Comedy has been considered a boy’s club for years. Few women were able to break down the comedy gender barrier and establish themselves as respected comedic performers. It’s not because women aren’t funny: there have always been funny women, Vanity Fair explored the idea that women are considered not funny in this article.
Recently, however, female comedians have been gaining the respect they deserve and exploring new venues for their talents. Women are no longer happy to sit by the sidelines while male comedians get all the attention or play stereotypical roles like the ditzy young “hottie.” Women are taking control of their comedy and using their brains and talent to set a new precedent in the humor world.
One of my favorite female comedians right now is Mindy Kaling. She is best known for playing Kelly Kapoor on The Office, but she is also an accomplished comedy writer. She has written some of the most-loved episodes of The Office including “The Dundies,” “Diwali,” and “Ben Franklin.” Her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Other Concerns is coming out in November and I absolutely cannot wait to read it. She approaches comedy in a way that really appeals to my sensibilities. She is unapologetically girly — her website includes a section called “Things I’ve bought that I love.” She is not afraid to show her intelligence — she had an essay published by The New Yorker. She has over 1.5 million followers on twitter, (me included) who adore her short quips on shopping, Hollywood life, writing and the rights and responsibilities that come along with being a best friend.
She has become one of the most well respected voices in comedy all the while remaining proud of being a woman, which makes her a great role model for any woman interested in writing as a profession.
Kristen Wiig is another comedienne who is making waves in Hollywood. After becoming a favorite member of the Saturday Night Live cast, Kristen branched out into movies, appearing in MacGruber and writing and starring in the box-office smash Bridesmaids. Bridesmaids pushed its way into the comedy film genre, at a time when the most popular films were led by groups of male comedians. It proved that an ensemble cast of women with strong comedic voices could be a success, not just with other women, but with men as well.
The recently launched Hellogiggles.com also gives women the chance to experience female-friendly comedy. Although not all the posts are humorous, the ones that are approach comedy from a perspective that has been tailored for women readers. The website features regular columns, but it also allows for reader submissions. Bringing women into the website and allowing them to actively participate and share their posts with other women makes hellogiggles a way for women interested in comedy to form a community.
Zooey Deschanel, Molly Mcaleer and Sophia Rossi started hellogiggles as the ultimate entertainment site for women and that is exactly what it has become for me. I read it anytime I have a few free minutes, or as a reward for time spent on homework. These three women created a concept that really opens up the possibilities for women-centered websites. They have a great group of contributors of all ages who create fun, female friendly content. I have become absolutely addicted to hellogiggles and I dream about becoming one of their regular contributors.
So many more women are using their talents to create a comedy community that is not only full of hilarious women, but great role models as well. I can’t to see more insightful, proud women try their hand at the comedy world.