There are many female comedians who have been killing it for years, from those who have been doing it all their life to those who make a successful career out of comedy later in life.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the hottest female comedians around.
Some on this list are on their own path to fame, while others have been entertaining audiences for decades. Still others used comedy as a way to mask their struggles – and pain – with mental health issues.
Table of Contents
- 1. Whitney Cummings
- 2. Marion Davies
- 3. Tichina Arnold
- 4. Janeane Garofalo
- 5. Lena Dunham
- 6. Debra Messing
- 7. Gilda Radner
- 8. Fran Drescher
- 9. Lucille Ball
- 10. Anjelah Johnson
- 11. Mindy Kaling
- 12. Leslie Mann
- 13. Kaley Cuoco
- 14. Betty White
- 15. Amanda Bynes
- 16. Sommore
- 17. Mary Louise Parker
- 18. Mary Tyler Moore
- 19. Cobie Smulders
- 20. Gillian Jacobs
- 21. Tisha Campbell-Martin
- 22. Kat Dennings
- 23. Amy Poehler
- 24. Madeline Kahn
- 25. Zooey Deschanel
- 26. Jenny McCarthy
- 27. Lea Michele
- 28. Chelsea Handler
- 29. Lizzy Caplan
- 30. Aisha Tyler
1. Whitney Cummings
Whitney makes a name for herself as a Hollywood queen with her own TV show, HBO’s “Whitney” and has been featured on the cover of both Maxim and Elle magazines.
Whitney Cummings is an inspiration to many, who say that her career is proof that it’s okay to be funny and smart.
2. Marion Davies
Marion Davies was a successful movie actress in the 1920’s and 1930’s, but she was most known for her comedic acting. In fact, the actress had her own movie talk show for radio during the late 1930’s.
Marion Davies was a very private person, and it was due to that that many did not know about her struggle with depression. She spent much of her later life in bed wondering if people were talking about her.
Davies later suffered a nervous breakdown which lead to electroshock therapy.
3. Tichina Arnold
Tichina Arnold is one of the most recognizable names on this list. She’s also one of the youngest – you may remember her as that crazy girl who threw a chair at Lil Jon in the “We Hardly Knew Ye” video, since she helped organize it.
4. Janeane Garofalo
Janeane Garofalo is known for her various television and movie roles, but she reigns supreme as a stand-up comedian. While she’s been known to take on just about any topic, she’s also made herself an advocate for women’s rights and mental health issues.
5. Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham had been doing it when she was a kid, so her comedy, whether it’s writing or acting, comes naturally to her. She writes and directs most of the episodes of the hit HBO show Girls as well.
6. Debra Messing
Messing is an American actress and comedian, best known for playing Grace Adler in the hit NBC sitcom “Will & Grace” and her role as Molly Kagan in the film “The Wedding Date.” The actress-comedian started doing stand-up comedy when Debra Messing was 17 years old. She started acting at 27 years old.
7. Gilda Radner
The Hottest Female “Saturday Night Live” Cast Member. Born into a show-business family, Gilda Radner was destined to be a star. And she did just that, lasting on the ensemble show for seven seasons, from 1975 to 1980. She became the first woman – and the first person to ever appear on SNL more times than John Belushi – to receive an Emmy nomination for acting. Her stint with SNL was also syndicated in dozens of countries around the world.
8. Fran Drescher
Fran Drescher was a comedian from New York City, who made her television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1976. She is famous for her character as Rhoda Morgenstern in The Nanny and as the titular character in The Fran Drescher Show.
9. Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball was a pioneer of today’s TV show. With her husband, Desi Arnaz, she was a part of the famous television comedy series “I Love Lucy” that showcased her comedic skills and on-screen relationship with her husband.
10. Anjelah Johnson
The Jamaican-American comedienne got her start in comedy when Anjelah Johnson was in high school. Now she’s one of the hottest female comedians around with a fanbase rabid for her self-deprecating humor and…
Whether you love it or hate it, stand-up comedy is something that has become a large part of the entertainment industry. It allows some to use their life experience to help others see the hilarity in situations that might not always be so laughable.
11. Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling is one of the hottest female comedians out there today. Her success is by her ability to tap into the reality of life as a twenty-something woman in a big city. Her hit series The Mindy Project is currently taking on how women age in Hollywood and beyond.
Her writing talent has led to her rising in the ranks of Hollywood and landing roles alongside big names like Denzel Washington and Scarlett Johansson.
12. Leslie Mann
Mann’s hard-hitting, Leslie Mann brutal stand-up comedy has seen her win a number of awards over the years. The movie “The Other Woman” saw her starring opposite Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton.
13. Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco rose to fame playing a blonde airhead on “The Big Bang Theory.” That show has its last episode tonight, and Kaley is ready for a new chapter. Rumors have swirled about her moving to “The Office” reboot, or a new comedy called “Dealbreakers.”
While she may be most known for her role as ditzy Penny, Kaley has been showing more range in recent years. She’s gone from blonde bombshell to redhead mom of two with ease.
14. Betty White
At 92 years old in 2016, it’s hard to believe that Betty White was once a struggling actress. But she managed to turn things around when she joined the cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970 and has become one of the hottest women on television.
15. Amanda Bynes
The former child has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons, but there’s no denying her talent and wit. She’s also very responsible in that Amanda Bynes hasn’t smoked weed since 2012. When Amanda Bynes was growing up, she had her own series on Nickelodeon called All That and later starred alongside Keri Russell in the 2007 comedy How to Deal.
Coming up on our list is Sommore, who at 49, is one of the top female comedians on the circuit. The New Jersey native and comedian has been a stage performer for 25 years now and has styled herself in the image of her idol, Whoopi Goldberg.
She’s appeared on numerous TV shows including Def Comedy Jam, Comic View and Comic Strip Live among others – all while juggling motherhood with commitments to charity work and activism.
17. Mary Louise Parker
Mary Louise Parker is an actress, screenwriter and comedian. She began her career in the early ’90s, appearing in a number of acclaimed movies including “Galaxy Quest,” “Mystery Men” and “Thumbsucker.”
With appearances on shows such as “Arrested Development” and the critically acclaimed show, “Weeds,” she’s been a supporting character to comedians such as Amy Sedaris.
18. Mary Tyler Moore
This actress is no stranger to Hollywood, from her breakout role in The Dick VanDyke Show to her iconic role as Mary Richards in the hit sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
The show ran for seven seasons and Moore herself was nominated for several Emmys, Golden Globes and SAG awards.
Mary had several unsuccessful attempts at getting her own TV show (including Rhoda and Phyllis), but neither of them lasted more than two seasons.
19. Cobie Smulders
Cobie Smulders is one of many actresses who is also a standup comedienne. She started doing standup at the age of 12 in Canada, where she is from. By the time she was 16, she had already been a contestant on Canadian TV shows.
She left home to start her career, and has since become one of the most recognizable female actors in Hollywood . She currently stars in TV shows like How I Met Your Mother and The Avengers .
20. Gillian Jacobs
Gillian Jacobs had to fight for equality in the entertainment industry after she was told that she couldn’t be a comedy writer by an agent who stated that being a woman wasn’t funny. She fought back, took her writing to L.A., and eventually found success.
Jacobs is one of the most successful female comedians around, receiving three Emmy Awards for her writing and producing work on Netflix’s OITNB .
21. Tisha Campbell-Martin
This Chicago-based comedian had a difficult upbringing, with her father “abusing anyone who felt like they had a voice” and being physically abusive. Growing up, Tisha Campbell-Martin was looked at as the quiet one in the family, and developed a deep dislike of men.
Despite that, Tisha’s comedic talent shone through. With her face covered in tattoos and accented Southern drawls, she was robbed of a college scholarship to study art history because of how different she appeared.
22. Kat Dennings
The former Saturday Night Live cast member and actress has been breaking hearts for years. Dennings, who is now 33, was first noticed for her pencil-thin figure and later for her well-written and relatable character on 2 Broke Girls . In 2014 , Kat Dennings starred in the romantic comedy Beth Behrs’ Downsizing .
23. Amy Poehler
When Amy first started performing standup, Amy Poehler was actually booed off the stage in Chicago. She hung in there and has become one of the most popular female comedians of all time.
24. Madeline Kahn
Madeline Kahn was an American stage, film and television actress who was known for her comedic roles. Her best-known movie was Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein.
25. Zooey Deschanel
Zooey Deschanel is an American actress, singer, and musician. She began performing at the age of seven with her father’s band She & Him. Before making it big with “Elf,” she was a successful standup headliner for some time.
She currently stars as Marnie Michaels in the HBO series “New Girl” and as Hannah Horvath in NBC’s “New Girl.
26. Jenny McCarthy
Jenny McCarthy is one of the most respected names in the business today. She’s also one of the most vocal advocates for vaccinations. In 2009, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which she later revealed was due to a childhood thyroid condition. But now she’s not only an artist but a mental health advocate as well.
27. Lea Michele
Lea Michele is a famous American actress, singer and songwriter who currently stars as Rachel Berry in the television musical-comedy series, “Glee”.
She started her career as the lead vocalist of an all-female pop punk band – named after herself – in the early 2000s.
When she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, she wrote a column for Seventeen magazine.
28. Chelsea Handler
“Chelsea Lately” star Chelsea Handler rose to fame playing the stereotypical dumb blonde. Chelsea Handler wrote many of her own jokes, and has made guest appearances on other comedy shows such as “Chappelle’s Show”. Now that her talk show is off the air, Handler has taken on writing a book and acting in movies. She also continues to do standup every now and then.
29. Lizzy Caplan
Lizzy Caplan is a U.S.-born Award winning and nominated actress, who is known for her roles in several films and television shows. She started her stand-up comedy career when she was still a teenager in New York City. Although she had no stage experience, she began getting gigs at the famous Luna Lounge.
Her own struggles with mental health issues inspired her to try stand-up comedy, as it helped her feel better about herself, “I have bipolar disorder type II…
30. Aisha Tyler
The girl who once played Chloe on “Charmed” is now a writer, actress, and comedian. Aisha Tyler is known for the FX series “Archer,” but she has also been featured in films such as “The Scorpion King” and television series like “ER.” In addition to performing, she’s also been writing for the sitcom “Parks & Rec,” with Amy Poehler.
If there’s one thing we know about her: it’s that she’ll never give up on her dreams.