The Gist: A couple of years ago, Haddish flexed her newly-gained star power with Netflix to host and produce a stand-up showcase to feature some of the ladies she performed with in the comedy club trenches. Haddish’s “She Ready” catchphrase begat They Ready. Some of Haddish’s handpicked comedians were more ready than others.
For Season 2, Haddish turned to more seasoned professionals, some of whom she looked to when she was on the come-up, some of whom mentored her and offered her sage advice, and all of whom deserve more attention and credits from the industry and fans than they’ve earned so far. They are Godfrey, Tony Woods, Barbara Carlyle, Erin Jackson, Kimberly Clark, and Dean Edwards. Each get about 15 to 20 minutes to perform in individual episodes, with testimonials from Haddish. A seventh episode, “The After Show,” closes out the season with Haddish speaking to the group and asking them about their experiences on the road and in show business.
What Comedy Specials Will It Remind You Of?: If you haven’t already watched They Ready Season 1, then think of this as a throwback to the old Young Comedians shows that ran annually on HBO in the 1980s, or Rodney Dangerfield’s version of the same (only these comedians aren’t that young).
Memorable Jokes: They filmed this series last fall during the pandemic, and the opening episode finds Godfrey addressing the moment immediately, with jokes about how masks and a lack of salons have leveled the playing field for all women, in terms of their looks. He also offers up impersonations of his Nigerian cousins, his Chinese and Italian friends, and presidents Obama and Trump.
Godfrey pointed out how they filmed this showcase on the same stage in Long Beach where the late great Richard Pryor filmed his 1979 concert film, and yet how not much had changed in what they could joke about with regard to Black rights in America.
Perhaps the best part, if not the funniest, comes near the end of the whole season, when Haddish asks each of the comedians who they’d bring up next, as Haddish has done with them. That allows Carlyle to shout out Mugga, Edwards to talk up Harris Stanton, Jackson to wish for Paris Sashay, Godfrey to highlight Marina Franklin and Ian Edwards, Clark to tip her cap to Hugh Moore and Lexie Grace, and Woods to holler at Greer Barnes and Rondell.
Paying it forward, sharing the spotlight, always great things.