Under-the-radar female comedians who kill it on the regular
ICYMI, Netflix has been kicking some major television booty. With the popularity of shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, House of Cards, and Orange is the new Black, everyone is watching and waiting for the next big show (and the mic) to drop. Well, y’all, I think we’ve found it.
Netflix announced last week that it was developing a new show with Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz and the quirkily brilliant comedian Maria Bamford. The show, Lady Dynamite will be based off Bamford’s own life and tells the story of a woman “who loses and then finds her s***.”
Bamford has been performing for over 25 years and has appeared and worked on shows such as Adventure Time, John Oliver’s Stand-up Show, Arrested Development, Louie, The Legend of Korra, and was the first female comedian to have two Comedy Central specials. Bamford has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and works to de-stigmatize mental illness through her honest, deeply relatable work. She’s also super supportive of women in comedy, and keeps an ever adapting list of funny women on her website to inspire all the funny ladies of the world and pay tribute to the work they do.
In honor of Bamford finally getting the star-powered sitcom she deserves, here are some other fabulous lady comedians who you should absolutely know about, if you don’t already.
Jessi Klein is easily one of the funniest minds of our time. Currently working as head writer and executive producer of Inside Amy Schumer, Klein has a well-trained eye for making everyday hilarious. She is often credited by Schumer and her fellow Amy writers for making the show what it is today: a well-respected and highly lauded female-driven force with biting social commentary and unapologetic feminism. Klein is currently developing a new show for Showtime based loosely on her life, which she may (fingers crossed) also star in.
If you watch as much Netflix as I do, you’ve probably seen Iliza’s specials War Paint and Freezing Hot scrolling across the top of your homepage. If you don’t watch as much Netflix as I do, you should start because Iliza, and her adorable dog Blanche, are incredible. Combining physical humor with astute observations and hilarious character work, Iliza makes being a girl feel pretty cool. The first female to ever win Last Comic Standing, Iliza will host a new relationship game show on TBS called Separation Anxiety, and I for one am way too excited about it.
Morgan Murphy is a brutally honest stand-up comedian that tells it like it is. If you’re a fan of April Ludgate, you’ll be a fan of Morgan Murphy. Murphy has written for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and is currently writing for the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls. Her 2013 special Irish Goodbye is currently streaming on Netflix, so you really have no excuse to not check it out.
A sassy stand-up with a lot of voice and a lot of courage, Ali Wong is one to watch out for. In the past she’s hosted VH1’s Best Week Ever and MTV’s Hey Girl, and is currently working as a writer on the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat with intentions to tape her first ever 1 hour special in September. She’s appeared on Inside Amy Schumer, John Oliver’s Stand-up Show, and Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Jen Kirkman’s new Netflix special I’m Going to Die Alone and I Feel Fine just dropped on Netflix and it is spectacular. It deals with ageism, sexism, feminism, and all the weird ways we treat single people. Jen has a fresh perspective on marriage, relationships, and isn’t afraid to talk about sex and all the double-standards females face. You may recognize her as a panel regular on Chelsea Lately or her appearances on Drunk History. She has released two comedy albums Self Help and Hail to the Freaks and her debut book I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids was a New York Times bestseller.
Riki is one half of the power comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates and is currently starring on the new Comedy Central series Another Period. You may recognize her from her portrayal of the ignorant rich girl Juliet on Gilmore Girls or her role as Hilary Swank’s sister in Million Dollar Baby. She writes killer comedy songs that deal with body image, dating, and the everyday struggle of having a lot of feelings.