Imagine Halle Berry sobbing, “Forty-two years!” Oscars-style and you may come close to understanding the gravity of Tiffany Haddish’s latest victory. This weekend, the Girls Trip star will be Saturday Night Live‘s first Black comedienne host (not counting former cast members) in the show’s forty-two year history, Uproxxreports.
Over the years, SNL has made assumptions about its audience’s preferences that have reinforced the status quo and prevented some important comediennes from reaching crossover audiences. Below is a list of just a few women who could have been first.
In 2003, Wanda Sykes had a sketch show that competed with SNL for the Saturday night-time slot, but she’d been performing standup comedy for many years prior to that.
Kim Wayans killed it in every one of her sketches on In Living Color, but never guest hosted SNL.
Monique, a celebrated actress, standup comedienne, and late night show host, seemed a likely candidate for hosting SNL. She was never invited, but cast member Kenan Thompson did don a lace front wig and dress to make fun of her work in Precious.
Although many SNL fans have pointed out that Maya Rudolph (Minnie Riperton’s daughter) was actually the first Black woman to guest host the show, she was also a former cast member.
Haddish’s invitation is especially ironic given that her tagline,”She ready!”, seems to answer Thompson’s infamous suggestion to TVGuide.com that SNL‘s cast lacked Black women because, “… they just never find ones that are ready.” As Haddish will undoubtedly prove on Saturday night, Black entertainers stay ready–in part because of the overt racism of the industry.