Tiffany Haddish pays her success forward by showcasing six of her favorite comedians.
Tiffany Haddish shot to stardom on the strength of 2017’s Girls Trip, an excellent comedy that owes a large part of its success to allowing Haddish to essentially play herself. Since then she has become if not a household name then at least a major celebrity. She starred in Night School alongside Kevin Hart and can currently be seen in the serious mob wives thriller The Kitchen, with Melissa McCarthy and Elisabeth Moss. Later this year, Netflix will host her latest stand-up special. Until then, though, we have Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready, a showcase of six unsung comedians — all women, all marginalized — whom Tiffany Haddish wants to use her current platform to elevate.
This is a personal project — you can just tell. These women are friends and colleagues; they have experienced many of the same hardships, obstacles and stifled opportunities throughout their careers. Haddish providing her peers with this platform — an original stand-up series on easily the largest streaming platform in the world — isn’t charity; it’s elevating people she cares about, whose work she respects, who weren’t fortunate enough to enjoy the same breakout opportunity she did. For most of these women, major success is overdue. Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready isn’t laced with gratitude, but sisterly solidarity. You get the sense any of the comics would provide the same opportunity for any of the others.
Each woman gets her own half-hour special. Tracey Ashley, Flame Monroe, Aida Rodriguez, Marlo Williams, April Macie, and Chaunté Wayans are all women that Haddish knows and has worked with, and they’re all funny. At the start of each episode, Tiffany briefly describes each act, and we get to see them interact together for a couple of minutes until she brings them on-stage and the comics can really speak for themselves. The styles and personalities are diverse — which is the point, obviously. These women need opportunities not because they don’t deserve them — many have been working in the industry for many years — but because they wouldn’t otherwise get them.
Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready is part of a clear drive to promote more marginalized voices on Netflix and platforms like it, and it’s a resounding success in that regard. The acts are well-chosen, talented on their own terms and surely better positioned for their association with Tiffany Haddish. And the overall tone is infectious. For all the moaning people do about Netflix, it’s projects like this that would be better served by all the attention and press. Hopefully, with Tiffany Haddish paying it forward, others will think to do the same.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.