"It was with great curiosity and trepidation that I, an extremely secular Jew, embarked on my viewing of Black Mitzvah," says Joe Berkowitz of Haddish's Netflix special that premiered Tuesday. "Just how much of this show would be about Tiffany Haddish’s commitment to the Hebraic faith? Would she perform a whimsical Torah portion? Well, beyond the 'Hava Nagila' entrance, the comedian quickly discards the Jewish trappings of her title like a yarmulke after a high holidays service. Once she reveals that her father is a Jew from Eritrea, answering the big Why of it all, Haddish frames the special as a celebration not of her (half-)Judaism but of coming into full-grown womanhood at age 40, a tardy Bat Mitzvah. It’s a bit of a conceptual stretch, but so few comedy specials even attempt a concept that it still counts as refreshing. What the comic is actually celebrating, however, is not so much her womanhood as her arrival as a successful comedian, movie star, and cultural force—haters be damned. She makes a great case for it, too."
TOPICS: Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah, Netflix, Tiffany Haddish, Standup Comedy