PERFORMERS: BARRY HUMPHRIES

Born: February 17 1934

barryhumphriesby Peter Tatchell (from LAUGH MAGAZINE #1, 1991)

He’s been called the funniest man in the world. He describes himself as a “music-hall artist”. But to the thousands who have flocked to his one-man shows since the 1960s he has that rare quality that separates the great entertainer from the mere performer. He’s one of the few carrying on the tradition of Max Miller, Roy Rene, and the glorious Broadway era of Jolson, Cantor and the Marx Brothers. All were masters at bridging the gap to the crowd across the footlights.

Barry Humphries was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1934 and encountered the secure, uneventful upbringing not uncommon in the years leading up to World War 2. But somehow the cosiness irked him. At school he rebelled against the traditional sporting pursuits of his peers and delighted in being a loner and a bit of a ‘ratbag’. Painting and literature became his main interests and it wasn’t long before he was winning prizes for his prose and his artwork. He also took part in several, school plays and more than one reviewer remarked on his clever characterizations.

When he reached MelbourneUniversity(for a brief attempt at an Arts course) he decided the time was ripe to shock his fellow man (albeit briefly) out of his mundane, everyday existence. He began staging strange and provocative exhibitions featuring footwear filled with custard (titled Pus In Boots), he satirized his ex-schoolmates by displaying a well-known brand of beer bottle wearing a Melbourne Grammar tie, and a heavily-textured canvas of pastry and sauce achieved notoriety as I Was Eating A Meat Pie And I Coughed. A theatrical venture Call Me Madman! at the University’s Union Theatre ended in uproar.

Humphries was also experimenting with various forms of “street theatre”, according to popular legend. One such story has him seated next to the door of a peak hour early-morning train with confederates positioned at each station along its journey, duly supplying him with various stages of his breakfast. Toast, cornflakes, coffee . . . each would be handed through the doorway, to the amazement of his fellow travellers. A later effort involved a stooge clad in dark glasses (and reading a pianola roll) with one leg encased in a plaster cast. This “unfortunate soul” entered another crowded train compartment where a seat was quickly made available. At the next stop, a surly, villainous Humphries lurched into the carriage (reading “Mein Kampf”) and promptly tripped over the plaster cast at the earliest opportunity. “Get out of my way, you blind, crippled bastard” he cried, before making a hurried exit lest he suffer the rancour of the commuters present.

Finding himself disenchanted with his arts course Humphries eventually decided his talents lay in the theatre and in 1954 he joined the Union Repertory Theatre company. Several of their productions involved tours throughout country Victoriaand the rigours of lengthy bus travel unearthed many strange and novel characters from the minds of those gathered. In one such improvisation, Humphries lampooned the various lady Mayoresses they encountered by adopting a falsetto voice based on a couple of his favourite aunties back in Melbourne. This staid voice of suburbia was soon introduced in a production called Return Fare in the guise of ‘Mrs. Norm Everage’ of Moonee Ponds (a Melbourne suburb). The sketch was about the shortage of accommodation for visitors to the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, and was later recorded on Humphries’ first disc Wildlife In Suburbia. A megastar was in embryo.

In the 1950s, Sydney’s Phillip Street Theatre was the home of the revue in Australia, and Barry Humphries ventured north to appear in a couple of productions (Mr. And Mrs. and Around The Loop) before returning home for the controversial Waiting For Godot and a children’s piece he co authored called The Bunyip And The Satellite.

In 1958 Edna Everage appeared again in The Rock ‘n’ Reel Revue along with the latest Humphries’ discovery, wizened homily-rambling ‘Sandy Stone’. The public and critics as well were beginning to take notice of the strange, long-haired satirist who was finding a rich vein of amusement beneath the topsoil of normal everyday life.

Humphries was now appearing on the infant Australian television scene as a bunyip reading children’s stories (on a weekly basis for Melbourne’s Channel 7 from September 1958) and in two A.B.C. revues (Wild Life And Christmas Belles on December 10 1958, and Trip T’s And High Cs on February 18 1959). But despite this degree of success and the promise of doors starting to open for him, Humphries had made a decision … he was off toEngland.

With his second wife, Rosalind (he had been briefly married to first wife Brenda in 1955) he arrived in Britain in mid-1959 with confidence, a few introductions, and not a lot of money. By the end of the year he’d been cast in a small role in The Demon Barber at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, and by the following June had secured the part of the undertaker in the soon-to-be smash-hit musical Oliver.

The 1960s was an exciting decade for comedy in Great Britain, but for Barry Humphries it was time of frustration and disappointment. Being contracted to appear in a West-End success may have been comforting for the bank balance, but for a creative artist eager to exploit his ideas and characterizations, it was a stifling experience. After a lengthy run with Oliver he was able to gain his release and headed back to Australia to star in his first one-man show A Nice Night’s Entertainment.

Edna and Sandy were joined by several new characters in a triumphant performance, highlights of which were released on a Parlophone LP. Humphries made the first of several appearances on TV’s Meet The Press to promote the show (Channel 7, July 29 1962) and following its season in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide Edna was a guest on Startime (Channel 7 November 24 1962) telling news of her recent trip to the ‘old country’ and showing some slides.       (* footage of this segment survives).

Early the following year, Humphries headed for Broadway. Not with the one-man show, but to resume his Sowerberry role in the American version of Oliver. Back in London, Edna made her debut in front of a British audience at The Establishment Club, the home of the satire wave. Unfortunately it was not a success, although its owner, Peter Cook, suggested Humphries might like to adapt one of his characters to a comic strip in his other venture, the fortnightly magazine “Private Eye”. It was not Edna, nor even Sandy Stone, who appealed to Cook, but rather the lesser known ‘Buster Thompson’, an Aussie lad living in London, who had appeared on the Score label LP Sandy Agonistes a couple of years earlier. A slightly more ‘ocker’ version of Buster was rechristened ‘Barry McKenzie’ and (with drawings by Nicholas Garland) appeared for the first time in Private Eye issue *67 (July 10 1964). The strip ran until issue *320 (March 22 1974) with an eighteen-month break from late 1971 until early 1973.

Humphries’ penchant for shocking his fellow man found ample scope in McKenzie and he invented dozens of colourful colloquialisms covering just about every bodily function. The popularity of the character in Britain was not shared by a number of critics back in Australia who judged McKenzie an appalling slight on the traditional ‘sun-bronzed Aussie’, and the magazine (along with The Wonderful World Of Barry McKenzie paperback) was banned from sale down under.

In London though, Barry Humphries was busily engaged in a number of ventures. On stage he appeared in Spike Milligan’s The Bed-Sitting Room, Merry Rooster’s Panto and Maggie May. The association with Milligan also led to radio work in The Omar Khayyam Show (BBC Home Service December 27 1963 to January 24 1964 and May 5 1964) and a couple of Milligan specials The G.P.O. Show (BBC Home December 25 1964) and The Army Show (BBC Home June 16 1965). At the time Milligan called him “one of the funniest men in the world. if you don’t think so, then it’s your loss”. Humphries also turned up in several episodes of the first series of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s Not Only . . . But Also (BBC2 January to April 1965). (* footage of one of Humphries sketches, satirizing the North Circular Road’s cafes, may be found on the 1990 video The Best Of What’s Left Of Not Only But Also).

By the end of 1965, he had written enough new material for Edna, Sandyand a few new characters to stage a second one man show in Melbourne and Sydney. It was titled Excuse I and like the earlier production, proved enormously successful. At home, Humphries could do no wrong, but it was still a battle in Britain.

Returning to London, he took part in B.B.C. television’s The Late Show and Edna Everage was launched into the living rooms of the British viewer. Humphries also returned (for a third time) to the stage musical Oliver but this time in the lead role of ‘Fagin’. He made his movie debut in 1967 in Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s Bedazzled and had a small part in The Bliss Of Mrs. Blossom the following year. In between he appeared at Bernard Miles’ Mermaid Theatre in its Christmas offering Treasure Island (as ‘Long John Silver’).

In mid-1968 Barry was back in Australia for his new presentation Just A Show and also starred in a half-hour television special called Comfort Station (ABN2 February 6 1968). The response received from the tour convinced him to at last attempt a one-man show in theWest End.

Just A Show opened the following year at the Fortune Theatre to mixed reviews from the critics and a disappointing reaction from the public, who were not yet familiar with Edna, Sandy and company and not quite attuned to the Humphries’ wavelength. The B.B.C., however, offered him a television special which went out as Strangers In The Night (BBC2 July 12 1969) and were sufficiently pleased with the result to sign Humphries for a series the following year.

The Barry Humphries Scandals was a collection of sketches, some of which attracted the attention of the B.B.C. censor who was unhappy with several of the items recorded. A blackout involving hair-restorer and its effect on armpits, and a musical sendup of Ned Kelly found particular disdain with the powers-that-be, and as a result of editorial pruning the programme had only enough material to run five episodes (instead of the customary six). The series ran on BBC2 from January 12 to February 9 1970, and was not sold for screening inAustralia.

In the meantime, Barry had returned to Australiaand was a special guest on the big-budget Seven Network variety series The Entertainers, prerecording items for three editions (August 10 and 17, and September 16 1969). He appeared as Edna, ‘Big Sonia’ (a folksinger he had introduced in Just A Show), and as a bearded landscape artist not entirely dissimilar to Rolf Harris.

Despite his success in Australia, he was becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of acceptance in Britain, and to make matters worse a number of voices at home were continually sniping at his portrayal of the Australian way of life overseas (via Edna and co.). Like many another great comedian, alcohol was playing a serious part in his life and the crunch came in mid-1970 with a drunken altercation which left him bloodied and bruised, followed by a disturbance involving the police. Humphries had the sense to realize that things could not continue unchanged, and he spent time in a hospital ‘drying out’. Resolving to abandon all forms of alcohol from that point on, he launched forth with renewed ambition, and his career has never looked back.

Humphries started by writing a series of weekly columns for the Melbourne“Age” newspaper titled My Monday Wash (20 weeks from August 3 1970) and was a guest on two Not Only . . . But Also specials recorded in Australia the following year (ABC TV February 8 and 15 1971). He also set about preparing a new stage show, to be titled A Load Of Olde Stuffe, which premiered inSydney in April 1971 before transferring toMelbourne mid-year.

By the early 1970s, censorship restrictions had been lifted on The Wonderful World Of Barry McKenzie and moreover the newly set-up Film Development Corporation (funded by a government grant) decided to turn it into a movie. With actor Barry Crocker in the title role and Barry Humphries playing Edna and two other characters, cameras started rolling in 1972. The all-star cast also featured Dennis Price, Dick Bentley and old mates Peter Cook and Spike Milligan.

Despite being somewhat episodic (in following the disjointed storyline of the comic strip) the film proved a moneyspinner in both Britainand Australia, and led to a sequel Barry McKenzie Holds His Own. The climax of the second picture contained a major character update for Mrs. Edna Everage of Moonee Ponds . . . she was made a Dame by then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam who had agreed to take part in the production. Humphries returned the compliment by lampooning Mrs. Margaret Whitlam in his next theatrical venture At Least You Can Say You’ve Seen It which began a national tour in 1974. By now Sandy Stone had passed on, a condition which has not resulted in any lessening of his appearances in the years since and Dame Edna blossomed forth with the daintiness of a volcano.

As the seventies progressed, she swept majestically on to the sets of all the major British and Australian talk shows, and the Russell Hartys and Michael Parkinsons were forced to retreat behind their clipboards under the onslaught. By the middle of the decade Humphries had developed a fourth persona to promote his ‘stable’ . . . the intemperate and indefatigable Les Patterson. Originally cast as a cultural attache for the R.S.L., Les was soon endowed with a knighthood and posted to the Court of St. James. In 1976 he was the opening character in Humphries’ latest attempt to crack the ‘big-time’ in London. . . a stage show called Housewife-Superstar!. And finally, after years of preparation and promotion, Barry Humphries triumphed.

The show was the hit of the season, and after its initial engagement at the Apollo Theatre the demand for tickets was so strong it continued on at the Globe. The B.B.C. signed him for three specials (aired on BBC2 on March 3 1976 and September 26 and December 5 1977) and Dame Edna and Sir Les were “flavours of the month”.

But would the flavour cross the Atlantic? In late 1977 Humphries decided to find out, opening at New York’s Theater Four. In the lead up to the opening he appeared on N.B.C.’s popular Saturday Night Live in the guise of Dame Edna, who (as usual) proceeded to take full charge of the proceedings. Humphries’ main problem was that he was largely unknown to Mr. and Mrs. Middle-America, and had not laid the groundwork of television interviews and similar promotions to rectify this. As a result, the success or otherwise of his show depended on the reaction of the newspaper critics. Alas, despite favourable reviews from Rex Reed and several others, the influential New York Times was not impressed, and the battle was lost. The show closed after a scant four weeks.

Humphries retreated to Australiaand the following year presented Isn’t It Pathetic At His Age, which soon after, transferred to London as A Night With Dame Edna and garnered him the award for “best comedy performance of the year” from the London Society of West End Managements. The B.B.C. also produced an in-depth documentary about Dame Edna titled La Dame Aux Gladiolas (BBC2 March 19 1979).

By the 1980s, Humphries had married for a third time, to artist Diane Millstead and was soon the father of two sons (his marriage to second wife Rosalind had produced two daughters). His career path had settled into a pattern of preparing a new one-man show every three years for Australiaand London and making occasional forays into television. He presented the first of his Audience With Dame Ednas on London Weekend on Boxing Day 1980, and three more followed throughout the decade (on December 31 1984 and December 25 1988 in Britain, and An Aussie Audience With Dame Edna on the Seven Network on April 14 1986).

His stage offerings included An Evening’s Intercourse With Barry Humphries (Australia 1981 and London 1982), The Last Night Of The Poms at London’s Royal Albert Hall in late 1981 (and presented in Australia as Song Of Australia in 1983), and Tears Before Bedtime (Australia 1986/7 and London, as Back With A Vengeance, 1987/8).

In 1986 he ventured into films again with Les Patterson Saves The World, playing not only the lead role but Dame Edna as well. Unfortunately it was not a success and hopes of breaking into the American market were once again dashed, although he did make several appearances on Joan Rivers’ Late Show onU.S. television as Dame Edna and Sir Les.

Less than a year later Dame Edna herself was hosting her own talk show The Dame Edna Experience and Rivers was one of the first guests (along with Sean Connery, Larry Hagman and Charlton Heston). Joan Collins, who had crossed swords with the Dame on one of the Rivers telecasts, declined to appear. The series was yet another award-winner, and a follow-up season was commissioned for 1989.

Humphries subsequently used the talk show idea as a second attempt to crack the American market, appearing on three NBC specials titled Dame Edna’s Hollywood (and a half-hour Fox Network follow-up called Edna Time) between 1991 and 1993. However, despite a line-up of celebrity guests the venture was not a success.

By the start of the 1990s, Humphries had a new wife (the former Lizzie Spender) and turned his attention to one of his favourite creations, Sandy Stone. Following a 30-minute presentation on Single Voices (BBC1 June 3 1990), Sandy was seen in a full-length stage production The Life And Death Of Sandy Stone resurrecting many of the original Stone sketches performed over the previous thirty years. A four-part television adaptation of the show was screened by the A.B.C. in May 1991.

A year later Barry published his autobiography More Please (a follow up volume My Life As Me appeared in 2002) before returning to the stage with Look At Me When I’m Talking To You! and Remember You’re Out!. But the major stage event for Humphries took place just before the decade’s end when, after twenty years of trying, he finally conquered Broadway.

The breakthrough came with Dame Edna: The Royal Tour which opened at the Booth Theatre in October 1999 following a tryout season in San Francisco. New York audiences flocked to the show, making it the top attraction that season and, after a record-breaking eight-month run, Humphries set off on a nationwide tour. Dame Edna then joined the cast of the television series Ally McBeal for a number of episodes in the show’s final season.

Barry headed home to Australiafor his next production Back To My Roots in 2003 before returning to Broadway for 2005’s Dame Edna: Back With A Vengeance!. By then, he and his outlandish creation were celebrating fifty years in the spotlight.

Having reached the age of 70, Barry Humphries was at the pinnacle of his career. It’s been a remarkable journey that has taken him to the stages and television screens across the English-speaking world. Long may it continue.

 

RADIO

The Omar Khayyam Show: BBC Home Service December 27 1963 to January 24 1964, May 5 1964

The G.P.O. Show: BBC Home Service December 25 1964

 The Army Show: BBC Home Service June 16 1965

 Dame Edna’s Aural Experience: BBC R2 December 14 1996

 

TELEVISION

Wild Life and Christmas Belles: ABC-TV, Australia December 10 1958

Trip Ts and High Cs: ABCTV, Australia February 18 1959

Startime: Seven Network, Australia November 24 1962, March 3, 24 and 31 1963.

Not Only … But Also …: BBC2
Barry can be seen in support roles in the editions of January 23 and February 20 1965
and as a guest in the Poets Cornered segment on March 18 1970

Comfort Station: ABN2 February 6 1968

Strangers in the Night: BBC2 July 12 1969

The Entertainers: Seven Network, Australia
Humphries guest-starred on August 10 and 17, and September 16 1969

The Barry Humphries Scandals: BBC2 January 12 to February 9 1970

Not Only … But Also: ABCTV, Australia February 8 and 15 1971

The Barry Humphries Show: BBC2 March 3 1976, September 26 and December 5 1977

Omnibus – A Summer Side Show: BBC2 March 3 1977

La Dame Aux Gladiolas: BBC2 March 19 1979

An Audience with Dame Edna Everage: ITV/London Weekend December 26 1980

The Last Night of the Poms: ITV/London Weekend January 3 1982

Dame Edna Everage – A Birthday Tribute: BBC2 February 17 1984

Another Audience with Dame Edna: ITV/London Weekend December 31 1984

Joan Rivers – Can We Talk?: BBC2
Humphries guest-starred on March 10 1986 (as Dame Edna) and March 31 1986 (as Sir Les)

An Aussie Audience with Dame Edna: Seven Network, Australia April 14 1986

The Dame Edna Experience
Series 1: ITV/London Weekend September 12 to October 17 1987
1 Mary Whitehouse, Cliff Richard, Sean Connery
2 Jeffrey Archer, Demis Roussos, Joan Rivers
3 Jane Seymour, Arthur Marshall, Larry Hagman
4 Zsa Zsa Gabor, Germaine Greer, Nana Mouskouri
5 Charlton Heston, Jerry Hall, Patrick Lichfield
6 Sir John Mills, Rudolf Nureyev, Cynthia Payne
The Dame Edna Christmas Experience: ITV/London Weekend December 26 1987
* Roger Moore, Lulu, Denis Wheatley
Series 2: ITV/London Weekend November 4 to December 16 1989
1 Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Jane Fonda, Chubby Checker
2 Liza Minelli, Magnus Magnussen, Vivienne Westwood
3 Dusty Springfield, Dolph Lundgren, Edward Heath
4 Jason Donovan, Glenys Kinnock, Malcolm McDowell, David Suchet
5 Tom Jones, Lauren Bacall, Gerald Durrell
6 Tony Curtis, Christiaan Barnard, Grace Jones
The Dame Edna Satellite Experience: ITV/London Weekend December 22 1989
* Yehudi Menuhin, Ursula Andress, Robert Kilroy-Silk

One More Audience with Dame Edna: ITV/London Weekend December 25 1988

The South Bank Show: ITV/London Weekend November 19 1989

Single Voices – Sandy Comes Home: BBC1 June 3 1990

A Night on Mount Edna: ITV/London Weekend December 15 1990

The Life and Death of Sandy Stone: ABC-TV, Australia April 29 to May 20 1991

Selling Hitler: 1991
Barry appeared as Rupert Murdoch in this mini-series

Dame Edna’s Hollywood: NBC November 30 1991, May 9 1992, January 1993
1 Cher, Bea Arthur, Mel Gibson, Larry Hagman, Jack Palance
2 Kim Basinger, Chevy Chase, Robin Williams, George Hamilton, Ringo Starr
3 Sean Young, Barry Manilow, Burt Reynolds, Cesar Romero

A Late Lunch with Sir Les: CH4 December 27 1991

Dame Edna’s Neighbourhood Watch
Series 1: ITV/London Weekend September 19 to October 24 1992
Series 2: ITV/London Weekend September 18 to October 23 1993

Without Walls – J’Accuse Dame Edna Everage: CH4 February 16 1993

Edna Time: Fox Network February 28 1993
* Tom and Rosanne Arnold, Luke Perry, Cesar Romero

Dame Edna’s Work Experience: BBC1 April 3 1997

Sir Les and the Great Chinese Takeaway: BBC2 June 28 1997

Dame Edna Kisses It Better: ITV/London Weekend December 26 1997

A Royal Celebration: ITV November 14 1998
Sir Les guest-starred

Barry Humphries’ Flashbacks: ABCTV, Australia February 13 to March 6 1999
Documentary series of newsreel clips about the Australian way of life, featuring comments from Dame Edna, Sandy Stone and Sir Les Patterson.

Heroes of Comedy: CH4 October 30 1999

Ally McBeal: 2002
Dame Edna appeared as Claire Otoms throughout the show’s final season

Jubilee Girl: BBC1 December 29 2002

An Audience with Dame Edna: thecomedychannel, Australia December 7 2003

Dame Edna Lives at the Palace: BBC1 December 30 2003
with guests Jeremy Irons, the Osborne family

The Dame Edna Treatment: ITV March 17 to April 28 and June 30 2007
1 Sigourney Weaver, Mischa Barton, Michael Bolton, Rowan Atkinson, Patrick Stewart
2  Martin Sheen, Tracey Emin, Ronnie Corbett
3  Alec Baldwin, Tim Allen, Engelbert Humperdinck, Shane Richie
4  Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Piers Morgan, Deborah Harry
5  Ian McShane, Susan Sarandon, Shirley Bassey, Rod Stewart, Richard O’Brien
6  Boris Johnson, Alan Alda, Shane Warne
7  Ivana Trump, KT Lang, James Nesbitt, Robin Gibb, Jeffrey Archer

 

DISCOGRAPHY

WILD LIFE IN SUBURBIA (Score EP POL 014, 1958)
The Migrant Hostess (Edna Everage)
Days Of The Week (Sandy Stone)

WILD LIFE IN SUBURBIA – VOLUME 2 (Score EP POL 018, 1959)
Highett Fidelity (Edna Everage)
Dear Beryl (Sandy Stone)

SANDY AGONISTES (Score LP POL 024, 1960)
Buster Thompson
Debbie Thwait
Colin Cartwright
Sandy Agonistes (Sandy Stone)

OLIVER! (Decca LP LK 4359/SKL 4105, reissued as SPA 30, 1960)
Barry is featured on one track:
That’s Your Funeral (with Sonia Fraser)

A NICE NIGHT’S ENTERTAINMENT (Parlophone LP PMCO 7519, reissued as PMEO 9613, 1962)
Australian Vitality – Mrs. Norm Everage
Edna Everage Meets Friends Old And New
Can You Keep A Secret With Sandy Stone?

MAGGY MAY (Decca LP LK/SKL 4643, 1964)
Barry is featured on two tracks:
The Ballad Of The “Liver” Bird and its reprise

I SAW DADDY KISSING SANTA CLAUS (Lyntone flexidisc LYN 758, 1964)
(*** free with Private Eye magazine of December 18 1964)
Barry appears as Sandy Stone in a brief Christmas greeting

PRIVATE EYE’S BLUE RECORD (Transatlantic LP TRA 131, 1965)
Barry appears on two tracks:
The Old Pacific Sea
Earl’s Court Blues

CHUNDER DOWN UNDER (Bulletin EP MX 19053/4, 1965)
Snow Complications
The Old Pacific Sea

Ulysses Rag/Love’s Old Sweet Song (R.C.A. single RCA 1579, 1967)
(*** Barry is featured on the A-side only)

ABOMINABLE RADIO GNOME (Lyntone flexidisc LYN ????, 1967)
(*** free with Private Eye magazine of December 8 1967)
Barry sings The Little One-Eyed Trouser Snake

THE NAKED BUNYIP (Big Time Records/Bunyip EP BUN 069, 1970)
Barry appears as Edna Everage in soundtrack extracts from the film

BARRY HUMPHRIES (Parlophone LP PMEO 9616, 1970)
Days Of The Week (Sandy Stone)
War Savings Street Song (Edna Everage)
Debbie Thwaite
(remake)
Chunder Down Under: The Old Pacific Sea + Snow Complications (from Bulletin single)

BARRY HUMPHRIES’ SAVOURY DIP (Parlophone LP PMEO 9716, 1971)
Edna’s Hymn (Edna Everage)
Wendy The One-Eyed Wombat
Highett Waltz (Edna Everage)
(remake)
Great Big Fish
Barry Humphries At Las Vegas
Sandy Claus (Sandy Stone)

BARRY HUMPHRIES AT CARNEGIE HALL (Philips LP 6357 010, 1972)
First Day Covers (Edna Everage)
Sandy’s Stone
Sandy Sings Sacred Songs: The Lord’s Prayer + Zip A Dee Doo Dah (Sandy Stone)

THE BARRY HUMPHRIES RECORD OF INNOCENT AUSTRAL VERSE (Philips LP 6357 011, 1972)
Dinki Di
Turntable Of Life
Swagman’s Song
Depot Races
The News Boys
Youth
Off
Instant Potato
Nostalgia
Where The Wattle Blooms
Santa Roo
Mummer’s Sick
Seaweed
The Pavements Of Pall Mall
Melbourne
Lament For Maid Melbourne (Edna Everage)
Beautiful Bung Bong
Perth
Bagman’s Gazette
Prime Minister’s Portrait
Mine’s A Ruin
The Road To Dandenong
Lost A Continent!
The Shunter
Our Babies
Pig-Face
Australia

A TRACK WINDING BACK (Philips EP 6205 019, 1972)
Along The Road To Gundagai (duet with Dick Bentley)
Is ‘E An Aussie, Is ‘E, Lizzie (duet with Dick Bentley)
True British Spunk (Edna Everage)

Is ‘E An Aussie, Is ‘E, Lizzie (with Dick Bentley)/True British Spunk (Edna Everage)(Philips single BF 480, 1972)

Ricky Roo/Sandy Sings Sacred Songs: The Lord’s Prayer + Zip A Dee Doo Dah (Philips single 6037 021, 1972)

PRIVATE EYE’S GOLDEN YEARS OF SOUND (Lyntone LP LYN 2745/6, 1973)
includes the flexidiscs: I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus and Abominable Radio Gnome

HOUSEWIFE SUPERSTAR! (Charisma LP CAS 1123 and 9124 004, 1976)
features Les Patterson and Dame Edna Everage, recorded at London’s Globe Theatre on July 8 1976

THE SOUND OF EDNA (Charisma LP CAS 1140 and 9124 027, 1978)
Life In A Goldfish Bowl
The Night We Burnt My Mother’s Things
I’m Sorry
A Woman’s Woman
Niceness
Every Mother Wants A Boy Like Elton
My Bridesmaid And I
I Miss My Norm
S & M Lady

Disco Matilda (Dame Edna Everage)/instrumental mix (Wizard/Big Time single BZS 312, 1979)

PRIVATE EYE PRESENTS GOLDEN SATIRICALS (Springtime/Island LP HAHA 6002, 1981)
includes the flexidiscs: I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus and Abominable Radio Gnome

THE SECRET POLICEMAN’S OTHER BALL (Springtime/Island LP HAHA 6003, Festival L 37739, 1981)
Barry is featured on one track:
The Royal Australian Prostate Foundation (Dame Edna Everage)

THE LAST NIGHT OF THE POMS (E.M.I. 2LP EMC 2742/3, 1981)
Peter And The Shark (Sir Les Patterson)
Song Of Australia (Dame Edna Everage)
(recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London on September 14 and 15 1981)

12 INCHES OF LES – THE ALBUM (Liberation/Towerbell LP LIB 5064, 1985)
Sir Les Intro
Diplomacy And Diversification
Genuine
Lady Gwen, Former Hand Model
My Old Lady
San Quentin Or Wormwood Scrubs?
Give Her One For Christmas
You Can’t Win ‘Em All
Help Me Make It Through The Night
Political Pitfalls
Never Trust A Man Who Doesn’t Drink
Les Exposes Himself
Motel Mini-Bar
Chairing The Cheeseboard
Song Of Thanks
Sir Les Outro
Desert Island Dilemmas
Bangkok Chiropody
13,000 Miles

G’Day (Sir Les Patterson)/instrumental mix (Powderworks single POW 0387, 1987)

THE LES PATTERSON LONG PLAYER (WEA LP 254779.1, 1987)
Barry Humphries (as Sir Les Patterson) is featured on one vocal on the soundtrack LP of the movie “Les Patterson Saves The World”:
Country Music

THE DAME EDNA PARTY EXPERIENCE (C.B.S. LP 463235 1, 1988)(reissued as Epic CD MOOD CD 7)
Bad + When Will I Be Famous + Layla + I Should Be So Lucky + The Locomotion + Bad ‘Nice’ reprise
Waltzing Matilda + The Twist
Venus + Like A Virgin + Girls Just Want To Have Fun + Venus reprise
Shout (Parts 1 and 2)
I Got You Babe + Who Needs You Babe (with Sir Les Patterson)
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) + Stop In The Name Of Love + Dancing In The Street + I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) reprise
Neighbours
Leader Of The Pack + It’s My Party

Theme From Neighbours/Spooky Christmas/Shout (Parts 1 and 2) (C.B.S./Epic 12” single 654503 6, 1988)

PARIS (WEA 2LP 9031 72072-4, 1990)
Barry Humphries makes a guest appearance on this specially recorded rock opera set

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SANDY STONE (International Services cassette, 1990)
Days Of The Week (1958)
Sandy Claus (1965)
Sandy’s Stone (1968)
Sandy Soldiers On (1978)
Shades Of Sandy (1981)

MOONEE PONDS MUSE (volume 1)(Raven CD RVCD 17, 1991)
Edna’s Hymn
Lament For Maid Melbourne
War Savings Street Song
True British Spunk
The Highett Waltz
Sandy Agonistes
Dear Beryl
The Old Pacific Sea
Snow Complications
Debbie Thwaite
Colin Cartwright

MOONEE PONDS MUSE (volume 2): DADA DAYS (Raven CD RVCD 34, 1993)
Introduction To The Wubbo Movement
The John Perry Memorial Paper – Cinderella
Jim & Jim
India Today
Interview With T.S. Elliot
Tid And The Psychiatrist
Cruelty Rhymes
A Fairly Painful Listen
The Wubbophonic Chamber Ensemble Play The Malouf Concerto And Other Favourites
The Migrant Hostess
My Favourite Things
Buster Thompson
Earls Court Blues
My Little One-Eyed Trouser Snake
Genuine
Post-Election Blues
My Old Lady

MORE PLEASE (Penguin double-cassette PEN 4, 1993)
Barry reads his autobiography

MY GORGEOUS LIFE (Reed International double-cassette REED 153, 1995)
Read by Dame Edna

WOMEN IN THE BACKGROUND (Reed International double-cassette REED 152, 1996)
Barry reads his novel

PETER AND THE WOLF (Naxos CD 8.554170, 1997)
Peter And The Wolf
The Story Of Babar The Little Elephant
The Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra

narrated by Dame Edna

COLOR ME EDNA (Tamarin CD TAM 206, 2000)
You’re So Vain
I Am A Woman In Love
Send In The Clowns
I Say A Little Prayer
Wind Beneath My Wings
Feelings
I Will Survive
You Don’t Bring Me Flowers
Fever
Greatest Love Of All
Killing Me Softly
Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady
What A Wonderful World
Anyone Who Had A Heart
Secret Love

BARRY HUMPHRIES PRESENTS (Warner Music 3CD 2564611472, 2003)
Dame Edna Everage Live In Melbourne:
You, You, You
Edna From The Block
Edna Discusses Aspects Of Perception
Edna The Therapist
The Dysfunctional Daughter
Edna’s Reality Film Auditions
Gladdy Time
Les Is More:
Tuna Town
Hard Act To Follow
Pissing In The Wind
Looking Good
The Smell Of Cheese
Give Her One For Christmas
Chardonnay
Never Trust A Man (Who Doesn’t Drink)
Motel Mini-Bar
Thirteen Thousand Miles
The Chunder Song
Foreign Parts
Poofters In The Arts

The Saga Of Sandy Stone:
Sandy Soldiers On (1978)
Shades Of Sandy (1981)
Crying In The Wilderness (2003)

DAME EDNA: MY GORGEOUS LIFE (Bandicoot 3CD, 2004)
Dame Edna reads her autobiography

NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS (Bandicoot CD, 2004)
Barry reads extracts from My Life As Me

There are also several CDs wherein Barry doesn’t actually appear (other than to provide liner notes):
VAMP TILL READY (Dame Edna’s Warm-Up Music)
SO RARE (two volumes of nostalgic 78rpm recordings selected by Barry Humphries)

 

VIDEOS and DVDs

Bodyshop: Daley Thompson – volume 3 (Pickwick video. 1984)
Dame Edna is a guest on this Channel 4 TV series

Back With A Vengeance (Virgin Comedy Club video. 1989)
88 minutes of highlights fromLondon’s Theatre Royal,Drury Lane

Les Patterson Has A Standup (Polygram/VCI video. 1996)
72 minute performance

Dame Edna’s Work Experience (Warner video. 1997, Umbrella DVD)
48 minute BBC TV special

Back To My Roots (Warner DVD. 2003)
recorded at the State Theatre, Victorian Arts Centre, August 15 2003

The Dame Edna Experience – Series 1 (BBC America 2DVD)
plus bonus items An Audience With Dame Edna and extracts from The Barry Humphries Show (1976) and The Late Show (1992) and Pebble Mill (1992)

The Dame Edna Christmas Experience (BBC America DVD)
plus bonus items A Night On Mount Edna, One More Audience With Dame Edna and extract from Parkinson (2002)

The Dame Edna Experience – Series 2 (BBC America 2DVD)
plus bonus items Another Audience With Dame Edna and extracts from Wogan and Top Of The Pops

The Dame Edna Experience – The Complete Series (Network 4DVD. 2007)
both series plus the Christmas Experience and A Night on Mount Edna

Dame Edna’s Neighbourhood Watch – volume 1 (Culture Q Connection DVD)
Series 1

Dame Edna’s Neighbourhood Watch – volume 2 (Culture Q Connection DVD)
Series 2

Barry Humphries’ Flashbacks (ABC/Universal 2DVD. 2003)

An Audience with Dame Edna (Network 2DVD. 2007)
all three LWT specials, plus The South Bank Show, Late Night From 2 and four interviews

BIBLIOGRAPHY

books by BARRY HUMPHRIES:

bizarre (1965)

The Barry Humphries Book Of Innocent Austral Verse (1968)

The Wonderful World Of Barry McKenzie (1969) *

Bazza Pulls It Off (1972) *

The Adventures Of Barry McKenzie (1973) *

Bazza Holds His Own (1974) #

Dame Edna’s Coffee Table Book (1976)

Bazza Comes Into His Own (1978) *

Les Patterson’s Australia (1979)

The Sound Of Edna (Songbook) (1979)

Barry Humphries’ Treasury Of Australian Kitsch (1980)

A Nice Night’s Entertainment (1981) #

Dame Edna’s Bedside Companion (1982)

Les Patterson: The Travellerts Tool (1985)

The Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) *

Dame Edna Everage; My Gorgeous Life (1989)

The Life And Death Of Sandy Stone (1990) #

More Please (1992) (autobiography)

Women In The Background (1996) (novel)

My Life As Me (2002) (autobiography)

Handling Edna (2009)

(* comic strip collection, # scripts) 

books about BARRY HUMPHRIES:

Ratbags (by Keith Dunstan, 1979)
chapter about Humphries

Automatic Vaudeville (by John Lahr, 1984)
chapter about Humphries

The Humour Of Barry Humphries (1984)
scripts selected by John Allen

The Real Barry Humphries (by Peter Coleman, 1990)

Dame Edna Everage And The Rise Of Western Civilization (by John Lahr, 1991)

Moonee Ponds To Broadway (by Keith Dunstan, 2005)

One Man Show: The Stages of Barry Humphries (by Anne Pender, 2010)

 

FILMS

Bedazzled (1967)

The Bliss Of Mrs. Blossom (1968)

The Naked Bunyip (1970) *

The Adventures Of Barry McKenzie (1972) *

Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (1974) *

Percy’s Progress (1974) *

The Great MacArthy (1975)

Side By Side (1975)

Pleasure At Her Majesty’s (1976) *

The Getting Of Wisdom (1977)

Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)

Shock Treatment (1981)

A Toast To Melbourne (1982) (short)

Dr. Fischer Of Geneva (aka Bomb Party) (1984) (telemovie)

Les Patterson Saves The World (1987) *

The Marsupials (aka Howling III) (1987)

Pterodactyl Woman From Beverly Hills (1994)

Immortal Beloved (1994)]

Napoleon (1995) (voice only) *

The Leading Man (1996)

Welcome To Woop Woop (1997)

Spice World (1997)

Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

Finding Nemo (2003) (voice only)

(* as Edna Everage)

 

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