In honor of Humor Month – here are some funny ladies with a serious passion for making change.
Jackie Moms Mabley was an African American, arguably genderqueer stand up comedian. Using her Moms persona, Mabley was able to touch on taboo topics like sex, politics, and racism. Mabley frequently visited prisons to perform and was considered a notable Civil Rights Activist.
Gilda Radner, an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, is best known for her outrageous characters, like Roseanne Roseannadanna and Baba Wawa. Radner’s boldness, fearlessness, and resistance to the status quo in her comedy and acting paved the way for women to step out of the roles that male-driven comedy traditionally forced them into.
In her 1985 stand-up performance Direct from Broadway, Whoopi Goldberg uses five distinct characters to make valuable social commentary about racial stereotypes, reproductive rights, racist standards of beauty, immigration, and devaluation of people living with a disability.
Margaret Cho created and starred in the first show prominently featuring an East Asian family, All American Girl. Using radical commentary, personal stories, infamous accents, and body as art, Cho tackles sexuality, racism, body image, and rape culture all through her comedy.
The young Daily Show correspondent is already making huge waves in her role. From attacking race issues and police brutality head on to addressing violence against women and rape culture, Jessica Williams is making a name for herself as a comedian actively using her voice to incite cultural shifts.
Who would you add to the list? Who is your favorite funny change-maker??