If you haven’t watched the most recent Saturday Night Live episode yet, I highly recommend it. Not only did it get great reviews, but the show finally highlighted the talent of Melissa McCarthy.
If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, Wait, she was on Gilmore Girls. Why is she only becoming so famous now??
It’s great to see that she’s finally getting the recognition she deserves, along with the roles to continue showing her comedic talents. McCarthy and other comediennes are appearing more in the media within the past decade, which is a great encouragement to those women who are just starting out and are still considered unknowns. Tina Fey released an autobiography, Amy Poehler is the star of Parks and Recreation, and Jane Lynch is still ruling the halls of Glee.
But I ask you—where are the other comediennes?
There are plenty of lead female cast members on TV, in films, and in writing. However, it seems to me that there still aren’t enough. Quick—how many standup comedians can you name that are women? If your answer is low, then you’re not alone.
HuffPo came out with a list of 54 funny women, but I was surprised to find that I only knew 17 of them. Maybe I don’t watch enough of Comedy Central, or maybe the media needs to do a better job of showing off these women. Also, whenever you look up the all-time greatest comedians, at most there are one or two women in the top ten. This then becomes an issue of not balancing the coverage. The talent is clearly out there, but, like Melissa McCarthy, many of them are only starting to get recognized, but not recognized enough.
Of course, there are always naysayers–Amy Sedaris, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Chelsea Handler, and Ellen DeGeneres are still loved by the public and get plenty of promotion for their works. We’ve come a long way in comedy history, especially when remembering that there were only three women on the first SNL cast (Jane Curtain, Laraine Newman, and the late Gilda Radner).
Unfortunately, female comedians represent a small minority in the world of comedy. The media can do more to promote other female comedians, especially those who are a part of writing staffs, standup comedy, and touring groups (The Second City, anyone?). Besides, the world could always benefit from more comedy, and women definitely have more to add.