February 27, happy birthday, Barry Humphries
Dame Edna Everage and her creator,
Humphries is a supreme parodist, satirist and ironist. His various comedic characters such as Dame Edna and Sir Les are often loathsome, and obviously deliberately so. Unfortunately not everyone is blessed with the irony gene:
In February 2003, Vanity Fair published a satirical column written by Dame Edna:
"Forget Spanish," Dame Edna advised. "There's nothing worth reading except Don Quixote.
"As for everyone speaking it, what twaddle. Who speaks it that you are really desperate to talk to? The home help?
"Study French or German, where there are at least a few books worth reading, or, if you're American, try English."
Humphries's humour drew much criticism.
I must add that the brief chat I had with Mr Humphries I count as one of the greatest privileges of my life. I hold no artist from history in higher esteem, given his genius and prolific oeuvre. I had met him once or twice (he will not remember those meetings) and expected him to be fearsome. People often expect him to be so, probably because Dame Edna can be so harsh on latecomers to her shows. He is not harsh at all. A warmer and more friendly man I have never met. As Edna would say, it was spooky!
Many Ozzies agree that Barry Humphries is Australia's greatest living treasure and I wish him a very, very happy birthday (and many more) and hope that I meet him and his delightful wife Lizzie again. I trust my simpering obeisance will be noted by the Great Man.]