‘DWTS’: D.L. Hughley on Elimination: ‘My Knees Are as Happy as Hell’

"DWTS": Cheryl Burke and D.L. Hughley (Photo: ABC)

Comedian D.L. Hughley was eliminated from “Dancing with the Stars” on Tuesday night, weeks after everybody expected.

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Although celebrities are never happy after getting the reality show boot, D.L. enlivened his exit interview with a joke to reporters: “My heart is very sad but my knees are as happy as hell.”

Meanwhile, his partner Cheryl Burke laughed, “Every week we expected, I think, that we were going to go home, so the fact that we stayed halfway through the competition is pretty amazing.”

D.L., who went down as one of the worst dancers in “DWTS” history when his Week 1 dance only received a score of 12 out of 30, redeemed himself slightly on Week 2 and then struggled on into Week 5. But after D.L. looked stiff and uncomfortable in his Monday night dance, the writing was on the wall for the popular funnyman.

D.L. and Cheryl scored a dismal 18 points for their tango, tying Andy Dick, the other comedian in the competition, for last place. Judge Bruno Tonioli said his dance fell apart technically and Len Goodman, who had blasted D.L. all season, commented that his tango had no buzz to it.

“The judges didn’t help us at all,” Cheryl noted. But incredibly, they made it to Week 5 because “the fans believed in him and wanted him to do well.”

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After his Tuesday ouster, D.L. told reporters, “I think we took the ride as long as we could. I think you get the sense when the level [of the dances] is rising and you won’t be able to keep up. Obviously, the days were getting longer [and] the dances were getting more tough.”

The comedian joked that Cheryl “has a wonderful body and a nice ass but it was hard to drag across the floor. I had to make two trips!” The longtime dance pro then revealed, “I keep telling him I get it from my mama and he’s got a little bit of a crush on my mom, which I find really creepy.” D.L., who is married, quipped, “Her mother is spectacular, and now that this is over, that begins. Just call me pop!”

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But all kidding aside, D.L. seemed unable to keep up with the physical demands of the show and had been telling Cheryl that if he had to do two dances on Week 6, he would pull a hamstring. “I would have kept going as long as the fans kept me on,” he said. “But we just couldn’t stem the tide. The votes couldn’t keep up with the scores we were getting.”

The former “The Hughleys” star has a lot of new show business plans, including developing a sitcom based on his life for FX, accepting a Peabody Award for his documentary “The Endangered List,” and doing a summer radio show. And, of course, he’ll continue with standup comedy.

Reflecting on his “DWTS” experience, D.L. said, “I really missed my life. I missed what I was doing. I missed feeling like myself. It’s really hard to be this bad for this long at something. I remember I was onstage Friday and people were laughing and clapping and I was like, ‘Oh, this is who I am.’ So it felt like I forgot who I was.”

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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