Just 21 of the Funniest Comedians Who Happen to Be Women

“i JuST dON’T tHInk fEmale comEdiANs aRE fUnny.”

Well, I’m just a girl, standing in front of the people spewing that nonsense, asking them to shut the *actual* eff up. Honestly, it’s such a tired (not to mention BORING) argument. Some of the funniest comedians working today just happen to be women — but tbh, isn’t gender kind of irrelevant in the question of whether or not someone is funny? Anyway, we want to give some attention to the funniest female comedians out there because it’s 2021, and we could all use a laugh.

One of the coolest things about comedy today IMO is how it’s expanding to include new forms. I love seeing standup comedians (sometimes in person, but mostly by watching their Netflix specials on the couch while wearing sweats and drinking wine), but I also love discovering new funny women who are changing the comedy landscape by starting their own comedy podcasts or bringing their lol-worthy acts to TikTok and Instagram. Some of my faves are people who didn’t come up through the usual comedy scene, but got creative on social media or other platforms and now have millions of fans.

So, let’s go through some examples of the funniest female comedians out there rn. From standup veterans like Amy Schumer and Ali Wong to actresses changing the game like Aubrey Plaza to TikTok comedians like our fave Kombucha girl Brittany Broski, we’ve rounded up 21 of the funniest female comedians and where you can find them these days.

Nicole Byer

Those of us who watched a lot of MTV after school got to know Nicole Byer through Girl Code, where she dispensed hilarious but true bits of wisdom like “playing the field is when you have your hand on multiple cookies in the jar.” These days, you can find her trying to get to the bottom of her love life on her podcast, Why Won’t You Date Me?, where she interviews comedians, friends, and former flings about their romantic lives while trying to make sense of her own. If you just can’t get enough Nicole (we don’t blame you one bit), you can also find her cracking jokes as the host of Netflix’s Nailed It!, a reality baking show.

Aubrey Plaza

Whether you fell in love with her as April Ludgate on Parks and Rec (a role that was written specifically for her!) or as Riley in Happiest Season, it’s hard to resist Aubrey Plaza’s deadpan wit. It was on full display at the Film Independent Spirit Awards last year, where she absolutely skewered like, half of Hollywood — and they freaking loved it, of course. Whether she’s pranking her costars or pretending(?) to get in fights on the red carpet, we can’t wait to see what she does next.

Taylor Tomlinson

If you haven’t watched Taylor Tomlinson’s special Quarter-Life Crisis on Netflix, what are you even doing? It’s like watching your funniest friend talk about what being in your 20s is really like, from the regrettable dating choices to trying to navigate your relationship with your parents as a grown-up. Obviously, it’s hilarious. Although she’s only 27, she’s been on the comedy scene since she was a teenager, and has the comedy resume to prove it. She’s appeared on the late-night circuit, was a finalist a few years ago on Last Comic Standing, and also killed it in the standup series The Comedy Lineup. Currently, she’s wrapping up the last few weeks of her Deal With It tour, but you know we’ll be keeping an eye out for future specials and tour dates.

Whitney Cummings

TBH, I don’t know when Whitney Cummings finds the time to sleep. She has four comedy specials (you can stream them on Netflix, HBO Max, Comedy Central, and Amazon Prime), released a hilarious memoir earlier this year, hosts a podcast called Good For You where she interviews celebrities, comics, and experts, AND she’s currently on tour?? Wherever you find her performing, she’s known for totally pushing the limit — not to spoil anything, but her latest special on Netflix features a sex robot that looks exactly like her.

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Sarah Cooper

If you spent any time on the internet in 2020, you definitely know Sarah Cooper. She went viral for her lip-syncing of weird, unbelievable things that Donald Trump said in interviews and in speeches. Variety named her one of the “10 Comics to Watch in 2020,” and she appeared on tons of late-night shows. You can catch her latest sketch comedy special Everything’s Fine on Netflix and keep an eye out for celebrity cameos from people like Megan Thee Stallion and Maya Rudolph.

Me trying Kombucha for the first time #foryoupage #foryou #fyp #AllBrandNew

Brittany Broski

Kombucha Girl!!! After the video of her trying Kombucha for the first time became meme-worthy content, Brittany Broski became one of TikTok’s biggest comedy stars. Since then, she’s racked up 6.3 million followers and recently started hosting the For You podcast, where she discusses all things TikTok and interviews its buzziest content creators.

Amy Schumer

The Queen of Raunch reigns. Amy Schumer has seriously taketh. over. Her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer gave us some of the funniest music videos ever, from Milk Milk Lemonade to Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup. On top of a slew of comedy specials, she hit the big screen with laugh-out-loud comedies, like Train Wreck and I Feel Pretty. Recently, Amy debuted a self-shot comedy cooking show, Amy Schumer Learns to Cook, in which her chef husband (read: the dream) Chris Fischer tries to teach Amz how to cook. Even when she’s not trying to be funny, she is.

Ali Wong

You may have gotten your first taste of Ali Wong courtesy of fellow female comedians, Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer. But she *really* made her mark with Baby Cobra, her first Netflix standup special on stuff like sex, hoarding, and feminism which she performed while seven months preggo (!). Oh, and she did it again with her second bébé during her Hard Knock Wife special. Her most recent ish? Writing and starring in the Netflix rom-com Always Be My Maybe.

Kate McKinnon

*looks around* Fine, I’ll say it. If you ask me, Kate McKinnon may be the funniest person on Saturday Night Live. Fun fact: She’s not only the longest-serving female cast member, Kate is also the first openly lesbian cast member. But let’s get right to her best shit: her impressions. Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Justin Bieber, Ellen, Jeff Sessions. Her character work rules too.

Leslie Jones

SPEAKING of kickass SNL comedians…Leslie Jones was nothing short of hilarious during her time at Studio 8H. Her Weekend Update guest spots were *iconic*, as were this and that. Since she closed her chapter on Saturday Night Live, she’s released Leslie Jones: Time Machine, her “joyfully raw and outrageous” Netflix standup special.

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling first wracked up our laughs in the writers’ room and on-camera as The Office’s high-maintenance drama queen, Kelly Kapoor. And that was just the tip of her comedy empire. This comedian has made Hollywood hers, from writing and starring in The Mindy Project and Late Night to creating and writing Netflix’s teen rom-com series Never Have I Ever. In short: lucky for us, this funny lady continues to crush it. FYI: She’s set to co-write Legally Blonde 3. What, like it’s hard?

Heather McMahan

This self-described “high-functioning hot mess” is no doubt, all of your friends’ fave funny Instagram follow. Comedian Heather McMahan is known for delivering hysterical gripings about life’s regular annoyances while also playing original comedic characters and nailing the best Ina Garten impression you’ve ever seen. Girl has a critically-acclaimed comedy tour, hosts a weekly comedy podcast, and posts IG stories that’ll make you howl on the daily, proving she is, for real, doing the absolute most.

Rebel Wilson

“At first I did not know it was your diary, I thought it was a very sad handwritten book.” Rebel Wilson was THE breakout star in Bridesmaids. Since then, one of our faves from down unda’ has flexed her comedic chops in Pitch Perfect, How to Be Single, Isn’t It Romantic, Cats (whoopsies!), and so much more. And on top of everything else, she’s the brightest spot of any awards show she’s at.

Sarah Silverman

While she made her mark in comedy more than 10 years ago thanks to stand up, The Sarah Silverman Program, and late-night comedy bits, Sarah’s focus now skews more toward a platform for politics, seen most recently in I Love You, America on Hulu.

Awkwafina

Alright, did NOT realize Awkwafina’s first foray into comedy came via her “vag,” aka her rap music video that has well over 5 mill views. Awkwafina has since taken her comedic chops to big-time movies, including Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s 8. Um, she was also the first-ever Asian American to win a Golden Globe in any lead actress film category for her role in com-dram The Farewell. If you *really* want to see her shine, you MUST watch her Comedy Central series Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens. Brace yaself for her hysterical show about a 27-year-old who moves back home and is struggling to “adult.”

Mary Beth Barone

You guys. She’s comedy’s new ~It girl~. Mary Beth Barone delivers sarcastic, self-aware content that hits for us 20-something chicks because she is a 20something chick. She’s performed on Comedy Central’s Up Next and now hosts Drag His Ass, “a live comedy show about fuckboys and the culture.”

Hannah Gadsby

Aussie Hannah Gadsby came onto the ~scene~ after winning a comedian competition in her homeland. But her humor hit the States thanks to Nanette, her Netflix stand-up spesh that is a rebellion against traditional standup comedy. This, paired with her super-honest commentary on trauma, gender, sexuality, and childhood turmoil, won her hella awards, including an Emmy. Her follow-up performance, Douglas, just hit Netflix. *add to queue*

Chelsea Peretti

You may recognize Chels from her role as Gina on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Her standup special premiered on Netflix in 2014, but since then she’s also released her concept EP Foam and Flotsam (aka a record of funny songs). There’s a track about Oat Milk, for example. If you’re looking for an on-demand LOL, plz watch her Instagram “makeup tutorials.” Side note: her hubs is fellow comedian Jordan Peele and um, her bro is the CEO and co-founder of Buzzfeed. Casual.

Jenny Slate

She’s seriously *Jean Ralphio singing voice* the bestttttttt. Jenny Slate, who you may remember from her hysterical portrayal of Mona-Lisa Saperstein on Parks and Recreation, has a long list of comedic credits. For one, did you know she voiced Marcel the Shell?! Jenny has been on everything from Kroll Show to SNL, and she recently released her first standup special, Stage Fright: “a mix of stage time, funny stories about adulthood and conversations with family in her childhood home.” Yes pleaseeeee.

Iliza Shlesinger

So, comedian Iliza Shlesinger is the youngest (and only female!) winner of Last Comic Standing. YGG! She has—count ‘em—FIVE standup specials on Netflix, her most recent being The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show: “a fun, irreverent mix of kooky characters, sly social commentary and pop culture gags.”

Tiffany Haddish

Tiffany freaking Haddish. She started making us LOL in Girls Trip and she has *not* stopped since. She made history as the first Black female comic to host Saturday Night Live—and she won an Emmy for it too. She’s been in hella comedies and sitcoms, like Night School and Nobody’s Fool (unintentional rhyme here). In her first standup special, Tiffany Haddish: She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood, Tiff delivered “a riotous stand-up ripe with the unpretentious and filthy tales of her meteoric rise to stardom.” And in her most recent Netflix stand-up, Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready, Tiffany gives other female comedians the stage. Women. Supporting. Women. You love to see it.

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