Comedian Tiffany Haddish beat all the odds stacked against her and is becoming a household name. After 19 years of hard work, she landed a breakout role as “Dina,” the rambunctious, vulgar girlfriend alongside heavy hitters Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and Regina Hall in the box office hit Girls Trip. Then, she made history by becoming the first African American female stand-up comedian to host Saturday Night Live (11 other Black women hosting the show including Cicely Tyson, Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry, Taraji P. Henson, Queen Latifah, Whoopi Goldberg and more, but Haddish is the first non-cast member stand-up comedian)! But what many do not know is her road to success involved many twists and turns.
During an interview with The Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM, Haddish talks about raising her younger siblings. Their mother suffered a head injury as a result of a tragic car crash. An emotional Haddish recalls being at the hospital and the doctor pulling her to the side saying, “Look, she’s never going to be the person that she was. It’s time for you to grow up now you’re going to have to help her as much as you can.”
From that moment on, the then 9-year old Haddish helped her mom learn how to read, walk and talk again while raising four younger siblings. Haddish says, “When I think back on it, it made me super strong.”
Comedy to the Rescue
Eventually, Haddish and her siblings moved into foster care because her mother developed schizophrenia and became abusive and neglectful to Haddish and her siblings. There were two instances while in foster care that inspired her to become a comedian. Haddish recalls having to share sleeping quarters with “gangster chicks with mental problems” who would threaten to fight her every night and to thwart them off she remembered a scene from the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
“This movie inspired all of my comedy because there was a scene where Roger tells a detective if you make people laugh they will do anything for you. And I was like yea that’s the ticket, this is how I’m going to keep from getting beat up.”
Haddish was also propositioned by her social worker to either go to psychiatric therapy or to the Laugh Factory’s Comedy Camp. By choosing comedy camp she worked with celebrities such as Richard Pryor and Dane Cook who inspired her to take her comedy seriously.
After a few years in foster care, Haddish’s grandmother received custody of her and her siblings and began raising them. Haddish later became homeless, and eventually hit her big break by catching the attention of veteran comedian Kevin Hart. She continued to work hard, landing roles on tv shows like NBC’s The Carmichael Show and in movies like Keanu.
Life After Girls Trip
Haddish’s latest comedy special, She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood, premiered on Showtime August 18.
When asked how she came up with the name “She Ready,” Haddish talks about when she would go out with her cousins. After getting ready they would come out the house and say, “Yeah, she ready” if everyone looked cute. If someone didn’t they would say, “Uh, uh, she not ready, go back in the house.”
She says, “It kind of just stuck with me through everything. Like before I get on stage, I’m like, ‘Yeah, she ready, you for this.’ It’s a confidence booster. She ready for what? She ready for success, she ready to win, she ready to spread love, she ready to make people laugh, she ready for joy, she ready to get this job.”
Tiffany Haddish has proven herself in the comedic world and they’ve surely room for her. Her story is an inspiration to many girls looking to achieve their dreams despite the obstacles that seem to stand in their way.
Post courtesy of BlackDoctor.org.