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In a reader poll recently conducted on The Hollywood Reporter‘s website, the actress and comedian earned the most votes among a number of rumored possible hosts (including Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson and former Oscars emcees Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen DeGeneres) for the 2020 Academy Awards following 2019’s host-less ceremony.
After Fallon told Haddish that her fans created a petition for her to host the show, she said that she would do it under two conditions. “I would if they paid me, and I could do it with somebody,” she said.
Haddish then told Fallon that she would do it if he was her co-host. “I don’t want all that pressure on me because I’m gonna lose my hair, and then I’m gonna have to really wear wigs all the time,” she said. “It’s too much stress. Unless they pay me a lot of money, then I would be like, ‘It’s worth it.'”
Haddish said that if she hosted the Oscars, she would “have it hot.” The comedian explained, “We would have twerk contests and everything. Yeah, I would get Meryl Streep up there to twerk with Susan Sarandon. You know, it would be crazy.”
Haddish also spoke about how her new Netflix standup special Black Mitzvah honors her Jewish heritage.
The actress said that she first learned about her Jewish roots when she was 15 or 16. “My grandma told me and it’s like, ‘I don’t know. Do I believe her? Or do I not?'” she recalled.
Haddish worked as an energy producer at bar and bat mitzvahs for 11 years before she met her father when she was 27, who explained the family’s Jewish heritage. “He broke it down for me and said, ‘Yes.’ And in the country he was from, it was kind of illegal to be Jewish and that he fled and there was a war and all this stuff,” she related. “And then I believed him, but kind of didn’t believe him, but I believed him because I was so drawn to it. And then I did my 23andMe and then, you know boom, Hebrew over here.”
She continued, “I gotta represent my ancestors. I think it’s really important to represent your ancestors. They did what they did to get you here, so why not honor them?”
Haddish’s Netflix special opens with her singing “Hava Nagila,” so Fallon asked her to perform the song for the audience. She then grabbed a microphone and sang the number for the crowd.
Haddish and Fallon also shared embarrassing holiday-themed stories.
The host began his story by explaining a time that he went to visit his parents in upstate New York. “When I went, I’d just like to stay home. My mom was always like, ‘Let’s go out to dinner,'” he explained. “I go, ‘I don’t want to go out for dinner because I came home. I want a home-cooked meal.'”
Despite not wanting to go out, Fallon’s mother convinced him to go to a restaurant. “We go to this restaurant. We sit down and she goes, ‘I’m not sure if I really like this table.’ I go, ‘Don’t you start,'” he recalled.
After Fallon and his parents ordered their meals, the waiter returned with Fallon and his father’s meals, but not his mother’s. The host told his mother to not make a big deal of her order being made after everyone else’s, though she said, “I’m not gonna eat.”
Once her food arrived, Fallon’s mother ate her meal and began to choke. “My dad puts his finger in my mom’s mouth and he’s trying to pull the lamb out of her mouth,” he said.
A fellow diner saved the day when she gave Fallon’s mother the Heimlich maneuver. “Then this lamb ball comes flying out of her mouth and this woman saves my mom’s life and she sits down and she’s crying,” he continued. “I looked at her and I go, ‘Thank you for not embarrassing me.'”
Haddish told a “little different” holiday story. Despite not regularly celebrating Christmas during her childhood, Haddish’s stepfather surprised her and her siblings with a Christmas tree and presents.
“I got a bike and so I decided I would ride my bike, and I rode my bike all the way to the liquor store, ’cause I wanted some pickles and Kool-Aid,” she recalled. “You ain’t lived until you got a pickle and then you dip it in the Kool-Aid and then you eat it. That’s the ghetto delight.”
Once Haddish returned home, she found her mother and stepfather fighting over the toys he bought. She argued that they wouldn’t be able to pay rent, while the stepfather said the kids deserved the toys.
“They really argued all night long and it got on my nerves and I became unhappy,” she said. “And then a week later we got an eviction notice, so, boo Christmas.”
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