TV comedy has felt increasingly X-chromosome shaped for some time now, what with the rise of female showrunners behind the scenes and beboobed badasses like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Lena Dunham.
The latest addition to this roll-call of female effrontery is Baroness von Sketch Show, sketch comedy from writer-performers Meredith MacNeill, Carolyn Taylor, Aurora Browne, and Jennifer Whalen that’s already had our friends in Canada in stitches.
It starts airing in the U.S. tonight (August 2) on IFC, so to celebrate, we’ve put together a list of the other all-female comedy shows that should be making your radar flash red.
1. Girls (2012 – 2017)
Okay, so let’s face it: if Girls isn’t on your radar already, then you’ve got some faulty equipment on your hands. Lena Dunham‘s controversial comedy had its ups and downs over the years, but it remained a consistently honest portrayal of four young women figuring out life, love, work and friendship in New York.
2. Pulling (2006 – 2009)
Before Divorce, before Catastrophe even, came this brilliant comedy from the comedy goddess that is Sharon Horgan. She plays Donna, who wakes up after her hen night determined to break things off with her very sweet but ultimately very boring fiancé Karl (The Last Kingdom‘s Cavan Clerkin), and ends up living the single life with two equally unruly roommates. It originally aired in the U.K., but Sharon’s subsequent success means it’s now available to stream in the U.S. on Amazon Video.
3. Broad City (2014 – )
Having started out life as a web series, this show by Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobsen miraculously retained its gross-out humor and razor-sharp millennial angst in its transfer from computer to TV screen. And yes, “twenty-somethings go wild in New York” is hardly an original premise, but as sitcoms go, this is both low-concept and must-see. Trust us. You want to get on board with these broads.
4. Party Over Here (2016 – )
This sketch show may have been produced by the Lonely Island gentlemen Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, but it stars a trio of hilarious female performers: Jessica McKenna, Nicole Byer, and Alison Rich, with a majority-female writing team too.
5. Insecure (2016 – )
The outrageously multi-talented Issa Rae got her own HBO comedy off the back of the viral success of her web series Awkward Black Girl, and the TV version didn’t disappoint. Her character continues to navigate the awkward moments of life, backed up by her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji).
6. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015 – )
Okay, so yes, Titus Andromedon (played by larger than life Broadway star Tituss Burgess) ruins the “all female” thing. And yes, last time we looked, Jon Hamm was a man. But between them, Ellie Kemper, Carol Kane, and Jane Krakowski rule this relentlessly upbeat, technicolor show from 30 Rock star Tina Fey.
7. Idiotsitter (2016 – )
Jillian Bell finally came to the fore in this irreverent show, after a run of small, albeit scene-stealing, parts in films such as Bridesmaids, 22 Jump Street, and Office Christmas Party. She plays an out-of-control adult woman, while Charlotte Newhouse plays the woman hired to be her babysitter.
8. Another Period (2015 – )
Why spoof one TV format when you can spoof two? This show from Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome may be set in a Downton Abbey-ish historical period (when exactly is not important), but it also uses all the tricks of the trade of reality shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
9. Inside Amy Schumer (2013 – )
Amy Schumer might rely on male actors to fill in a few roles here and there, and they pop up in the writers’ room too (alongside head writer Jessi Klein), but it’s undeniable that this vehicle showcasing her comedy talents comes from the female perspective. Its sketches, stand-up and vox pop interviews often revolve around questions of gender roles and sexuality, with hilarious results.
10. Fleabag (2015 – )
The TV show didn’t feature only women, but it was developed from a one-woman stage show, so technically all the characters were once played by a woman. And not just any woman either, but the spectacular Phoebe Waller-Bridge, whose next projects include starring in a little thing called the Han Solo spin-off movie, and showrunning BBC America’s Killing Eve. Seriously though. If you haven’t seen Fleabag, then start watching immediately. What are you even doing reading this? Get on Amazon. Now.
11. Tracey Ullman’s Show (2016 – )
In this case, “all-female” means “all characters played by one female,” a.k.a. ultimate funny lady Tracey Ullman. Having started her career in the 1980s with The Tracey Ullman Show, she’s played a whole host of characters, not to mention giving birth — metaphorically, of course — to The Simpsons. Her new show was a welcome return to our screens, and saw her turn her attention to real-life celebrities like Dame Judi Dench and German chancellor Angela Merkel.
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