Why 'Girls Trip' star Tiffany Haddish is comedy gold
In a clip from ensemble comedy ‘Girls Trip,’ Lisa (Jada Pinkett Smith) gifts her girlfriends homemade vests for their New Orleans getaway. Do the girls like it? "Looks like a BeDazzler threw up on that thing,” Dina (Tiffany Haddish) jokes.
With co-stars like Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish (Keanu) might be the least recognizable name in Girls Trip, the R-rated ensemble comedy that arrives in theaters Friday. But as Dina, she's a standout party-girl character who will make you laugh 'til you cry when she fights a co-worker who took her Go-Gurt, flashes Diddy at a concert and threatens to defecate in a man's shoes.
The latter thing, Haddish also did in real life.
"When I was 21, (a guy) cheated on me on videotape," Haddish, 37, recalls in her signature blunt delivery. "He didn't have no nice car, he didn't own a house, (but) he had a pair of brand new Jordans, (so) I pooped in them."
Yep, this girl is comedy gold.
Next up: She'll headline a Showtime stand-up special, She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood! (Aug. 18), continue her comedy tour (with new dates this fall) and publish her memoir The Last Black Unicorn (available Dec. 5).
Four more reasons you should pay attention to Haddish:
She has the looks of a Disney princess while delivering filthy jokes
Though Haddish has been given plenty of backhanded compliments about being too good-looking for comedy, "I never felt like I was a pretty girl, ever," she says. "Guys talk really filthy and I always hung with guys (at school), so I talk a little dirt."
This explains why you can see Haddish mime oral sex and talk in excruciating detail about Brazilian waxes onscreen.
She's been doing comedy since she was a teen
Haddish had a tough upbringing that involved being raised in a foster home and getting in trouble at school. In an attempt to curb Haddish's bad behavior, her social worker gave her an ultimatum: Do psychiatric therapy or Laugh Factory comedy camp for disadvantaged kids.
Choosing camp, where she learned from Richard Pryor and Dane Cook, "changed my whole world," Haddish says. "When I was almost 16, they did a news story on Channel 2 (about me), a young black girl coming from the ghetto rising above hardships through comedy."
"I thought I was gonna be famous after that story, (but) nobody cared," she says. Her big break came more than a decade later when she appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show.
Some of her best onscreen moments were improvised
There's a scene in BET's Real Husbands of Hollywood where Haddish enters the room, slaps Kevin Hart, takes his money, and then goes off-script by hilariously smooching a passed-out Boris Kodjoe, because "I always wanted to kiss him," Haddish says matter-of-factly. He flinched and "I thought I'd be fired." (She wasn't.)
On Meet the Spartans, a bunch of Haddish's "Yo Mama" one-liners made it into the movie, and on Girls Trip, Haddish improvised many of her character's jokes, including a laugh-out-loud-funny monologue about hiding a cheating man's body, using Q-tips on his genitals and, yes, pooping in his shoes.
She's humbly living the dream
On an early-morning phone call, Haddish is peppy, because "I woke up today and everybody don't get to do that," she says earnestly. It doesn't hurt that she just got a call about two potential movie roles.
"I'm tired a lot of the time (with work), but I'm living the best dream ever," she says. "I've been doing comedy a long time, (and) I'm excited for the world to see what I prepared."