Christian Comedian Michael Jr.: ‘After Meeting Jesus, My Goals Changed’
By Movieguide® Staff
It may be comedian/actor Michael Jr.’s deep joy to make audiences around the world smile with his encouraging stand-up routines, but it’s his ultimate goal to live according to the wisdom of God every day.
The father of five is a faithful Christian who often uses his platform to make people laugh and offer insight into the deeper meaning of life.
“One time, after a comedy show in Sacramento, California, security approached me and said, ‘There’s this guy that really wants to talk to you,'” Michael Jr. told the Christian Post. “I look up, and there’s this white dude, wearing a wife-beater, really tatted up, and he looked really high because his eyes were all red. But I realized he’d been crying.”
The man revealed himself to be a wanted criminal, and he asked if Michael Jr. could call the police.
“So that’s what we did; we called the police,” Michael Jr. recalled. “They showed up, I prayed with the dude, I gave him a hug, and he got into the back of the police cruiser, and they drive off.
“Now, why did that happen? If I was only doing jokes and not speaking between the gaps, I never would have had the opportunity to really speak into some people in a way that they needed to be spoken to,” Michael Jr. said.
“In your life, there are gaps,” he added. “The question is, what questions are you asking in between the gaps? Are you asking, ‘What can I get?’ or are you asking, ‘What can I give?’ If you change the question, you’ll get different answers.”
In his most recent book, “Funny How Life Works,” Michael Jr. tells similar stories of how God uses His people for His purpose and not their own.
“My hope is that people read the book and because they laugh. They may not even be aware of how it’s helping them look at things a little different,” Michael Jr. said of the book, which sold out upon its initial release. “I wrote the stories in such a way that I hope they can see themselves in it, laugh, and receive some actionable takeaways. It’s the same thing I do on stage and in comedy. I try to use my talents and resources to ensure that the audience is moving in one direction and it causes revelation, fulfillment, and joy expressed through laughter.”
Michael Jr. said his five children helped form his view on parenting and media.
“I didn’t realize how brilliant it was until I had my own kids. My dad would never sit me down and have talks about sex, drugs, or hard things or drugs,” he reflects in his book. “Instead, we would have an activity we were doing together, like fishing, for example. While we’re catching fish, we would have those conversations. So because that was going on, I was receiving what he was saying. I was able to ask questions, and it took that weird awkwardness away. It was very, very strategic on his part to instill those things in me.”
He continued: “What I tell my kids is, ‘What you know about God is 100% true. And there’s going to be people who are going to try to take that truth from you.’ Whether it’s a friend or guy at school, they are going to show up and try to convince you of something different.’
“I plant these seeds in my kids’ heads before it happens so that they are able to play above the game as opposed to being in it and questioning what they know to be true.”
The root of his passion for his children, career, and other people is in Jesus.
“After meeting Jesus, my goals changed,” Micheal Jr. said. “I’m always asking, ‘What can I give to this audience right now?'”
“When people laugh, their hearts open,” Michael Jr. added, “and when your heart is open, I want to make a deposit into it that could make a positive change and help you to discover your God-given purpose.”
As Movieguide® previously reported,
Michael Jr. described the defining moment in his comedy journey unfolding inside of a movie theater when he was 17. He recalled watching a movie with friends one day when the projector suddenly shut off and everything went blank in the middle of the film.
In that moment, a guy nudged Michael Jr. and dared him to tell a joke in the midst of the awkward moments that followed — and Michael jumped up and complied.
“I get up on the stage and I present this newly written joke and all of these movie goers are busting out laughing,” he said. “And I’m in awe.”
Years later, Michael Jr. is living out the call to comedy that he believes God has put on his life. He doesn’t only bring his comedy to clubs across the U.S., but he also takes his talents to homeless shelters, prisons and other unlikely locations.
“I’m called to comedically inspire people to walk in purpose,” Michael Jr. said. “Laughter is like a medicine, but why would I only use it for people who can afford it? … We want to continue to go to those places and make laughter commonplace in uncommon places.”
According to the Movieguide review: “SELFIE DAD does what so few Christian movies do, which is to make us laugh.” Keep up the good work Michael Jr.!