In honor of the release of “Little” starring Regina Hall and Issa Rae, this list is all about celebrating women in comedy. Particularly, comedic performances by supporting ladies. These actresses have left an impression whether they stole the show from their famous co-stars or emerged as standouts in ensemble casts. Some of them even became big stars themselves after their respective scene-stealing turns.
Without further ado, here is a list of the top ten best comedic performances from supporting actresses.
10Tiffany Haddish as Dina in “Girls Trip” (2017)
Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Queen Latifah may be the starriest names of this hit ensemble comedy. However, it was the relatively unknown Tiffany Haddish whose star burned the brightest. As the free-spirited Dina, Haddish gives a scene-stealing performance that is hilarious yet completely brazen. Whether she’s peeing from a zipline or doing particular things to a grapefruit, Haddish always brings crazed hilarity. She might not have gotten the Oscar nomination that we were banging the drum for her to get, but her star still managed to grow since the film’s release.
9Melissa McCarthy as Megan in Bridesmaids (2011)
Much like Tiffany Haddish in “Girls Trip,” Melissa McCarthy experienced a similar breakthrough with “Bridesmaids” back in 2011. While the ensemble as a whole is terrific, it’s McCarthy who provides the film’s biggest laughs as Megan, the sister of the groom. However, she also manages to portray Megan with great sincerity. During the scene where Megan visits Annie (Kristen Wiig) and has her get her life together, McCarthy plays it with both humor and heart. In addition, it’s likely the scene that netted her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Plus, the movie as a whole is proof of McCarthy and director Paul Feig being a comedic dream team.
8Rose Byrne as Rayna Boyanov in Spy (2015)
Going back to “Bridesmaids,” Rose Byrne is admittedly a rather unsung hero in that ensemble. However, in “Spy” which is also directed by Paul Feig, Byrne gets to be anything but unsung. As the spoiled yet villainous heiress Rayna Boyanov, Rose Byrne owns every moment she appears in even with just an airy line reading. Also, her “Sad Bulgarian Clown” monologue remains the film’s biggest highlight. With “Bridesmaids” and the “Neighbors” films, it’s been established that Byrne is a skilled comedienne. Yet, her performance in “Spy” is easily her comedic magnum opus.
7Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams in “Addams Family Values” (1993)
For such a young child actress, Christina Ricci proved herself to be quite skilled at deadpan comedy. With literally every single dry line reading, Ricci is a laugh riot as the cynical yet wise Wednesday Addams. In this sequel to “The Addams Family,” Wednesday and her brother go to a summer camp called Camp Chippewa. Because everyone in the camp is super smiley, that only makes Wednesday even more cynical. Yet that only enhances the film’s dark humor. Not to mention, Wednesday gets to prove herself as the wokest person on Thanksgiving.
6Catherine O’Hara as Delia Deetz in “Beetlejuice” (1988)
It goes without saying that Catherine O’Hara is a comedic treasure. Whether she wins raves on “Schitt’s Creek” or collaborates with Christopher Guest, she always reminds people of her immense genius. However, her work on “Beetlejuice” as the overbearing Delia Deetz is a particular brand of genius. O’Hara is delightfully manic as an artist more petrified of embarrassment in front of her friends than the ghouls in her household. As a result, becoming possessed while singing Harry Belafonte somehow seems less phasing to her.
5Regina Hall as Brenda Meeks in the “Scary Movie” series (2000-06)
Anna Faris may have been the main star of the first four “Scary Movie” films. However, with all due respect to Faris, it’s Regina Hall who’s been the franchise’s secret weapon. Hall has always been a major source of laughter as the crass Brenda Meeks. Brenda may seem like a caricature because of her outlandish persona. However, Regina Hall still makes her feel like a character by not playing into her crassness too much. Because people seem to finally be recognizing Hall’s talent, her work in the “Scary Movie” series reminds them just how long she’s been brilliant.
4Parker Posey as Meg Swan in “Best in Show” (2000)
Parker Posey had a pretty killer start to the new millennium. First off, she had “Scream 3” where she played actress Jennifer Jolie. Despite the sequel’s tepid reception, Posey was still considered a highlight as the quippy film star. In addition, she appeared in “Best in Show,” one of her many collaborations with Christopher Guest. While the ensemble as a whole is quite flawless, Parker Posey still remains the standout as the uptight yuppie Meg Swan. Not to mention, Meg’s immense meltdown when her dog’s toy get lost is a work of true genius.
3Emily Blunt as Emily Charlton in “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006)
Despite Emily Blunt having a varied resume, it’s the performance that launched her career that remains her biggest highlight. Although Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep were the film’s main attractions upon its release, Blunt still managed to steal the whole film from them. As Emily Charlton, a top assistant for magazine editor Miranda Priestly (Streep), Blunt is humorous with slight three-dimensionality. She’ll even deliver a quippy line to mask her dramatic anxiety. It’s a performance that surely deserved the first Oscar nomination that somehow continues to elude her.
2Jean Hagen as Lina Lamont in “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952)
As prima donna actress Lina Lamont, Jean Hagen plays a pitch-perfect comedic villain. Lina may not be the most intelligent and may have a high-pitched voice. Yet, she will still gladly get in the way of her leading man (Gene Kelly) and his love interest (Debbie Reynolds). But despite Lina’s conniving nature, Hagen still lets her lack of intelligence lead to slight hilarity. As a result of her genius work, she earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. One of the few nominations that the timeless classic earned.
1Joan Cusack as Debbie in “Addams Family Values” (1993)
Some people are just born bad. People like Debbie from “Addams Family Values” are solid proof of that. Although she may have motivations for being so cruel, she still enjoys conning rich men for their money. In addition, Joan Cusack plays her to villainous perfection. Especially when she delivers the villain monologue to end all villain monologues.