Comedy isn’t just an old boy’s club anymore full of penis jokes, bathroom humor, and physical comedy. It’s now ladies night, and the girl’s are taking center stage. Women in comedy have proven they can carry their weight on hit television shows, in the movies, and during stand-up comedy tours. These women have shown they can hang with the men and are taking on bigger projects of their own, proving women can be funny to both genders on both the big and small screen.
Mindy Kaling is best known for her role as Kelly Kapoor on NBC’s hit show “The Office.” Kapoor thinks life should be like a romantic comedy, and the dull reality of the office doesn’t phase her. But Kaling doesn’t just act on the show, she’s a co-executive producer who’s directed and written 19 episodes.
Kaling got her start in comedy during her time at Dartmouth College, where she was a member of the improv group “The Dog Day Players.” She also wrote for her school’s humor magazine, the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern. You’ve seen her in small roles in “40-Year-Old Virgin” and “No Strings Attached.” Kaling is currently writing her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?(And Other Concerns) to be released in November of this year.
Whitney Cummings is a University of Pennsylvania graduate, former model, writer, comedian, and actress. She is a regular on the “Chelsea Lately” round table, VH1’s “Roasts,” and her first one-hour comedy special “Money Shot” aired on Comedy Central in August 2010.
And now Cummings is taking on TV in a whole new way. Two pilots that Cummings created have been picked up for the 2011-2012 season. CBS picked up “Two Broke Girls,” which Cummings co-created and will co-produce, a sitcom about two twenty something New Yorkers living and working in Brooklyn. The second show “Whitney,” will star Cummings and air on NBC in fall 2011.
Kristen Wiig has been starring on “Saturday Night Live” since 2005, proving to late-night audiences that a woman can be the star of one of comedy’s most beloved institutions. Wiig was even nominated in 2009 and 2010 for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series” for her work on SNL.
Wiig got her start in comedy with the famous improv group, The Groundlings, where she is a still member today. Her most recent project, the movie “Bridesmaids,” Wiig co-wrote with her Groundling’s buddy, Annie Mumulo. The film has received praise from critics and audiences alike, crowning it the “non-chick flick” chick flick. On opening weekend, the film grossed over $24 million.
Amy Poehler has been making us laugh since she made her debut on SNL in 2001. Since then, she has had unforgettable parts in Tina Fey’s “Mean Girls” and “Baby Mama,” but her current full-time job is playing Leslie Knope on “Parks and Recreation.”
Poehler was recently named one of TIME magazines “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
Ellie Kemper might be the most unrecognizable face of the bunch, but expect to see much more of her in the future. The Princeton grad currently works on “The Office” playing Erin, the receptionist whose quirkiness and innocence only add to her charm. Kemper has written for The Onion, McSweeney’s literary journal, and The Huffington Post, proving her comedic skills don’t just come in the form of performing, but also writing.
She stars with Kristen Wiig in “Bridesmaids,” which is currently in theaters.
Chelsea Handler has become one of the most well known female comedians with the success of her bestselling novels and late-night talk show. She has performed to sold-out audiences across the country on her stand-up tours, and she currently has a TV show based on her first book, “Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea,” in the works for the fall 2011 television season. Handler will co-star in the show, playing her sister Sloane, and Laura Prepon will play Chelsea.
In addition to the TV show, Handler has a new stand-up tour in the works for her most recent book, a supporting role in the horror-comedy movie “Mall,” and another season of “After Lately” to film.
Tina Fey has become a household name, your parents know her from SNL, your younger sister knows her from “Mean Girls,” and you’ve been watching her since Weekend Update and now all the way to “30 Rock.” Tina Fey started out in improv in Chicago, before she became a writer on SNL and eventually a performer. She branched out from SNL and into movies with “Mean Girls,” “Baby Mama,” “Date Night,” and “Megamind.”
Fey also has a bestselling book “Bossypants,” in it she talks about her experiences in television, comedy, and parenting. After leaving SNL, Fey started her own TV show, “30 Rock,” which is loosely based on her experience at SNL. Fey has won seven Emmy’s, three Golden Globe’s, four SAG awards, and four Writer’s Guild of America awards for her work on both SNL and “30 Rock.”