NEWS & VIEWS

D.L. Hughley Looks Ahead

The stand-up comic-actor, a part of the Sept. 1-2 A.C. Comedy Festival at Tropicana, on his new book, the Presidential election and the state of America.

By Ed Condran
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Aug. 27, 2012

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When Bill Maher was asked to name the best guest he’s ever had on either of his shows — Real Time With Bill Maher or Politically Incorrect — it didn’t take the provocateur long to name D.L. Hughley.

“I’ve had a myriad of guests but D.L. is great,” says Maher. “He’s smart, funny and prepared.”

That’s why Hughley’s live shows are so entertaining. The underheralded comic-actor, who will return to the East Coast for the Atlantic City Comedy Festival, is engaging, humorous and, perhaps best of all, unpredictable. You never know what type of unsparing political or social commentary Hughley will deliver when he hits the stage.

Hughley is ready to crack wise about the upcoming Presidential election.

“I noticed that they announced the [Mitt] Romney-[Paul] Ryan ticket while on a battleship in Virginia,” says Hughley. “It’s funny that the Republicans like to make their big announcements on battleships. Their last announcement [when President Bush declared ‘mission accomplished’ in 2003] on a battleship worked out really well. That was a little premature regarding the end of the Iraq war. This coming election is going to be very interesting since we have two contrasting visions.”

The eloquent Hughley loves to get political and he does just that with his first book, I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up: How The Audacity of Dopes is Ruining America, which hit shelves three weeks ago.

Hughley, 49, offers both funny and serious views of how American culture is circling the drain. “We’re like Rome when it was falling, but with Twitter,” Hughley cracks. “We’re like children who don’t want to hear anything negative and our leaders are so distant and bellicose.”

What makes the book so compelling is that Hughley has such an original voice. 

“I’m my own person,” Hughley tells Atlantic City Weekly. “But I have to say I had more fun than I ever thought I would have with the book. It was not like stand-up is for me. It’s not a natural thing for me. I never had so much fun being uncomfortable.”

The charismatic entertainer has experience dealing with uncomfortable environments. Hughley grew up on the hardscrabble streets of South-Central Los Angeles. He was part of the gang culture but somehow survived, worked as a sales rep at the Los Angeles Times while raising three young children and made a name for himself as a stand-up comic-actor.

One of the four comics featured in the Spike Lee film, The Original Kings of Comedy, Hughley has routinely done the right thing.

He was the star of the long-running ABC/UPN sitcom The Hughleys. He was also part of a pair of short-lived gems, co-starring in the exceptional Aaron Sorkin penned NBC series Studio 60 on The Sunset Strip and hosting CNN’s D.L. Hughley Breaks The News.

Hughley has also been married to LaDonna Hughley for 26 years.

“You do what you have to do,” Hughley says. “You do what’s important. It’s not all about being the biggest star.”

That’s evident as Hughley flies back to California to be with his wife and three grown children after his gigs.

“I have to go back since when I’m away, particularly on the East Coast, it drains my battery,” Hughley says. “I need to go back.”    

You never know what Hughley, who has hosted a New York radio show and fills in for Meredith Vieira as host of the syndicated game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, will do next.

“I trust my swing,” Hughley says. “I trust it like a golfer. I’m open. I think I’ve made some interesting choices. I’m always up for a challenge.”

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