From executive producer Wanda Sykes, whose own Netflix special dropped earlier this year, comes a six-part standup series hosted (and also executive produced) by Girls Trip star Tiffany Haddish. Haddish found her own success on Netflix voicing the titular toucan in the animated series Tuca & Bertie. But for her next act, she's gathered together six of her favorite underrated comics for a breakout series of her own. The cast of Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready ranges from one of her The Last O.G. staff writers to a Wayans niece, but they all share in Haddish's marginalized comic struggle, which is why she assembled them for this particular project.
"Literally, when I met everybody, I was like: 'Don’t worry, when I make it, I’m gonna come back and get you and we’re going to the top,'" Haddish told the Los Angeles Times in a roundtable interview with her fellow Season 1 comics. "'I don’t know what, but I’m going to put you on something.'"
This project, she says, is that promise coming to fruition, and she hopes that in subsequent seasons, she can amplify even more underrepresented voices. "I know at least 40 comedians that I think are legends in their own right, but the world doesn’t know about them yet," she adds.
In the meantime, here's everything you need to know about this season's comics.
Chaunté Wayans is the 37-year-old niece of the Wayans Brothers, and while she did cut her teeth working as a production assistant on her uncles' films, Chaunté has also been doing standup since 2003, according to the series trailer. She's appeared as herself on shows like Trading Spaces, Wild 'n' Out, Laugh Factory, and her costar's podcast Truth Serum with Aida Rodriguez.
"I just hope this opens a space for all of us to be able to do more than just one room. Sometimes people box me into the LGBT, and black rooms, and stuff like that," she told the LA Times of her hopes for the series. "But literally for all of us to just be able to go out and be able to do anything."
April Macie appeared on Season 4 of Last Comic Standing back in 2006 and she's been working steadily, if somewhat under the radar, ever since. She appeared alongside Haddish in 2012's Snoop Dogg Presents: The Bad Girls of Comedy, but she's also worked with Rodriguez before, and admitted in the LA Times interview that the pair often commiserate over being sidelined in the industry. Said Macie:
I think you work so hard as women, and as people in the queer community. I always send [Aida] screenshots of comedy club calendars, and there was one time where it was like 72 weeks and just two women. And one was a medium! And you’re like, “Oh my God, you have to talk to the dead to get stage time as a woman.”
Tracey Ashley is another Last Comic Standing alum (2014), who works as a staff writer on Haddish's TBS show The Last O.G. She also wrote on last year's fish-out-of-water CBS comedy The Neighborhood, and appeared in a Wanda Sykes special in 2013. The They Ready trailer features a killer Oprah impression from Ashley, cementing her episode as a must-watch.
Aida Rodriguez shares an emotional personal story on They Ready, chronicling her journey as a homeless mother of two and aspiring comic. She credits Haddish with teaching her valuable lessons about her own worth as a female comic in the LA Times interview, adding that she thinks of her producer as a mentor, even though Haddish is younger than she is.
In addition to competing on Last Comic Standing and hosting her own podcast on which several of her costars have guested, Rodriguez has appeared on The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore and Comedy Central's This Week At The Comedy Cellar.
Flame Monroe is a Chicago-raised queer comedian who wasn't afraid to tackle Jussie Smollett jokes in her half-hour set on They Ready. A bisexual trans woman, drag performer, and parent of three, Monroe has previously appeared on BET's Comicview, but she's been in the game a long time. She told the Chicago Tribune of the special ahead of the series premiere:
I would say it’s a great launching pad, but I’ve been launched a long time ago. And it’s just a new way to reintroduce myself to the world, to 190 countries, because I was out before it was very apparent that [transgender people] were all over TV and in the movies. I would have got chased out years ago by comics had I not had a thick skin.
Marlo Williams opened for Haddish on her 2018 She Ready tour, and now steps into her own spotlight on They Ready. During the LA Times roundtable, she lamented how her comedy career stalled out because she refused to sleep with male comics in exchange for their networking contacts, saying, "What you have to go through as a female is hard."
It's evident from the trailer that each of these comics feels deeply moved by Haddish's offer of a massive platform on which to perform. You can catch them do their thing on Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready, currently streaming on Netflix.