When it comes to comedy, black female comedians are often overlooked. But these hilarious women have been making us laugh for decades!
From Whoopi Goldberg and Wanda Sykes to Tiffany Haddish and Leslie Jones, here are the best of the best in black female comedy.
Wanda Sykes is an American actress, comedian, and writer who has made appearances on many TV shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and The New Adventures of Old Christine.
She won an Emmy Award for her writing on The Chris Rock Show in 1999 and was the first African-American woman to ever win the award.
Moms Mabley was a stand-up comedian whose career spanned decades—from the 1920s right up until her death in 1975. She was one of the first female comedians to perform regularly at major venues like the Apollo Theater and Carnegie Hall, and she even had her own comedy album. Moms Mabley was a trailblazer for black female comedians everywhere!
LaWanda Page was an actress and comedian best known for her role as Aunt Esther on Sanford & Son. Even off-screen, she continued to make people laugh with her trademark catchphrase: “Watch it now!”
Sommore is a stand-up comedian who has been making audiences laugh since the 1990s. Her hilarious jokes have earned her multiple awards including the Richard Pryor Comic of the Year Award.
Luenell Campbell, better known simply as Luenell, is an actress and stand-up comedian who has appeared in movies like Borat and Hotel Transylvania 3. She was also the first female comic to appear on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam and even toured with Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam Tour.
Saturday Night Live alum Leslie Jones is a force to be reckoned with! Her hilarious sketches have earned her multiple Emmy nominations, and she recently returned to the show in 2020 after a four year hiatus.
Adele Givens is an American stand-up comedian known for her appearances on TV shows such as The Steve Harvey Show and Martin. She was also the first black female comedian to appear on Def Jam Comedy, and her outrageous jokes have earned her a spot in comedy history.
Tiffany Haddish is an American comedian, actress, writer, and producer whose career has skyrocketed in recent years. Her hilarious turns in movies like Girls Trip and Like a Boss have made her one of the most sought-after comics out there!
Whoopi Goldberg is one of the most iconic comedians of all time! She’s won multiple Emmy Awards for her stand-up specials and appearances on TV shows like The View. Her film credits are vast, but some of her most memorable roles include Sister Act and Ghost.
Maya Rudolph is an American actress and comedian best known for her hilarious turns on Saturday Night Live. She also starred alongside Kristen Wiig in the beloved comedy movie Bridesmaids, which earned her an Emmy nomination.
Comedian Sheryl Underwood is well-known for her appearances on The Talk and CBS This Morning. She’s also appeared in movies like Beauty Shop and was even nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.
Mo’Nique is an American stand-up comedian who’s been making people laugh since the 1990s. She’s won an Academy Award for her role in Precious and has appeared in movies like Phat Girlz and Almost Christmas.
Marsha Warfield is a former stand-up comedian who’s best known for her role as Roz Russell, the bailiff on the TV series Night Court. She also made appearances on shows like Roseanne, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Drew Carey Show.
Niecy Nash is an actress, comedian, producer, and host. She’s best known for her roles on Reno 911!, Getting On, Scream Queens, and Claws—all of which have earned her multiple Emmy nominations!
Kim Coles is an American stand-up comedian who made waves in the late 1980s with appearances on Fox’s In Living Color and MTV’s Half Hour Comedy Hour. She went on to star in the popular sitcom Living Single and was even a contestant on The Weakest Link.
Marla Gibbs is a beloved actress who rose to fame as Florence Johnston, the sassy maid from The Jeffersons. She also starred alongside Sherman Hemsley in the spinoff series Checking In.
Issa Rae is a producer, writer, and actress whose career has been on the rise since her breakout hit web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl debuted in 2011. She’s starred in a number of films including Little and The Hate U Give.
Actor and comedian Kim Wayans is best known for her hilarious roles on shows like In Living Color and My Wife and Kids. She’s also appeared in films like Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood and A Haunted House 2.
Yvette Nicole Brown
Yvette Nicole Brown is an American actress and comedian, and host who’s best known for her roles on the sitcoms Community and Mike & Molly. She’s also appeared in films like A Haunted House 2 and The Ugly Truth.
Quinta Brunson is an American actor, writer, producer, and stand-up comedian. She’s best known for her hilarious roles on shows like Buzzfeed Unsolved: Supernatural and Alternatino with Arturo Castro.
Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee Ellis Ross is an actress and comedian best known for her starring role as Rainbow Johnson on Black-ish. She’s also hosted the 2018 American Music Awards ceremony and has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards.
Jackée Harry is an American actress and comedian best known for her roles on sitcoms like Sister, Sister and 227. She’s also the first African-American woman to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series!
Melanie Comarcho is one of the hottest comedians out there right now—she’s been featured as a guest star on Last Comic Standing and Comedy Central Presents: Melanie Comarcho. She’s also appeared in films like The Comebacks and Think Like a Man Too.
Nicole Byer is an actress, stand-up comedian, writer, producer, and host. She’s best known for her roles on shows like Girl Code and Loosely Exactly Nicole and her Emmy-nominated Netflix series Nailed It!
Kym Whitley is an American actress and comedian who’s starred in a number of films including Fun with Dick and Jane, Beauty Shop, and The Boondocks. She’s also been featured as the voice of different characters on The Cleveland Show.
The Funniest Black Female Comedians You Need to See
The aforementioned female comedians have made huge contributions to comedy over the years and are some of the most influential black female comedians ever. They all deserve recognition for their talent, hard work, dedication—and let’s not forget those Emmy nominations!
Thanks to these amazing women, the comedy is a genre that continues to be enriched and celebrated. I’m sure plenty of them will have their own Netflix specials soon!