Today is Tina Fey’s birthday! Happy Birthday Tina!!! Though her masterpiece of a sitcom, 30 Rock, ended earlier this year, Fey is far from out of the spotlight. Her movie Admission came out, she filmed a cameo for Anchorman 2 (arguably the most anticipated sequel in the history of time), and announced she may be trying to bring Mean Girls to the Broadway stage as a musical (I am so excited for “Stop Trying to Make Fetch Happen,” the song).
Now, there are not too many people out there who will reach the success level of Fey. She has won tons of Emmys for writing as well as acting, SAG awards, Golden Globes, and the Mark Twain Prize for Humor. She was the first female head writer at Saturday Night Live; she created, produced, starred on and wrote 30 Rock; she was universally praised for hosting the Golden Globe Awards with her friend Amy Poehler; and she has written the best-seller, Bossypants. That’s a lot to live up to. But we have our eye on a few ladies who we think may come close.
1. Rebel Wilson
Though she isn’t quite a household name yet (my colleague asked me if this was Owen Wilson’s daughter when I said her name), you will soon know her name. After stealing the show from a lot of other funny ladies in Bridesmaids, work has been very steady for Wilson. She actually did steal the show in everyone’s favorite a capella competition comedy, Pitch Perfect, and in What to Expect When You’re Expecting. You may even see her in the next Hunger Games film. But this fall you will be able to see her once a week on a new show, produced by Conan O’Brien, called Super Fun Nights. Wilson is calling the show the “anti-Sex & the City” (watch below). Like Fey, Wilson writes, is a decent host (the MTV Movie Awards), and isn’t afraid to take a risk. Why, she took the role of “Fat Amy” in Pitch Perfect despite the name: “I know, I pick up the roles other actresses don’t want [laughs]. When there’s movies where there are two sisters and one’s the uglier sister, there’s always no actress that wants to go for it. I’m like, why not! They’re the best roles!”
2. Ellie Kemper
Princeton grad Ellie Kemper didn’t join The Office until 2009 but she made a place once she got there. As sweet and naive Erin, she earned a place in our hearts and definitely held her own, humor-wise, against some of the giants in that cast. She also co-starred in Bridesmaids and 21 Jump Street. Kemper recently wrote a satirical piece for GQ‘s Comedy Issue in which she posed the never-asked question, “Can men be funny?” She wrote:
“Please don’t think that I am arguing that all men are humorless. There are some extremely acceptable male comedians out there: Joel Osteen, Abraham Lincoln, the man who played Phil Spector in HBO’s Phil Spector. But even those guys, while insightful and amusing, aren’t exactly funny. Hell, half of Lincoln’s comedy comes from being so tall! And the truth is, when I think of those three men, and then I think of just about any woman—let’s use Cathy Guisewite of the comic strip Cathy as our example—I don’t even have to think anymore. Has any one of those men ever uttered anything even close to the zings that fly swiftly, sharply, and uproariously from Cathy’s chocolate-loving mouth? Game over.”
She certainly has the writing chops of Fey. We can’t wait to see what she does.
3. Mindy Kaling
“Do you know when I die, in my will, I leave all of my money to Tina Fey?” —Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project
Kaling, who got her big start writing for The Office and playing the hilarious Kelly Kapoor, has proved to everyone this year that she can carry her own show with The Mindy Project, which she created and stars in. Kaling also wrote a hilarious book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and has managed to fit in a few films here and there. This girl is well on her way to reaching Tina potential.
4. Amy Schumer
“My girlfriends are my best friends. I can tolerate guy time, listening to fantasy football or Call of Duty talk, but I hands down prefer being with the ladies—hanging out, questioning our parents’ skills, or dressing incognito to see Twilight or Spring Breakers. Yes, I’ve seen them all.” —Amy Schumer
Though she has been working the stand-up circuit for years, Schumer is really about to have her moment. Her new Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer, premiered to 1.6 million viewers. It was the network’s strongest debut of 2013, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And frankly, it makes me laugh out loud. Schumer’s take on those crazy things women do is really brilliant in my opinion (her recent sketch on how women can’t take a compliment EVER is amazing). You are going to be hearing a lot more from this lady.
5. Jen Kirkman
The cliffs notes version for Jennifer Ann “Jen” Kirkman is that she is an American stand-up comedian, television writer, and actress, best known for the comedy series Drunk History on HBO, and her regular appearances on late-night talk show Chelsea Lately and its spin-off, After Lately. But what should be highlighted is that Kirkman is kind of the Gloria Steinem of women in comedy. Last year she encouraged male comedians into standing up for their female peers. She is also the founder of girlcomic.net, a website that encourages girls to write funny stories by sharing articles and interviews by famous female comedians. Plus, in a bold move, she wrote a book this year, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids, about why she doesn’t want to have children.
6. Kelly Oxford
This social media maven (she has over 500,000 Twitter followers, including many celebrities) just sold a script to Warner Bros. and two TV pilots to different networks, and published her first book, Everything Is Perfect When You’re a Liar. Not too shabby for a woman who simply started off just blogging every day as a mother of two in Calgary, Canada. Jimmy Kimmel, who started off as a friend and is now a follower, said of Oxford, “Not only is Kelly Oxford hilarious, she is consistently hilarious. Her tweets make me laugh several times a day. I can only assume that she is neglecting her children.”
Who are your favorite funny ladies? Tell us in the comments!
Ask Kate White, Former Editor-In-Chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, who her favorite female comedians are!