Akintunde Warnock: No Laughing Matter
By Gorman Woodfin
The 700 Club
Standup comic, Akintunde Warnock, is a sought after writer and performer in the entertainment industry.
He currently writes for BET talk show host—Mo’nique. But growing up, he faced challenges that affected him for the rest of his life.
Akintunde says, “When I was younger I grew up in the hood, the projects. Then we moved out of the projects, and we still didn’t have a lot of money. My father left when I was 7 years old. I remember I spent a lot of time searching for manhood.”
As a young man, Akintunde realized he had the gift to make people laugh. He began performing for “open mic” nights at comedy clubs. He gained success on the circuit, but still felt something was missing from his life.
“One of the things I always wanted was to have a happy family because my father left,” he remembers, “so because of that, one of the things that I was longing for and I wanted to create for myself was a solid marriage and a solid family.”
He married his girlfriend Eunissa, but his dreams of having a solid marriage began to crumble.
Akintunde recounts, “The comedy club lifestyle definitely affected my marriage in a negative way. The distance alone is enough. The other part of it too, is you’re constantly chasing money. That’s another thing. I mean, you’re constantly going from gig to gig.”
When they were together they argued over money, over his long hours on the road… over everything.
Akintunde says, “My marriage was breaking down.”
Eunissa remembers, “When we got together, we were not saved, and drama was like a regular part of our lives, just the drama that the world brings.”
A single question burned in Akintunde‘s heart. He says he finally asked God, “Can anybody have a successful relationship and be in the entertainment genre? God said to me, ‘You can, but you have to come to Me through my Son.’ And at that time, that was totally foreign to me.”
By Now, his wife Eunissa had become a Christian and she was praying for her husband.
One day, he rode home with a friend in the industry who was a Christian.
Akintunde remembers, “I kind of asked him, I said, ‘Man, how do you do it all? You own real estate. You’ve got a business. You’ve got a great marriage. What do you do?’ And he said, ‘Well I’m a Christian.’ I said, ‘I’ve been thinking about going to church.’ And he said ‘Well, you don’t have to go to church to accept Jesus.’ He said, ‘You can accept Jesus right here. Would you like to accept Christ?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah.’”
“He took my hand, led me to Christ and then gave me some scripture and invited me to his church which I wind up joining. And from that point on, I was a believer. Not a perfect believer,” He recounts laughing.
Akintunde is the first to admit that his walk with the Lord was a step by step process. One of the areas that was hard to change was his comedy routines.
He recalls, “At that time even though I wasn’t one of the filthiest comedians, my set was not godly at all, and I cursed a whole lot. It got to a point where every night was a struggle because I was saying things that the audience liked, and it was funny. But it was grieving my spirit. It would be times when I was onstage and I’m having the best set of my life up until that point and inside, every joke, my spirit is like, ‘Uhhhhhh!’”
Eventually he cleaned up his comedy routine. But more importantly, his marriage started to turn around.
Akintunde says, “One of the first things that healed was my marriage and that was a process. I think because even though we struggled, me making the shift from secular comedy and not doing anything for awhile, and then deciding to become a gospel Christian comedian, we struggled. But I think she honored the fact that I made the decision and the fact that she had been praying for me. She had been diligently praying for me.”
Then Akintunde’s career took off. He remembers, “It’s amazing, and as soon as I got unfocused on being a quote-unquote star in the Hollywood way, that’s when more doors started to open. I got more TV writing credits after I became a Christian. Before I kind of struggled along and I would get things here and there, but then I got hired for 3 TV shows in one year.”
Eunissa and Akintunde have five children.
Eunissa recalls, “Do we have challenges? Yes. That’s life. But at the end of the day, there’s a peace because I know that God’s got it. He’s brought me this far. He’s taken care of my children. He’s prospered us in front of people. He’s prospered us in our own eyes, because we’re like, ‘Wow, God.’”
Akintunde says, “So if anybody that is thinking about or contemplating becoming a believer and you think that my professional life won’t allow me to do so. I challenge you to give it to God and watch him supernaturally just increase it. He’ll open doors for you that no agent, no lawyer, no manager can open. In whatever field that you’re in. He will do things for you that will blow your mind.”
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.