Comedy was front and center before, during and after this weekend’s 29th Annual Stellar Awards. Co-Hosts Sherri Shepherd (The View) and Ricky Smiley (The Ricky Smiley Morning Show) broke new ground inserting comedy throughout the biggest night in gospel music.
When multiple award winner Tamela Mann’s name was announced as winner in the wrong category, Shepherd returned to the stage with the well timed one liner, “Tamela, don’t go to the restroom girl. I think you won something”. Says fellow comedian and writer, Akintunde,“A lot of comedians would have gone too far in that situation, but Sherri hit it quick and kept it moving.” When Smiley took the stage as his character, Ms. Bernice for his popular Church Announcements bit, the audience roared. Though arguably, the most memorable comedy moment of the evening was Smiley walking on stage with a tiny white dress mimicking the controversial form-fitting dress worn by Mary-Mary’s Erica Campbell on her upcoming solo album cover, and Shepherd responding with a toddler sized version of Kirk Franklin’s extra-ordinary Sunday’s Best costumes.
Veteran comedy writers, Bone Hampton and Akintunde worked directly with the hosts before and during the telecast.
Following the live ceremony, Comedian Marcus Wiley, co-host of the Yolanda Adams Morning Show, served as host for the star studded E-One Artist Showcase. The laughter continued Sunday morning, with comedian Akintunde as special guest with Gospel Artist, Johnathan McReynolds during the 10:30 am service at Nashville’s Born Again Church.
The big weekend of laughter concluded with comedy headliners Chinitta Morris a.k.a Chocolate, Bone Hampton and Marcus D. Wiley joining Akintunde for Akintunde & Friends/One Night Only at Nashville’s Cathedral of Praise. The special event celebrated the upcoming national release of Akintunde’s latest DVD, “The Whole Truth” into major retail outlets on February 18th (No Joke/Arrow/E-One). (View Trailer Below)