As they say, “laughter is the best medicine” and Black women have the cure! Among the renaissance of great content from Black people, Black women are reigning! Thankfully, there are so many to choose from, and it was difficult to narrow it down. Check out 14 prominent Black women in comedy that we’re honored to highlight!

In no particular order…

Leslie Jones
Jones is a cast member and writer on Saturday Night Live. She started her stand-up comedy career in college in 1987 when a friend signed her up for a “Funniest Person on Campus” contest. She performed on BET’s ComicView and at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood. She appeared in Chris Rock’s Top Five and made her feature lead-debut in the Ghostbusters reboot.

Amanda Seales
Seales is formerly known by her stage name Amanda Diva and is a recording artist, actress, DJ and radio personality. Her very first film role was in Cop and a Half and has been featured on Nickelodeon’s My Brother and Me, Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam. She has a recurring role in HBO’s Insecure and is the host of Tru TV’s Greatest Ever. Tru TV also recently picked up a pilot for her live comedy game show, Smart Funny & Black. She is the creator and star of Get Your Life, its second season recently picked up by Blavity.

Wanda Sykes
Sykes began her stand-up career at a Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in Washington, D.C. She was as a writer on The Chris Rock Show, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award. She has an extensive film career, including but not limited to Monster-in-Law, Evan Almighty, Rio, Ice Age: Continental Drift and more. Her T.V. credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Will & Grace. She is most recently known for her role in Black-ish.

Issa Rae
Rae was first known as the creator of the YouTube web series Awkward Black Girl. She has developed her own platforms highlighting content created by people of color such as Issa Rae Presents and Color Creative TV. She is the creator, co-writer and star of HBO’s Insecure, which is loosely-based on Awkward Black Girl and earned her a Golden Globe nomination. She was recently honored at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood with the Vanguard Award.

Crissle West
West is a writer, comedian, TV personality, and co-host of the pop culture and comedy podcast The Read. She notably appeared with Octavia Spencer on Comedy Central’s Emmy nominated Drunk History series in a retelling of Harriet Tubman’s story. She also narrated another Drunk History episode recounting Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson’s roles in the Stonewall Riots in honor of National Coming Out Day. She also regularly appears on MTV2’s Uncommon Sense.

Tiffany Haddish
Haddish has made guest appearances on shows such as Chelsea Lately, My Name is Earl, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Def Comedy Jam, and a recurring role on Real Husbands of Hollywood. She has a regular role on NBC’s The Carmicheal Show, co-starred in the Key and Peele comedy film Keanu and will be co-starring alongside Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Regina Hall in the upcoming buddy comedy Girls Trip.

Luvvie Ajayi
Ajayi is a New York Bestselling author, speaker, and digital strategist. Her humorist pop culture site, amassed a huge following, especially for her Scandal recaps, which eventually drew the attention of showrunner Shonda Rhimes. She published her first book, I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, which debuted at number five on the New York Times best-seller list. Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers acquired the rights to the debut book to adapt into a comedy series through Shondaland and ABC Signature.

Michaela Coel
Coel is a poet, singer-songwriter, screenwriter, playwright and actress. She began her career by performing poetry open mics in Ealing. In 2016, she won the BAFTA for Best Female Performance in A Comedy Programme and Breakthrough Talent for her TV show, Chewing Gum (Netflix), which was inspired by her play Chewing Gum Dreams. She has appeared in BBC’s London Spy, The Aliens, and Black Mirror.

Yvette Nicole Brown
Brown has appeared in numerous commercials, television shows and films. She starred in NBC’s cult comedy hit Community, Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh and stars in CBS’ 2015 version of The Odd Couple. She’s appeared in films such as (500) Days of Summer, Tropic Thunder, and Repo Men and currently hosts Syfy’s cosplay series Cosplay Melee. She was recently cast in the ABC Untitled Mayor comedy pilot.

Aisha Tyler
Tyler is a talk show host, actress, comedian, author, producer, writer, and director. She has had recurring roles in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Talk Soup and Friends. She’s also appeared on Boston Legal, Reno 911, and The Boondocks. She’s very well-known for voicing Lana Kane in Archer. She is the co-host of CBS’ The Talk and host of Whose Line is it Anyway? on The CW. Tyler has a weekly podcast called Girl on Guy and will be releasing her directorial feature film debut Axis, which was funded via Kickstarter, this year.

Tracee Ellis Ross
Ross began her acting career in independent films, variety series and hosted the pop culture magazine The Dish on Lifetime. Her breakout role was Joan Clayton in the UPN/CW comedy hit Girlfriends. She currently stars in Black-ish, for which she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy, the first Black woman to do so since Debbie Allen in 1983.

Jessica Williams
Williams make her breakthrough debut on The Daily Show as a correspondent. She has appeared in HBO’s Girls and is a frequent performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. She currently co-hosts the comedy podcast 2 Dope Queens with Phoebe Robinson. She stars in The Incredible Jessica James, a 2017 Sundance Film Festival hit which has been recently acquired by Netflix.

Quinta Brunson aka Quinta B.
Brunson first appeared on the mainstream comedy scene via her Instagram series “The Girl Who’s Never Been On A Nice Date” which went wildly viral. Brunson joined BuzzFeed in early 2015 and within a year, became the first BuzzFeed Motion Pictures producer to be signed under contract to write, direct, star, and produce her own projects within the media company’s studio division. She is now a Video Producer and Development Partner at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. She created and stars in the sitcom Broke, which was acquired by YouTube Red.

Patricia Williams aka Ms. Pat
Williams has over 9 years in the comedy game, appearing in TV Guide Network’s Standup in Stilettos, Nickelodeon’s Mom’s Night Out and BET’s Comicview. She has become a Podcast celebrity with appearances on TalkinS hit with Eddie Ifft, WTF with Marc Maron, The Joe Rogan Experience, Ari Shafir’s Skeptic Tank, The CrabFeast with Ryan Sickler and Jay Larson, and Your Mom’s House with Christina Pazsitzky and Tom Segura, the Bertcast with Bert Kreischer. She has appeared on Comedy Central’s This is Not Happening as well as NBC’s Last Comic Standing. Imagine TV, Lee Daniels Entertainment and 20th Century Fox will be producing Williams’ upcoming comedy pilot.



About The Author

Tonja Renée Stidhum is a screenwriter/director with cheeks you want to pinch... but don't (unless she wants you to). She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre.

Related Posts