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Q&A: Darren Knight

In a few years, Darren Knight has gone from practically unemployed to one of the most followed comics on social media and anointed as the heir apparent to Jeff Foxworthy's redneck routines.

Donna Leahey
April 28, 2019

Darren Knight, the comic from Munford, Alabama, is coming for Jeff Foxworthy’s crown as the king of redneck comedy. Knight’s videos, often starring his alter-ego, Southern Momma, have earned over half a billion views, making him the self-proclaimed fastest rising comedian in American history.

Last year was good for Knight, with Variety naming him one of the Top 10 comedians to watch, and the release of the documentary Southern Momma: The Darren Knight Story. This year promises to be just as good as Knight fills theaters and casinos across the country.

Knight was busy feeding his chickens when Preview 918 called, but he was kind enough to step away from his chores to answer a few questions.

Q. Who is Darren Knight?
Darren Knight is an old southern boy from east-central Alabama. He’s trying to make ends meet and do his thing. He’s a very social person and loves everybody. He wants to make everybody laugh.

Q. Who is Southern Momma?
She’s just that damn homegirl who was probably Darren’s momma. Or somebody he knew very well and who everybody can relate to understanding in their life.

Q. Is the character based on your family? 
Oh yeah. I like to say that 40 percent of Southern Momma is my mother and the other 60 percent is my grandmother because she’s a little more animated. She’s a character and a hoot. Southern Momma is just a collage, really, of all the mothers I’ve known, including my sister. It’s not only a Southern mother; it’s everyone’s mother. I think she’s just a character who’s trying to put food on the table and keep them damn kids straight.

Q. Do you have children?
I don’t. I have a lot of animals. I have three standard poodles, three nieces, and that’s all the children I have. Now, I got some children in the community who are good friends. We do things with them and their sports, and their activities. And that’s the closest thing.

Q. Standard poodles are such beautiful dogs.
Aren’t they the best? They’re so dang smart. They don’t shed, that’s the biggest thing. Momma doesn’t like a lot of hair in the house unless it’s hanging off my head.

My hair is spectacular. Lord, I appreciate it. It’s just now starting to fall out. I’m starting to get the old man circle up there. I got me a laser cap the other day. It was a $2,300 special. I haven’t spent that much on my car. So, I got that on there, and we’re trying to reverse time here.

Q. Is the Southern Momma character a big part of the show?
No, not at all. I very rarely tap into Southern Momma when I’m onstage. I want to give the audience a true comedy experience. We had a lot of women who would come to our show at first. And now our shows are about 50-50, or 40-60. I want everyone to enjoy it. I want the guys to be able to come out and enjoy themselves.

We put material out there that both sexes and all races can relate to and have fun with.  I don’t do the Southern Momma character very much because, you know, if I stood up onstage yelling at invisible kids for 45 minutes it would get a little redundant. We do touch base on raising and butt-whoopings that I got and things that we can all relate to.

Q. You’ve been com-pared to Jeff Foxworthy. What do you think about that?
Well, I don’t know about that. Jeff’s pretty dang good. Now he’s done some crazy things, and he’s broken the market on the country tour. I think it’s an honor to be compared to Jeff. I don’t title myself like that. I don’t know where that title came from. We had a few stats about my and his fan base, so I guess that’s where that originated. So, I’m flattered. Jeff’s a fantastic comedian.

Q. Variety named you one of the Top 10 comedians to watch in 2018.
Well, that was an honor too. They have a very diverse fan base from all over the United States and so to be recognized was very flattering.

Q. Anything else I should have asked?
I’m just like everybody else, and that’s the way I like it. I’m no different. I’ve had opportunities to move to Los Angeles or Nashville, and I don’t want to do it. I want to stay right here in my hometown.

I get a lot of heat from things I do and say. And that’s fine. I’m the same person I was when we started. And that’s the way it’s going to continue. I’m going to do this as long as God wants me to do it. Whether that’s the next five days or the next 50 years, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m just having fun with it. We’re very appreciative of our fans.  

Darren Knight and Cledus T. Judd
Paradise Cove | River Spirit Casino Resort
8330 Riverside Parkway | Tulsa
May 25: 8 p.m.
Must be 21 or older to attend