D.L. Hughley On Dancing With The Stars & Tackling Turning 50: I'm Doing Things 'That Scare Me Now'

Wednesday March 6, 2013    12:20 PM

D.L. Hughley turned 50 on Wednesday and celebrated the milestone birthday with a visit to Access Hollywood Live!

The actor/comedian, who will soon make his debut as a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars," sat down with Billy Bush and Kit Hoover as he reflected on hitting the big 5-0.

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"The only thing that bothers me is that, I think at a certain point you understand you're closer to not being here than being here," D.L. - who stopped by with pro "DWTS" partner Cheryl Burke - said, when asked if he was feeling ruffled over the half-century mark. "I spent most of my life acting like an old man when I was young, so now I act like a young man when I'm old.

"So, I fly, I dance, I smoke, I dr - well, I've been doing that the whole time," he jokingly added.

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Joining the cast of "Dancing" was part of D.L.'s new resolve to tackle tasks he previously found too frightening.

"I'm doing a lot of things that scare me now," he said, of why he chose to sign on for "DTWS" near his 50th birthday. "I'm scared of heights, so like I said, I started flying. I'm really just doing the things I want to do. Now , I'm certain of things I believe and I'm more certain of myself than I've ever been."

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D.L. confessed he hadn't actually watched "DWTS" prior to signing on for 16th season of the hit reality competition.

"I'd never watched the show because I can't dance, so... why would I ?" he said with a laugh. "Any grown man that knows how to dance has too much time on his hands. You don't know any grown man that knows every dance that doesn't live with his mother. You know what I mean?"

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Adding, "It's something I never have done... but I dig the challenge."

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So how does Cheryl - a two-time mirrorball champion - think her new partner is faring in the ballroom so far?

"He's got some rhythm but his hips are shy," she said.

When asked if the pair is ready to deliver the "sexual tension" that makes dancing so fun to watch, she said she and D.L. are not quite there yet - but working hard.

"Well, we're starting from the feet up, so he's gotta unleash that area - then we'll talk," she laughed, gesturing towards his family jewels. "Unleash the beast!"

Catch D.L. and Cheryl's "Dancing" debut when "DWTS" kicks off on March 18 at 8/7c on ABC.

-- Erin O'Sullivan

Copyright 2013 by NBC Universal, Inc.