Celebrated Satirist And Comedian John Clarke Has Sadly Passed Away At 68

Famous comedian and popular satirist and comedian John Clarke died suddenly at age 68. He was part of the iconic comedy duo with Bryan Dawe and thrilled the public with their entertaining, often controversial political satire for more than 25 years.


Clarke was bushwalking in Victoria over the weekend when he suddenly died. His family issued the following statement: “John died doing one of the things he loved the most in the world, taking photos of birds in beautiful bushland with his wife and friends. He is forever in our hearts…”

“We are aware of what he has meant to so many for so many years, throughout the world but especially in Australia and New Zealand. We are very grateful for all expressions of sympathy and love which John would have greatly appreciated, the statement continued.

New Zealand-born Clarke moved to Australia in the 70s where he soon found fame with his unique brand of comedy and political satire. He was best known for his work with Bryan Dawe, The two did mock interviews on Australian television for 27 years. No politician escaped their witty attacks.

The Clarke and Dawe sketches aired on Channel Nine’s A Current Affair and later on ABC TV. Apart from comedy and satire, Clarke was also known for his talents as an actor. He also wrote film, television and stage musicals. His first famous appearance was while still in New Zealand in the 70s as the character, Fred Dagg, a country lad that wore a black singlet, gumboots and shorts.

Some of his more famous work included a multi-award winning 1999/2000 mockumentary, The Games, which took the mickey out of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. He co-wrote stage musicals Little Ragged Blossom and The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. Other works include books he authored entitled The 7.56 Report, A Dagg at My Table and The Howard Miracle.

Clarke leaves behind his wife Helen, children Lorin and Lucia, grandchildren Claudia and Charles and son-in-law Stewart Thorn.