In nightclubs, school parties, coffee shops, and on television, stand-up comedy has long been a form of entertainment. This notion took off with Netflix, and now you can watch dozens of comedy specials from the comfort of your own home. On the other hand, pre-recorded stand-up specials have only grown popular in the last few decades.
Not only that, but women have dominated the comedy scene. Some began their careers as stand-up comedians in those modest coffee shops. In contrast, others started their careers as hilarious actors and writers before venturing into stand-up comedy.
No one person has the same sense of humor, so we used Rotten Tomatoes’ techniques to compile a list of the most OK specials on the site that appeal to various tastes. So, if you’re looking for a means to escape the gloom, go no further than the ever-expanding yet the always-entertaining world of female comedians on Netflix.
Top 10 Female Comedians on Netflix
These ten funny women have stand-up comedy specials on Netflix that comedy lovers should watch right now, regardless of how they got their start.
1. Hard Knock Wife by Ali Wong
Ali Wong is undoubtedly one of the most unapologetic female comedians, and she doesn’t fail to make people laugh with her unfiltered humor. Ali Wong is considered one of the best female comedians on Netflix, with stand-up routines like Hard Knock Wife and Baby Cobra, two Netflix specials.
Wong’s stand-up, acting, and writing has made her a comedy household name. She is a prominent cast member of the television series American Housewives and has worked as a writer on Fresh Off the Boat.
In 2019, Wong starred in the film Always Be My Maybe and has voiced characters in the Netflix animated shows Tuca and Bertie and Big Mouth. It’s a classic Wong joke, irreverent, scatological, and physically outrageous, juxtaposing her physical appearance—pregnant, petite, feminine, Asian—against her persona: the irritable, horny, filthy-mouthed, rubber-faced, opportunistic gremlin.
In her second feisty special, Ali Wong Hard Knock Wife, Ali Wong reprises her role as the “Pregnant Comedienne.” Even though she appears to have returned to the stage unaltered, this new mother has a slew of new, dirty hysterical topics to discuss. If you thought Ali Wong pushed the envelope before, wait until you see Hard Knock Wife, the stand-up special that we fondly refer to as the “comedic afterbirth” of Wong’s meteoric rise to fame.
The humiliation of shitting at work and the joys of shitting at home; the unique character of Wong’s nipples; the difficulties of being an Asian woman driver; the measures married couples take to keep monogamous sex interesting; the irritating way dads are celebrated for minor parenting contributions; the fact that Wong earns more money than her husband, despite her lifelong desire to be a kept woman. She is one of the best female comedians on Netflix.
2. Not Normal by Wanda Sykes
Since the late 1980s, Wanda Sykes has been performing stand-up comedy. She has become frequent on Comedy Central & HBO as a writer and performer, known for her biting, cutting wit.
In 2003, she starred in the short-lived Fox Television series Wanda at Large; in 2004, she made her Comedy Central debut in Wanda ‘Does It.’ Sykes keeps active as some of the most popular female performers on the comedy circuit with a book, a standup tour, and many appearances in cinema and television.
Chris Rock was intrigued with Sykes’ sharp and edgy manner when she opened for him in 1995. As a result, when Rock’s critically praised HBO sitcom, The Chris Rock Show, began production in 1997, he requested Sykes to join the show as a writer and performer.
Sykes garnered three Primetime Emmy nominations and won “Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special” in 1999 as a member of the cast and writing team. Sykes polished her skills on The Chris Rock Show for five years, terminated in 2002.
Despite this, Sykes’ Netflix stand-up particularly Not Normal, is a bit of a gem. She covers older age, politics, and relationships in a feel-good and approachable hour-long presentation. She is one of the best female comedians on Netflix.
3. Nanette by Hannah Gadsby
Gadsby is a female stand-up comedian & writer who started in 2006 when she entered a stand-up comedy competition for the first time and won. She released a new special, Douglas, in 2020, which focused more on humor and less on trauma processing; she also revealed her autistic diagnosis.
Nanette by Hannah Gadsby is unlike any other stand-up comedy special you’ve ever seen. She is also known as one of the best female comedians on Netflix and in general. Even though she “left” comedy in the special, she had been doing standup for more than ten years when her Netflix special, Nanette, appeared in 2018, catapulting her to a new level of popularity.
The Australian comic claims — and firmly exhibits throughout the set loaded with coming-out tales, art criticisms, and more – that self-deprecating humor, the cornerstone of her comedic routines, is incredibly destructive to oppressed people. But don’t worry; you won’t feel bad about laughing at this special, which, in the end, was amazing enough to make Gadsby rediscover her passion for her profession. She is one of the best female comedians on Netflix.
4. Growing by Amy Schumer
Amy Beth Schumer is an actress and comedian from the United States who has won several awards. She’s been in several movies and performed on stage. Schumer is a hilarious genius who graduated from ‘Towson University with a degree in drama. She is one of the best female comedians on Netflix.
Her big break came as a participant on the NBC talent show ‘Last Comic Standing,’ where she received much attention. She then appeared in several television and cinema ventures.
Soon after, she rose to prominence as the creator and host of the American sketch comedy TV series ‘Inside Amy Schumer.’ She received a ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ and a ‘Peabody Award for the show.’ ‘Trainwreck,’ a hit romantic comedy she created and starred in, was her first film.
Amy Schumer received a Tony Award nomination for her Broadway debut in ‘Meteor Shower.’ Her funny memoir, ‘The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo,’ which topped ‘The New York Times Best Seller‘ list, garnered her a ‘Grammy nomination for its audiobook adaptation. For her CD Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo.
Schumer’s daring and uncensored Leather Special and her funny perspectives on life, marriage, and motherhood are now available to stream on Netflix, including Amy Schumer Growing.
5. Elder Millennial by Iliza Shlesinger
Irreverent and hysterical, Iliza Shlesinger was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and won NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2008. Since then, she’s released five Netflix comedy specials, four of which are now accessible to stream. Freezing Hot, Confirmed Kills, Unveiled, and Elder Millennial are among them.
Iliza Shlesinger is a comedian, actor, writer, author, and producer who sells out theatres worldwide and has devoted fans who make their Iliza-inspired merch to wear to her shows. She’s currently gearing up for the start of her post-pandemic world tour, Back in Action. She is one of the best female comedians on Netflix.
Iliza Shlesinger: Over & Over, her “fan-u-mentary” giving fans an inside look into her life on tour, is currently available on Netflix. The Iliza Schlesinger Sketch Show, a funny take on pop culture and social commentary through zany characters and insane skits, is also available. Shlesinger also appears in the Netflix original film Spenser Confidential if you can’t get enough of her.
6. Glitter Room by Katherine Ryan
Katherine Ryan is a comedian, writer, presenter, and actor from Canada who currently resides in London, United Kingdom, and is one of the funniest female comedians on Netflix. She has been on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Mock the Week, Would I Lie to You?, A League of Their Own, QI, 8 Out of 10 Cats, Safeword, Just a Minute, Have I Got News for You, and in a Jack and Dean YouTube video called “Consent.”
In 2015, she took over as host of BBC Two’s Hair, succeeding Steve Jones. Katherine Ryan has appeared in the Channel 4 sitcom Campus, the BBC Two sitcom Episodes, and the Jack Dee comedy Don’t Sit in the Front Row.
Ryan has been on the BBC’s Live at the Apollo as a featured and lead act as a stand-up comedian. Ryan was a runner-up in the Amused Moose Laugh-Off competition in 2008 and won a comedy competition in the United Kingdom called Nivea Funny Women Award.
In Trouble and The Glitter Room, Ryan’s Netflix stand-up specials have surged in popularity in recent years. She also starred in Netflix’s original series The Duchess, which is currently in its first season. She is one of the best female comedians on Netflix.
7. They Ready by Tiffany Haddish
Tiffany Haddish is one of the best female comedians on Netflix. She has already been a part of the comedy scene for a long time. She appeared in sitcoms like New Girl, That’s So Raven, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia when she was younger. She has lately appeared in films, including Keanu & Girls Trip.
Tiffany Sara Cornelia Haddish is a stand-up comedian, actor, and author from the United States. After acting as a guest star on several television shows, she shot Nekeisha Williams on the NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show. The year 2017 came as a revival for her when she gained critical acclaim for her performance in the comedy Girls Trip.
Tiffany Sara Cornelia Haddish won a Primetime Emmy Award for her efforts as a host on a Saturday Night Live program that year. She voiced Tuca in the Netflix/Adult Swim animated comedy Tuca & Bertie and executive producers and stars in The Last O. G’s TBS series.
Haddish was also the first Black female stand-up comedian to host a Saturday Night Live episode, and her book, The Last Black Unicorn, was a New York Times best-seller. She is one of the best female comedians on Netflix.
On Netflix, Haddish has two comedy specials: She Ready and Black Mitzvah. She also has a streaming series called They Ready, in which she handpicks comedians to showcase their talents in a series of specials.
Haddish’s mother, Leola, was severely brain damaged in a vehicle accident in 1988 while her family was residing in Colton, California. It was thought to be the source of Leola’s schizophrenia, and Haddish claimed that her mother became irritable, angry, and violent.
Haddish, who was nine years old and the oldest of five siblings, became the family’s primary caretaker. Haddish recognized she could make people laugh at this time in her life.
8. Stage Fright by Jenny Slate
Jenny Slate has been in sitcoms like Parks and Recreation and House of Lies. She has voiced characters in Zootopia and The Secret Life of Pets and a more serious role in Gifted. With her Netflix special, Stage Fright, Slate has also demonstrated that she is a master of stand-up comedy.
Slate’s comedy presentation is a one-of-a-kind hybrid of biography and stand-up comedy. Video clips of discussions with her family and home films from her youth cut in and out of her live performance. The editing gives this unique, one-of-a-kind, and personal feel while also keeping it amusing and enjoyable; without a doubt, it makes her one of the best female comedians on Netflix.
Jenny Sarah Slate is an actress, comedian, and author from the United States. She co-created the Marcel the Shell with Shoes On short videos and children’s book series and played Mona-Lisa Saperstein on Parks and Recreation.
She appeared on the episodes Bored to Death, Kroll Show, Bob’s Burgers, Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Big Mouth, House of Lies, Married, as well as the feature films The Secret Life of Pets, Zootopia, and Obvious Child during the 2009–10 season of Saturday Night Live.
Slate regularly performed her one-woman play Jenny Slate: Dead Millionaire at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in 2008 and 2009. While visiting Columbia University in 2000, Slate met Liedman for the first time. “I like to think of us as kind of like Elaine Benes and George Costanza, but we enjoy each other,” Slate explains, describing their relationship as a “nonsexual romance.” (UCBT). She is one of the best female comedians on Netflix.
9. Quater-Life Crisis by Taylor Tomlinson
Tomlinson became one of the tour’s youngest headliners thanks to appearances on The Tonight Show, Conan, and Comedy Central. She was a top ten finalist on the ninth season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2015, and during 2019 Just for Laughs Festival, she was named one of Variety’s “Top 10 Comics to Watch.”
In 2018, she debuted on Netflix with a 15-minute performance on an episode of The Comedy Lineup, and in March 2020, she released her own hour-long Netflix special, Quarter-Life Crisis.
Taylor Tomlinson is eager to put her mistakes behind her now that she is halfway through her twenties. Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis, her first hour-long comedy special, follows her Netflix debut on The Comedy Lineup Part 1 and shares the lessons she’s learned. She is one of the best female comedians on Netflix.
Taylor discusses working on yourself, setting realistic relationship objectives, and why your twenties aren’t actually “the best years of your life” in her new documentary, released worldwide on March 3.
Tomlinson is the kind of comic prodigy who makes the news not simply because of her age but because of her enormous potential.
Her background in a devoutly Christian household has dramatically influenced her comedic routines. At 16, she began performing comedy in church after her father enrolled them in a stand-up comedy class.
Her Christian upbringing heavily influences Tomlinson’s comic routines. She delves into the complexities of being in her mid-20s with humor and a lot of reality in her hour-long Netflix show, Quarter Life Crisis.
10. A Speck of Dust by Sarah Silverman
Sarah Kate Silverman is an actress, singer, and writer from the United States. Her comedy tackles social taboos and contentious issues, including racism, sexism, homophobia, politics, and religion, with her comic persona occasionally endorsing them as satirical or deadpan. She has two Primetime Emmy Awards for her work on television.
She appeared in and produced The Sarah Silverman Program, which aired on Comedy Central from 2007 to 2010.
Sarah Silverman is noted for her comedic take on contentious themes like racism, sexism, and politics and for eliciting shock and amazement from her gags, making her one of the realist female comedians on Netflix.
A Speck of Dust, her Netflix special, is no exception. It has a more laid-back vibe than some of her previous comedy shows, but it’s still shocking and amusing. It’s a different side of Silverman, one that she’s developed as a comic while remaining true to her aesthetic.
That wraps up the list of the top ten female comedians on Netflix. We’ve all been there, scrolling endlessly, searching for the right show to watch before our food runs out. That is no longer the case; you can locate the best shows worth your time with this handpicked list.