Interview: Dan Clark – ‘I’m 40 next year and I can’t grow a beard’
As comedian Dan Clark approaches middle age, he finds that he still can’t quite work out his audience
Dan Clark is at a crossroads. The man who wrote and starred in three series and a Christmas special of his own sitcom (How Not to Live Your Life) and has been a successful stage comic since the early 90s is pondering the fact that he’s approaching the end of his 30s. ‘Me, My Selfie And I is partly about not being a genuine man of the age that I am. I’m 40 next year and I can’t grow a beard. Well, I can grow a d’Artagnan-like little feature that you’d put on the mantelpiece. I may be misremembering because I was a kid, but I’m sure my dad was more of a man at that age.’
As well as discussing how he was out of the relationship game for over a decade, Clark will be analysing his entrance into middle age. 'The part of me that’s about responsibility and commitment and being a grown-up feels as though it’s still in my 20s and the part of me that’s about going out to clubs and bars and talking about the latest cool things has fast-forwarded into my 60s: everything now is so banal and annoying. So, I’m an immature, grumpy man. I find myself listening to Radio 4 or even Radio 3 for classical music. I just don’t want to hear three-minute pop songs now.'
During his 20s and 30s, Clark reckons he inhabited a tricky comedy terrain that was too leftfield for the mainstream but not quite odd enough to be deemed full-on avant garde. 'I have a weird quandary about where I fit into the comedy section because if I play to a mainstream audience I feel like I’m being a bit leftfield maybe just because of the subjects I talk about or because I can come across as a bit rude or edgy or silly or surreal. But sometimes when I’m in the more leftfield arenas, I think, “Oh, I’m Michael McIntyre here” because I go out and do observations. Some of the time I wonder who my audience is, but since my sitcom I started seeing similarities whether it’s an age or a look.'
Dan Clark: Me, My Selfie And I is on tour until Friday 13 November.