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Vale John Clarke

John Clarke, comedian and satirist, has died suddenly.
From Fred Dagg to Farnarkling to his recent Clarke and Dawe interviews, Clarke has always helped us see the absurdity of politics and kept us laughing. His wit and intelligence will be sorely missed. As this flashback to 2007 shows, he had the capacity to remind us of what the politicians would rather we forgot.

Vale John Clarke!


57 comments

  1. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I think we all feel we have lost a friend.

    Vale John Clarke.

  2. Mike

    Oh no! Fluck Bill Leak this is a major loss.

  3. Florence nee Fedup

    Nothing changes. Still at same point as with Howard. Labor two terms and all it achieved has disappeared into the ether. I hope this one goes viral.

  4. dragonnanny

    This is just too sad……..he will be missed. R.I.P. John Clarke

  5. Steve Laing

    Indeed. His wit will be very sadly missed.

  6. David1

    Damn damn and damn it. What a tragedy, John was a wonderful comedian/actor/writer and a beautiful person. I had the privilege to interview him in his early years as Fred Dagg. His star was beginning to shine brightly then and it never lost its brilliance,
    Bless you John Clarke for bringing much need laughter into our lives, political satire has lost one of the best.

    Here is John in early days in NZ and his signature ‘Gumboots Song’, accompanied by his mates ‘The Trevs’.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tAWwqKNI7g

  7. LOVO

    The man was an comedic genius.
    Vale John Clarke.

  8. LOVO

    The man was an comedic genius.
    Vale John Clarke.

  9. Ken Derrick

    I saw John interview Barry Jones at the beginning of this year and after the interview I asked when the Clarke & Dawe sketch would restart as I was worried that the ABC might cut this off. John said they were just waiting for Brian to return from holidays, but now
    John is no longer with us and will be really missed.

  10. Jaquix

    Will definitely be missed. But he died fit and healthy, and doing something he loved. No nursing home for our John, for which we can be grateful.

  11. Caroline Downs

    So Sad…………..this one can’t be replaced. One of a kind ! RIP John

  12. helvityni

    I’ll miss him, he was a real comedian, not like the ones I saw last night on ABC, all fast-talking but the joke never came.

    I saw Clarke in an Aussie movie, he played a real estate agent: he became one, he WAS one, truly funny….

    Our politicians have to be shown how horrid and incompetent they are, Who’s going to make us laugh now, and make it a bit easier to bear….

  13. deknarf

    John Clarke will be sorely missed. Fond memories of a million laughs from a sharp witted and erudite man!

  14. diannaart

    Thank you for writing this Rossleigh.

    Still coming to terms with the demise of one of the world’s truly great human beings.

    Off to do a spot of farnarkling and to wish Brian Dawe and the Clarke family my sincere condolences.

  15. Terry2

    Gunna miss you, John !

  16. Kaye Lee

    Oh nooooo.

  17. Freethinker

    That it is sad indeed, R.I.P John, we will miss you a lot.

  18. Keitha Granville

    The high point of a week, Clarke and Dawe. Who is going to keep us all sane ? Who can we turn to for the real truth about stuff ?

    Australia has lost a friend, all of us.

    To Brian and to John’s family my deep condolences.

    One of a kind.

  19. Coralie Naumann

    So young, my heart goes out to family and friends and the TV community. We will miss him so much. Love to all.

  20. Hettie Lynch

    Just gutted.

  21. Michael Taylor

    It will take a long time to come to terms with this.

  22. etnorb

    What a loss to Australian humor! RIP Brian you WILL be sadly missed, Thursday nights will not seem the same with out your interviews with Bryan Dawe.

  23. Kyran

    All of the above.
    Whilst feeling incredibly sad, I am also incredibly grateful. Not just because of his wonderful talent, but his generosity in sharing it with us.
    Take care

  24. Henry Rodrigues

    We will miss you and your unique sense of humour and satire. Thanks for the laughs.

  25. kerri

    Agree with everyone here. My Thursday night fix of political humour gone with the great man himself!

  26. Johno

    A great person. Love ya John.

  27. Kay Schieren

    Pity the good ones have to go first.

  28. Michael Faulkner

    Clarke & Dawe provided the best three minutes on ABC television each week.
    A brilliant, very funny, and incisive satirist, and such a sad loss to this nation and to his home country of New Zealand.
    Condolences to his colleagues, and particularly to his friends and his family.

  29. David1

    diannaart…thanks for the link, some wonderful stories there, what a remarkable man of so many talents John was. Shall so miss him.

  30. corvus boreus

    Since my childhood, John Clarke has helped me cope with the inanity, absurdity and sheer malevolent insanity of politics by dissecting it with keen insight, roasting it with blazing intelligence, then serving it with his own special sauce, wry and dry with a twinkle in the eye..
    The world just got a whole lot harder to laugh at.

    Ave atque vale John Morrison Clarke.

  31. diannaart

    You’re welcome, David1…. someone you could sit and have a yarn with, and now, who will warn of the Ministers for Limp Falling?

  32. Christine Farmer

    They say only the good die young, but this is immeasurably sad. John’s ability with Bryan to see the ridiculous in awful situations has helped keep us sane for so long. And for me the best thing about the Sydney Olympics was The Games. Wonderful television. Wonderful man. They broke the mould when they made him. What will we do without him?

  33. roma guerin

    Words are not enough. I wish I still had my Fred Dagg LPs. I will never forget him.

  34. Maeve Carney

    No-one of his calibre left to take up the reins.

  35. john ocallaghan

    You know some people and some things can always be replaced,John Clarke was not one of them.

  36. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    John Clarke’s passing has made an impression on us all coz we know we won’t see his bright blue, cheeky eyes acting for the clever words his mouth said.

    More reason to treasure our still living clever people amongst us, who can continue to show the way. Some of them correspond on AIM and others correspond on Twitter such as Cathy Wilcox.

    I didn’t get a chance to tell John Clarke he was great but I can do it for those still living with the assumption that that will spur them on stronger and braver … taking our fairer and kinder Australia with them.

  37. helvityni

    Good point, Jennifer, we all should be wiling and able to show how much we appreciate some people, and what a better time to do it…whilst they are still amongst us…. 🙂

  38. Mark Needham

    You people make me bloody sick.

    Check out the Pickering site.

    Doesn’t the Hypocrisy, the Bastardry, the absolute Mongrel, ever disturb your sleep.

    Check this out, the rabid Right on John Clarke. They are nearly as bad as you Bastards., regarding Bill Leak.

    http://pickeringpost.com/story/-/7037/comment/2136442

    Disgusted in the World.
    Are there any Australians,
    True Australians, left in this world.
    Mark Needham

    PS ‘n I didn’t know about Murray Ball. Shit really does happen at times, Bugger and Damn.

  39. Kaye Lee

    Mark, as I ignore your total insensitivity and your ignorant contribution (I won’t be visiting Pickering thanks anyway), I am guessing you never saw Clarke’s work.

  40. Mark Needham

    Kaye Lee. I loved Clarke and Dawe. Bloody marvellous stuff.

    Brilliant satirist……………..
    Bugger,……what is the problem.
    Mystified,
    Mark Needham

  41. Mark Needham

    The world, honestly, has gone “Barking Mad”

    Now, I am insensitive bastard, because of bloody what.

    Bugger me,
    Mark Needham

  42. wam

    he dispensed satire with a scalpel and laughter with an axe bludgeoning the government and slicing the individuals.
    45 years ago satire in america died when tom lehrer retired because nothing he could do would top the satire of kissinger.
    Well such is importance of the clarke and Dawe’s 5 minutes of insightful brilliance which made the ABC shine with them gone we will be left with uhlprob productions and how sad is that?

  43. Matters Not

    Bugger me,

    Your explanation – or your wish?

    And if the later, then MT might wish to impose an advertising levy.

  44. Mark Needham

    How True. from diannaart. checked her link https://meanjin.com.au/memoir/commonplace-3/

    Australians of a vociferous political persuasion, should hang heir collective heads, in bloody shame.

    John Clarke
    At a time when Australia has lost touch with its identity it is regrettable that not only has this tradition been lost but that there is not a federal Minister of Limp Falling, charged with revitalising an important symbol of folkloric independence. It cannot be that the activity is too absurd. There are many federal ministers engaged in idiocy of a far greater magnitude than going limp and falling to the ground. In fact it might help if some of them made enquiries and joined the association.

    No apostrophes, no crap, just as it should be.

    John Clarke, Honorary Australian, has wasted his talents on you No Hoper Bastards.

    Pissed off,
    and proud of an Anger, to give it to you self righteous Bastards. ( John would be disgusted at your duplicity and hypocrisy)
    Mark Needham

  45. corvus boreus

    Mark Needham,
    I have no desire to ‘check out the Pickering site’ for the reason that I do not play in sewers.
    I also politely decline your general invitation to ‘bugger’ you for similar reasons.

  46. Mark Needham

    mn by mw
    oh and Up yours too.
    Mark Needham

  47. Matters Not

    oh and Up yours too.

    My suspicion is now strengthening. MT, are you now in the business of promoting AIMN as an alternative Ashley Madison site?

  48. Mark Needham

    Borus Corveus. “I also politely decline your general invitation to ‘bugger’ you for similar reasons.”

    Now here is the duplicity. Now is the time, when are typed the words, “So who have you buggered”

    But it is not for me to presume, pre-empt or even lie about a situation that I know bugger all about.

    Also, when it comes to being buggered, I have been done over by nicer Bastards than you lot. Not that I enjoyed it, but the Malice the pure Vindictiveness, unrelenting, acrimonious, catty and Bitchy vernacular, as seen and used here, would be the worst that I have ever come across.
    You bastards are good, and I mean really good.
    Here I am, disturbed and mourning the death of another good person, and you lot are up me for the rent. go bugger yourselves.
    Buggered,
    Mark Needham
    PS. Humour, has anyone seen the humour in this.???????

  49. Mark Needham

    Ashley Madison site? had to Google that one. One of your popular…………………………
    this is shite……….
    Good night.
    Yawn,
    Mark Needham

  50. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Mark Needham,

    I wonder about you, Mate.

    Is it that you want democratic political representation or is it that you are a libertarian Liberal manipulator?

    Either way, these words of mine are relevant to your input:

    “More reason to treasure our still living clever people amongst us, who can continue to show the way. Some of them correspond on AIM and others correspond on Twitter such as Cathy Wilcox.

    I didn’t get a chance to tell John Clarke he was great but I can do it for those still living with the assumption that that will spur them on stronger and braver … taking our fairer and kinder Australia with them.”

    Instead of finding fault with every opponent to the current neoliberal Liberal National Coalition political fraudster, you would do much better to attack the LNP Government at every opportunity and demand an alternative government that provides a 180 degree better source of representative, equitable and reformist governance for us all.

  51. corvus boreus

    Mark Neesham,
    I do not doubt or deny that you seem somewhat ‘disturbed’, but If you choose to stride into a room full of mourners and start indiscriminately slinging around terms of abuse, you should not cry victim when you cop some rebuke in return.
    As for the late Bill Leak, although I neither admired nor enjoyed his work, I will not indulge in any posthumous sledging or gloating over his demise, nor do I condone such.

  52. Michael Taylor

    My, someone’s in a foul mood.

  53. paulwalter

    Me too. John Clarke’s death, too early and feel as though Ive lost a big brother, a protector.

    All the way back to the Gilles Report he went, never overplayed a performance, like any real satirist.

  54. Kyran

    For those who may be interested, “John Clarke – Thanks for your time”, hosted by Brian Dawe, will be screened on ABC TV at 8.00 pm on Monday, 17th April.
    Take care

  55. David1

    Thanks for the reminder Kyran, cheers

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