I love to laugh. In my opinion, laughter is the perfect cure for a stressful day, a difficult breakup or bad news. Laughter is infectious, and it not only strengthens your body and mind, but also your spirit. Whether it’s a quiet chuckle or a guttural roar, laughter comes in many forms, just like the people who make us laugh come in different shapes, sizes and races.
So which five funny people are currently on my laugh list? Here’s a diverse mix:
1. Mindy Kaling
If you haven’t seen “The Mindy Project” on FOX on Tuesday nights, then you’re missing out on a lot of laughs. Kaling plays Dr. Mindy Lahiri, an opinionated, girly, slightly nerdy OB/GYN who is obsessed with romantic comedies. Just like her previous character Kelly Kapoor on “The Office,” Kaling’s character is funny and sarcastic and isn’t afraid to say it like it is. In real life, Mindy is the same way. She has acknowledged in interviews that it’s difficult to be an Indian-American minority in entertainment, but she doesn’t let that stand in her way to success. She also refuses to lose weight to fit the standards of what Hollywood deems is beautiful, and that has made her a role model for all girls who watch her show.
Season two of the “The Mindy Project” doesn’t premiere until September 17, but until then I suggest following her hilarious pursuits on Instagram or reading her 2012 memoir Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).
2. Dave Chappelle
Source: Metro Comedy
Although it was only for only two full seasons from 2003-2005, “Chappelle’s Show” was, in my opinion, one of the funniest sketch comedies in the history of television. With characters like Tyrone Biggums, Andy “Silky” Johnston and Ashy Larry, Chappelle always walked a fine line between controversy and comedy. He was bold enough to tackle issues like racism, politics and drugs on the Comedy Central show, and he was brave enough (although some say crazy enough) to walk away from the height of his popularity in 2005 to spend time with his family. After years of being out of the spotlight, Chappelle resurfaced this year, randomly showing up at a Chris Rock comedy performance. He’s made a few random comedy club appearances, but he’ll be headlining this year’s Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival, presented by Funny or Die, which kicks off August 23 in Austin, Texas.
3. Margaret Cho
The first time I saw Margaret Cho was on a comedy special on HBO in the early ‘90s. I couldn’t believe that I was watching a girl who looked a lot like me sharing stories about her Korean family. She did it in such a funny way that I was crying so hard from my laughter. Then a few years later she made history by starring in “All American Girl,” the first sitcom to feature an all Asian family. Although I was disappointed that the show was cancelled after one season, I became an avid fan of Cho, who continues her success today through acting, designing, singing and humanitarian endeavors. In addition to being very open about her Korean heritage, she’s also an avid supporter of the LGBT community and for women’s rights. Some think that she’s a little rough around the edges, but according to an article in Jezebel she says, “I grew up hard and am still hard and I don’t care.”
4. Sofia Vergara
Source: Empire Online
There are a few reasons why “Modern Family” is one of the funniest, most beloved shows on television. One of those reasons is Colombian-born Sofia Vergara, a former runway model and television show host who plays Gloria, a strong Colombian mother who constantly butts head with her husband on the show, played by Ed O’Neill. Vergara brings a spunk and sassiness to the character of Gloria, and her being nominated for four Emmy awards proves that she is more than just a pretty face. She overcame thyroid cancer back in 2000, and has since then been named one of the most influential Latinas in Hollywood.
5. Aziz Ansari
Source: Split Sider
One of the funniest characters on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” is named Tom Haverford. In a nutshell, Haverford is the cocky, underachieving right-hand man of Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) who doesn’t even like his job. He is an entrepreneur who is always looking for the next big moneymaker, but he doesn’t have a clue how to be a responsible adult. That’s how Aziz Ansari plays Haverford, and that’s why he’s such a hilarious character. Ansari, who was born in South Carolina to parents from Tamil Nadu, India, has this uncanny ability to make people laugh out loud, not only on the show, but also in movies and stand-up comedy shows, like his recently completed “Buried Alive!” tour.