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Tiffany Haddish had a busy post-Super Bowl schedule.
The comedian appeared as a guest on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show and as the host of Verizon’s Big Concert for Small Business, a charitable event featuring performances by Alicia Keys, Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard, Christina Aguilera, Eric Church, H.E.R., Jazmine Sullivan, Luke Bryan and Miley Cyrus.
While she charmed opposite Colbert, singing a few verses of the children’s song “Skinny Marinky Dinky Dink,” the hosting outing for Verizon came with some surprises. It was clear that there were production delays that forced Haddish to stall for time, and that’s when one segment went off the rails.
“Our next performer has a career I have been following from the beginning. When I saw her kill it on the BET Awards …” Haddish said as she read an introduction for H.E.R. from a teleprompter before pausing to ask, “What the fuck does vamp mean?”
It seemed she was getting direction from an earpiece — common for hosts during live productions — while off-camera, a voice can be heard saying, “Stall.” Haddish continued reading the script only to stop again. “Now they asked me to vamp. I don’t know what vamp means. To me, vamp means be a vampire and/or vampirate like slowly disappear and/or elaborate. Maybe that’s the word they should’ve used? Elaborate. But let’s continue on, guys.”
tiffany haddish hosting this verizon small business benefit concert is quite something pic.twitter.com/8upU0uWWzg
— bev francis (@bagelspride) February 8, 2021
Viewers took to Twitter to find out what was going on. One user tagged Verizon and asked, “Who keeps messing up?” The tech giant replied and simply praised its host. “Tiffany Haddish is a national treasure.”
Curated and produced by Roc Nation, the show was designed to shine a spotlight on small businesses as part of Verizon’s multiyear commitment to help 1 million small-business owners rebound and thrive in the digital economy by 2030. Big Concert for Small Business, which streamed on Yahoo, Fios, @Verizon on Twitter, Twitch, YouTube and TikTok, as well as on BET, CBS Sports Network, CMT, MTV2 and MTV Live, featured many small-business owners, some of whom even got to check out select performances in person. The response online was mixed, and Verizon turned off comments on its YouTube page.
Haddish, an accomplished actress, host and producer who has shown she’s quick on her feet both on the stand-up stage and hosting shows like Kids Say the Darndest Things, finished strong and seemed to take the whole thing in stride.
With about 30 minutes left in a two-hour show, Haddish said, “This has not been the smoothest-running situation,” adding that they had to follow extra protocols between each act. “Every time an act leaves the stage, they have to clean the whole stage, get all-new microphones, all-new everything. You have to keep in mind that some of these acts haven’t performed for nobody. … Me personally, I’m in a studio alone, it’s cold — and I’m ready to bring the heat. But it’s cold.”
When Big Concert for Small Business wrapped, Haddish took to Twitter to thank Verizon for the opportunity while acknowledging it was not an easy gig. “I just want to say that was one of the funnest, hardest things I have ever done,” she posted after 10 p.m. “Thank you Verizon for letting me be apart of something so great. I am always supportive of the small businesses in my community.”
I just want to say that was one of the funnest hardest things I have ever done. Thank you @Verizon for letting me be apart of something so Great #BigConcertSmallBiz I am always supportive of the small businesses in my community!
— Tiffany Haddish (@TiffanyHaddish) February 8, 2021
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