Lenny Clarke is an American comedian and actor, famous for his thick Boston accent. During the 1970s, as related in the Comedy Central roast of Clarke’s friend Denis Leary, Clarke ran for mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts. When asked by Leary what his platform was, Clarke replied “F**k the Kennedys”. Clarke had buttons and bumper stickers made with this slogan on them. In an attempt to spark interest in his campaign, Clarke stole a Boston bus and began driving it around until he realized it was just him driving a bus. Clarke then began to pick up random people and drop them at their doors.
Clarke 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 explain in When Standup Stood Out.
Since his early days in Boston, Clarke starred in his own short-lived network sitcom Lenny (1990), and in such TV shows as Contest Searchlight, The Job, The John Larroquette Show and It’s All Relative and movies like Monument Ave., Fever Pitch and Southie. As of 2006, Clarke appeared in the recurring role of Uncle Teddy on the FX comedy-drama Rescue Me.