The world’s funniest women

With Miranda Hart showcasing her talents in an Issue 100 special for Stylist this week and stars such as Kristen Wiig and Tina Fey storming the comedy scene on the other side of the pond, there's never been a better time for female comedians to shine. In fact, to paraphrase British stand-up Josie Long, "there are s***loads of funny women." Below, we've selected just a few of our favourite witty women of the moment - along with their very best wisecracks. Read on for jokes from the most hilarious female stand-ups on the block...

(P.S. It's by far a conclusive guide, so please do let us know your thoughts on anyone we've missed out in the comments section below or on Twitter)

Picture credit: Rex Features

  • Joan Rivers

    "I blame my mother for my poor sex life. All she told me was, 'the man goes on top and the woman underneath'. For three years my husband and I slept on bunk beds."

  • Chelsea Handler

    "I think we can all agree that sleeping around is a great way to meet people."

  • Tina Fey

    "I never dreamed I would receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, mostly because my style is so typically Austrian."

  • Amy Poehler

    "I want to go on the record and say I have never urinated in public. But the night is still young."

  • Sarah Silverman

    "Strippers should be role-models for little girls. If only for the fact that they wax their assholes."

  • Victoria Wood

    "I looked up the symptoms of pregnancy ... moody, irritable, big bosoms ... I've obviously been pregnant for thirty-six years."

  • Shappi Khorhandi

    "For exiled Iranian writers, the closest thing we have to a literary award is a fatwah"

  • Wanda Sykes

    "The quickest way to a woman's heart is through her clit."

  • Lucy Porter

    "Playing poker online is like being mugged without the company."

  • Margaret Cho

    "I have not had sex in almost two years. And I think once you hit two years, you get your virginity back… I’m going to just have to trick somebody into doing it. I’m going to have to cover with leaves and hope somebody falls in."

  • Ellen DeGeneres

    "My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is."

  • Kathy Griffin

    (On Angelina Jolie) "She's got the lips that look like an inflamed anus. Alright, I know that's sexy to a lot of guys. But have you ever had a haemorrhoid? 'Cause that's what it looks like."

  • Whoopi Goldberg

    "I don't look like Halle Berry. But chances are, she's going to end up looking like me."

  • Josie Long

    (on Edinburgh festival) "You arrive at the station, full of anticipation and confidence, and then you get the s**t kicked out of you for a month. And that's if it's a good year. It's brilliant."

  • Maysoon Zayid

    "I think it should be the goal of every Arab man to marry one of the Bush twins"

  • Roseanne Barr

    "Experts say you should never hit your children in anger. When is a good time? When you're feeling festive?"

  • Laura Solon

    "Colleagues is a businessy way of saying 'not friends.'"

  • Amy Schumer

    "The way that these girls keep themselves skinny is awful, isn't it? By vomiting or using hard drugs -- which I can't afford."

  • Dawn French

    "I am not, I repeat, not a lesbian - even though I'd like to be one when I grow up."

  • Zoe Lyons

    "I went on a girls' night out recently. The invitation said 'dress to kill'. I went as Rose West."

  • Caroline Rhea

    "I'm so sick of these men who just talk about themselves. I'm looking for a well-hung mime."

  • Gina Yashere

    Unlikely things for a weather forecaster to say:

    "What are you looking at me for? Look out the f***ing window!"

  • Sarah Millican

    "My mother told me, you don’t have to put anything in your mouth you don’t want to. Then she made me eat broccoli, which felt like double standards."

  • Kristen Wiig

    (on the process of filming Bridesmaids) "I guess when they (the actors) had to puke on each others hair I felt a little bit bad. But they actually liked it. It was fun! We made them really vomit."

  • Shazia Mirza

    "People ask me why does your mother walk five steps behind your father, and I said well, he looks better from behind."

  • Sandra Bernhard

    (On breast implants) "They leak, you know, once you get them in there. Sometimes they leak the fluid out which is lovely. And then you can't fly in the Concorde because they explode. So, forget going to the moon or Paris -- course, they're both the same, so you know...."

  • Paula Poundstone

    "My mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, 'Mom, they weren’t trying to teach you how to swim.'"

  • Miranda Hart

    (Walking through a graveyard) "Oh it was mortifying. Wish the ground could have swallowed me up."

  • Maya Rudolph

    "I think I’m 25 months pregnant. [I'm due in] two more months … in dog years, so that’s 25. Honestly, because it’s my third, I feel like I’ve been pregnant for like six years, seriously."

  • Aubrey Plaza

    "I like Facebook. I have some issues with it though... I think it's skirting around some issues; it just needs to get to the point sometimes - y'know, like poking. I think instead of poking people we should just be able to f**k them. That's what we're really doing isn't it."

  • Jo Brand

    "Let's at least have a useful Barbie – let's have vibrator Barbie."

  • Maria Bamford

    "This is my anxiety song: If I keep the kitchen floor clean, no one will die/as long as I clench my fists at odd intervals, then the darkness within me won't force me to do anything inappropriately violent or sexual at dinner parties/as long as I keep humming the tune, I won't 'turn gay."

  • Katherine Parkinson

    "I always say I owe Lamda (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) so much. It's about 10 grand."

  • Janeane Garofalo

    "I guess I just prefer to see the dark side of things. The glass is always half empty. And cracked. And I just cut my lip on it. And chipped a tooth."

  • Janey Godley

    "I sent my daughter to a private school. That's 73 grand's worth of education, and now she wants to be an actor? So I've asked her to do porn and give me the money back."

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