I recently caught Trainwreck at the theater and despite not knowing a single thing about Amy Schumer other than she has some show I never watch on Comedy Central, I thought the movie was incredibly funny and unexpectedly heartfelt. It got me thinking about all the other female comics out there that have made a name for themselves and connecting with movie audiences on an unforeseen level. I’ve got four examples for you after the break.
The most obvious of the bunch, Fey has been on a roll since her days on SNL, breaking into the movie scene with Mean Girls, arguably one of the more popular high school teenage girl-focused comedies since Clueless. After that, Tina Fey has continued to put out hugely successful content mostly in the TV space (30 Rock, the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Golden Globe hosting duty) but also taking her share of the big screen (Muppets Most Wanted, This is Where I Leave You, upcoming Sisters).
With the lead role and a screenwriter credit under her belt for Trainwreck, I’m excited to see what is going to come next for Schumer. She’s already proven herself as a comic lead in her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer, so the future looks very bright for more potential big screen opportunities, starting with a mother-daughter comedy that will see her kidnapped in Brazil.
Another SNL veteran, Wiig made a huge splash with her screenwriting debut Bridesmaids, which netted almost $200M globally and helped bring other female comedians into the spotlight like Ellie Kemper (the Office, the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Maya Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy (who I’ll get to shortly). Since then, she’s done tons of roles, both comedic and dramatic, including voice work for kids movies (Despicable Me 1/2, How to Train Your Dragon 1/2) and will be starring alongside Zach Galifinakis in the upcoming Masterminds.
An unstoppable force both onscreen and at the box office, McCarthy’s brashly hilarious supporting role in Bridesmaids earned her a ton of movie attention as a female comedy actor. She’s had a pretty impressive streak in terms of receipts: 3 out of 4 of the movies she starred in have broken $100M (Identity Thief, The Heat, and Spy). As if that wasn’t enough, her CBS sitcom Mike and Molly was just renewed for another season, and she’s been cast in the next Ghostbusters reboot along with Kristen Wiig.
The future is looking bright, but I know I’ve missed a few. Comment below with female comedians you think deserve a spot or ones you think will make it big soon!