Funny Girls Who Rock Their Curls!
Have you ever noticed how curly-haired women always seem to have the greatest sense of humor? Well, we here at Miss Jessie's have! Here is a list of our favorite female stand up comedians and comedic actresses, who have not only found creative success and made the world not only smile but evoke side-splitting laughs, they each have also broken the mold within this industry, in their own unique ways. Their varying professional endeavors have raised the bar in a profession that's classically regarded as a "boys club", setting the standards for humor on a global scale. They are brilliant, fearless, forces to be reckoned with; each of these women has managed to make the world a better place by providing the best medicine, laughter, and look great while doing it too!
Whoopi Goldberg is one of the most multi-dimensional actresses alive, revered for her character portrayals in both comedic and dramatic roles. From theater, to stand up comedy, to film, to television, Whoopi has done it all and done it perfectly. She is in the minority of entertainers to successfully EGOT; a phrase coined by another funny girl with curls, Tina Fey, which refers to winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and a Tony. When not wearing her trademark dreadlocks, she's been seen rocking a natural look, as she did in her portrayal of Sister Mary Clarence in the comedies Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.
An original cast member from the first season of Saturday Night Live, Gilda Radner held her own alongside the male-dominated cast, from 1975-1980. She had a knack for developing characters that were as bizarre as they were endearing, such as Emily Litella and Roseanne Roseannadanna. Her fearless approach to physical comedy surpassed expectations, laying out new stylistic groundwork and raising the bar for future breakout female SNL cast members, such as Amy Poehler, Sarah Silverman, Ellen Cleghorne, Molly Shannon, and Kristin Wiig. It's no wonder she won an Emmy!
Another Saturday Night Live veteran, Maya Rudolf's versatility as a performer has made her an expert at impersonations. From Donatella Versce to Beyonce, to Charo, to Liza Minneli, to Lucy Liu, she's the epitome of a chameleon; her ability to command numerous accents has allowed to successfully portray almost every female pop culture icon from the past hundred years, in spite of race or age. She's also had much success as a film actress, starring in comedies like Idiocracy and Bridesmaids, and independent dramedies, such as Away We Go, The Way Way Back, and Friends With Kids. Maya has recently gone back to her roots in live television, now starring in her own variety show, The Maya Rudolf Show. If you are looking to laugh till you cry this summer, I highly suggest you check it out!
Tracee Ellis Ross
The daughter of legendary diva Diana Ross, Tracee forged her own path by becoming an actress and television producer. She starred on the comedy sitcom Girlfriends, where she played a successful, neurotic, loveable lawyer, Joan Carol Clayton. She has been honored with many accolades for her portrayal of Joan, including two NAACP awards for "Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series".
Known for her cutting edge, controversial stand up routines and performing on the Ed Sullivan Show, Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and the Bill Cosby Show, Moms Mabley paved the way for female African American comedians. She's first got her to start performing live on the of the African American vaudeville show, the Chitlin Circuit, starting in 1919, and her honest humor transformed her into a sensation. During the 1950s and 1960s, she performed regularly at the Apollo Theater, becoming the highest-paid African American performers to grace the stage, during a period in American history in which the marginalization of African Americans and women was a societal norm. In 1962, she made history again by playing Carnegie Hall to an all Caucasian audience, thus successfully expanding her audience and dubbing her with the title "Funniest Woman Alive". A comedic pioneer, the evolution of her career and life journey is truly inspiring.
Bouts of uncontrollable giggling fits still occur every time we hear, "SPEED IT UP FRANK!", and watch Lucy and Ethel's eyes widen behind the conveyer belt; their mouths, uniform hats, apron pockets, pants pockets, and even their bras, already stuffed to the brim with chocolates. Week after week, Lucille Ball brought audiences to their knees, with her sitcom, I Love Lucy. Always equipped with a crazy plan, Lucy's snappy comebacks, unique firey curls, and unyielding determination to somehow make it into Ricky's show makes it impossible NOT to love her!
From her stand up to voice-over work, to roles in comedy films and sitcoms, to having her own late-night talk show, and even starring as Miss Hannigan in a professional production of Annie, there is no artistic medium she hasn't conquered. Her 2004 book is aptly titled, Yeah, I Said It, pretty much sums up this funny lady's successful strategy for bringing on the chuckles. With a "tell it like it is" approach and sassy tone, Wanda Sykes has actively made audiences laugh for years, all while exposing social truths and shining a light on society's inconsistencies.
This self-proclaimed "Bossypants" is not only a Saturday Night Live cast alumni but is also the first female to ever act as head writer of the show. No matter the package, her quirky, original perspective always manages to be universally relatable, resonating with audiences and inciting laughter everywhere. From writing New York Times best-selling books to writing, producing, and starring in critically acclaimed films TV shows, Tina is living proof that one's plate can never really be too full, and overcoming challenges is the spice of life. It may have taken Liz Lemon seven seasons to figure out how to finally, "Have it all", but Tina Fey seems to have always had this one figured out.
If the Waynes brothers are considered the Jackson 5 of comedy, then Kim Waynes are the 'Janet Jackson'. She is best remembered for starring on the Fox comedy variety show In Living Color, where she held her own as one of the few regular female castmates, alongside big energy, scene-stealing actors Jim Carey, Jamie Foxx, and David Alan Grier, as well as her brothers Damon, Keenan, Marlon, and Shawn Waynes. She then moved on to other successful endeavors including working as a story editor for family sitcom My Wife and Kids and even writing children's book, Amy Hodgepodge.
Julia Louise Dreyfus
Like many of these women, Julia's big break came when she was added to the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1982, at the ripe age of 21. Julia then went on the co-star in the revolutionary sitcom, Seinfeld. One could assume that after a major hit as Seinfeld, it would be inclined to slow down or even retire- but not Julia. This funny girl is still cracking up audiences, now in her new HBO comedy, Veep, where she portrays Selina Meyer, vice president of the United States.
Like many of her Saturday Night Live predecessors, Sasheer got her start in improv, working with groups like Upright Citizens Brigade and The People's Improv Theater. She finally got her big break joining the cast of SNL, mid-season, this year. New to the game, it's clear she has the potential for greatness, and we look forward to watching the career of this curly girl unfurl.