Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Vale Gra-Gra

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Graham Kennedy: 1934 - 2005.

Like "hero", the word "legend" is over-used these days so as to render all meaning significant. But here was a man for whom the title was entirely appropriate. The pioneer of Australian comedy and a true comic genius. Anybody who can watch an old episode of Blankety Blanks without cracking up either takes themselves too seriously or doesn't appreciate true Australian humour. Kennedy was at once cheeky, defiant, subversive and very, very funny.

He was also temperamental, "professional" to the point of being diva-esque at times and in his later years tragically reclusive. His closest friends claim he was never comfortable with the celebrity tag and this morning his one-time co-host John Mangos claimed he threw up before almost every time he'd walk onto the set of GK's Coast to Coast. Kennedy himself said that the Graham Kennedy seen on television was only ever an actor, not the real thing.

It is sad his television career ended on quite a low note, hosting Australia's Funniest Home Videos, however at least he was the original and involved at a time when home videos as mass entertainment value was a novel concept.

It already looks as though the media are dumbing down his homosexuality, which is no big surprise. No doubt Frank Packer's paranoid fear of the "little faggot from Melbourne" will also be conveniently by-passed, at least by Channel 9, in its tributes. Never mind that the little faggot brought in huge sums of cash for Packer for the 50s and 60s and kept his station afloat. A true Aussie legend can after all never be gay, so let's just ignore that particular elephant in the room.

A brilliant comedian and actor and a genius. I hope he's now found the peace that eluded him in his life for so long, wherever he may be.


At 26/5/05 2:03 pm, Blogger j(aded) said...

I heard on the radio yesterday morning, Merrick & Rosso's interview with John Mangos. Overall, I found his comments to be quite insightful and compassionate but I couldn't help but think there was something strange in his little "secrets revealed" speech. Perhaps I'm just being cynical but the guy was barely cold and Mr Mangos seemed to be on some sort of publicity push.

At 26/5/05 2:26 pm, Blogger Sam said...

I know what you mean j, I heard that interview too and I felt Mangos came across as quite self-serving, as in "I am the guru of all things Kennedy". If he write a tell-all book about him we know we'll have been right all along.


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