Style.com

a monthly look at the faces
that have made history

funny
ladies

The Emmy Awards are coming up—they air August 29, to be exact—and we couldn't help but notice that two of our favorite funny ladies are competing against each other in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category. 30 Rock star Tina Fey, who won the award back in 2008, is up against her former SNL partner in crime Amy Poehler, who's been nominated for her part in Parks and Recreation. Will a comedy catfight ensue? We'd like to see that, though we're not sure how it would work. Some kind of joke-off? Flinging pies?

Female comics have drawn plenty of media attention the last couple of years. That might have something to do with Christopher Hitchens' notorious 2007 article in Vanity Fair, "Why Women Aren't Funny." Howls of outrage greeted that piece, and the magazine offered counterevidence a year later, doing an Annie Leibovitz spread of funny ladies for its April 2008 cover. The debate resurfaced earlier this summer, though, when charges of chauvinistic hiring practices were leveled against The Daily Show. We're going to settle this once and for all: Women are hilarious. Also overlooked: the fact that a wisecracking star can influence the way we look as much as any straight actress. Rosalind Russell and Lucille Ball started their careers as models, Mary Tyler Moore and Jennifer Aniston popularized hairdos (dubious ones, but still), Gilda Radner embodied willowy seventies chic, and Ellen DeGeneres has a freaking cosmetics contract. So now who's having the last laugh?

—Maya Singer

Subscribe to Style.com today!