Chonda Pierce is center stage, and the 14,000 Women of Faith conferees at Chicago's United Center are loving it. This slender, blonde-haired dynamo with the Carolina twang starts singing her take-off on the Enjoli perfume jingle: "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan—but why should I bother when Domino's can? I'm a woman—w-o-m-a-n." We roar. As her sassy, good-natured stand-up routine unfolds—with perfect comic timing—we laugh so hard tears spring to our eyes. Then Chonda segues to the tragedies that have shaped her perspective on life, and tears of a different sort flow.
It's astonishing anyone with a story like Chonda's would feel like laughing, much less help others laugh. Yet this spunky Christian comedian is equally at home performing at corporate events, the Grand Ole Opry, or Women of Faith conferences. Chonda's appeared on the Nashville Network's Music City Tonight and the 700 Club, and in crusades with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Team; she's toured with fellow comedian Mark Lowry on the Comic Belief Tour and is currently touring to promote her latest video/CD, Having a Girls' Nite Out (Myrrh), which captures her off-beat take on contemporary life. Chonda readily admits she's "living proof" that God works all things out for good.
"There's definitely healing in laughter, but I didn't think that up," says Chonda, whose latest book, It's Always Darkest Before the Fun Comes Up (Zondervan), was just released. "It says so in the Bible!"