Unfortunately, we all know that ladies are just as funny as guys, but female comedians are not taken as seriously or thought of as funny. We know that's not true! And it's downright insulting. So many female comics make us grab our sides and tear up while watching a stand-up special or SNL. Some have even created their own TV shows and/or starred in and written for them, too. Whether it's impersonations or just good old slapstick comedy, these ladies below can nail it all and more. These 15 funny ladies are just a handful of iconic funny ladies that know how to garner a big laugh. Watch their movies, watch their shows, and read their memoirs for a great pick-me-up. These gals are super inspiring and they are truly proving to all of us that women are just as funny as men (if not more, let's just be honest here).
15 Mindy Kaling
You love Mindy Kaling. You just do. It's like a law or something. She is, of course, the creator and star of the hit show The Mindy Project, and she's also a producer and writer. She's definitely used to wearing many hats: that's what she did when she starred in one of the most popular sitcoms The Office. Mindy played the shallow and silly Kelly Kapoor, but her character often was sidelined because she was so busy writing and working behind-the-scenes. When she first started out on the show in Season 1, she was a mere 24 years old and the only female writer on the team at the time. Everyone took notice of her talent and now she's super famous. She's also written two hilarious memoirs, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) and Why Not Me? Seriously, if you haven't checked them out yet, you have to.
14 Tina Fey
Tina Fey is one of the most famous female alumni of SNL and arguably put the show’s “Weekend Update” sketch back on the map. She also, of course, created the iconic impression of Sarah Palin on the show... and some of Fake Sarah’s quotes were attributed to the real Sarah! For example, Tina was the one who said “I can see Russia from my house” -- not the real Sarah Palin. After much success there, Tina was given the opportunity to create and star in her own show, 30 Rock. So many people loved her and her work by that point that she was able to get some big names on the show, like Alec Baldwin, and later on super-famous guest stars like James Franco. She wrote an amazing memoir, Bossypants, about her childhood, breaking out into comedy, and becoming a headstrong woman. She has since written and starred in many movies and we've loved every single one of them.
13 Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler is Tina Fey’s BFF... or “comedy wife” as the duo puts it. They were both in the same comedy troupe before appearing on SNL. Amy also saw success with her TV show Parks and Recreation and, of course, she also starred in it. The show definitely helped get actors like Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt into the public eye. Amy's inspiring memoir Yes Please, like Tina's book, talks about life and work and being a creative person, and it's definitely worth a read. Amy is also well known for portraying Hillary Clinton on SNL and although other people have played her since she's returned to the show to play 2008 Hilary next to 2016 Hillary. Kids may recognize and love Amy too (or at least her fabulous voice) as she was the voice of the emotion Joy in the beloved Pixar film Inside Out. She and Tina also wrote and starred in films like Baby Mama and Sisters.
12 Amy Schumer
It is really hard not to love the funny and talented Amy Schumer. Amy Schumer has obviously broken out into the mainstream recently, and she got her start as a stand-up comic. She saw so much success in her stand-up specials and in her appearance on Last Comic Standing that she created the sketch comedy show Inside Amy Schumer for Comedy Central. She has also written and starred in her own film Trainwreck. She also recently published the essay collection The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. She has been nominated for a Golden Globe and for a Primetime Emmy among other awards. She has also made an appearance on Tina Fey’s show 30 Rock. As of now, she is working on writing a movie with her sister Kim and her BFF Jennifer Lawrence. Amy Schumer will do anything for a laugh and even posed nude for famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.
11 Maya Rudolph
Maya Rudolph is one funny actress and she is totally the queen of impressions. She was definitely known for them when she was on SNL from 2000 until 2007. Some of her most well-known and hilarious impressions? Those would be Beyonce, Donatella Versace, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. Not a bad gig when all these ladies are pretty awesome themselves! She has a pretty cool background, too: she was friends with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black back in high school and her mom, Minnie Riperton, was a singer. This is definitely a trait that Maya inherited because wow can she sing. She even sang background vocals for The Rentals and is actually in a Prince cover band. These days, you can see her variety show, Maya and Marty, which co-stars Martin Short. You might also know her from movies like Away We Grow, Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2, Bridesmaids and Friends With Kids.
10 Kristen Wiig
Kristen Wiig rivals Maya Rudolph in the impressions department because she's also pretty talented at pretending to be other people. Good thing they are the best of friends! Kristen’s time on SNL was from 2005 to 2012, so they were on it around the same time and became fast friends. They were inspired to star in the movie Bridesmaids together where they also play BFFs (who are having some relatable problems, of course). Aside from Bridesmaids (did we mention she co-wrote it?), Kristen has been in a variety of movies and can even play dramatic parts. She’s been in Knocked Up, Paul, Girl Most Likely, The Skeleton Twins, The Martian, and her latest project, the side-splitting Ghostbusters reboot! You might have also seen her dance to Sia’s “Chandelier” at the 2015 Grammy Awards. Random, but true! Though she is not on Saturday Night Live anymore, you can still sometimes see her perform her impressions on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon where she plays characters like Harry Styles, a celebrity she has no clue about and has to improvise details about on the spot!
9 Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin is a fiery redhead with a lot of personality... and a pretty controversial personality at that. She is not known for staying mum and she will tell you anything about the celebrities that she has met. She seriously leaves no detail out. We kinda love that because we want to know everything about our Hollywood favorites! This has led some celebs to avoid her, but there are some that are totally in on the joke and play along. She takes pride on being on the “D-List": famous, but not too famous. She even had a reality television show that documented her life called My Life on the D-List. She also wrote a funny but bittersweet memoir called Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin. You may also know her because she always hosts the New Year's Eve CNN show with her pal Anderson Cooper (and she definitely gives him a pretty hard time then, too).
8 Sarah Silverman
Another controversial figure in comedy, Sarah Silverman holds nothing back in her stand-up. Her honest show The Sarah Silverman Program aired from 2007-2010. Despite her candor, she has also managed to be in some more innocent works such as voicing one of the main characters in the children’s movie Wreck-It Ralph. Like many of the other comediennes on the list, she wrote a memoir called The Bedwetter which was published back in 2010. She not only does stand-up and voice-over work, but has become a legitimate versatile actress after starring in the drama (that’s right, drama, not comedy) I Smile Back. She did such a good job that she was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. However, she thrives in the comedy genre with roles in comedic films such as School of Rock and A Million Ways to Die in the West.
7 Melissa McCarthy
True Gilmore Girls fans know Melissa McCarthy from her role as the beloved Sookie St. James, but she's since become a really successful movie star. She has also starred in her own TV series, Mike and Molly, in which an overweight couple own and accept their size. While she won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for that part, she really found her fame and success when she started starring in funny movies. She was arguably the most hilarious character in Bridesmaids, and that is saying a lot, considering Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph also starred in it! This break-out role garnered her many awards such as an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, a BAFTA nomination and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. For that role alone! Her success lead to more movie roles in comedies such as Identity Thief and The Heat.
6 Rachel Dratch
Yep, another Saturday Night Live alumni! This gal became a break-out star on the show and worked on it from 1999 until 2006. One of her main characters was “Debbie Downer,” a woman who ruined everyone’s fun by bringing up a sad or a depressing fact. She was also one of the “Luhvahs,” the other “luhvah” being the fantastic Will Ferrell. She appeared on her friend Tina Fey’s show 30 Rock as well as acted in comedic movies such as Click and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. She too published a memoir called Girl Walks Into a Bar: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters and a Midlife Miracle where she documents her insecurities as well as a seemingly miraculous pregnancy when she thought she was too old (at 44!). You can also spot her in shows like Ugly Betty, The Middle, and interestingly enough, Wizards of Waverly Place!
5 Leslie Jones
Leslie Jones may be new to the mainstream, but she is certainly not new to the comedy world. She began stand-up in 1987 and stuck with it all of this time, even though she did not find much success until pretty recently. She worked hard to earn her place in the comedy scene, working at both Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles and UPS when her comedy career alone was not financing her. She finally found her big break when she was hired as a writer for Saturday Night Live in December 2013. While she was initially just a writer, her comedic antics gained her a spot on the Saturday Night Live cast. Now, she gets to perform and write, which is truly the best of both worlds! Most recently, you can see her in the all-female Ghostbusters reboot with Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Kate McKinnon. This girl is truly a success story!
4 Kate McKinnon
Kate McKinnon rounds out the cast of the all-female Ghostbusters reboot and is one of the most popular members of the current Saturday Night Live cast. She joined the cast in 2012, and Kristin Wiig and Maya Rudolph left some big shoes to fill when it came to impressions and characters. Despite this, Kate managed to jump right in and fill them perfectly! Her specialties are Justin Bieber (really!) and Ellen DeGeneres, and she also took Amy Poehler's place with a stellar Hillary Clinton impression. If you haven't watched any of them you will seriously end up in tears afterward. In addition, Kate is breaking barriers by being the first openly lesbian cast member in the history of Saturday Night Live. She has been nominated for four Emmy, three of which were for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The other one was Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics after she wrote a funny song for a sketch. This lady is multi-talented!
3 Samantha Bee
Sam first broke out onto the comedy scene in 2003 when she became a news correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a show that combines political commentary with humor. She was the longest-running correspondent on the show and became such a fan-favorite that she was given her own show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee this year. Similar to the Daily Show, Samantha Bee provides commentary on various news and so far, it is working out well in her favor—in this first year of the show, it has won a Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in News and Information. Talk about a triple threat. She has brains, beauty, and she's really funny! Aside from also starring in the 2004 indie film Ham and Cheese, she has had a lot of small television roles and even wrote a book that came out in 2010 called I Know I Am, But What Are You?
2 Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres is probably one of the most popular funny women on this list, and for good reason. Her stand-up career started in the 1980s and skyrocketed in the 1990’s when she was given her own television show, Ellen, where she played the title character (obviously!). She is a real inspiration for being who you truly are as she came out to Oprah as gay both on the show and in real-life. Yes, she got Oprah Winfrey to act on her show! While this damaged her career briefly, she soared back up with her talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show which became wildly popular and an afternoon favorite. This show is so successful that Ellen has won 13 Emmys and 14 People's Choice Awards among numerous other awards! And not only does she win awards at awards shows, sometimes she gets to host the show too! She has hosted the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and the Emmys.
1 Lucille Ball
We just had to include this funny lady legend on this list. Lucille Ball was one of the first widely-known funny ladies and an inspiration to many of the comediennes who came after her. She produced five (that’s right, five!) successful sitcoms: I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, and Life with Lucy. I Love Lucy is undoubtedly the most successful, having started in 1951. She played a goofy housewife getting into mischief and dealing with her real-life husband—Ricky on the show, Desi Arnaz in real life. This show became such a classic that is still watched today by millions of families on DVD boxed set. Imagine leaving a legacy like that! Lucille Ball was also the first woman to run a television studio. Desilu Productions produced some of the most successful television shows like Mission: Impossible and Star Trek. Unfortunately, Lucille passed away in 1989 at the age of 77, but not before making her mark in comedy history!