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Chonda Pierce: Laughing in the Dark

Audra Smith Haney - 700 Club Producer

Throughout her career, Chonda Pierce has been known as the “queen of clean.” Her faith-based comedy coupled with her hilarious wit--have earned her the title of “best-selling female comedian of all time.”

But Chonda isn’t afraid to let her audience see the darker parts of her life. And this year was no exception. Chonda is set to release a full-length documentary chronicling her recent struggles—such as her long-term battle with depression—and, more recently, the death of her husband.

“Nothing prepared me for losing my husband.  It just – it absolutely was never on the radar.  And it has been hard. It's just been absolutely hard.  It's the three or four days of funeral service and people bringing food in and all those people that rally around, it's six months later that it gets very hard. And then it's the first of everything; the first birthday, our first anniversary. We would have been married 32 years this year. And we had – we made it to 31.  And it's hard. It's really hard.

But when you curl up in-in His lap and you tell Him that you're lonely and you're grieving, God is so good and so real during those times. There is something about that when you seek Him, when you look for Him, when you don't lash out and get mad at God, you know, because that can – that can bring a separation between you and the Comforter you're needing most.”

Chonda says before many of the tragic events in her life, a documentary crew was already hired to follow her career. As hard events unfolded in her life, the show’s focus changed.

“And we started looking through all the footage and all the conversations and all the interviews and then the other people that were interviewed, and then my sons' conversation  And then sweet, wonderful interviews with my husband. And we sat in this editing suite and sunk down in our seat and said, “Look what God has revealed. Look what God has done.’” 

And it became, instead of a behind-the scenes of a successful comedian, it became a behind-the-scenes of ‘how to just hang on by a thread and how to survive life.’ It’s living proof that God works all things for good. What is captured on a screen is that life is not always perfect and we who call ourselves “professional” Christians—we are still sometimes struggling behind the scenes.”

Chonda says the documentary, titled Laughing in the Dark, helps her audience members do just that.

“I guess, of course, the one word message that you—the first one that comes to mind is hope.  That there's always hope.” 

“But I do know this about grief, somehow God cradles you. There's a verse in the Bible that says, ‘He is nearest to the brokenhearted’ and it's so true. There's the thread throughout the whole movie.  My grief is still a process. And so it became the right title. And sometimes it's true -- sometimes you really can laugh even in the darkest days.”

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