On this day in comedy on March 6, Comedian, Actor, Author, and activist Darryl Lynn “D. L.” Hughley was born in Los Angeles, CA
Hughley’s life arc goes from gangbanger to Los Angeles Times employee to top standup comedian. The comedy part got its start in clubs in L. A. including the Comedy Act Theater and Miss Wiz, where Hughley was house host. He got early recognition and landed a late-night talk show on local based K-CAL, but it was short lived due to his hot competition – Arsenio Hall premiered that same season. The setback was short-lived. Hughley was next pegged to be the first host of BET’s standup showcase, Comic View. He remained there for two seasons (1992-1993) then moved on to tour.
In 1998 D. L. Hughley made his next foray into television on his own self-titled sitcom, The Hughleys, originally airing on ABC, where it was broadcast for two seasons. The show then moved to UPN as Hughley was gaining fame for his contribution in the Original Kings of Comedy in 2000. He replaced Guy Torry, who’d moved on to star on a TV action drama. The tour featuring Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, Steve Harvey and Bernie Mac was a cultural phenomenon, packing arenas across the country, being made into a hit concert documentary directed by Spike Lee and spawning a cottage industry of copycats all being packaged as royalty and touring under that brand.
Once The Hughleys ended its run in 2002, D. L. Hughley got traction as a political commentator. He had a Comedy Central program, Weekends at the D.L. and hosted D. L. Hughley Break the News on CNN. Hughley was also a correspondent for NBC’s The Jay Leno Show. He competed on Dancing with the Stars and held down his own radio shows. He released a comedy album (D. L. Hughley: Notes from the GED Section) has had recurring roles (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Scrubs), guest-starred (Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Parkers), hosted award shows (BET Awards), done voice-overs (Inspector Gadget) films (The Brothers, Soul Plane, Scary Movie 3, Spy School) and wrote a book (I Want You to Shut the Fuck Up: How the Audacity of Dopes Is Ruining America).
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
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