Is 2013 the Year of the Female Comedian? Or, perhaps, is 2013 the year when female comedians will simply be described as ‘comedians’? How many people refer to Steve Martin or Louis C.K. as ‘that male comedian’? Yet somehow Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, etc are almost always described with a feminine pronoun in front of their titles.
With the overwhelming success of Bridesmaids, which has been praised as the highest grossing female comedy of all time, people have begun to talk again about women and comedy. In fact, a recentHuffington Post article has described this so-called “Bridesmaids Effect” which refers to the recent successes of movies about women, by women, and for women. A great example is the R-rated comedy, For A Good Time, Call . . . which stars Lauren Miller (who also co-wrote and produced) and Ari Graynor. It’s a story written by two best friends full of wit and humor.
Much like the movie, Celeste & Jesse Forever, which Ari Graynor was also in and was written by two real-life best friends, Rashida Jones (who also co-wrote, produced, and starred in the movie) and Will McCormack. Pitch Perfect and Ruby Sparks are also two other great ‘female’ comedies that may or may not have been helped by the ‘Bridesmaids effect’.
It is without a doubt that the current conversation is noticing, including, and appreciating the ‘female comedians’ with more vigor in these past few years than it has been for quite a long time. The easiest way to see how comedy is being innovated, and perhaps improved, by female comedians is to simply point them out;
- Tina Fey – An obvious choice. She is one of the most successful writers on television. Not to mention she also is an actor, producer, published novelist, and was one of the best awards show hosts in recent memory.
- Amy Poehler – Another obvious choice, like her Emmy’s co-host Tina Fey. She writes, produces, and stars in one of the most successful television comedies of the moment, Parks & Recreation. This is all in addition to her movies, stand-up, and voice work (she did the voice for the children’s cartoon, The Mighty B).
- Kristen Wiig – It’s no coincidence that three of the most powerful ‘female comedians’ all have come from SNL fame. Wiig, unlike her other two colleagues, is an Oscar nominated screenwriter. She also produced and co-wrote Bridesmaids, in addition to playing the lead role.
- Rashida Jones – While she is most known for her roles on The Office and Parks & Recreation, she also (as mentioned above) was behind Celeste & Jesse Forever.
- Anna Kendrick – While she got her ‘break’ in Twilight, she’s an Oscar nominated actress and played the lead in Pitch Perfect (which she also had to sing and dance in). Combined with her performances in 50/50, Up in the Air, and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, she definitely deserves a spot on this list.
- Aubrey Plaza – Like her co-stars, Rashida Jones and Amy Poehler, she is most known for her role on Parks & Recreation. However, she starred in the movie Safety Not Guaranteed which just won the Spirit award for Best First Screenplay and she started in the same stand-up troupe as Kristen Wiig.
- Lisa Lampanelli – One of the most popular stand-up comedians of the moment, who is well known for playing live venues, such as her shows in Atlantic City.
While many of these comedians are obvious choices, when the fact is also taken into consideration that they are all on fire and in their prime it may prove to be that 2013 really is the year of the female comedian.
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