People

Tiffany Haddish tells Stephen Colbert the hilarious life lesson she learnt working in airline customer services

Posted by
Hannah-Rose Yee
Published
Tiffany Haddish

Before the comedian became an award-winning actor in projects like Girl’s Trip she was part of the ground staff for Alaska Airlines, and it taught her an important lesson about comedy.

Anyone who saw Tiffany Haddish mime a sex act on a grapefruit in Girl’s Trip saw the birth of one of the great comedians of our time.

Watch that scene and there’s no doubt that Haddish was born to make people laugh, that comedy is her particular language. But the actor’s first big job wasn’t on the comedic stage it was as part of the ground staff for Alaska Airlines.

The job was a means to an end for Haddish – she worked there when she was just starting in comedy, and it helped her make ends meet while she worked on material for comedy shows on the weekend. But it also proved a fertile training ground for the power of making people laugh, too.

You may also like

Tiffany Haddish’s dream female-led comedy show is exactly what we need in our lives

Speaking to Stephen Colbert on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Haddish revealed that she was always trying to find ways to make the grumpiest, most unhappy travellers smile.

“I would like to think of myself as one of the best customer service agents,” Haddish said, beaming, to Colbert. “I worked at the gates and my goal was always to bring happiness and joy to people – still to this day.”

She recounted that whenever an announcement needed to be made over the airport’s loudspeakers, Haddish would take it upon herself to make the announcement as excitable and exciting as possible. “We would have a flight delayed to Mexico or something, people have bad attitudes and stuff,” Haddish explained. When the flight would finally open, Haddish would yell: “’It’s time to go to Mexicoooooo!’ and everyone would be like ‘Yeah!’”

This tactic, though, did not ingratiate her with her superiors. “I would get written up because you’re not supposed to give announcements that incite the boarding area,” Haddish said. “You just have to be professional. That’s how they want you to do it. Not me. Not me.” 

Tiffany Haddish attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

Tiffany Haddish attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on 17 September 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

Later, Haddish was moved to the baggage department where only the truly grumpiest travellers passed through her doors. There, Haddish met the customers searching for bags that had been lost and diverted.

“My goal everyday was OK, they put me here. I got this. Anybody who walk in my door is gonna leave here happy,” Haddish told Colbert. The comedian even tried out some of her techniques on the late night host, which mostly included over-enthusiasm and quick repartee.

Don’t miss out: sign up to the Stylist Daily email for a curated edit of brilliant content every day

“This is why they can’t have you doing this,” Colbert responded through laughs. “Because people would want their bags lost and their flights delayed.”

“It got to the point where people would come in just to say hi to me,” Haddish confirmed. “’Yo Tiff, how are you?’ And I would be like ‘I got a comedy show coming up do you want a ticket?’” 

Images: Getty

Topics

Share this article

Author

Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

Recommended by Hannah-Rose Yee

People

Tiffany Haddish is taking a powerful stance against anti-abortion legislation in Georgia

Now that Georgia has passed its “heartbeat” abortion bill into law, more than 50 stars, producers and writers have refused to work in the state.

Posted by
Hannah-Rose Yee
Published
People

Tiffany Haddish opens up about her harrowing #MeToo story

The actress was allegedly raped at 17.

Posted by
Susan Devaney
Published
People

Tiffany Haddish’s dream female-led comedy show is exactly what we need in our lives

Hollywood and Haddish? *Adds to queue*

Posted by
Christobel Hastings
Published
People

Here’s how to catch Tiffany Haddish serving up coffee at London’s South Bank

Oh, and Chris Pratt will be there too

Posted by
Megan Murray
Published
Life

Buckle up, a Girl’s Trip sequel is definitely happening

The girls are back in town!

Posted by
Hannah-Rose Yee
Published