Tiffany Haddish on why being a Groupon spokesperson beats hanging out with Will Smith
Tiffany Haddish is having a moment. In the last year-plus, she’s starred in the hit comedy Girls Trip, garnered awards buzz for her breakout performance, landed a TBS series alongside Tracy Morgan, and scored a Super Bowl commercial. And yet, all that pales in comparison to her biggest achievement: becoming a spokesperson for Groupon.
In July, the comedian and self-described “last black unicorn” appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where she hilariously recounted a Groupon swamp tour she brought costar Jada Pinkett Smith and husband Will Smith on during the filming of Girls Trip. The story, and Haddish’s obsession with the coupon company, led to her becoming the new face of Groupon and starring in its Big Game spot, which can be seen above.
EW chatted with Haddish about landing her new gig, finally getting a Super Bowl commercial on the air, and appreciating the benefits of a bidet.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Rank these in order of how excited they made you: becoming a Groupon spokesperson; starring in a Super Bowl commercial; hanging out with Will Smith.
TIFFANY HADDISH: Groupon, Will, Super Bowl. I grew up watching Will Smith and thinking he’d be my big brother one day, but I’ve got six years invested in Groupon, and I need a return on my investment!
Being such a Groupon groupie, what was your initial reaction when they reached out to you?
I did the “Nae Nae” for about four minutes. I was dancing around and everything. I was so excited, because if you met any of my friends they would tell you, “Tiffany’s a Groupon junkie, all she talks about is Groupon.” Anytime they want to hang out and have a girls night, I’m like, “Cool, I got a Groupon to this really cool restaurant. I’ve never been there before, but I think it will be great and we’ll only have to spend $50 for all of us to eat!” They’re like, “Shut the f— up with the Groupon. We got money, Tiffany.” But I just think it’s wise to save money, and then if you like the place, great, and if you don’t like it, then you never have to go there again.
It’s one thing to become a Groupon spokesperson, and it’s another to star in the company’s Super Bowl commercial. What was your reaction to the latter? Did you do eight minutes of the “Nae Nae”?
[Laughs] When I heard about that, I thought it was so cool, then you know what I started doing? I started writing all these different commercial ideas, and all the different ways I’ve pitched Groupon to my friends, and how I talk to strangers about it. And I even wrote like a treatment, like, “I was thinking we could do a TV show where I just take celebrities on Groupon excursions and we just travel the world through Groupon.” And they’re like, “Well, okay, we already have a plan.” “Oh, what’s your plan? Okay, that sounds better.”
You’ve probably done your fair share of commercials through the years, but what’s it like shooting one for the Super Bowl?
I’ve done at least like seven or eight commercials over the years where I actually had I lines. I mean, this isn’t my first Super Bowl commercial, but it will be the first one that actually airs. I did one for Budweiser before and it didn’t air; they only showed it on, like, Venmo. Wait, Vimeo [laughs]. And then I did one for AT&T, and they ended up not showing it there and playing it before basketball or something instead.
At least we know this one is going to make it on the air.
I think it’s going to make it on the air. They showed one version on Good Morning America, and there’s like four or five different versions. We shot for two days. Was it two days or one whole day? I was so tired. I think it was two days. I don’t know, I took a nap, so it could have been one long day, actually.
You mentioned that you brought your own ideas; did you get to improvise a bit?
Yeah, I definitely got to put my input on a lot of the sketches … or the commercials. I think of commercials like sketches. I collaborated with the writers. Especially the spa stuff and by the pool with the pool boy — that’s a lot of Tiffany Haddish.
Since you’re officially the Queen of Groupon, what’s the best purchase you’ve made on there?
My bidet. It was the best thing I’ve ever bought. It was $298, and I haven’t needed a man since. I’m telling you, it’s the most awesome thing in the world. Toilet paper lasts so long in my house because [the bidet] has a dryer on it. I love it, I gave that five stars. Everybody needs it. I tried to share it on Twitter and with all my girlfriends. They’re like, “Oh my God, Tiffany, why you are you sending us toilet seats?” I’m like, “It’s the best, you have no idea.”
I wouldn’t even think to buy a bidet. Why did you feel the sudden need for one?
Well, when I went to Japan to do comedy for the troops, we would be on these buses and we would stop at these rest stops. When you go into the bathrooms in Japan, they have bidets like right there … they have them in the toilet. And so you push the button and it rinses your butt, like, “Oh my God, this is amazing.” I didn’t even know exactly how to use it, but I figured it out. And when I came back to the states, I was like, “I got to get me a Toto or something.” Then I happened to be on Groupon and decided to see if they had bidets — and boom, they had them [screams in excitement]. I wasn’t even home when I bought it, I was in New Orleans, and I was like, “I’m having that sent right to the house and as soon as I get home, I’m putting that on my toilet.” I had to hire an electrician to put a hole and an outlet in my wall so I could plug it in.
So it ended up costing much more than the $298.
The electrician only cost $50, so it wasn’t much. Normally, the best bidets are like $2,000 or $3,000.
A $298 bidet is a pretty good endorsement for Groupon.
And it’s amazing, it works so good. It has the heated water to it. It has like a reservoir where the water goes in and heats the water. That’s just, ahhhhh.