On this day in comedy on December 29, 1966 Comedian, Actor, Writer, Host, Mystro Clark was born in Dayton, Ohio.
Known as the “100% Brother”, Clark cut his comedy teeth at the legendary Comedy Act Theater in Los Angeles in the late 1980s. In this pre-Black Comedy Boom period he was mentored by talents such as Robin Harris and Reynaldo Rey and honed a rapid fire comedic style grounded in precise visual imagery. Those writing skills served him well as a writer for the Bill Bellamy show mixing live action with advanced puppetry, Cousin Skeeter.
Clark was seasoned by constantly being on stage. By staying in performance shape when opportunities arose he was ready. One such career break came when Don Cornelius decided to step down as full time host of his cultural phenomenon, Soul Train. After trying out numerous guest hosts, the long running program’s creator decided on Clark. His energetic approach gave the show new life and alerted the 1997 audience that there was a new sheriff in town and they better like him. The audience liked him enough, but unfortunately internal conflicts with the micromanaging Cornelius lead to a termination of the Clark Era in 1999, but not an end to the Clark juggernaut.
Clark could also act. He starred in the short lived sitcom, The Newz, as well as The Show, Off Limits and Lovespring International. And when he wasn’t working in television full time he was guest-starring on any number of sitcoms. He also did feature films. Clark was featured in the Carrot Top epic movie, Chairman of the Board. He co-starred with Dolph Lundgren in Storm Chaser and appeared in Shrink with Kevin Spacey and the film Out at the Wedding in 2006. Other credits include hosting syndicated children’s programs and releasing the comedy album, Sexy, Funny Bastard.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip of Mystro Clark from Soul Train: