Are YouTubers really the future of comedy? Not Darren Knight, a YouTuber and self-proclaimed “fastest rising comedian in American history” who blends the down-home condescension of Jeff Foxworthy and the kitschy misogyny of Tyler Perry’s Madea in a character he calls Southern Momma. Here’s his most recent video:
All of his videos are, well, pretty much just that. In some of them, he dresses in drag.
Anyway, for reasons presumably related to “reaching across the aisle” to proudly anti-intellectual Red America, Knight was selected as one of Variety’s 10 Comics To Watch this year, alongside actual comedians who do things besides yell regional stereotypes in portrait mode. Those include, but are not limited to: The Trouble With Apu’s Hari Kondabolu, The Daily Show’s Dulcé Sloan, American Vandal and Big Mouth Writer Jaboukie Young-White, and Insecure’s Amanda Seales.
All 10 were flown to Montreal last week for a set at the famed Just For Laughs festival, and, as you might expect, things got interesting when Knight took the stage. In an eyewitness report given to Vulture, things started out rough when Knight said, “comedy shouldn’t be about attacking racists. That is ostracizing your audience,” in a pre-show panel. (Way to show your hand there, buddy.) He then took the stage with an opening line commonly attributed to Groucho Marx, then...well, we’ll let the comics who tweeted about it explain:
As you can see in the video Sloan encourages her Twitter followers to watch above (it’s also embedded below), after the show Knight got into a confrontation with host Chris Redd, which ended with Redd yelling after him as he stormed off, “real comics write real jokes!”—something Redd would know, as he writes for Saturday Night Live.
We expect Donald Trump Jr. to tweet about how hilarious Southern Momma is shortly.