25. Sarah Silverman
Sarah Silverman has a superhuman ability to push irony to its breaking point. She touches on issues ranging from sex to the Holocaust. All the while, she relies on a naughty child’s wide-eyed innocence to sell the outrageous statements. While Silverman’s most famous comedy routines do indulge in their share of pushing (buttons, envelopes, boundaries, whatever else can be pushed with risqué jokes and matter-of-fact delivery), her actual telling of jokes tends to be sharp and concise. Not all of her routines are pure one-liners, but her instincts for them are killer.
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24. Phyllis Diller
This housewife-turned-superstar began her career at age 37. One of the ultimate pioneers for female comedians, Diller fearlessly put herself on the chopping block with her sharp satirical criticism of gender roles. With her garish, glittery outfits and hair standing on end, Diller’s freaky fabulousness made her audiences sit up in their chairs. In her career, she convinced legions of early stand-up audiences that women comics were not a novelty, but rather a forced to be reckoned with.
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