The List: 10 funniest female TV characters

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From the October 4, 2012 edition

With “30 Rock” kicking off its final season, we’re counting down the funniest female TV characters ever. We want to go to there!

10. Phoebe Buffay, “Friends”

“Pheobe. That's, P, as in Phoebe, H, as in -heobe, O as in -oebe, E, as in -ebe, B, as in -bebe and E as in ... ‘Ello there, mate.”

9. Jerri Blank, “Strangers with Candy”

Amy Sedaris leads this super-dark spoof on after-school specials playing a 46-year-old ex-junkie who returned to high school.

7. Karen Walker, “Will & Grace”

Yeah, Will and Grace were narcissistic wet blankets, but Megan Mullally’s Karen was a drunken spitfire whose shenanigans were always the best and funniest parts of the show.

7. Deputy Trudy Weigel, “Reno 911!”

Credit is overdue for Kerri Kenney’s underrated run as the blissfully unaware Deputy Weigel on “Reno.” “If I’m addicted to anything, it’s sparklers.”

6. Elaine Benes, “Seinfeld”

Elaine was smart, confident and, most importantly for this list, funny. Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ performance was always sponge-worthy.

5. Sweet Dee Reynolds, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”

I don’t know how Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson) puts up with the torture from the others at Paddy’s Pub, but no matter what they do to her she’s always there for them. Even to help Mac get his letter — with stickers — to his hero Chase Utley.

4. Lucille Bluth, “Arrested Development”

The matriarch of the Bluth clan may not have been a great mother — OK, she may have been the worst mother — but Jessica Walter’s aloof rich person act was comedy perfection.

3. Leslie Knope, “Parks & Recreation”

Newly elected Councilwoman Knope (Amy Poehler) is the best thing to potentially ever happen to anyone, anywhere in the history of Pawnee. Well, other than Leslie getting Lil’ Sebastian for the Harvest Festival.

2. Roseanne Connors, “Roseanne”

Roseanne was a tough, hilarious smartass you didn’t want to mess with, but when it came down to it she put on the best haunted house in Lanford, Illinois. Oh, she was a pretty good mom, too.

1. Liz Lemon, “30 Rock”

Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon is smart. She’s successful. And she’s a socially inept trainwreck who doesn’t really have her s--t together. These are all reasons we love her — she reminds us all of ourselves.