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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Comedian retires to write another book

Aussie Icon on Farewell Tour
Dame Edna Everage is to go on one final tour after the colourful character's creator Barry Humphries said he was retiring from the stage.

"Edna will crop up on television I guess but not in a live show," the 78-year-old comedian told Australia's Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

"The fact of the matter is that I'm beginning to feel a bit senior."

Humphries will take Dame Edna on a farewell tour of Australia and New Zealand between June and August.

"It's the best aerobics you could do, leaping around on stage, but it's gruelling when there are other things to do," he said.

"I've got a contract to write another book, there are places I want to go, things I want to do [including] more painting."

Humphries recalled being taken as a child to see performers who had "outlived their shelf life".

"It was commented that 'you should have seen him when he was funny'. I want to avoid that being said about me and know that I can't keep doing it," he said.

Humphries created Dame Edna in 1955 and the ostentatious Melbourne housewife became famous for her gaudy purple hair, outrageous glasses and over-sized ego.  You can read/see clips
 from "her" career in The Guardian.

I have a personal funny story from the years when Dame Edna was all the rage in New Zealand.  A good friend, who was a prominent cleric, had the job of presiding at the ANZAC dawn parade every year.  This was a solemn occasion, held in a beautiful park, and attended by veterans, Boy Scouts, cadets, and so forth.  Anyway, a few days before the parade, my friend approached me, looking distraught.  "I had the most terrible nightmare last night," he confided.

"It was the start of the dawn parade.  Everyone was lined up, and the atmosphere was reverent.  I approached the podium in my robes," he went on, "and to my utter horror I spread my arms, and cried out, 'Hello possums!'"

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