Vale John Clarke

The sad Antipodean news (at least for me and many others) is the death of John Clarke.

Office-Watch.com has often referenced John Clarke’s early work, using names like Bruce Bayliss, Trevor, sheep-dip and Gumboots from his most famous character Fred Dagg.

John was little known outside Australia and his native New Zealand which was a shame. His work as a comedy writer was unequalled. He had a way of finding the core hypocrisy and then expressing it in simple, economical and beautiful crafted language.

I always regarded him as the best comedy writer anywhere, bar none.  I’ve been enjoying his work since the 70’s when snippets from NZ were played on Aussie radio (Thanks to Bob Hudson on 2JJ).

Many of his short pieces won’t be understood outside Oz/Ennzed but this classic has wider appeal:

The video was mistaken for a real interview and ended up being debunked on Snopes.

John Clarke died of natural causes on the weekend.  He was hiking in Victoria when he collapsed.  It’s been a big shock to many, myself included.

It’ll take time to accept a world without John Clarke.

– Peter Deegan