COMEDIAN Dan Clark gave an enjoyable performance as he made his return to the Lowry studio on Sunday night with his new show ‘Me, My Selfie and I’ writes Quays entertainment reporter Jordan Davies.
The 39-year-old, most renowned for his cult BBC 3 show ‘How Not To Live Your Life’ strode onto stage slightly late due to technical difficulties but came out with a bang, almost literally as the first word he said into the microphone let out a noise far louder than any audience member expected. Clark remarked ‘wow this is the loudest mic in the world’ and from that moment the crowd were on-side.
Clark performed a gig which, although it did have some messages to take from it, was largely irreverent and designed purely to entertain. This was showcased in the opening joke of the night. Clark asked a woman on the front row where she was coming from, a common way of the comedian bedding themselves into a show, and after the lady replied with ‘Blackpool’ Clark said ‘No where are you coming from, what’s your angle’? The audience were caught off guard with the first gag of the show coming so soon and with that Clark was on his way.
The audience were mostly fans of ‘How Not To Live Your Life’ (HNTLYL), in which Clark played the main protagonist Don Danbury. One of the features of that show was that the action was interspersed with comedy scenarios that would briefly capture the viewer’s imagination whilst not remotely being part of the plot. Examples of which being ‘Seven gym outfits Don almost wore’ or ‘Four bad excuses for being in a cupboard’. Clark, who wrote as well as starred in the show, brought some of that into his stand-up, he performed a series of reasons as to why someone might show their disappointment with a click of their fingers which threw the audience back briefly to the misadventures of the much loved Danbury.
The highlight of the first half was when Clark talked about going on a blind date many years ago. He swivelled and took a seat at a table that had sat to one side of the stage for the whole show thus far and talked about the intricacies of a blind date, watching an attractive girl go by and being annoyed she wasn’t there for you and watching a lesser desirable woman walk past and feeling you’d dodged a bullet with that one. Clark followed this up by acting out his food order in the same way you would typically ask for the bill (i.e. with an over-elaborate mime). He mimed out the whole of a complex order and as the list grew bigger and bigger the audience laughter did the same.
There was no interval in Clark’s show, he claimed this was because he ‘wanted a Nando’s and they shut at 10’, the audience laughed which clearly surprised him as he said ‘oh you think I’m joking’. The fact the crowd were laughing even when Clark wasn’t joking was a measure of his performance. The audience, whilst small in numbers by comparison to other comedians (Clark was playing the Studio which has a capacity of 240 people), were all clearly fans of him and to be honest some would have laughed even if he simply read the phone book.
The second half of Clark’s show did carry more serious messages, he spoke of the cancellation of ‘HNTLYL’ and how he was now 39 and doesn’t own a house or have a wife and kids, but this was all within a comedy context and there were still a flurry of comedy scenarios thrown in for good measure. A crowd favourite being ‘if cabin crew were geezers’.
One point where it did seem that Clark was being totally serious however was when he spoke of his Gran’s passing this year from cancer. The crowd were silent during this part, they thought no joke was coming. He said he sent her a text asking if there was anything he could do before she was gone and she replied with ‘don’t worry be happy’. Clark then joked to the audience ‘Didn’t know she was a Bobby McFerrin fan’ and during the subsequent loud laughter he said ‘that’s cut the tension’. This showed with Clark a joke was only ever around the corner.
The show ended with a series of comedic songs played by Clark on his guitar. These were irreverent hence titles such as ‘An ode to Steve Guttenberg’ and ‘Bollocks Grandma’s Dead’ but the song most enjoyed was ‘Lions and Tigers’ which was taken from ‘HNTLYL’ and requested by several members of the crowd. The conclusion of this song led to the loudest audience cheer and applause of the night. The onlookers were clearly fans of Clark through being fans of Don Danbury.
Clark left the stage to much applause and speaking to a few spectators after the show they’d clearly enjoyed their night. Twenty minutes after the curtain fell, Clark was true to his word and was tucking into his Nando’s opposite the Lowry. Clark may not have a wife or own a flat but loyal fans who very much enjoy his work.
By: Jordan Davies