Paola Kudacki/

Following in the footsteps of Gilda, Carol and Lucille, the latest crop of comediennes is putting its own knee-slapping, hilarious spin on entertainment — wrapped in a prettier package, at that. Case in point: Bridesmaids. Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and company have everyone talking, including the dudes who revel in slapstick summer comedies. We’re all for this new breed of female empowerment that’s taking back the laugh.

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