Tiffany Haddish Bombed Onstage and Gave Us All a Great Lesson in Dealing With Failure

The comedian's jokes might have flopped, but her response was pitch perfect.

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy
Tiffany Haddish Bombed Onstage and Gave Us All a Great Lesson in Dealing With Failure
Image credit: Johnny Louis | Getty Images
Entrepreneur Staff
Editorial Director
3 min read

There is some debate over who actually uttered the famous phrase, “Dying is easy, comedy is hard,” but there is little debate that actor/comedian Tiffany Haddish learned it the hard way while performing on stage on New Year’s Eve.

Shortly after taking the stage at the James L. Knight Center in Miami, the star of Girls Trip and a ton of other comedies spoke about partying until the wee hours of the night/morning before, and then, according to those in attendance, forgot her material and stumbled through the rest of her set as audience members booed and headed for the exit. Haddish was well-aware that things weren’t going swimmingly, and was quoted saying, “This is gonna be on TMZ or whatever like ‘Tiffany Haddish Ate a Bag of Dicks on New Year’s Eve!’”

Related: Why We Should Teach Kids About Failure

By all accounts, she then grabbed a bottle of Ciroc and started drinking with the remaining audience as she wrapped things up.

Is your stomach in a knot just reading this? Whether your job involves standing in front of an audience telling jokes or sitting in front of investors pitching your business, there’s a good chance things haven’t always gone your way. Maybe you misspoke, maybe you were ill-prepared, maybe you got brain freeze and completely locked up. It happens to everyone, and most people (this writer included!) will spend the following day, week or month with our heads buried, humiliated, frustrated and replaying the disaster on a constant loop in our brains.

But not Haddish. The next day, Haddish owned up to her onstage crash-and-burn and sent this out to the Twitterverse:​

While many on social media took this moment to deride Haddish for being unprepared and -- every comedian’s worst nightmare -- unfunny, there is a lot to learn from her response: she owned up to her screw-up, vowed to learn from it, and is clearly moving on.​​​​​​

At Entrepreneur, we talk about embracing failure all the time, and Haddish’s response was as powerful for what it said as it was for what it did not. She didn’t get defensive. She didn’t make excuses. And most importantly for her own mental health, she’s not dwelling on the bad. You can’t change the past, you can only learn from it to help shape the future. So next time you are bombing in a meeting, know that it’ll be over soon enough and that there will always be tomorrow. And, if necessary, a bottle of vodka.

Related: Jon Taffer Says There Is One Common Denominator in Every Failure

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.