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Funniest Women in Hollywood

The funniest women of hollywood will make you laugh so hard you cry.

By Stephen HamiltonPublished 8 years ago 6 min read

It’s an indisputable fact that the comedy world is primarily made up of male talent. I don’t know why this seems to have happened, but a large percentage of the premier comics have been men over the past several decades. However, the tides seem to be changing. Women are taking the comedy industry by storm, and the funniest women in Hollywood are slowly taking over television and the big screen.

Mindy Kaling

Photo via Parade

At first glance you may recognize her as Kelly from The Office, but you’d be amiss to assume that was her only major role. In fact, although The Office started in 2004, Mindy Kaling had penned her own play in 2002 called Matt & Ben, which focused on the relationship between Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, who she portrayed alongside one of her friends. This play put Mindy Kaling on the comedy map. In fact, the play reached such critical acclaim that it was recommended by several venues as one of the greatest theatrical productions that year. Since The Office, Kaling has voiced the character Disgust in Disney’s Inside Out and has written several memoirs. She has confirmed that she will be releasing a third book with Office co-actor and long term friend, B.J. Novak.

Leslie Jones

Photo via NY Mag

A total veteran of the industry and still going strong, Leslie Jones has carved out her own unique brand of humor and sticks to it steadfastly. She started doing stand-up comedy in 1987, when she performed her first stand up bit at college. This led to a long stint stand-up, with occasional appearances on TV and in film. However, joining Saturday Night Live proved to be her greatest career advancement, and it launched her into the limelight. She spread her notoriety further with a starring role in the 2016 Ghostbusters film.

Jane Lynch

Photo via NBC

Jane Lynch is certainly one of the busiest women on planet earth. A trip down her filmography can take a very long time, partially due to the fact that she has been acting a comparatively long time, and partitally due to the fact that she is incredibly talented. From small beginnings in TV commercials, Lynch worked her way into recurring guest roles on several different TV shows and has since been in so many different projects it’s hard to summarize them all in a sentence or two. But hell, I’ll give it a go. She’s voiced characters in Wreck-It-Ralph, Rio, Space Chimps, and several Ice Age movies as well as starring in The 40 Year Old Virgin, Role Models, and Alvin and the Chipmunks. She’s clearly got range, and is able to appeal to more family friendly comedy as well as more after-dark tastes.

Wanda Sykes

Photo via Live Nation

You may not know her, but you will as soon as you look into her storied history in the comedy world. She’s had a tumultuous career with some TV shows being cancelled under her supervision, but she still keeps going, churning out belly laughs wherever she goes. She scored her first big break after opening for Chris Rock back in the early 90s, and in 1999 she won an Emmy for her role in The Chris Rock Show. With a wide career spanning film, TV, music, and even some writing, Wanda Sykes' trademark sass and down to earth attitude gained her a reputation among the comedy connoisseurs. She frequently touches on taboo subjects such as the color of her skin, but she’ll never let it define her comedy.

Ilana Glazer

Photo via Verge Campus

Ilana Glazer is newer to the game than many of the other comedy giants on our list, but that doesn’t mean she can’t hold her own. Starting stand up in 2006, Glazer established a strong trademark of neurotic humor most commonly found in shows like Seinfeld or the films of Woody Allen. You may know her for the creation of the show Broad City, which first was shown in 2009 as a web series where Ilana Glazer played a fictional version of herself. The wacky comedy proved to be incredibly popular and won her several awards. In 2014 the show got picked up by a major network and broadcasted its first season to positive reviews and strong ratings.

Amy Schumer

Photo via Her Campus

If anybody on this list is to be the most influential in the primarily male dominated industry, it’s Amy Schumer. Named as one of the top 100 influential people in 2015, Schumer is trail blazing her way through the comedy world, bringing laughs and socially progressive activism with her every step of the way. Although her 2015 film Trainwreck was met with lukewarm reception by the critics, the film had something to draw out the crowds and made a lot at the box office. Schumer taps into the McCarthy wide appeal sense of humor that strikes a chord with the general public. Although comedy once relied on visual gags, in the modern day Schumer is the champion of self-deprecating humor.

Tina Fey

Photo via Town & Country

Tina Fey is evidence for the wide and influential reach of Saturday Night Live. The show has proven to be a great scouting place for emerging talent and writers. Tina Fey is one such writer, who joined the team in 2002 and rose the position of head writer and performer. She became ever more popular after penning and starring in the incredibly popular Mean Girls. She then went on to create and produce The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for Netflix, which has proved to be yet another hit for Fey to add to her trophy case. It seems that whatever she writes strikes a core with any audience. She has no intention of stopping and I can see bright and hilarious prospects on the horizon.

Melissa McCarthy

Photo via Women's Lifestyle Mag

Love her or hate her, it’s hard to deny the success that she has cultivated, especially through the 2010s. You probably already know who she is, but on the off chance you don’t, Melissa McCarthy is a jack of all trades, but is most well known for her comedic performances in film. Her breakout performance was in the 2011 film Bridesmaids where she played the most outrageous character in the film who is specifically infamous for one scene involving a sink and a bad stomach. Although she has had controversy in terms of her comedic style, (some have said that her farcical attitude towards her comedy can become at best tiring, at worst, overly annoying) I’m certainly not tired of it yet, and judging by her appearance in the 2016 Ghostbusters film (of which she was one of the best parts) I think we can still count on Melissa McCarthy to stick around for a while longer.

Kristen Wiig

Photo via The Huffington Post

I hate to sound like a broken record, but the fact that this is the third member of the starring cast of 2016's Ghostbusters film has to tell you something about the cast of the movie. It certainly has booked all the talent, and I can’t wait to see it. Kristen Wiig seems to be playing the main role in the film as the dorky but genuine scientist who’ll act as the moral compass for the group. But Kristen Wiig is anything if not a one trick pony. She’s been known to lend her acting talents to more serious roles such as the lead PR chief in The Martian. Kristen Wiig also wrote the 2011 smash hit film Bridesmaids and was actually nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for her efforts. Although she didn’t win the big prize, it’s exceedingly rare to have an Oscar nomination for a comedy script. Yet more evidence that Kristen Wiig is one of the greatest female comics out and about.

Rebel Wilson

Photo via Cosmopolitan

Tell me something, have you ever seen, Pitch Perfect? Of course you’ve seen Pitch Perfect, everyone and their mother has seen Pitch Perfect. If you are in fact one of the few people who hasn’t seen Pitch Perfect and I have just accidentally alienated you entirely from this article, let me repair my assumption. Pitch Perfect proved to be so popular, in my mind, for three key reasons. Firstly the music which was great fun to listen to, second was the talented Anna Kendrick who took the main role, and thirdly, and perhaps most important, Rebel Wilson as the character Fat Amy. She is absolutely hysterical in the movie yet has a great sense of who she is and the hypocrisy of the “popular girls.” She, out of all of these women that I have highlighted is a true model, both due to her steadfast integrity and her hilarious one liners.


About the Creator

Stephen Hamilton

Definitive movie buff. Quickly realized that it was more financially prudent to write about film than trying to beg for millions of dollars to make his own.

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    Stephen HamiltonWritten by Stephen Hamilton

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