The one and only, wonderful and amazing Tiffany Haddish has won her first Grammy for best comedy album category with her Netflix stand-up comedy special titled Black Mitzvah. In a wonderfully delightful, lovingly spicy and intellectually juicy stand-up, she not only reveals a fact not many people know about namely, that she is Jewish, but also that she has come to teach us a few life lessons. And teach us she did! The day Haddish’s Black Mitzvah was released, Haddish celebrated her bat mitzvah which also happened to coincide with her 40th birthday, having learned about her Jewish heritage when she was 27 years old.
Initially released in 2019, when the actress celebrated her 40th birthday, Black Mitzvah is a stand-up show celebrating life lessons by the master of getting through really tough life challenges and conquering them all, knocking them out the park and not only keep going but also becoming a badass successful woman. Bow down and take off your hats ladies and gentlemen and everyone in between – it’s Tiffany Haddish!
She enters the stage in style; dressed in a gorgeous black outfit with a magnificent long black detachable over-skirt, carried in a chair and singing to Hava Nagila. It’s the most glorious scene ever seen in any stand-up opening. And then her energy bursts out. Armoured with almighty power and honesty, she radiates the most intense upbeat and joyous energy that can infect you and get you happy and excited even on the murkiest of the days. She is simply herself and she is grand, she is majestic, she is spectacular and wise. And it is the wisdom she wants to share with us in her Black Mitzvah.
Being homeless several times in her life, with no one to turn to but her grandma, who she gives tribute to, no real parental guidance while discovering sexuality, sex and various infectious diseases, she decided to shine a light on life struggles and offer a secure guidance with a soft spot to land on. She’s like a big sister you wish you had, but never did.
Anything from Beyoncé’s dress to Sinbad and Drake, babies and the devil that lives in Miami, she comes to share it with us and lay it bare. She’s never had anyone to really raise her and tell her a thing or two about life’s challenges and says the only heritage she’s inherited is her DNA and her bottom. She also learned to comfort herself from the troubled relationship with her mum by explaining to us that her mum being mean to her is because she’s the better version of her mum. Going on, she doesn’t stop and tells us of her missed attempts at becoming a stripper, her mental health, her first sexual encounters and how putting mustard and peroxide on her lady parts were the things she picked up from random people and were not a great idea.
Moreover, she says that while “becoming a woman”, she’s “learned a lot of things” before she sends us on a journey of personal hygiene and her encounters with diseases and men’s dirty hands, which, she adds by the way, should go nowhere near women’s private parts. In fact, it is due to a few mishaps that she suffered in her woman-private area that she’s always wanted to know more about germs and as such, bought a microscope with her first bigger salary. She discovered that she’s a “lightweight scientist” interested in “the bacterias [sic.] and the germs and the parasites”. Elaborating further, she warns us of a more special connection harvested between our minds and germs: “every single one of us human beings … we all got parasites inside of us” and “the parasites listen to your mind”, but, she adds with a whimsical smile, “if you’re not in control of your mind, the parasites run you”. Since this revelation, she is blaming her parasites for when people tell her she has an attitude or talks too much or drinks too much – she confidently blames it all on the parasites.
Lovingly, she tells us of her 2019 New Year special stand-up show at James L Knight Center in Miami, where she bombed because she was terribly hungover after having had one of her party friends convince her to go partying and drinking the night prior. Because of that, she made it to all newsstands and later received concerned calls from Kevin Hart, Oprah and even late Martin Luther King.
Haddish also divulges her secret to being fit and not harassed by criminals. Namely, to keep up with her physical activity, she likes to skip in Crenshaw District, where she still lives in the South Central area of Los Angeles, notoriously known for high crime rates and gang activity, because she says that “ain’t nobody gonna ‘bout to fuck with a bitch that skip [sic.]” because she’s either “happy or she [sic.] crazy”. So, her advice goes that “if you ever feel like danger is around … start skipping”.
She lets us know that she is ballsy for she drinks out of a plastic straw because she’s “a motherfucking rebel” who “could smoke some weed up here [on the stage] and that’s totally legal, but drinking out of this straw … so bad.”
Black Mitzvah is on a mission to make you wet your pants with laughter. It is brutally honest and full of personal stories. Haddish is an explosion of radiating energy that infects you with the most sincere giggles. Her words are most candid, with no added filter, while her advice is based on her own past experiences she wants you to learn from. As for her advice on how to deal with mental health problems, she says “we need somebody to hold us sometimes, love on us, communicate with us and then maybe, you won’t feel so fucked up”. Thank you Tiffany Haddish!