Last New Year’s Eve, Tiffany Haddish made headlines for “bombing” during a standup show in Miami. At the time, she tweeted a response to acknowledge that it happened and that she “prayed on it” and felt it would not happen again. Now, almost a year later, Haddish has used her new Netflix special, “Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah,” to go into more detail about what went wrong in Miami, Fla.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Miami, but this is where the devil is,” Haddish said on stage. “I didn’t know; I found out.”
She shared she landed in the Florida city at around 10 p.m. on Dec. 30, the night before her scheduled show, and she had a lot of friends in town because they all wanted to be at her show. “Anybody got that one friend — that one friend that can motivate you to do s— you ain’t got no damn business doing?” Haddish said. “You ever see that movie ‘Pinocchio’? Pinocchio was trying to go to school; he was trying to be a good little boy. And then his friend came up … and then they turned in f—ing donkeys — they turned into jackasses. That’s what the f— happened to me!”
Haddish said she had a friend who called her to entice her into coming out, in part to actually celebrate the big year she’d just had, which included — Haddish reminded the crowd — becoming the first African American female comedian to not only host “Saturday Night Live” but also win a guest comedy actress Emmy for that host stint, as well as writing a book and then being nominated for a Grammy for “reading out-loud” (aka the audiobook) after struggling with literacy during her child and teen years.
Haddish admitted she was “out there partying my ass off, dancing, drinking — drinking more than I had ever drank in my entire life. I was drinking everything; anything somebody handed to me, I was drinking it.” She remembered being “so messed up my kidneys failed on me” and “was pretty sure I peed in the Uber.”
While she did get back to her hotel to sleep it off before her performance, she was awoken mid-day to do a video to excite her audience for that New Year’s Eve show. “If you see this video, this video will tell you this is not going to be a good show,” she said. “I didn’t know where the f— I was going to be performing at. It was bad. It was another bad choice.”
She played the now-infamous Instagram clip for the audience, offering commentary over it. “She was not ready,” she said. “Anybody with any common sense would be like, ‘That show’s going to be bad.'”
She also showed a photo of her team getting her ready for the show, in which she is laying down in her blue dress while makeup is being applied to her face. “I can’t sit up in the chair straight,” she said. “It was like they were getting me ready for my funeral. I was just laying there dead.”
Even up until the moment she was announced to take the stage, Haddish said she wasn’t feeling well. Those around her were trying to give her a pep talk, reminding her she sold out the theater and “was going to knock this out of the park,” but she was “hurting.”
She walked out to “over 4,000 people standing up on their feet, cheering for me, all these cell phone lights,” she recalled. “I’m looking out, and my soul’s looking out, and my soul’s like, ‘Bye, bitch!'”
But Haddish learned a lot from the experience — including not to let the audience of her shows bring in cell phones and film pieces of her set. She also learned about the level of fame she had achieved and the support she had around her. She shared she received calls from Kevin Hart, Oprah Winfrey and Sinbad, all to check in on her and make sure she was OK.
“I had shows on New Year’s Eve, too, and both of them were really bad,” Haddish reiterated what Sinbad said to her during their chat. “But nobody talked about my shows, so you know what that means — because they all talked about you. That means you made it. You’re a star.”
In “Black Mitzvah,” Haddish also reflected on some of the lessons she learned having to raise herself while in the foster care system, explained why her preferred method of exercise is skipping, told a story about Drake’s father hitting on her and talked about how her grandmother, who has been living with her, is a c—blocker.
“Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah” is streaming now on Netflix.