Women of Comedy at the Box Office

Monday, September 1, 2014

The fact that women can be as funny as – if not funnier – than men seems to be just recently coming to the attention of Hollywood execs

Contributed By - Elizabeth Eckhart

Now, we’re seeing a stream of female-centric comedies, and new leading ladies are finally receiving the attention they deserve. Of course, it has be a long road to get to today, where female driven comedies can bring box office numbers as big as their male counterparts. So, let’s take a look at some of the revolutionary ladies who changed the game (and made us laugh until we cried):

Wanda Sykes - Primarily known as the too-sassy-for-her-own-good sidekick in a variety of films, Sykes’ brand of humor is brutally honest and refreshing. In addition to a successful career doing stand up and television, she’s appeared in numerous films, such as Evan Almighty, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, and License to Wed – all of which have numerous scenes stolen by the tiny dynamo. Sykes is also a trailblazer for both black women and members of the LGBT community. When she was hired as the featured entertainer at the 2009 White House Correspondents Dinner, she was the first black woman and the first openly gay person to ever be asked to do so.

Jane Lynch - a walking display of what hard work, determination, and drive can do. After nearly 20 years as a struggling comedian and actress, she finally began to break into the big time in the early and mid 00’s, thanks to films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Best In Show, Role Models, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Of course, her biggest break came when she nabbed the part of the evil Coach Sue Sylvester in Glee. Her star has steadily been on the rise: today, she currently hosts NBC’s Hollywood Game Night. Her career trajectory is going nowhere but up, and at the age of 54, she is a prime example of how it’s never too late to chase your dreams.

Whoopi Goldberg - Although Whoopi originally started as a Broadway actress in The Color Purple, she soon caught the eye of Steven Spielberg, who then cast her in the film adaptation of the play in 1985. It was her first film role and she landed an Oscar nomination – not too shabby! From there, she bounced between comedic and dramatic roles including Ghost, The Long Walk Home, Sister Act (1 & 2), How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and Girl, Interrupted. In 1990 she became the first black woman to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress since Hattie McDaniel won for Gone with the Wind in 1939. A few years later, in 1994, she became the first black woman to host the Academy Awards, an honor she was given an additional three times in later years.

Tina Fey - Currently one of the most popular and beloved female comedians of today, Tina Fey is another fantastic alum of Saturday Night Live. After joining the cast in 1998, she gradually became one of the show’s biggest stars and head writer. However, the world only noticed her incredible potential after 2004’s Mean Girls, which she both wrote and co-starred in. After leaving SNL in 2006, NBC was quick to give her a show of her own, 30 Rock, which she helped created, write, executive produce and even starred in. While running her own show, she also found time to crack us up in films like Baby Mama, Date Night, The Invention of Lying, Admission, and Muppets Most Wanted. If you’re in the mood to laugh until you cry, she’s your best bet, and thankfully you can watch many of her old SNL episodes online or on demand.

Amy Poehler - You can’t mention Tina Fey without mentioning her partner in crime, both of these hilarious women got their start on SNL, and have been propelled from the series to their own shows on the network. Amy stars in and produces Parks & Recreation, a highly recommended show, and has had numerous roles in film, including Mean Girls, Baby Mama and Blades of Glory. The dynamic duo of Fey and Poehler cemented their status as comedy’s golden girls after they killed it hosting the 2014 Golden Globes. They did such a fantastic job that the 2014 broadcast hit a 10 year high in the 18-49 demographic, and landed them an invitation to come back and do it again in 2015.

 As you can see, the ladies are certainly showing the men they have some comedic competition. Even the new girls on the block, like Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, are furthering this progress with their own brand of outrageous humor and undeniable charisma.

Truly, it is only a matter of time before major studios backing female driven comedies becomes the norm instead of the exception, and we have these ladies to thank for that!

Elizabeth Eckhart is an entertainment and film writer born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She loves comedies, as well as period dramas and epics! Twitter:@elizeckhart

While You're Here

Check out Elizabeth's past contribution to Tinsel & Tine - Review of Obvious Child

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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