Is that laughter I hear on your end? You’re watching TV right now, aren’t you? We’re living in a pretty stellar era of television, with women dominating punch lines, plot twists, and leading hilarious sitcom ensemble casts. I can turn on any of my favorite sitcoms and I will find a strong and hilarious female lead (including the funny females Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair on the soon-to-be smash hit – Playing House on USA Network!). And not just in the leading roles, some of my favorite TV ladies are in supporting roles as well.
Here are the funniest ladies on TV right now.
1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Selina from Veep
The way she can channel over-the-edge frustration and pair it with comedic timing is UNBELIEVABLE! And she’s been showing us her brilliant delivery since the Seinfeld days, so none of us should be surprised. The Veep is a comedy goddess and legend and that status is set in stone.
2. Jillian Bell – Jillian from Workaholics
Quite honestly, I love me some Anders-Adam-Uncle Blazer antics, but Jillian is my favorite part of this show. We’re talking about a group of guys that can take raunch and insane behavior to a level that’s sometimes shocking, and she can out-weird the weirdos with just one line. #Talent.
3. Retta – Donna from Parks & Rec
Retta’s Donna is the quick-witted neutralizer to every single member of the animated Pawnee crew. She adds her own signature style to the ensemble, but what she adds to every punch line is balance. And you thought Ron was the no-nonsense source of wisdom on the show? Pay attention to the scenes with just Ron and Donna. She’s always the one talking Mr. Mustache down. She also a MAJOR sci-fi fantasy nerd (on the show and IRL), which means she’s my bestie soulmate.
4. Lennon Parham – Maggie from Playing House
Maggie is forced into a terrifying situation – pregnant and ready to pop when she realizes she will need to raise the baby on her own. Picture yourself in that moment. SCARY, right? Luckily, because she surrounded by loving friends and family, she isn’t completely alone. She has help. But what Lennon adds to the role is a subtle, relatable charm, that makes you not only feel like you know her personally, but you want to help her raise the baby yourself!
5. Mindy Kaling – Mindy from The Mindy Project
Oh, Mindy. There’s nobody else quite like her, is there? Mindy’s adorable realness pushes you to understand yourself better. Things about yourself that you might not have realized until the moment the words came out of her mouth. But better yet, the flaws and quirks that she exposes are delivered in a way that makes you want to celebrate them. Mindy gives you a dose of self love with every hilarious joke.
6. Stephanie Beatriz – Detective Diaz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine
On a show like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I imagine it’s tough to keep up with the comedic talent around you. The beauty of Stephanie’s Detective Diaz is the dead-pan, always annoyed tone of her voice. Anything she says is funny because you always feel like she wants to punch you in the face, even if what she’s saying is supposed to be sweet compliment.
7. Jessica St. Clair – Emma from Playing House
Emma is a BOSS in the business world, and happily thousands of miles away from her small hometown. Then she gives up her blossoming career to move back home and help her best friend, Maggie, raise her child. Jessica tones down the harshness that could easily accompany a high-strung, high-powered role like this and makes her lovably softer.
8. Kaitlin Olson – Sweet Dee from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Sweet Dee is an insecure, heartless bartender who’s constantly seeking the approval of her d-bag brother and his friends. Sounds like a chick you’d immediately hate, right? Because it’s Kaitlin, you just don’t. She’s THAT talented, that all you can do is laugh at all of her attempts to thwart the demented plans of the boys. She never succeeds, but neither do they.
9. Zooey Deschanel – Jess from New Girl
Zooey is not just the girl who “rocks a lot of polka dots.” And neither is Jess. Through her adorkable role on New Girl, Zooey constantly reminds us that we are not just one thing. We cannot be placed into one category based on a perceived image. We can be as funny, as silly, as awkward, as strong, and as smart as we choose to be.
10. Aubrey Plaza – April from Parks & Rec
Leslie Knope said it best when she described April Ludgate as a “dark, tortured genius.” The same can be said about Aubrey’s style of comedy. She’s different, and a little strange, in the most spectacular way possible. She connects with our inner cranky pants. She makes hating “cool” things seem cooler. Aubrey is the modern version of the classic rebel. And she does it WAY better than Dylan McKay ever could.
11. Allison Williams – Marnie from Girls
I know what you’re thinking – of all the Girls characters, I chose Marnie? Marnie is a hot mess express train, picking up speed. But the same could be said for anyone in their twenties. And out of all the girls on Girls, I think Marnie has gone through some of the most relatable struggles. Allison’s delivery of these vulnerable moments are done with such beautiful, cringe-worthy abandon, you almost want to root for her.
12. Amy Poehler – Leslie from Parks & Rec
We’ve saved the best for last, y’all. All hail, the queen of comedy. Amy Poehler is a fearless hero of hilarity. I would not give two sh**s about anything relating to local government had anybody else been cast in the role of Leslie Knope. Amy Poehler’s Leslie is like the “where are they now” of hall monitors. She follows the rules and does the right thing, every. single. time. Leslie Knope makes us want to be better Americans, and better humans. I sincerely hope the show ends with her running for President, because any other fictional reality ending would shatter my soul.