Fresno native Darren Carter is returning to the Valley this weekend for one night of comedy. Carter — who has been featured on Jay Leno and acted with John Travolta in “Be Cool” — always has a joke on the tip of his tongue, whether he’s mocking the latest Hollywood crazies or himself.
Here, Carter talks about his style, his shows and why you should hang out with him at Hutchins Street Square.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would say it’s comedy candy for your ear hole. (Laughs). If it’s comedy candy, I’m a diabetic’s nightmare. I’m kidding. So, if I’m bombing, does that mean I’m insulin?
Q: Who are you comedic inspirations?
A: Right now, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus.
Q: Who are some of your favorite people to impersonate?
A: The one I do that people probably know me for is Snoop Dogg.
Q: You’ve met Snoop Dogg. What does he think about you “appreciating” him?
A: (Laughs) You never know how that’s going to go over. You’re thinking, “Am I going to have to run and duck for cover?” ... He calls me the red-headed n-word. He says I’m his favorite ginger, but doesn’t pronounce the “er” ... “ginga.”
Q: Do you have any plans to explore vineyards or the town while you’re in Lodi?
A: I hope to tip a few cows, join a gang and pass out tennis balls for the walkers at the retirement homes. You know those tennis balls they put on walkers? I was (volunteering) in Compton, only they use basketballs. I was in Koreatown, too, and they use ping pong balls.
Q: Where do you see yourself down the road?
A: Filming another Showtime special. If things go really right, I’ll be performing at a bowling alley in Thornton.
Q: Were you a class clown?
A: I was the class juggler ... . Honestly, it’s a very strict household. At home, I’d mind my Ps and Qs, but at school, I let loose. I became “Party Harder Darren Carter.”
I started doing stand-up comedy when I was in the 10th grade.
Q: Who are the funniest people in your life?
A: I have to say my wife. She gives me material all the time. I’m always like, “I’m going use that” and she doesn’t even know.
One time I told her that no matter where I go, if I mention Fresno, people boo. She said, “Fresno, the other F word.”
Q: What do you expect from a good audience?
A: They need to be cold-stone sober. If there’s even one drop of alcohol, I’m going to bomb (laughs). I want them to come out and have the best time of their life. Let’s create a memory together.
Q: Do you have tips on how to be funny?
A: Have fun with what you do when you’re on stage. When things are funny in everyday life, try to make a mental note or write it down before you forget.
Q: You worked with John Travolta in the film “Be Cool.” What was he like?
A: He’s very nice, super kind and great.
Q: Have you ever impersonated him?
A: I think I did after I worked with him. He reminded me of Bill Clinton ... . He pulled up in this big SUV with tinted windows and was like, “How’s everyone doing ...” (impersonating John Travolta).
Q: What are your favorite comedic films?
A: I love Steve Martin in “The Jerk.” Also, “What About Bob.” As a kid, I loved “Airplane.”
Q: If you weren’t a comedian, what would you be?
A: Probably working out so I could be somebody’s pool boy. No, I would probably jump full time into comedy podcasting.