Christian Living


Chonda Pierce Does Stand-Up for Families

Chonda Pierce
TV Show Info


Tuesdays, April 5, May 3, and June 7, 2016 on The Dove Channel


Chonda Pierce, Bone Hampton, Brad Stine, PJ Walsh, Nazareth, Joby Saad, Michael Joiner, Taylor Mason, Anthony Griffith, Sandi Joy, Kay Dodd, Lisa Mills, Chinnitta Morris, Cleto Rodriguez, Michael Jr., Rik Roberts

Find out more about Stand-Up for Families show at dovechannel.com

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To say Christian comedian Chonda Pierce is passionate about her new project, Stand-Up for Families, is an understatement. "The Queen of Clean", as she's known, acts as host on the Dove Channel's upcoming clean comedy event the entire family can enjoy together.

Recently, CBN.com sat down with the funny lady in Nashville, Tennessee, to chat about the three-part original series, bringing her comedy friends on board, and why we all need to just let go and laugh. Here are excerpts from that conversation:  

Where did this idea come from? Was this a Chonda idea?

Chonda Pierce: Well, I would like to take complete credit for the whole thing, but the "stand up for families" idea came from the Dove Channel. They were interested in doing some original programming; and I was very tickled to make the cut of when they were looking for who would such an event. I have amassed a wonderful group of coworkers in comedy and so I called in some favors and friends… It turned out really good

What I love about this particular way that they displayed stand-up comedy is that there's such a variety of different stand-ups on there that the whole family could enjoy. What your five-year-old will laugh at, your teenager's not going to like. But then if they wait 10 more minutes there will be a comic on there that the teenager will roll at, and then there will be a comic on there that mom will think is hilarious. So it turns out to be a good family night, and we need that. We need that in this country. 

Everyone in the family can watch, right?

Pierce: Yes, that's exactly right. I have adult children now, but my son is 26 and we live together in the same house. What he likes to watch on television is not necessarily something I would be interested in. So it is hard to find a program or programming where the whole family can sit down and watch and be entertained at different parts of the night. So I think that's going to be a really key factor, and hopefully encourage families to do something together, to sit down and watch something together.

How was it pulling in some of your comedy friends to this project?

Pierce: Instead of M&Ms in the green room, we probably should have had Ritalin. We should have had Ritalin in there in a candy dish. But, it wasn't hard. They're all very professional and have been doing it a long time, but what happens is they were great onstage. It's backstage that's a big party. When you do stand-up comedy you primarily work by yourself, and so then to get to see each other, it's like youth camp. We're all like silly kids back there. We had a great time and we all see the importance and significance in doing something that promotes—you know, we've been clean comics for all our careers. We are people that are born-again Christians that love Jesus, and so our moral compass is a little bit different than some of the stand-ups in the comedy clubs out there. So it was nice to get to do something that rewards that, that we get to be on TV now just like everybody else.

What makes you laugh?

Pierce: Probably the same thing that makes anybody laugh, something that happens that's out of the ordinary. I grew up in church and a preacher's kid. So when I first started out as a comedian, I was always telling funny jokes about stuff that happened at church because it's a place where it's not supposed to be funny. Yet when it is, it cracks everybody up. So I like something that's out of the ordinary. I like intellectual humor. I like to have to think about it a little bit. I know evangelists and preachers who are funny. They might not mean to be, but I—[laughter]. That's funny. I just cracked myself up.

It looks like it could be a good opportunity for families just to be together, to enjoy, to laugh together. But we know from Scripture that laughter brings healing too. Could you speak to that?

Pierce: You know, I had a movie that came out a couple of months ago called Laughing in the Dark. It kind of was a documentary, of sorts, of my life. I had been through a lot of dark days, a bout with depression. I had lost both of my sisters. My parents divorced. A child became estranged and I lost my husband of 31 years. So life does take its turns; and there are dark and difficult times in life. What laughing does, you know, there's the biological function of laughing that releases endorphins. Doctors will show comedy videos in the oncology department so that your chemotherapy will work faster through your body. There's just biological and scientific research that shows how good and how healing that laughter can be.

Well, God knew that. The sad thing is that the devil's in the job of perverting anything good. So what happens sometimes, people will take laughter and use it as a defense mechanism or they'll hide behind it; or just the stand-up comedians alone, it becomes their drug. That moment in the spotlight becomes a drug. That's why you see so often and hear very sadly of comics that will take their lives, because it's not working anymore. It's because the medicine that it was intended to be got taken away from by the devil. And you know, Satan is in that job of destroying us. What God intended to be great medicine for us, he will use it in a perverse way or use it against us. I've seen that. I've seen that happen. I know it to be true in my own life, how healing it has been for me, how cathartic it is to be able to talk about a subject that normally would be a difficult subject to approach, but you can chuckle about it in a little way and then get hearts to open up and ears to hear, and eyes to see that there is hope. When they see you laughing, they see hope. I think that's one of the great witnesses we can have as Christians is to be joyful.

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