My Top Ten Comedic TV Roles For Women

28 Mar

#10

Chrissy Snow

Three’s Company

Played by Suzanne Somers

Yes, she was a blonde dits in short shorts.  But Suzanne Somers did women a huge service during her time as Chrissy on the hit sitcom, Three’s Company.  The show’s producers thought that after Somers left the show, they could pick up where she left off with another blonde bimbo.  Little did they know, none of the actresses who came after Somers accomplished even close to her abilty to deliver comedic lines.  Somers’ timing and expressions is what made her the best blonde  for the job.  And she proved that no women, no matter what hair color, should be considered interchangeable.

“[When I was fired from Three’s Company], a producer said to the ABC people, “She’s a blonde. I trained her, I’ll train another one,” like I was some sort of seal … [But] a comedy is musical. It took me two years to understand the rhythm, the beat, the timing, but once I heard the music, oh, my God, I so got it.”

#9

Peggy Bundy

Married With Children

Played by Katey Sagal

On one of the most misogynistic shows ever to be on television, Sagal held it all together as Al Bundy’s horny lazy wife, Peg.  With so many insults being hurled her way, Peggy was able to knock each one of them right back at Al head on.  According to the True Hollywood Story, the casting directors were looking for a Roseanne Barr type to play the role.  But when it came time for her audition, Sagal walked in wearing platform heals, skin tight leggings, and a leopard top.  She dawned full hair and makeup, proving that white trash didn’t have to look low class.

In addition to being quick witted, she was also a complete horn dog.  In opposition with television’s norm, this mother of two was always begging (and being turned down) for sex.  Some might even argue, “Al, let’s have sex!”  became a catch phrase.

#8

Nina Van Horn

Just Shoot Me

Played by Wendie Malick

Beautiful, materialistic, and an unintentional bitch.  All these describe Nina Van Horn, model for Blush Magazine.  In an already strong ensemble, Malick delivered an extremely amusing portrayal of today’s top models.  While she always meant well, Nina’s first priority was always, well, Nina.  Wendie Malick is still entertaining us as Soap Opera Actress Victoria Chase on her new hit sitcom Hot In Cleveland which aires Wednesdays on TV Land.

#7

Punky

Punky Brewster

Played By Soleil Moon Frye

The orphan with the crazy name and the bright high tops, Soleil Moon Frye introduced us to Punky Brewster.  The first on our list to be the protagonist on her own show, Punky was loving, thoughtful, and most importantly– She was funny!  She was also a total badass.  No one messed with her, her family or her friends.  Not even a refrigerator.

Punky was a role model for young girls teaching them to “just say no” to drugs.  She was an animal advocate standing by her dog Brandon through thick and thin.  And with her vests, tights, and bandannas she also became a fashion icon representing the 90s pretty freakin’ well.

#6

Topanga Lawrence

Boy Meets World

Played by Danielle Fishel

She was a feminist!  She was probably one of the first self proclaimed feminists most young girls of my generation  saw on television.  She was weird, and it was awesome.  Topanga didn’t care what anyone else thought of her because she had self confidence.  This girl could draw lipstick on her face, cut off half her hair, be so fat people thought she was pregnant and still get her man.  She got her man, she got into Yale, and she was accepted for an internship at a competitive law firm in New York.  This girl had it all.  Plus, she was funny.  Topanga didn’t let anything get in her way, including a teacher who sexually harassed her.  She knew as the victim she wasn’t to blame and spoke up about what she had gone through because she knew unless she did something, it would keep happening to other women.

#5

Edith Bunker

All In The Family

Played by Jean Stapleton

Everybody’s favorite Dingbat, Mrs. Archie Bunker!  She was incredible.  It is nearly impossible not to even crack a smile when you see this delightful woman come trotting into the living room from the kitchen.  Her life was presumably simple.  Cook the dinner, clean the dishes, do the shopping.  But beyond the typical chores of a 1970s housewife Edith had many controversial topics brewing.  She had a breast cancer scare, a daughter considering abortion, and she even escaped from a rapist.  I love Edith Bunker, her relationship with Archie was one of the most charming on television.

#4

Fran Fine

The Nanny

Played by Fran Drescher

The laugh that shook Wednesday nights on CBS.  Ms Fine!  What can I say?  She had style, she had flare, and that’s how she become #4 on my list.  This character had such an amazing balance of self confidence, integrity, and attitude weighed with self deprecation.  For seven seasons Fran chased two things– love, and Barbara Streisand, Queen of the Jews.  Fran proved that being a strong funny female lead didn’t mean you had to be ditsy, or unattractive.  According to Fran, all you need in life is a tight skirt, a Shades of the Orient Make Up Case, and some good timing.  And maybe a box of Entiment for when the times are tough.

#3

Elaine Benes

Seinfeld

Played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Elaine brought a whole lot to a show about nothing.  This woman was one bad chick you did not want to mess with.  She was sharp, beautiful, and played nobody’s straight man.  With her wall of hair and little kicks, Elaine Benes fought her way through awful bosses to well, prison by the end.  In any event, Elaine has definitely left a lasting impression, and is in my hall of fame for women in comedic roles.  And if you don’t agree…

#2

Lucy McGillicuddy Ricardo

I Love Lucy

Lucille Ball

Do I really even have to say it?  Lucille Ball is a comedic icon and a master of misunderstanding.  Her career is nearly unmatchable and the respect and adornment she receives from the public is massive.  Whether Lucy is choking down Vitameatavegamin, chowing down on conveyor belt chocolates, or just trying to understand her husband’s Cuban accent, Lucy’s show was perfectly titled.  We all loved Lucy!

#1

Sophia Petrillo

The Golden Girls

Played by Estelle Getty

Don’t act surprised.  Okay, you can act a little surprised.  As much as I would have love to use (and be able to back up) all the Golden Girls, I had to go with Sophia on this one.  I made this choice for one simple reason, this white haired old lady is an icon.  For those unlucky ones who have never even seen an episode of The Golden Girls, you know this face.  And you know something absolutely classic is about to come out of her mouth.  Like seeing the Pepsi Logo and becoming thirsty, at the sight of this face you can’t help but chuckle.

Before Golden Girls, Estelle Getty was mainly a stage actress performing in comedies on Broadway.  When her big TV break came along, she was already sixty two years old.  Not exactly what most casting directors were looking for those days.  Although Estelle was the second youngest of all the Golden Girls, she became a representative for the elderly.  Showing that elderly people could still have active sex lives, help their community by doing volunteer and charity work, and most importantly– make friends.

Think someone was left off the list?  Comment and let me know!

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One Response to “My Top Ten Comedic TV Roles For Women”

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  1. 10 Ten Comedic Roles of Women | Femedians - August 22, 2013

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