Bed Peace with London Hughes
Bed Peace with London Hughes
In this episode of The Antidote, Amy and Grace connect with comedian, writer, and actor London Hughes about the practice of letting your sparkle show, how sex is self-care, and letting things come to you.
Amy and Grace share their bummer news of the week – the FBI’s 40-year investigation of Aretha Franklin, and how some hospitals are raking in high profits while their patients drown in medical debt. They also share their antidote: wanderlust.
This week’s Creative Tap-In:
“Life can be dark and horrible, but what makes humans so resilient is their ability to find the light in dark situations. I think that’s the only reason why we’re still on this planet.”
Purchase tickets to our live show: https://nycomedyfestival.com/lineup/the-antidote-podcast-live/
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Amy The world is a dumpster fire. I'm Amy.
Grace And I'm Grace.
Amy And we want to f---ing help.
Grace We're comedy writers in Los Angeles, so we're taking those bad news lemons and making them into lemonade.
Amy We talk about cultural moments we love.
Grace Talk to people we adore.
Amy Crushes we have.
Grace And self-care we stan.
Amy During these trying times. We all need a show that focuses on joy.
Grace This is The Antidote. Hi, everyone. Welcome back to The Antidote for another week.
Amy Yes, we're so happy to have you in. Just a quick reminder before we get into everything, don't forget, our live show is coming up Saturday, November 12th at 7:30 p.m. at Union Hall in Brooklyn, New York.
Grace Yep, doors open at 7 p.m., like she said. And you can purchase tickets now at NYComedyFestival.com or at the link in our show notes.
Amy And actually our guest this week, London Hughes, she's performing at the New York Comedy Festival, too. So if you're feeling nasty. Go ahead and buy tickets for Friday night as well. And you get to see London Hughes. She's hilarious. Fall in love with her in just a moment on this episode.
Grace Yes, definitely is a fun conversation. But Amy, we wouldn't need the antidote if we didn't have something to get an antidote from.
Amy Starting now, up top with our bummer news of the week. Well, guys, I read on Vice recently that there are all these wild things coming out from FBI's 40 year investigation of Aretha Franklin.
Grace Forty years.
Amy I didn't even know that they were investigating her like that. Apparently the FBI file shows the singer was under investigation from. 1967 to 2007.
Amy Mostly because she was politically outspoken and was friends with MLK. They thought that her performance, that MLK funeral could start a revolution, and they were nervous about, quote unquote, black militant power. This is literally nuts. And I literally I'm like, FBI ain't got no cartels to deal with. The eighties came and the crack epidemic was here and you're like, Let's investigate Aretha still. Like, y'all are so weird. Like.
Grace I mean, you know what? It's always so profound to me how afraid people are of Black people loving themselves. You know what I'm saying? Like literally Aretha Franklin, she was like a singer, an artist. You were so scared that she was going to whip us up to, like, I don't know.
Amy Respect ourselves.
Grace I don't know what you want, baby. You got it. Like, I don't know.
Amy What what she's got what? What, baby? What does she have?
Grace Black people can't want to respect.
Amy R-E-S-P-E-C- what?
Grace This. This. This. Whole country is built on us, not respecting them. Yeah, this is very disheartening. And the fact that it went on for so long.
Amy That's what I'm saying. They're weird.
Grace Y'all, weird.
Amy Why you so obsessed with her.
Grace Yeah. Why are you so obsessed with her? I mean, you know, it's very, very, very disturbing. And God only knows what they're who they're investigating. Now, you up on you when Beyonce's business leave her alone like you bet Jay-Z's business. Like, it just seems so bizarre that they would do this. But I guess I'm glad it came to light, because once again, the United States has proven that you guys are too obsessed with Black people just existing. So I guess we got to keep fighting. Weird.
Amy Yeah. I mean, we got to keep fighting. We have no other choice, but that's not the only bit of bummer news. Also, NPR is reporting that hospitals have been raking in profits while patients struggle with medical debt. The quote says about a third of the 100 million adults in the U.S. with health care debt owe money for a hospitalization, according to a poll conducted by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation. Close to half of those owe at least $5,000. About a quarter owe $10,000 or more. Medical debt is crippling and forces people to make difficult choices. And to me, this is a bummer because when capitalism gets greedy around human life, I want to tap out like capitalism ain't what it's supposed to be anyway. It's not what it's cracked up to be like. We're all out here just struggling and working on 9000 zooms a day and getting really tired. And then on top of this, when we get sick from the jobs that we have to do to survive in this economy, there's no support financially or medically.
Grace I mean, I'm I'm one of those crazy people that thinks that. We should have universal health care. So this is, of course, very disturbing to me. I mean, I remember Obama talking about on the campaign that like the last moments of his mother's life, she was like worried about like all the money that she owed. I think that we just need to do better. I don't know what the situation is. I keep voting for Democrats and.
Amy I mean, they have the problem.
Grace And they're not doing sh--. So I don't know what else to do. I mean, it's sort of one of these huge, giant issues that you kind of feel powerless against, because I don't want anybody going into debt because their child is sick or their grandma is sick or their mother is sick or they're sick. It's really, really sick. I mean, and frankly, I, you know, have an ex who passed away very young in his life from cancer. And, you know, part of the reason he didn't get treatment sooner was because he didn't have insurance. I mean, it's f---ed up the way that this country treats human life as a part of the economy. Yeah. So I don't know what to do about it, but it's very wrong. It's. It's a complete bummer.
Amy Yeah. So after discussing this bummer news, how are you feeling, Grace?
Grace Not great. How about you?
Amy You know, pretty sh---y.
Grace Okay, well, let's get into this antidote then.
Amy So this is the segment where we tell you about the culture we consumed and things we did this week that made us feel better about the bummer news. What was your antidote this week, Grace?
Grace My antidote, as we have discussed before, I am in New York for work and so I was feeling so stressed. And you know, I talked about before on the podcast how I was like planning on all this stuff that I was going to do in my neighborhood. But here's the problem. It was the plan.
Amy Yeah, yeah.
Grace Because it kind of gave me like a to do list of things that I should do while I'm there. And, oh, here's the best thing and thing. And so this week, what I did are this last weekend, I should say I can't do anything during the week. It is very. Before me. But last weekend, what I did was I just picked a coffee place that I wanted to go to. A tea place. Really? Let's be real. I don't drink coffee. But I decided to get my tea and wander. So I'm in a new neighborhood.
Amy So you just got a cup in your hand?
Grace Yeah. It was so lovely. The. The weather was cooperating. So I just took my tea, and I was like, you know what? Let me just walk down the street. Okay, let me. What should I make a right or a left? Okay, I'm a make a right. And like, I discovered so many new little gems in my neighborhood. And also just people watched and enjoyed being in a new place. So just like wandering with a cup of tea, listening to a podcast, I was listening to our friend Nicole Byers podcast, why won't you date me.
Amy We love her.
Grace And so and then also in New York, the leaves are beginning to turn. So the leaves are like yellow and red and just seeing them falling off the trees. So it was just like a really lovely fall day. So it was just yeah. Cute. Walking around in my ugg boots, in my little jacket.
Amy Let's go off, Uggs.
Grace With a little with my little matcha latte with oat milk throughout my neighborhood, just having a lovely, lovely afternoon. So that was my antidote.
Amy This sounds delightful.
Grace So, Amy, what was your antidote this week?
Amy Well, it's so crazy that yours is wandering your neighborhood because mine is kind of similar. It's like the L.A. version of yours. Because mine was wandering by car a couple weekends ago. I was at a wedding for one of my closest friends, and as I was leaving, it was sort of in Malibu. It was north of L.A. and when I was coming back, the directions I was taking the one on one back, and there was a moment where my directions said to exit the one on one. And I had this instant in my head I was like, But the one who runs away is the way I drove. Here is the way I go back, like, why would I exit? Why I don't want to exit. And then I was kind of like, You know what? Let Google Maps lead you. Because, you know, there are times when you know your route and Google Maps tells you to do a thing and you're like, Naw Google. And I'm like. This time I was like. Like.
Grace And then you end up in like an hour of traffic. Yes.
Amy Yes, exactly. So I was like, it's about to be morning rush hour. I'm going to listen to Google Maps. And the craziest thing, it took me this weird route on this street called Lost Virgins Road, which I had never been on. And along the road it's so green. It's trees everywhere. It was there were hills, there was fog. There was just like like slow driving, like no way to move fast because all the cars are just lined up perfectly on this road. And then it led me all the way to the one and I got to drive down the one and look at the ocean as I was driving home. And for me, when I came to L.A., I remember when I first moved here, when I didn't know my way around, I would wander by car because I wanted to learn different neighborhoods. Yeah, and this even though I had Google Maps, Google Maps told me where to go, but it gave me that same feeling of like, let me take the pretty route and just see what happens and all eventually wander back home. And that's exactly what happened. It was the most beautiful drive and I wouldn't have taken it had I knew the way home. I put it into Google Maps just to check traffic, but had I just done it my way, it would have been just random traffic back to back, bumper to bumper on the 1 to 1. And then because I went this other way, I got to see all this beauty to start my day. And it hit me in such a good mood. So that was my antidote this week.
Grace I love that both of our antidotes are kind of like wonder. We just kind of like where we walked around and or drove around and saw pretty things. Oh, I love that.
Amy I agree. Well, if you guys tried any of our antidotes at home, like wandering your neighborhood or taking the scenic or at home, share them with us using the hashtag. That's my antidote. Or leave us a voicemail at 8336843683. Again, that's 8336843683. We'll be back after the break.
Grace Okay. Welcome back to the Antidote. We have a very special guest today. Who is it, Amy?
Amy Our guest today is the first British Black woman to be nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Best Show Award for her comedy special, To Catch a Dick. Catch it on Netflix, y'all. She also was featured in Sex Unzipped, hosted by Sweetie and the History of Swear Words, hosted by Nicolas Cage. Well, sh--, motherf---er. God damn. She also created, wrote and starred in her own YouTube comedy series No Filter. And her dating podcast London actually is available on Spotify. Please forgive me for disrespecting you. Please welcome four time Guinness World Record Holder. London Hughes.
London Hughes That was beautiful. I love that intro. I love it.
Amy I don't know what it was that led to an accent.
London Hughes I think you know what? Some Americans do it and it's terrible. But you, you got the gist of it? It sounded good.
Grace Okay. London. Can I show you my British accent?
London Hughes Of course. Please. I will close my eyes again so I can feel it. All my senses are, like, locked and loaded.
Grace Okay, I'll say. I'll say. Welcome back to the antidote. We have a very special guest today. Who is it, Amy? Is that good?
London Hughes You know what? That wasn't bad at all. Listen, I've had some shockers. I've heard. Hey, you. Oh, oh. Crumpets. Ooh.
Amy What's happening?
London Hughes But your. Grace. Top tier. Very impressive.
Grace Thank you. I appreciate that.
London Hughes Some say, you could bag a British bae by with that 100%.
Amy Go get em.
Grace I wouldn't mind it. I do love you guys' accents.
London Hughes Yeah. And we love yours. And that's a crazy thing.
Amy Oh, that's what's nuts. It's like. We talk and I. It's like, just like potatoes rolling around in the bag. I'm like, who wants to hear this noise.
London Hughes I love a Black American accent. Like, it's just sexy. Like, if a man's like, Hey, Ma. And I'm like, Yes, sir. What you want with me? What do you want? Hey, Ma. What we finna do, Ma? What we finna do?I don't know what we finna do, but, I mean, I would love it. I would love to do it. I would love to finna do whatever you want to finna do. Yeah, I love it.
Grace That's so funny. Because honestly, that was what happened the first time I went to New York as an adult or whatever. Like some dude on the street was just like, Yo, what's up ma. I was just like, Oh, marry me.
London Hughes Literally like what. That is something about new. I never even been to New York, but New York. Guys, let's talk about the swagger. Yeah, that's just, like, pleased with the just, like, just. Please. Grab me and just take me away. I love it. Yeah, I love your country. Oh, it's amazing.
Grace Thank you. And we you know, sometimes we don't love it. But.
London Hughes Look. You know what, it's like, if I can give African-American's perspective, I will anywhere I can. I'm just like, your country is ethnic, and I know it feels like it isn't. But I used to want to be an African American so bad, so bad that I was obsessed with everything American. And I wasn't the only one. Everyone, every Black person in Britain had an obsession with Black America since they were born. So, yeah, I was very jealous of all of your childhood. I am jealous of all of it. Like the fact that you grew up watching Black people on TV. Like what? The first black woman I saw on TV was American. So I as a kid, I used to think to get on TV, I had to be American. So that's why I moved here, because from a young age, I was like, Well, I want to be famous, I want to be on TV, so I have to go to America first. That woman I saw was Aunt Viv, Black Aunt Viv. But she was the first black woman I saw on TV show American Accent and the music I listened to. It was all American from TLC, Destiny's Child, Aliyah, all Americans. So then and I'm wearing Sean John Rocawear baby that American so as a British person. We love you guys. You guys. We're obsessed.
Grace That makes me happy. Well, like when you say you love African-Americans in particular because sometimes our own country doesn't love us. Yeah, that. Really is that really. That really touched my heart.
London Hughes No. I think African-Americans are exceptional people.
Amy I mean, I agree with you. All right. So so you're very, very impressive. But we aren't here to talk about your many, many, many accomplishments. Okay? We're here to get deep London, so let's check in first. Okay. How are you feeling today? Like real, not small talk. Is there anything weighing on you in life? How are you doing?
London Hughes So I just went through a traumatic experience this morning.
Amy Wait, what?
London Hughes So yeah. So basically I woke up, got ready to go to yoga, walked out of my building and there were 20 police cars and two police helicopters.
London Hughes In the. Sky. And apparently there was something going down in my building. I had no idea. I came out with my hands up.
Amy Oh, my gosh. Oh, my God.
London Hughes I was so scared.
London Hughes And I think I'm on CBS News. I'm like.
Amy Oh, my God.
London Hughes I think there was a lot going on. There was a lot going on.
Amy Do you know what it was?
London Hughes I think someone in my building had somebody hostage. That's what the police said with a gun with it. Yeah. And so that was a lot to take in. That was my first hostage situation. I've never heard a gunshot before. So. In my life.
Grace Yeah, because you're from England?
Amy Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
London Hughes There's like, police involved. The guns involved. I'm very on edge. So luckily I went to yoga and I namaste'd it out of me, but it was a very intense morning. To wake up. But the the police were really nice. They really sweet to me. And yeah. And I got out of the area. I couldn't go back home after yoga. I had to go to a friend's house because they were still. There was still a hostage situation. Wow. So then when I go back to my street, it's like nothing ever happened. Sunshine and dogs are out. I was like, did I dream of dreaming? Wow, everything's gone. Police are gone. It's beautiful. Everything's fine. And I live in a really nice neighborhood, so I was very confused. But yes, that was.
Grace Now. That's America in a nutshell. Terrible. Things happen, and then it's just like it never happened.
London Hughes Like it never happened. And when I told my friends that yoga about it, they were like, Yeah, that's normal. And I was. Like, That's normal. My mom and dad both rang me from the U.K. to make sure I'm okay cause they're very anxious. Yeah, I was very anxious, but primarily hostage situations and like police, armed police outside your house and helicopters is normal.
Grace It's pretty common here in Los Angeles. Yeah.
Amy Yeah. It's pretty wild.Grace had a situation. I still remember there was an active shooter in her grocery store.
Grace Yeah. So what happened was I was on a meet. I was on a zoom call, and literally I was over zoom, and I hear pop, pop. Then literally I get a text from my friend who used to live in the building and is still on the building chain. She was just like, Stay in your house. There's an active shooter in your building. And I was like, What? But it turns out it was the boyfriend of someone in my building, but he did it in the parking lot of the grocery store that I live near. So, yeah, he shot some woman in the face.
Amy What? Oh.
Grace I was looking on the news, on the local news to see if anybody would cover it. And it was literally a 5 second story or whatever, like deep into the news.
London Hughes How does that make you feel? Because I feel like mentally my mental health is affected by living in a country that has. Yeah. Active shootings. Yeah.
Grace Yeah. It's not great. London. Yeah. I literally feel it every day. And ever since. Buffalo in particular, kind of like whenever I see a white man with a backpack, I'm just like, what's in there? Yeah.
Amy Literally, Grace and I were at dinner, like, a couple of nights ago, and this random white man in cargo shorts, like, came in a side door, and I froze. I was like, why is he walking in the wrong entrance? And I was like, Oh, this is trauma. It's America.
London Hughes See the trauma? This is so I don't have that yet. Yeah. And I'm just scared that I will start to have that assurance of my dad about it, because he has friends from America that live in Britain. And they were talking about a time when one of the American friends, one of them was like out at a pop and a car backfired. And like he dropped to the ground and everyone in the public to him, like what he doing.
Amy What he doing.
London Hughes Like in England, that's No. One. But if you hear it out back, no one in Britain would drop to the ground because when you see that, that's just how the naivete that we have in the. But that's something that's trauma that you live with in America.
Grace Yeah. Keep keep that going as long as you guys can. Yeah.
Amy And honestly, honestly, that bit about trauma is exactly why we started this podcast. So, London, what's your antidote? In other words, what's something non-work related that's bringing you joy this week or this month?
London Hughes I went on a date. Oh, Do you know what it is? I go on dates often. And I like guys. I'm not go that to love not love like really quickly. Yeah, I'm obsessed. And then like, yeah, drop them just like that. Just as quick. I'm like that.I'm like all or nothing and I'm in relationship. I feel like there's a flower and there's the gardener. And so.
Amy Yeah, I always say that. I always say that.
London Hughes There's a flower and a gardener.
Grace I'm a f---ing flower, ok.
London Hughes I have gardening tools because, you know, I'm very successful and I have my own place and I have my own career and I'm, I'm, I can garden. So I've just been gardening these dudes and helping them grow and that's the problem.
Amy That's the problem.
London Hughes Because I'm the flower.
Amy I'm the flower girl literally this is what got me into therapy was realizing I was like, I thought I was a gardener because I have gardening tools.
London Hughes Yeah.
Amy And then my therapist was like, um. Have you met you? She's like, Yeah.
London Hughes You a flower, you a flower. You should be watered. Your mulch should be should be moist.
Amy Massage my mulch.
London Hughes Massage your mulch, like you're a flower. And so because we've got garden into it, a lot of women become gardeners, then they're unhappy that unsatisfied and they're wondering why they're not. It's because you are a f---ing flower and you have been gardening. And so I met this guy and he's a gardener.
Amy He's massaging that mulch.
London Hughes Oh, massaging the mulch.
Grace Till the soil. Water the leaves. Let's go, baby.
London Hughes So I'm very happy about that.
Amy I love the idea of an antidote being like letting someone treat you to a good time. Like, I'm like, that's an antidote, honestly.
London Hughes It's a great form of therapy to just have someone just really, like, love on you. And I know it sounds shallow.
Grace Especially as Black women, it's.
Amy It's not shallow.
Grace It's like an extra of self-care.
London Hughes It really is self-care. And I feel like as Black women, we do just take everything on ourselves. We work very hard. We better. The brunt of so many things were just like, Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, we'll just get on with it. We're just going to do it, yeah. Cause the world is cool to us so we with with tough end to the world. But sometimes you go, I realize I'm a baby girl, I'm a little baby girl and I need looking after because I'm a baby girl.
London Hughes I need a strong man to come look after me because sometimes I'm a baby girl. And so yeah, last night. I was a baby girl four times. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.
Grace Oh my god. I love that. You better get it in. But you know what? I do have another question for you.
London Hughes Okay.
Amy So in Amy's intro of you, she talks about your world records, her Guinness Book of World Records. Okay, so could you just fill our listeners in like, girl? How do you have four? What are they? Let us know.
London Hughes I love how you say, girl, how you have four. Okay. This is how I have four. Basically, I figured out that if you do a world record for something that hasn't been done before. Or has only been attempted once or twice, you can easily break it and end up in the record books. So I have world records for the most stupid things, so I have one for the fastest Ham and cheese sandwich made blindfolded.
Amy Wow. Wow.
London Hughes I got the back. I'm in the book. Page eight. Let's go. Let's go get the book. I'm in the book. And then I've got one for the most bangles on a wrist in 30 seconds. I've got one for the tallest paper cups tower made in a minute.
Amy Wow. Oh my God.
London Hughes And I've got the final one is for the tallest tower of hats worn on one person at one time. Pow.
Amy I need that photo. Wow.
London Hughes You had to balance them on your head. I can find that to balance them on your head. And on top of that, you have to keep it there for like a minute. If any of the has dropped, you lose the record some. If I did it, I won't tell you the right words that I want people to go and try and beat them. But yes, I know it's full and they give you the plaque and you get in the book. And yes, we do make do I got more Guinesss World records than Usain Bolt. I am I I'm a unicorn I one of one. My uniform is unicorn the only one with only one. Whip. Whip.
Grace That girl.
Amy That's right.
London Hughes Quip quip.
Grace Where did you get the idea to like try to break world record?
London Hughes So in my past life, I was a children's TV host and I was like the face of the kids channel, like Nickelodeon in the UK. And part of it was one of our jobs. We present the show, we do sketches, we do that, and then we try and break world records. I've attempted like 20. I've broken four.
Amy There has to be something that like isn't in the Guinness Book of World Records that you have done, Grace or that I have done, that could actually be.
London Hughes 100%. Silly things like the fastest time to get in a sleeping bag, like that's a world record. Yeah.
Grace What about the fastest time closing a dating app? Because that would be that.
London Hughes Hey, you know what?
Grace That one I win at.
London Hughes I have done it in literally downloaded it, edited it, put up all the pictures, deleted it.
Amy Deleted it.
London Hughes Yeah. It's hard out here.
Amy It is hard. But what I love about you, London, is that you even went out and found a date and you were like, I deserve an upgrade and you found it. And I realize you said something recently. You said that you reached all of your goals in 2020 and now you know that you can do anything. Yeah, I want to know more about that. How did you unlock this confidence?
London Hughes Do you know what it is? So I used to get bullied a lot. So this version of me is like Pokemon. Now you've got like the furtrapped Charmander, Charmeleon Charmeleon Charzan, like I'm Charmazan now. But Charmander me, I was definitely insecure about my looks. I go I. I really care what people thought of me. So I would bend over backwards for other people. And I put so much weight, whatever they thought of me, I put so much weight and I didn't realize that people just projects. So like if someone didn't like me, I thought I was a problem. It's like, no, no, they are the problem. If they don't like you, that's their problem. That's your problem. And I didn't realize that. So I was really trying to make people like me and I was living with these girls at university and they I'm 18 at this point, 90, and they all believe me. And it was so traumatic and they were just like and they were black women as well. And it's this is sad because I love women, but sometimes we can really turn on our own and be our own worst enemy. And at the time, I feel I was the problem. And then I didn't realize. Now looking back on it, I'm like, Oh, I was so awesome. That just made me more authentic self. Rock these girls the wrong way to the point where they had to express it by being mean and they would do stuff like, I used to work. TGI Fridays. Yeah. And I was studying at university and doing 12 hours, just the teacher on Fridays. And I would come home and there'd be a house party in my house that I'm not invited to. And they would make me sit in my room. What? And I wasn't allowed out my room by.
Amy That's jealousy, jealousy, baby.
London Hughes And then they would leave all the washing up for me to clear out.
Amy Why? Why was that your responsibility?
London Hughes Just because they could and they would just leave out outside my bedroom door, or they would just leave it for me to do. And I'd be like, okay, I'll do it. Like.
Grace Oh, well, it's me. It's so clear that they saw the light that is yellow and bright if brighten. And then. And so they're like, I have to crush it. I have to stomp it out before it gets. Yeah.
London Hughes And I was just a shell of the inside me was just like, I'm fine. I'm this I'm not outside. I just was scared of doing the wrong thing all the time because I just didn't want these people to know like me. And then I started doing stand up and when I got on stage and got my first laugh authentically as me, that gave me the validation to be like, I don't need this, I'm fine just the way I am. And the confidence came off to that. I'm doing stand up. I became a new bitch. I didn't even know that I would go anymore. Wow. I can make strangers. I can go through on stage and make a roomful of strangers laugh and laugh at me like, come on, let's go. And so after that, I never looked back. And so I had goals. I'd set myself my whole life. And some of them were small, some of them were big, but they all kind of involved my career and my life. I was like, I want to live in America. I want to I want to have a Netflix special. I want I want to have my own TV shack. I want to have a movie night. And these are all things that happened in 2020. And I remember I came to like September 2020 and been like London during a global pandemic. And you sold a Netflix special. A movie and a TV show. Oh, yeah. Um, you're going to do everything. You don't even live here. You're not even from here. You've just moved to America. I moved to. America in February 2020 two weeks before Tom Hanks got COVID, and I achieved a lot that year. And I just realized that, like, you know, when it's for you, it won't go by you.
Grace Yeah, that's true.
London Hughes Now that I know that I'm unstoppable.
Amy You know what's so beautiful. I'm obsessed with that. And it's also so beautiful because a year when we all had to go inward against our will, we all had to go inward. You were able to keep tapping into the truest you, and that's what brought your success.
London Hughes Thank you, Amy. Honestly, like the wildest time of my life was when Kevin Hart flew me to Las Vegas to meet him. And I literally was like, This man does not know me, only seen as my talent. Kevin saw me do stand up and was like, She's amazing. And I remember when he flew me out and I was just like, I have been my whole life. I have been that girl that's been overlooked with black women. We've all been overlooked women in a situation where we thought we weren't good enough. Being a black woman in the white man's world of comedy in Britain, it was just failure every day, rejection every day. I was always told that I wasn't funny. I was always told I was an acquired taste. I was always, I would never do this and I would never do that. I remember my own agent. I was like, I want to be back in America. And she was like, You're not even big in England.
Amy How dare she.
Grace How she feeling now, though?
Amy Yeah, where she at?
London Hughes She's still there. She's still my agent. See, that's the thing. See, look, at the end of day, she apologized. Yeah, I know. When they've done it before, she used to look after like Russell Brand. Russell Brand was big in the UK, then crossed over to America with that call. So Forgetting Sarah Marshall blew up. So that was the message she knew. And so Langston Hughes came along. No one had done that. No one had been big in comedy, had been big in America before, going big in England before being in for me. So I remember just like flying out to Vegas and he sent me a car. Car came, fly out to Vegas, get to Vegas. And the guy's like, London, escalate and get to my hotel. And I'm in a suite and I'm just like. What? This is my life. This is reality. These are things that I would write about in. In my diary or things that I would try and manifest dreams. I'm like, No, this is my truth. And Kevin, what's that? What you want? And then I was like, I want to be able to say. And he laughed. And he was like, okay, listen to this. Girl my train. I'll be the train driver. I'll drive you to stardom. And you'll do comedy Beyonce,.
London Hughes And I was like.
Grace Oh, my God. But honestly. London. Can I just say lucky us.
London Hughes Oh, Grace.
Grace You know what I'm saying?
Amy You're right, though. You're right though.
Grace Lucky us. Because, you know, if you hadn't been able to break through all those boundaries, I would have never gotten to see you so lucky that you were able to do that. Yeah.
London Hughes I mean, if I listen to everyone in Britain, I wouldn't. But my gut and my heart was like that and I literally was like, if I go to America and it doesn't work, at least I tried. Let the plan was to work my hardest. Break down those doors and just really. Just, like, really throw everything. Yeah. And I got to America to break down the door. But the door was open, and they were like, Yeah, come in. What is that? Really? And then I just remember it was a global pandemic. I'm in Vegas. Kevin Hart spent the day with him talking about my career, and he's like, I want to produce a Netflix special, and I don't have additional movies in our movies TV series. We're doing it all. We're doing The Takeover. And I remember just thinking like, This man is that my uncle? This man doesn't know me. This man doesn't owe me anything and he sees value in me. He doesn't even know me. So what was I thinking? Trying to bend over backwards for my friends at university who I genuinely loved and cared about when a stranger. A stranger, a man who's worth 300 million and the other side of the world. So what I could. Well, I saw myself. What other people kept telling me wasn't that, you know, I'm so sure. Like you never know where your blessings come. And he's one of my blessed Kevin Darnell Hart changed my life, and now my confidence is through the roof.
Grace But you know what? But it's. But what you're talking about is so important. And, you know, I'm I'm glad that you're talking about it, because I think people need to hear it. I think it's that you're in charge of letting your sparkle show. Yeah. When you found your sparkle wasn't when Kevin Hart saw you, your sparkle was already there because you decided to take the reins off of yourself and really show up authentically as you. So anybody can do that no matter even if you don't want to be in comedy or you don't want to be in this business or whatever, I don't blame you, but anyone in their life just really show up authentically as yourself and the world needs to see it. I'm like stop shrinking.
London Hughes The moment I stop trying to be something I wasn't. And that's when everything happened. Because before, you know, we all go through phases, we all try and be a thing. The moment I just said, F---, I'm going to do me, that's when I wrote to Catch the Edible Comedy Festival is the White Festival in the world. It's every orchestra in Scotland. Comedians from all over the world go there to perform stand up every day for a month. And it's so why? And I remember being like, should I do a show to try and appease then like and all the white men that they were doing a certain type of show which is like very posh comedy. And most of the guys that get nominated, they are from Cambridge University and you know, they're very this distance. Like, I have a joke about my dad and my. Aren't your parents funny when they do this. And all the girls but a lot of the white females that would be like, oh my God, I am such a quirky white female and I'm going to say anal and it's comedy. And so I was like, Should I be like them? And then I was like, no, I'm going to do a show about dick.
Amy Yeah, yeah.
London Hughes That's what ended up getting me nominated. So I was like, Oh, just be like, Yeah, do yourself. Do you talk about what you love? Oh, no, I love that. Oh, I love dick. Dick is so good. God bless Dick.
Amy I mean God bless. Well with everything you have going on, like how do you prioritize self-care? What do you do for yourself?
London Hughes So I have like duvet days where like I literally just will not leave my house or leave the bed and yeah, it goes, I call it bed peace. So like when Yoko Ono and John Lennon just sat in bed. Jhene Aiko and Donald Glover recreate that for a music video. And I think the song was called Bed Peace by Have Bed Peace While I'm in bed, I eat pizza in bed, I watch anything and everything. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has the land of Potomac. And I just like just to me, just veg out. I just not care. And then I've also started doing hot yoga as well.
Grace Oh, I love hot yoga.
London Hughes It's so good.And after that, you just feel so much better about yourself. And so I do that. And then, yeah, having as much sex as possible is self-care. So I like to find a date, catch a dick. So on the day, they're all things I enjoy. So spin on a dick. I'm there. Watch my special if you don't know what I'm talking about. But basically. Yeah, I feel like it's really important to put you first. And I think in life, especially as black women, we work really hard and we try and yeah, you know, you can't be combative, you can't be divisive to a black woman. We don't want to get the stigma of being the angry black woman. So we we spend a lot of our lives going, yeah, sure, that's fine. Yeah, sure.
Amy Yeah. I can work with that.
London Hughes I can work with that, yeah, that's fine. Yeah. So, and like that gets tiring after a while. So some days you just gotta be like, No, I'm going to do me today and that's all that matters. So yeah, that my happy, that my self-care days.
Amy Oh I'm obsessed with duvet days.
Grace I have never done that. And you know what I'm going to try.
London Hughes Yeah, try it.
Amy I have to, I have to incorporate this into my life because I have to be honest, I tried it. A couple of weeks back. I did it and I got I was like, I'm not doing anything. I need to make a list of things to do. And I know what I'm saying. I failed, and so I need to do it for real.
London Hughes You have to just switch off lights off, don't do anything. And a lot of my best ideas have come off the DVDs because you literally just your brain just switches off and then like something happens, you'll watch something and get an idea and get inspiration. I'm not worried about anything else. It just comes naturally because I don't like force anything. I don't force it is one of my most I don't force friendships. I don't force force anything. And sometimes we're just in this natural state. Stop that. I call it the butterfly effect. So there's a saying and it's this gardener was trying to catch a butterfly and in the garden the butterfly flying around and he's got his Barcelona and he's swinging and he's missing and he's swayed and he's hot and he's out of breath. But if he just stayed still, the butterfly would eventually land on his nose. Yeah, and that's how I feel about life. I want the butterfly to land on my nose. Yeah. So just stay grounded, stay still and the butterfly will land on your life. And literally, it's worked in every career, in love life.
Amy I feel this. Yeah, I need this lesson. I needed this.
Grace That stay still and the butterfly will land on your nose. I feel like that is so true. Like, sometimes the answer is when you just, like, walk away. That's just some self care. And it comes.
London Hughes It comes to you. And it's always when you like. When you let go, that's when it's yours. Yeah. That's what they have that saying let go and it comes back to it's yours every time I've gone, oh I don't care about that job. I get it every time. But the job that I'm like. Ohhhh. I never get those ones. But the one for you just. I just do the thing and then it's mine. And that's how I feel about life. Thank you. Whenever you want to buy an outfit, when you have money, you never find what you want to buy. But when you don't have money, that's when all the things you want to buy and everything is here. But then if you just relax and whatever, you're not even thinking about it. You're like, Oh, that's a cool outfit. Oh, I get that, that it's yeah, don't take the pressure away, take the risk, take the pressure away. And so yeah, the butterfly effect is really good for creatives if you just want to get out of your own way.
Amy Yeah. Oh, London. I feel so much better now that we've talked to you. This has been amazing.
London Hughes Aw, thanks babe. I feel better, too. I feel like you were supposed to give me the therapy or was I supposed to give.
Amy No. You really helped me, so much of that. Just hit so close to home. I was like, I needed this today. I was crying in therapy. How I'm too busy. And now I'm like, Here we go.
Grace Well, you need to duvet day. You need some bed.
London Hughes Do the duvet day, bed peace.Let it come to you and it will. That's the craziest thing. It really will come to you.
Grace Do you have anything coming up that you want to tell us about?
London Hughes There's so many things that I can't even goddamn tell. So like every I mean, two of my movies have been announced, but that I don't even know when they're coming out. Well, I will just say, what's my Netflix special to catch it thick if you haven't yet? It's produced by Kevin Darnell. It saved my life and I filmed it in a global pandemic to 70 strangest. Most comedians do the Netflix specials to their fans because I just moved to L.A. and didn't have any fans yet. I did my Netflix special to 70 people that just thought they were going to a comedy show.
Amy Wow, that's so cool. The laughs were on.
Grace Tey were dying laughing.
Amy Yeah, I think it's such a good show.
London Hughes They had never heard of me and it was the pandemic and they just wanted to be outside. So yeah, that was a lot of fun. What's that? And then look out for something so exciting that I can't even talk about the if if game is a game changer.
Amy Oh, we're excited. We're excited. And where can people find you on the Internet?
London Hughes So theLondonHughes on Twitter. On Instagram, that's where I'll be. And I announced all my stand up gigs and everything, like want to see me live. I do like comedy, so Laugh Factory, Hollywood improv. So I'm about in L.A. and I'm doing the New York Comedy Festival in next month. In November, tickets will be announced soon. So yeah, stop by your phone and come see my new special to catch a bouquet which yes, I wrote a new show, Catch A Bouquet
Amy Oh my God.
London Hughes And I'm debuting it at the New York Comedy Festival. So.
Grace Oh my gosh. I will be in New York, so I will definitely be there. Yes, yes, yeah.
London Hughes It's all about love. I'm ready to be a wife. It's ten times funnier than to catch a dick. And it's my renaissance.
Amy Ladies and gentlemen this has been comedy Beyonce. Thank you so much.
London Hughes Thank you for having me.
Grace Thank you. London.
London Hughes Whip whip.
Amy Whip whip.
Grace Okay to close this out. We're doing our creative tap in, which is our segment about creativity. Amy, are you ready for this week's quote?
Amy I sure am. Let's go.
Grace Life can be dark and horrible, but what makes humans so resilient is their ability to find the light and dark situations. I think it's the only reason why we're still on this planet. And that is my new Emmy Award winner, Quinta Brunson. I'll say it one more time. Life can be dark and horrible, but what makes humans so resilient is their ability to find the light and dark situations. I think that's the only reason why we're still on this planet. Quinta Brunson.
Amy Oh, I love Quinta. I love Quinta so much. I had the brief joy of working with her for like a week right before the pandemic. And, and I just had such a light comedy crush on her. And obviously we all know her from her online presence and her work at BuzzFeed, all these things. But watching her grow up and become the star, creator and champion of talent that she has on Abbott Elementary has been incredible. She's impeccable. And I love this quote. And I remember it's from Essence magazine, from the interview. She did the cover story she had with Essence. And I remember she says that she felt that it's certainly the only reason black people are still here. And I love the specificity of that because it's like, yes, all people need to make light in dark situations. But Black people, we are resilient, as we just talked about with our guest, Linden Hughes. We are resilient. We have bounced back for days. And even though sometimes it is painful to always have to keep bouncing back, I think the joy of being Black is that we always have our joy. They can't take it. They can't take it. As Beyoncé said, they hate me because they want to be me. You know, they can't take it. So I'm like, life is dark and horrible, but that's why we're comedy writers. That's why we love jokes, that's why we love each other. And I think that is why we're here, to keep on spreading that love. So I know it's just a beautiful quote and Quinta is a beautiful person.
Grace Yes. I also atan Quinta Brunson and I'm so happy, like I literally screamed when she won her Emmy. I was so excited, like, I want it. And, you know, I don't know her as well. I've met her a couple of times, but I'm so happy because Abbott Elementary is such a gift. And so this quote actually makes me think of Abbott Elementary because literally she made a comedy about a underserved school and she made it so funny. And she's able to make certain points about our kind of messed up educational system, especially that fails a lot of kids of color. She's made these points, but made them in such a smart and it doesn't feel like afterschool especially. And it's so funny, like she's really created something so special. So to make that funny, like there's a high level of difficulty. And I think it's what I love personally about comedy. Like all the stuff that I do that is 100%. My voice always has some sort of medicine you take with your yummy cake of comedy. You know, I really love to do stuff that's satirical and stuff that takes the dark moments that we have in life and tries to give you a different perspective on it and make you laugh. So I feel like this quote is almost like the essence of comedy, taking the dark and horrible things and making light of it. I think that's the joy of being an artist and also the joy of being alive.
Amy Love that. Agreed.
Grace Thanks for listening to the antidote. We hope this injected a little bit of joy into your week. I know it did mine. How about you, Amy?
Amy I feel good, girl. We should do this again sometime. Oh, we'll be here next week.
Grace And in the meantime, if you'd like to follow us on social, follow me. Grace. At Gracyact. That's G-R-A-C-Y-A-C-T.
Amy And follow me. Amy at AmyAniobi. That's A-M-Y-A-N-I-O-B-I. And follow the show at theeantidotepod.
Grace That's thee with two e's.
Amy If you like feeling good about yourself, please subscribe at Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Goodbye and treat me like I treat me. Yeah. The Antidote is hosted by us, Amy Aniobi and Grace Edwards. The show's production team includes senior producer Se'era Spragley Ricks. Associate producer Jess Penzetta and Marcel Malekebu.
Grace Our executive producer is Erica Kraus and our editor is Erika Janik. Sound Mixing by Alex Simpson.
Amy Digital Production by Mijoe Sahiouni. Talent Booking by Marianne Ways. Our theme music was composed and produced by TT, The Artist and Cosmo The Truth.
Grace APM studio executives in charge are Chandra Kavati, Alex Schaffert and Joanne Griffith. Concept created byAmy Aniobi and Grace Edwards.
Amy Send us your antidotes. Antidoteshow.org. And remember to follow us on social media at theeantidotepod. Also, don't forget our live show Saturday, November 12. Purchase tickets now at NYComedyFestival.com or at the link in our show notes.
Grace The Antidote is a production of American Public Media.
Amy See you soon, New York.