Amy Schumer: The funny females who have influenced comedy's "It girl"

“I’m just a modern chick who does what she wants,” declares Amy Schumer in the trailer for her film, Trainwreck, which hits theatres on July 17. The new breed of romantic comedy casts the comedian as a strong-willed, independent woman navigating her career and love life on her own terms.

The first-time Emmy nominee has quickly become one of 2015's biggest breakout stars thanks to the rise in popularity of her fiercely funny series, Inside Amy Schumer, and a refreshingly frank guest appearance on an episode of The Bachelorette. Now, the 34-year-old actress is ready to take things to the next level, mastering leading-lady status on the big screen, alongside Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader. She’ll follow up her hit summer movie by co-headlining a North American comedy tour alongside Parks and Recreation jokester Aziz Ansari, which stops in Toronto on September 6. As if that weren't exciting enough, she'll also open up for Madonna on the icon's upcoming tour.

Self-depreciating and honest, Amy is definitely grateful for the squad of women who have blazed a trail in comedy. “I’ve never noticed a shortage in funny women,” Amy revealed to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. “Why are we still talking about whether women can be funny?” Here, we highlight some of the women that inspired Amy to laugh her way to the top in Tinseltown.

Carol Burnett

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Amy has cited The Carol Burnett Show as one of her favourite series growing up and got to pick the legend’s brain when she hosted a special Town Hall episode with Carol that aired on SiriusXM radio. She’s also revealed that as a child she couldn’t get enough of Lucille Ball, Whoopi Goldberg and Gilda Radner.

Joan Rivers

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Like many women in comedy, Amy credits Joan Rivers for teaching her how to be a great comedian. The star delivered a moving (and hilarious!) tribute to the late comic at the Glamour’s 2014 Women of the Year Awards, saying, “She wasn’t just a woman or a person. She was a comic, and wanted to be treated as such. She didn't want to be given credit for aspiring women. She wanted to be known as a great comedian. And, she was.”

Judy Gold

Amy has tweeted her love for standup comedian and comedy writer Judy Gold, declaring her one of her “favourite comics and humans.” Amy is following in two-time Daytime Emmy award-winner Judy's footsteps, having garnered her first Emmy nomination for Inside Amy Schumer.

Margaret Cho

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Margaret Cho and Amy developed an instant friendship on Twitter after the All American Girl reached out to the star to praise her show, Inside Amy Schumer. “I love you so much please may I be on your show? You’re like my daughter!” said Margaret, to which Amy replied with, “Of course! I love you! I am like your sister who copies you, but you’re not mean about it!”

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