The funniest women in comedy, TV, and movies.
By Craig Playstead for MSN.com (Over 1,000,000 pageviews.)
There might not be a funnier person on the planet than Sarah Silverman. She has the gift of being able to say the most offensive line you’ve ever heard, but delivering it almost like your little sister would. Cute with a side of brutality. Her stand-up is top notch and her TV show, “The Sarah Silverman Show” on Comedy Central is weird, demented, and like nothing else you’ve ever seen. Her relationship with comedian Jimmy Kimmel has helped her career and allowed her to film one of the funniest things seen in years with the video short: “I’m f**king Matt Damon.”
I can honestly say that there is no comic working today that is more offensive, nasty, and terrifying than Lisa Lampenelli. And that’s putting it lightly. She’s a brash and brilliant stand-up comedian that packs them in and leaves no one and nothing off-limits, which is why she‘s referred to as comedy’s “Queen of Mean”. A regular on Comedy Central’s celebrity roasts, she absolutely blows the guys of the dais. She’s a dirty, off the wall HBO sitcom just waiting to happen.
This has to be the first time that a brother and sister made a “funniest” list as Amy joins her brother David who was on “The 10 Funniest Guys on the Planet”. A gifted improv actor with Second City, Amy got her big break on the TV show “Strangers with Candy” which she co-wrote with Steven Colbert. She’s also an accomplished author with several books under her belt with the latest being “I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence.” Word on the street is that she recently signed with Fox to create, write and star in a comedy series. Cross your fingers that network TV doesn’t dilute this goofy and completely unique star.
Kathy Griffin – Kathy will sell out anyone or anything for a joke. You have to admire that kind of dedication. There might not be another person on this planet that longs to be famous more than Kathy, and she’s accomplished that goal. A stand-up comedian and actress for years, Kathy has won two straight Emmy’s for her reality show “My Life on the D-List,” on Bravo.
Even at 75 years old, Joan Rivers is still one of the funniest women in the world. She’s a comedy pioneer who doesn’t get the recognition that she deserves, but doesn’t let it bother her. Don’t let the red carpet nonsense fool you, Joan is still one hell of a stand-up comic and won’t shy away from any topic in this politically correct world. Her wit, knowledge, and courage still blow anyone else on this list away. The plastic surgery may have left her looking more like a Halloween mask, but she’s still got it.
The brilliance of Tina Fey doesn’t lie in her acting, but in her writing. She’s been a force on TV; first during her years as the head writer for Saturday Night Live and then with the creation of one of the best sitcoms currently on TV, “30 Rock” on NBC. She’s also penned movies with 2004’s “Mean Girls” and has another movie due out sometime in 2009. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve also recently seen her legendary portrayal of Sarah Palin.
Chelsea is a busy lady. She’s a stand-up comic, TV host, actress and author with two hilarious NY Times best sellers with latest being “Are You There Vodka, it’s Me Chelsea”, the follow-up to 2005’s “My Horizontal Life : A Collection of One-Night Stands.” She’s had success with her late-night talk show “Chelsea Lately” on E!, a light, free-form half-hour of edgy jokes with other comedians and celebrities. There was even a stint where she co-hosted “The View”, but we won’t hold that against her.
Amy Poehler has been a staple on Saturday Night Live now for years. And while it looks like that run is coming to an end with the arrival of her first child (with actor Will Arnett, who is funny as hell himself), it’s been a great run – especially during election season. Her movie acting might need a bit of work (see this year’s Baby Mama), but she’s a brilliant sketch comedy actress. An alumnus of the famous improv group, Second City, Poehler’s first shot at sketch TV was on Comedy Central’s “Upright Citizen’s Brigade,” which was cancelled in 2001 thus allowing Poehler to join SNL. It looks like there’s a sitcom in her future with a possible spin-off of “The Office” which should be a great fit for her talents.
There are few comedians working today that are as versatile as Wanda Sykes. An Emmy Award-winning writer on the Chris Rock Show, Wanda has also cracked us up in movies, TV, as animated character voices, and as a brilliant stand-up comedian. Currently, she’s doing her best to make CBS’s “New Adventures of Old Christine” funny, and lending her voice to the animated series “Back at the Barnyard”. Hopefully, another HBO Special won’t be far away.
Saturday Night Live is funnier than it’s been in years and Kristin Wiig is a big reason for that. Her spot-on imitations of Susie Orman, Jessica Simpson, and Nancy Pelosi – among others have catapulted her into the spotlight. She was trained well in her craft acting in the famous Los Angeles-based improv comedy group “The Groundlings.” Her role as an E! Channel executive in Judd Apatow’s “Knocked Up” was hilarious and has also paved the way for a bright movie career. We can’t wait.
This piece originally ran on MSN.com in 2010 with over 1 million pageviews.