Hoes before bros. Uteruses before duderuses. Ovaries before brovaries.”