Most groundbreaking comedian: Joan Rivers or Samantha Bee?
via AP

Most groundbreaking comedian: Joan Rivers or Samantha Bee?

Join the conversation and vote below

Joan Rivers and Samantha Bee are both goddesses of hilarity and speaking truth to (male) power. Bee was the longest-serving correspondent on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," and also the first woman to host a late-night satire show. But Rivers came up in the 1950s, when women weren't allowed to have credit cards, much less careers in comedy. To this day she's the only woman to ever host a late-night network TV talk show. Who broke more ground?🙅

The Votes Are In!

After a year like 2016, we could all use a laugh. That's why we've taken 16 of the most beloved comedians of all-time and are pitting them against each other all month long! Who's the funniest? You decide and we'll announce the king (or queen) of comedy at the end of the month!

Help us crown the best comedian by voting in these other exciting head-to-head debates too:

Biggest comedy empire: Dave Chappelle or Kevin Hart?

Best comedian with a sitcom: Jerry Seinfeld or Margaret Cho?

Funniest self-deprecating stand-up: Louis C.K. or Hannibal Buress?

Best political commentary: George Carlin or Jon Stewart?

Best comedy act: Stephen Colbert or Steven Martin?

Funniest late night show host: Jimmy Kimmel or David Letterman?

Funniest comedian-turned-director: Mel Brooks or Woody Allen?


Bee wasn't just the sole female correspondent on "The Daily Show"—she was the only woman for five years. She's won massive critical accolades with her new show, "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee." She intentionally hired a far more diverse staff than the typical late night comedy show, so she's not just breaking ground with her own career, but attempting to bring other non-white males along with her. 

Bee has been bold about bringing an explicitly feminist, female-centric view take to the news, and people are already saying she will be "the Jon Stewart of the Trump years." As Vulture put it, Samantha Bee is "the American hero we need, and the American hero we deserve." It's kind of perfect that that she's Canadian.


Sam Bee practically defined the role of correspondent on "The Daily Show." Check out her best-of anthology below.

You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who skewered Donald Trump harder or funnier than Samantha Bee in this election cycle.

Joan Rivers was an outrageous trailblazer whose comedy career spanned more than 50 years. She struggled for many years to find her comedic voice and public acclaimbut eventually found success on "The Tonight Show," where Johnny Carson was her mentor and biggest fan for decades.

Rivers regularly subbed in as host on "The Tonight Show," but Carson shunned Rivers after she took an offer to host her own network comedy show, "The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers" (which remains the only late-night network comedy show ever hosted by a woman) in 1986. When the show failed, Rivers' husband committed suicide, and because of Carson's ban, she was persona non grata in Hollywood for many years. But Rivers reinvented her career with red carpet comedy and "Fashion Police," turning stuffy award shows into her own stage for improv. She won the 2009 "Celebrity Apprentice," played herself on Louis CK's "Louie," and launched a podcast, "In Bed with Joan," all while in her 70s. 

When she passed away, Chris Rock called her "the hippest comedian from the time she started to the day she died." Describing her as a force in comedy, he added, "No man ever said, 'Yeah, I want to go on after Joan.'" Jon Stewart said "There are very few people in my business that you can say are, or were, actually groundbreaking talents. Joan Rivers was one of them."


Again, TMZ,  which normally features the antics of Rihanna and Justin Bieber, loved the hell out of Joan and compiled this video of her best off-the-cuff moments. It's hard to find any comedian, much less a woman, whose career spanned this long and who stayed this relevant.

Joan's best stand-up and talk show moments really capture the length and breadth of her career.

Cancel e81adef6e6553af1fd4ae2bf0fb5144e9639f08b71b0987074b13e549d2cbb48


Please provide a valid email