Clinton Hill resident Akilah Hughes provides the kind of sanity New Yorkers crave when confronted with the ridiculous scenario that is every-day life. For example, if you like iced coffee but it’s winter—know what? You can can drink it anyway! Hughes demonstrates that this is true (and exposes other bad deals, like soup and salad lunch combinations) in one of her many absurd-meets-good-sense Internet videos. You can also see her on Refinery 29, Glamour.com and Jezebel.
When was the first time you remember making someone laugh? What happened?
I think I was maybe 5 years old. My mother sent me up to my grandmother’s apartment to give her something and after I dropped it off she walked me back to the elevator. We kissed and said our goodbyes and I love yous, and I pressed the button for the ground floor. Unbeknownst to me my grandmother was pushing the button on the outside of the elevator causing the door to open. We kept saying “Love you! Bye!” And around the fifth time I said to myself “What is WRONG with this damn thing?” and my grandmother laughed so hard she couldn’t hit the button again. My mom told me about it later that night and I thought I was going to get in trouble for cursing, but she couldn’t stop laughing, either.
What is the toughest part about being on the comedy scene in Brooklyn today? What is the best?
It’s super tough having to perform and also be doing comedy online. The hustle is twice as hard nowadays. And a lot of people don’t respect internet success because they assume it was easier. They can talk to me after they’ve written and starred in 100 videos.
The best thing is that as massive as Brooklyn is, the comedy scene still feels small. You get to know people from performing on different shows and sticking around after your set. I won’t say it feels like a family, but it definitely feels like a party.
Who do you find funny?
So many people. Hannibal Buress has the best dry delivery of any comedian I’ve seen. Chris Rock will FOREVER be the truth. I’m here for Amy Poehler, Broad City, and every writer on BoJack Horseman.
What was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
I was sitting across from an admin assistant at the hospital and she told me the bill for my MRI was $2,600. I couldn’t believe it, and I’m not even sure if those were tears of glee or despair, but I’m pretty sure my bank account was laughing too.
What are your goals for your comedy career?
I’m going to be a mogul. I want it all. Book, TV show, feature films, to be a voice on Bob’s Burgers.
What is your favorite knock-knock (or otherwise goofy) joke?
Twitter said you died I was just checking in.
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Photo by Nicolas Maloof.