She was born, Chonda Ruth Courtney, in Covington, Kentucky, on March 4, 1960, while she was raised in South Carolina, by her father who was a preacher and mother, Virginia Whalen.
Pierce got her start in comedy during a six-year stint at a theme park in Nashville, Tennessee called Opryland USA. A Theater Arts major from Austin Peay State University, Pierce went to the park to pay her college bill. Not knowing how to dance, she had to memorize jokes from Grinders Switch, Tennessee and impersonate Cousin Minnie Pearl. Having had a troubled childhood, entertainment was the catharsis Pierce needed, reporting “I was hooked! I loved the sound of an audience laughing. It was just the medicine I needed.”
Pierce has gone on to appear numerous times on the stage of The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, write eight books, and become a highly sought after Christian comedian, having five gold-certified comedy albums and two platinum albums to her name. Pierce has an ongoing concert calendar and her comedy segments also frequently appear on XM Radio’s Laugh USA and Sirius Satellite Radio’s Blue Collar Comedy 103.