Top Story: 7 Most Influential Female Comedians

Comedy is usually perceived to be a male dominated profession, fortunately there has been a stream of female comedic geniuses who have come along and greatly changed this skewed perception. These female comic personalities have inspired and encouraged various girls to not be shy of picking this profession. Men too, are warming up to the idea of watching a genuinely witty woman perform her act on stage; this is proved by the inclusion of various female comedians on the “Top 100 Beautiful Women” or the “10 Most Influential people” and so on. Here is a list comprising of some of the pioneering women in the field of comedy:


Tina Fey: Voted as one of the most influential people in the world, this lady started off as a YMCA employee who worked during the wee hours of the morning and later worked her backside off to get selected in the Second City Training Center. Her writing career started in a big way when she was selected to write for Saturday Night Live in the year 1995, post that she earned the position to be the first female head writer for the show. She also made her television debut on SNL, hosting the Weekend Update. From then, impersonating Sarah Palin for a comedy sketch to adapting a non-fiction book into a cult classic “Mean Girls” to starring in blockbusters like “Date Night “ and “Megamind”, penning her bestselling autobiography “Bossypants” and co-hosting the “Golden Globes” in 203, Tina Fey has never looked back.


Amy Poehler: It is impossible not to mention Amy Poehler if the list is on female comedians and if it includes Tina Fey. These best friends forever are a team in more ways than one. She became her partner in hosting “Weekend Update” for SNL, co-hosted of this year’s “Golden Globes”, played the funniest character in “Mean Girls” and co-starred with Fey in “Baby Mama”. Apart from her association with Tina Fey, Amy has also guest starred in the critically adored “Arrested Development” and movies like “Blades of Glory” and “The Heartbreak Kid”. Her biggest contribution to good television and comedy has been her show “Parks and Recreation” where Amy totally kills it as Leslie Knope, one of the best characters in television history.


Ellen DeGeneres: Ellen for President, 2016.


Sarah Silverman: She’s hot, smart and not afraid to speak her mind, even if she wants to proclaim to the world that “She’s f*****g Matt Damon”. Her video, telecast on Jimmy Fallon’s show along with her dark, filthy and sometimes unmentionable in public sense of humor has made Sarah Silverstone a refreshingly original comedian. She fearlessly speaks about taboo topics, race, religion, handicaps all rolled in just one joke. Her black and blunt humor has paved the way for many women to be unafraid to say the words they wouldn’t usually be encouraged to say in public.


Joan Rivers:The first lady of the talk shows, Joan Rivers was confident enough to leave her comfortable post of guest hostess on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and start her own talk show “The Late Show”. This lady never had the time or patience for sensitivity, as she ripped into fragile egos and scandalous stories with abrasiveness people wish to imitate. An Emmy winner and a Tony and Grammy nominee, Joan Rivers is funnier and works far harder than comedians half her age. Her latest documentary “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” is indeed, a piece of work.


Chelsea Handler: The list won’t be a complete list if the author of “Are You There, Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea” is not present. This comedienne extraordinaire started doing stand up to sold out shows. She then wrote her bestselling books and currently hosts a late-night talk show host “Chelsea Lately”, the only second female to do that, that after Joan Rivers.

Tig Notaro press photo for podcast

Tig Notaro: This lady deserves another article entirely, only two hours after being diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer; this superwoman performed on stage in Los Angeles and created a historical moment in the field of comedy. She delivered a very deep, personal and incredibly funny material where she made her audience weep, laugh, grin and then weep again in a matter of minutes. Her work created such an impact that Louis CK tweeted “In 27 years of doing this, I’ve seen a handful of truly great, masterful stand-up sets. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo”. Notaro by staying true to herself redefined comedy for women as well as men through just one performance. You go girl!

These are some of the most influential female comedians who have inspired a million girls to take that risk and try out something completely off-beaten.

This post has been contributed by Jacob Florence. He writes for Independent Artists, a company organizing comedy workshops across Australia. He enjoys home brewing in his spare time.

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