The River Club Music Hall is proud to bring to its stage Lenny Clarke Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 8 pm.
Veteran Boston stand-up comedian Lenny Clarke has an oddly calibrated act; his material and his perspective is very much in an old-school Don Rickles vein, but his attitude is very much that of a quick-witted young comic. This contrast comes wrapped in a conversational, deceptively genial delivery, with just brief moments of clowning.
Clarke is also unpredictable in a very good way on stage. You don’t know where he’s going to go next, and as he said at one point in the night’s set, neither does he. “It’s never the same show twice … because I can’t remember what worked from night to the next!” He also challenged the audience to keep up at times, and some of the quips fell out of his mouth so nonchalantly that it took even the sharpest observer a moment or two to catch them. “I can’t dumb it down any more than that,” he remarked at one point after backing off a little.
Clarke was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was the most famous “saloon comic” in Boston during the 1980s, the heyday of the Boston comedy scene. The DVD release When Standup Stood Out (2006) details Clarke’s early career and affiliations with other famous Boston comics, such as Steven Wright and Denis Leary, his good friends. In 1980, Clarke wrote and starred in a local television show Lenny Clarke’s Late Show featuring Wright and Leary, in collaboration with Boston comedy writer Martin Olson. Clarke and Olson were roommates, and their apartment, known by comedians as “The Barracks”, was a notorious “crash pad” for comics visiting Boston, and the subject of a documentary film as Clarke and Leary exp