Following Tiffany Haddish bombing during a New Years Eve performance in Miami, so many articles have been done. But are we blowing it out of proportion?
For the last few days, comedienne Tiffany Haddish has been bombarded with reports about her New Years Eve performance in Miami ending rather embarrassingly. She forgot her jokes, couldn’t come up with ones on the spot and recognized the situation would be on TMZ in no time. Question is though, why is a comedienne bombing being made such a big deal? Especially when you consider Haddish’s record over the last two years?
Let me first fully recognize sexism and respectability politics are a factor here. Haddish is one of the few Black female stand-up comics who have gotten the opportunities male comics have been given left and right. This includes social media famous men who didn’t touch a stage and only did 30 seconds to 5 minutes worth of material.
Also, we have to recognize respectability politics has plagued Tiffany Haddish since Girls’ Trip made her famous. Haddish is from South Los Angeles and while capable of code-switching, she doesn’t do that for anyone and any reason, unless she is being paid. Which for many in the Black community is a problem for women are held to a different standard than men. This is especially true in entertainment, whether the woman is an actress, comedienne, or in the music industry.
But, with all that said, I wish people would stop throwing Chappelle in there to defend Haddish bombing in Miami. When he publicly bombed, a few years ago, that was when he was making a comeback. In comparison, Haddish has arguably been at the top of her game thanks to her recent string of hits (minus The Oath and Uncle Drew). So there were expectations here that makes her flopping not at the same level as Chappelle. And while we must note she already has one special on the books (She Ready! From The Hood To Hollywood), and another planned for Netflix likely this coming year, She Ready! wasn’t what it should have been.
That special, while it showed she is one hell of a storyteller, was filled with jokes that were used and abused during her promotion of Girls Trip, thus taking away from what could have made that special, well special. So with there being a slow build of anticipation for her Netflix special, and social media being what it is, word of mouth is everything. Especially since, unfortunately, Haddish has on her shoulders the ability to make or break the future of Black female comics transitioning into bigger pictures.
So, on the one hand, yes her bombing is being blown out of proportion. It isn’t like Haddish is well known for her stand up and arguably, unlike Chappelle, none of her fame rests off of her on-stage career. Yet, you have to recognize that with her being noted as a stand-up comic, despite that barely being anything someone would associate her with, she has been put in the position to be an example. One which could determine whether the gap between her and the next woman is as long and vast as it was between her and, Mo’Nique. The only other Black female standup comic, in years, you could argue was given the opportunity to have her own show, be in a multitude of movies (before being blackballed), and found consistent success off stage.
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