(Part 1: Heaven's Cates/5.4.07)
(Part 2: Screen Savors/5.9.07)
(Part 3: Rock & Roll Queens/6.14.07)
Part 4: Funny Girls
For sheer sex appeal, it's tough to beat a woman who's genuinely funny; The admittedly subjective and thoroughly self-indulgent list of my favorite women continues with the ones who prove that.
Some are full-fledged comediennes, some are brilliantly sharp comedic writers, some have just proven that they have flawless comic timing -- whether going over-the-top, flashing a subtle glance at the right time, or playing it perfectly straight.
These are the girls who make me giggle like a little kid, while simultaneously doing that unfortunate thing where I squeeze my legs together tightly and make a kind of guttural moaning sound through a post-orgasmic smile.
There might not be anyone on this list who's consistently and simultaneously funnier and hotter than Parker Posey. To witness her in all her comedic glory, see Best in Show or Waiting for Guffman. To see her in all her, well, glory -- see The Anniversary Party.
Tina Fey is not on this list -- not because I don't like her or think she's unattractive, just because the choice is a little too obvious. But if you like 30 Rock, which is a funny-as-hell show, then do yourself a favor and check out IFC's original series The Business sometime, and simultaneously laugh at and ogle Kathleen Robertson. She's just gorgeous beyond words, and she plays straight-man better than anyone else on television -- male or female.
Stacey Grenrock Woods
If you were paying attention, you might remember her as the best-looking correspondent The Daily Show ever had (not counting Colbert). Since leaving Stewartville, Stacey Grenrock Woods has gone on to success as Esquire magazine's sex advice columnist and has even written a recently-published memoir, I, California. But this sharp-as-a-tack wit would earn a place in my heart for no other reason than the above picture and the story behind it: Back in 1989, Stacey posed for Playboy, only to have the pictures shelved -- that is, until her book came out.
Where to even begin: Possibly the funniest women in the history of film. Easily the sexiest woman ever to wear taffeta (darling). If you're a heterosexual man and you didn't want to fall at her feet like Hedy Lamarr* when she put on her black lingerie and feather boa to become Lily Von Shtupp in Blazing Saddles, there's something wrong with you.
For someone as ridiculously beautiful as Téa Leoni, she sure knows how to play confused, frazzled and uncomfortable. That's probably what makes her so damn spectacular. She first made it big in a comedic role -- on the better-than-it-probably-should-have-been sitcom Flying Blind -- and went on to hone her comic skills in movies like Flirting with Disaster and this year's brilliant indie You Kill Me. (She can be forgiven for Fun with Dick and Jane.) Plus, she's married to one of the most naturally funny guys on the planet, David Duchovny, making her one half of the couple my wife and I would most like to hang out with sometime -- you know, if they happen to be listening.
Before there was The Daily Show, there was HBO's Not Necessarily the News -- and Annabelle Gurwitch was a major part of it. That alone would put her on this list, but when you factor in her gig on NPR and the fact that she was once personally fired by Woody Allen -- plus her cute-as-a-button demeanor -- you've got pure gold.
Like her counterpart on The Office, John Krasinski, she has the ability to get huge laughs by doing little more than glancing into the camera for a split-second. Surrounded on all sides by insanity, Jenna Fischer's portrayal of the adorable, approachable receptionist Pam has made her the unlikely lust of every guy in America with more than two brain cells to rub together. What's more, her personal MySpace site -- which she uses to legitimately interact with fans -- proves that she's as sweet as the character she plays. And if all that doesn't do it for you -- look at the picture above.
I grew up on SCTV, which means that I fell in love with Catherine O'Hara at a young age. Whether playing Vegas seductress Lola Heatherton, freaked-out, drugged-up urban expatriate Delia Deitz, or any of the wonderful weirdos in the Christopher Guest pantheon, Catherine has always been one of my secret crushes.
Forget what I said earlier about not going with the obvious choice. Silverman rules.
An unusual choice, I realize, and one many will say is based more on beauty than ability to elicit laughter. Those people obviously haven't seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Plus, Michelle Monaghan managed to play straight-man while working with the unintentionally hilarious Tom Cruise in MI:3; That's gotta be worth something.
Yes, I too masturbated to Leia in the gold bikini at one point in my life. But did you know that while shooting the first Star Wars, George Lucas forced Carrie Fisher to tape down her breasts because he said they were too distracting -- which led Carrie to write about her attempt at holding a daily contest to see who among the cast and crew would get to rip the tape off at the end of the day? Now that's funny. Make no mistake, Carrie Fisher is one of the funniest women alive.
I laugh every time Sarah Chalke says "FRICK!" -- but the true XX-chromoed comedic genius of Scrubs is Christa Miller as the irascible Dr. Cox's equally irascible other-half, Jordan. I loved Christa when she was on The Drew Carey Show (in spite of the fact that I was expected to believe that at one point her character was actually on Drew Carey himself); I love her even more now.
I'll just get this over with: I LOVE Drew Barrymore. Love her. I still have the 1995 Playboy with her layout (and admittedly, she's never looked better). I drooled with bitter envy when she stood up on Letterman's desk and flashed him. I even paused the DVD of Charlie's Angels to see if she really was naked in the scene where she tumbled down the hill after being "shot" (she wasn't). She's smart, she's funny as hell -- making me fall even harder for her every time she does that goofy thing where she sticks her tongue between her teeth and crosses her eyes while smiling -- and she's become more comfortable in her own skin as she's aged, and that makes her even sexier. She doesn't take herself too seriously and she's single-handedly managed to save about a half-dozen romantic comedies from being completely worthless. There's no one on this list I'd more love to just go have a beer with, and I have no doubt that it'd be a thorougly wonderful experience. Did I mention how much I love her?
I rest my case.
Next: The Journalists