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'Apostles of Comedy' Offers Fun and Faith
By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Senior Internet Producer
- “A cheerful heart is good medicine,” Proverbs tells us. If it’s laughter you’re after, check out The Apostles of Comedy, a new film from First Look Studios.
The film features funny men Jeff Allen, Brad Stine, Anthony Griffith, and Ron Pearson. All four guys have worked in secular venues, but have purposely kept their comedy family-friendly and free of crude jokes and bad language because of their Christian faith.
Brad Stine is best known for his edgy social commentary. He has been featured on CNN, Fox News, and in New Yorker Magazine, as well as at Promise Keeper events.
Award-winning comedian Jeff Allen, well-known for his appearances on the Bill Gaither Homecoming Tour, has also appeared on VH1, Showtime, the Odyssey Channel and Family Net.
Ron Pearson is a comedian and actor whose work has included appearances on television sitcoms including Malcolm & Eddie, The Drew Carey Show, Two Guys and a Girl, The George Lopez Show, and That 70s Show.
Rounding out the comedic talent is Anthony Griffith who has made multiple appearances on television on Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, HBO, Showtime, and Comedy Central. He was also a co-star on The Bernie Mac Show and played a lead role in Our Father, which won an Emmy.
While performing alongside their secular counterparts, the comedians say they often received praise for keeping their jokes clean. Griffith says in the film that when he toured with the recently deceased Bernie Mac, the comic legend told Griffith he liked him because, “You’re not dirty.”
"There really is a void out there of comedy that is uplifting," Pearson says. "This film features quality comedy that is not dumbed down at all, but is also something the entire family can enjoy. There is a culture war going on for the soul of this country right now. And while we may not win every battle, hopefully quality projects like this will stand-up against any secular counterpart out there."
A DVD featuring Christian comedians and clean family fun is nothing new; we’ve seen several released over the last year. But what sets this one apart, is how the filmmakers delve beyond the comedy to offer a glimpse into the comedians' personal lives. In a documentary style, interspersed between the comedy routines, viewers learn about the comedians’ faith and how it shapes their lives.
"Our weaving of documentary footage with performances was an attempt to show that these comedians have a purpose beyond just laughs per minute. They want to reach into people's hearts and souls,” says the film’s producer Mitchell Galin.
Perhaps one of the most touching moments of the film is during a behind-the-scenes conversation in which Griffith shares his testimony. He lost his 3-year-old daughter to cancer and was later diagnosed with MS. He discusses how the tragedy of losing his daughter affected his faith and prepared him for future trials. He compares life to a novel that keeps him turning pages through the emotional ups and downs because he wants to see how it ends.
“The author of the book is God, and you already know there's a sequel,” Griffith says in the film. “That's the peace I have. Every day I think, ‘I wonder what God has in store for me.’”
All of the comedians have a heart to not only share their talents, but to share their faith with audiences. In addition to the film which released Sept. 9 on DVD, the four men will kick off the Apostles of Comedy tour in November.
“Comedy has a way of breaking down barriers and becoming an outreach to people who might not go to a church to see a music concert or other event,” Allen says. “We want people to laugh and have a great time, but we also want people to be touched on a spiritual level."
Apostles of Comedy brilliantly does both.
Pick up a copy for your family and friends today.
Learn more and watch the film's trailer at www.ApostlesofComedy.com.
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