While not a potential classic, and kind of disappointing after Girl’s Trip, Tiffany Haddish: She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood is a decent comedy special.
From foster care to YouTube university, from a string of bad relationships to homelessness, and then working in Hollywood, Tiffany Haddish has had quite the journey. A journey in which, if you have been watching interviews she has had since the marketing campaign of Girl’s Trip started, and especially watched her on late night or The Breakfast Club, you probably know 1/5 of the jokes/stories presented in She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood. Be it her Groupon story with Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith and how Kevin Hart and $300 changed her life.
Now, I should note, she adds a few extra details to those stories, but pretty much they are the same thing you have been listening to for months. Though, that isn’t to say her whole special is the original material [note]This was filmed before the release of Girl’s Trip.[/note] Tiffany has been using for fun and interesting anecdotes. Between talking about marrying her ex-stalker, a horrible boyfriend she had in her 20s, talking about some of her foster parents, to elaborating more on some of her experiences with Jada and Queen Latifah, alongside her recent reveal of being a white woman, there is a lot you may not have seen or heard before.
As for whether you may laugh and roar like in Girl’s Trip? Probably not. However, let’s not forget the Tiffany in that movie and the one on stage are two different people in two different scenarios. So with no one to play off of besides her audience, and only a mic, which she solely uses to be heard, I’d say lower your expectations just a bit.
Other Noteworthy Moments
She’s A Good Storyteller
With her being mentored by Richard Pryor as a kid, of course, Haddish is going to have some kind of knack for storytelling. Especially in terms of making tragic moments in her life funny. In fact, similar to how Chappelle had his multiple meetings with OJ Simpson as an anchor in his comedy special, Haddish uses psychotic breaks.
Be it when she was bullied as a kid by this child named Kiosha, when she got cheated on by her boyfriend, or her husband, these set tent poles about the bad times in her life. Yet, despite how bad things got, Haddish brings about this idea that being the around the way hood girl she is, she made it work. All thanks to the tools she may have gained from her foster parents [note]I say “may have gained” since I’m not 100% sure if she was joking or not. [/note]. Such as learning about carpentry and fixing things from a Hispanic family she once lived with.
Making it so, once she brings up working around Kevin Hart, her getting on Def Comedy Jam, and also her booking movie and TV roles, it is undeniably something you feel she deserves.
Didn’t I Just Hear This Story?
As noted in the summary, if you became someone obsessed with her after Girl’s Trip, you may feel like a lot of the jokes/ stories she tells in She Ready! you heard before. Which sort of puts a damper on things. Mostly because it seems she has treated her act the same way a singer handles a new single. While promoting this, alongside Girl’s Trip, you probably heard and saw the same routine over and over. Making it where, even if this is the original version, with a few extra details, it isn’t enough to make those well-known jokes funny again.
On The Fence
More Therapy Than Comedy
When she was doing comedy camp, as a teen, one of the criticisms Richard Pryor had for her was that the audience didn’t come for a one woman show about your problems. They came to be relieved of theirs for however long your set it.
Something Tiffany does do, to a point. For while she does find the funny in a lot of sad times in her life, between feeling like you heard the joke before, and some of her jokes/antics not hitting hard, it is easy to only see the pain everything is sourced from. Making it where, as unabashed as she is about what she went through, the pain isn’t something she builds off on but rather is what eclipses the majority of her jokes. Leaving you more so remembering what happened to her than the punch line.
Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)
The two main issues here are that a noticeable part of her material she has used since this special was filmed and because of Girl’s Trip, your expectations are likely high. Together, they may lead you to be a bit disappointed with the special. Especially if you have been scouring through YouTube to get your Haddish fix.
Hence the mixed label. For while the special doesn’t make you feel that Haddish is a one hit wonder, it does lead you to wonder if her career may end up like a lot of rappers, if not also some actors. That is, her being pigeonholed into playing the same character over and over. Alongside her comedy tapping that well about her being in foster care and that part of her life until she eventually is just repeating herself.
For while her life has changed and that may support new material, she seems to be the opposite of most stand ups who make it big. Meaning, she is funnier when someone else is writing her jokes, and she just ad libs, vs. her writing and performing all of her own material.