With restaurants and local businesses reopening across the country, and following Dave Chappelle's welcomed return to stand-up last week, comedian D.L. Hughley decided to perform a show to a packed bar. Though things didn't quite go according to plan. The performer collapsed midway through his set, falling off the back of his chair before someone was able to catch him. Following the incident, he tested positive for COVID-19 at a Nashville hospital.
D.L. Hughley confirmed the diagnosis himself in an Instagram video today. He offers an explanation of what happened. And if you're curious, someone also posted video from the stand-up show that captures the comedian as he passes out in front of his audience.
After D.L. Hughley confirmed his diagnosed with coronavirus, he was released from a Nashville hospital and sent to a hotel where he claims he will be quarantining for the next 14 days. The actor and activist claimed he was being treated for "severe exhaustion and dehydration." And the COVID-19 confirmation came as quite a shock to him. He says he was 'asymptomatic', and that the only indication he had the disease was that he collapsed in the middle of telling a joke.
"They ran a battery of tests, and I also tested positive for COVID-19, which blew me away. ... Apparently I just lost consciousness. So, in addition to all the other stuff you have to look out for, if your ass pass out in the middle of a show, onstage, you probably need to get tested."
D.L. Hughley went on to thank his fans for their "prayers and well wishes." He also notes the comedians who said awful things about him last night, though he doesn't wish them any ill will. The incident took place this past Friday night at Zanies Nashville Comedy Club. It is noted that the comedian had to be carried off stage.
In the video provided by a patron of the comedy club, you can see the 57 year old comedian stumble on his words before pausing his speech. He then begins to lean back on his stool. The staff sensed something was not right with Hughley, and one man rushed to his aid. He was caught, but still tumbled to the floor. The Zanies staff then rushed him out of the building.
One of the Zanies announcers told the crowd to stay in place, "Stay calm. We've got it all under control." At the time of the collapse on Friday night it wasn't known that he had contracted Coronavirus. A representative for Hughley told TMZ that the performer was, "suffering from exhaustion after all the week's work and travel, and was kept overnight at the hospital for tests under doctor's orders. He is awake and feeling better, and wishes to thank everyone for the very kind prayer and thoughts."
You can watch the incident play out in the video below. D.L. Hughley is perhaps best known for his sitcom The Hughleys, which was on the air from 1998-2002. He has also long been a stand-up comedian on the scene. It wasn't known if Zanies patrons were encouraged to get tested or not. This news originated at Deadline.