The timing of the writers' strike couldn't have been worse for D.L. HUGHLEY, who was set to take a second swing at a late-night talk show (this time on BET) when the bad news hit. So it's a good time for the former star of his own sitcom (and the recent HBO special "Unapologetic") to focus on his stand-up chops as he pulls into Atlanta Fri., NOV. 23. Hughley deftly mixes political and topical observations with his unabashedly scatological humor. "I was driving down the street through Virginia and I saw one bumper sticker that said, 'I support the NRA,' and right next to that was another bumper sticker that said, 'What would Jesus do,' he observes on his HBO special. "Ain't that a bitch? I ain't no Bible scholar but I'm gonna guess he ain't gonna have no gun." His previous Comedy Central TV talk show, "Weekends at the D.L.," had short-lived success but showed Hughley could be the next Bill Maher if given the right opportunity. Click here to listen to a a podcast interview with Hughley. $39.50. 8 p.m. Center Stage, 374 W. Peachtree St. 404-885-1365. www.centerstage-atlanta.com.