Newsmakers

One of the original kings of Comedy has a new talk show, "Weekends at the DL," on Comedy Central. Hughley spoke with NEWSWEEK's Allison Samuels.

On the ads for "DL," you say, "You thought they wouldn't give another brother a show, didn't you?" Why so bold?

Hey, it's the 800-pound elephant in the room. Dave Chappelle and I aren't really alike in our comedy, but we're both black men who tell jokes, so the comparisons are unavoidable. I can't lie and say the network isn't gun-shy after that incident with Dave, so I just thought I'd deal with it from jump street. No disrespect to Dave, but there's no sweeping it under the rug.

Your jokes about Condi Rice's hair are brutal! You think you'll hear from her people?

Please. My jokes are always going to be about the stories in the news. Condi's hair is a major point of contention with black people, whether the rest of world knows it or not. She looks like a black Carol Brady. I mean, in Washington, D.C., which is full of black people, somebody should have a hot comb that sister can borrow.

You, Bernie Mac, Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer all hit the jackpot with "The Original Kings of Comedy," but some of the guys had a public falling-out. How did you stay out of that drama?

A lot happened in a short time with that movie--egos sort of got out of control and things got a little ugly with some of the fellows. But that's family. You fall out and you make up eventually. You know, it's like me and my daughter--we fight a lot because we're just alike.

I saw you in Jet escorting her at a ball.

That ball was painful--that's the long and short of it. I know I'm a stand-up comic, but I don't like crowds. And I may be black, but I can't dance. Still, you gotta do these things so your kids can't complain about it later when they write their books.

Hollywood's Stars Return to Earth

Imagine you've spent a week in New Orleans clinging to a rooftop, just trying to stay alive, when finally a small boat arrives and your rescuer is... Oprah. Life is tragic along the Gulf Coast these days, but for what it's worth the victims have been receiving some welcome, if surreal, guests. Sean Penn, never one to sit out a crisis, hired a small boat and, after fending off a modest leak, began searching homes for survivors. (The actor recently filmed "All the King's Men" in New Orleans.) OK, so he brought along a personal photographer, but hey, how many victims did you rescue? Historian Douglas Brinkley traveled with Penn and told one news outlet he'd witnessed the actor aiding roughly 40 people. Other celebs spotted down South warming hearts and working the supply line: John Travolta, Julia Roberts, Faith Hill and Harry Connick Jr. Sure, it was good PR, but it was also good citizenship.

Two Glimpses of Camelot

Christopher Kennedy Lawford says he's "a little nervous" about his memoir, "Symptoms Of Withdrawal": "Nobody in the family has read the book yet." It's a weird life when the first woman you spy half-undressed is Jackie O. Still, the book's not a tell-all, but a frank, funny account of his battle with drugs. Carole Radziwill, the widow of JFK Jr.'s cousin and best friend Anthony Radziwill, is also offering up her life. Her moving memoir, "What Remains," focuses on her husband's heartbreaking death. Good reading--not just about American royalty, but real lives.

READERS' CHOICE

Now, what news on the Rialto? Renee Zellweger, Ron Howard and Russell Crowe put their heads together last week at the premiere of "Cinderella Man" during the Venice Film Festival. Check out celebrity photos Thursdays at Newsmakers.NEWSWEEK.com.

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