Best Comedy Album was one of several Grammys presented prior to last night’s televised ceremony. But the award’s recipient was technically on TV when she learned she’d won. While the Recording Academy honored Tiffany Haddish’s Black Mitzvah outside the Los Angeles Convention Center, Haddish was in the midst of taping Kids Say The Darndest Things. So producers decided to play a sweet prank on her to announce the big news.
In a video shared by Haddish, the comedian is interviewing two young girls who want to be president when they grow up. She asks one of the girls if she’d be happy with just being nominated, or if she’d rather win. From the control booth, Haddish is fed lines by the producers, repeating that she’s just glad that she’s been nominated for awards a couple of times now. Then the producer throws in “But I just won a Grammy.”
“I just what?!,” says Haddish, realizing what just happened. Haddish reveals the behind-the-scenes secret to the girls, showing them her earpiece and sharing that she’d just gotten the news. “I just won Best Comedy Album? I did not just win Best Comedy Album. I just won Best Comedy album, guys,” says a still-incredulous Haddish, crying as people on set clap.
What makes the moment even more touching is the meaning behind that win. “Do you know a Black woman hasn’t won in that category since 1986?,” she asks, noting that Whoopi Goldberg was the first Black woman to win the award that year. One of the girls thinks the comedian is crying because she wanted her trophy, but Haddish explains that she got emotional because of how much that win meant to her. “Much like when you’re on your journey to become president, it’s a lot of bumpy roads, right? And it’s a lot of times you feel like ‘Well, am I doing the right thing? Is this good enough? Am I good enough? Am I strong enough to do this job?’ And then you just have to believe in yourself as much as you can, and against all odds, you just say ‘You know what, I’m gonna just put my best foot forward and I’m gonna give the world the best that I got,’” explains Haddish.
She adds, “When you get nominated, I was so happy just with that, but then even more happy that at the end of the day that I got nominated, all these kids wrote me these letters, which made me even more happy because I always just wanted to be a person that brought joy to other people and brought laughter to other people because I know what it feels like to be sad and what it feels like to be hurt, and what it feels like to see other people sad.” She also jokingly told the girls that they shouldn’t watch her stand-up until they’re 17, but that once they’re of age they should “have at it.” Haddish is absolutely shocked when one of the girls says she’d already watched her Netflix special, but the fact that a kid watched her standup shows that representation matters–and so does Haddish’s win.