Derek Hughes Image courtesy the standup


Derek Hughes

Daily from Jan. 2-5
8 p.m.
Daily from Jan. 4-5
10:30 p.m.

Derek Hughes is known for mixing comedy and magic, with his act usually relying more on the latter. When he performs for corporate clients, it’s almost entirely magic. “Comedy these days is a tricky business, so to speak, with our sensitive culture,” he says. He’s dropped some jokes that are “not offensive,” he notes, “but the audience doesn’t know if it’s okay to release and laugh.” For example, he used to do a bit after a woman from the audience would help him with an illusion. “As she was going back to her seat I’d say, ‘Hey, that was great, maybe you should quit your job and become a magician. You could a female magician, a master magina.’” Hughes even had T-shirts designed by a Minneapolis artist, because the joke killed. “I don’t do it anymore because I can feel the audience go, ‘Can we laugh at that?’” That said, he still feels he can open up more in a club setting like Acme. “I had this revelation a few years ago. I was doing colleges and clubs, and there’s a very distinct difference between those. At a college or corporate event, the audience is sort of the unified group and the entertainer is the outside guest.” A club, on the other hand, is a group of strangers coming together to form a larger group that’s there to see the entertainer. “I’m the host, and the audience members are my guests, and in that environment I feel like I can say and do what I want.” 18+.