D.L. Hughley says he was born to be a comedian, but his comedy career actually took shape at the barbershop.
In a recent phone conversation from his native Los Angeles, Hughley reflected on visiting local barbershops in Compton.
“At the barbershop, you’d hear the guys talking about various subjects and I’d get a chance to throw in a few jokes,” said Hughley, who will bring his ‘D.L Hughley Family &Friends Tour’ to the Miller Theater at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. Tickets are $20-$100 from the box office, (800) 514-3849 or millertheateraugusta.com.
Hughley said the owner of one barbershop also doubled as a club owner and promoted comedians at his club.
“He asked me if I thought I was funny enough to come to the club and give comedy a try. It wasn’t like I intended to be a comedian, it just kind of happened – but I don’t have any regrets,” said Hughley, who was born Darryl Lynn, hence the moniker D.L.
Hughley was raised in a traditional, two-parent home with mother, Audrey Hughley, and father, Charles Hughley, who worked as a Delta Air Lines maintenance employee. Although he enjoyed status as a successful high school athlete on baseball diamonds and basketball courts, he admitted that his younger days included a stint with the notorious Bloods gang. After getting his life back on track, Hughley landed a job with the Los Angeles Times newspaper and Stevie Wonder-owned KJLH-FM radio station, where he worked as a production assistant.
His big break came as host of BET’s ComicView from 1992 to 1993, and the fame train has steadily rolled along for a 20-plus year career. In addition to his TV career, Hughley has appeared in several motion pictures and is currently a bi-coastal host of a nationally syndicated radio show, the DL Hughley Morning Show. In March 2013, Hughley paired with professional dancer Cheryl Burke on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. He also produced and starred in an ABC sitcom called The Hughleys, in addition to authoring two books, with his third book How Not To Get Shot, And Other Advice From White People, having just been released via HarperCollins publishing.
A couple of months ago, he launched his own podcast, called The Hughley Truth, which has him interviewing news and media personalities.
As an original member of the Kings of Comedy troupe, Hughley shared national stages with his three cohorts Steve Harvey, Cedric “The Entertainer” and the late Bernie Mac.
He’s also had stints in straight-news gigs on CNN and on HBO with political-satirist and host Bill Maher. He names his primary comedy influences as Redd Foxx and Robin Harris in addition to singer Marvin Gaye, for “clarity in his messages,” he said.
This won’t be Hughley’s first trip to Augusta. He has warm reflections of being a young comic who played Augusta’s Comedy House Theater, formerly on Washington Road.
“I remember being in Augusta in 1997 when Tiger (Woods) won his first Masters title,” he said.
Hughley, 54, said he also recalls fun times with popular Augusta morning deejay Minnesota Fattz aka Timothy Snell.
“Oh, we had some good times in downtown Augusta,” he said of Fattz, the WKSP 96.3 FM program director.
Hughley’s trip to 708 Broad St., at the newly renovated Miller Theater, will mark his debut performance at the legendary venue.
“We’re really looking forward to this trip,” he added. The tour will also include Norfolk, Va.-bred comic Bodacious, along with Hughley’s radio sidekick Jasmine Sanders as host, and his daughter, Tyler aka DJ Lucci.