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How Billy Crystal unwittingly helped 'Here Today' co-star Tiffany Haddish hook up with Common

·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 min read
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During one memorable sequence in the new dramatic comedy Here Today, Tiffany Haddish accompanies Billy Crystal to his granddaughter’s bat mitzvah. Haddish’s Emma has never been to one of the Jewish coming-of-age rituals before, so many of the scene’s laughs are drawn from her fish-out-of-water experience.

In actuality, though, Haddish has been to plenty, mostly as a hired performer before she hit it big as a standup comedian and then films like Girls Trip and Like a Boss. “Since ’96!” she told us in a new interview alongside Crystal (watch above).

But in 2019, at age 40, Haddish — whose father was an Eritrean Jewish refugee, had her own bat mitzvah.

“It was the best party ever,” she says. “It was the most wonderful celebration. All kinds of people were there, people were dancing. You could feel the love and energy throughout the room.”

Those guests included Crystal, who read Haddish’s aliyah (the calling of the participant to the bimah for a Torah reading) — and apparently blocked her from hitting on an attendee she was eyeing.

“Billy was talking to the dude I was trying to lock in, holding him up,” Haddish says.

“Well, the guy I was talking to was Giancarlo Stanton, who’s number 27 for the New York Yankees,” replies Crystal, a well-known Yankees die hard.

“Yeah, I was trying to get with him,” Haddish laughs.

It all worked out in the end: While Crystal was keeping Stanton from Haddish, she was approached by current boyfriend, the rapper and actor Common. “The man I’m with now, he got in my ear a little bit,” Haddish says. “So thanks, Billy.” (Haddish and Common first met working together on The Kitchen in 2018 and confirmed their relationship in 2020.)

Tiffany Haddish and Billy Crystal in 'Here Today' (Sony)
Tiffany Haddish and Billy Crystal in 'Here Today' (Sony)

Directed by Crystal from a script he wrote with longtime friend Alan Zwiebel, Here Today follows a veteran comedy writer slipping into dementia who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a lounge singer after she wins an auction to have lunch together.

Crystal says he became an instant fan of Haddish after watching her host Saturday Night Live in 2017.

“I was so blown away by how funny and charming and hilarious and fearless she was, and the way the audience wanted to know her,” he says. “It was like they were drawn to her. And that happens with only a few people that I’ve ever met.”

Haddish, like so many, had long been a fan of the celebrated When Harry Met Sally and City Slickers actor, who also directed Mr. Saturday Night (1992), Forget Paris (1995) and 61* (2001).

“I was really excited,” she says. “It’s so funny when you meet certain people that you’ve looked up to and they’re like, ‘Yeah I saw you on SNL…’ I’m like, ‘You watched me?! That’s so cool.’ And just talking with him, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m ready to do this. Whenever you’re ready, I’m ready.’” ’Cause she ready!”

Here Today is now playing.

Video produced by Jon San and edited by John Santo

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