Why Clean Comic Chonda Pierce Thinks We Need More Family-Friendly Comedy
By Jessilyn Lancaster, Managing Editor
Chonda Pierce may be the first one to laugh at her own jokes, but her chuckle is quickly echoed by other people watching her on tour or on screen.
“Even the clean comics, we have way of talking about our viewpoint of society. If the [comic] is a person of faith–or the person that just chooses to talk cleaner–we still have a valid explanation of society and our culture.”
You may recognize her from her documentaries UNASHAMED, LAUGHING IN THE DARK or ENOUGH. She’s also been in a handful of Christmas Hallmark movies, including CHRISTMAS LAND and the 12 WISHES OF CHRISTMAS.
Her jokes are relatable for both the church choir and people off the street. Pierce refuses to use course language in her routines, and that includes unsavory jokes, but that doesn’t mean she’s not making an impact on those within earshot.
“As a wife and mother and woman of faith, I’m going, ‘C’mon. Did you really have to fall into the trap of thinking I gotta be edgy and dirty to keep an audience?’” Pierce tells Movieguide®.
“There’s a huge, wide, vast audience that is longing for good, entertaining TV and movies [without trashy remarks], and that’s just me on my soapbox,” she said.
Pierce’s philosophy confuses some people in mainstream audiences. Years ago, the comic appeared on THE VIEW opposite Whoopi Goldberg.
“She couldn’t fathom that someone like me was so successful and doesn’t cuss,” Pierce said. “People are genuinely surprised, but it doesn’t surprise me to run across someone whose entertaining and clean because I grew up in church culture.”
Pierce continued, “It does still amaze me that occasionally mainstream media will be very surprised when something good or clean or wholesome does so well.”
In the spirit of clean comedy, Pierce just wrapped the feature movie, LAUGH LOVE KARAOKE.
“On the personal nature, it’s always been on my bucket list to star in a major motion picture,” Pierce said. “I’m well into my 60s so that usually doesn’t happen, unless you’re Betty White.”
LAUGH LOVE KARAOKE was directed by Chris Dowling (RUN THE RACE, PRICELESS, WHERE HOPE GROWS), and also stars McKaley Miller (MA), Judith Hoag (“Nashville,” “Big Love”), Carl McDowell (“Ballers”), Evan Hofer (RUN THE RACE) and comedian Mark Christopher Lawrence (“Chuck,” THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS), with a screenplay by Dowling.
“It was a labor of love and a lot of fun,” Pierce said. “It’s not a FIREPROOF or I CAN ONLY IMAGINE. It’s funny, but it’s got some edginess to it, which is very much like a Chonda Pierce concert.”
She continued, “My life has been filled with ups and downs. That’s a lot of what LOVE LAUGH KARAOKE is about. One moment, you’re laughing, and one moment you’re crying, and that is what life is. Jesus says, ‘I come to give you life more abundantly,’ and that means all of life.”
LOVE LAUGH KARAOKE is scheduled to debut sometime next year, but if you want some clean fun in the meantime you can watch her specials on Amazon.