When it comes to the comedy industry, it is clear men that men have been the face of it for years. When many of us think of our favorite comics, we name men, including the likes of Richard Pryor, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. Male comedians have dominated the industry since its inception. And while these men may be great in their own right, women of color are finally breaking through the comedy scene and flourishing to their full potential these days. Just look at Tiffany Haddish or Leslie Jones.
Women of color are creating, producing and hosting along with a number of other great things, and it’s time they get the recognition they deserve.
Keep an eye on the following hilarious ladies, as they are surely about to blow on the comedic scene. Here are 10 women of color in comedy to watch in 2018.
2 Dope Queens
Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams are ultimate best friend goals. Robinson, a comedian, writer and New York Times best-selling author of You Can’t Touch My Hair (And Other Things I Still Have to Explain), and Williams, a comedian, writer, actress and formerly the youngest Daily Show correspondent ever are making their mark on the industry. They went from creating the hilarious yet informative podcast 2 Dope Queens to taking it to HBO with their very own televised version of the show. With the common goal of creating a platform for people of color, the LGBTQ community and embracing Black culture, these women have just gotten started on their road to success.
The two recently opened for none other than Oprah Winfrey herself for her Super Soul Conversations at The Apollo special, which is set to air February 27 at 10 p.m. E.T. on OWN.
Michelle Buteau, comedian, host and performer, has been a staple on various VH1 shows for years. That includes the I Love… series, Best Week Ever and she’s currently the co-host of Big Morning Buzz Live. With her big personality and unapologetic humor, Buteau is honest, raw and absolutely hilarious. You can see Buteau in her latest show, Adulting, with Jordan Carlos or catch her on her new podcast Late Night Whenever beginning this April.
“Yo Waddupp Vena E!” is a common greeting used by the comedian, and it’s also the title of her first official song. Vena E rose to stardom on the timelines of Instagram. Whether it be playing Peanut’s short-tempered mother, Sassy Latina, giving hair advice or portraying a wild Jamaican dancer, Vena E and her many personalities will most certainly keep you entertained throughout the day. Her vibrant personality is evident in everything she does, and she continues to also break through the music industry with her latest song, “Annie.” Vena E has also secured another job as one of the newest members of MTV’s Wild N’ Out cast.
You may know her as best friend Molly from HBO’s hit show Insecure, but Yvonne Orji is actually a great stand-up comedian. The Nigerian-American star was originally planning to study medicine. Luckily for us though, she ultimately chose to follow her passion for comedy instead, which brought her to all of our television screens, and now, to the stage. She recently opened for Chris Rock while he was on tour.
With her family of Jamaican and Guyanese descent, Graham creates hilarious comedic sketches of what it’s like to be a young West Indian living in the U.S. If you’ve ever seen video of an outspoken and overly confident woman she portrays named Donna Tingdeh, then I’m sure you love this comedian and sketch writer as much as I do. With over 100,000 Instagram followers, Graham continues to create content to make us relate, laugh and even learn about other cultures.
Lilly Singh is the New York Times best-selling author of How To Be A Bawse, and this woman has created an outstanding brand that started on YouTube. With the creativity of her hilarious videos, Singh has accumulated over 12 million subscribers since her start in 2010. Singh has remained true to her Indian heritage in everything she does and often pays homage to it in a number of her comedic sketches. Listed as one of Forbes’ Top Influencers of 2017, Singh’s career is just getting started.
Amanda Seales, formerly known as Amanda Diva, is a comedian, actress and radio personality. No overnight success, this woman has been on the grind since her 1994 introduction to TV as a child star for Nickelodeon’s My Brother And Me. From dropping gems on her Small Doses podcast, to having gigs for Def Comedy Jam and doing poetry for Def Poetry Jam, hosting a number of hilarious shows for the culture and playing Tiffany DuBois on HBO’s Insecure, Seales continues to show the industry she will not be boxed in.
Jasmin Brown is my best friend in my head. The comedian best known as WatchJazzy is definitely one to watch in the comedy industry. Also an actress and writer, she rose to stardom with her relatable weekly car rants that allowed her to ultimately gain a following of more than 660,000 followers online. The talented actress has a number of characters she has created and become beloved for. That’s probably why the Miami native recently took her talents to Los Angeles where she stars in BET’s 50 Central produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. It returns in April.
Franchesca Ramsey, the cultural guru best known as Chescaleigh, rose to success through her YouTube channel. You might remember the controversial yet absolutely hilarious “Sh*t White Girls Say…to Black Girls” video Ramsey produced that instantly went viral with five million views in just five days. Since then, Ramsey has amassed an impressive resume of work. Ramsey was formerly a contributor and writer for The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore, wrote a book entitled Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes Of An Accidental Activist, and is now the host of MTV’s Decoded. With Ramsey’s comedic sketches, she blatantly tackles everyday controversial issues ranging from race, sex, religion and more.
The comedian and television personality of Haitian descent creates hilarious videos that we all can learn something from. Whether it be a Creole word you can use when describing someone, how to snatch a man from his main girl or a quick Black history lesson, Jessie Woo will not only keep you informed but will have you laughing every second. Having moved to New York less than two years ago to follow her dreams, Woo’s career is finally taking off. Stay tuned.