Proof that women are funny
- Next1 of 10NBC/Photofest
- Previous Next2 of 10Julia Sweeney: Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
- Previous Next3 of 10Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Fred Hermansky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
- Previous Next4 of 10Maya Rudolph: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
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- Previous Next7 of 10Kristen Wig: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
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Funny Girls1 of 10
By Denise Wolfe
A 2011 study may have found that men are funnier than women (though just barely), but it also showed that men just think they're funnier than women. In honor of Saturday Night Live's 37th birthday (it originally aired on Oct. 11, 1975), Glo counts down the nine funniest women from the show's history—and proving, once and for all, that women are just as funny as (and maybe funnier than) men.
One of a Kind2 of 10
Julia Sweeney joined SNL in 1990, and one of her creations—Pat—overshadowed everything else she ever did on the show. Snuffling, unappealing, androgynous Pat was as creepy as s/he was mystifying. After four seasons of feeling underutilized by SNL, Sweeney quit—only to face personal traumas: Her brother died of lymphoma, after which she herself was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Sweeney poured her emotions into a one-woman show, God Said Ha!, which went to Broadway.
She's Winning3 of 10
Admit it: How many of you remember that Julia Louis-Dreyfus was once on SNL? She was, from 1982 to 1985. It wasn't until 1990 that her role as Elaine on Seinfeld secured her place in the pantheon of female comedians. Now on Veep, she plays Vice President Selina Meyer and recently took home an Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series, proving that this girl has still got it.
Making an Impression4 of 10
In 2000, Maya Rudolph joined SNL and unleashed her dead-on impressions (like Oprah and Donatella Versace). Rudolph's relaxed, down-to-earth humor made it easy for her to take on a more "conventional" role in Away We Go, before going on to play a bride-to-be in Bridesmaids, working with Kristen Wiig in what became the highest-grossing R-rated female comedy of all time.
Good Golly5 of 10
During her six seasons on SNL, Molly Shannon became well known for her endlessly inventive comic characters, most memorably, Mary Katherine Gallagher, the nerdy Catholic schoolgirl. Her over-the-top antics may have been cringe-worthy at times, but Shannon managed to capture the realness even in her most outrageous roles. Since SNL, the actress has shined in cameos and guest-starring roles, both on the big screen and TV.
Straight Talk6 of 10
One of the original cast members of SNL in 1975, Jane Curtin excelled at playing the low-key, straight-laced foil to other players, such as Gilda Radner and John Belushi. When she left SNL in 1980, she stayed in television and found Emmy-winning success in two long-running shows, Kate & Allie and 3rd Rock From the Sun. Curtin now co-stars in The Librarian, a series of movies on cable TV, still playing the best straight woman on the small screen since Mary Tyler Moore.
Wiig-ing Out7 of 10
Kristen Wiig had already starred in films and on TV when SNL came calling in 2007. She did a scary-good impression of Kathy Lee Gifford and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But it was when Wiig co-wrote and co-starred in Bridesmaids that she shot into the stratosphere. Movie executives seemed shocked that a raunchy but sweet female-driven comedy could be so successful, but audiences knew all along that anything by or with Wiig was bound to be funny.
The Poehlercoaster8 of 10
After joining the show in 2001, Amy Poehler was promoted from featured player to full cast member that same year—the first comedian to achieve that since Eddie Murphy. Along with her spot-on celebrity impersonations (like Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sharon Osbourne), Poehler created memorable characters and, along with Fey, co-anchored the first all-female team in the history of Weekend Update. The versatile actress now cracks us up as city councilwoman Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation.
Something Else9 of 10
When SNL first aired in 1975, Gilda Radner became an instant star. Among her beloved creations were hard-of-hearing Emily Litella (confusing "Soviet Jewry" with "Jewelry"), brassy Roseanne Roseannadanna, nerdy Lisa Loopner (who can forget "noogies"?), and speech-impeded Baba Wawa (a thinly veiled Barbara Walters). Leaving SNL in 1980, she married Gene Wilder and wrote her autobiography, It's Always Something. Sadly, Radner died of ovarian cancer at age 42, but her endearing (and enduring) wit continues to inspire.
Write On!10 of 10
Tina Fey made history when she became the first female head writer of Saturday Night Live in 1999. Her resemblance to Sarah Palin—and her uncanny impression—secured her a place in history. After SNL, Fey branched out to movies (Mean Girls and Baby Mama, the latter with close friend and fellow SNL alumna Amy Poehler), television (30 Rock, a behind-the-scenes look at a sketch comedy show suspiciously like SNL), and a book (best-selling autobiography Bossypants). While her 30 Rock alter-ego Liz Lemon may be awkward and insecure, Fey seems to have it all under control.