Maya Rudolph—The versatile Saturday Night Live
vet's gift for creating compelling (and slightly unhinged) characters has helped her cultivate a very successful TV and film career.
Aisha Tyler—Witty, snarky, and always the smartest person in the room, the modelesque comedienne's stand-up routines and cultural critiques are always must-see.
Mo'Nique—Few entertainers, male or female, can match Mo'Nique's resume: Stand-up comedian. TV star. Talk-show host. Oscar-winning actress.
Issa Rae—Between an upcoming collaboration with Shonda Rhimes and a new talk show, everyone's favorite awkward Black girl is making big moves.
Angela Nissel—Author of The Broke Diaries
, and co-founder of okayplayer.com, the hilarious Nissel (who also co-produced the hit series Scrubs
is the "godmother" of the Black blogosphere.
Wanda Sykes—Whether it's on stage, in one of her movies, or on Curb Your Enthusiasm
, Sykes' distinct voice and style is always good for a few guffaws.
Sheryl Underwood—Another example of a stand-up comedienne transitioning to something else, the surprisingly conservative Underwood is an accomplished radio host and can be found on the popular daytime show The Talk.
Sommore—The always "colorful" Sommore's adult-themed humor has made her a fan favorite, a trait she shares with her half-sister, actress Nia Long.
Whoopi Goldberg—Goldberg's career has been so successful that you forget she got her start in stand-up...until you watch The View
, and one of her laugh-inducing observations reminds you.