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How to Overcome Stuttering to Become a Successful Recovery Comic! T-T-Tom Clark Interview
Recovery Comedians, Comics Anonymous, Recovery Comedy, Recovery Comic, Clean and Sober Comedy
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Tom Clark has been called the “Mel Tillis of Stand-up Comedy." Like Mel, his slight stutter disappears when his comedic voices hit the stage. Tom has been in the spotlight for three decades. He's been a singer, dancer, actor, speaker and writer, but it is his love of performing stand-up comedy that keeps his heart light burning.

His stand up seeds were sown in the fields of sketch comedy in the early 80’s. The hats of writer, director and performer were shared by all members in “The Boffo Players” as TTTom and his fellow players toured clubs and colleges throughout New England.

After earning much needed experience, confidence, and a little money, TTTom went off on his own to the world of standup comedy in Boston. Those stages were, as they are now, a top-notch training ground. The demands for originality in humor, presence and voice allowed TTTom to hone those comedic skills that have taken him so far.

TTTom cut his road teeth on a grueling 28-day, 28-show tour as the opener for Bill Haley’s Comets. This summer southern tour opened the door for more concert shows. He has appeared on stage with such varied sounds as the country music of Tommy Cash, the Motown of The Temptations, the folk music of Livingston Taylor and the rock of Robert Palmer.

TTTom’s stand out stand-up career has allowed him to travel coast to coast and beyond. He has headlined in the sunshine of Florida, the plains of North Dakota, the tundra of Canada and the cruise ships of Europe.

TTTom has delighted television audiences nationwide on A&E’s “An Evening at the Improv." He has since launched a career as TV commercial spokesperson and actor.

TTTom’s experience, showmanship, and humor make him a comedic voice to be heard. He's a sure bet to bring entertainment value to your next event. 

Recovery Comedy:  What were you like as a kid? 

TTTom Clark:  As a kid….I am the last of 6 kids…kinda the text book craving for attention…always looking to make everyone laugh.  Laughter was huge in my house, but I still say I’m the least funny of my family ….they all are funny in their own way.

Recovery Comedy:  What made you decide to become a stand-up comedian and how long have you been performing?

TTTom Clark:  Even as a child as I said before laughter was huge…listened to comedy albums as a kid…knew the rhythms and beats of story telling and comic timing instinctually almost from family and a few grown ups who  were great story tellers…..then in Junior High one day we had a class with no teacher [the sub didn’t show] so the teacher across the hall said we were on our own as long as we were quiet…I proceeded to start telling a story about why I had bleach stains on my bellbottoms [yes I’m that old]….I “held court” for the entire period as I got laugh after laugh with my story…as the bell rang I moved to the door but stayed there as everyone walked out …all saying how funny I was and one girl saying, “you ought to be a comedian”...that’s when I knew what I wanted to do!
The sad part, in hindsight is, I didn’t really have the nerve to do it until I found alcohol!
Then when I did…I used it just enough to be somewhat successful.
I’ve been doing it for over 30 yrs now with a few breaks in between.

Recovery Comedy:  Were you performing stand-up comedy before you got into recovery?

TTTom Clark:  Yes, but I actually think the “club atmosphere” may have “sped up” my disease process...that’s my armchair diagnosis.

Recovery Comedy:  Does your comedy have a message and if so what is it? 

TTTom Clark:  Not really except most of my laughs are about me …so I guess you might say I’m saying don’t take yourself too seriously.

Recovery Comedy:  Who are your comedy idols? 

TTTom Clark:  As I kid I listened to parents albums; Bob Newhart, Smothers Brothers, Alan Sherman...then Bill Cosby and I bought all his albums…as I teen then got into George Carlin and Richard Pryor.  I’d say the last 2 are my idols….got to meet and chat with Carlin twice.

Recovery Comedy:  Where does your inspiration for material come from? 

TTTom Clark:  The world around me is really my inspiration and I now finally realize I’ve got a “weird way of looking at the world” as one audience/critic told me on a cruise ship one time...so I try to look at anything and find the humor in it!

Recovery Comedy:  What is your joke writing process?

TTTom Clark:  Its kinda scary but I really have NONE...when I’ve tried to be disciplined and sit and write nothing happens, so now I just listen and wait for it to come…so far its working.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your kryptonite? 

TTTom Clark:  Boredom or the opposite and too busy with life “chores” to have my antenna up or not open enough to hear/see the humor around me

Recovery Comedy:  Is your family supportive of your comedy career?

TTTom Clark:  Yes in the ways they know how…both my wife and our 17 yr old daughter occasionally come to shows…my daughter has the “theater bug” so we share critical notes…and share same twisted sense of humor that my wife sometimes doesn’t appreciate!

Recovery Comedy:  Is comedy part of your healing process? 

TTTom Clark:  I suppose so…if healing means I can now find humor in almost anything...but that’s not always a good thing…just ask my family!

Recovery Comedy:  What was your worst experience performing comedy? 

TTTom Clark:  2 come to mind…one opening for a band at a college, the band just had a top 10 hit and the students did not want to hear me!…the booed the entire time until I said I was wrapping things up then they cheered…the other was a Corporate Christmas where they all had their trophy wives and big cars and they ignored me…looking up a bit to shake their heads disapprovingly….Now I see both cases as having nothing to do with me…rather it was a bad idea to have any comic there at all!

Recovery Comedy:  What was your best experience performing comedy?

TTTom Clark:  Lots….opening for Temptations…opening for Rob Palmer but also the gig that got me those gigs opening for a black artist I didn’t know to a mostly black crowd…where the speakers went out but I didn’t know it cause I still had stage monitors…they finally got quiet and laughed a lot…and the promoter thought I had huge balls to just keep going so booked me for those other concerts!….also now my character comedy shows are getting REALLY good crowds!

Recovery Comedy:  What is your favorite joke?

TTTom Clark:  Of mine?  2 tuna fish story  Street joke?  Selling a duck to a deaf guy.

Recovery Comedy:  What is your comedy dream?

TTTom Clark:  To keep getting paid to do what I love…till I can’t do it anymore!

To find out more information about TTTom Clark or to book him for your next Recovery Event just click here!

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