10 Female Comedians More Successful Than Amy Schumer

10 Female Comedians More Successful Than Amy Schumer

Just when Amy Schumer makes a mess of things, she returns to social media and makes it even messier. She was already poking the hornet’s nest with her vocal outrage around the situation in Israel and Gaza. Then she decided to fire back at her critics with a message on Instagram.

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The latest comment to really rile people up? (It’s on the second slide in that post.) “People calling me a failed comic. I’m the most successful female comedian of all time.”

To say Schumer’s claim is debatable is probably giving it too much credit. Schumer is indeed a very successful comic. Inside Amy Schumer won a Peabody Award. Her movie Trainwreck was a bonafide hit. Her book The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo was a New York Times best seller. She’s been nominated for Tonys, Grammys and Golden Globes. No personal wins, but still. That’s a pretty wow career by any standard.

But “the most successful female comedian of all time”? Off the top of my head, I can think of at least ten others who have more impressive credentials than Schumer’s. There’s no way that she’s more “successful” than any of these funny women.

Lucile Ball

Practically invented the sitcom — and did invent the three-camera method of filming them. Five Emmy Awards to go with 13 nominations. Schumer was nominated for a Golden Globe — the Globes gave Ball the Cecil B. DeMille Award. Throw in the Television Hall of Fame, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Emmy’s Governor Award … and we’re barely scratching the surface. 

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

More Primetime Emmy Awards and more Screen Actors Guild Awards than any other performer ever, male or female. Both Seinfeld and Veep made more of a cultural dent than Inside Amy Schumer.

Carol Burnett

Broke new ground for women by becoming one of the first to host a variety show, which also happened to dominate ratings and awards for half a decade. Nominations are nice, but Burnett actually won six Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, a Grammy Award, and seven Golden Globe Awards. 

Tina Fey

Went from being a performer and the head writer on Saturday Night Live to creating one of the most successful network sitcoms of the 21st century. We’ll see your Trainwreck and raise you one Mean Girls

Roseanne Barr

Yeah, she’s had a rough patch but Roseanne’s titular sitcom was groundbreaking, not only for its depiction of lower-middle-class life but for having a woman calling all the shots. She won all the awards while 35 million people tuned in to watch. More people watched comedy shows back then? Even the show’s 2018 revival averaged 18 million viewers — at its peak, Schumer’s Comedy Central show had 1.6 million. 

Joan Rivers

There is no Amy Schumer (or Sarah Silverman or Kathy Griffin, etc.) without Joan Rivers. She was a pioneer in late-night comedy, first as Johnny Carson’s permanent fill-in host and then eventually as his competition. During a time when men dominated the stand-up comedy world, Rivers stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the best they could offer. 

Whoopi Goldberg

One of only 18 people in history to earn the EGOT, winning Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards for her comedic efforts. How’s that for success?

Lily Tomlin

Tomlin’s only an Oscar away from her own EGOT, and she’s been nominated for that one too. The gold standard for hip women doing smart stand-up in the 1970s and a bonafide movie star (Nashville, Nine to Five, All of Me) to boot.

Amy Poehler

Is Schumer even the most successful female comedian named Amy? You could argue that Inside Amy Schumer was a bigger deal than Parks and Recreation (you’d be wrong), but what about Poehler’s run on Saturday Night Live? Her own best-selling book? And oh by the way, Poehler was one of the founders of Upright Citizens Brigade, an institution whose alumni include Aubrey Plaza, Paul Scheer, Ellie Kemper, Sasheer Zamata and Ben Schwartz. 

Is Amy Schumer a good comedian? You bet. But the best female comedian of all time? Schumer still has a long way to go to even get into the discussion.

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