Derek Hughes has created original deception for MTV's Room 401, Justin Willman's YouTube series Magic Meltdown, and Michael Carbonaro's hilarious appearances as the Magic Clerk on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He was featured as a celebrity magic coach on the VH1 reality series Celebracadabra and appeared on Comedy Central's The Gong Show in 2008, where he came in 2nd on his episode.
However, collaborating on and performing magic for television isn't his calling card; his primary love is appearing live. He believes magic, in its purest form, is a live performance experience and that no camera, no matter how high-def, can truly capture and transmit a moment of wonder. He performs regularly at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California, where he was recently nominated for Parlour Magician of the Year. From being the only magician ever invited to perform at HBO's prestigious Comedy Arts Festival, to filling in for the legendary Mac King at Harrah's in Las Vegas, Derek is a unique voice in the art of conjuring.
As an actor, Derek was "Logan," opposite Jaleel White, on the Paramount situation comedy Grown Ups. In the American remake of the British hit comedy series "As If," he played "Jamie". He appeared in Adam Sandler's feature film "Mr. Deeds " and has guest starred on the Warner Brothers series Angel and Nikki, as well as on the CBS hit drama CSI:NY. Derek leads a cast, including Rance Howard, Richard Riehle, and Christa Campbell, in the independent feature film Audie and the Wolf, produced by Brooklyn Reptyle Films. He can also be seen in an episode of Tosh.O. 
Derek also appeared on Season 2 of Penn & Teller: Fool Us, but did not fool the pair.
Derek Hughes' audition in Episode 1002 consisted of tossing his ping-pong ball and catching it on his nose. He then had the judges pick a card from a deck and created the illusion of the deck disappearing. He then revealed that the deck was inside his pants and the card the judges picked inside his butt crack. Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel all voted "Yes," sending Derek to the Judge Cuts round.
Derek Hughes' Judge Cuts performance in Episode 1011 consisted of having Howie Mandel think of a city, Mel B think of a guy's name, Heidi Klum think of another guy's name. Derek appeared to fail to guess the names as he discarded his written predictions. He then had Howard Stern pick a page from a dictionary. Derek then correctly predicted Howard's page, and revealed that he had actually correctly written the other judges' guesses earlier. Heidi and Howie gave him standing ovations. Derek's performance was strong enough for the judges to send him to the Quarterfinals.
Derek Hughes' Week 2 Quarterfinals performance in Episode 1014 consisted of inviting Mel B to the stage to sign a random playing card. After placing that card back into the deck, Derek shuffled the deck multiple times. The signed card reappeared in Derek's pocket each time. The performance concluded with Derek revealing the full deck except the signed card in his pocket and the signed card in his left hand. Derek received enough votes to be sent to the Semifinals in Episode 1015 instead of Myq Kaplan.
Derek Hughes' Week 1 Semifinals performance in Episode 1018 consisted of reading a bedtime story about Humpty Dumpty while wearing pajamas, in a story dedicated to his children. He then ripped the pages into small pieces. After pressing them together, he revealed the book reformed with only a cut-out rectangle; this rectangle featured a picture of Humpty Dumpty. Howie Mandel gave Derek a standing ovation. Derek received enough votes to be sent to the Finals in Episode 1019 instead of Metal Mulisha Fitz Army and Mountain Faith Band.
Derek Hughes' Finals performance in Episode 1022 consisted of introducing his act as the first three minutes of his Vegas show with a DJ and two backup dancers. Derek took three ropes of the same length. He bantered with Howie Mandel about being impressed with the ropes being the same size. He then had Howard Stern cut a piece rope in half and then put the ropes back together. The performance was met with poor reviews from the judges.
For the finale in Episode 1023, Derek Hughes performed a mentalist trick with Mat Franco. Mat gave himself and Derek sets of photographs with celebrities (from Mat Franco's TV special). He then picked one photo from the stack, Mel B's and had Derek pick from his own stack, which appeared to have only one card. Derek picked a card, however, of Neil Patrick Harris. Nevertheless, Mat revealed his picked photo had changed to one of Neil to match Derek's. Derek did not receive enough votes to be included in the Top 5, eliminating him from the competition instead of Oz Pearlman.
- Derek Hughes is the second magician to pull a card out of his butt in the auditions. The first was Mad Jack from Season 9, but he did not pass the auditions.