You know what I want to see? I want to see Tiffany Haddish win an Oscar someday. Not because she’s talented or a goddess or a gift to humanity and comedy (though she is all of those things!) but because I selfishly want to see them try to play her off the stage when her speech drags on too long. Hell — I want to see them try to pry her cocktail out of her hands when she gets on stage.
The downside, of course, is there is no way her theoretical Oscar acceptance speech would be anywhere near as much fun as the epic 18-minute one-woman show Haddish performed last night at the New York Film Critics Circle awards dinner. She was ostensibly supposed to be accepting the award for Best Supporting Actress for her breakout role in Girls Trip, but from the moment she got on stage (tugging her kimono-style dress to make sure her “hootenanny” wasn’t hanging out) the idea that this was another dull awards season fête was tossed out the window.
Without ever putting her drink down, Haddish told jokes and stories and held the whole room in the palm of her hand. But in the midst of that humor were strikingly heartfelt and inspirational moments too.
“I know some people in here are going to talk shit about me. It’s okay. You know why it’s okay? Because you care enough to say something. If you didn’t say nothing, then you didn’t care. So if you said something, thank you. I don’t care if it’s positive or negative. I appreciate you. I’m glad you see me. Cause there were so many years nobody saw me. You know when you’re a little kid going through the system, you wonder, ‘Does anyone even know I’m alive?’ And to be this example to so many youth — there’s so many people like me that you guys have no clue about. But they coming, ‘cause I kicked the fucking door open.”
Her whole speech was recorded by NYFCC vice chair Alison Willmore:
But her 18 minutes on the podium weren’t her only moments in the spotlight, because it turns out Haddish has got some vocal Hollywood admirers out there. When actress Lesley Manville stepped on stage to accept the best screenplay award on behalf of Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread, her remarks included a message to Haddish from PTA himself — “I know that everyone wants to work with you, but may I please cut in front of the line,” followed by his real phone number.
Paul Thomas Anderson is not at #NYFCC, but he had Lesley Manville deliver a special message to Tiffany Haddish, asking if he can "cut to the front of the line" to work with her. I screamed bloody murder.— Kate Erbland (@katerbland) January 4, 2018
So let’s just agree to give Tiffany Haddish all the awards from now on, OK? Even if she’s hasn’t been in anything — let’s just make up special awards and hand her the microphone every year.