10 Female Comedians Who Are Killing It Right Now

by Allie Gemmill
Dec 12, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. ET

We're a couple years out from the paradigm-shifting female-led comedy Bridesmaids being released, and yet we're still feeling its effects. The entertainment industry's focus on getting more female comedians and deftly comedic actors into the spotlight has had some results. In 2017, we saw a more diverse pool of female talent of all ages and more diverse backgrounds come into the spotlight. 

Dominating film, TV, the stage and streaming services like Amazon and Netflix, a variety of women have demanded our attention. They've lovingly teased it out of us with some gentle but still cutting jokes. They've gotten it by turning our political quagmires into comedy gold. And some of them have demanded it by refusing to be polite and turning on the raunch a little more than usual. Female comedians, you're killing the game right now.

So, readers, these game-changers are ones you need to take notice of right now. Click through to see some female comedians you should know in 2017.

1 /10: Tiffany Haddish

1/10 :Tiffany Haddish

Tiffany Haddish is 2017. 2017 is Tiffany Haddish. Ask anyone what the best comedy of 2017 was, and likely they'll tell you it was Girls Trip. What made Girls Trip so funny? Tiffany Haddish.

Haddish dominated, stole the scenes, chewed the scenery and left an indelible mark on Girls Trip and our funny bones. Her sense of timing from years of performing as a stand-up comedian came in handy in Girls Trip; we won't soon forget her amazing performance. Haddish also spent 2017 breaking through barriers, becoming the first black female comedian to host Saturday Night Live in November. 

2 /10: Samantha Bee

2/10 :Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee is out here doing the work, people!

As the lone female late-night TV show host on air right now (pour one out for Chelsea Handler, y'all), Bee devotes her weekly show to sticking it to the men and women (but mostly men) who seek to harm society in areas gender-related, race-related, economic, political and so forth. Bee puts her sharp, gives-no-fucks seal onto every sharp punchline that comes out of her mouth, making light of some of the darkest events happening in our nation right now. TBH, bless this woman forever. 

3 /10: Tracee Ellis Ross

3/10 :Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross has been hustling for the better part of the last two decades, so you better give this outstanding, warm actor — who also happens to be one of prime-time TV's best female comedic performers right now — your time and attention. Ross is one of the stars of the consistently raved-about Black-ish on ABC, and she recently hosted the American Music Awards like a true boss. This woman has kept us in stitches since her days on Girlfriends and isn't slowing down anytime soon. 2017 was Ross's year, but who knows what 2018 has in store for her.

4 /10: Aubrey Plaza

4/10 :Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza is that darkly comedic indie goddess you need in your life. She might be best known to you as April Ludgate, the sullen but secretly sweet intern on Parks & Recreation, but 2017 has been a big year for Plaza. She took a detour into genre-bending with FX's Legion but got firmly back into her dark comedy/satire lane with the social media satire Ingrid Goes West and the debauched spoof of Boccaccio's The Decameron, The Little Hours. Plaza mixes dark and funny subject matter better than many men currently in the game, so bow down right now.

5 /10: Bridget Everett

5/10 :Bridget Everett

Bridget Everett: Take note of this name and the woman who bears it, because this isn't the last time you're going to hear about her. Everett started her career in theater and the cabaret clubs of New York City, but 2017 has proven to be Everett's major breakout year (or is it crossover year? Who knows and who cares) thanks to some stellar comedic performances on TV and film. She's appeared in the indie answer to Rough Night, Fun Mom Dinner, as well as Little Evil and Patti Cake$. Oh, and that's just movies. She's also made recurring appearances on the quirky Netflix comedy Lady Dynamite, and the pilot for her new show, Love You More, hit Amazon in November. She's big, she's bold, she's brash, she's Bridget. Stay tuned.

6 /10: Jessica Williams

6/10 :Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams is just getting started. She made her name as a featured correspondent on The Daily Show and has become half of the incredibly popular comedy podcast 2 Dope Queens, but 2017 was the year Williams became the one to watch. Thanks to her nuanced and supremely funny performance in The Incredible Jessica James, Williams not only showed us that she do could drama as well as comedy but also that her comedic voice is singular and necessary to hear.

7/10 :Tig Notaro

Tig Notaro's wit is drier than the Arizona heat in July, but damn if she isn't one of the most incisive and observant comedians on the block. The story of her life before fame is incredible (a breast cancer survivor who underwent a double mastectomy while simultaneously surviving C-Diff and the passing of her mother), but it's how she's using her spotlight nowadays that's making us take notice. Her Amazon TV show, One Mississippi, is heartwarming, heartbreaking and genuinely riotous; try not to bruise a rib laughing at some key scenes. You definitely need to stream both Season 1 and Season 2, which dropped this year, immediately. 

8 /10: Jenny Slate

8/10 :Jenny Slate

As the years go by, Jenny Slate continues to impress us with each choice that she makes in a new project, but she never strays too far from her comedic roots. In 2017, Slate has popped up as a voice on the very hilarious and very blunt Netflix animated coming-of-age comedy Big Mouth as well as the low-fi indie comedy Landline, where she plays a somewhat self-absorbed Gen Xer trying to figure out what she wants in life and in love. She's also made herself a standout performer in quirky comedy TV shows like Lady Dynamite and Bob's Burgers this year, reminding us that even when she isn't the lead, she's still the center of attention (and our affection).

9/10 :Ilana Glazer

How do I love Ilana Glazer? Let me count the ways.

Seriously, though, Glazer's presence in the comedy scene in 2017 has been a breath of fresh air. Whether it's regaling us with her antics in Rough Night or giving a hilarious middle finger to the patriarchy, adulthood and shitty people on Broad City, Glazer has time and time again proven to be one of the most exciting comedians working right now.

10 /10: Kate McKinnon

10/10 :Kate McKinnon

Kate McKinnon is one of the top comedians of the past couple years, and her star has only risen that much higher in 2017. On top of winning an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on Saturday Night Live, McKinnon has served as a singular voice of sanity and comedy in these ever-darkening times, politically and culturally speaking. She's become someone we look to for relief, to poke fun at the men and women supposedly leading our nation, and she's definitely a comedian who isn't leaving the spotlight anytime soon.