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Charlie is like the box of chocolates Forrest Gump is always talking about: you never know what you’re going to get. He’s a gentle man who looks like he could play defensive end for the Tennessee Titans!
Charlie resembles a chameleon… both a comedian and storyteller.
His southern style and wittiness will grab your attention and have your cheeks hurting from laughter each and every set.
Charlie is a member of the Christian Comedian Association, Country Music Association as well as the Southern States Communication Association. He’s proud of his Christian faith and credits it to his comedic lifestyle.
The epitome of clean humor! Charlie performs at churches, comedy clubs, theaters, and even a few living rooms along the way. He recently performed at the world’s famous Rhinestone Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas… How cool is that!
I caught up with him at a performance, and he was gracious enough to answer a few questions:
What made you decide to get into Comedy?
That is a loaded question. I have been thinking about that myself recently.
I feel that this is what God has called me to do. I say that often and get raised eyebrows and looks. My grandmother wanted me to be a teacher, preacher, and/or missionary, but now that I am a comedian she’d be happy if I could just get in a Gaither video.
In all seriousness, I started by acting. When I was in high school I took acting classes and was in plays through high school and college. I found I was more fulfilled [in those plays] if I had the funny part.
As I look back, I can see how God was shaping me for this comedy journey. When I was four, I got a microphone and stand for my birthday. What kid wants something like that!
It wasn’t until college that I got a copy of Judy Carter’s Comedy Bible for Christmas. I devoured that book. Something inside started to click, but I just put it on the back burner as I finished school.
Like the week after I graduated from college, I got a talent agent. I started auditioning for parts. I often say that I am an accomplished actor meaning that I have auditioned a lot. Nothing about that was fulfilling.
At that time, I was praying for God’s direction and leading. I knew I was being called to something bigger than I myself, but it wasn’t exactly clear at the time what that was. I would pray that I be put in the right place at the right time with the right people.
My family was always encouraging and supportive.
I met Suzan Speer at my new agency. We clicked. She graduated from the same college I did. Her family has a long standing history in gospel music. She brought up the comedy thing again.
Seeing the acting was not feeding this deep innate desire; I started to explore comedy more seriously.
Short story long, I did some Internet research and found the Christian Comedy Association. They have an annual national conference. I signed up to go before I had even been on stage myself. I met some amazing like-minded comedians there. I realized I had a lot of work to do, so I took a year off to write, watch, and observe.
I took a comedy writing class from Rik Roberts. Rik has a comedy school. It’s called the Rik Robert’s School of Laughs. Since then, I have been plugging away.
I am reminded of a quote by Mark Twain. He said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
I say my whole comedy journey is a “God Thing;” He’s lead me on this winding path. I know that when I am on the stage making people laugh, I am doing exactly what I have been made to do.
Is it hard to write material that is funny and clean?
Yes! Anybody can be dirty. Most of the dirty comedy relies on shock value for laughs. It’s a nervous type of laughter that leaves the audience thinking, “Did he/she just say that! Oh my goodness.”
Clean and funny comedy requires more thinking that I often like to do. I think the key to it is just looking at life from a quirky perspective and looking at everyday situations with a new lens.
Our everyday life is peppered with things that are just bizarre that we chalk up to normal.
Tell us about your CD?
Laid Up is my first CD. It was recorded at the Rhinestone Wedding Chapel down on world-famous Music Row in Nashville. It’s the only place in Tennessee you can get married by an ordained Elvis. The building it was recorded in belonged to Hank Williams and his wife Audrey. There was a lot of country music history at work there.
I feel that I am an “off the beaten path” type of person. I have never heard of a comedy album being recorded in a wedding chapel. My comedy partner and I decided to go for it.
This CD is just about my life growing up in the south and in a small town. My comedy relies a lot on my family. I talk about growing up, weight problems, work, and many other life issues. You don’t have to be southern to relate to it. I talk about things that everyone can relate to.
It has been submitted to Sirus/XM for airplay. That is still pending. It is for sale on iTunes, Amazon Music, and the other digital outlets. Physical copies are available at my shows or by contacting me personally via my website.
Does faith play a role in your stand-up?
My faith plays a huge role in what I do. As I have stated, this whole comedy journey as a “God thing.” He has me on this journey, and I am excited to see where it leads. God has been teaching me to trust him more with the comedy.
I am nothing without Christ. I am broken, busted, and useless. I cannot personally claim my successes as my own, or say that any type of type of talent I may have is my own. I am reminded of James 1:17 that says every good and perfect gift comes from the Father. That may sound cliché, but it’s the truth.
I feel that God has equipped me with comedy so that I have the ability to reach people in a new and different way. He is revealing that a little at a time. It makes a bit more sense today than it did yesterday.
Tell us about your upcoming shows?
I have had an eventful year. I have been blessed to have had a busy summer which is wrapping up. My next show will be in Westmoreland, Tennessee, at the Fairfield United Methodist Church. It should be a fun evening as they are closing their fall retreat. There are also several other private events on the horizon.
I have teamed up with Southern Gospel singer turned comedian Cheryl Jackson. We have been booking gigs together to expand our reach and offer variety. We are currently booking for the fall and winter. We have a few dates left.
One big show that’s coming up in January is Pavilion Coffeehouse Comedy Night. It will be Elvis themed, and I will be hosting. It’s my dream to be Elvis.
What places do you prefer to perform?
I have performed in theaters, clubs, and living rooms. I do a lot of churches and civic organizations. I feel that is important to have comedy that is safe and accessible for the whole family. I like places that are family friendly.
I perform in a lot of music venues. That has afforded me the opportunity to join the Country Music Association. That was an honor and a blessing because I get to do comedy and perpetuate the legacy of music I love. I don’t know where that will lead, but I am excited to see.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
This is a hard question because different verses speak to me at different times. Romans 8:11 is one that encourages and strengthens me.
Where can people find you if they want to connect?
I’m a big fan and give Charlie McCoin four out of four stars!