From Keanu, to Girls Trip, to the upcoming film Night School, Tiffany Haddish has gone from a certified scene stealer to a leading actress. The comedian joined The Bill Simmons Podcast this week to discuss her favorite comedians to be in a room with, working with Kevin Hart on Night School, and … hosting the ESPYs?
Listen to the full podcast here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.
Four Comedians Who Are Funny All the Time
Bill Simmons: There are people who are funny comedians, and then there are people who are just flat-out funny in the room. Just hilarious. Who’s in your top four?
Tiffany Haddish: That are just hilarious in the room?
Simmons: Just hilarious. People always said Chris Farley was just hilarious. People say that about you—like when you’re going, you’re like a hurricane. Just comedy flying out left and right.
Haddish: When I get going. But who makes me laugh in the room? Dave Chappelle. He makes me laugh.
Simmons: That’s why I asked. Because people say he’s just funny all the time.
Haddish: Yeah, he’s just funny all the time, like in regular conversation you’re going to laugh. Who else? There’s this comedian named Tony Roberts. He is hilarious. He’s a comedian’s comedian.
Simmons: Oh, a comedian’s comedian! I love those.
Haddish: Yeah he’s the comedian’s comedian. If you get to hang out with him, you’re going to laugh. Even if you’re having a serious conversation, you’re going to laugh. Who else is like that? Kevin [Hart] is funny all the time. He’s always funny. And Will Forte.
Simmons: Oh, interesting!
Haddish: Will Forte is hilarious. When we did Keanu they were braiding his beard, and I was trying to coach him through it because he’s a white man getting his hair braided [Laughs]. And he’s in a lot of pain, and I was trying to make him laugh and stuff. And whenever I talk to him on the phone or whenever I see him we laugh a lot. Will Forte is hilarious. That guy is just funny.
Haddish’s Upcoming Movie, Night School
Simmons: Tell me about [Night School].
Haddish: It’s about second chances. This character, Teddy, played by [Hart], he loses his job by some disastrous accident and he needs to get another job because he’s been putting up this facade that he’s ballin’ out of control. And he’s been kind of lying to his girlfriend, so he needs to step up his game and get a job, but he can’t because he doesn’t have a high school diploma. So he has to get his GED. And that’s where I come in.
Simmons: Oh, that’s where you come in.
Haddish: That’s where I come in, because I’m the night school teacher and I don’t play games. And Teddy’s a hustler. That character’s a hustler. So he tries to hustle me, like gets me some tacos, and does all these things to try to get me to just let him pass on through. But I don’t play that. I don’t play that in real life either. You’ve gotta do the work. So I make him do the work, and he gets his GED.
Simmons: I tried to convince ESPN to have [Hart] host the ESPYs like six years ago, and I was showing the clip to these people that ran ESPN, who were not Kevin’s audience. And I was like, “Just trust us. He’s gonna come out, all the athletes love him, the energy will be there.” And they were just like, “Oh, I don’t know …” Like he’s not conventional, but he’s funny. You put him in a situation like that, in a big building with a bunch of famous people—that’s who you want. You’re like that, too. You did the MTV [Movie & TV Awards] this year. Because you come out, you’ve gotta have energy, you’ve gotta be funny. ...
Could you have hosted the ESPYs? Do you know enough about sports?
Haddish: Um, I don’t know enough about sports but I know how much money a lot of these athletes are making. I’ll figure it out.