Last year at this time, comedian D.L. Hughley
was on one of the hottest shows on TV. At least that's what everyone thought Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
would be until it slowly faded away into irrelevancy. Nonetheless, Hughley quickly moved on and is now going off in his new HBO stand-up special, "Unapologetic"
(airing Saturday at 10 pm/ET). Here, Hughley talks about why he's not looking for forgiveness, the reason he thinks Studio 60
tanked, and whether or not he can take a joke like the victims on his recent BET hidden-camera show, S.O.B.
TVGuide.com: Why is the special called "Unapologetic"?
D.L. Hughley: Because nowadays when anybody passionately expresses their opinion, and it's not in the mainstream, they're forced to apologize. But it's never a real apology; it's always the one their publicist tells [them] to do.
TVGuide.com: When was your last sincere apology?
Hughley: I often apologize to my wife. [For] lying, coming home late, promising I'll be home when I'm not. She's probably one of the only people I apologize to — and know that I'm just doing it so it'll be over fast. I'll apologize to her because I have to see her in a couple of minutes.
TVGuide.com: And what won't you apologize for?
Hughley: I won't apologize for the way I see the world. I think a comic's greatest asset is his ability to call it like he sees it.
TVGuide.com: What else do you go off on in this hour?
Hughley: The presidential elections. We have the most diverse group of candidates I've ever seen. We've got a black man, a woman and a Mormon. It sounds like I'm getting ready to tell a bar joke, doesn't it? "A black man, a woman and a Mormon walk into a bar and say, 'I wanna be president.'"
TVGuide.com: Will there be any material in the special about being cast in a hot show that gets canceled in a year?
Hughley: [Laughs] You know, when I did the pilot [for Studio 60], it was the best thing I'd ever seen. Three episodes in, I knew we were in trouble. I thought we took that stuff a little too seriously. We talked about how brilliant these guys were, but we never demonstrated it. If you go to a great restaurant, you don't want to know how they make steak, you just want to eat!
TVGuide.com: You've appeared on political shows like Real Time with Bill Maher. Have you ever been on the panel with Ann Coulter?
Hughley: I have.
TVGuide.com: The next time you're on a panel with her, can you tell her that she can only play with her hair two times during the entire segment?
Hughley: I think I'm the only one who notices that. You know what's funny? She's very intelligent, but I think that half of the stuff she does is to get a rise out of people. She does play that blonde-bimbo, pulling-her-hair thing, too. So yeah, I think I will [tell her]. But the next time I'm on a panel with her, it'll probably be hard for me not to choke the s--t out of her.... Even though I agree with freedom of speech, there's just something about [her]!
TVGuide.com: Your hidden-camera show, S.O.B, just wrapped up — so tell us, would you be a good sport if you were the subject of a practical joke?
Hughley: Yeah. I think it's kind of ridiculous to be a comedian and not be able to take a joke. I would probably be irritated like everybody else is, but I know that I would try my best to be a good sport.
TVGuide.com: When's the last time someone played a joke on you?
Hughley: Uh, let me see. Who did I just fire for that? [Laughs] My road manager does a lot of s--t like that. He had them pretend like they lost my bag till about an hour before we were supposed to perform.
Hughley: Yeah, it was nice for them, it wasn't funny to me at all. So I'm cussing people, I'm arguing, they're saying, "We delivered the bags," and I'm saying, "No, they didn't" and it was horrible, and then he's laughing and an hour before we were supposed to get dressed and go to the show, he told me he had my bags in his room. If he wasn't married to my sister, he would have gotten fired that day!
Check out some D.L. Hughley clips in our Online Video Guide.
The Sept. 24 issue of TV Guide features House star Hugh Laurie's most irreverent interview ever, as well as a look at the new season of How I Met Your Mother. Try four risk-free issues now!
Send your comments on this feature to firstname.lastname@example.org.