AMERICAN comedian Reginald D Hunter admits that the election of Donald Trump as US President hit him like a 10-ton truck.

“When it happened, it took me two weeks just to get out of bed,” he says. “I thought, ‘What’s the point of anything? The law? Sex? Jokes?’ It made me feel so down.

“I scared myself thinking, ‘what does this mean for humanity?’ At this point, we thought we were pretty smart. But if people can be so easily duped and pitted against each other, are we really any better than prehistoric man?”

There was another more personal reason for Hunter to be shocked by Trump’s victory. “My new show was mostly written last autumn,” he reveals. “Then Trump got elected and I had to rewrite it very quickly.

“I’m almost ashamed to do stand-up this year. I spent the whole of 2016 repeatedly telling people that Trump was not going to win. I’m amazed they still let me do comedy.”

Born in Albany, Georgia in the “deep South” of the USA, but based in the UK for the past 15 years, the 47-year-old has earned a reputation as one the most quick-witted comics on the scene.

He is a regular guest on topical news quiz Have I Got News For You. Hunter initially came to the UK at the age of 27 to study drama at RADA, but he switched to full-time comedy after tackling stand-up comedy – and loving it.

His new tour, Some People v Reginald D Hunter, covers topics including families, girlfriends and why the OJ Simpson case was “the pivotal moment in race relations in America”, in Hunter’s words. “It is still sending shock waves through the country today.”

But, of course, Hunter will also be focusing on the man who is currently capturing the world’s attention: “Trump is the elephant in the room, especially if you’re American,” says Hunter. “You’ve got to say something about him.”

So what will Hunter say about his new President? “I’ll say I love him,” the comedian jokes. “Not since Martin Luther King have I loved someone so much.” Hunter will also discuss how he has been winning arguments against members of the “alt-right” on Twitter.

“I’ve been engaging white American racists in debate,” he says. “I’ve been challenging their views. It has not been as upsetting for me as it has been for them. All you have to do to win is keep cool and state the facts – they hate that. It’s like holy water to a vampire.

“I figure if I can really argue my position with someone who despises the fact that I exist, then some of the places I’m visiting on this tour should be a piece of cake.” Hunter does not fancy returning to his homeland any time soon, anyway. He is happy over here. “Let me count the ways I love Britain,” he says. “I love the not-loudness of the Brits compared to Americans. I like the ease of discourse and the fact that you can disagree without guns.

“I also love the fact that in Britain, you’re allowed to be openly smart. In fact, you can get laid in Britain for being openly smart. I can’t think of any other country where that’s true.” After a decade and a half performing here, Hunter now has a large number of loyal fans in this country. He says he now has various waves of UK supporter.

“I love the fandom here. Now the people who liked me before are annoyed by the new fans. It’s like, ‘I liked Reg before he went synthesiser!’”

While Hunter will tackle divisive themes in Bexhill, comedy lovers can unite behind a stand-up who never sits still in pursuit of hard-hitting and hilarious material.

Reginald D Hunter
De La Warr Pavilion, 
Bexhill, February 24