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Comedian

Selma Diamond

Long before her final role as the grouchy bailiff on Night Court, Selma Diamond earned a reputation behind the scenes as a brilliant, salty comedy writer for some of the best shows on radio and television.

Nora Bayes

A talented and popular vaudeville star, Nora Bayes became an example of the limits of women’s power and independence in the early twentieth century when her attempts to command respect from producers backfired.

Belle Barth

A bawdy comedian who inspired Bette Midler, Belle Barthe narrowly avoided trouble with the law by delivering some of her most wicked punch lines in Yiddish.

Sophie Tucker

“The Last of the Red-Hot Mamas,” Sophie Tucker defied conventions about gender, age, weight, and ethnicity with her saucy comic banter and music.

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers carved a place for herself among the Hollywood elite as a comedian and fashion commentator for whom no subject was ever taboo.

Gilda Radner

A gifted comedian, Gilda Radner made a name for herself as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live

Bette Midler

Unapologetically bawdy, Bette Midler used elements from earlier brassy entertainers like Sophie Tucker in her comedy and music, but with a style that was all her own.

Fanny Brice

The original funny girl, Fanny Brice earned a reputation as a vaudeville star before creating some of her best-loved comedic personae for radio.

Naomi Weisstein

Naomi Weisstein’s career has run the gamut from feminist rock musician to groundbreaking psychologist to stand-up comedian.

Molly Picon

A lively comic actress with a talent for playing tomboys, Molly Picon brought Yiddish theater to a wider American audience.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Comedian." (Viewed on December 20, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/21023>.

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