Dear “Vanity Fair”: Here are 20 more really funny women you missed


3. Ellen DeGeneres

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If you think it sort of strange that Vanity Fair didn’t include the 2012 winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, and the only female comedian to lead a network talk show for 10 seasons, who has also been nominated for over 100 awards, winning 46 of them, on their cover about comedy–well, I would agree with you.

2. Tina Fey

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No, seriously. She’s not on the cover. I know.

1. Tig Notaro

Photo by Steven Dewall/Getty Images

You might be thinking that it’s weird I didn’t put Tina Fey at number one, or that I’m putting Tig Notaro over any of the women on this list. But in the end, Tig Notaro made my belly ache with laughter and my heart ache with hurt the most this year, and the ability to do both those things so well, simultaneously, requires a rare gem of talent. For the brief story, Tig Notaro began the year as a successful stand-up comic until these things happened: she contracted pneumonia and a life-threatening bacterial disease. Then her mom died in a freak accident. Then she went through a break up. Then she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then she had a double mastectomy. All within four months. The day after she found out she had cancer, she performed a set at the Largo in Los Angeles where she decided to put aside all her planned jokes and just tell the audience about all this stuff. The set starts with her saying, “Hello! I have cancer. How are you?” And somehow, you are laughing already. Louis C.K., a generally acknowledged Really Popular Bro, called it one of the best performances he’d ever seen in his life, and in about an instant, it became the stuff of comedic legend. (You can hear part of it at NPR, and buy the whole set in Tig Notaro: Live.) Really, what Tig Notaro was able to do this year was at the heart of what comedy is supposed to be: she showed us the truth, in all its horrifying, ugly glory, and under the weight of its own ridiculousness, she made us laugh.

Your turn: who did I miss?

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