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Why Growing up in Foster Care Made Tiffany Haddish Feel like 'Garbage'

Oyin Balogun
Jun 15, 2019
04:34 A.M.
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Having experienced what it felt like to live in a foster home, the comedian is definitely in a position to speak about the topic. She did just that when she appeared in David Letterman’s Netflix show and recounted her childhood experiences. 


If one’s experiences as a child would always play a huge role in what they would end up becoming later in life, then Tiffany Haddish wouldn’t be a comedian. Growing up for her wasn’t humorous; she had to go through difficulties, including spending time in a foster home.


Today, she is a successful entertainer doing her best to ensure children do not suffer the same fate. She shared her experiences in an Interview with David Letterman.


David Letterman’s Netflix Show, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” had an inspiring guest in the form of Tiffany Haddish. The comedian walked into the interview with her favourite white dress, which she is known to wear often.


She began by joking that she wouldn’t wear the dress anymore as her career and her body were getting bigger. Tiffany then delved into the circumstances surrounding her upbringing. David Letterman referred to her book, "The Last Black Unicorn," which described her childhood.

Her mother had a ghastly car accident when she was nine years old. This made her mom be away for a while, and when she returned, she was very much different, becoming abusive and violent.

The young Tiffany could not afford to stay with her mom; hence, she and her siblings were taken to a foster home when she was twelve years old. The comedian and actress described the foster home experience as the worst feeling in the world.


She was moved from one house to another and also had her belongings put in a trash can. By the time she got her first suitcase, it felt so important to her and made her feel human.

These things made her feel like garbage, and she resolved at that young age to ensure that kids would never feel that way.


When David Letterman commented on Tiffany’s survival and prevalence over her childhood circumstances. He also drew parallels between that and her talent; he stated that her sense of humour was so much of her and had no bearing on her upbringing. Tiffany responded by saying that it was her talent that made her survive those early torrid years. 



The young Tiffany went into community college at eighteen and became the school’s football team mascot. After rejecting a job offer at the church of Scientology (due to the bunks making her remember her foster home experience), she started performing stand-up comedy.

From that, she gained more knowledge and experience and began to get gigs. Today, she is a star, and David Letterman acknowledged that she is her person, and also remarked that her power made her delightful.