Tiffany Haddish recalls heartache, happiness in ‘The Last Black Unicorn’

December 15, 2017 GMT

Before I could even open this book and read a single word, just the cover of “The Last Black Unicorn” by red-hot comedian Tiffany Haddish made me smile.

The 38-year-old actress and writer, who portrayed Nekeisha on “The Carmichael Show,” became a breakout star last summer, co-starring in the comedy “Girls Trip” with Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Regina Hall, and recently made history as the first Black female comic to host “Saturday Night Live.”

Despite a life of hardship, which she explains in detail in “The Last Black Unicorn,” Haddish possesses an innocent spirit that is immediately endearing. Her joy and energy are infectious. Indeed, during a recent appearance on “Good Morning America” to promote the book, she recalled her former career as “an energy producer.”

“I would produce the energy and get the party poppin’!” Haddish explained. When asked by co-anchor Michael Strahan for a demonstration, she immediately leaped from her chair, grabbed her microphone, demanded some music, and began to pump up the crowd.

Haddish took the energy over the top when she literally dragged the incurably stiff and stoic George Stephanopoulos out of his comfort zone. Taking firm hold of his tie, she physically pulled him out to the middle of the floor and forced him to try to dance.

Needless to say, the “GMA” crew was overcome by laughter and disbelief, the delighted studio audience was in an uproar, and the beet-red Stephanopoulos appeared to be in total shock.

At that moment, Haddish, who may have been unknown to some, cemented her place in pop culture. When the studio finally calmed down, she explained the interesting title of her memoir, “The Last Black Unicorn.”

“I used to get picked on in school a lot,” the vivacious scene-stealer said. She once had a wart on her forehead that “looked like a horn,” causing her classmates to observe that she resembled “a dirty unicorn.” Initially upset, Haddish was soon inspired by the philosophy that would ultimately shape her life and her comedy. “I always try to find the bright side of anything that is going on,” she said.

The candid, conversational tone of this humorous and captivating account makes you feel as if you’re on the phone with Haddish, or sitting in a cozy corner sharing a meal with her. She reflects on some intriguing dating stories that will have you scratching your head, shares the story of connecting with her father, and while revealing some totally creepy memories of her abusive ex-husband, along with the horrifying details of their marriage, recalls some valuable advice that she received from her friend, Kevin Hart.

With raw, unbridled candor, Haddish also talks about her mother, living in foster care, how “comedy f--ks with relationships,” and her bizarre experience with Scientology.

Written by a rapidly rising star who is brutally honest about her past and justifiably optimistic about her future, “The Last Black Unicorn” is an entertaining and engaging, must-read page-turner.