D.L. Hughley on Politics, Religion and Bringing Something New To Late-Night TV

D.L. Hughley (Credit: TV One)

D. L. Hughley has a new late-night talk show and he’s using it to share his thoughts on race, politics and religion, whether critics like it or not.

The DL Hughley Show premiered March 18 on TV One. The nightly series features the outspoken actor and comedian, along with co-host Jasmine Sanders, using humor to address hot button issues. Hughley, who also serves as an executive producer on the show, says there’s no topic that’s too hot for him to touch.

“I don’t believe that any topic is off limits,” Hughley told Urban Hollywood 411 during an interview at the Burbank studio where the show is taped.

Asked if any candidates in the 2020 presidential race excite him, the left-leaning star said yes, just not Bernie Sanders.

“When I see a 78-year-old white dude, like Bernie Sanders, exciting a lot of young white people because he’s going to change things, that makes me laugh,” Hughley said.

Instead, the Hollywood veteran said he’d rather see someone he thinks could bring real change win the Democratic nomination. He specifically mentioned California Senator Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“I like a lot of people, but I think pragmatically, there are only so many things that America is ready for,” he stated.

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Delving deeper into politics, Hughley expressed anger over the wave of Republican-dominated states, including Georgia, Missouri and Alabama, that recently passed “heartbeat laws,” making abortion illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Alabama’s near-total abortion ban prohibits the procedure at any stage of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Hughley views the abortion laws as yet another form of oppression, dating back to slavery.

“Every conversation where they are discussing this abortion issue, and they equate rape and incest as morally worse than abortion, every one of those states was okay raping slaves,” he said. “I defy you to show me a place, where they have ever respected women’s rights that were having these arguments. Georgia, did they respect them? Never. You could rape slaves. Missouri, did they respect them? No they didn’t. Alabama? No.”

He also addressed the issue on his show.

[Watch the clip below]

The comedian has been vocal about what he considers “hypocrites” on the religious right and in the black church.

Hughley discussed that issue on the show with The Intruder actress Meagan Good, whose producer husband DeVon Franklin is a minister. Good admitted she sometimes avoids church after facing criticism from fellow Christians for taking on sexy roles.

“My experience with some church folks has not been that positive,” she said. “I will always love the church. I love my Lord and Savior, period point blank. That’s first and foremost over everything. But even though I love some of those people, I have to love them from a distance because my spirit is too sensitive… so I have to protect my spirit.”

[Watch the clip below]

In an interview with gospel singer Erica Campbell, Hughley said he thinks Christians are too judgemental.

“I’m not that kind of Christian,” Campbell responded. “I love people. I have grace for people, I think we should help the less fortunate.” Hughley fired back, “How’s that different from me?”

Instead of arguing with him, she urged the comedian to read the Bible.

[Watch the clip below]

Hughley admitted the conversations often get intense when he discusses religion the show.

“When it comes to religion, that is a very sticky point for a lot of people. And so, those have been the most challenging [interviews],” he explained.

Still, he admitted the conversations are meaningful.

“When you have impassioned people on, and they’re passionate about the things that they truly believe, it makes for a more interesting interview,” he said, “but it’s also tougher to navigate.”

The DL Hughley Show airs Monday through Thursday at 10 PM ET/9C on TV One, with an encore at 11 PM ET/10C.