The 35 Best Female Comedians to Watch Right Now

They are female, they are funny ... and they are ABSOLUTELY fabulous
The popular TV host made the announcement via Twitter, saying filming of the talkshow would cease until March 30.

God bless the streaming sites, and special praise be to Netflix, because they give voice to stand-up comedians and especially all the funny sisters. Anyone who has been on a girls’ weekend away knows how hilarious the fairer sex can be. Now the boys are cottoning on with women not only holding up stand-up comedy specials by themselves but also carrying cinema releases and TV series.

And it feels like now that the ball is rolling, it’s picking up speed with more and more sisters doing it for themselves, with the likes of Ali Wong and Hannah Gadsby joining the better known ranks of Amy Schumers and Melissa McCarthys.

But who ranks No. 1 on our list of funniest comediennes? 


35. Ali Wong

While many women give up the stand-up stage when motherhood comes around, Ali has turned pregnancy – and all the gory details of childbirth – into her ticket to stardom. The San Francisco native – her Asian looks come from her Vietnamese-Chinese background – also writes for TV comedies, is a loving mum to two daughters and has written a book for them, Dear Girls, and has now co-written and stars in an upcoming Netflix movie, Always Be My Maybe

” ‘I think I got my dream.’ Which is to tour and take my family with me,” Ali tells Vanity Fair.

You can check out Ali’s stand up work here:
Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife

Tig Notaro
Tigtastic: Tig Notaro (Credit: Getty Images)

34. Tig Notaro

The American comic made her career with a graphic stand-up routine about a year in which her mother died suddenly, followed by Tig battling breast cancer. Now she’s an actress as well, starring in Instant Family and Star Trek: Discovery.

Watch Tig’s Happy To Be Here


33. Fiona O’Loughlin

The Australian comedian of Irish-Australian heritage from Alice Springs was the fan favourite on 2018’s I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here, where people got to know the mother of five – who has battled alcohol and survived a coma following carbon monoxide poisoning. But still she remains able to see the funny side of life.

“I forgot things, I thought I was getting early Alzheimer’s. I was forgetting things, forgetting my kids’ names. But then I did forget I was an alcoholic,” the NT News reports.


32. Wanda Sykes

Ranked as one of Entertainment Weekly‘s 25 Funniest People in America, Wanda is a black American comic who won an Emmy for her writing on The Chris Rock Show. As well as stand up and comedy writing, she is also an on-screen actress in productions both big screen (Bad Moms) and small (Black-ish).

Wanda’s new Netflix special Not Normal releases May 21


31. Samantha Bee

Samantha was born in Canada but is making a living out of taking the mickey out of most things American, in particular President Trump, with her Emmy-winning TV show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, the first late-night satire show to be hosted by a woman. In 2017, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

Watch Full Frontal with Samantha Bee


30. Meshel Laurie

A Melbourne mother of twins, Meshel does radio, TV (she’s a regular guest on The Project), a true crime podcast and writes books. The practising Buddhist also featured in 2018’s Go Back to Where You Came From.


29. Tiffany Haddish

Pretty enough to be a model, and talented enough to be a dramatic actress, the black American comedian has used her personal life’s difficulties to fuel her desire for success. The Night School star owes a lot to her comedy guardian angel” Kevin Hart, who lent her money for a hotel room back in the days when she was living in her car. 

Watch Tiffany in The Last O.G. here


28. Kitty Flanagan

The Have You Been Paying Attention? panellist has been a steady presence on the stand up comedy circuit and never fails to deliver. Although she has left The Weekly she continues to pop up at venues and on TV shows.


27. Sarah Silverman

Starting her career with stand up, American comedy woman Sarah has so far conquered TV shows (The Sarah Silverman Program, Masters of Sex, I Love You, America) and done film appearances (recently reprising her voice role of Vanellope in Ralph Breaks the Internet). Now her memoir, The Bedwetter, is being made into a musical.

You can watch Sarah’s A Speck of Dust here and her hilarious song about Matt Damon below.


26. Denise Scott

She has delighted as a mum on Winners & Losers, narrated Travel Guides and put herself out there on this season of Dancing With the Stars but distinctive-voiced Australian comedy woman Denise Scott is most endearing when she’s on a panel (like Hughesy, We Have a Problem or Have You Been Paying Attention?), putting in her 2 cents worth, plus much more. That’s why she’s perfect as one of the Studio 10 ladies.


25. Whoopi Goldberg

She may have been down this year, having suffered a severe bout of pneumonia, but she’s not out, with Whoopi returning to her chair on The View. But don’t discount all her funny moments throughout the years, with the exuberant Sister Act star once the world’s highest paid actress. Watch her in Made in America.

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley
The Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders (Credit: Getty Images)

23. & 24. Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders

Before Kath & Kim, there was Patsy and Edina in the absolutely fabulous series Absolutely Fabulous. First firing off in 1992, the comedy, with its pair of super-selfish, self-obssesed, delusional middle-aged women poked fun at all the failings of modern society, but no matter how bad they got, you couldn’t help but love them.

But the British pair weren’t always the besties they seem, with Joanna telling Graham Norton (as reported in the Irish Examiner) of the first meeting for the show: “It was very awkward at the read through. It was just the two of us and she just stared at me. I told my agent I didn’t want to do it and she said, ‘It’s just a pilot, just do it…’”

Watch the duo’s antics in Absolutley Fabulous

Dawn French
Breaking Dawn: French (Credit: Getty Images)

22. Dawn French

She could have been written along with Jennifer Saunders, her frequent comedy partner, but Dawn’s endearing enthusiasm for every form of entertainment – including as a judge on the 2013 season of Australia’s Got Talent and taking on stand up at the age of 59 – earns her a solo slot on our list. Most recently seen on our tellies in dramedy Delicious, the British comedienne has been entertaining us for nearly four decades.

Watch her at her classic best in The Vicar of Dibley


21. Mindy Kaling

After being hired as a writer for The Office, the highly original Mindy also went on to star in the show as Kelly Kapoor before creating her own series, The Mindy Project. 

Now the American comic of Indian heritage has written and stars in a film, Late Night (out in July), with Emma Thompson, in which she gets to express some of her experiences as a woman of colour in a white man’s world.

As for her unconventional personal life (she has not named the father of her daughter Katherine), Variety reports her as saying in a 2018 commencement address to Dartmouth: “I didn’t think I’d have a child before I got married, but hey, it turned out that way, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I didn’t think I’d have dessert before breakfast today, but hey, it turned out that way, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”


20. Kathy Griffin

The controversial comic from America has divided the nation  of her homeland – after publishing a picture of herself holding the bloody head of Donald Trump (not his real head …) – but has maintained a legion of fans in Australia.

She has also earned herself a Guinness Book of World Records certificate for most stand-up comedy specials by a comedian.

Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig
Saturday Night girls Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig (Credit: Getty Images)

18. & 19. Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph

Having met at a wedding shower held at fellow funny chick Melissa McCarthy’s house, SNL‘s other all-girl dynamic duo (see Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, below) have been best buds ever since. 

After memorably starring in Bridesmaids, the pair are now reuniting for an animated series called Bless the Harts.

Judith Lucy
Hey Jude: Judith Lucy (Credit: Getty Images)

17. Judith Lucy

Having been in the (Australian) public eye since 1993’s The Late Show, Judith is known for her signature drawl and laying absolutely everything bare in her stage shows, the most recent of which was Judith Lucy vs Men, which discussed her disastrous dating history.

“You just keep juggling the balls and throwing s–t at the wall and some of it sticks, which is a really, really eloquent way of summing up my career,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald of her comedy.

Now she’s signed on for Kitty Flanagan’s role on The Weekly with Charlie Pickering.


16. Celia Pacquola

Not only is Celia an award winner for her stand-up, this young and funny lady from Victoria’s Yarra Valley is also an award winner for her comedy series with Luke McGregor, Rosehaven. She also recently featured in Kiwi indie film The Breaker Upperers.

Watch Celia do her stand up thing here in One Night Stan

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
Measuring up: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (Credit: Getty Images)

14. & 15. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

They met as improv artists in Chicago back in the 1990s, but it was in the Naughties when this dynamic duo took charge of Saturday Night Live. Since those hey days, Amy and Tina have co-starred in laugh-fest movies like Mean Girls, Baby Mama and the ultimate “Tamy” flick – Sisters.


13. Chelsea Handler

Like Amy Schumer, Chelsea is an American blonde whose sweet looks are in marked contrast to her acid tongue. Also well known for her friendship with Jen Aniston, Chelsea’s quick wit was put to best use on the TV show Chelsea Lately.

Watch her on the Netflix show Chelsea

Gina Riley and Jane Turner
Noice: Gina Riley and Jane Turner (Credit: Getty Images)

11 & 12. Gina Riley and Jane Turner

Kath & Kim. Funniest Australian series ever. Say no more.


10. Julia Morris

Yet another talented Australian funny woman, Julia has proven herself the hostess with the moistest and surely knows her way around a double entendre, especially when in the company of her hunky I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here co-host Dr Chris Brown.

Having featured with the likes of Shaun Micallef and Eric Bana in Full Frontal, she has also shown off her acting skills in the dramedy House Husbands.

Julia currently features in Chris and Julia’s Sunday Night Takeaway


9. Sophie Monk

She first came to fame on reality talent show Popstars as part of girlband Bardot, but anyone who watched Queenland’s Gold Coast girl Sophie on The Bachelorette, or whenever she is being herself, knows how delightfully hilarious she is, even if unintentionally. 

In the 2000s, Sophie also made a name for herself internationally in comedies like Click and Date Movie.


8. Rose Byrne

Hailing originally from Sydney, Rose has made herself at home in the States, where she met actor husband Bobby Cannavale – with whom she has two kids. But she makes Australia proud with her star turns in comedies like Bad Neighbours, Instant Family and Spy.

Watch Rose in Bridesmaids


7. Julia Louis-Dreyfus

As a six-time Emmy winner for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Veep, Seinfeld‘s Julia has outperformed any of the men she came to fame with on that show. This talented New Yorker has been making us laugh for nigh on three decades, now.

Watch her epic Seinfeld dance scene below.


6. Isla Fisher

It’s been a long time since Mrs Sacha Baron Cohen was best known as Shannon in Home and Away. The children’s book author and mum of three, who grew up in Perth, WA, has made a name for herself in the US with her fab comic timing in films like Keeping Up with the Joneses and Tag. But it was her breakout performance in Wedding Crashers that put her on the comedy map.


5. Hannah Gadsby

The funny female from Tasmania also touches heart with Nannette, the Netflix stand up comedy special that was supposed to signal the end of her career in comedy but instead catapulted her to stardom overseas. Now Hannah, who was also a scene-stealer in Please Like Me, is touring the US with Douglas, a show named after her beloved dog.

Watch Hannah in Nanette here


4. Amy Schumer

Best known for her raunchy stand-up routines, the self-deprecating comedy woman from the east coast of America has also become an actress in Trainwreck and I Feel Pretty and is currently working on becoming a real-life mom, as her Netflix special, Growing, describes.


3. Rebel Wilson

She has a new movie coming out, The Hustle with Anne Hathaway, and an already released Netflix film, Isn’t It Romantic, in which her co-star is the hunky Liam Hemsworth. So it’s safe to say our Rebel, a former law student from Sydney who started out on Fat Pizza, then broke big in the US with Pitch Perfect, has made it to the top of the comedy ladder.

See Rebel in Pitch Perfect here


2. Melissa McCarthy

The one-time beloved Sookie in Gilmore Girls, Melissa has gone on to conquer the comedy film stratosphere, starring in films like Life of the Party, Tammy and The Heat, as well as a scene-stealing moment in Bridesmaids (see below).

You can watch Melissa in Life of the Party here.


1. Ellen DeGeneres

And at the top of our list … the one and only Ellen.

She’s an animal-loving lesbian who has managed to win over middle America, that’s an achievement! And she’s also the voice of Dory, the forgetful fish in Finding Nemo. What’s not to love?

Not only does she host the daytime chat show that every celeb wants to be on, but she has been married to our babe, Australian actress Portia de Rossi, since 2008 and was awarded the medal of freedom by President Obama.

Recently Ellen has returned to her stand-up roots with a Netflix special, Relatable.

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