This guy was a classic and will be sorely missed.
Very sad, I was just reading an article about him in this morning’s Times - about his love of book collecting…
There are a few entertainers that stand out from a crowded field. Barry Humphries was one of those. Unique, clever, talented and always funny.
Raise a glass for Les too.
Super sharp wit RIP.
Devastating news. As a kid I grew up watching the Dame Edna Everage shows. An incredible wit and humour. I always felt sorry for poor Madge Allsop!
A sad loss - one of the GOATs of comedy world
A sad loss indeed an extremely funny entertainer.
One of the true greats of comedy, saw him many times over the years, including his Dame Edna and Sir Les farewell tour, in which he bade us “Farewell ….until the next time!”
In the early/mid 1970’s, my dad came in from work, incandescent with rage about this ‘titled Australian woman’ who had been interviewed on the radio & was spouting the most outrageous & ridiculous views & opinions. He couldn’t remember her name &, after ranting for a further few minutes, I suggested that it sounded like Dame Edna Everage. ‘That’s her’ he said & totally refused to believe me when I told him that Edna was a male comedian, until we actually saw her on TV a few weeks later!
A few years later, approx. 1981, my wife & I spent one of the funniest evenings of our lives watching Barry performing at the Theatre Royal, Norwich.
The first half of the show was Barry performing as some of his, then, lesser known characters & Sir Les Patterson. The second half was a straight 90 minutes as Dame Edna.
The Norwich audience was mainly middle aged & middle class & I felt that the extremely foul language used by the non-Dame Edna characters was very misjudged for the audience that night.
I needn’t have worried. He was so funny throughout the entire performance that the entire audience was roaring with laughter the entire way through! It was one of the very few occasions that I recall laughing so much/hard, that it really physically hurt.
As others here have already said, a sad loss.
A great loss to the world of comedy and the promotion of Australian high culture.
Over 40 years ago I went with a then girlfriend to see him live. To her utter delight she was picked out of the audience to join him on stage and went home with a vast bunch of gladies.
A true gentleman with a wicked sense of humour who will be much missed.
Sounds like the tour I referred to in my post.
In the show I saw, Dame Edna picked on half a dozen people in the audience, found out a bit about each of them & the Dame Edna half of the show was basically the Dame talking to these six people, based on what he had found out about them & remembered perfectly.
At the end of the show he brought all of them onto the stage to thank them for being such good sports…& then proceeded to rip them apart for a further 10 minutes in such a way that the people laughing most were his stage ‘victims’.
As you said, all were then given a bunch of Gladies at the end (plus a box of Nivea chocolates!) for their sporting contribution to the evenings performance. Never to be forgotten, what a performer.
I went to see Barry at the Mayflower in Southampton in the early nineties. Initially he came on as Sir Les Patterson a terrible persona but very funny. I recall a couple coming into the show about 10mins after it had started, and they became the subject of quite a few jokes.
In the second half he came on as Dame Edna and immediately stated, Sir Les had told her all about the couple who had come in late and made them the subject of more jokes at their expense. However, unlike some comedians they were not cruel or demining. At the end of the show, he got them up on stage and thanked them with a very large bouquet of gladies.
It was a great night, and he will always rank as one of the best live comedians that I have seen.
Again, exactly what I have described from a decade earlier.
I particularly remember the line reserved for late arrivals, “tell me, do you make a regular habit of interrupting major West End stage shows?”.
Obviously made the same impression on you as it did on me. A great memory.
Agh what a double loss, Sir Les and the Dame……great humour. R.i.p Barry.
Strewth, what a memory you have, far better than mine. Yes, that’s exactly how it was now you have jogged the little grey cells from slumber.
The lady in question is long gone but I do recall the challenge of getting those gladioli back to her place in Woolwich on the train.
She was a Dame Edna fan and so I bought the tickets as a birthday treat. Getting so close to him (her) made her day unforgettable.
Loved Dame Edna but also Sir Les Patterson.
I also recall Edna picking out a woman in the front row & asking “Are you wearing that dress for a bet?”
First time I ever heard a line which has been often repeated since.