feministcomedians e2535

16 Feminist Comedians To Watch Instead Of Yet Another Straight White Dude

by Zoë Naseef

Male comedians get an average of 85% of stage time, according to Bitch Media—but are they 85% funnier than female comics? (Of course not!) There are plenty of feminist comedians breaking down barriers that we should be paying attention to, and here’s 16 of them. 

Aparna Nancherla

Nancherla, named one of “The 50 Funniest People Right now” by Rolling Stone, is an absurdist comedian whose humor is dry, existential, and often addresses mental illness. She is currently playing Grace, an HR rep, in the Comedy Central show Corporate. Her other notable TV appearances include Two Dope Queens on HBO and being the voice of Hollyhock on the most recent season of Bojack Horseman. For more Aparna, check out her album, Just Putting It Out There, released by Tig Notaro’s label, or watch her half-hour special.

Phoebe Robinson 

Phoebe Robinson is best known for hosting the podcast Two Dope Queens with Jessica Williams, as well as the podcast Sooo Many White Guys, which is produced by Ilana Glazer. Robinson combines her humor and wit with commentary on race, gender, and representation. Her book You Can’t Touch My Hair And Other Things I Still Have To Explain goes in depth about race and gender in pop culture. Her new book Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay is coming out in October. And most importantly, she once liked my Instagram post.

Patti Harrison 

Patti is a transgender comedian, actor, and writer based in Brooklyn. She often uses deadpan and satirical humor to make political commentary. She’s been on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Search Party, The Chris Gethard Show, and Broad City. She has also done work for MTV, Comedy Central, Billboard, and more. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, she said, “You have to sort of be the ambassador to your community, whether you agree to it or not.”

Deanne Smith 

Deanne is a stand-up comedian, podcaster, and writer. She has performed at comedy festivals all over the world and been on TV in four countries including Last Comic Standing NBC, Canada’s The Comedy Network, Australia’s Channel 10, and UK’s Sky TV. Her humor is smart, charming, and delightfully queer.

Sofia Hagen 

Sofie is a Danish-born, London-based feminist comedian and former host of The Guilty Feminist podcast. She has spoken out about sexism in comedy spaces, and how she became a feminist through becoming a comedian. She runs a blog in which she writes about sex, feminism, fatness, and comedy. She also tours around the world to comedy festivals to share her sassy take on feminism.

Cameron Esposito 

Cameron’s most recent special Rape Jokes reclaimed rape jokes to tell them from the perspective of a survivor. She is an LA-based standup, actor, and writer who has appeared on channels such as NBC, CBS, Comedy Central, etc., and tours nationally as a headliner. She also co-hosts Put Your Hands Together, a weekly live show at Upright Citizens Brigade in LA, and co-stars in Take My Wife with her actual wife, Rhea Butcher.

Rhea Butcher 

The other half of Put Your Hands Together and Take My Wife who also has notable comedic accomplishes. Rhea is non-binary and uses their comedy to talk about feminism, vegetarianism, experiences with gender expression, and their love of baseball. Esposito and Butcher used their shared stage/screen time to further explore feminists themes, including sexual assault and the #MeToo movement.

Nicole Byer 

Nicole has been calling out sexism and racism throughout her career as an actress, comedian, and podcaster. She is currently the host of Netflix original series Nailed It and her podcast Why Won’t You Date Me. She has also been on Girl Code, 30 Rock, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Transparent, Lady Dynamite, and more. Her webseries Pursuit of Sexiness– cohosted by Sasheer Zamata- delivered raunchy, sexy, fun. She now has a show called Loosely Exactly Nicole available on Facebook Watch.

Sasheer Zamata 

Named one of the 10 Funniest Women in NYC by Time Out, Sasheer was a cast member on SNL for four seasons. She has also appeared on Inside Amy Schumer, Transparent, This American Life, and as a voiceover for Bojack Horseman. She currently serves as the Celebrity Ambassader for Women’s Rights for the ACLU, in addition to hosting a variety show called Sasheer Zamata Party Time. You can also watch her stand up special Pizza Mind on Amazon, or listen to it on iTunes or Spotify.

Kath Barbadoro 

Kath is a comedian, writer, TV personality and podcaster. Her podcasts include What A Time To Be Alive, Wrestlesplania, and Lie, Cheat, & Steal. She has been on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle and was a correspondent for the CW’s ATX Uncensored(ish). Her humor is smart, subversive, and socialist. 

Mae Martin 

British-Canadian writer and comedian Mae Martin recently won a Canadian Screen Award for her writing on the all-female comedy series Baroness Von Sketch Show. She was also nominated for a BBC Audio Drama Award for her Radio 4 series- Mae Martin’s Guide to 21st Century SexualityShe focuses a lot of her quippy humor on gender and sexuality. 

Marina Franklin 

Marina has been around the comedy scene for a while both as a TV actor and a touring comedian around the world. Her TV appearances include HBO’s Crashing, Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, Chapelle’s Show, Conan O’Brien, and Women Who Kill. She was also in the blockbuster movie Trainwreck. To top it all off, her “white girl” impression is uncanny.

Michelle Buteau 

Michelle brings sass, perspective, and charm to every topic she covers. She tours colleges, comedy clubs, and festivals, as well as hosts the podcast Late Night, Whenever!. You can also watch her specials on Netflix and Comedy Central

Tig Notaro 

Tig is a comic, writer, radio personal, and actor from Mississippi. Her deadpan humor and witty commentary on the world brought her a wide audience. Tig received Grammy Award nominations for Best Comedy Album for her albums Live and Boyish Girl Interrupted. She continues to use her platform to speak out about injustice and performs at benefits.

Ali Wong

Ali was put on the map from her breakout Netflix special Baby Cobra which premiered on Mother’s Day in 2016. She has since done a second stand up special while pregnant- Hard Knock Wife. She is executive producing and voicing the co-lead in an upcoming Netflix animation Tuca and Bertie. Her fresh takes on pregnancy and motherhood resonated with so many people that she became the first artist to sell out 8 shows at the SF Masonic Theater.

Robin Thede

In 2015, Robin became the first black woman to be the head writer on a late-night show with her work on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. She is now the star of her own late-night show, The Rundown, which premieres on BET. This makes her the only black woman in late-night in which she brings a unique and hilarious perspective to current events. Read more about her from her interview with BUST.

Come to BUST’s 25th anniversay party to see Patti Harrison, Phoebe Robinson, and Michelle Buteau perform live! Get tickets here. 

Top Image: Sasheer Zamata by Zac DeZon, Aparna Nancherla from her bio, Michelle Buteau by Gijs van der Most

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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