Clarke and Dawe: The best satirists you’ve never seen [VIDEO]

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]aving such a dominant media presence in the world, Americans miss out on a lot of television produced elsewhere. Aside from the availability of BBC and BBC America on cable, we are limited to Downton Abbey and reruns of Keeping Up Appearances on public television.

Over the years Australia has developed a quite robust television and movie industry. Appearing often on ABC (not that ABC, this ABC) is the satirical social commentary of John Clarke and Bryan Dawe.

Clarke and Dawe have worked together as a team for more than 25 years. The unsuspecting have on more than one occasion believed them to be part of a legitimate news show. Clarke always appears as some government official in suit and tie with Daw playing the role of a Tim Russert type interviewer. The interplay between them is sheer genius. This older segment, called “The Front Fell Off,” has served as the American introduction to the duo for quite some time.

One of the things that makes their social commentary so spot on is how they take what most people recognize to be true but will not admit, then make it sound normal. Here is their piece on the Federal Reserve practice of quantitative easing. (And here is Fed chairman Ben Bernanke saying the exact same thing in different words.)

In this bit Clarke plays a BP executive explaining the underwater oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

You can see dozens of similar clips on the Clark and Dawe YouTube channel.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • Barnabas Piper

    I wonder if this humor is too dry for American broader taste. It’s fantastic.

    • martyduren

      Anyone who’ll take a few minutes to get accustomed to it with find it worth their time. That’s for sure. It does take a reorientation to the subtlety of the humor that’s for sure.

  • Thanks for the Introduction.

    Now I am looking for you Social Media types at Lifeway to produce something similar. I am thinking it will be hard for Ed to keep a straight face should you decide to turn the Exchange into just such a feature.

    • martyduren

      Oh, yes. I’m sure satire would go over very, very well. *cough

  • Bob Cleveland

    I heard them years ago talking about the real estate collapse. It was hilarious. But true.