21 Apr 2017

Final curtain call: Last Clarke and Dawe episode released

5:44 am on 21 April 2017

The final episode in the decades-long satirical Clarke and Dawe series has been released, following the sudden death of John Clarke earlier this month.

John Clarke as online news director 'Xavier Breth'

John Clarke Photo: screenshot

Clarke was a well-known and loved New Zealand satirist, comedian and writer whose career spanned decades.

He became famous in this country for the character he created in 1973, Fred Dagg, and he moved to Australia later that decade where he had a successful television career.

He died earlier this month while bushwalking in Victoria, and this previously unseen sketch was filmed just days that.

Watch the sketch on ABC's website here.

It has been released with the permission of Clarke's family and his long-time collaborator, Bryan Dawe.

Clarke always wrote two completely different scripts for the program each week, and he and Dawe would film both.

Clarke would then decide which episode would go to air.

In this final episode, Clarke plays a National Broadband Network employee discussing neologisms.

"A neologism, Bryan, is simply a term, or a word, or a phrase which has come into the language fairly recently," Clarke said in the sketch.

Dawe asked: "Like what?"

Clarke replied: "Well, 100 years ago the term psychology was very, very new."

"Is there a modern example?" Dawe asked.

Clarke replied: "A modern example from social media would be say something like Brangelina."

The ABC's Ben Knight, who began producing Clarke and Dawe this year, said the second taping each week would sometimes be a work in progress.

"John might work on a new idea which he would form over several weeks. It was like a first draft he would develop," he said.

Since his death, fellow actors, comedians and politicians have paid tribute to Clarke, hailing him as one of the best satirists Australia has ever seen.

Dawe spoke about the rhythm the pair had producing the weekly series.

"I could pick up his script and I knew where all the beats were," he said last week.


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