The high point of Anthony Clark's career? Let's see, he muses, it might I be landing his first sitcom—1996's Boston Common—or his second, Yes, Dear, CBS's new hit two-couple farce. And then there was his stand-up routine at a 1998 presidential gala in Washington, D.C. Afterward, he recalls, "the President had his arm around me, and I said, 'You know something? I cannot believe I'm here.' And he said—I swear to God—'Hell, man, I can't believe I'm here!' It was like, 'Can you believe two big ol' rednecks up here?' "

Believe it. Bill Clinton may have reached the end of his tenure, but the Lynchburg, Va.-born Clark, 37, is still on a roll. Though he plays uptight new dad Greg Warner on Yes, Dear, "he's naturally kinda zany," says TV wife Jean Louisa Kelly, "which makes the character endearing and funny."

The class clown in high school, Clark, whose father was a factory worker and whose mother owned a general store, began doing stand-up at Boston's Emerson College. After graduating in mass communications in 1986, he did bit roles in films before scoring a six-episode stint on Ellen in 1995 and a spot on HBO's Young Comedians special soon after. "The next week I was offered shows by everybody," he says.

Though his pick, Boston Common, flopped, Yes, Dear is one of this season's top new shows. And the actor, who surfs and plays tennis near his Hollywood Hills home, seems sanguine about his choices. "It could all end tomorrow," he says, "and I would still have had the greatest life ever—'cause I can take truckloads of money back to Virginia, bury 'em in Mason jars in the backyard and get ready for Armageddon."