Legendary Kiwi comedian, actor and author Jon Gadsby has today been remembered for his brilliant comedy career but also as a big-hearted family man and "all round good bastard".

The funnyman died last Saturday night aged 62, just two months after his family revealed he had cancer.

A who's who of New Zealand entertainment over the past 40 years turned out to say their last goodbyes to Gadsby at Westpark Chapel in Christchurch's Burnside today.

Long-time comedy partner David McPhail paid tribute to "not only a very funny man but a very compassionate, strong and very dignified man".


McPhail described him as a gifted performer, wonderful singer, and inventive writer who could see the funny side of many things." He was a great friend," he said.

"I will remember him for all his talents, and all the fun we had together, as a friend."

Gadsby, McPhail and fellow comedy writer Alan Grant, through their comedy and political satire, were "unbelievably good for this country", said longtime comedy offsider Peter Rowley.

Gadsby could be "a right bugger, but you get that with brilliance", he said.

The large gathering often laughed out loud at many of the tales involving Gadsby over the years, many of which featured drink, hunting, fishing and story telling.

Family friend Chris Casserly, acting as MC, welcomed the several hundred people gathered at the service.

He said the family thanked everyone gathered for their overwhelming kindness and generosity.

They were there to celebrate "a great man, a funny man, and an all round good bastard".

Son David Gadsby gave an emotional tribute to "not only my Dad, but one of my best mates".

He kissed his father in the open casket. "I'm going to miss you old mate, I'm going to miss you, Dad."

David described his famous father as a "fierce supporter of the underdog" and someone who was "an incredibly talented human being" who had an "innate ability to relate to people of all walks of life".

Gadsby had a "strange love" of famous people's last words, David said - his favourite being Oscar Wilde's final quip about either the curtains going or he would.

Although his dad didn't have a last witty line, David said his last words to him were, "I'm proud of you, David - do whatever makes you happy".

His daughter Emma called him "truly a family man" who loved nothing more than sitting around a fire with his guitar, family and friends.

There was never a dull moment, which she cherished, and vowed to make her Dad proud.

Gadsby's sister Tania said he always had the ability to make the ordinary seem extraordinary.