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Puff Piece: Clarke and Dawe

The news that BBC denies Olympics comedy stole from Australian TV show is not altogether surprising—it’s not surprising that John Clarke tried to sell them his show, nor that they didn’t buy it, nor that somebody else within the BBC subsequently came up with the exact same idea, nor even that the internal idea was approved whilst the identical but antipodal idea was not. There it is.

It does remind me, however, how wonderful The Games was—seriously, it is amazingly good, really, really, really funny—and to link to the John Clarke and Bryan Dawe interviews on the Australian ABC. Essentially, every now and then they record a short interview in which Mr. Dawe asks Mr. Clarke questions of topical import; Mr. Clarke is usually standing in for some Australian public figure. I say standing in for; he is not imitating the person at all, but Mr. Dawe addresses him with that public figure’s name, and asks him questions appropriate to that figure. Or nearly appropriate. Their sense of humor veers to the absurd side of satire; while it is topical humor, and the topics are largely obscure to me (and to most GRs, I would guess), the people are still funny.

I want to pass a long a bit of brilliant dialogue about a possible epidemic:

BRYAN DAWE: So, now it’s everywhere?
JOHN CLARKE: It’s everywhere, yes, indeed.
BRYAN DAWE: Right. And where else is it?
JOHN CLARKE: Other than everywhere?
JOHN CLARKE: Well it’s everywhere else as well.
BRYAN DAWE: Both places?
JOHN CLARKE: Yes, both places, yes.
BRYAN DAWE: Right, I see.

I love that. In fact, I suspect that for the foreseeable future, any time anybody says of something they’re everywhere! I will ask …and where else?

The great thing about John Clarke and Bryan Dawe, though, is just how good their timing is. The writing is very good, but the genius is in the timing.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,