London Hughes thinks her comedy special To Catch a D*ck is her perfect introduction
British comedian London Hughes is trying to end the year with laughs.
London Hughes is getting comfy at Netflix.
The British comedian recently joined David Spade and Fortune Feimster to celebrate the best of the streamer’s TV shows on The Netflix Afterparty. The trio is joined by the man who gave us wild doc Tiger King to Love Is Blind’s beloved couple Lauren and Cameron to Emily in Paris star Lily Collins, and more as they look back on the best shows of the worst year.
The Afterparty is just the beginning for Hughes. Not only will she provide commentary on the upcoming series History of Swear Words, but she will also be taking the stage with her own comedy special To Catch a D*ck.
Getting to look back at this unprecedented year through Netflix’s programming was fun for Hughes. “Every single show we look back on, I remembered how I felt, what part of lockdown I was in,” she shares with EW. It provided her an opportunity to laugh during a very stressful year.
We spoke to Hughes about her new special, getting to dive into curse words, and what’s next for her.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why was To Catch a D*ck the right name for the special?
LONDON HUGHES: It just summed it up so well, and it's a phrase that I've always said. I'd leave my house and make sure I looked good because I say every day is the opportunity to catch a d---. I say it so much that a friend of mine was like, "Oh, my God, you should call it To Catch a D---." I always say I'm always looking to catch a d---, I'm always trying to catch a d---, every day's an opportunity to catch a d---.
Then linguistically, it sounds like to catch a predator. It's perfect. I love the title. I love it.
At the start, you talk about the pandemic a bit. How did you decide how much you’d mention it? Did you consider leaving it out?
I didn't want to mention it. I feel like you watch TV and Netflix to escape the pandemic, but as I walked out on that stage and saw the audience staring back at me with masks on, it felt so weird not being able to touch on the subject. You need to understand, we did this in October, the whole audience had masks on, and we were outside. These are just not normal circumstances. I've never performed to an audience where they laugh, and I can't see their mouths.
In regards to single women, this year has been such a crazy year for single women and our lack of d--- that I needed to flag it out and say that I understood how ladies feel. This show is called To Catch a D*ck, and this has been the worst year for catching d---.
There’s a real physical component to your comedy. How did you develop your style as a stand-up comedian?
I've always been a physical person. I love acting and performing. I was a bit of a show-off as a kid, so it comes naturally to me. I developed [my style] from watching Black American stand-up comics. As a kid in Britain, if you turn on the TV and see British comics, they're not known for their physicality. They're maybe dry, sarcastic, and they stand still. Traditional British stand-up comedy isn't big, and in your face; it's not a thing, but it is in America.
I grew up watching Def Comedy Jam, Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, Richard Pryor, so I was just copying what I saw them do. By the time I started doing stand-up, all my references were those guys. Richard Pryor is the most physical comic I know. If you watch any of the specials, God rest his soul, he is sweating. Ten minutes in, he is sweating. I believe in putting your everything into the joke.
I'm glad it shows in my special. I died at the end of it. I pass out on the floor because I was physically dead. It's a real workout.
What’s your favorite curse word?
The one I use the most is the B-word, but my favorite is actually d---. I love it as a word. I love it in reality.
How much did you enjoy talking about why and how you curse on History of Swear Words?
It was so much fun, and it's also really cathartic. They're just words, we put so much onus on what they mean so much to different people. Being able to just freely swear and talk about where these words come from, why we say them, and changing the meaning.
I studied English language and literature at college, so I'm a bit of a nerd. I loved learning the history of the words and how they changed over the years.
It was honestly one of the best shows I've worked on. We filmed it in the pandemic, there was so much going on and I was just invited on to set to talk about swearing.
A Netflix comedy special puts your work in front of lots of people across the world. How does the special work as an introduction of you?
It's a perfect introduction to me. I couldn't have asked for a better "This is London Hughes" moment than To Catch a D*ck. It sums me up completely. In terms of my comedy style, F my physicality, who I am as a woman, who I am as a Black British woman. I couldn't have asked for a better introduction for the world to see me.
I'm planning a world tour, and I just hope the world receives me because I think when you think of British comedy I feel like the world thinks of predominantly white men, so I want to give the world something else to think about, and I hope To Catch a D*ck does that.
What is a memory you look back on fondly from the special?
I got to do the special on the Universal Studios lot, and you can't tell because they've done it so well. They decorate it so well. It was a full-circle moment because my dream was to visit Universal and film on the lot when I was a kid. I was obsessed with American TV and film and how it all works.
It was full, I can't believe it pinch me moment and stepping out on that stage in front of everybody at Universal Studios. If 11-year-old me would know that this would happen, and she wouldn't even believe it. Just stepping out on that stage and getting my first laughs was a career-defining moment for me.
You’ve come to America and now you have a comedy special. What’s next for you?
Oh, total world domination. I have a movie coming out called Hot Mess. It's from the makers of Girls Trip. I star in it, and it's loosely based on my life. I also have a TV project I can't discuss yet and my comedy tour. I'm not playing, you're going to be seeing London Hughes a lot over the next few years, and I'm not going anywhere. So yeah, the answer to that question is total world domination.
London Hughes: To Catch a D*ck is out now on Netflix.
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