49 Grammys have been given to comedy albums or performances, but only a few have been snagged by solo women: Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldaberg, Kathy Griffin. Tiffany Haddish is hoping to add her name to the honor role on January 31st. She is nominated for Netflix‘s Black Mitzvah, a stand-up special. She is the only woman and the only person of color, up against Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan and Bill Burr.

She sat down with Variety to discuss. Haddish sees the nomination as confirmation of her worth: “Just a year ago, people were like, ‘She’s not funny. She’s a one-hit wonder. It’s over. I don’t even know why she’s where she’s at.’ And then, for me, for this special to come out of my brain and allow it to be a part of my rite of passage, it’s huge. It’s a huge mitzvah for me. It’s all God. When I think about that, I get so emotional.”


She adds: “I wanted to do something to honor God. I’ve never been baptized. My mother was a Jehovah’s Witness and that didn’t really resonate with me. When I met my father and he told me about his Judaism and experience in Eritrea — how it wasn’t allowed and how they had to hide it — it felt really good to be able to honor my father, my God and not having to hide my spirituality.”

Of her spiritual practices, she says: “Before I go to bed at night, I do my Shema. When I wake up, I meditate for five to 10 minutes. My favorite sound in the world is laughter and when I hear it, it’s also like meditation for me. It soothes my soul. Every time I hear it, I feel like I’m serving my purpose.”


Haddish also shares why she thinks Netflix has become comedy HQ: “I would say comics are going to Netflix because Netflix is allowing you to create and not putting censorship on you. They’re allowing you to have creative freedom and allowing me to share my platform with others. Also they listen. They allow you to be who you are as an artist and not try to stifle that in any way.”

Has she ever been told she can’t talk about something? “All the time! They would be, like, ‘Oh, you’re too pretty to be talking about using the restroom.’ I’m, like, ‘I’m a human being."”