Chonda Pierce’s polite humor with a bite

Photo: Chonda Pierce continues her new tour, Getting Back to Funny, in Kettering on Saturday

By Dana Walczak

Comedian  Chondra Pierce has been known on the circuit as the “Queen of Clean” or as Billboard magazine once referred to her, the “Queen of Country,” for over two decades. Her comedy can be best described as relatable and wholesome, with some polite southern sass.

Many of the southern women I know have a tendency to say something like: “Bless her heart,” or “How nice” instead of letting people know what was really on their minds. Chandra uses the same mentality in her set, but she takes it a step further than the nice southern women I’ve known.

You, dear readers, may not know her by name, but I’m pretty sure you’ve seen her before. At least, that was my experience before writing this article. For her five gold and three platinum albums she is rated as the best selling and most awarded female comic by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a trade association whose members consist of nearly 85 percent of all artists responsible for recorded music produced and sold in the United States.

“It just means I’ve sold a lot of product,” she says modestly, “but lets face it, women are the number one consumers in the universe.”

And if you know anything about the comedy industry, you will know that as a female comic, that is huge. Comedy has been a boys club, basically since its inception by Aristophanes in 425 BCE. So the fact that a good Christian woman who never swears is the most awarded female comic is something to be admired.

Over the years, Ms. Pierce has not only had a talk show of her own, she has also been seen in a number of movies on both the big and small screens, including recent release “All Saints” staring John Corbin. And an upcoming movie starring James Denton called “Selfie Dad”.

“I’m really enjoying my stab at being in movies, I haven’t done that very much,” Pierce says, “but it seems that in the last couple of years I’ve been offered a lot of little roles.”

Although, she said, since Christmas time is coming, she is not looking forward to hearing herself on the holiday Hallmark movies for the next few months.

“I love the Hallmark Christmas specials, but it is always strange to hear yourself,” Pierce says, “I’ve ruined Christmas for myself because I hear my voice too much.”

One of her comedy specials, “Chonda Pierce: Laughing in The Dark” was so well reviewed that an encore special was requested and had a viewership of over 100,000 people over the course of two nights.

Another of her acclaimed specials is a documentary movie called “Enough” which she put together to help propel discussion, outreach, and healing so that everyone can begin a new, more fulfilling life journey. “Enough” is now available on Netflix.

Her current tour, Getting Back to Funny, also features Karyn Williams and focuses on how Chonda has managed to find humor in even the darkest of situations.

As an outspoken proponent for mental health and addictions, she used humor to overcome her own issues with addiction and depression.

Pierce says, “I think laughter for me was a great mask for me for a while. It’s a great way to hide your hurt. But you can only do that for so long. And then you have to deal with what is really going on on the inside.”

When she finally dealt with where her pain was coming from, she says she found life to be much more fun.

“Humor was the medicine it was intended to be,” Pierce says.

In light of that, she and her brother founded a mental health facility and treatment center that now has five locations throughout the country. Branches Recovery Center, founded in 2006, offers counseling and treatment to those with depression, anxiety, and addiction regardless of their ability to pay. She has also raised several million dollars for international relief organizations Compassion International, WorldVision, Food for the Hungry, and Feed The Children.

“We are in a culture and a time in our world where the ups and downs, and everything from addiction to depression is tearing families apart and its something out there that is trying to help put it all back together again. And I’m very proud to have helped start it.”

Chonda’s large belief in giving back can be viewed in part by being raised by a preacher and by her own personal struggles. And helping others is not only emulated in making people laugh and helping people help themselves, she has also found she has a patriotic duty to give back to our troops.

Having done USO shows, she remembers many funny experiences into her act, including one about being a middle-aged woman trying to change into Spanks in an airplane bathroom while being surrounded by the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.

And let me tell you, as a woman, that is one of my worst nightmares. Putting on Spanks is a pain enough, but in an airplane bathroom? That would be hell.

“It was one of my favorite things to do, I absolutely loved it,” Pierce says.

One of her most recent acts of patriotism came when she was invited by The White House to perform a set at President Donald J. Trump’s Inaugural Ball.

She said, “It was really good. I got a lot of push back on it, you know, even people who were okay with Trump still didn’t think I should go and get in the mix of it all. I got invited to go, and I would have gone even if it was for Hilary Clinton. I would have gone if Barak Obama invited me.”

Feeling like Cinderella at the ball one night and then walking out to a sea of women in pink pussy hats was a bit surreal for her, she said, but she that didn’t keep her from joining the march.

Chonda Pierce will be performing on Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Kettering located at 3939 Swigart Rd. For her current tour, she will be preforming at churches across the country. For tickets and more information, please visit Chonda.org/calendar/

Tags: , ,

Dana Walczak
Reach DCP freelance writer Dana Walczak at DanaWalczak@DaytonCityPaper.com.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/19

L&D

Major key Last weekend a local couple was watching TV in their living room, having a relaxing evening, when suddenly […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/12

L&D

Jesus take the wheel A local couple recently decided to visit their church on a particularly warm and muggy Sunday […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/5

L&D

Flightless In a local park, police were dispatched to the crime scene. A woman called the police when she realized […]

The Docket: 8/29

285_2697643

Stolen in a nanosecond Just last week a woman visited her local sheriff’s office to place a tip on a […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 8/22

L&D

Totally secure knot …not In a local home a garage door was broken into. This garage door was perfectly secured […]