5 things to know about Tiffany Haddish, who made history hosting 'SNL'
WATCH Tiffany Haddish makes history as 1st black female comic to host 'SNL'
It's been a stellar year for Tiffany Haddish, who made history this past weekend as the first black female stand-up comedian to host "Saturday Night Live."
But the journey to reach this point has not been an easy one for the 37-year-old breakout star of "Girls Trip."
Tiffany Haddish makes history on 'Saturday Night Live' as 1st black female comic to host Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah take a 'Girls Trip' this summer
As Haddish alluded to in her opening monologue Saturday, she spent part of her childhood living in foster care. If not for her social worker, she might never have pursued a career in comedy.
Here's what you need to know about this comedian on the rise:
Finding her father
Haddish's mother is African-American and her father was an Eritrean refugee raised in a Jewish family.
When Haddish was three years old, her father left the family and remained absent throughout the rest of her childhood. Her mother remarried and went on to have four more children. Haddish reunited with her father after her husband-to-be helped find him.
Although Haddish's marriage ended in divorce after five years, she called her wedding day, where her father walked her down the aisle, "one of the happiest days of my life."
This was one of the Happiest Days of my life. Because that was the day I learned that dreams do come true. I didn't know my father growing up, and I used to work Bat mitzvahs and weddings and whenever the father and daughter dance happen I would get so jealous because I thought that would never happen for me. Then I met a man that said he would make my Dream come true of my father walking down the aisle and Dancing with my Daddy. My X husband did just that. Even though my Dad didn't want me to get married he stood right by my side. I cried so hard when we danced because there I was in my Daddy's arms. He said something to me I dreamed of him saying to me all of my life. He said " Tiffany you are the most beautiful woman in the world and I am so proud of you. Even when you wrong you are right in my eyes. I am here for you." That was it I started to ugly cry. Now my Daddy is in the Hospital with Heart failure and pneumonia. I am praying he lives so he can see me win awards, walk me down the aisle again, meet his Grandchildren I have yet to give him and share the success I have yet to gain. Daddy I Love you! God Please don't let my Daddy Die.
A post shared by Tiffany Haddish (@tiffanyhaddish) on May 10, 2017 at 8:11pm PDT
When Haddish was nine, her mother was in a car accident and suffered brain damage, which the comedian says triggered her mother's mental disorders.
Haddish had to become the caretaker for her younger siblings, she told the radio show The Breakfast Club in an interview this past summer.
"I remember the day my mom came out the hospital," she said. "The doctor pulled me to the side and said, 'Look, she’s never gonna be the person that she was — it’s time for you to grow up now.'"
For the next three years, Haddish took care of her four siblings until the family was split up and the children put into foster care.
Comedy to the rescue
Frequently in trouble in high school, Haddish was given an ultimatum by her social worker: either go into therapy or attend the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp. Haddish chose the latter.
Comedy became an outlet for the naturally funny Haddish, who got instruction and advice from some of the top comedians, including legends like Richard Pryor.
She told the Los Angeles Times that Pryor once told her that she needed to having more fun on stage.
"I took that philosophy with me and I do that in everything that I do," she told the paper.
From first break to breakout star
After years of doing stand-up, Haddish was finally cast in the OWN series "If Loving You Is Wrong."
She left the nighttime soap the first season when she was cast in a regular role opposite David Alan Grier and Loretta Devine in the NBC sitcom "The Carmichael Show," which completed its final season earlier this year.
But it's Haddish's breakout role as Dina in the hit film "Girls Trip," starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith, that has put her on the path to stardom.
Now, Haddish is on her way to a new sitcom, co-starring Tracy Morgan, and a new film, "Night School," opposite Kevin Hart. She also has a book about her life — "The Last Black Unicorn" — coming out next month.