Lenny Clarke was born on September 16, 1953, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He and his seven siblings grew up in the Boston area. He attended the University of Massachusetts, working as a janitor to pay his way through school. One night he saw some comedians performing at the Ding-Ho Restaurant in Cambridge, and he was sure he could do that. He did, and in the early 1980s he worked as a stand-up comic and hosted the comedy open-mike nights at the Ding-Ho. He became friends with Steven Wright
, Denis Leary
, comedy writer Martin Olson and other people working in comedy at the time. He got his first big break into show business when Rodney Dangerfield saw him and cast him in Nothin' Goes Right
He starred his own short-lived series, called Lenny
, which ran for only 18 episodes. He has also had roles on The John Larroquette Show
, The Job
, and currently guest stars on the FX drama, Rescue Me
Clarke has a sister with MS, and he has devoted himself to several charities fighting this disease, and helps with the Genesis Fund, which aims to prevent and treat birth defects. He currently lives in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, with his wife, Jennifer, who is a charter fishing boat captain.