US comic’s rough ride to the red carpet

NY bows to charis­matic Had­dish, who once lived out of a car, writes Elahe Izadi

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - PEOPLE -

TIF­FANY HAD­DISH is liv­ing her best life, and bring­ing ev­ery­one along for the ride. The stand-up comic and break­out star of Girls Trip de­liv­ered a nearly 18-minute ac­cep­tance speech at Wed­nes­day’s New York Film Crit­ics’ Cir­cle (NYFCC) awards, al­ter­nat­ing be­tween ou­tra­geous jokes and in­spi­ra­tional mes­sages. As she ac­cepted the award for best sup­port­ing ac­tress, she openly hit on Michael B Jor­dan and de­scribed a graphic scene cut from Girls

Trip. She en­cour­aged ev­ery­one to be their true selves. And the stars who fol­lowed her couldn’t stop men­tion­ing her.

Not many en­ter­tain­ers could hold court for so long and in such a cap­ti­vat­ing way, but the Had­dish speech shouldn’t come as a sur­prise to any­one who’s been watch­ing her as­cent in the last year. Some­how she is both a ball of sun­shine and shock­ing. She can say crude things while never be­ing truly mean.

And she’s turned some of the most po­ten­tially dull celebrity rit­u­als – ac­cep­tance speeches and late-night in­ter­views – into re­fresh­ing, gut­bust­ing mo­ments.

Had­dish shows how to be au­then­tic and charis­matic at the very mo­ments des­ig­nated for celebri­ties to be just that. Stand-up comics usu­ally adapt their stage ma­te­rial to late-night show couch ban­ter. But that tran­si­tion works es­pe­cially well for Had­dish, whose com­edy is rooted in per­sonal sto­ry­telling. She has an in­cred­i­ble life story, go­ing from foster care, to liv­ing out of her car, to Hol­ly­wood star­dom. It feels more nat­u­ral to watch her laugh along with the au­di­ence about her ridicu­lous an­tics dur­ing an in­ter­view than it does to watch her do it in a stand-up set. She also gets to play off some­one else; with Had­dish, a late-night host doesn’t have to fake in­ter­est.

Her NYFCC speech brought the au­di­ence to its feet, ac­cord­ing to Van­ity Fair mag­a­zine, and af­ter­wards ev­ery­one from Ed­ward Nor­ton to Willem Dafoe to Ti­mothée Cha­la­met ref­er­enced her when they got on stage. While the gala isn’t tele­vised, tweets and video of her speech got con­sid­er­able at­ten­tion from those not in the room. It was filmed by Buz­zFeed film critic Ali­son Will­more.

“First, I want to thank God, be­cause with­out God my mama and daddy wouldn’t have put their two uglies to­gether and wouldn’t have made me,” she told the au­di­ence.

Later, she thanked the crit­ics. “I’m learn­ing a lot about you guys. The only crit­ics I’ve ever known be­fore this were Siskel and Ebert, and then when they passed, I was like, oh well. I ain’t go­ing to lie to you: All my stuff comes from TV. Who’s the new movie critic TV show? Is there one? Get it to­gether, y’all.”

Then she got emo­tional and thanked any­one who has talked about her, whether pos­i­tively or neg­a­tively. “I ap­pre­ci­ate you; I’m glad you see me. Be­cause it’s been so many years no­body saw me,” she said.

“When you’re a lit­tle kid go­ing through the [foster-care] sys­tem, you won­der, does any­body even know I’m alive?” she said. “And to be able to be this ex­am­ple to so many youth, there’s so many peo­ple like me that you guys have no clue about, but they com­ing. Be­cause I kicked the f...ing door open.”

Had­dish has had roles on The Carmichael Show and the movie Keanu, but many peo­ple first be­came ac­quainted with the real Had­dish after her July ap­pear­ance on Jimmy Kim­mel Live. Her story about tak­ing Will and Jada Pin­kett Smith on a Groupon swamp tour was likely the best late-night in­ter­view of the year, and it fast went vi­ral.

“That is an un­be­liev­ably great story,” Kim­mel said at the end. He clearly meant it, too.

A month later, after her Girls

Trip per­for­mance was praised by crit­ics and the film be­came a hit, Had­dish left Stephen Col­bert goo­glyeyed as she re­galed him with sto­ries about cen­sus sur­veys and liv­ing out of her car.

She had Trevor Noah gig­gling un­con­trol­lably dur­ing her Daily Show in­ter­view. He also couldn’t stop com­pli­ment­ing her.

“There are human be­ings who walk into a room and light it up with not just their per­son­al­ity, but also their gen­uine pos­i­tive en­ergy,” Noah later wrote on Face­book. “Tif­fany is one of those peo­ple. A su­per­star both on and off screen.” – The Wash­ing­ton Post

Tif­fany Had­dish had Trevor Noah in un­con­trol­lable fits of gig­gles on The Daily Show, and he couldn’t stop com­pli­ment­ing her af­ter­wards.

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