The death of the great satirist John Clarke this week no doubt led many to take a sad stroll through the junkshop of the internet in search of old clips of the master.

I came across a classic early Fred Dagg clip from Country Calendar.

Clarke once said it was his ambition to make people smile rather than laugh out loud; he failed miserably in this noble attempt, because the Dagg clip is totally LOL.

There are also quite a few of his celebrated mock interviews with his partner in satire, Bryan Dawe, including their famous sketch known as The Front Fell Off.


Like old news, old satire can date: it was filmed in 1991.

It's about an oil spill somewhere. I guess Clarke is playing an Australian politician.

So the details are vague but actually the satire is timeless.

It's a masterclass in timing and also in the way politicians resort to speaking in endless modulations of bullshit.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ... then downright plagiarism is even more, as Trev Dagg might have said, sincerer.

The following sketch of Sean Spicer at a White House press conference is dedicated to John Clarke.

Sean Spicer: Ladies and gentlemen, we are at war.

With Syria?

No, with the truth. President Trump and his staff are working tirelessly to find the truth.

And wherever they do find it, they will take it outside and give it a good beating. The truth's gonna be sorry it ever existed.

Pilate said, "What is truth?"

Exactly. There's room for a man like that in this administration. Because no good has ever come from the truth. The public ought to be protected from it.

Plato said that knowing the truth is knowing things as they really are.

We've done a background check of the so-called Greek philosopher, and one of the things we've discovered is that Mr Plato got most of his ideas from a German fellow called Hegel.

But most scholars believe Plato was born between 429 and 423 BC, and Hegel lived from 1770 - 1831.

Obama routinely wiretapped Mr Trump, but I don't hear you asking about that. Now let's return to the truth. I'm not saying there's a truth ban. But it's banned.

What will take its place?

Alternative truth.

What will that look like?

You're looking at it. Where are you from?

The New York Times.

I don't know how you got in here. Next question. You. Where are you from?

A right-wing conspiracy site with a readership of many dozens of imbeciles.

Ask anything you like.

Could you please comment on claims that President Trump is the greatest statesman in the history of world affairs?

That's an interesting question. You know, some people in the press like to compare President Trump to Hitler. But it took Hitler years before he went to the bunker, and President Trump can be seen there most weekends.

Is it a good look for the President of the United States to be playing golf almost every weekend?

Well, you saw him utilise a round of golf as an opportunity with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to help foster a deeper relationship and have a growing relationship that's going to help US interests. On a couple of occasions he's actually conducted meetings on the course at Mar-a-Lago. Just because he heads there doesn't mean that's what's happening.

You mean just because he's playing golf doesn't mean he's playing golf?

You, I like.

Mr Spicer, do you have something to say that will reveal a profound and disturbing ignorance?

Certainly. Someone as despicable as Hitler didn't even sink to using chemical weapons.

Anything to add to that?

If you give me a moment I'm sure I can find a way to refer to concentration camps as Holocaust Centres.

What just happened to the Trump administration?

The front fell off.