Comedian, actress, singer and author, Tiffany Haddish is a quadruple threat. The Los Angeles native doesn’t shy away from her past, and attributes her unwavering work ethic to being “homeless and hungry”.

Tiffany’s rise to rarefied fame began long before her acclaimed role in ‘Girls Trip’. From her role as Jackie on the first season of the OWN television drama ‘If Loving You Is Wrong’ in 2014, to starring as Nekeisha Williams on the NBC sitcom ‘The Carmichael Show’, Tiffany finally wound up in the 2016 comedy film ‘Keanu’, alongside Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key. Working in the industry since 2005, Tiffany is proof that consistent work reaps rewards.

Photo: ‘Girls Trip’ (2017)

Her rise to meteoric fame in 2017 didn’t come without its hardships. In her 20s, struggling as a standup comic, Tiffany was homeless and living in her car. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the star recounts a time that Kevin Hart lent her money to get herself a room for the night. “[Hart] saw all the stuff in my car,” Tiffany remembers. “He had like this long discussion with me, you know? Basically like, ‘You’re a beautiful woman. You could stay with any man. Why don’t you just stay with a man, like?’ And I was also like, ‘I’m not sleeping with nobody for a roof over my head. I’m just not that type of person.'”

In her memoir, ‘The Last Black Unicorn‘ Tiffany, recalls the rampant sexual harassment she faced while trying to make her way in the comedy scene. “I can’t tell you how many promoters tried to tell me that to get on stage, I had to get on my back,” Haddish writes of her early days doing stand up. Her response, she says, was always “Hell no!”

Always determined to make things happen on her own merits, Tiffany’s undeterred spirit has made her one of the most sought after comedians in the industry. As her list of accolades stretches, from awards to becoming the first Black woman stand-up in the entire history of Saturday Night Live, her goals do not.

When asked what hosting meant to her, Tiffany told Variety, “Can I be honest? Not that much! Because I didn’t get a check with it.” Her priority is taking care of her family “and if I ever have children, take care of them,” she continues. “[I want to] create some generational wealth. The only way to do that is to have some money so you can buy some land. I need checks!”

Photo: Saturday Night Live

It’s hard to knock the hustle especially when someone as frank as Tiffany expounds on how difficult her situation was. “When you get tired of washing your a** in the sink, you will be like ‘you know what, I’m going to make sure this never happens again.'”

Most recently, though, her star has taken a knock. On New Year’s Eve, Tiffany came under fire for bombing her Miami show. She took to Twitter to confirm the news, by posting an article from The Root.

It was reported that audience members walked out, and Haddish ended up having drinks with those that stayed behind. While many came out to support her, others coopted her catchphrase, “She Ready” and tweeted their disappointed using the hashtag #SheNotReady.

But if her past is anything to go by, Tiffany isn’t going to be fazed by a slight fumble on her path to success. “I just know I’m doing what I love to do,” and it’s this unrelenting passion that makes her a fighter. The self-made star is never coy about her flaws but uses them to her advantage, a lesson we can all take something from.  “I believe in who I am.,” she tells Variety, “[but] sometimes you just gotta bump your head,” she jokes. “I want to own a studio because then I could create what I want and I can create a platform where others can come and create what they want because for so many years I’ve been told, ‘No, you can’t do this. No, we don’t want that.’ Well, fine. I’ll do it on my own.”

As an aspirational mogul, whose “master plan is to be like little baby Oprah”, there is nothing standing in Tiffany’s way except for herself, and no hashtag is enough to convince anyone that she isn’t ready for what the future holds.

Tiffany Haddish is scheduled to release a special for Netflix.


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Kish Lal

Kish Lal is a pop culture critic based in New York.


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