Known as the “Queen of Clean,” comedian Chonda Pierce will be performing at 7 p.m. Sunday at Concord Baptist Church, 3724 W. Truman Blvd.
Her southern bell charm and clean sense of humor has brought audiences to Pierce’s stand-up shows for more than 20 years. Pierce has also worked as a television hostess, author and actress over the years and received five Daytime Emmy nominations for her work co-hosting the talk show “Aspiring Women” on the Total Living Network and for her television special “This Ain’t Prettyville!” which premiered on Country Music Television.
Pierced explained she’s always held a love for laughter while growing up, but she quickly learned how to keep her comedy a bit censored when it came to telling her own jokes.
“You know, I grew up in the South and I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten the taste of Ivory soap,” Pierce said with a giggle. “My faith is important to me and so it changes everything that I am, and at the same time, I don’t fault people who have a potty mouth, I just didn’t grow up hearing those words. My father was an evangelical preacher, and I had my mouth washed out enough that I learned how to talk without speaking like that.”
Her comedy career began after gaining the role of Minnie Pearl at the Opryland USA Theme Park in Nashville. Noting she was a terrible dancer at the time, Pierce explained if she wanted to keep her job then, she would have to come up with a new talent. She then found comedy to be an enjoyable strength of hers and performed as Minnie Pearl for the next six years.
Although Pierce played the character Minnie Pearl for a number of years, she had been inspired by the comedy styles of Carol Burnett when she decided to become a full-time comedian on her own.
“Meeting Minnie Pearl and all of that was great because back in the day, I didn’t know anything about comedy and knowing Minnie Pearl was a great gift to my life. But when I think about the way that I craft my show, I craft it along the lines of Carol Burnett,” Pierce said. “She had a little bit of everything, and we have a little bit of music, a little bit of talking, a little bit of laughing and a little bit of crying — so we hit it all before we go home.”
Much of Pierce’s material also comes from channeling her own life experiences into positivity. In 2015 the release of her first film “Chonda Pierce: Laughing In The Dark” depicts her behind-the-scenes lifestyle in dealing with the loss of her mother, an estranged daughter, and her husband’s battle with alcoholism and subsequent death. She expresses her times of darkness but depicts the humor and goodness in every situation.
Most recently, Pierce has been describing her experiences with re-entering the dating world.
“You know at first it became delightful humor, now it’s just sad,” she said while laughing. “First of all, I never thought I would have that material and I never thought I would be dating again, but oh my stars, what a crazy, crazy world. The whole online dating scene, I would give anything just to show the pictures on the screen. Why men have yet to master the art of a selfie I do not know.”
Pierce’s current comedy tour “Still Laughing” is appropriate for all ages and tickets can be found at www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1741050?utm_medium=bks.
“Y’all come see us, we’ll treat you so many different ways you’re bound to like one of them,” Pierce said, quoting her favorite Minnie Pearl line.