Salisbury Press

Tuesday, April 7, 2020
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY KEITH MAJORTiffany Haddish, “She Ready” standup comedy tour, 8 p.m. Feb. 27, Wind Creek Event Center, Bethlehem. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY KEITH MAJORTiffany Haddish, “She Ready” standup comedy tour, 8 p.m. Feb. 27, Wind Creek Event Center, Bethlehem.

Grateful laughter: Tiffany Haddish celebrates ‘the little things’ in success

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 by DEB BOYLAN Special to The Press in Focus

Tiffany Haddish is having her moment.

Channel surf to any popular daytime or late-night talker and you are likely to see Haddish seated in the guest’s seat promoting her latest movie role, stand-up comedy tour, best-selling memoir (“The Last Black Unicorn”), streaming special or any number of upcoming projects she has in the pipeline.

From Wendy Williams’ purple couch to Jimmy Kimmel’s comfy chair, TV hosts pursue Haddish to be a guest on their shows.

Many believe her 2017 turn as “Dina” in the smash comedy film, “Girls Trip,” was her breakthrough, “I made it,” moment but Haddish rightly begs to differ.

“I feel like I made it when I ended up on ‘The Arsenio Hall Show,’” says Haddish in a phone interview. “Everybody’s like, ‘No you made it when “Girl’s Trip,” came out.’

“I’m like, ‘No. I owned a home, I had a place to live after I did ‘The Arsenio Hall Show’ [2013-2014 revival]. So, to me, that’s when I made it.

“When I was able to have my own roof over my head and not worry about how I am going to pay my bills ... All these really awesome things happened after that [‘The Arsenio Hall Show’], that lead up to ‘Girls Trip.’”

Hot on the heels of her recent Netflix comedy special, “Black Mitzvah,” Haddish brings her standup comedy tour, “She Ready,” to Wind Creek Event Center, Bethlehem, 8 p.m. Feb. 27.

From the humblest of beginnings in the foster-care system and several periods of homelessness, to the rarified air that success begets, Haddish has remained grounded and true to herself.

“It don’t take much for me to be like, ‘I’m winning,’” she joyfully declares. “Like, OK, ‘You have an audition,’ Yes! I’ve won! I’m in there!”

“I celebrate the little things and then those big things come and it just makes me appreciate it all even more.”

Haddish is still informed by her time living through what for her was the revolving door of the foster-care system: a life where a sense of home can be little more than a whistle-stop.

“I am a hoarder,” she says. “Like papers, because you know, when I was in the system, they would give your birth certificate or like your Social Security card to whoever is in charge of you, your foster parents.

“When you leave out of there, they never give it to you. So, then you have to start all over again, to get your [documents].

“So, like, I hoard papers. It’s like one of my most horrible things,” she says.

“And clothes, like, it is ridiculous. I hold on to my clothes because like, I remember being in school and every Thursday, I wore this gray shirt and gray pants, and every Friday I wore orange pants because I didn’t have many clothes.

“And now I have an abundance of clothing. I do [eventually] end up letting a lot [of clothing] go. But I just went and accumulated a whole bunch more. I have a problem. I’m working on it,” she laughs.

While remnants of the past remain, Haddish allows herself to harvest the fruits of her labor.

When asked about some early splurges she recalls, “The biggest splurge was when I went to Rhianna’s ‘Diamond Ball,’ and there was an auction for these earrings,” she says.

“I ended up paying $70,000,” she laughs, still marveling at the expenditure.

She recalls having initial buyer’s shock following the purchase. “Girl, I cried. I went sick at my hotel and cried.” She corrects herself on the purchase price. The earrings were $65,000, no less a sticker-shocking sum.

Haddish is quick to add that the earrings are now valued at $75,000, certainly not a bad return on investment.

Her other largest expenditure was her house. If it hasn’t been made clear, Haddish values a permanent home above all other material items. She doesn’t view her house as a splurge, rather a necessity.

“I own it. I paid it outright,” she says of her home, “but something I didn’t necessarily need, and I haven’t worn since, are these diamond earrings.

“I put them in a box that has a light in it so when you open it up, it’s like they light up and sparkle, and I look at them and say, ‘I paid lots of money for you,’ and I close the box, and put it back in the safe,” she laughs.

When asked if she holds any enduring worries regarding money, she says, “I know that I am working enough and creating enough that to me, money is like an attractive woman. If you say nice things about her, treat her right, she’s always gonna come around.

“As soon as you talk bad about her, say she ain’t good enough, treat her wrong, just be frivolous with her, then she’ll never show up.”

Audiences will absolutely want to show up for Haddish’s nearly sold-out Wind Creek performance.

She has a parting message for folks planning on attending her show:

“One more thing I feel like the people should know, they should know this,” she stresses, “My stand-up comedy show is for grownups, not for kids. Do not be trying to bring your kids to the show.

“This is a grown folks show. We are going to be talking about grown-up things. So yeah, no children.

“I want to make that very clear.”

Tickets: Wind Creek Event Center Box Office, 77 Wind Creek Boulevard, Bethlehem; windcreekbethlehem.com/en/Nightlife/event-center.html; 610-297-7414; 1-800-745-3000; Ticketmaster