Former Foster Youth Tiffany Haddish Revamps ‘Kids Say the Darndest Things’

Former foster youth Tiffany Haddish is set to host the newly rebooted classic “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” Photo: ABC/Mary Ellen Matthews

Former foster youth and A-list actor/comedian Tiffany Haddish has reached a new peak in her career, signing on to host the reboot of the iconic family comedy series “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”

Haddish, who grew up in Los Angeles’ foster care system, will also be an executive producer on the show, which became an instant classic during its original run in the late 90s hosted by Bill Cosby. The show was derived from a popular segment on the long-running radio and television show “House Party” in the 1940s-60s.

In the 2019 revamp of the show, Haddish will interview kids to get their perspective on a variety of topics, from dating to technology. And though she herself is a comedic superstar, it’s the kids who shine in this show.

“I feel like it’s very important to listen to kids,” Haddish said in an Associated Press story. “I feel like kids should be seen and heard.”

Haddish, who speaks frankly about her experiences in foster care both in her comedy and in her book “The Last Black Unicorn,” knows what it’s like to be unseen and unheard as a child.

In a recent appearance on David Letterman’s Netflix talk show, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” Haddish described going into foster care as “the worst feeling in the world” and said being in the system made her feel like garbage.

She called comedy her survival tool for what helped her get through the tough years of her childhood, tearing up as she talked about entering the system after her mom suffered a horrific car accident that led to personality-altering brain damage.

Haddish cycled through several placements, including a group home, before moving in with her grandmother until she aged out of the system at 18. She struggled for several years, couch surfing and trying to make ends meet performing at bar mitzvahs before her career took off.

She continues to focus her energies on serving and supporting foster youth, recently launching a nonprofit called She Ready to help promote normalcy for youth in care by providing mentoring and other services.

“I said to myself when I was like 13, if I ever get any kind of power, if I’m able to do anything, I’m going try to figure out a way to make sure kids don’t feel like garbage,” Haddish said.

“Kids Say the Darndest Things” will air Sundays on ABC and is set to premiere on October 6.

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Sara Tiano
About Sara Tiano 80 Articles
General assignment reporter for The Chronicle of Social Change