Eddie Murphy Mentored Young Tiffany Haddish

‘I didn’t want him to think I was dumb’
Eddie Murphy Mentored Young Tiffany Haddish

Howard Stern and Tiffany Haddish agree: Eddie Murphy is the greatest cast member ever to perform on Saturday Night Live. But Haddish has never talked to Murphy about his time on the show. Stern wondered why — because it isn’t cool? “No,” said Haddish on today’s Stern show. “I just had so many other questions! I got other things I wanted to talk about about, like Vampire In Brooklyn, like Coming to America.”

How did young Haddish get a chance to talk to Murphy in the first place? “The first time I ever met him was at the Laugh Factory,” she said. “And he told me, ‘Oh, you’re funny.’” The compliment nearly caused Haddish to fall back on the floor. “I was like, ‘You think so?’ That’s like the hand of God touching you.”

Murphy invited pre-fame Haddish to his house, where there were “so many other celebrities around. I wasn't a celebrity at this (point). It might have been 2005. He's somebody I looked up to so much and I didn't want to say anything stupid, I didn’t want him to think I was dumb.”

As it turns out, Murphy had been keeping an eye on the young comic and had advice about her career. “Little did I know he had already been doing his research on me, had been clocking me for years,” she said. “I had no idea.”

While Haddish and Dave Chappelle were at Murphy’s house, the veteran comic offered an early career review. “Eddie’s telling me all these things. He’s like, ‘You made a good choice when you did this’ and ‘Why did you want to do that thing?’ and ‘What made you come up with that?’” she remembers. 

“You know my jokes!” said a bewildered Haddish. “He's like, ‘Yeah and I love this sketch that you did’ and ‘This sketch sucked but this one was really good.’ And I’m like, ‘You watch my stuff.’” 

Fast-forward 10 years. Sounds like 2000s Murphy could have predicted that Haddish would follow in his footsteps and host Saturday Night Live in 2017. She proved Murphy’s instincts were right by becoming the first Black female comic to host, winning an Emmy for the effort. 

Stern particularly gushed about Haddish’s monologue. “I wrote all of that,” she said. Was she nervous? “It was more excited and ready to get it,” she told Stern. “Like, let me get this done! I want to do it, let me do what I do, let me do what I do! I felt like they was holding me back and as soon as the doors opened, I was like, Yeah! I’m out here, I’m doing what I do and I was just bringing it.”

It’s not hard to imagine Murphy’s trademark “heh heh heh!” coming from somewhere in the wings. 


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