Make 'Em Laugh: The Funniest Black Females in Comedy

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  • Marina Franklin
  • Issa Rae
  • Jessica Williams
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Jackie "Moms" Mabley
  • Mo'Nique
  • Aisha Tyler
  • Wanda Sykes
  • Sherri Shepherd
  • Sheryl Underwood
  • Sommore
  • Kim Wayans
  • Loni Love
  • Adele Givens
  • Laura Hayes
  • Erica Watson
  • Desiree Burch
  • Michelle Buteau

Jackie "Moms" Mabley

At a time when most women were housewives, Moms Mabley was a true groundbreaker. After coming out as a lesbian at age 27 (just after the turn of the century), Moms made a great living as the star of the "Chitlin' Circuit," earning up to $10,000 a week at the height of her career. Her work has influenced everyone from Tyler Perry to Whoopi Goldberg, who is working on a documentary about her. Mabley was active until well into the 1970s. From Moms Mabley to Issae Rae, Black women in comedy have always been ready for the stage.

(Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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