“The one the front fell off?”

I just found out that satirist John Clarke died on 9 April. I loved his style, possibly the driest straight-faced humour I’ve ever seen. When I watch his weekly 3-minute bits with Bryan Dawe on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, I’m usually grinning widely by the end, having sniggered the whole way through.

This was the first of their segments I ever saw. It’s from 1991:

A few years ago, I bought a boxed set of seven of their DVDs, which consist primarily of hundreds of these short interview segments from a 25-year span, great fun to dip into at random, plus the boxed set of “The Games”, a two-series, twenty-six episode mockumentary made prior to the Sydney Olympics, written by Clarke and Ross Stevenson and starring Clarke, Dawe, Gina Riley, and Nicolas Bell.

It is suggested that the BBC may have lifted the concept and many ideas from “The Games” for their later rather similar series, “Twenty Twelve”, though they deny it. On that topic, Clarke said in this article, “The BBC have investigated themselves and found the accusation of copying doesn’t hold. Well, we’ve investigated it, too, and found it’s very sound.” I know who I believed. Clarke provided the sordid details in this article: How television works: a heart-warming story for all the family

You can see an archive of the last few years of ABC Clarke & Dawe segments here. His last taped segment is listed there but doesn’t seem to be working. A working copy can be found here.

Here’s the ABC’s tribute to Clarke on 17 April:

“All right, let’s go and stick some ferrets down some trousers.”
– John Clarke

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