9 NYC-Based Comediennes You Should Know

Sasheer Zamata| © Benjamin Ragheb/flickr
Sasheer Zamata| © Benjamin Ragheb/flickr
Photo of Dani Kowalczyk
21 December 2016

New York is home to comedic institutions like The Comedy Cellar, Gotham Comedy Club, SNL, Upright Citizens Brigade, the PIT, and The Annoyance. Many of the world’s funniest folks try out their latest sketches to the masses in these comedy clubs and late-night bars. Although the list may be long, some of the funniest women in the comedy game are at your fingertips right here in NYC. We profile nine hilarious women who will help you kickstart your local stand-up tour.

Bridget Everett

Writer, comedian, and actress Bridget Everett first got her bearings in New York after 10 years of stand-up, cabaret, and musical performances. She’s now in a rock band with Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys and Carmine Covellu of The Julie Ruin, which often performs alongside Bridget’s cabaret performances, resulting in the most unlikely, unheard of, and unforgettable show. Bridget is one of the ‘Funniest People in New York’ according to Time Out magazine, and holds a long list of television series and sitcom appearances, including SNL and several films. You can find Bridget and her band The Tender Moments every month at Joe’s Pub at The Public, with a famous circle in tow.

Sasheer Zamata

Originally from Indianapolis, Sasheer was a founding member of her college’s first ever long form improv comedy troupe. Now most famously known for her role on SNL, Sasheer Zamata got her break after four years of performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade with her web series, Pursuit of Sexiness. In 2013, the web series was named one of the year’s 10 funniest series on Variety, Time Out, Brooklyn Magazine, and Complex Magazine. With a handful of festivals and tours under her belt, she calls the Upright Citizens Brigade her home, next to the stages of SNL.

Emma Willmann

2016 is the year to watch Emma Willmann. She’s been making a big name for herself over the years, with her podcast The Check Spot highlighting the woes of a woman’s cycle and horror first-period stories. Emma has been heralded as one of the funniest women in New York by Time Out and GO Magazine. Although relatively new, this funny gal is making waves with the right people – or at least the funny ones – and we’re noticing. You can find Emma, if not touring, at her home with The Barrow Group in Manhattan’s Theater District.

Sue Smith

Sue Smith hit the comedy scene running with her debut standup series Slutty Pretzel and character-based Minimum Rage, which rang for over a year at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Since then, Sue has appeared on a series of VH1 comedic episodes including ’40 Greatest Vital Videos’, ‘Best Week Ever’, and ‘I Love the 2000s’. Time Out has named her one of the 10 funniest women in New York, and NYLON has raved, ‘[Sue’s] millennial feminist comedy…is as relevant as it is groundbreaking.’ Although you can find Sue writing for a plethora of trending shows like Vice and Brokelyn, she spends most of her time teaching other folks the comedic ropes at New York Film Academy.

Phoebe Robinson

If you listen to podcasts, then you’ve likely heard of 2 Dope Queens, the number one podcast download on iTunes for weeks now. Phoebe Robinson is one part of 2 Dope Queens, alongside Jessica Williams (of The Daily Show). This funny podcast that acts as a comedy hour with equally funny guests is the most downloaded cast on WNYC. Phoebe arguably got her comedic start with the Last Comic Standing in 2003. She then went on to tour the New York Underground Comedy Club and the Gotham Comedy Club. You can find her and Jessica Williams, alongside a plethora of other dope comedians, at the live taping of their podcast in Brooklyn.

Alison Rich

Alison Rich is, like most comedians, a writer, actor, and comedian. She’s starred in FOX’s Party Over Here, Two Broke Girls, Angie Tribeca, and writes regularly for SNL. Although she is often behind the scenes, you can likely find Alison Rich in the summer comedy festival circuit. She’s performed recently in Montreal and the Just For Laughs Festival, and landed a finalist position with the Upcoming Andy Kaufman awards. Following these appearances, she will be taking part in a musical this month called Quick & Funny. But tune into FOX’s new show, The Lonely Island, for her starring role alongside Andy Samberg, Akvia Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone.

Naomi Ekperigin

Naomi Ekperigin is, as the millennial masses would say, killin’ it these days. The New York-based comedian, writer, and actress is most recently known for being one of the writers on the hit Comedy Central show, Broad City. Naomi also writes for the series Difficult People, starring Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner. She’s been the reason, as listed by Essence Magazine and Buzzfeed, for why more black female comedians should be hired for SNL. When not in the writer’s room for one or many of her shows, you can find Naomi in New York making the masses laugh via standup, or on shows like 2 Dope Queens, which she most recently appeared on. You can follow her moves and hilarious humor on her Twitter @blacktress.


Blogologues have hit New York City by storm as a variety show performing ‘the internet, word-for-word, on stage.’ You can find them covering anything from the hilarious and sometimes sweet missed connections and Yelp reviews to intense and passionate comment sections, and dating profiles. Created by Jen Jamula and Allison Goldberg, the millennial ridiculousness of the Internet is brought to our attention in the most hilarious of ways. The comedy hour of sorts can be found making its tour through out New York City. The Blogologues can be seen at The Peoples Improv Theater on Fridays and Saturdays.

Vijai Nathan

East Coast-based comedian Vijai Nathan has been heralded as one of the leading Indian American female comedians of America right now. Although her presence can be found internationally, she calls the East Coast home as a Washington D.C. native. She’s performed at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festivals in Montreal, at the Smithsonian Museum, Kennedy Center, Constitutional Hall, and the Library of Congress. Vijai knocks on her Indian upbringing, her woes of being ‘foreign’ in D.C. despite her American nationality, and dating men whose mothers wish she was more of a blonde, ‘Tiffany’ type of gal.

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