Tiffany Haddish is having a big month, popping up everywhere from HBO’s offices to a Drake video, so it was no surprise to see her on Late Night With Seth Meyers on Monday night. But it was kind of unexpected to see her appear on Seth Meyers’ recurring segment “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell,” in which the host brings out writers Amber Ruffin and Jenny Hagel to deliver jokes that wouldn’t work coming from a straight white male. The pre-Haddish highlight was this joke from Hagel, a simple but perfectly constructed bit of comic misdirection:
A library in Chicago will host an exhibit next month called “Gay Is Good.” It’s expected to be unpopular with Trump voters because it’s in a library.
Hagel also got the biggest gasps from the audience for this joke, though she clarified afterward that, in the tradition of “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell,” she got to deliver the punchline because she is Catholic:
The Vatican recently refused to host an International Womens’ Day Conference because one of the speakers was a lesbian. And because they’re too busy hosting a 2,000-year-long pedophile convention.
Haddish’s joke wasn’t the best, but the segment’s close is a nice bit of ensemble comedy from Ruffin, Meyers, Haddish, and Hagel in which the women encourage Seth to deliver one of the punchlines, then turn on him once he does. In a different context, it would probably be pretty bad news for a late-night anchor to yell, “Black women and lesbians are liars!” into the camera, but in this case it’s really the only place for the segment to go. Meyers also pulls the old “abruptly cut from an on-camera disaster to cheerful music, as though someone at the network pulled the plug” trick that’s served Kent Brockman so well. Film editing has its own sort of comic timing, and here, it’s executed perfectly.
It’s not the greatest thing Haddish has done, but it’s a nice little stopgap while the world waits breathlessly to see if The Kitchen—in which Haddish, Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, and Margo Martindale play the wives of gangsters in the 1970s—can possibly live up to its incredible cast and premise.