Dan Clark

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For other people named Dan Clark, see Dan Clark (disambiguation).
Dan Clark
Born Daniel Gregory Clark
(1976-07-03) 3 July 1976 (age 38)
London, England
Occupation Actor, comedian, writer, director, singer
Years active 1996–present

Daniel Gregory "Dan" Clark (born 3 July 1976)[citation needed] is an English actor, comedian, writer, director and singer. He is best known for playing Don Danbury on the BBC Three sitcom How Not to Live Your Life, which he also wrote, co-produced, and directed various episodes of. He has been a regular on the British comedy scene as both a sketch and stand-up comedian.

Comedy career[edit]

Clark started his career in comedy at the age of nineteen by taking a play he co-wrote and starred in, with old school friend Oliver Maltman, to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In the years that followed Clark formed a comedy trio called Electric Eel and the three men performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 1998 and 1999. Also in 1999 they made a pilot for C4's Comedy Lab series, called Roy Dance is Dead, and the following year a full series was commissioned. In February 2002 the sitcom, retitled The Estate Agents, was broadcast. Electric Eel followed the series with a UK tour and another Edinburgh Festival run. In 2003 Clark took his first ever one-man show to Edinburgh. "57 Minutes" was a mix of monologues and sketches. The following year he began a career in stand up. He took a full hour show to the Edinburgh Festival in 2005, 2006 and 2007. He also began his legendary monthly comedy night, Clark's, which he would host and curate. In the summer of 2006 Clark wrote and performed in a series of shorts for the Paramount Comedy Channel (now Comedy Central UK) called Dan Clark's Guide to Dating. That was followed by another series called Dan Clark's Guide to Working. The shorts were broadcast between main TV shows on the channel but were subsequently put online and gathered huge numbers of views on YouTube.

How Not To Live Your Life (BBC TV Series)[edit]

After the success of the "Dan Clark's Guide To..." series, there was interest from the BBC to develop the format. Clark and his producer, Gary Reich, shot a pilot in the summer of 2007 called How Not To Live Your Life. It combined a traditional sitcom narrative with the quick fire "what not to do" lists from the Paramount shorts. A full series was commissioned and went out in August 2008. It started with modest viewing figures but it grew over the course of 3 seasons, doubling its viewing figures each series. It became a cult hit with the third series getting viewing figures of 1.4 million across the weeks repeats. And it was regularly the second most watched show on the BBC's iPlayer. In 2011 BBC3 controller Danny Cohen left the channel to go to BBC1. New controller Zai Bennet cancelled many of the comedies on the channel including How Not To Live Your Life. He did, however, commission a Christmas Special, allowing Clark and co to wrap up the series and give the fans a conclusion to the love story which had developed over the three seasons. Clark solely wrote every episode of the show (21 episodes in total), co-produced all three seasons and directed various episodes of the first series.

Other Television Work[edit]

As well as playing the character of Don Danbury in the BBC Three series How Not to Live Your Life, which he wrote and starred in, Clark has various TV credits to his name. His first television appearance was in a December 1996 episode of Only Fools and Horses.[1]

In 1999, Clark wrote and appeared in an episode of the second series of Comedy Lab on Channel Four entitled "Roy Dance Is Dead", which aired on 16 September 1999. He appeared as the character Jerry Zachery.[2] From that he co-wrote the comedy series The Estate Agents, which aired on Channel Four in 2002. He again appeared as the character Jerry Zachery. In 2003, he appeared in the British sitcom Mad About Alice as Jason.

In 2004, he appeared as "Johnny Two Hats" in an episode entitled "Electro" of the first series of the comedy television show The Mighty Boosh. The same year he had guest appearances in French & Saunders and in the 2005 Christmas special, My Family.

In 2006, Clark appeared in the ITV comedy drama series The Complete Guide to Parenting. In 2008 Clark played the character Astroburn in an episode of the ITV2 sitcom No Heroics, a show written and created by Clark's How Not To Live Your Life script editor Drew Pearce. Clark performed alongside fellow comedian Noel Fielding again in the E4 series Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy in 2012.

On 28 March 2013 Clark starred in the comedy 30 & Counting as part of Sky Living's Love Matters series. The show, about three recently single friends, also featured comedian Brett Goldstein and reunited Clark with one of his old HNTLYL co-stars, Daniel Lawrence Taylor.

Stand-Up and Other Live Work[edit]

On 25 March 2011, Clark began his first full national tour with a stand-up show entitled Dan Clark Live! The show received generally good reviews. The newspaper The Guardian said "Clark is that of a rare combination − a great gagsmith and actor, and the result is a stand-up show that is both strong on jokes and drama".[citation needed] The newspaper The Metro also praised Clark's show, stating "Uninterrupted comic ecstasy", giving it four out of a possible five stars.[citation needed]

In May 2012 Clark put together a band and performed the show "These Songs May Contain Jokes" at London's Soho Theatre for a week. It was a mix of comedy songs and stand-up. The show was a huge success and led to Clark taking the show on the road for a mini-tour of 8 dates across England and Wales.


In 2006 Clark set up a monthly comedy night called, Clark's. He was the host and curated every show. It became a firm favourite among audiences and comics alike. A place where comedians would try out new ideas, it would often play host to some huge TV names, wanting to experiment. Its original home, between 2006–2009, was at the Lowdown at The Albany, a fringe venue below The Albany pub on Great Portland Street. In 2009, it moved to London's famous music venue The 100 Club on Oxford Street. It will be revived for three nights in July 2013 at London's Soho Theatre. Among the many names that played there were Eddie Izzard, Noel Fielding, Jack Whitehall, Stephen Merchant, Cardinal Burns, Tim Key, Rich Fulcher, Oram & Meeten, Alice Lowe, Sarah Pascoe, Paul Foot, Tony Law, Arnab Chanda, Sarah Kendall to name a few. Time Out magazine said of the show: "One of the coolest nights in London is Clark’s. Hosted by the utterly charming Dan Clark and is home to a lot of the new wave of young, offbeat, erudite comedians".

Dan Clark & The Difficult Three[edit]

In the summer and autumn of 2012 Clark recorded his debut comedy rock album. The band is made up of professional musicians Ben Parker, Johnny de'Ath and Jimmy Sims. The album, simply titled Dan Clark & The Difficult Three was released on 1 July 2013 via Absolute Records after a 3-month Pledge Music campaign (the crowd funding website). Dan Clark's Pledge Page


External links[edit]