Some stand-up comics rely on their venue’s two-drink minimum to make crowds laugh. Others cross the line into shock humor. But comedienne Chonda Pierce says neither of these strategies works in the Bible Belt, where she often performs.
For her June show at Heartland Worship Center, 4777 Alben Barkley Drive, Pierce will have to rely on her wit and charm to draw in the audience.
“I can’t resort to shock humor, and I can’t wait until the crowd gets drunk. I just go out there and get my laughs,” Pierce said.
Pierce said she’s a committed born-again Christian whose upbringing was so conservative that she didn’t hear a swear word until high school. She joked that she’s now too old to learn any.
Often billed as “The Queen of Clean,” Pierce broke into comedy when she began impersonating Grand Ole Opry comedienne Minnie Pearl at a theme park in Nashville, Tenn.
“I fell in love with the art of (making people laugh), and that’s never changed. To watch a room explode with laughter, that’s like a touchdown for a football player,” Pierce said.
Her show, titled “Girl Talk: The Incredible Traveling Talk Show,” will offer a lot of impromptu moments, she said, with audience members invited on stage for interviews.
“It keeps my comedy chops up and keeps me interested in my own job,” Pierce said of the improvisational nature of her show.
After 16 years as a comic, Pierce said she still enjoys it as much as ever. The old saying that laughter is the best medicine may be a cliché, but Pierce knows it to be true.
“What I love about comedy (is) we can have a great reprieve. There’s so much going on in the world right now that a bunch of women getting together to laugh is a good thing. We’re still in a country where we can laugh and share our faith and have a few chuckles, and I need it as much as anybody does,” Pierce said.
Pierce’s show will come to Paducah at 7 p.m. June 18. Tickets may be purchased at the office of the Heartland Worship Center, or by visiting www.chonda.org.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641 or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.
Want to go?
Who: Chonda Pierce
What: “Girl Talk: The Incredible Traveling Talk Show”
When: Tuesday, June 18.
Where: Heartland Worship Center, 4777 Alben Barkley Drive.