When I was in my early teenage years, my father sat me down in the lounge room, put on a cassette, and said "Sit here and listen to this". It was a tape with the character of Fred Dagg, whose droll observations and wit were not only funny but clever. I eventually discovered that Fred Dagg was in fact a man by the name of John Clarke, who continued through the years to come to prominence at just the right moments.
No one who watched the brilliant The Games in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympics will ever forget those magnificently scripted episodes, and the way the three leads in particular of Bryan Dawe, Gine Riley and John Clarke just nailed everything in regards to the pits and falls of event.
Even more brilliant was the weekly three-to-five minute expose of Clarke and Dawe on ABC on Thursday evenings. Never has political satire been so sharp, so cutting or so accurate. The brilliance of not trying to do a character copy of their interviewee every week, but simply allow John Clarke to be himself playing that person, never ever got tired, and never failed to accurately portray their subject for the week.
He was active in so many other projects on stage, screen and radio it is impossible to list them. His starring role in Mick Molloy's "Crackerjack" is one instance where he stole the screen every time he appeared on it. Suffice to say that Australia has lost a legend of the comedy world.
Vale John Clarke. Our world is a better place for having had you shine a mirror on it for so many years, and is a lesser place today for your passing.