Darren Knight, aka “Southern Momma,” is one of the newest and most popular social media stars, with his Facebook videos generating millions of views from fans all over the country. With his unmistakable southern accent and his hair pulled up in a topknot, Knight has given a voice, so to speak, to southern mamas everywhere.
What’s the story behind this 30-year-old man who calls himself “Southern Momma”? It all started nearly a year and a half ago when Knight’s friend showed him a video of someone mocking a soccer mom. It was then and there that the idea for “Southern Momma” was born.
Darren shared his first ever video “Southern Momma Picking the Kids up from School” last year and received an overwhelming response.
“I was like holy sh**! I couldn’t believe it. I really couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I was like goodness, I just remember thinking, it was shortly after they started counting views on videos, you know they used to not do that on Facebook. It was a few months after they started doing that, but they had been doing it long enough for me to know that my video was getting a lot. I think it was up to 2,000 views and I remember thinking if this gets up to 10,000 views that would just be the craziest thing ever. Then the next morning it said 60,000, then 100,000, so yeah, I was surprised big time.”
Although the inspiration behind his videos came from another Facebook video, much of the material he uses comes from his southern upbringing. The videos, most of which have been viewed more than a million times each, were orchestrated specifically around two women — Darren’s mother and his grandmother.
“I would say that 60 percent of the material comes from my grandmother, and 40 is from my own mom,” Knight said. “The JC Penny Southern Mom, when she is shopping in the store, that is all my grandmother right there. I mean, you know, from ‘them kids are growing like weeds’ to you know ‘oh lord, here comes that b**** again,’ when she just called her the sweetest thing ever at church. That’s definitely my grandmother, that whole episode right there.”
Speaking of his mother and grandmother, Darren said they can’t get enough of his videos, and the fact that they are based on them makes it even better.
“They love it. They can’t get enough of it,” he said. “They feel like I’ve kind of giving southern women a voice so to speak, and it is definitely something you can watch and relate to. They just think it’s the bees knees that this particular character was orchestrated around them and their shenanigans. They can’t get enough of it.”
“I don’t even know. I’ve been doing this for about a year and two months,” Knight said. “Interested in comedy? I don’t know that I have ever been interested in comedy, I’ve always been kind of the center of attention. You know, high school parties, bonfires, get-togethers as adults, I usually find myself standing with a crowd of people talking the loudest, and everybody’s looking at me laughing. I was always the class clown, most funniest Jr. year and all this crap. I was always getting into something and being Mr. funny.”
He added, “I don’t know that I’ve ever really been interested in comedy, it’s just something that kind of happened, if that makes any sense. I know every struggling stand-up comedian out there is going to read this article and want to stab me in the neck, but that’s honestly how it happened.”
What does Darren Knight plan on doing in the future? Will he develop any new personas? Although he would like to come up with some new characters, Knight said he is honestly scared to do so, afraid of what his fan’s reactions will be.
“You know, I want to, I really do, but to be honest with you, I think I’m scared to death to do it,” he said. “Every time I mention, casually mention doing it on certain videos, the response is overwhelming ‘don’t break something that aint fixed.’ These women, they let you know really quick what their thoughts on that are and of course you can’t really listen to that, you just have to do it. I do want to create some other personas, I do want to create some other characters, but I’ll tell you right now I’m just nervous to do it. I’m afraid of what the crowd reaction will be.”
While Darren debates on whether or not to create more characters, he is focusing on the future of “Southern Momma.” He is currently touring around the U.S. and said he hopes to one day have “Southern Momma” on a sitcom. Right now, he says, he just hopes his fans enjoy watching his videos.
“I know it sounds corny to say this, but just for them to like them,” Knight said. “You know, I’m nobody special, I just did some videos and posted them and they took off. Really, just for people to enjoy them.”
To find out if Darren Knight is coming to a city near you, click here to visit the events page on his official website.
[Image via Facebook/Darren Knight]