It’s an oft lauded statement that there’s never been a better time for women in comedy, than right now. It’s an annoying “everything’s OK now!” plaudit that’s rightfully been met with scorn from those oh-so lucky female comics.
Sure, we have blockbuster successes like Ghostbusters, Pitch Perfect 1 and 2, Bridesmaids, everything Melissa McCarthy has ever been in (even Identity Thief). Yes, we have stand-up star Amy Schumer, writing genious Tina Fey or all round comedy goddesses Amy Poehler, the Golden Girls, Roseanne Barr and (of course) Whoopi. Not to mention the Brits; everyone’s favourite smutty Librarian-esque PTA member Sarah Millican, galloping baffoon Miranda Hart, the incomparable French & Saunders and Jo Brand. The pioneers of yesteryear are still as relevant today too, like the late great, Victoria Wood, Joan Rivers, Lucile Ball and Caroline Ahern. I could go on, and on and on – but, actually. I can’t. Because whilst I’ve certainly missed off a few (hey Kathy Griffin) there aren’t that many lady comics to choose from, from the canon of modern comedy (whatever that is) and that’s just annoying.
Comedy (like everything) is dominated by white straight men. We know this, this is elementary wannabe feminist blogger stuff right here. But, there’s a change afoot. No, it’s not the wonderful work of the aforementioned badass bitches in the mainstream. Nope, it’s on the internet.
Online, anyone can self-publish content for free and this democratisation of publishing has never been better skewed to helping women (and all oppressed peoples, actually) get their voice heard. That’s why, if you’re looking for top funny girl talent, turn to the web. Here are my faves worth a shout if you’re interested:
My all-time favourite YouTuber with a drinking fetish. A writer-come-stand-up-come-thespian-come-pun extraordinaire, who was once in a band called Cudzoo and The Fagettes, is one of the funniest people on the Tubes. She hosts her self-produced show You Deserve A Drink and vlogs her random escapades across her two YouTube channels and various social media with desperate infrequency, (she keeps you wanting more). She uses her interweb fame to spring board back into the mainstream too – kinda – with not one but two independent movie credits to her name as screenwriter and lead actress. Her stage productions with fellow internet sensation and comedy partner in crime, Grace Helbig, This Might Get Weird Y’all and #NoFilter, tour the world too.
The comedy partner of Mamrie Hart but solo sensation in her own right too. She’s a self-publishing multimedia mogul, with a podcast (Not Too Deep), a YouTube channel with over 3million subscribers, stage productions, movies, two bestselling books and more. Truly, I find her best when scripted (by Mamrie) and working in partnership with (with Mamrie) but understand and respect her appeal to her millions and millions of fans around the world.
A funny lady with a penchant for 6-second lols, this internet star rose to fame on Vine and now shares her unique take on sketch comedy on various social media and mainstream TV networks too.
Fun fact, in that 6-seconds I was addicted to Vine (see what I did there?) I was honestly just watching Furlan’s back catalogue of loops.
Another sketch-comic from Vine, but now my favourite SnapChat and Insta procrastination pleasure, Sunny’s characters are like nothing you’ve ever experienced before and her “everything sounds nice in a Southern accent” is lol-inducing (and totally accurate). She regularly collaborates with fellow comedy-in-the-blink-of-an-eye star, Jason Nash.
A special mention to Ballinger because she’s undoubtedly a success – even if I truly don’t quite understand her comedy. She’s the mastermind behind Miranda Sings, her delusional alter ego famed for big lips and a bigger ego. Sings has taken Ballinger from the comfort of her two YouTube channels onto Netflix, where she’s just aired her first comedy series documenting Sings’ supposed rise to relative fame in Haters Back Off.
Go subscribe, follow and like this new school of funny gals because we need more laughter in this depressing world and these ladies are bringing it.