Over the past decade or two, the number of female comedians has risen across the globe. The likes of Ellen DeGeneres, Kristen Wiig, Wanda Sykes, and others have taken the comedy entertainment industry by storm. Every one of these top comediennes has a unique style that sets them apart.
Production companies such as Netflix have recorded an increase in the amount of content created by female comedians in the past few years. Some of the women on this list have amazing stand-up specials to their names. Who is the funniest woman comedian?
Who are the best female comedians of the world?
Here is a look at the ten best female comedians in the world today.
10. Catherine Tate
Catherine Tate is among the most talented women comedians of all time. In 2004, BBC granted Tate the rights to her television show named The Catherine Tate Show. It aired for several years till 2007.
Tate’s performances on the show won her a National Television Award, Royal Television Society Award, and 2 British Comedy Awards.
Between 2011 and 2013, she played the role of Eleanor Donna on the hit British sitcom, The Office. Donna was a working-class woman who got promoted to a powerful position despite her apparent lack of formal education.
In 2013, Tate appeared as Sarah Postern on Big School, a British sitcom. The show followed the interactions between the teaching staff at Greybridge Secondary School. The show only lasted two seasons, with its content being criticized for being too traditional and inoffensive.
In 2017, Catherine worked on voice work for the US animated series DuckTales. She played the role of sorceress Magica De Spell, one of the show’s antagonists. By 2019, the then 51-year-old Tate made several appearances in American and British productions.
9. Margaret Cho
Who is the best Asian comedian female? The answer to that might vary from one person to the other, but one of the contenders is undoubtedly Margaret Cho. She was born and raised in San Francisco but has Korean roots since her grandfather was Korean.
Soon after Margaret began her comedy career, she won a competition where the grand prize was performing the opening act for the famous Jerry Seinfeld. She then relocated to advance her career in the college circuit.
The comedienne soon became one of Los Angeles’s most sought after campus entertainers. Within two years of moving to Los Angeles, Cho had performed in more than 300 concerts.
Her success on the college circuit pushed her to create her own ABC sitcom titled All-American Girl. The show, while certainly groundbreaking, was marred by controversy and soon canceled after a brief stint.
In 2003, Cho embarked on a national tour titled Revolution, which was widely regarded as her greatest show yet. The recording of the tour received a Grammy Award nomination for the Comedy Album of the Year.
In 2007, Cho embarked on the True Colors Tour alongside The Dresden Dolls, The Cliks, Debbie Harry, and Cyndi Lauper. Additionally, the comedian was named among the 100 Most Inspiring Asian Americans of All Time by the Goldsea Asian American Daily.
Cho has a constantly-updated website in which she regularly uploads content related to her comedy career.
8. Tiffany Haddish
Tiffany is one of the most gifted female stand up comedians in the modern-day. She embarked on her comedy career soon after graduating from high school. Despite making progress, she made so little money in her early career that she often lived in her car.
Haddish got her big break in 2006 when she participated in the comedy competition show Who’s Got Jokes? A few years later, she appeared on Reality Bites Back and Def Comedy Jam. This was followed by appearances in comedies such as The Janky Promoters (2009) and Meet the Spartans (2008).
In 2013, Haddish gained more fans with her performances in the comedy series Real Husbands of Hollywood, The Carmichael Show, and If Loving You is Wrong. Haddish also became a guest in shows such as The Arsenio Hall Show, The Tonight Show, and Chelsea Lately.
In 2017, Haddish was cast alongside Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, and Regina Hall for the hit movie Girls Trip. In 2017, the comedienne published a memoir titles The Last Black Unicorn.
Her website has information about her career, tours, books, and bookings.
7. Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg was born in 1955 to Robert James Johnson and Emma Harris. Before beginning her comedy career, she worked as a bricklayer. After doing small performances in Broadway, the comedienne moved to California, where she started working with small improv groups.
Goldberg would then rise to prominence after a one-person show playing the role of Moms Mabley. She is known throughout the entertainment industry for her vociferously liberal views on several issues.
Her first major acting role came in 1985 when she was cast to play Celie in The Color Purple. Her performance in the movie earned her an Oscar nomination as well as massive critical acclaim.
Later, Goldberg appeared in films such as Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986), The Telephone (1988), and Burglar (1987). In 1990, she appeared in the film Ghost and later won as Oscar Award for her performance in the film.
Here are some of the films and television series in which Goldberg appeared.
- Star Trek: The Original Series (1966)
- Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)
- Sister Act (1992)
- Made in America (1993)
- Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)
- How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998).
- Soapdish (1991)
- Eddie (1996)
- The Deep End of the Ocean (1999)
- Rat Race (2001)
- Kingdom Come (2001)
6. Kristen Wiig
Kristen Wiig was born in 1973 to Laurie Johnston and Jon Wiig. Her parents divorced when Kristen was only nine years old, after which she lived with her mother and older brother, Erik.
She made her big-screen debut in the 2007 hot comedy titled Knocked Up, after which she began to make appearances in numerous films and television shows. Here are some of the films and series in which Kristen has appeared.
- Whip It (2009)
- The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
- Ghost Town (2008)
- Adventureland (2009)
- Paul (2011)
- All Good Things (2010)
- How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
- Despicable Me (2010)
- Friends with Kids (2011)
- 30 Rock (2006)
- Bored to Death (2009)
- Flight of the Conchords (2007)
Wiig joined the popular television show Saturday Night Live in 2005. She used to play several characters, including Nancy Pelosi, Suze Orman, and Doonese, among others. She earned four Emmy Award nominations for her work on Saturday Night Live.
In 2011, Kristen worked with Rose Byrne, Maya Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy in writing and creating Bridesmaids, one of the year’s best romantic comedies. Wiig earned two Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.
The comedienne regularly posts content on her website.
5. Amy Schumer
Amy is one of the best Comedy Central female comedians. She was born in 1981 and began her comedy career in the mid-2000s. She enjoyed a steady rise to fame and earned the fourth spot on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2007.
In 2011, Amy released her debut stand-up album titled Cutting. This was followed by a further rise to fame with her performance on Comedy Central’s The Roast of Charlie Sheen. She then earned a platform on Comedy Central to host her comedy special titled Mostly Sex Stuff.
In 2013, Comedy Central allowed Amy to host her show titled Inside Amy Schumer, which went on to earn an Emmy Award in 2015 for the Outstanding Variety Sketch Series.
In 2015, Amy co-starred in the summer hit film, Trainwreck, alongside Bill Hader. The comedienne’s style of comedy explores relationships, sex, and gender inequality in a way not many comedians can.
In 2016, Amy released a memoir titled The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, which was among the New York Times Best Sellers. One year later, Amy starred in a comedy titled Snatched alongside Goldie Hawn.
In 2018, Amy starred in I Feel Pretty, a comedy about a lady who transitions from flawed to fearless after suffering a terrible fall. In 2019, Schumer focused on her Netflix special titled Growing, whose primary subject was her pregnancy.
Amy’s website is often updated with content about tours, shows, and Netflix specials.
4. Sarah Silverman
Sarah Silverman is among the top female comedians on Netflix. She was recently the host of the weekly series titled I Love You America. Currently, the comedienne is working on the musical adaptation of the 2010 memoir titled The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee.
In 2013, the comedienne released Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles, a stand-up special which earned her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
In May 2017, Silverman released a Netflix special titled A Speck of Dust, which received a Grammy Award nomination and two Emmy Award nominations. Besides stand-ups, Sarah has appeared in several films. These include:
- Battle of the Sexes (2017)
- I Smile Back (2015)
- The Book of Henry (2017)
- Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)
- There’s Something About Mary (1998)
- The School of Rock (2003)
- A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)
- I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With (2007)
- Peep World (2011)
- Take This Waltz (2011)
Sarah has earned numerous awards nominations throughout her career. These include the Writers Guild Award and Primetime Emmy Awards. She also won a Primetime Emmy Award in 2008 as well as a Webby Award for her online video titled The Great Schlep.
Some of Sarah’s specials can be found on Netflix.
3. Ali Wong
Ali Wong is undoubtedly one of the top female comedians on Netflix right now. She began her comedy career at Brainwash Café before moving to New York City to expand her horizons. In 2011, Wong was named one of the ten comics to watch in 2011.
This was followed by appearances on Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground Show, John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show, and The Tonight Show. Here are some other shows in which the talented comedienne has appeared.
- Are You There, Chelsea?
- Chelsea Lately
- Best Week Ever
- Hey Girl
- Black Box
- Inside Amy Schumer
Wong also has several film appearances to her name. These include Dealin’ with Idiots and Savages. In 2016, the comedienne released an outstanding Netflix stand-up special titled Baby Cobra, which was filmed during her pregnancy.
During the same year, Wong joined the main cast of popular ABC sitcom, American Housewife. In 2018, she released another Netflix special titled Hard Knock Wife when she was expectant with her second child.
In 2019, the female comedian starred alongside Randall Park in the Netflix Movie Always Be My Maybe. She later voiced Bertie in the Netflix movie Tuca & Bertie. Some of Wong’s content is available on Netflix, her website, as well as short snippets on YouTube.
2. Ellen DeGeneres
The widely-known Ellen DeGeneres is one of the most famous lesbian comedians in the world. She began her comedy career performing at coffee shops and small clubs. In 1981, she became the emcee at Clyde’s Comedy Club.
Ellen later began touring America and was named the funniest person in the US after winning a Showtime-sponsored competition.
Ellen’s first appearance on television came in 1986 on The Tonight Show. Her early roles in television series were relatively unsuccessful. However, in 1994, she created a commercially-successful show titled These Friends of Mine, which was later renamed Ellen in 1994.
In April 1997, DeGeneres made news when she announced that she was a lesbian. The Ellen Show was canceled one season after the announcement due to decreased ratings. The comedienne then launched another television show titled The Ellen Show, which was subsequently canceled due to poor ratings.
Ellen’s big break came in 2003 when her daytime television show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, became a commercial success and critical hit with the audiences. Besides amazing ratings, the show went on to win 15 Emmy Awards in its first three seasons.
Ellen later became known for hosting various awards shows such as the Primetime Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, and the Oscars. Her content can be found on her YouTube channel and personal website.
1. Wanda Sykes
Wanda Sykes is widely regarded as one of the best black female comedians. She was born in Virginia and grew up in Maryland. Her father was an American Army colonel while her mother, Louise, was a banker.
The talented comedienne began her comedy career with a performance at the Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in DC. It was her very first time performing in front of a live audience.
In 1997, she joined the critically acclaimed television series, The Chris Rock Show. She worked as a performer as well as one of the show’s producers. During her stay, the show received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
In 2001, Wanda won her first Emmy Award for the Outstanding Female Stand-Up Comic. She earned her second one year later for her performance on Inside the NFL.
Some of her other awards include an Academy Award in 2002, MTV Video Music Awards in 1999, and a Comedy Central Commie Award in 2003.
Wanda is known for her sharp-witted stand-up comedy performances. In 2003, she starred in the self-produced two-season series titled Wanda at Large.
Some of the talented comedienne’s content can be found on her website as well as short snippets on YouTube.
It is hard to miss the ever-rising presence of female comedians in the modern global entertainment industry. Unlike in earlier decades, there are now numerous comediennes performing at sold-out concerts. Which of the top ten female comedians did you find most interesting?