EVERETT — Taylor Clark is known for his two passions: skateboarding and stand-up comedy.
An injury put an end to his career shredding on wheels, but he’s still in the funny business.
In 2020, he released his debut album “Addictive Tickle.” He has since developed more material that’s ready to record, this time on video.
The hour-long comedy special will be filmed Friday at the Historic Everett Theatre at 2911 Colby Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show goes from 8-9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. Clark called the venue “an obvious choice” and plans to decorate the stage with skate obstacles like grind rails and wedge ramps.
“I set up a scenario in which I could record it in the most special way I could think of,” Clark said. “So no better place than my hometown near my local skate shop.”
Clark, 38, grew up in Everett and graduated from Kamiak High School. In his early 20s, he was on track to make a career out of skateboarding. At different times, he was sponsored by companies including Imperial Motion, Zoo York and Jones Soda Co.
At 23, he broke his ankle “and it took me out of the game.” He felt “bitter and sad and angry and frustrated,” but moved on with his life. He got a job at a rental management company and continued pursuing comedy in Brooklyn, where he lived at the time.
Clark has performed stand-up to live audiences since he was legally old enough to enter clubs. He enjoys the “truth-telling aspect” of it. Legendary comedian George Carlin “was my No. 1 guy,” he said. What really drew him to comedy, like with skateboarding, was developing a skill, followed by the immediate gratification that comes from pulling it off.
“When the joke works, just like a skateboard trick, when I land it I know it’s good,” Clark said.
In Brooklyn, Clark started an open mic comedy show in the game room at an apartment building and ran it for four years. He booked comedians before they were famous: Ali Wong, Mark Normand, Rory Scovel, Phoebe Robinson, Reggie Watts, Tim Dillon and Michelle Wolf.
Fatherhood quickly shifted Clark’s priorities. In 2017, he moved back to Everett with his wife and newborn son to live with his parents. The plan was to start a real estate business, but a few business partners pulled out and “it just collapsed around me.” But Clark got an opportunity that would change his life’s trajectory.
The talent director for the Seattle International Comedy Competition remembered Clark from his stand-up years prior and invited him to audition after hearing he was back in town. Clark agreed.
“I went last. It was a rough crowd, but I managed to bring it back to life,” Clark said. “And I made it into the contest based on that audition.”
Clark competed in 2017 and was the only Seattle-based comedian to make it to the finals. He got fifth place. It made enough of an impression to propel his career in comedy.
“It made a huge difference because I was at a very ground level of the totem pole,” Clark said. “So it bumped me up enough notches to be able to leverage that for more opportunities.”
Clark has gone on tour and headlined shows, some held at skate shops. He also took over as talent director at the competition where he got his big break.
As for his upcoming Everett show, he said a lot of the material in it deals with parenthood and “pursuing your dreams by any means necessary.” He also has edgier bits on Kegel exercises and conspiracy theories. This special is a family affair with Clark’s mother sending out press releases as its publicist and his dad playing bass with band Coffee Scars to introduce the show.
Clark is still working on the special’s title. He is thinking about calling it “Dad Hero,” “Recovering Adult Skateboarder” or “Dreams are Cringe.” Whatever the name, he plans to sell it on DVD and to pitch it to streaming services. If there are no takers, then the plan is to publish on YouTube “because I just want to put this material out into the world.”
For more information on Clark and his future shows, visit taylorclarkcomedy.com.
Eric Schucht: 425-339-3477; email@example.com; Twitter: @EricSchucht.