She’s a TV and movie star, a best-selling author, a wife and mother. She can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, probably to make one of the sandwiches that obsess her 30 Rock character, Liz Lemon.
Although it took Parks and Recreation a while to find its comedic rhythm, the show—guided by Poehler’s small-town civic superstar Leslie Knope—has quietly become the best thing about NBC’s Thursday night of offbeat sitcoms.
She’s evolved into one of the wittiest talk show hosts on the air, gracefully taking on a leadership role during the chat portion of Live with Regis & Kelly without hogging the spotlight. And she makes substitute host Anderson Cooper laugh as much as Kathy Griffin does.
The quirky entertainer has become the alternative version of Martha Stewart with her wacky books on entertaining and crafts. When she’s talking about her imaginary boyfriend to David Letterman, there is no better late-night guest.
For women, reaching the top tier of stand-up comedy is still like climbing Everest. But Madigan, a veteran of the art form, makes it look like a walk in the park. Here’s Madigan on the U.S. role in Afghanistan: “How much money would it cost to fix the moon, with mean moon people throwing things at you while you tried to help them?”
Yvette Nicole Brown
She hits all the right notes on NBC’s Community as Shirley, a nice, religious woman who’s taking classes, raising her kids and coping with a very weird study group. Loved the episode where she dressed up like Samuel L. Jackson for a Pulp Fiction-themed birthday party.
The rebellious teen from the movie Parenthood grew up to be a versatile actress who’s found her comic groove as youthful grandmother Virginia Chance on Fox’s Raising Hope. Plimpton is superb as a woman who may not have money, class or a husband who behaves like an adult, but sure knows how to enjoy life.
Don’t hate her because she’s beautiful and has great dialogue. As Ed O’Neill’s trophy wife on Modern Family, Vergara’s looks are overshadowed—almost—by her ability to get more laughs per scene than her talented co stars.
As senior correspondent of The Daily Show, the Canadian actress maintains her composure through the strangest of interviews. And she has a spouse who understands her work—she’s married to another show regular, Jason Jones.
Sci-Fi Author Ursula LeGuin's Stories of Class War, Religious Dissension, Identity Politics and More