Stand-Up Comedian and Christian Preacher
It was the God fearing church-going grandmother of Lester Barrie who first suggested he would someday be a gospel preacher, and at age 21, accepting his calling, preach is what Lester Barrie did. The good news for the entertainment industry is that fate had other ideas. In a climate full of comedians scrambling to be…
It was the God fearing church-going grandmother of Lester Barrie who first suggested he would someday be a gospel preacher, and at age 21, accepting his calling, preach is what Lester Barrie did.
The good news for the entertainment industry is that fate had other ideas. In a climate full of comedians scrambling to be the next Eddie Murphy or Richard Pryor, a unique style of comedy shaped by the black Baptist Church and the University of Southern California Debate Team was being formed. It was the voice born in inner city Chicago and later moving to Long Beach, California that ultimately formed the bold style of hip, urban, socially conscious comedy without profanity.
Often compared to “clean” comedians Sinbad and Bill Cosby, Lester made his TV debut on the syndicated show, “Star Search” a safe haven for a comic minister. It was a reign that lasted 6 weeks, ending in semi-finals. A black comedian bent on not using profanity would be in less friendly waters on HBO’s raw and edgy “Def Comedy Jam,” prompting Lester’s own father to urge him to pass on the opportunity. Still without profanity or comedy below the waist, Lester Barrie answered the call to be a hip, cool and extremely funny. Lester’s other television stand-up appearances include A&E’s “Evening at the Improv,” Fox’s “Comic Strip Live,” BET’s “Comic View,” and on four occasions Lester inspiring style would spark standing ovations on the syndicated “Showtime at the Apollo.”
Lester Barrie brings a vast repertoire of characters to his comic acting. Movie credits include “”lam Dunk Earnest”” staring Jim Varney, as well as “Don’t be a Menace to South Central While Sipping Juice in the Hood” staring Shawn and Marlon Wayans. Lester’s array of talents was also solicited by Robert Townsend for 13 weeks on Fox’s “Townsend Television” series. Lester’s knack for sketch comedy also landed him in the cast of Fox’s “Def Jam Primetime,” an HBO independent production. Other television credits include guest appearances on WB’s “Sister Sister” and UPN’s “In the House staring rap music sensation LL Cool J.
Producer David Pekinpaw discovered Lester’s abilities didn’t stop at comic acting, and cast Lester in the lead role in “Hammersmith,” a Steven J. Cannel pilot presentation about a young private investigator. It was also Pekinpaw who later cast Lester in the recurring roll of “Diggs” on the Fox Television drama series “Sliders.” Other pilots include, “Road Warrior,” a Paramount sitcom about the lives of traveling salesmen, as well as “Be My Date,” Universal’s hip 90’s dating show that Lester hosted.
After receiving numerous awards in national competitions for the University of Southern California on a speech and debate scholarship, Barrie would find himself subsidizing his career by teaching high school teens to focus their gift of gab. The level of confidence built by these experiences would set Lester Barrie even further apart from the fray of African American comedians, most apparent in numerous urban comedy competitions in which Lester Barrie finished king of he hill. Inspiring people young and old in an entertaining fashion, this thirty-something voice has answered to a unique calling that would make his grandmother proud. Lester Barrie provides a world – which at times appears heartless and cruel — with the universal medicine of comedic, sidesplitting laughter.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
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