Why Julia Louis-Dreyfus Deserves All The Love You Give Tina Fey

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Julia_Louis_DreyfusIllustrated by Ly Ngo.


The last 10 years have been pretty wonderful for female comedians — and not just because the word "comedienne" has fallen into disuse (thank goodness). We've seen Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Ellen DeGeneres climb from the A-list to the A++ list, raking in both industry respect and audience adoration en masse. Cult-like devotion, actually, the kind of fanaticism that has previously been reserved for the likes of Dave Chappelle or George Carlin. And, it's beyond well-deserved.

In addition to movies tailor-made for them and critically acclaimed TV credits, all three stars have had the honor of hosting some of television's most prestigious live events. Fey and Poehler raked in a whole lot of Golden Globes viewers, whom we suspect were there more for the comedy than the awards, and we all know Ellen's Oscar gig went swimmingly. So swimmingly, in fact, that we wouldn't be surprised if the Academy extended her contract indefinitely. That would hardly be a tragedy, but we've got another contender whose name we want to get out there early: Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

For those who don't know, Veep is coming back to HBO this Sunday. If you don't watch, you really should — because it's damn good. It's like an uncanny combination of The West Wing's quick-quipping pace and the awkward, cringe-inducing antics of Parks and Recreation. It's also got major re-watch factor, a crucial element for any show seeking cult status: In the same way that 30 Rock or Futurama tempt you to watch the same episodes over and over again, Veep doesn't get old the second (or third) time around. And, that's only one reason why JLD (not to be confused with JGL) deserves the same obsessive admiration Fey has gathered over the years.
Julia_Louis_Dreyfus_2Illustrated by Ly Ngo.


She was, obviously, completely priceless as Elaine on Seinfeld. In fact, her scenes were some of the best parts of the show, and a big piece of what made Seinfeld special was its dedication to screen time for a wide cast of characters (instead of focusing only on the leading man and his sneakers).

But, last year, she was possibly even better in Enough Said, where she added an element of sincerity to her usual quirky, sloppy weirdness. Not unlike Fey, her characters tend to fall into the relatable-hateable bucket: people who are clearly kinda awful, but you love anyway. Our beloved Tina Fey plays Liz Lemon's swimsuit underwear and unfortunate fear of Puerto Ricans with just as much skill as Dreyfus does Selina Meyer's crazy "Andrew laugh" or her off-color comments about Danny Chung. Both women have had a lot of success in their careers, but in a way, these later roles are what really propelled them to stardom.

Because one thing is obvious: JLD is having a major renaissance right now, and there's no doubt she would kill it on Oscar night come February 2015. We already know she can work a room from the show she put on with Tony Hale during her most recent Emmys acceptance speech. The fact that she was willing to try something like that during her moment of screen time bodes well for her potential as a host. And, then, there's the fact that she has a hilarious physical presence. From Elaine's spastic movements and slightly crazed smile to Selina's perfectly phony poses and strained grimace, Louis-Dreyfus knows how to play a part from head to toe. We have a feeling this girl could own a dance number.

If you agree, it's time to get this movement going, ASAP. We've only got 10 months until the next Oscars. Tell your friends, tell your mom, tell everyone you know. Tweet about it with the hashtag #VoteJulia — we're gonna make this thing happen, or at least try.