These women make smart and funny cool. Existing and dominating in the male dominated worlds of comedy and media, these hilarious and brilliant ladies give us funny nerds some hope. These women are not only successful in front of the camera but behind the camera as writers, directors, and producers. The best thing about this particular group of women is their support and love for each other. They don't compete and tear each other down. They constantly gush about each other in interviews and on twitter. Isn't that nice?
It's extremely hard to narrow down why I love them so much but in no particular order, but here's why Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, and Rashida Jones are the top five funny women in media that are kicking ass and taking names.
"Know what, bitches get stuff done." - Tina Fey
Fey is an obvious choice. Comedic powerhouse behind SNL, 30 Rock, Mean Girls and Baby Mama, Fey is responsible for making smart sexy in the mainstream. Her advocacy for women's rights, inspiring and supportive friendships with other female comedians, and pioneering in gender equality in comedy and television prove she deserves to be in every awesome women list.
"I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody's passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn't mind leading." - Amy Poehler
It's impossible to not be madly in love with Amy. She somehow manages to be incredibly smart, sassy, witty, loving and down to earth while acting, writing, directing and producing successful feminist comedy. [phew!] Almost every comedian that has come in contact with her has mentioned how adored she is by EVERYONE. Along with her bestie Tina Fey, Amy despises how women are portrayed in the media and is doing something about it with her side project, Smart Girls at the Party.
Amy is also responsible for transforming the NYC comedy scene by co-founding the Upright Citizens Brigade franchise back in the 90s. And she's at it again, turning popular web series Broad City into a scripted 30 minute TV show on Comedy Central and bringing in some more funny ladies to the male dominated network.
"God, I want a donut." - Mindy Kaling
Mindy's success makes my heart flutter. Ivy league smarty pants Mindy Kaling quickly climbed the Hollywood ladder after her NYC Fringe hit play, Matt and Ben, put her on the map. In her charming book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), Mindy recounts the odd two hour meeting with Greg Daniels that changed her life. After seeing the play and meeting with Kailing, he offered her a writing position for a new TV show he was working on, The Office. She was a mere 24-years-old.
Her age and lack of TV writing experience did not hinder her ambition or confidence. Throughout her Office tenure, she wrote, acted, produced and directed for the hit TV series. Now she is the creator, star and writer of her very own TV show, The Mindy Project. This show is a game changer. Where else on TV will you find a full-figured woman of color starring AND running the show? In The Mindy Project, she defies Indian and female stereotypes to confronts race, body image, relationships and life as a successful working woman, all with the Kaling flair and wit. Outside of her show, she is an advocate for being body positive and confidently shows off her curves and absolute love affair with food.
"Geeks are finally having their day." - Rashida Jones
Fellow lover of the blazer and bi-racial beauty Rashida Jones is another Ivy League smarty pants with lots of accomplishments under her belt that set her apart from her famous family. She's a singer, actress, writer, producer, and the most shocking of all, comic book writer. She is a self-identified "straight up nerd" who wanted to be a lawyer or president growing up.
One of the most inspiring things about her is her struggle growing up as bi-racial. During college she performed in the play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf. She told Women's Health it was a healing experience, "I'm lucky because I have so many clashing cultural, racial things going on: black, Jewish, Irish, Portuguese, Cherokee. I can float and be part of any community I want. The thing is, I do identify with being black, and if people don't identify me that way, that's their issue. I'm happy to challenge people's understanding of what it looks like to be biracial, because guess what? In the next 50 years, people will start looking more and more like me."
"The parts I enjoy playing aren't really available to me. So I have to write them." - Lena Dunham
Lena propelled herself to fame by creating, writing, and starring in HBO hit series, Girls. On the show, she isn't afraid to shatter the boundaries of comfortable TV watching. There's never a dull moment in the lives of Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna. At the beginning stages of her career, Lena has already won many critically acclaimed awards. She even landed a $3.5 million publishing deal for her first book, Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's Learned.
Despite the initial criticism she received for Girls, Dunham is on her way to becoming one of Hollywood's most powerful ladies.
Who else should have made the list? Let me know on Twitter: @adefillo