While performing at a comedy club in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday night, D.L. Hughley collapsed in the middle of his set.
The 57-year-old actor and comedian was performing at Zanies Nashville Comedy Club when the incident took place. An audience member shared footage of the scary moment on Twitter.
In the video, Hughley can be seen telling a joke while sitting on a stool before he hunches over. When they see his body go limp, staffers quickly rush to his aid, escorting him offstage. Afterwards, an announcer can be heard instructing the audience to, “Stay calm,” adding, “We’ve got it all under control.”
A representative for Hughley initially told TODAY that the collapse was due to "exhaustion after all the week's work and travel." On Saturday, June 20, the comedian announced that in addition to dehydration, he had also been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
"I was very dehydrated, but it turns out that they ran a battery of tests and I also tested positive for COVID-19, which blew me away," Hughley said on Twitter Saturday. "I was what they call asymptomatic, I didn't have any symptoms. The classic symptoms, I didn't have. I didn't have flu-like symptoms. I didn't have shortness of breath, I didn't have difficulty breathing, I didn't have a cough, I didn't have a low-grade fever. I still don't have a fever. I didn't have loss of smell or taste.”
NBC News medical correspondent Dr. John Torres told TODAY that "it's hard to believe COVID-19 didn't have at least something to do with" Hughley's collapse, though so far the collapse hasn't been directly attributed to the coronavirus diagnosis.
"Even if you don't have symptoms, if COVID-19 is still in your body and you have a schedule where he was trying to keep, where he gets that exhaustion, that dehydration, that normally can cause some problems, but if you add COVID-19 to that, that complicates the picture," Torres said. "You can see how, day after day when he's doing his gigs, he gets that dehydration and exhaustion, COVID-19 takes a little extra toll, and he ends up collapsing onstage like he did there."
Torres noted that there was some chance that Hughley may have spread the virus to others. While some in the audience weren't wearing masks, Torres said the "bigger risk" would be for stagehands, who had closer contact with Hughley, and his own staff.
"More than likely, they're all being quarantined as well, as part of the contact tracing," said Torres. "But it's going to be very hard to contact trace everyone who might have come in contact with (Hughley)."
Immediately after the comedian collapsed, fans took to social media to share their well wishes for the "Soul Plane" star. Torres also said that he hopes to see Hughley fully recover.
"Woke up to @RealDLHughley trending," wrote one person. "Glad he is ok. But knew he would be because that dude is tough as nails and is serious about his health. He knows how to find humor in everything so, looking forward to him joking about this incident."
Another fan tweeted, "@RealDLHughley is the only comic who can die on stage while still killing. Feel better DL!"
Hughley thanked supporters and fans for their well-wishes in his Twitter video.
"I want to thank you all for your well wishes and your prayers," he said. "...Hopefully, I won't develop symptoms. Maybe this is as bad as it gets."
Hughley is best known for the sitcom "The Hughleys," and as one of the "Big Four" comedians in "The Original Kings of Comedy." Additionally, he was the host of CNN's "D. L. Hughley Breaks the News" in 2008 and has since been contributing as an on-air correspondent for the cable news station.
This story was updated on June 22 to include his coronavirus diagnosis.