Haddish told Willie Geist that she started to embrace comedy to make her abusive mother happy.
"I would try to make my mom laugh," Haddish explained. "Because if she was laughing she wasn't hitting."
The actress then transitioned from making her mother laugh to entertaining large crowds at events as an "energy producer." After finding success in that role, Haddish decided to join "comedy camp" and pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. Although her career was starting to bubble, Haddish wasn't financially stable. She told Today that she was homeless and living out of her car while trying to achieve her goals.
"I would always pull up 5 to 10 minutes late so no one could see my car because I had all my clothes and suitcases in my car," Haddish said, before touching on a chance encounter with a young Kevin Hart that changed her life.
"[Kevin Hart] said, 'You can't be living in your car on these streets,'" Haddish recalled. "He gave me 300 bucks and was like 'Find yourself a place for the week. And then write out a list of goals of what you want to do then start accomplishing those goals.'"
From there, Haddish went on to have guest-starring roles on several shows, including The Real Husbands of Hollywood with Kevin Hart. Those appearances set the stage for Haddish's breakthrough performance in 2017's Girls Trip. After this performance, Haddish became the first African-American female stand-up comedian to be the host of Saturday Night Live.
"Once it was all done, I was like 'Whew, I made that history," she continued. "Every morning when I wake up I'm always praying and thankful. So, I always try to find the good in everything."