You may know her as the crazy, outgoing, convivial friend on “Girls Trip,” or have seen her performing stand-up at the Laugh Factory, but Tiffany Haddish is so much more than just a brilliant comedian. Through endless struggles in her life, Haddish continues to radiate happiness among her audience.
When she was nine years old, Haddish’s mother got into a traumatic car accident. In an interview with Breakfast Club, Haddish describes how the doctor had told her, “look, [your mother] is never gonna be the person that she was—it’s time for you to grow up now.” Her mother became abusive, both physically and verbally, and was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. In her memoir, “The Last Black Unicorn,” Haddish describes her dismissing her teacher’s concern about her cut lip, hiding that her mother was the cause. Haddish, the eldest of five siblings, had to take on the duties that her mother could not perform.
At 13 years old, Haddish and her siblings were split up and entered the foster care system, while still being able to communicate with their mother. Soon after, Haddish was molested by one of her caretakers. Nonetheless, she stayed in the system until she was of legal age. Haddish struggled in school, having become proficient in reading only in the ninth grade. Through her difficulties, however, her bright personality resonated and she was known as the class clown, additionally taking on the role of school mascot in high school. Teachers were not very fond of her disrupting the class, so Haddish’s social worker told her she either needed to speak to a psychiatrist or let her comedy out at the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp, a camp for underprivileged children. Of course, Haddish chose the latter.
Despite her strained upbringing, Haddish kept pulling through and began performing at Laugh Factory as a career (not through the camp). There, in 2005, she met Kevin Hart, who had noticed piles of clothing in her car and asked her about it. Homeless, Haddish tried to convince Hart that it was nothing to worry about. Nonetheless, Hart gave her $300, out of pocket, with which she used to get a hotel room for several nights.
As if being split from her siblings through foster care and barely graduating from school wasn’t difficult enough for Haddish to withstand, her adult-life was not much easier. In addition to fiscal problems, Haddish also struggled in her first marriage. Haddish married the same man twice; she re-married though he had always been abusive. Their on/off relationship finally ended, however, one night in 2013 when he was especially violent and arrested for domestic abuse. On that night, Haddish miscarried without even having known she was pregnant. Since, Haddish has persevered and continued performing stand-up, as well as being hired as “energy producer” or MC for Bar Mitzfahs.
Today, Haddish is breaking barriers. 2017 was her big year. She starred in “Girls Trip,” was the first black comed-ienne to host Saturday Night Live, and is now working with Tracy Morgan on the new show “The Last OG.”
In her SNL Monologue, Haddish reminds the audience to pay their taxes, because that’s what pays for betterment of the foster care system. You can watch Haddish talking about living in her new home and her “joyful greens” from her garden on ellen, or find her selfie with Beyoncé on her Instagram, @TiffanyHaddish.
Despite all she has overcome and is still overcoming, her smile and love for laughter have always shined through. On Good Morning America, Haddish describes how making Mary J. Blige laugh, in a particularly difficult period—of many—in her life, made her forget about it all. Though she continues to care for her mother, Tiffany Haddish is thriving, becoming a role model for all, but especially for girls, women of color, and for children with unstable upbringings.
If you need a good laugh, pull up some videos of Haddish’s stand-up or of her interviews on any talk show. Her humor and exuberance are sure to brighten your day.
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