Comic Chonda Pierce may talk about sitting down while she’s doing stand-up, but her “Chonda Pierce: Sit and Talk” tour is more about the attitude of the dialogue than any position.
“I wanted to get some things said in a conversational way and involve the audience,” she explained. “I want to share some things that over the last four or five years I’ve learned so well — without it turning into a National Enquirer tell-all.”
The nationally popular Pierce, best known for her self-deprecating humor and a comedy that stays clean in language and subject matter, returns to Columbus Avenue Baptist Church with her tour on Friday night.
While her “Sit and Talk” promises conversation, it’s not far from what the pastor’s daughter has always done with her humor: share stories from her life that blend humor, life lessons and faith. It’s a winning combination as Pierce’s concert DVDs have gone gold and platinum (50,000 and 100,000 in sales, respectively) while her television work has won several Daytime Emmy nominations.
So while “Sit and Talk” has Pierce sharing about her husband David’s slide into alcoholism and sudden death from a stroke in 2014 and her own struggles with depression, it also carries the laughs of a widow trying to reenter a brave new world of dating.
“I’m prone to addictive behavior. I’m prone to depression. But I’ve learned some things that keep me from doing that,” she said. “And in the middle of that there are some great laughs.”
Shadows may inform her humor, but Pierce said that’s true with many comics. “I’ll tell you there’s a lot of comedians who come from a really dark place,” she said. “It’s a true story that we need to hear the laughs . . . If you don’t find Jesus early on, you’ll find Jim Beam and Jack Daniels.”
With the laughs, though, is also the message how her faith in God carried her through.
Pierce is back on the road after working on her latest film project, “Laugh. Love. Karaoke.,” a major feature, scheduled for spring 2020 release, that she says is a step up from the Hallmark Channel and faith-based movies she’s done in the past. Adapted from a script she and her husband had written shortly before his death, it’s about a waitress who turns to karaoke in a desperate move to save her house from foreclosure.
“It’s been the hardest work of my life,” she said. “But I love comedy, the art of crafting a story and hearing people laugh and laugh along with me.”
Conversation, too, is good and Pierce said to expect both at Friday’s performance. “I think we’ve forgotten how to chat. Just put your phone away and talk,” she said.