Chonda Pierce – Comedian and Author of Life is Funny

By | May 5, 2024

Chonda Pierce is a Christian entertainer with a career as a stand-up comedian, author, actress, and television host.

Early Life

Chonda was born on March 4, 1960, in Covington, Kentucky, as Chonda Ruth Courtney. Her father, Charles Courtney, and her mother, Virginia Whalen, raised Chonda and her siblings in Georgetown, South Carolina. The family moved to Ashland City, Tennessee, when Chonda was 15.

Chonda is her parents' third-born child. Her father was a preacher. However, she did not have a happy childhood as her father struggled with mental illness. By the age of 16, Chonda lost her elder sister, Charlotta Kay, in a car accident.

When her brother married, her father left home and divorced Chonda's mother.

A year later, Chonda lost her younger sister, Cheralyn Courtney, to leukemia. Her elder brother, Mike, is her only surviving sibling. By the time Chonda turned 18, her father had remarried.



Chonda Pierce started as a comedian making jokes about fellowship and services. Her first job was at Opryland Theme Park, where she impersonated Minnie Pearly for six years.

After this, she decided to pursue comedy full-time. Chonda does credit Sarah Cannon (the original Minnie Pearl) as her mentor in the early stages of her career.

Chonda Pierce is an American comedian

Chonda Pierce is an American comedian

Chonda is one of Pollstar's Top-selling live performers. Her southern charm and fierce wit have attracted audiences for over three decades.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) names Chonda the best-selling comedian. RIAA has certified five of her DVDs, Gold and three Platinum.


Chonda is the author of 13 books and six children's books. She wrote her first book, "Second Row, Piano Side" in 1996. Her book "Laughing in the Dark," which she wrote in 2010, became a feature film in 2015.

In 2016, Chonda wrote a bible study based on the book of Job called "Laughing in the Dark."

Chonda is the author of Laughing in the Dark

Chonda is the author of Laughing in the Dark

Chonda also co-authored some children's books with her husband, David, including:

  • Tales from the Ark (2001)
  • Twinkle (2002)
  • Tales from the Manger (2004)

The other three were written solely by Chonda.

Chonda's latest book "Life Is Funny Until It's Not: A Comic's Story of Love, Loss, and Lunacy" will release on May 7, 2024. It is currently available for pre-ordering through Amazon and her official website.


Chonda Pierce made her first debut in the film industry with Laughing in the Dark (2015). The movie is about the loss of her mother (2012), an estranged daughter, and her husband's battle with alcoholism and death.

The movie won Best Documentary at the Park City International Festival (2016) and is now available on DVD.

Her second film, Chonda Pierce: Enough (2017), shows how one can be enough in front of themselves, their family, God, and loved ones.

Unashamed (2019) is a documentary where Chonda interviews friends and celebrities who stand up for the gospel no matter the cost. She interviewed Mike Huckabee, the Benham brothers, and "American Idol" finalist Danny Gokey.

On May 9, 2023, "Roll With It," in which Chonda had the leading role, premiered in over 750 theaters. The movie is about a widow struggling to survive. The wise-cracking waitress has family, friends, and faith to help her overcome these challenges. She wrote the original script with her late husband.

Television Hostess

In 2016, Chonda and her comedian friends appeared in a series of performances on the Dove Channel. The show "Chonda Pierce: Stand up for Families" encourages families to watch television together.

Chonda Pierce attends Dove Awards Press Conference

Chonda Pierce attends Dove Awards Press Conference

Chonda has already won five Daytime Emmy Awards as a co-host for the "Aspiring Women" television show. She also won an award for her first television show, "This Ain't Prettyville."


Chonda married David Pierce, her high school sweetheart, soon after clearing college. They met as sophomores at Cheatham County High School.

Choda became a stand-up comedian, while David became a Middle Tennessee State University professor. They had a good life, but with Chonda mostly away from home, her relationship with her daughter deteriorated.

Chonda Pierce with husband David Pierce

Chonda Pierce with husband David Pierce

Unfortunately, David also started battling alcoholism soon after their only daughter cut off contact with them. In 2011, David had to spend a night in the hospital after slurring his words. Chonda thought he was having a stroke. Soon after, David went to Cumberland Heights for treatment, which lasted 30 days.

However, after a few months, David started drinking again. He went to Discovery Place, a men's rehab in Burns, Tennessee. On the night he left rehab, he drank nine cans of beer sitting in the parking lot of Kroger. Chonda drove him back to Discovery.

David battled alcoholism and went to rehab several times. In 2014, David breathed his last after undergoing surgery due to a stroke. David's family created an obituary page where people could send their condolences.


Chonda and David's daughter, Chera Kay Pierce, was born on February 13, 1984. She was named after Chonda's late sister. Her mother says that her daughter became resentful toward her parents while growing up, especially since Chonda was rarely home.

Chera Pierce is married to Craig, and they have two sons, Conner and Sawyer. She has cut off all contact with her parents.

A lot isn't known about Chonda's daughter as she is very private.

Chonda Pierce with her family

Chonda Pierce with her family

David and Chonda's only son, David Zachary Pierce, was born on September 6, 1989. Despite being in the limelight, Chonda and David kept a low profile when it comes to their kids.

Zachary stays with his mother at their farm in Nashville when she is not on tour. Chonda bought the farm where David, her husband, was still alive and lived in his last days. David had named the farm "Funny Farm."

After David's Death

One year after David's, Chonda's girlfriends had convinced her to date again. However, after a few dates, she admitted she was not ready to return to the dating scene.

Rumors spread that she was dating Mark Lowry, a fellow comedian. They did go out on a few dates, but Chonda remains single and is not engaged to anyone.

Chonda continues to do what she does best - entertain. According to her profile on AAE Speakers, Chonda's speaking fee for live shows ranges between $30,000 and $50,000.

Her net worth is estimated around $250,000. She earns from the sale of her 14 DVDs. Five of them have won Gold from RIAA, which means they have a sale of over 50,000 units each. Three have received the Platinum status, indicating a sale of over 100,000 units.

Chonda also earns from the live shows she performs in venues throughout the United States. She has sold over 3.5 million concert tickets over the years. She has also sold hundreds of copies of her books.

The television shows she hosts and co-hosts and the films she produces also contribute to her net worth.

While Chonda might not be retiring soon, she did talk about taking things slow. But we hope this is not her last tour!

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