Comedian John Crist Opens Up About Public Cancellation, Suicidal Thoughts, and Forgiveness

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Comedian John Crist’s gift is bringing laughter to Christians, but he recently got very serious when he opened up about how being shut out of the church after a sexual misconduct scandal saved his life. He says the humbling episode inspired him to release a song years later, and it’s now going viral on the internet.

Crist’s knack for humor helps him navigate everything from prayer to worship to denominationalism while on stage in front of hundreds. 

“I think the local church is our only hope,” he told the Christian Post. “A lot of the stuff that divides us are the walls I’m trying to bring down to bring us all together. If comedy is done appropriately, that’s the goal that should serve. We don’t hit the mark every time, obviously, we swing and miss every now and then, but it’s part of the game.”

The 39-year-old describes his talents as a means to keep everyone honest all while using laughter. 

“Everyone in the king’s court would say, ‘You look good, you’re doing the best, you’re incredible, everything’s great,'” he told the outlet. “And the jester was the guy that would come in … and kind of make fun of everything. It was done in a way that was therapeutic and helpful, not to tear anybody down. Every video I’ve ever made, obviously, we ruffle some feathers every now and then, but my hope would be that the person that we’re making the joke about would laugh at it and still think it’s funny. And 99% of the time, that’s what happens.”

His latest video, “Every Christian Music Video,” points to elements found in almost every Christian music video. 

“There’s always some kind of disagreement or argument; the guy leaves the house; the guy has some kind of transformation process; and then he comes back home, and everyone’s forgiven and healed and restored in like two minutes and 30 seconds,” he explained. “It never really gets into specifically what was going on; he just kind of sees a cross in the clouds or something like that and comes home.”

But this project isn’t just a sketch. It’s a song available on all streaming platforms and has reached more than 400,000 views on YouTube. 

“I hope people liked the video,” he continued. “I’ve tried to get what’s in my heart up into my head and out of my mouth. And however it’s received, once it comes out of here, is kind of none of our business. I’ve been interacting with ‘Every Christian Music Video’ for the past year and a half. Now it’s out, I’m done. So it goes on to y’all to decide if this is the best thing you’ve ever seen, or if it’s heretical.”

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The idea for the song came at a point in his life when Crist was virtually shut out from church.

In 2019, Charisma Magazine reported allegations of sexual misconduct toward young female fans and he was immediately canceled.

He recently shared that he “wanted to commit suicide” after he found himself in rehab and had plans to leave comedy forever.

“I came up with that idea when I was in rehab in 2019,” he said. “I think I just saw it so many times, maybe we watched some music videos, probably in rehab — it’s kind of my way of coping with a lot of these things.” 

During that four months, Crist said the public cancellation was “the worst thing on planet Earth”, but he learned a very valuable lesson.

“Every time I had like a sold-out show or anything I did on television … I thought that if everybody knew the truth about me that all of these people would hate me,” he said. “In that whole rehabilitation process, I found out there’s a God that loves you, and He cares about you, and He’s not mad at you.”

Since then, the viral comedian has staged quite a comeback. 

His latest comedy special, “John Crist: Would Like To Release A Statement,” has received over 1.8 million views on YouTube.

And skits “If Bible Characters Were Influencers” and “If Noah’s Ark Happened in 2022” have over 1 billion views on social media. 

Since January, he has performed to sold-out crowds during his “Emotional Support Tour”.

“‘Emotional support’ is a play on words,” he said. “It’s kind of making fun of people on an airplane that will bring an emotional support peacock, or I’ve seen a horse or lizard or a rabbit or a snake. It’s making fun of that and also giving a nod to the emotional support that does take place when people come and laugh together.”

Crist continued, “So many people have emailed and said, ‘Man, thank you so much. We needed that. You just feel lighter.’ But the same thing it does to everyone else in the crowd, it does to me. … it’s unbelievable and I believe, therapeutic, for everybody.”

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