The last few years have been crucial for women comedians of color.
From Dhaya Lakshminarayanan to Leslie Jones, breaking into an industry used to more traditional models — such as an Ellen Degeneres, Tina Fey, or Amy Poehler — has not been easy.
That’s why the announcement of the collaboration between comedian Aida Rodriguez and executive producer Tiffany Haddish on a comedy for HBO has been music to our ears.
According to Deadline, the project has been co-written by Rodriguez, in collaboration with Chris Case (Legit) and Nastaran Dibai (Resident Alien), and examines “the struggle of an Afro-Latino comedian who is trying to kick start a career while raising two very different teenagers on her own over multiple time zones.”
Based on Rodriguez’s real-life stories, and with the support of She Ready Productions, this new project aims to shed light on another kind of comedy: that of a woman of color and her mechanisms for surviving the daily struggle.
Aida Rodriguez is an American comedian born in Boston in 1977, who spent her early years in the Dominican Republic before returning to the United States, always amid turbulent family circumstances.
After attending classes at Florida State University in English and law, she was recruited by the modeling agency IMG. A divorce and a move to Los Angeles later, Rodriguez found comedy to be the best way to deal with the aftermath of a life full of abuse and instability.
Her routines often address issues of racism, sexism, and misogyny, and after being a finalist in NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2014, the comedian met Tiffany Haddish who invited her to participate in her comedy series for Netflix Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready in 2019.
Now, with a new project on the horizon, the two are ready to bring to the screen one of the many stories that are often overlooked in great storytelling.
Even though comedy seems to be a universal language, the root of each artist’s context is a story in itself.
“Comedy serves as a way for oppressed groups to make it through their existence,” explained Caty Borum Chattoo, co-director of the Center for Media and Social Impact at American University, to ELLE on an interview in 2017. “Comedy works as a coping mechanism, a resilient strategy.”