5 things to know about Tiffany Haddish, who made history hosting 'SNL'

PHOTO: Tiffany Haddish poses for a portrait during the 2017 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 27, 2017 in Beverly Hills, Calif.PlaySmallz & Raskind/Getty Images, FILE
WATCH Tiffany Haddish makes history as 1st black female comic to host 'SNL'

It's been a stellar year for Tiffany Haddish, who made history this past weekend as the first black female stand-up comedian to host "Saturday Night Live."

But the journey to reach this point has not been an easy one for the 37-year-old breakout star of "Girls Trip."

As Haddish alluded to in her opening monologue Saturday, she spent part of her childhood living in foster care. If not for her social worker, she might never have pursued a career in comedy.

PHOTO: Host Tiffany Haddish performs the opening monologue during Saturday Night Live in New York on Nov. 11, 2017.NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Host Tiffany Haddish performs the opening monologue during "Saturday Night Live" in New York on Nov. 11, 2017.

Here's what you need to know about this comedian on the rise:

Finding her father

Haddish's mother is African-American and her father was an Eritrean refugee raised in a Jewish family.

When Haddish was three years old, her father left the family and remained absent throughout the rest of her childhood. Her mother remarried and went on to have four more children. Haddish reunited with her father after her husband-to-be helped find him.

Although Haddish's marriage ended in divorce after five years, she called her wedding day, where her father walked her down the aisle, "one of the happiest days of my life."

Foster care

When Haddish was nine, her mother was in a car accident and suffered brain damage, which the comedian says triggered her mother's mental disorders.

Haddish had to become the caretaker for her younger siblings, she told the radio show The Breakfast Club in an interview this past summer.

"I remember the day my mom came out the hospital," she said. "The doctor pulled me to the side and said, 'Look, she’s never gonna be the person that she was -- it’s time for you to grow up now.'"

For the next three years, Haddish took care of her four siblings until the family was split up and the children put into foster care.

Comedy to the rescue

Frequently in trouble in high school, Haddish was given an ultimatum by her social worker: either go into therapy or attend the Laugh Factory Comedy Camp. Haddish chose the latter.

Comedy became an outlet for the naturally funny Haddish, who got instruction and advice from some of the top comedians, including legends like Richard Pryor.

She told the Los Angeles Times that Pryor once told her that she needed to having more fun on stage.

"I took that philosophy with me and I do that in everything that I do," she told the paper.

From first break to breakout star

PHOTO: Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish and Jada Pinkett Smith star in the 2017 film, Girls Trip.Universal Studios
Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish and Jada Pinkett Smith star in the 2017 film, "Girls Trip."

After years of doing stand-up, Haddish was finally cast in the OWN series "If Loving You Is Wrong."

She left the nighttime soap the first season when she was cast in a regular role opposite David Alan Grier and Loretta Devine in the NBC sitcom "The Carmichael Show," which completed its final season earlier this year.

But it's Haddish's breakout role as Dina in the hit film "Girls Trip," starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith, that has put her on the path to stardom.

Now, Haddish is on her way to a new sitcom, co-starring Tracy Morgan, and a new film, "Night School," opposite Kevin Hart. She also has a book about her life -- "The Last Black Unicorn" -- coming out next month.

Comments