Funny business: New Pal grad makes humor a career passion

NEW PALESTINE — The fact April Clark was always a happy child, making her parents laugh with her antics, might have been a telltale sign of her future as a comedian.

“As a child, she always had a very dry sense of humor,” said her mother, Diane Connor.

Clark, known as April Smith back in high school, was voted “craziest girl” in the 1990 New Palestine High School graduating class.

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“She was the one who would make dry, sarcastic remarks at my musings in the classroom,” said Clark’s former English teacher, Al Cooper. “Having that kind of banter would have given her an edge from a humorous standpoint at that age.”

After several successful years of living in Colorado and working as a writer and comedian, Clark, 43, moved to Morristown a few months ago to care for ailing relatives.

While the Indiana native is back home, she hasn’t given up on the pursuit of being in comedy on a full-time basis. Clark has signed with a talent agent and is breaking into the Indianapolis comedy scene.

“I can’t imagine I’ll ever stop,” Clark said. “Even when I do take a break like I have now, I get right back into it and remember why I love it so much.”

In high school, Clark took that “craziest girl” comment as a compliment.

After graduating, she studied communication and journalism at Purdue University.

That’s where she became a sports editor and an entertainment and arts writer. However, the desire to make others laugh was never too far from her mind.

She became known as the one who always sought to put others in a good mood.

“Mostly, I tried to make my co-workers in the newsroom laugh and throw really great parties,” she said.

After graduation, Clark wrote for several magazines, before head-ing to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where she worked as a reporter/columnist for a mountain town newspaper.

While there, Clark covered a story about a comedy troupe and without too much prompting, decided to give stand-up comedy a real try.

“I had no idea what I was doing, but it was fun, and I was instantly hooked,” she said.

Clark continues to write a column on a regular basis for a paper in Colorado, but she is hoping to bring her on-stage success home with her.

While Clark was in Colorado, she won a scholarship for a comedy boot-camp through Comedy Works to learn the tricks of the trade from nationally known comedian Louie Anderson.

Clark also ran monthly comedy showcases and even produced her own stage late-night talk show, called “The April Clark Show.”

She said it was great putting on the comedy show with friends doing skit work, stand-up and even some singing.

“Comedy really can be quite fun,” Clark said. “Especially when you can craft some really good jokes and get a good response from the audience.”

Clark said there is nothing quite as exhilarating as being the center of atten-tion, particularly when you’re the one making others laugh.

“Even when I was a little kid back in Girl Scouts, I was always cracking jokes,” she said. “I worked on the yearbook when I was in high school, and I was always making everyone laugh.”

She said the women of Saturday Night Live and the legendary Mel Brooks are a few of the comedians who have influenced her most.

She likes to use self-deprivation and real-life happenings as material and hopes her work will catch on in Indianapolis.

“Mostly what I have tried to do in my life is have a lot of fun,” she said. “I like to make people laugh and see them have a good time.”

In true comedic fashion, Clark — who after college spent some time writing for a chemical company about erectile dysfunction pills — said she’d like to be in one of those commercials pushing the product.

“Really I’m just hoping to one day land a spot as a love interest in a Cialis commercial so my career can come full circle,” she said.

Noelle Steele is editor of the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3232 or