2017 was a nightmarish year (thanks to our dipshit president and his army of goons) made bearable in part by a few modern goddesses who emerged as paragons of authenticity and stars in their respective fields. We witnessed the rise of R&B darling SZA; free-spirited ratchet queen Cardi B; and Tiffany Haddish, who stole every other scene in the box office smash Girls Trip ($139 million) and became the first black female comedian to host SNL.
Among these three, the Mangoprism POTY panel is most enamored of Tiffany Haddish. She is just delightful. In Girls Trip, she plays Dina, an agent of chaos whose belligerence, shamelessness, and fierce loyalty transforms a good old-fashioned ladies weekend at Essence Fest in New Orleans into an absinthe-fueled shitshow of epic proportions. Haddish describes Dina as a “black female Zach Galifianakis”; she is Alan turned loose in the French Quarter.
Paul Thomas Anderson wants to work with Haddish, and it’s not hard to see why. In Girls Trip, she exudes a Daniel Day-Lewis-esque charisma that is nearly unbearable to behold, as if the viewer is looking directly into the sun. What makes Dina such a great character is that she is positioned squarely in the center of Haddish’s thespian wheelhouse. Dina is little more than an exaggerated version of Haddish, who kicks off each TV interview by hitting a vigorous Nae Nae. Her uninhibited, high-octane personality inevitably charms each of her interviewers, all except Ellen DeGeneres, who just seemed confused. (Incidentally, it was DeGeneres who nearly murdered the Nae Nae by teaching it to Hillary Clinton.)
What makes Haddish’s glow up so satisfying is that the vast majority of her life has been defined by struggle. When she was nine, her mother developed schizophrenia. At age 11, she entered the foster care system. She started doing stand-up at age 15, and she’s been trying to make it as a comedian ever since.
She called her Geo Metro hatchback home. She called the Church of Scientology home. No one has turned lemons into lemonade quite as artfully as Tiffany Haddish. OBSERVE:
1. She developed a lucrative side hustle as an “energy producer” at bar mitzvahs—a hype woman stirring up a ruckus on the dance floor. She started pimping out her male friends to sexually frustrated Jewish women after one lady showed Haddish her romance novels. “She had one that was like a slave thing or whatever,” Haddish recalled in her memoir The Last Black Unicorn. “It was a big, strapping black guy on the cover, holding this passed-out white woman.”
She performed at over 500 bar mitzvahs over 11 years.
2. Haddish pooped in her boyfriend’s brand new Jordans after discovering that he had cheated on her, but not before she “ate a gang of corn so he knew it was human shit.” She then contacted the stripper with whom her boyfriend had cheated and agreed to manage her adult film career. So she hit up Brian Pumper, who used to hang out at the Slauson Swap Meet recruiting talent, and the rest was history.
3. She dated Roscoe, a disabled baggage handler at LAX, in what may be the greatest romantic saga in American history. It’s the Hunchback of Notre Dame meets Jim and Pam. The only thing more amazing than the story itself is Haddish’s storytelling ability. Please watch:
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) December 8, 2017
Congratulations, Tiffany. You are the 2017 Mangoprism Person of the Year!!!!! You’re my hero.
Runners-up: SZA, Cardi B, Barack Obama, Offset, Dylan Maxwell, Desus and Mero, Maggi and Hinrika from Trapped