((( Audio Interview Below )))
San Jose,CA- It's DL Hughley's opening night at the Improv and he's killin' 'em!
I'm having dinner with a beautiful woman along with The Flow's Co-Founder, Roger Hooks and his girlfriend...what could be better?
How about an interview?
The next day, I start working the phones to make it happen. Three days later, I'm at the his last show..LAUGHING MY ASS OFF, AGAIN.
Sitting alone behind me, is a well-dressed and attractive lady who just smiles after every punchline. I look over at her and think, "I'm laughing my heart out and she's just smiling? Am I missing something here?" This is DL 'Freakin' Hughley, for crying out loud. She had to have seen the show before.
Afterwards, my boys and I are in the lobby waiting on the word. We're called to the green room and I see the same woman once again. "Ok, she must be a part of his staff, then.", I think... Maybe, I should stop thinking so damn much.
She wasn't a staff member, in fact she doesn't work for DL in the least... DL works for her. She was the one that was in charge.
Her name is LaDonna Hughley, DL's wife of nearly 20 years.
After thinking too damn much, The Flow Magazine sat down with DL Hughley and conducted the following interview.
TFM: How you doing, DL?
DLH: Im all right boss man, how you doing?
TFM: Doing good, man. I just got out of your show and I really enjoyed it. How do you feel getting back doing you thing back on stage. It's been along time coming.
DLH: You know, it's been a long time. I'm on stage every week somewhere and I'm working on trying to stay sharp. So, it feels like going home, that's what it feels like.
TFM: I was talking to your boys, Steve (Harvey) and Cedric ("The Entertainer") and they were talking about, especially Steve was really adamant about the fact that he felt that Hollywood was not giving them the fair shake as far as doing movies. You know, you guys doing things all together. How do you feel about that situation, man?
DLH: I think that the bottom line is that Hollywood is it own entity. It does what it says it's going to do. I do think that anybody every came out of Hollywood and felt that they were treated fairly. I don't think that any brother has ever walked out of many situations and felt that they were treated fairly. You just take what it is that you get an opportunity and you try to exploit that as best as you can. I think that an opportunity that any of us that I have known about has come as the result of hard work and just banging down doors until they can't say no anymore. So, I don't expect it to change just because you made somebody a movie that made them a lot of money. It's the gig and ultimately were just comics that are blessed to do what it is that we love to do and I'm sure that the opportunity will come just like it did for "Kings of Comedy".
TFM: Well, the thing about it is that you've got four shows that have all been successful and, that the beauty of it. How do you feel about trying to employ black people in your productions?
DLH: I think that you try to do the best you can and not just in your productions. You know, I have a black road manager; I have a black business manager. You try to work with people that you try to recognize as much as possible. I think that that's it's important that you get an opportunity to be able to kind of do the job. Don't ask for the job if you can't do it. I ain't gonna hire anyone because they're anything. They have to be competent and ready to do the job. And, I think that there's a lot of "cats" who are and there are a lot of cats who say they want the opportunity and you give it to them and it's like. "Man, why you late?" "Oh, I was just…." You've got to be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.
TFM: (Laughs) Give us a brief synopsis of what's along the pike and what we can look from for DL Hughley.
DLH: We did a guest appearance on "Scrubs", were going to be directing a movie in March. We're going to be doing a new series with NBC and we'll tape the pilot in March. I'm looking to come out and do a brand new series and hopefully we'll have a lot more fun. What I did last time was I made a lot of social comments. I don't think I'm going to do that this time. This time I'm just gonna make people laugh and it's gonna be just a broad, big-fronted comedy. In other words, I just gonna keep doing what I do. I'm a comic, man keep hitting the road; I have a concert DVD and another one that I'll be shooting in January. So man, I'm in the laugh business. That's what I do.
TFM: I had just talked to Jeff Clanagan, and he was telling me about the DVD. What should be except from you?
DLH: To laugh a lot…to laugh a lot. You know, as long as we got the stuff going on in the world, as long as I can pick up a newspaper and read, and as long as I got people to feed I'm gonna be funny.
TFM: You've done a lot of political type comedy. That was something that was new for you Was that something that was due to September 11th?
DLH: Yeah, I don't even know what happened. I think that I had probably been gravitating that way all along. And, I think that just the way I see the world I think changed. For a lot of people, I'm not just saying, "It's just me." But, I just happen to be able kind of go out there and what it is that I say. But, I don't know that I like and that I appreciate, well I'm certain that I appreciate what's going on in the world but, I don't think that I like the direction that I see a lot of things going But, I know that comedically and artistically I need to have something to say, and I do.
TFM: (Phone ringing) That's my phone that's ringing.
DLH: I was about to say, "It's either that or it's a Jehovah's Witness that won't go away." Damn!
TFM: (Laughing) They know I'm talking to you right now, so they're trying to get a little "holla". But, is there any plans for you four (The Kings of Comedy) to get together? I know that it's been overrated as far as people saying that you guys are the new "Brat Pack" you know with Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and what not. Is there any plans for you guys to get together collectively and do something?
DLH: Those "cats" are "cats" that I always hold in the highest of esteem. Literally, the only way that I could be happier for somebody if it was me. I 'm just glad for those "cats". I mean, Steve's in radio, Ced's got a new hot show, Bernie's (Mac) show is doing really well and I'm in syndication. I really can't comment on the future. I could say this, if those "cats" wanted to do something in a phone booth I'd be with it. So, I'm hoping that somebody will work something out. But, that's an expensive proposition. . Now, lawyers would have to come in and it would be a different thing but I'm sure maybe that one day we'll all get together and do something.
TFM: I saw you 10 years ago at a "Fresh Prince" (Of Bel-Air) taping.
DLH: Oh, I was a warm-up.
TFM: You were a warm-up and, you were really just "roasting" folks in the audience. I just wanted to know that there's always a "cat" in the high school that just "caps" on everybody. Were you that "cat", man?
DLH: I was that "cat", and I had that dinosaur to keep them off me. (Points at his road manager, Big Red) Everybody [has] a pet dinosaur and I always had him. But, I don't think that my personality has changed all that much. I just think that I've been kind of the same "cat When you're a kid you might think that a cool restaurant is Mc Donald's. You still might dig Mc Donald's but, your scope broadens and that's all that's happened in this realm. I mean I think that there's so many more things you experience. Now, I'm so known for just being able to talk about people that people can't really get use to me going up and doing a straight hour with out talking about them which I've always done. I think that you just want to evolve and see the world the way you see it and helping people come along.
((( Audio Interview Below )))