The first time you see Mrs. Hughes you might think, “She could be my neighbor.” She’s just about the last person you’d expect to see in a night club, so the fact that she is performing in one might startle you at first.
Carol Hughes began her comedy career when she was forty. “Years ago I heard Merv Griffin interview Phyllis Diller, and she said she started doing comedy when she was thirty-nine. I remember saying to myself, ‘I could do that. Later, I met comedienne Candy Carr at Weight Watchers and she said ‘Write five funny minutes and go to the Improv.’ I already had five funny minutes, so I went. It was terrific! I remember the MC saying, ‘Go for it Mama! You’re funny!’ I got a huge ovation and I was hooked.”
As for her husband, she says, “He’s very supportive, but I believe he thought comedy would be like that Afghan I started. I’d work on it for a while, lose interest, then stick it up in the attic with the exercise bike.” Neither of them expected her career to take off so quickly and have this much staying power. Mrs. Hughes now has fans all over the world, some of whom show up at performances with tissues up their noses. Mrs. Hughes has two daughters and a son.
“That’s right,” she says. “I’m a grandmother. I don’t have any jokes about it ‘cause they live with us and it’s not funny.” Of course when you hear her talk about it you realize it is funny... very funny. Her act is punctuated with pithy observations on parenting, hot flashes, and husbands, “They’re like brassieres. Sometimes you just want to be rid of them and go free. But you can’t ‘cause you need the support." It was just this sort of remark that caught the eye of the Russ Berrie Company who featured Mrs. Hughes’ likeness and wit in her own line of greeting cards. “According to Carol” was in 100,000 stores and gift shops throughout the United States.
When Merv Griffin found her, he instantly made her the comedy star of his revue, “Love and Kisses” at Resorts in Atlantic City and then “Island Fever” near Las Vegas. About Mrs. Hughes, Merv said, “She’s my new favorite funny star.” Since then she has appeared in several casino production shows and has opened for Crystal Gayle, Lou Rawls, Brenda Lee and others. 1
Mrs. Hughes' audition was never shown. Though in a brief promo Mrs Hughes was seen buzzed out, but at least two judges voted "Yes," sending her to the Vegas Round.
Mrs. Hughes was one of the Judges' Favorites in the Vegas Round. She was sorted into the "Comedians" category. Her performance in Episode 511 consisted of joking about fat diets and how spirulina is made of plankton, which whales eat. Her audition was not strong enough for the judges to send her to the Quarterfinals, eliminating her from the competition instead of Doogie Horner.