Tiffany Haddish is in hot demand right now.
She ‘s the latest big name In Hollywood, for sure, but even the wait to check out her audiobook, The Last Black Unicorn, from my library’s Overdrive app came with a 1½ month wait.
Her mix of humor and “realness” makes her seem like a refreshing change to the Hollywood norm. Yes, she’s beautiful and can walk a red carpet with style and panache, but her frank, over-the-top personality makes her accessible to those of us who aren’t rich and fabulous. She can joke with us about Groupons and pity dates with coworkers.
As a child, Tiffany Haddish had a stubborn wart on her forehead. And thus was born the last black unicorn.
Her book takes us through her foster care upbringing, sexual abuse, pre-Hollywood jobs, troubled relationships, and her rise through the stand-up comedy gauntlet. There are several parts of her life that could easily lead her to despair, but Haddish ‘s humor and tenacity keeps her on a forward trajectory.
Part of her draw is that we the audience can feel vicariously victorious through her. Haddish is somewhat representative of a unicorn. She’s an African-American female comedian who has managed to hit it big – something we see too rarely in the entertainment industry. Her success story represents hope to others who might read the book of her upbringing and think, “She ‘s had it tougher than I did. If she can overcome that and find success, maybe there ‘s hope for someone like me.”
It doesn’t hurt that she’s damn funny and hard working.
Her story of the Groupon trip with Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith is particularly surreal and funny. I also would be one of the dorks who works lyrics to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air into casual conversation (I can still recite the theme song from memory). Her other humor may be a bit too raunchy for some readers. I guffawed, but would definitely rate it a hard R.
The big question is what ‘s next for Haddish. We’ve seen plenty of “real” people turned successful Hollywood moguls become part of the machine. Likewise, it would be unfair of us, her fans, to expect her to never evolve, to stay forever rooted in foster care and the TWA.
For her next book (oh I hope I hope there’s a next book), I would love to hear more of her encounters among the famous people of Hollywood. Or tales from the stand-up comedy trail.
Haddish’s voice is funny, honest, and blunt. It ‘s one I hope to be hearing for a long time.
The Last Black Unicorn
Published December 2017