Meet The 'Funny Girls' Cast Of Hilarious Women Leading The Next Generation Of Comedy

Stand-up comedy is tough, but some funny ladies were just born for the spotlight. Have you ever wondered who might become the next Sarah Silverman or Amy Schumer? Well, Oxygen has its hand on the pulse of the next generation of comedians thanks to the cast of its new series Funny Girls, premiering Tuesday night. The series follows six rising female stars on the stand-up comedy scene in Los Angeles: Scout Durwood, Calise Hawkins, Yamaneika Saunders, Nicole Aimee Schreiber, Stephanie Simbari, and Ester Steinberg. 

"These six multicultural, sassy women bring real, bold humor to the male-dominated comedy industry," said Rod Aissa, Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Development, Oxygen Media, in a statement. "Their courageous, risk-taking personalities and inspiring journeys to follow their true comedic passion in life will resonate with Oxygen’s young female audience." These up-and-comers will also get some prime mentoring from successful comics like Margaret Cho, Bill Burr, Loni Love, Janeane Garofalo, and Horatio Sanz, who will appear as guest stars.

So, who are these hilarious and talented newcomers? Here's what you should know about the cast of Funny Girls

Image: Jeffrey Thurnher/Oxygen

Scout Durwood

This Amherst College graduate has performed as a New York City cabaret singer in addition to making people laugh as a comedian in Los Angeles, according to Oxygen’s bio of the comedian. And she’s really good at both, having been recognized by various publications. She also happens to be the only gay cast member on Funny Girls and told After Ellen that she’s not single, but you still shouldn't count on seeing her girlfriend on the show. Instead, you can take gander at her insights on romance on her Tumblr, Sex Advice From A Lesbian.

“Going into [the show] I was really jazzed to see women as comics, and to watch us struggle. Because stand-up is brutal. It’s still a boys’ club,” she told After Ellen.

The Kansas City native is also fully aware of her versatility. In her Twitter bio, she calls an“International woman of whimsy.” 

Image: Heidi Gutman/Oxygen

Calise Hawkins

As described in her Oxygen bio, Hawkins has an 8-year-old daughter named Asha and a burgeoning comedy career. As the bio describes, the Jersey City native has made appearances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, and opened for many prestigious comics. 

Hawkins has also gotten some really good advice from the vets. “I did a show with Jim Gaffigan once and he gave me advice afterward, to record yourself and to develop an ear for laughter,” she told the New York Post. “He told me you have to make sure they [the audience] get it most of all.”

Image: Heidi Gutman/Oxygen

Yamaneika Saunders

After being an actress didn’t work out, Saunders decided to try doing stand-up at age 17. ”I thought I would be good at it, though I originally wanted to be an actress,” she told the New York Post. “My first audition didn’t go well, but I love a challenge.” Saunders faced that challenge all the way to being a semi-finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and a cast member of Comedy Central’s In Security, as detailed in her Oxygen bio. 

Image: Heidi Gutman/Oxygen

Nicole Aimee Schreiber

The Detroit native pursued a bunch of different industries before finally going into comedy, as Oxygen lists. Schreiber graduated from the University of Michigan majoring in pre-med and art history. After graduation, she worked in sales, marketing, fashion, advertising, and social media.

“I had to mentally be at a point where I was OK with the fact that I was going to struggle,” Schreiber told the LA Daily News. ”I realized I’m going to have to be uncomfortable financially and mentally and emotionally and do this because it’s ultimately what makes me happy. Making people laugh is, to me, the payoff.”

Image: Heidi Gutman/Oxygen

Stephanie Simbari

According to Oxygen, this 29-year-old comic is a regular LA yogi and performer at The Comedy Store. She has also opened for Whitney Cummings and has co-created multiple sketches on Last Call with Carson Daly. And like a true Angeleno, yoga makes its way into her jokes

Image: Heidi Gutman/Oxygen

Ester Steinberg

The 25-year-old started making ‘em laugh while in high school — according to her Oxygen bio, she used to perform stand-up on the lunch tables. Once the Florida native graduated, she attended NYU and became a regular at Caroline’s New Talent Night. 

Steinberg’s humor, though, continues to come from her background as a Jewish woman, which informs some of the bits she performs during her sets. “My nose is always running, I need a lemon with my water, and I’m loud,” she told The Jewish Week. “If people don’t like it, they’re going to get a mouthful in Yiddish.”

Image: Heidi Gutman/Oxygen