Tiffany Haddish: Our New VBF

The LA comedian and actor is knocking the craic out of a very straight job

Tiffany Haddish has been working her way up through various sitcoms since 2005. Photograph: Maarten de Boer/NBC/NBC via Getty Images

Tiffany Haddish has been working her way up through various sitcoms since 2005. Photograph: Maarten de Boer/NBC/NBC via Getty Images

 

There are some people who, no matter what they do, are just entertaining. They can turn the most mundane task into something comical, without even trying, and then when they switch their settings to “joker”, they’re larger than life. When the comedian and actor Tiffany Haddish was announcing the Oscar nominees – a stagnant and unnatural rigmarole – alongside Andy Serkis, the actor better known as Gollum, she knocked some craic out of a very straight job.  

By exaggerating accents for names she couldn’t pronounce, drawling out the midwestern tones whenever Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was nominated and making Dunkirk sound like a shelved prototype of KerPlunk, she brought a lightness to a very stiff affair. And that is why we are nominating Haddish as our new VBF because she brings the lols wherever she goes.

Vanity Fair says that she is “the funniest person alive right now” and in November, she was the first black female comic to host Saturday Night Live. Ever. For this big gig, she reached out to Whoopi Goldberg for some advice, thinking she that had been a host at least once in the 36 years of career. She hadn’t and this was her warning: “You the first, bitch, you better do a good job.”

Sitcoms

The LA gal has been working her way up through various sitcoms since 2005 but she bombed her way into our lives and our hearts as the loud-mouthed and loose-living Dina, alongside Queen Latifah, Regina Hall and Jada Pinkett Smith, in 2017’s Girls Trip. While the movie itself is like Marmite for anyone that endured/enjoyed it, Haddish steals every scene. Her natural charm is impossible to contain and, according to an interview she did with the New York Times, she was given the freedom to play around with her lines so up to 85 per cent of what we saw of her onscreen was all her. Having had a difficult childhood – she and her five young siblings spent three years in foster care after her stepfather tampered with the brakes of her mother’s car, leading to an accident that caused permanent brain damage – she used humour as a shield. In 1997, when she was just 17 years old, her social worker offered her the ultimatum of a place in the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp, a camp for underprivileged children in and around Hollywood, or psychiatric therapy. She chose camp.

Now at 38 years of age, she won the New York Film Critics Circle best supporting actress award and the American Black Film Festival Rising Icon Award for her performance in Girls Trip, her book The Last Black Unicorn is a New York Times bestseller and on top of announcing a stand-up tour and landing a role opposite Tracy Morgan in TBS’ The Last OG, she just signed a two-year first look-deal with HBO. That means that anything she makes, they want it. It’s all go. Haddish is the human definition of YOLO and it looks as though everything is falling beautifully and deservedly into place for her. Whether or not she’s just being herself at a stuffy media gig or stealing yet another scene in her next TV project, we’re the lucky ones who can just lap it all up.

Oprah and Reese Witherspoon at a photoshoot for Vanity Fair
Oprah and Reese Witherspoon at a photoshoot for Vanity Fair

Unfriending: It’s remarkable that noted portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz can make some of the most aesthetically pleasing humans look like propped up corpses every year for her Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue spread. Lifeless and terribly photoshopped (Oprah has three hands in one of the photos), if they were your wedding photographer you’d demand your money back.

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