In movies, he is mostly known for his many comedic performances, such as the street-smart Chester in Seems Like Old Times and the karaoke-singing Iceman in Ski Patrol.
He is also known for playing slightly nervous characters, such as the rollerskating chef Nauls in John Carpenter's The Thing, as well as the unfortunate National Guard, Cribbs, in Walter Hill's Southern Comfort.
On TV, he is known for playing Michael “Mike” Fulton, an elementary schoolteacher, on the NBC series Punky Brewster and Mylo Williams on the Disney Channel series Good Morning, Miss Bliss as a supervisor. Carter is also well known for playing the role of drug addicted Gary McCullough in the HBO miniseries The Corner.
His TV acting debut was on an episode of Police Woman. Carter also made appearances on Good Times, The Steve Harvey Show, A Different World, and in the television film Polly.