Facing the Laughter: Minnie Pearl, a new documentary from Nashville Public Television, will be shown in theaters nationwide one day only, Feb. 6, 2023, at 4 and 6:30 p.m. local time. Tickets are on sale now at Fathom Events or at participating theater box offices.
Facing the Laughter: Minnie Pearl delves into the life of groundbreaking female comedian Sarah Cannon and her humorous alter ego – Minnie Pearl. With her signature “How-deee” greeting and price tag dangling from her straw hat, Minnie Pearl became a country culture icon who was quite different from the serious and well-educated woman who created her.
Born Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, Minnie Pearl rose to fame as a comedic performer on the Grand Ole Opry, where she became known for her hilarious sketches, self-deprecating wit, and trademark catchphrase. Despite her success, Pearl faced many challenges throughout her life, including personal tragedy and the changing tides of the entertainment industry.
Exclusive to the Fathom Events’ presentation are country stars Kathy Mattea, Rodney Crowell and Ketch Secor, gathering in an intimate setting, to swap stories about their personal experiences with Minnie Pearl – and with Sarah Cannon.
“Sarah Cannon (aka Minnie Pearl) left an indelible mark in country music and beyond. What a privilege to share her story,” said “Facing the Laughter” producer Barb Hall. “She created her own path that left a legacy of laughter, gratitude and goodwill for those who followed to ‘pay forward.’ My hope is that audiences will be intrigued by her story and want to learn more.”
Facing the Laughter: Minnie Pearl delves into Pearl’s humble beginnings, her rise to stardom, and her lasting impact on the world of comedy and country music. Featuring rare archival footage and interviews with those who knew her best, Facing the Laughter: Minnie Pearl is a heartfelt and entertaining tribute to a true American icon.
The film features interviews with the Colley family (Pearl’s relatives) as well as Minnie’s friends and colleagues including country music’s Garth Brooks, Barbara Mandrell, Bill Anderson, k.d. lang, Brenda Lee, Reba McEntire, Jeannie Seely, Pam Tillis, Tanya Tucker, Chely Wright, Dwight Yoakam and Alabama’s Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen. Comedians interviewed in the documentary are Henry Cho, Trae Crowder (The Liberal Redneck), and Ray Stevens, actor Paul Reubens, Pearl’s fellow “Hee Haw” star Barbi Benton, and others.
“After Ken Burns’ ‘Country Music’ series – which was enormously popular on Nashville Public Television – we realized that there were many stories within his series that deserved full-length documentaries. The story of Minnie Pearl was one of them,” said Becky Magura, Nashville Public Television’s president and CEO. “Minnie Pearl was one of the most beloved and popular figures in country music and NPT is honored to share her groundbreaking story.”
For a complete list of theater locations, visit www.fathomevents.com.