The Comedian with 20 Years in the Game Keeps Reinventing Himself, Starring on Kevin Hart’s New Channel
Pierre Edwards was an Army brat, a carefree kid growing up in the shadow of the military base in Germany. A born performer, he enjoyed putting on shows for family, soldiers and strangers alike at the fountain in the city’s center. From a young age, he craved the attention and the sound of laughter he inspired. When his German mother and American father moved to the United States, he found Washington, D.C. to be quite a culture shock.
Young Pierre stood out: biracial, awkward and with curly hair hanging down his back like Prince, he quickly learned how to defend himself against bullies using comedy. He was a bright young man and finished his work quickly in high school. He spent his extra time reading the newspaper, which is where he discovered comedy as a career.
In the midst of the Eddie Murphy era, Pierre began to frequent Open Mic Nights in his community. He would channel Rodney Dangerfield, telling the “black version” of similar stories. When he was challenged to write 5 minutes of jokes, he discovered he could make people laugh by simply telling his own story.
A Golden Age
Pierre entered the Golden Age of comedy playing comedy clubs with the likes of Dave Chappelle, Martin Lawrence, Tommy Davidson and Wanda Sykes. He performed at the Apollo, BET ComicView and on various late-night shows. When a promoter for Def Comedy Jam saw Pierre during the first season of that show, also where Robert Townsend saw his work, the way was paved for Pierre to break into the movie industry with “BAPS” in the 90s, playing Halle Berry’s boyfriend. When the door to Hollywood opened, Pierre recast himself as a movie star, moved to California and was featured in “How to Be a Player” with Bill Bellamy, probably his most famous role.
He went on to star in “2001: A Space Travesty,” where he worked with Leslie Nielsen and tried to upstage the older star. He played roles in “The Wash” and “The Breaks.” Pierre soon discovered a new Hollywood role and began writing, penning and starring in “For Da Love of Money.” This cult classic remains in rotation on BET and the Bounce network.
Pierre found great success in being multidimensional. “I can write both comedy and drama. And I found out that writing is very important,” he reflects. Tiring of the L.A. scene, Pierre bought a house in Arizona. With a renewed enthusiasm for comedy, Pierre returned to Atlanta to try his hand in the new Hollywood of the South. He waxes nostalgic about the Atlanta of the 90s.
“I miss early 90s Atlanta, when everything was chill and the natives were more relaxed,” Pierre says, recalling the pre-Olympic charm of Atlanta culture. As a result of “slicksters from the North” coming here to get rich, “Atlantans are more suspicious and some of the Southern hospitality that was here is lost,” says Pierre.
A Triple Threat
Reinventing himself once again as a triple threat, Pierre recently wrote, produced and directed a series of movies called, the “Slice” trilogy. The horror/comedy series invites viewers to guess “Who Done it?” Pierre is proud of the story and the way he keeps viewers guessing right up until the end of the film.
More projects in the works include the development of Pierre’s successful web series, “Dating Pierre” into a half-hour show on Kevin Hart’s new LOL network, being hailed as a kind of urban Netflix.
“Dating Pierre” is all about the perils one can face being single in Atlanta. So you can imagine the follies that occur. If you’re not following Pierre on social media, you’re missing over 100 hilarious, uncensored skits.
Reflecting on starting over and the many starts and stops he has experienced in his 20 years in the movie industry, the comedian and actor says that sometimes taking a new approach is in order. “Sometimes you just have to walk away. I understand Kanye’s pain and frustration. It’s all about how you deliver your message.”
Follow Pierre on Instagram @comicpierre.