Comic Mrs. Hughes is performing at Abbeville Opera House Saturday

Comic Carol Hughes, billed as Mrs. Hughes, got started in comedy at age 40 and has been delivering laughs ever since. She was inspired by hearing that the legendary Phyllis Diller started age age 39. Hughes is performing at Abbeville Opera House Saturday.

Comic Carol Hughes says she finds most of her material in things that happen to her or her children or grandchildren.

“It comes from life experience,” Hughes said. “I don’t do jokes; I tell anecdotes.”

Hughes began her comedy career later in life. She’s a wife, mother and grandmother, soon to be a great-grandmother, and still doing stand-up. She belongs to a knitting group and has previously taught an adult-education class on antiques. She also used to work for a quiz show company.

“I’ve always known I was funny,” Hughes said. “My father was a great story-teller and I learned a lot of his technique...I met a comedian and she took me to an open mic night. She was convinced I didn’t have five funny minutes, but I got a standing ovation. It was at the Improv in Hollywood, some 38 years ago.”

Hughes, who lives in Flat Rock, North Carolina now, said comedy can be a tough business and “you really have to be thick-skinned” to make a go of it.

“It’s just made me work harder,” Hughes said, noting she has worked with Merv Griffin and opened for the likes of Crystal Gayle, Lou Rawls and Brenda Lee.

“I was in the car driving my twin grandsons somewhere one day,” Hughes recalled. “They asked me if I had ever done ‘it’ and I asked, ‘What do you mean by ‘it’? ‘Sex,’ they replied. I said, ‘Yes. Where do you think your mother came from?’”

Hughes said she talks about life.

“Life as a mother,” Hughes said. “Life as a grandmother. Life as an old lady. Everything in my act is something that has actually happened to me or to somebody close to me. It’s all relatable because it’s all true.”

Hughes said she admires fellow female comedians including Ellen DeGeneres and Georgia native and now South Carolina resident, Pam Stone.

“Pam is so funny and so natural, and off the cuff,” Hughes said.

Contact St. Claire Donaghy at 864-943-2518.