Bobby Clark (comedian)

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Robert Edwin Clark (June 16, 1888, Springfield, Ohio – February 12, 1960, New York City), known as Bobby Clark, was a minstrel, vaudevillian, performer on stage, film, television and the circus.

Bobby Clark & Paul McCullough, in Kickin' the Crown Around

Film career[edit]

He was known for his painted-on eyeglasses. Clark may be best thought of as a clown. In the early years, 36 years in all, Clark teamed up with classmate Paul McCullough.

They made a series of about 35 short comedy films, for FOX and RKO, some of which are still extant. The comedy is surprisingly broad and ribald, given the era.

Clark & McCullough performed together until McCullough's suicide in March 1936.

In 1939 Clark appeared on Broadway in The Streets of Paris, sharing the stage with a new comedy act: Abbott & Costello.

Clark appeared on television during the 1950–51 television season, in the 8–9 pm Sunday night time slot of The Colgate Comedy Hour; however, Clark's four episodes were among those sponsored by Frigidaire and titled simply The Comedy Hour.

The Goldwyn Follies, his last and only film without Paul McCullough, in 1938, was the first Technicolor film produced by Samuel Goldwyn.

The Clark & McCullough shorts were made for an adult audience, with Clark writing much of the dialogue. Like Wheeler & Woolsey’s films, they were not released for television, being considered too vulgar. So, they did not enjoy the renaissance of popularity with a new generation, on television, like The Three Stooges, or Laurel & Hardy.

Bobby Clark with Leni Stengel, in Kickin' the Crown Around(1933)

Stage Work[edit]

He appeared on Broadway in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1936. His reputation grew as he tackled roles in plays such as Sheridan's The Rivals, as well as in musical comedies and revues.

Starting in 1942, producer Mike Todd cast him in five Broadway shows, all of them successful: the musical revue Star and Garter with Gypsy Rose Lee (1942–43); the Cole Porter musical Mexican Hayride (1944–45); Molière’s The Would-Be Gentleman (1946); and the revues As the Girls Go (1948) and Michael Todd's Peep Show (1950).

He came out of retirement to tour with Damn Yankees, 1956-8, in the role created on Broadway, by Ray Walston.

As well as his better-known stage and film credits, Clark directed and appeared in such Restoration comedy as Congreve's Love For Love; and, lectured on this period of theatre, at the American Theater Wing.[1]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Angele Gaignat, from 1923, until his death.[2]

Selected filmography[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]