Great female comedians
Joan Rivers, Tina Fey, Kathy Griffin, Lena Dunham and more women who make us laugh.
Actress Anne Meara's comic work with husband Jerry Stiller helped launch a 60-year career in film and TV. Meara, who grew up in Rockville Centre, logged 36 appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" with Stiller. The duo also made a successful team in Las Vegas, major nightclubs, on records and in commercials. Meara died Saturday, May 23, 2015 at age 85, leaving behind her husband, and son, actor Ben Stiller. Here, she appears on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on May 29, 1970, with Jerry Stiller, right, and host Ed Sullivan.
Betty White(Credit: AP / Matt Sayles)
America's "Golden Girl," Betty White, has had a life-long career in comedy. She is best known for her roles as Sue Ann Nivens on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and Rose Nylund on "The Golden Girls."
Tina Fey(Credit: AP, Invision / Richard Shotwell)
Tina Fey started out her career writing for NBC's "Saturday Night Live," then created her own sitcom "30 Rock." She also wrote the 2004 blockbuster hit "Mean Girls," starring Long Island's own Lindsay Lohan, and went on to star in comedies including "Baby Mama," "Admission" and "Muppets Most Wanted."
Ellen Degeneres(Credit: Getty)
Ellen Degeneres has hosted hew own show since 2003, and also starred in the sitcom Ellen from 1994-98. She has won 13 Emmys and is also known for her charitable efforts.
Lena Dunham(Credit: AP, Invision / Dan Steinberg)
Comedic triple threat Lena Dunham is the creator, writer and star of HBO's Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning series "Girls."
Cecily Strong(Credit: AP, Invision / Andy Kropa)
"Saturday Night Live" player Cecily Strong proved herself as a real comedy contender in September 2013, when she began anchoring "Weekend Update" with Seth Meyers after just one year on the show.
Chelsea Handler(Credit: AP, Invision / Dan Steinberg)
In August 2014, Chelsea Handler wrapped her successful E! late night talk show, "Chelsea Lately," after seven years. Next up: A show on Netflix. She's also written three books: "Uganda Be Kidding Me, "My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands" and "Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea."
Kate McKinnon(Credit: AP, Invision / Jordan Strauss)
Long Island native Kate McKinnon made her debut on "Saturday Night Live" in April 2012. Previously, she was a cast member on "The Big Gay Sketch Show."
Carol Burnett(Credit: AP, Invision / Richard Shotwell)
Best known for "The Carol Burnett Show," which ran from 1967 to 1978 on CBS, Carol Burnett has had a decades-long career on Broadway and film as well.
Nasim Pedrad(Credit: AP, Invision / Richard Shotwell)
Nasim Pedrad is best known for her five season stint with "Saturday Night Live" where she developed several recurring characters, including a Kim Kardashian parody. In April 2016, Fox ordered a pilot for "Chad: An American Boy," a sitcom Pedrad co-created and stars in, playing a teenage boy.
Jane Lynch(Credit: AP, Invision / John Shearer)
Jane Lynch's gym-teacher role on "Glee" has earned her a number of awards, from a Golden Globe to a People's Choice Award. She's also appeared on TV's "iCarly," "Weeds" and "Two and a Half Men," as well as films from "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" to "Role Models" and many more.
Ellie Kemper(Credit: AP, Invision / Richard Shotwell)
Best known for her role as Erin Hannon on "The Office," Ellie Kemper also played supporting roles in "Bridesmaids" and "21 Jump Street." Currently, she stars in the hit Netflix comedy, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."
Kathy Griffin(Credit: AP / Chris Pizzello)
One of standup comedian Kathy Griffin's most notable TV appearances was on an episode of "Seinfeld," on which her act was essentially making fun of Jerry Seinfeld. Her celebrity cutting has continued via numerous specials and her reality show "My Life on the D-List," and she's been a go-to for biting comedy from "Suddenly Susan" on.
Mindy Kaling(Credit: AP, Invision / Richard Shotwell)
Mindy Kaling, whose breakout TV role was Kelly Kapor on "The Office," went on to create and star in her own hit sitcom, "The Mindy Project."
Maya Rudolph(Credit: AP/ Chris Pizzello)
Maya Rudolph was a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" from 2000 to 2007. She has since starred in films such as "Bridesmaids," and NBC sitcom "Up All Night."
Rebel Wilson(Credit: AP / Invision / Omar Vega)
Rebel Wilson had a successful comedy career in Australia before moving to the U.S. to play the role of Brynn in "Bridesmaids." She was featured in other films such as "Bachelorette" and Pitch Perfect" before creating and starring her own show "Super Fun Night."
Sarah Silverman(Credit: AP / Jack Plunkett)
From her memorable (as in, burned into our brains forever) turn in "The Aristocrats" to her equally blue standup, her voice work ("Bob's Burgers") to many film and TV ("The Sarah Silverman Program"), Silverman long ago established herself as a voice for those straddling the Gen X-Gen Y divide.
Amy Schumer(Credit: Jason Kempin)
Long Island native Amy Schumer was voted both "Class Clown" and "Teacher's Worst Nightmare" at South Side High School in Rockville Centre.
Melissa McCarthy(Credit: AP/ invision / Chris Pizzello)
Melissa McCarthy is the star of ABC's "Mike and Molly." She gained a great deal of recognition as a comedian for her role "Bridesmaids," which led her to star in more comedy films including "The Heat," "The Hangover Part III," and "Tammy."
Julia Louis-Dreyfus(Credit: AP / Invision / Richard Shotwell)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is known for her work on "Seinfeld" as Elaine Benes, "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Veep." She got her start as a member of the cast of "Saturday Night Live" from 1982 to 1985.
Kristen Wiig(Credit: AP / Invision / Jordan Strauss)
Kristen Wiig is well known for her work on sketch comedy series, "Saturday Night Live," as well as hit movies "Knocked Up" and "Bridesmaids."
Joan Rivers(Credit: AP, Invision / Evan Agostini)
Joan Rivers, who died in September 2014 at age 81, came to fame in the '60s as a frequent guest host of "The Tonight Show," before launching her own "Late Show" in the '80s. A busy lady up until her death, she hosted E!'s "Fashion Police," starred in the reality series "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?," and produced a YouTube talk show "In Bed with Joan," in between performing stand-up and writing books, including her last memoir, "Diary of a Mad Diva."
Amy Poehler(Credit: AP / Invision / Brad Barket)
Amy Poehler launched her comedy career with improv and became a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" from 2000 to 2008. She is now most well known for her work starring in the sitcom she created, "Parks and Recreation."