Wiig is one of many female comedians who got their big break on Saturday Night Live, along with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Kate McKinnon. Though women have been the backbone of the variety show for decades, they still face some major hurdles in the male-dominated world of comedy.
“Every single interviewer asked, ‘Isn’t this an amazing time for women in comedy?'” Fey told Town & Country magazine in March 2016. “And we were like, ‘No, it’s a terrible time. If you were to really look at it, the boys are still getting more money for a lot of garbage, while the ladies are hustling and doing amazing work for less.’ … We fight about the same things Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg fight about. Do you ask them that question?”
Three years later, the 30 Rock alum reunited with some of her closest SNL pals for Netflix’s Wine Country, a comedy that puts the complex nature of female friendships on full display. Rudolph, who also starred in 2011’s Bridesmaids, didn’t hold back when discussing the limitations of making a “female comedy.”
“I think we were all very surprised at the continuous headline that was, ‘Wow, female comedies, what a big deal,'” she told IndieWire in May 2019. “Like, bitch, I’m just making comedies! I happen to be a woman! … It’s an embarrassment of riches that I happened to know this many talented women and funny as f–k women, but that’s the reality of the world that I’m in. Why not make projects with people that are the funniest people you know, and the people that you love, and tell the stories that are funny to you?”
Despite the sometimes misogynistic culture of the comedy scene, women in Hollywood aren’t ready to throw in the towel any time soon. Stars like Amy Schumer, Tiffany Haddish and more are pushing the boundaries of what women can do on screen, making bold choices and paving the way for the next generation of funny females.
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