They’re no Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, but Jeff, Brad, Anthony, and Ron are apostles …
… in the comedy industry, anyway.
After releasing the “Apostles of Comedy: The Movie” last month on DVD, the four family-friendly comedians are prepping to hit 12 cities before Thanksgiving, doing what some in their industry find hard not to do – keeping their comedy clean and free of crude themes.
“We're counter-culture to most comedians out there and we believe people are hungry for quality comedy that doesn't have harsh language or vulgar subject matter," says award-winning comedian Jeff Allen, who will be touring with fellow comics Brad Stine, Anthony Griffith, and Ron Pearson.
"Comedy, unlike music or other events, appeals to all ages," he says. "I regularly see three generations of families sitting together in our shows.”
When Allen, executive producer Lenny Sisselman and producer Mitchell Galin first envisioned the “Apostles Of Comedy” film, they had two goals in mind. One, that the film would go beyond the stage antics of some of the top comedians in the country, showcasing not only their comedy, but also their personal testimonies of faith that have shaped their lives. And two, that it be funny. Really funny.
"We chose some of the best comedians in the business," says Sisselman, who has produced comedy shows for over 26 years and worked with performers such as Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld and Tim Allen. "But we also chose comedians who specifically do family-friendly comedy that would appeal to all ages, something that the whole family could enjoy together."
Galin, who has been nominated for an Emmy, says “Apostles of Comedy” reveals the true mission of the comedians.
"Our weaving of documentary footage with performances was an attempt to show that these comedians have a purpose beyond just laughs per minute,” he says. “They want to reach into people's hearts and souls."
And their upcoming tour, which will begin on Nov. 11 in Northern California, looks to be no different.
Allen says he hopes the tour becomes more than just a night of comedy.
"I would love to see scenarios where we go in and do the show on a Saturday night and then share our testimonies in the same church on Sunday morning," says the comic.
“Comedy has a way of breaking down barriers and becoming an outreach to people who might not go to a church to see a music concert or other event. We want people to laugh and have a great time, but we also want people to be touched on a spiritual level."
The upcoming tour is set to cover 12 cities in eight different states, reaching up to 21,635 people - the number of seats it'll hope to fill. It has been touted as a family-friendly version of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, which featured Grammy-award winning stand-up comedian Jeff Foxworthy and three of his comedian friends, Bill Engvall, Ron White, and Larry the Cable Guy.
The tour ends Nov. 24 in Knoxville, Tenn.