God and Comedy: Why One Comedian Turned his Back on Secular Stand-Up

Comedian Akintunde woke up one day to realize his secular comedy no longer fed his soul, thus creating a new career path to Christian comedy.

Melanie Yvette

by Melanie Yvette, November 30, 2012


career you cleaned up your material a lot. Did it affect your career working in such a secular driven entertainment world?

Akintunde: When I cursed, I cursed. I mean I went in. But I got saved in 1999 and I would be on stage trying to do my old jokes and they would just ruin my spirit. It just felt terrible and because of that and the process came and I really recognized that comedy was a ministry. You really have the ability to deliver laughter to people, God ordained laughter.  True comedy is coming up with original thought or an idea and figuring out a way to make this funny.

[EBONY] Where do you pull your inspiration for your standup?

Akintunde: My wife, I wont’ talk about her today though! We have 5 children, when you have 5 children you have an endless amount of content.  I have a son in college, two other children in high school, a 12 year old and a 9 year old. So we literally have someone in every age group. So that is tons of material.

[EBONY] Do your kids ever try to help you with material?

Akintunde: If they do try to help me find new material, it’s so that I don’t talk about them so much.

[EBONY] Tell EBONY.com about your future projects.

Akintunde: Look out for a TV show that we are working on. It will be something fresh and something new.  It will be a different spin on the whole “inspirational” idea.  I’m supposed to be filming a movie in a couple of weeks, too. I do a lot of ghostwriting and staying on the road and promoting my Akintunde Live From Atlanta- The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But DVD.

There is also my syndicated radio show on almost 40 stations now, the Akintude Show. We have everyone from Chris Tucker to Mo’Nique to Ce Ce Winans guest appear.

[EBONY] Do you think that gospel comedy will make a big impact in industry?

Akintunde: I think so, we are definitely breaking out and I mean right now, there is a rebirth of comedy. It is better because then you can bring your family and your children

[EBONY] How do you feel about Kevin Hart and his approach to comedy? He’s very wholesome in his own way, while still being secular.

Akintunde: I really like Kevin and I think Kevin is funny and relevant. What I like about Kevin particularly is when he came on the scene he was so comfortable going against the grain. Kevin did what a lot of comedians should take note of: if you see five other guys doing a joke about sex, then do something different. He talked about his children, talked about his wife, his manager.  It was funny and clever. I think he was smart enough to stick with it through the tough years, until we figured out that what he was doing was clever. Because of that, he just broke Eddie Murphy’s comedy tour box office record.

[EBONY] Did you feel any resistance during your career path? Was it hard to stick with the changes?

Akintunde: Well you got to figure I wasn’t a millionaire comedian, but I was making six figures. So to stop and say at 28 years old that you going to stop making all this money from secular [comedy] was scary.

But we did feel a lot of resistance and doubt. People were like are you serious? How are you going to do this? I would say I just know what God told me to do. But he has been so faithful in the process. I didn’t orchestrate this, God did. I think that when he takes over your career you know so much more is going to come out of it

[EBONY] You’ve proven the naysayers wrong. What can we expect from the tour?

Akintunde: Well basically expect hard neck breaking laughter. I like to talk about relevant stuff. Like I look at lot of stuff going on in terms of relationships and I realize comedy is a great way to make light of them. I pretty much have been on point with most of my critique! [Laughs] My wife will have girlfriends come over and she will say, “you make me sick, you always talking about my friends and whom they are dating.” And I say,  “Well what happened with them last time”…

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