HOW great was it that TVNZ put up a tribute for John Clarke, the chokingly funny Fred Dagg, within a day of his death in a prime-time viewing slot?

An early 1970s Country Calendar episode featuring the terse, black-singleted farmer Fred Dagg and his seven sons all called Trevor was a wonderful trip down the memory lane of the fantastic Clarke.

Initially at first I'm sure people watching that first Country Calendar thought this Dagg joker was for real.

Comedian John Clarke had developed the character in a series of skits but it wasn't till Country Calendar that it was the first time the nation saw the full Fred on TV.


When I saw a tribute show was programmed I couldn't wait to watch.

To be fair, yes, it was our loved Dagg who soon became a national icon.

But somehow this original Country Calendar show which has never aired again until this week was good but not great when you remember how incredible our laconic Clarke really was.

I felt that this incredible man deserved at least an hour-long tribute. But then really?

Time was of the essence and I appreciate that. Whipping up a tribute show with song, dance, skits, live interviews was in the realms of too hard, too expensive and too little time.

But I missed his song We Don't Know How Lucky We Are; the tribute should have used it as outro music.

I'll never forget Fred saying in his many Shakespearean moments:

"All the world's a Dagg,

And all the men and women merely Trevors."


"To move the sheep or not to move the sheep, that is the question."

Clarke's little smirk, jaunty walk in his gummies, the old shorts, his hat carefully jammed on tight ... lovely .

And not forgetting his dressy gear for town when he threw on an old sports jacket and changed the number plate from the tractor to the car.

It was good to remember but I wanted more and still do.

How about a long Dagg season please TVNZ?