16 Female Comedians Who Know the Struggle of Being a Woman Is Real AF

Caroline Olney | Nov 10, 2016 Celebrities

Comedy is -- and always has been -- a boys' club. For all your Lucille Balls and Joan Rivers and Tina Feys, there have been 10 less talented and more successful men taking the stand-up stage (sorry, dudes). But female comedians are out there -- they're just not always getting the airtime they deserve. So we're going to change that.

Here are 16 comedians performing today who we love for just getting us -- they turn our everyday struggles into funny and relatable stories that we just can't get enough of. Some you've probably heard of, but others you haven't. But you should. So let's get laughing, okay?

 

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  • Sasheer Zamata

    1

    Sasheer Zamata is one of those people we just can't look away from. Her charm, her stage presence, and (of course) her stories keep us hooked ... and dying for more. Luckily, she's always giving us plenty -- Sasheer is a Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (UCB) alum, and she's currently a cast member on SNL. You can also see her in some sketches on Inside Amy Schumer and CollegeHumor, and if that's not enough, her old YouTube channel has a small backlog of videos of her doing impressions of people like Tyra Banks and Beyonce.

  • Iliza Shlesinger

    2

    If you're looking for impressions of women that are painfully accurate, Separation Anxiety's host Iliza Shlesinger is your girl. If anyone else (actually, scratch that -- if any dude) parodied women the way Iliza does, we'd have some serious issues with it. But Iliza gets away with her impressions because she clearly knows what she's talking about. And because she's hilarious. And because we really, totally get it -- we know those girls she's (gently) making fun of. We are those girls.

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  • Naomi Ekperigin

    3

    Naomi Ekperigin's droll delivery and signature "you knows" are only half of what makes her so relatable. The other half is because she literally is us: Fleece pants, crime shows, and lap blankets ("the sole purpose of which is to collect any crumbs") describe our best life, too.

    If Naomi's humor sounds familiar but she doesn't look familiar to you, we'd bet you're a fan of Broad City -- Naomi's been a writer on the much-loved Comedy Central show since the beginning.

  • Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer

    4

    Speaking of Broad City, no list of today's best comedians is complete without Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. Though these two are hilarious on their own, it's their friendship that speaks to us the strongest. They're goofy, genuine, and totally in sync (IRL and on the show), and every single scene from Broad City is gif-able and applicable to our lives.

  • Issa Rae

    5

    Issa Rae is awkward. But she owns it, and that's what made her YouTube series, Awkward Black Girl, such a relatable hit. Now she's taking her awkwardness and smartness and amazingness to the big(ger) screen -- Insecure, the TV show Issa created, cowrote, and stars in, premiered on HBO this fall. Don't miss it.

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  • Samantha Bee

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    If comedy is a boys' club, then late-night talk shows are a secret society with an invisible door that only appears when men show what's in their pants. But Samantha Bee, bless her, found a way in, and we're so glad she's there.

    Samantha started out as a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart but left to start Full Frontal with Samantha Bee in 2015. She does the same smart and sharp political mudslinging as her peers, but with a undeniable female (and, often, mom) edge. So of course we love her.

  • Mindy Kaling

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    Back in 2004 when Mindy Kaling first showed up on our screens as a writer-performer for The Office, we knew she'd never give us bullsh*t. Everything Mindy writes is smart and funny and original, and The Mindy Project in particular gets being a woman exactly right -- no matter if it's about chicken wings or motherhood or the tough parts of marriage.

  • Kate McKinnon

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    Another UCB alum and a former cast member of The Big Gay Sketch Show, Kate McKinnon stumbled hard onto our radar in 2012 when she was cast on SNL. Since then, she's been winning our hearts with her celeb impressions (Justin Bieber, Ellen DeGeneres, and Hillary Clinton, no matter how different they may be, are probably her best). But then there was Ghostbusters, and we were in love. Kate's role as Holtzmann made that movie great, and Kate McKinnon will forever be our fave.

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  • Leslie Jones

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    Speaking of our SNL faves, we guess we should probably take a second to obsess over Leslie Jones. Not only is her Twitter presence an absolute delight, but Leslie's humor has been an essential part of SNL since she joined the show as a writer in 2013, and it's only gotten better as she's transitioned to a cast role.

    Plus, she made us laugh out loud as Patty in Ghostbusters, and her Twitter coverage of the Olympics made the whole thing 10 times more fun. So, um, yeah. We like Leslie Jones. 

  • Amy Schumer

    10

    You've heard about Amy Schumer, either from her five-season-strong sketch show, Inside Amy Schumer, or from her 2015 masterpiece, Trainwreck. She spent a few years around the New York comedy scene before she caught a lot of mainstream attention in 2015. Maybe it was just her time, or maybe everyone finally started figuring out that her humor is as smart as it is relatable ... and that she loves wine as much as we do. Either way, Amy's high profile now means more comedy for us, so we're really not complaining.

  • Ali Wong

    11

    Ali Wong's Netflix stand up special "Baby Cobra" is notable not only because it's hilarious and it will bring you joy, but also because when it was filmed in fall 2015, Ali was seven and a half months pregnant. That means pregnancy jokes are totally on the table for her, along with jokes about being a woman and jokes about everything else. Ali is refreshingly rude and honest, and her humor got her the approval of Comedy Cellar (which is not something many women can say) and onto shows like Inside Amy SchumerAre You There, Chelsea?Black BoxThe Tonight Show, and Hey Girl. Currently she's a writer for Fresh Off the Boat, but we fully expect to see her out on stand-up circuits again soon.

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  • Aidy Bryant

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    We promise this is the last Saturday Night Live cast member, okay? But we couldn't leave out Aidy Bryant -- she's been an SNL staple since 2012 (before which she toured with the Second City and Baby Wants Candy) and she's been charming us with her comedic flexibility and flawless impressions since. Plus, her story about her freakout after she met Drake is so relatable it's painful, and we kinda just wanted an excuse to watch it a few more times.

  • Phoebe Robinson & Jessica Williams

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    Jessica Williams got pretty famous after her four-year stint as a correspondent for The Daily Show, but she left in 2016 and started a project with Phoebe Robinson (a former writer for Girl Code and consultant on Broad City) that they're calling 2 Dope Queens. It's a podcast dedicated to being #real and highlighting comedians who are black, LGBT, female, or otherwise not one of the usuals. And don't let their convo (shown here) with Jad Abumrad steer you wrong -- 2 Dope Queens is well crafted and well produced, on top of being insanely smart and laugh-out-loud funny.

  • Chelsea Peretti

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    The first thing we should note here is that if we were ever asked to guest on The Tonight Show, we'd like to think that we'd show up in a sweatshirt, yoga pants, and sneaks like Chelsea Peretti did. And that pretty much covers it, right? Chelsea Peretti is simultaneously extremely chill about all things and constantly calling people on their bullsh*t, and we're as sure that we want to be her as much as we are terrified of her. 

    On another note, Chelsea's Twitter is 100 percent gold, 100 percent of the time (that grilled cheese though), and her character on Brooklyn 99 is pretty much everything. 

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