Since his 1992 debut on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam , D.L. Hughley has proven himself to be a skilled, street-wise comic able to connect with audiences of all backgrounds despite joke topics. On Notes from the GED Section , his first comedy album, he exploits this ability to buoy traditional stand-up fare that would otherwise flop in the hands of a comic upstart.
Throughout his one-hour performance on Notes , Hughley doesn’t stray far from most comic’s issues of the day: Iraq, 9/11, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and Kobe Bryant all make an appearance.
But what Hughley lacks in originality he makes up for in presentation — or lack thereof. His jokes are refreshingly without structure. It’s hard to tell when he’s about to deliver a punchline because many times there isn’t one. Usually, he’s just your friend with a few drinks in him spouting hilariously about things he thinks are funny.
Of women he says: “A pussy was put on earth to make money … a pussy is shaped like a wallet … you’re sitting on a goldmine.” “A flute is the soundtrack of an ass whoopin'” he says of his son’s choice of instrument. “They eat shit that can’t say ‘no,'” he says of China’s eating habits.
More than a stand-up, Hughley is an entertainer in a much larger sense; there’s a reason the man had his own sitcom, The Hughleys for four years, was part of the $38 million grossing The Original Kings of Comedy and now has his own Comedy Central chat show, Weekends at the D.L. His presentation – smooth and quick and never mean – affords him the versatility so many comics strive to have.
He’s able to get away with ending the disc with an over nine-minute riff on a couple in the audience who got engaged after meeting online. During the bit Hughley keeps the pace strong, is always funny and, like in the rest of his set, never resorts to easy put downs for cheap laughs.