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Inspiring Quotes from Successful Women in Comedy

Comedy has long been and is still a male-dominated industry. Women pursuing careers in comedy today, whether it be in standup, acting, or writing, are often looked down upon by those who believe that women simply aren’t funny. Well, it’s time we put on some heels and force them to look up! Below are quotes from twenty female comedians who have strapped on some stilettos and met their male counterparts at eye level or higher. Each of these women inspire me not only to be my best self, but to be comfortable in my own skin every single day. I promise you (and I don’t often make promises I can’t keep) that these quotes will motivate you to tell that joke you’re nervous won’t land, to write that article you’ve been scared to write, and most importantly, to be confident. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do. 

Betty White

“It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.”

Lily Tomlin

“The road to success is always under construction.”

Gilda Radner 

“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.”

Mindy Kaling 

“I’m the kind of person who would rather get my hopes up really high and watch them get dashed to pieces than wisely keep my expectations at bay and hope they are exceeded. This quality has made me a needy and theatrical friend, but has given me a spectacularly dramatic emotional life.” 

Melissa McCarthy 

“Even when someone gets to looking like she should be so proud of herself, instead she’s like, ‘I could be another three pounds less; I could be a little taller and have bigger lips.’ Where does it end? You just have to say, ‘It’s pretty damn good. I am right here at the moment and I’m OK with it. I’ve got other things to think about.’”

Kristen Wiig 

“When you go out of your comfort zone and it works there’s nothing more satisfying.”

Maya Rudolph

“I learned the enormous power of writing for yourself, especially now that people seem to be receptive to the fact that women can write.”

Amy Poehler 

“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”

Tina Fey

“You have to let people see what you wrote. It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated. Perfect is boring.”

Jane Lynch

“No one’s just going to hand you a career. I waited for years for someone to hand me one, and it never happened.”

Lucille Ball

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

Carol Burnett

“You have to go through the falling down in order to learn to walk. It helps to know that you can survive it. That’s an education in itself.”

Sarah Silverman

“Stop telling girls they can be anything they want when they grow up. I think it’s a mistake. Not because they can’t, but because it would have never occurred to them that they couldn’t.”

Aubrey Plaza

“When I was in high school I was a really huge ‘SNL’ fan. I remember the cast around the time I started watching it – Will Ferrell, Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, Cheri O’Teri, Tracy Morgan. I did research to find out how people got on the show. Their bios always said they came from an improv team, so I started taking classes.”

Joan Rivers

“I enjoy life when things are happening. I don’t care if it’s good things or bad things. That means you’re alive.”

Amy Schumer 

“I think for anyone to become good at something, they have to fail a lot too. And they have to be completely unafraid to fail or they’ll never make it to the next level.”

Mary Tyler Moore

“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.”

Chelsea Peretti 

“Sometimes when I’m nervous, that’s when the most interesting things happen.” 

Leslie Jones 

“There is no such thing as getting anything easy. Trust and believe. Even if you’re good at what you do, you still should be practicing, you still should be updating, especially. Because if you don’t update, you become a dinosaur.”

Jenny Slate

“I am tired of sinking down to a lower place to be with men. I am tired of throwing a tarp over some of my personality so that the shape of my identity suits some gross man a little better for whatever shitty things he needs to do in order to keep his boring identity erect and supreme.”

Faith Bartell

Delaware '23

Faith Bartell is a sophomore Economics and Media Communication double major the University of Delaware, as well as a current Editor for Her Campus Delaware. She is a lover of smiling, crying, laughing and of course, writing. She hopes to pursue all of the above in the future.
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