Live comedy biography
In 1995, at the ripe old age of 19, Dan Clark took a play to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Little did he realise this was a festival he would perform at 8 times over the following 12 years. The play was a comedy thriller he co-wrote with his friend Oliver Maltman. It sold approximately 60 tickets throughout its month run, and received one rave review from the highly distinguished publication, The Stage.
It was that year that Dan caught the comedy bug. And also where he first met future comedy colleagues Adam G Goodwin and Cliff Kelly, who were performing at the same venue. Marco's, a converted leisure centre.
Between 1995 and 1997 Dan co-wrote and performed comedy shows with his friends. They were shambolic and lead to nothing.
But in 1998 Dan, Cliff Kelly and Adam Goodwin formed Electric Eel and this lead to a 4-year career for the sketch group. Three successful runs at the Edinburgh Festival (98, 99, 02), appearances on TV and radio, all led to them getting commissioned their own TV series for Channel 4. The show, a sitcom about estate agents called - yep you guessed it - The Estate Agents, was filmed in 2000/2001. And broadcast in February 2002. It received mixed reviews, and got, what was then considered, low ratings. Compared to today's ratings standards, the show was a huge hit, getting a million viewers each week at 11pm. How things have changed.
A second series was in the pipeline, but unfortunately, it was never re-commissioned. Partly because of the politics of television. Partly because a lot of people hated the show.
In March 2003 Electric Eel recorded a one-off radio show for the BBC entitled The Electric Hotel. Although they’ve never officially split, the three Eels haven’t worked together since.
2003 saw Dan venture into solo work for the first time, by taking a one-man show to Edinburgh. However, too chicken shit to actually go properly solo, the show featured a guest performer in the shape of Tom Price. And writers Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris, of The Framley Examiner, tinkered with the script. Old friends of Dan's via the music scene, the boys were happy to script edit the show, which was called 57 Minutes. It was a mix of sketches, music, non-sequeters and monologues to audience. The show was warmly received by the 4-people-per -night who saw it. Yes, unfortunately it wasn't very well marketed, and Dan Clark's debut solo effort went barely noticed. With the exception of the then relatively known comedy website Chortle, 57 Minutes was reviewed by no one and seen by few.
However, in 57 Minutes, Dan found a reason to turn his hand to stand up. Something he had been putting off for many years. Enjoying the monologues more than the sketches, he felt stand up was something he would like to try.
He spent most of 2004 performing in horrible, dirty, empty, smoky (they were back then) rooms - below, beside, and above pubs. The open spot circuit of stand-up comedy - a lonely, miserable experience. But an important one.
Slightly too soon, some might say, Dan cobbled together his first full hour stand up show. And in 2005, took 'Erotic Neurotic' to the Edinburgh Festival for his umpteenth visit. The show came and went, with some good reviews and some bad reviews. If Dan were to be honest now, he'd admit the show was 'okay' at best.
He retuned to Edinburgh in 2006 with his show The Day iLost My iPod. Within a year, Dan had honed his stand-up skills and found his comedy voice. Combined with a theme that many were interested in, Dan's show that year, earned him rave reviews, plus a complete sell out run. Even the extra shows sold out.
2006 also saw the start of a new venture - Clark's - Dan's monthly comedy night at the Lowdown at the Albany. With the help of an appearance by friend Noel Fielding, Clark's opened with a bang and continued to go from strength to strength. A night where you might witness a comic so new, it might be their third gig, or a special guest comedian from the television. The comedy might be in the form of sketches, characters or musical, or it might just be good old-fashioned stand up. The line up is always booked by Dan, who hosts every single show.
In 2007 Dan took The Day iLost My iPod on his first UK tour. Filling up venues across the country.
That same year Dan took his follow up show to Edinburgh. The show, Unfangled, was a direct response to his iPod show, it didn't do quite as well as the previous year's show, but still earned some wonderful reviews and sell out performances. He also put together 6 special shows called Dan Clark and Friends: Songs and Jokes. A late night comedy show, featuring the best in music based comedy.
Dan continues to host Clark's. He hopes to tour soon.