Supremely sad news emanating from the comedy industry in Australia, with word emerging that legendary and highly revered satirist John Clarke has passed away. He was 68 years old.
Clarke died on Sunday from apparent natural causes while hiking in Victoria’s Grampians National Park.
Clarke was one of Australia’s most pre-eminent comedic voices, and a staple of political satire in a career spanning well over 40 years.
Alongside collaborator Bryan Dawe, Clarke established himself as a pioneering voice of Australian political satire; together, the duo wrote and shot mock shortform interviews that became a wildly popular fixture of ‘A Current Affair‘ from 1989 until 1997. After a short hiatus, the interviews returned as part of the ABC‘s flagship show ‘The 7:30 Report,’ eventually being spun-off into their own standalone series. In recent days, the series was regularly posted online by both the ABC, and the duo’s own YouTube channel. The most recent sketch (and final, it would seem) was released a mere 3 days ago.
Beyond that, Clarke had a string of successes on both small and big-screen. His most notable came in the 1998 mockumentary series ‘The Games,’ which skewered the organising process of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Clarke also had appearances in films such as ‘Crackerjack,’ ‘Death in Brunswick,’ and ‘Footrot Flats‘ where he provided the voice of Wal, and TV shows like ‘Kath & Kim.’
Without question, John Clarke was one of the most consistently and pointedly funny people to ever work in the Australian (and New Zealand) comedy industry. His passing is a shockingly sad and massive loss to the country.
Vale, John Clarke. Thank you for everything.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald.