Take a few minutes to laugh today with these early performances from 11 of the most notable female comics around.
1. Joan Rivers
Before she became more well-known for being critical of celebrity award show outfits, Joan Rivers was getting high praise from Johnny Carson.
2. Sarah Silverman
Check out the boundary-pushing comic in this early '90s performance.
3. Whoopi Goldberg
The EGOT club member does her surfer girl bit back in 1985.
4. Ellen DeGeneres
Watch one of the funniest and most natural stand-up comics of all time in her first appearance on The Tonight Show.
5. Phyllis Diller
The iconic self-deprecating comic appears on The Merv Griffin Show to talk about her husband Fang.
When you check out her appearance on this '80s Rodney Dangerfield special, it’s easy to see why she got her own sitcom just a few years later.
7. Paula Poundstone
The cat-loving comic and frequent Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me! panel guest appears on Carson’s The Tonight Show.
8. Wanda Sykes
Sykes shows off her wonderfully unique voice in this clip from 1997.
9. Janeane Garofalo
Watch her bend the mic “rockstar style” in this early MTV appearance.
10. Chelsea Handler
Watch the talk show host working her way toward fame in this compilation of early stand up routines.
11. Kathy Griffin
The proud D-lister appears very early in her career in a sketch at the famous Groundlings comedy theatre.