As she nears the end of her "Chonda Pierce Live" tour, Christian comedian Chonda Pierce revealed why she plans to remain politically incorrect and shared a message for Dave Chapelle, who recently came under fire for comments he made in his latest Netflix special.
After a long break from touring due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, Pierce told The Christian Post she has “a renewed energy to share the Gospel in a comical way.”
“There's no better way to do stand up than standing up for Jesus," the "queen of clean" said.
A bestselling female comedian, Pierce kept her audiences laughing on social media before getting back on the stage in September. She told CP she speaks her mind without fear of being canceled.
"I'm not politically correct,” she contended. "I've been crafting a long letter to Dave Chappelle because I want to tell him welcome to the family."
Pierce was referring to the controversy surrounding Chapelle after the famous comedian made comments that led to protests by trans-identified activists and complaints from Netflix employees in response to his special, “The Closer.”
The secular comic, who's known for using profanity in his stand-up routines, said that although he was canceled by the LGBT community, he wouldn't take back his remarks.
Pierce knows all too well what it’s like to have to please various audiences. She told CP she said she stands behind Chapelle’s freedom of expression.
“Every night I have to please the Baptist, the Presbyterians, the Catholics, the believer and the nonbeliever. It's really hard, so I want to tell him, 'Look, you're not the only one out there that gets beat up every now and then,” she explained. "I think Dave Chappelle is absolutely brilliant. I tell my audience, 'He's not a Christian; he's a Muslim.' That's his right. I would love to talk to him about Jesus because I want to see Him in Heaven because he's absolutely brilliant.”
“The bottom line is, comedy is a beautiful way to speak truth,” Pierce maintained. “It is a palatable way for your audience to accept truth, and that's all he did, was speak His truth and his opinion, so he gets beat up over it.”
The recently widowed Pierce pointed out that the backlash against Chapelle is ridiculous given that he ended his special with a tribute to a trans-identifying individual who died by suicide. She said his tender moment at the end resonated with her.
“My whole career, I've always ended my concert with a little tender story or something where God is working in my life or to make a point to your audience. And man, did he ever make a point, she added.
"What's so sad is in the political correctness, all of that gets lost in the shuffle. They automatically assume he was being mean and bashing and all that, and he never has been. He's a comedian."
Pierce, who has been a traveling comedian for 28 years, told CP: "When we start taking away the gift to make our audience laugh, and we start putting constraints on that, we're all in trouble. Whether you're a believer or not, whether you're a comic that loves Jesus or not, we're all in trouble when they start coming down on the comics.”
Comedy is a great commentary for what's going on in the culture around you, the Kentucky native explained. She credited the comics of old for using their material to tell the audience exactly what was going on in the country in their standup routines.
"When we start messing with that, you're messing with the freedom of the art, like it or not, whether it's a good art or a bad art, whether it's Christ-centered or not. That's a totally different conversation,” Pierce noted. “The conversation is, where does freedom end? So sadly, freedom is being constrained for a lot of Americans.”
Pierce said the entertainment industry has taken art and tried to make a political stance with it. As an example, she noted that movies have watered down the craft of storytelling by trying to be inclusive.
She called political correctness “terrifying.”
“What if I got to a place wherein comedy I was not allowed to speak about Jesus? What if they said, 'We don't want you to tell any jokes about the Church anymore?’ Well, there goes about 80% of my material,” she shared.
Pierce’s tour is filled with honest statements about politics and today's society. Being back on the road, she said, was a great place for “confession.”
"I got too wrapped up in what's going on Facebook like anybody else,” she said. “I got too wrapped up in being fearful, especially after getting COVID; it was terrible. Then I realized I'm running to my Facebook page and reading all of that before I ran to the Lord every morning and I'm just honest about it.”
She said the most trying thing about being back on the road this season is the inconsistencies from state to state regarding mask regulations.
"I think what we're learning is a new way of life. It's interesting how even the flu is not around much anymore and it's because I think we're getting smarter and the reality about germs and what that looks like and how it's transmitted,” Pierce said.
She added, "At the same time. If you're not careful, the devil will use all of that to allow you to forget who's in control. At some point, you get as smart as you can, you study what works for you and then you have to step out without fear and step out with faith, and I think that's been the biggest message of the whole tour is that we all just learned where our faith really is.”
The 61-year-old urged Christians to decide what they believe in this season and avoid putting their faith in Dr. Anthony Fauci and in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In her latest tour, Pierce jokes about being a widow who is encouraged to date by her friends. However, she ends every show with a dedication to her "black son," Bone Hampton. Hampton, her comedy peer, is seriously ill. Hampton regularly tours with Pierce, but due to his health state, he is in rehab re-learning how to walk and talk.
"I dedicate the ending every night to that boy who has just been a life and a delight to me. I think the ending of the night has become a very personal journey to share,” she concluded.
Pierce ended her show in Orlando, Florida, which CP attended, by singing the song “Take Me to the King.” It is a song she said Hampton normally sang. Hampton’s family has launched a GoFundMe page to help with his recovery.
Pierce ended her interview by stating that she hopes her tour would be a testament to what God has done in her life.
"I want to show my audience much of what happens in the Bible — it's people’s stories of their faith journey. That's just probably exactly how my concerts are. It's just the story of my faith journey, the good, and the bad and the ugly of it.”
Pierce is wrapping up her current tour and is hoping to be back on the road in March of 2022. For more information visit Chonda.org.
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic