— -- 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.
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."
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
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.
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.