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Tiffany Haddish’s 18-Minute Acceptance Speech Already Won Awards Season

At the New York Film Critics Circle dinner, the ‘Girls Trip’ star was at her charismatic best. Academy, are you listening?

2017 New York Film Critics Awards Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Ratings for the Oscars hit a nine-year low in 2017. I have a stimulus plan for this year: NOMINATE TIFFANY HADDISH FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS AND GIVE HER THE DAMN AWARD.

The Girls Trip star showed that she can conjure gold out of thin air on Wednesday night when she won Best Supporting Actress at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards. In a nearly 18-minute-long acceptance speech, Haddish went from emotional to hilarious, from raunchy and wild to poignant and touching, while also leaving enough time to shoot her shot at Michael B. Jordan.

Here’s a (lousily shot) video of Tiffany Haddish’s epic, world-beating best supporting actress acceptance speech at tonight’s New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) Awards

Posted by Alison Willmore on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

With a martini in hand (she called it the “Tiffnicity-tini”), Haddish thanked the Almighty: “I want to thank God. Without God, my mommy and daddy wouldn’t have put their two uglies together and made me. Because that was all God right there. He put two crazy people together to make one awesome crazy person.”

She thanked the critics (even though for a pretty long time she thought movie critics died off with Siskel and Ebert): “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.”

She thanked her childhood friend, Selena: “I’ve known you since we was 12 years old. I walked up to you and was like, You gonna be my friend. And you was like, What? But you’re still my friend. And she ain’t never tried to kick me to the curb or nothing. She laughed at all my stupid jokes, told me when I was doing too much, told me when I was doing just enough, and told me when to do more. I appreciate you for that.”

And she spent about five minutes comparing herself to the towering statue of a Hindu goddess behind her onstage: “When I look at her I feel like I’m looking at myself. She taking a nap but she doing a lot of stuff.”

The incredible thing about this speech is that until very recently, Tiffany Haddish didn’t know what the New York Film Critics Circle was. (Again, she thought all the critics were dead.) When the NYFCC nominated her for her role in Girls Trip, her costar Jada Pinkett Smith had to make her realize that it was a big deal. “Jada called me and told me, ‘I’m so proud of you,’” Haddish told The New York Times this week. “I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ She was like, ‘Girl, it is an honor.’ And I said, ‘Why is it an honor?’ And she said, ‘It’s an honor because they don’t like people.’ I said, ‘Yeah they do, they gotta like somebody.’ And she said, ‘It’s really hard to get in. You did a good job.’ I still had to Google them to try to figure out how prestigious they were.”

If you’ve seen Haddish in anything thus far in her career, you’ve been waiting for this moment of rapid ascendency to click. She’s been a stud stand-up comedian for years. She was the best thing in The Carmichael Show. She was the best thing in Keanu. She was the best actor to do a scene with fruit in 2017—and there were plenty of candidates. Her enthusiasm, charm, intuitive brilliance, and humor are a recipe for superstardom. It just took the world some time to catch up. Which it is: At the same awards ceremony Wednesday night, Phantom Thread director Paul Thomas Anderson passed along a message for Haddish. Read by one of the film’s stars, Lesley Manville, the note said, “Tiffany, I know everyone wants to work with you now, but please, may I cut to the front of the line?”

So back to my initial point—we need Haddish at every upcoming awards show. She’s not nominated for a Golden Globe this weekend, but I’m sure the Globes can make a last-second switch. Also, let her accept all of Ed Sheeran’s awards at the Grammys. And for God’s sake, Academy, don’t mess this up: Give Tiffany Haddish a nomination for Girls Trip. Not just because she deserves it, but because her giving a speech at the Oscars, or maybe even just attending, would be must-see TV.