FRESNO — Everyone told Christopher Titus he was crazy.
That's nothing new. If you've seen his comedy show or watched his TV series that aired on FOX from 2000-02, you know the comic's just a little off center, mostly the result of the less-than-fatherly upbringing he got from his dad, Ken.
What's different is that Titus was told he was crazy for filming his next comedy special in Fresno. Crazy or not, Titus will take over the stage at the Tower Theatre on Saturday night for what is now two shows being filmed for a comedy special. His last stop here was in 2002 for a performance at the Saroyan Theatre.
"No one gives any love to Fresno," Titus says during a quick interview between doing a podcast and getting on a plane for his next tour stop. "No one understands that half the food we eat in this country comes from the Central Valley."
Along with trying to give the valley some love, Titus wanted the show taped in Fresno because audiences have always been receptive to him. He thinks that's because Fresno's not high on the list of comics who want to shoot TV specials and he expects the audience will be more appreciative of his event.
Cameras will roll, but Titus isn't planning to change his material from what he has done on tour. He thinks changing material just for the TV program would throw off his timing.
In the past, his stand-up shows bounced between being topical and spotlighting his personal life. This tour focuses on eight stories from his own life that rank among some of the worst things that have ever happened to him.
"Everyone but me finds the stories very funny," Titus says.
Just like he tried to do with his TV series, Titus wants those "with screwed up lives" who attend his show to feel better about themselves. He says nothing in their life could top the misery and anguish he has faced -- all in the name of comedy.
Titus loves talking to an audience and telling stories, a comedy style he developed by listening to Bill Cosby, George Carlin and Richard Pryor as a youngster.
Expect Titus to crank up the energy at the local shows. He has always acted like a live-action Bart Simpson crossed with the Tasmanian Devil after a few hundred cups of coffee, but after watching Bruce Springsteen perform, he says he's found a new intensity.
"He never stops. At one point, the band took a break and he kept on performing. The next day I went to Denver and performed the hell out of the show. Since then, there's been nothing but standing ovations," he said.
WHEN: 8 and 10:30 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Tower Theatre, 813 E. Olive Ave., Fresno
CALL: (559) 485-9050