Female comedians? Yes, many people still doubt that women can be funny, witty and able to make us laugh until we cry. But it’s the 21st century and the time is ripe for all of us, no matter man or woman, to admit that female comedians can just do some jokes even better than men do. Long story short, time to break stereotypes! Are you with us?
A day without a laughter is a day wastedCharlie Chaplin
This short but meaningful quote shows how important laughter and humor is for English comic actor, filmmaker Charlie Chaplin and millions of people (like us) who share Chaplin’s opinion.
Anyway, we do think that making others laugh is a tough job that takes a certain skill set and ability. This is something that the top comedians coming from any background and diverse styles manage to do.
Though stand-up is still dominated by men, there are many talented women in comedy who are just as funny as any male comedians, if not funnier. Some of them are considered to be the funniest people of all time.
So scroll down to meet the most unique, hard-working and hilarious female comedians who make us laugh with their television shows, sitcoms, standups and hilarious comedy movies.
Female Comedians #1 | Betty White
Betty White (Born January 17, 1922) is an American actress and comedian with the longest television career as a female entertainer.
In a career that has spanned more than 60-years, the beloved actress and comedian
has appeared on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, Hot In Cleveland, and on countless talk shows since the 1950s.
It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.Betty White
White pursued an interest in writing. She wrote and played the lead in a graduation play at Horace Mann School and discovered her interest in performing. This is where she decided to become an actress.
In the 1940s, White was actively looking for a work in movie studios, but was always turned down because she was “unphotogenic“. So, then she started to look for radio jobs where being photogenic did not matter.
So, she worked in radio, appearing on shows such as Blondie, The Great Gildersleeve, and This is Your FBI. She then got her own radio show, called The Betty White Show.
White’s career was disrupted immediately, as World War II broke out, causing her to join the American Women’s Voluntary Services.
In the early 1950s, she launched her first television series, Life with Elizabeth, becoming one of the first women producers in Hollywood. On top of that, the show was unusual because it was co-produced and owned by a twenty-eight-year-old woman who still lived with her parents.
The Biggest Female Comedian’s Achievements
In fact, there have been many cases in her career when White was the FIRST thanks to her talent and courage.
- She is recognized as the FIRST woman to produce a sitcom, thanks to which she received the honorary title Mayor of Hollywood in 1955.
- In 1951, she was nominated for her FIRST Emmy Award as “Best Actress” on television. This was the very first award and category in the new Emmy history designated for women on television.
- White is also the ONLY woman to have received an Emmy in all performing comedic categories, and also holds the record for longest span between Emmy nominations for performances—her first was in 1951 and her most recent was in 2011, a span of 60 years. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- In 1983, she became the FIRST woman to win a Daytime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Game Show Host, for the NBC entry Just Men! She has been deemed the “First Lady of Game Shows”.
- A 2011 poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos revealed that White was considered the most popular and most trusted celebrity among Americans, beating the likes of Denzel Washington, Sandra Bullock, and Tom Hanks.
- Thanks to a Facebook campaign, called “Betty White to Host SNL (Please)” at the age of 88, White became the OLDEST person to host Saturday Night Live. In her opening monologue, White thanked Facebook and joked; “I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time.”
Female Comedians #2 | Joan Rivers
Writing an article about woman comedians and not speaking about Joan Rivers would undoubtedly be a huge mistake. So we couldn’t but include Joan River, one of the most resilient women in comedy of all time on our list.
Joan Alexandra Molinsky, better known as Joan Rivers, was an American comedian, actress, writer, producer, and television host who will always be remembered for her controversial comedic persona, biting wit and caustic tongue.
No matter how rude, cruel and serious you are, it is impossible to watch her and not laugh.
Joan was more than just a comedian. She was a legend in the entertainment industry, an internationally recognized celebrity, Emmy-award-winning talk-show host, Grammy-award-winning performer, Tony-award-nominated actress, bestselling author, playwright, screenwriter, film director, columnist, lecturer, radio host, jewelry designer, and entrepreneur.
Since she was a child, Joan’s passion and love was always live theatre. Rivers attended Barnard College, where she pursued her interest in performing.
Determined to succeed, she appeared in a number of small plays.
Acting is my true love. I would like to have been a serious actor and I plan to in the next life. I’m gonna be Meryl Streep Rivers.Joan Rivers
Legacy of Joan Rivers
When it became apparent that acting was not her cup of tea, she switched to comedy.
I was smart enough to go through any door that opened.Joan Rivers
Rivers gained prominence in 1965 as a guest on The Tonight Show. Hosted by her mentor, Johnny Carson, the show established Rivers’ comedic style.
In 1986, with her own program, The Late Show with Joan Rivers, Rivers became the first woman to host a late night network television talk show breaking the glass ceiling of male-hosted late-night television.
She subsequently hosted The Joan Rivers Show (1989–1993), winning a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host.
Joan passed away on September 4, 2014, in New York City. Her enduring legacy as an entertainer and as a humanitarian lives on.
She was never one to give up. She continued to work hard allowing her comedy to evolve and audiences to grow. Joan was a brave woman who said what others were thinking but didn’t have the nerve to say.
Yes, thanks to sincerity she won the hearts of millions of people. Sincerity and humor is what we can find in her quotes as well.
“Life is very tough. If you don’t laugh, it’s tough”
“I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I’d look like without plastic surgery”
“As comedians, we are all laughing because life is so horrible. Life is so difficult, and I cope with it by making jokes about absolutely everything”
“All my friends are dying. That’s why I always wear black”
“I hate housework. You make the beds, you do the dishes, and six months later, you have to start all over again”
Female Comedians #3 | Ellen DeGeneres
With her own talk show, Ellen DeGeneres is one of America’s most well-known women in comedy who genuinely wants to make people happy and put a smile on their faces.
As a child Ellen (born on January 26, 1958) dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, but she gave up the idea. Instead, she waited tables, sold vacuum cleaners, painted houses and worked as a legal secretary.
“So how did everything start?” you may ask. The thing is that once, during a public speaking event, DeGeneres found herself frightened by the crowd and used humor to get through the experience. She was a hit and received offers to do stand-up comedy.
DeGeneres appeared on The Tonight Show and earned the distinction of being the only female comic to be invited by Johnny Carson to sit on the famed “couch” during her first visit.
DeGeneres then began making regular appearances on the talk show circuit, including performances on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Later with Greg Kinnear, Larry King Live, and Good Morning, America.
Ellen DeGeneres & Daytime Television
In 2003, Ellen DeGeneres became a big hit with daytime viewers with her self-titled talk show, Ellen. Since its inception, the show has won a slew of Daytime Emmy and People’s Choice Awards.
Her comedy is still fun, involves a lot of dancing, and is upbeat. The famous people that go in her show are always open to her, because they know she is a professional in everything she does.
I think what saved me is being honest. I think I somehow had the courage to do something and to say something that I knew would possibly end my career. Instead of making business more important, I made my soul and my life more important. And I think by being truthful and being honest, that saved me.Ellen DeGeneres
Thanks to the popularity she gained over years Ellen DeGeneres became a popular choice to host major awards telecasts as well. She was offered to host the Grammys in 1996 and 1997; the Primetime Emmys in 2001 and 2005; and the Academy Awards in 2007 and 2014.
Also in 2003, DeGeneres lent her voice to the animated box-office smash, Finding Nemo, in which she plays a friendly yet forgetful little blue fish named Dory.
Most comedy is based on getting a laugh at somebody else’s expense. And I find that that’s just a form of bullying in a major way. So I want to be an example that you can be funny and be kind, and make people laugh without hurting somebody else’s feelings.Ellen DeGeneres
Do we need to add anything else? Guess everything is said by this quote to understand how devoted and professional Ellen is.
Female Comedians #4 | Kate McKinnon
Are you interested in politics? How about comedy? If you are into both of them then you will definitely know Kate McKinnon, famous for appearing as Hillary Clinton and not only.
Kathryn McKinnon Berthold (born January 6, 1984), known professionally as Kate McKinnon, is an American comedian and actress best known as a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live and The Big Gay Sketch Show.
She graduated from Columbia University in 2006 with a theater major, where she co-founded a comedy group, Tea Party, which focused on musical comedy.
So from the beginning, it was clear what McKinnon wanted to do with her life.
In 2007, McKinnon joined the original cast of Logo TV’s The Big Gay Sketch Show, where she was a cast member for all three seasons.
Since 2008, she has performed live sketch comedy regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City.
However, Kate hit a new level of fame as a featured player on Saturday Night Live on April 7, 2012.
To be employed in the entertainment industry is a miracle. Every day I look in the mirror and think ‘Holy crap, I’m employed.Kate McKinnon
Kate McKinnon As Hillary Clinton
34-year-old McKinnon, with her full lips, honey-blonde hair and wide blue-agate eyes, is also famous for her celebrity impressions of pop singer Justin Bieber, comedian television host Ellen DeGeneres, political figures like Hillary Clinton, etc.
McKinnon began appearing as Hillary Clinton on the series leading up to the 2016 presidential election. “I admire her so much. I started to feel very close to her, just trying to imagine her inner life”, Kate McKinnon once said.
The real Clinton appeared alongside her in a sketch. Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) confides her concerns about the 2016 presidential race to her bartender, Val (Hillary Clinton).
Once Kate said how she wanted her to win the 2016 presidential election.
On November 12, 2016, which was the first show after Clinton’s loss in the election, she reprised the role to open the show with a solo performance of “Hallelujah”.
On the Saturday after the election, I turned on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and watched Kate McKinnon open the show with her impression of me one more time. She sat at a grand piano and played ‘Hallelujah’… As she sang, it seemed like she was fighting back tears. Listening, so was I.Hillary Clinton
At the end, Kate-as-Hillary turned to the camera and said, “I’m not giving up and neither should you.”
Famous Female Comedian Kare McKinnon’s Awards
One thing about Kate’s parodies that drops everyone’s jaw is that she disappears so completely into her role she could easily be mistaken for the roles she is creating.
- McKinnon won the 2014 American Comedy Award for Best Supporting Actress, TV for her work on SNL.
- In 2014, she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
- She was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the second time in 2015.
- She has been nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards; one for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics and four for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, winning in 2016 and 2017 as well.
Yes, women in comedy truly rock!
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