10. Kate McKinnon
After already winning our hearts on The Big Gay Sketch Show (and Vag Magazine and all of her AfterEllen vlogs), it seems generally accepted that Kate McKinnon is now the best thing about SNL post-Kristen-Wiig, the type of comedian that lets you gratefully still keep a thread of belief in the iconic cultural American tradition that SNL once was and should continue to be. She flawlessly took on such roles as Ellen, Ariana Huffington, and Ann Romney this season, and I can’t wait for her to keep on kicking majorly funny ass.
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I’ll just say it: Retta Tweets TV contains more gold than any TV recap I ever have or ever will write. Highlights include commentary on Glee, The Vampire Diaries, Nashville, Buffy, and even her own Parks and Rec. Seriously, pure gold.
8. Margaret Cho
Photo courtesy of NBC
As if she hasn’t done enough with her life yet, Margaret Cho currently has a steady role on the TV show Drop Dead Diva and also earned an Emmy nod this year for her guest role on 30 Rock as Kim Jong-Il. Oh, and she just garnered a Grammy nomination for her comedy record, Cho Dependent: Live in Concert. And she’s currently chugging along on another comedy tour entitled Mother. Basically, I’m not quite sure when she sleeps.
7. Wanda Sykes
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There is no one like Wanda Sykes, and we should be grateful for her every day. Because praise the lord, we need lesbians of color calling the world on their shit and making us laugh while they do it.
6. Ladies of The Daily Show: Samantha Bee, Kristen Schaal, and Jessica Williams
Now, I love Jon Stewart something fierce, but I don’t think even he would deny that there is absolutely nothing better on his program than Samantha effing Bee. I have never seen a single Samantha Bee segment where I didn’t 1) laugh my ass off, and 2) exclaim, “YES! Yes! Exactly!” While she is undoubtedly the, er, Queen Bee (sorry, I couldn’t stop it), Kristen Schaal and newcomer Jessica Williams are also absolutely fantastic. Their combined coverage of the GOP convention and the election in general this year were full of win.
5. Jane Lynch
She is everything.
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My wife said this after watching this week’s episode of Parks and Rec: “I didn’t think there could ever be a better or funnier character than Karen in Will & Grace, but she’s somehow created one. How can she just keep getting funnier?” It’s hard to answer that question, other than to say that she is simply the best. If you can’t get enough of her as Tammy Two, find a few clips of her playing the mother of Penny Hartz (played by Casey Wilson, yet another truly hilarious woman) on Happy Endings this year, particularly the one where the two sing Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.”