Tiffany Haddish on Her Love of Microscopes, Sleeping in Cars, and Her ‘Dream Guy’

Tiffany Haddish at the L.A. premiere of "The Kitchen" in 2019
Michael Buckner/Variety / Shutterstock

Tiffany Haddish, the breakout comic from Girls Trip and Night School, talks why she sleeps in her car and her (very thorough) list of what she wants in a man.



In Night School (in theaters September 28) you play Kevin Hart’s teacher, and it seems like you guys get along so well. Did you teach him anything in real life?

I’m an avid YouTube watcher, and he was talking about his black toenail one day, and I was like, “Oh! I saw a YouTube video about fungus. Get you some peroxide and a bucket of water, and soak your feet in there.” He’s like, “I don’t have no fungus. I just stubbed my toe.” And he was like, “Ima try it, see what happens.” I haven’t found out what happened. I need to call him and ask.

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You talk in your memoir, The Last Black Unicorn, about being both your high school’s mascot and a bar mitzvah hype woman. Have you always been the life of the party?

That’s natural for me—it’s just how I operate. If there are lot of people, and there’s good energy in the room, I turn on and exude even more energy. I try to raise the vibration in the room so everybody can just have fun. Do you always get your energy from being around other people? Oh no, I have to recharge. Can I be completely 100 percent honest?

By all means.

I like to smoke a little weed and watch throwback cartoons and sleep. I’ll make weed tea and put on ThunderCats, She-Ra, SpongeBob SquarePants—stuff that reminds me of when I was young.

At the same time, you had an undeniably rough childhood, being in foster care and later homeless, living out of your car.

I’m still a chronic car sleeper. You know if you have a long day and you pull up to your driveway or your garage, and you get out the car and you go in the house and go to bed, right? Well not me. I will sleep in the car for an hour, maybe two. Sometimes I’ll sleep in the car until the sun comes up, or I get really cold. And I’m always like, “Tiffany, stop doing that!” But it’s the best sleep for me. That’s from being homeless in my car, I guess. I also always keep a backpack ready to go with clothes. I’m always ready to get the fuck out.

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What was your first big splurge when you started making good money?

I bought my house, but before I bought my house, the first big thing I bought was, like, a $300 microscope.

A microscope?

With the petri dishes and the cultures. I thought maybe I could find the cure to something. The first week I had the microscope, I barely slept at all because I was so intrigued by looking at all these germs and bacteria and seeing how amazing this stuff is. I was doing experiments like, What happens if I add chlorophyll or apple cider vinegar?

Do you still do experiments?

Whenever I get to be home, I’m looking at all kinds of stuff. I swab the wheels on my suitcase to see how much dirt I’m dragging along. When dudes drink off my cups at my house, after they leave I’ll swab it—what’s in his mouth? How nasty is he? Not gonna let him put his mouth on me. No, no, no. That certainly brings a new challenge to dating. From my observation, men need attention. They want to feel like they are the king of your existence. So let me tell you what I did: About six months ago, I wrote out this list of my dream guy, all the qualities he would have. I’m just waiting for him to show up, that’s all. I used to read the list every day; now I read it twice a week. I’m programming my subconscious mind to attract this guy in particular.

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What’s on your list?

The man for me is confident in himself and me. He is loyal; he is beautiful; we have a lot of fun together. He makes me laugh so hard. He is my color or lighter. He has beautiful eyes. He has beautiful teeth. He is fit and strong. He loves me for who I am. We travel together to fun places. He has nice feet—and a mole on his left foot.

Wait. A mole on his left foot?

I have a mole on my left foot, and I feel like if he has a mole on his left foot, we’ll probably get along. I watched a YouTube video that said if you want something, be very specific. So to identify if he’s the right guy. I’m gonna be like, “I have fun with you, you’re cool…can I see your left foot?”

Makes sense.

You gotta be very specific with these lists. He’s children-free and baggage-free. He has beautiful hands. My old drama means nothing to him. He helps me get rid of clutter in my life. He keeps me fly; he makes me feel sexy. He can cook really good. He has excellent credit. When we have sex, I have an orgasm every time.

Your dream guy has it all.

Girl, the list ain’t done. It’s about three more paragraphs.

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