She ready! What an accurate description of the meteoric rise of Tiffany Haddish. The Grammy award-winner (yea, she has one of those) catapulted from a comedian trying to make it in the Los Angeles stand-up circuit to a Hollywood A-Lister. She’s been leaving her imprint on the entertainment industry by being herself without apology and funny as hell at the same time.
Over the last few years, we’ve watched Haddish give scene-stealing performances in T.V. shows like The Carmichaels and The Last O.G., brought major laughs in blockbuster films like Girls Trip, and hilarious stand-up specials including Black Mitzvah, which earned her a 2020 Grammy for Best Comedy. Using her star-power to give opportunities to some of her favorite comedians, Haddish launched comedy specials on Netflix titled Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready, where she handpicks each comedian for an opportunity to do their routines on the big stage. Now, she’s on the cusp of ushering in the second season as the host of the unfiltered hit variety show, Kids Say The Darndest Things, which premieres on CBS on Wednesday, May 5.
If you didn’t already figure it out, Tiffany Haddish is a force to be reckoned with.
BET.com caught up with Haddish and talked about her recent Grammy win, why she’s so excited that Black women are doing it big in comedy, and what to expect on the upcoming season of Kids Say The Darndest Things.
BET.com: You are such a perfect fit as host of Kids Say The Darndest Things. How did you get this gig?
Tiffany Haddish: My agent reached out and said, ‘There's a really cool show called Kids Say The Darndest Things and they’re bringing it back and I wanted to see if you would be interested in hosting.’ I was like, ‘I used to watch the show back in the day.’ Then he said that they wanted to have a meeting with me first. I was like, ‘Yeah, O.K. I’m doing that. I’m a be hosting this show. That's happening.’ This was my way of fulfilling my dream of always wanting to be on the show. Instead of being on it as a kid, now I’m the host. I would have been great on the show as a kid but I’m an even better host.
BET.com: In your life, you helped raise your siblings and you’ve been open about your foster care experience. Since you’ve been doing the show, what have you learned about yourself?
Tiffany Haddish: I learned that I’m more patient than I thought and I’m so much fun! Well, at least that’s what the kids tell me. One kid even told me that I was a big deal.
BET.com: Not only are you known for being hilarious but you’re always honest and kids can say whatever is on their minds to you. Do you believe that’s why you have an authentic connection with them?
Tiffany Haddish: Well, yeah, that’s a connection but also, the kids can tell if we’re being genuine or not. I think they love it because they can tell that I love it. Some people think that kids should be seen and not heard. I think that kids should always be seen and heard. Kids are some of the best comedians. They’re hilarious. So, you know, if you're kind to the kids, they'll be kind to you but some are a little wild. They probably got it from their daddies.
BET.com: Have any of the kids recognized you from your roles on T.V. or movies?
Tiffany Haddish: Oh yeah. Immediately. One of them recognized me from Girls Trip and I was like, ‘Wait a minute.’ Then I was like, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’
BET.com: Speaking of films, in your last movie Bad Trip, how were you able to pull off those wild pranks without being recognized?
Tiffany Haddish: O.K., so we did that at the beginning of 2019, and I wasn’t that popular and you know, I had facial hair going on, crazy braids, and face paint. So, people really didn't recognize me. It was so funny because when we would reveal who we were and tell them it was a prank, they would be like, ‘Oh my goodness!’ One Black lady said, ‘It felt like you might have been Tiffiany Haddish but the energy just wasn't right.’
BET.com: Watching you find out about your Grammy win on the set of Kids Say The Darndest Things was amazing. What was it like to share that moment and what was like it to get a congratulatory call from Whoppi Goldberg?
Tiffany Haddish: Wow. It still makes me emotional when I think about it. I was the first Black woman to win for Best Comedy since [Whoopi Goldberg won in] 1986! I loved that message. It was everything for me. In my mind, Whoopi Goldberg is my mother. That was the ultimate validation.
BET.com: There’s been an explosion of Black women comedians and creatives in front of and behind the camera making it happen. On They Ready, you’ve introduced the world to some of these talented women. Is this the age of Black women in the comedy world?
Tiffany Haddish: I love it. I love it. Love it. Love it. It's about damn time. I’m glad I was in the position to use my platform to give opportunities to other comedians especially women who have been grinding for years. That’s really what it’s all about. I made a promise that I would reach back if I made it first. I’m really happy about it and we’re just getting started.
Watch Season two of Kids Say The Darndest Things on Wednesday, May, 5 at 8/7C on CBS.
(Eric McCandless via Getty Images)