D.L. Hughley 

Four stars

Crackers Broad Ripple; Dec. 19-22

D.L. Hughley was in town for only a weekend, yet he quickly realized an intimate knowledge of Indy’s laughable dark side. He played to the audience with warmth, as if he’d grown up in Indiana, and portrayed its hilarious imperfections with stunning accuracy. Too much of the evening was an exploration of the well-trodden “white folks/black folks” disparity, but his other jokes were refreshingly unrehearsed, current and local. Much of his off-script routine steadily drilled the Meridian-Kessler elite into submission, leaving them palms-up in guilty acknowledgment of its absurd luxury. As one of the biggest names in modern comedy, it was surprisingly welcome that Hughley’s performance was graciously appealing to its host city, rather than a spoon-fed routine of mainstream jokes for the masses — as is often presumed when a Hollywood name with the weight of Hughley’s comes to town.

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