Barry Humphries

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Barry Humphries, Australian comedian and actor, b. 1934

"To live in Australia permanently is rather like going to a party and dancing all night with one's mother."

  • There is no more terrible fate for a comedian than to be taken seriously. — My Life as Me: A Memoir (2002)
  • Although there were many who did the dirty on him in the envious world of letters, Stephen* never let any of them live rent-free in his brain. — My Life as Me: A Memoir
  • And so I set these things down before the onset of the first of a thousand small physical degradations as, in a still-distant suburb, Death strides whistling towards me. My Life as Me: A Memoir (closing line)

"New Zealand is a country of thirty thousand million sheep, three million of whom think they are human. "

As Dame Edna Everage

  • Hello possums! (Greeting to her audience)
  • I was born in Melbourne with a precious gift. Dame Nature stooped over my cot and gave me this gift. It was the ability to laugh at the misfortunes of others.
  • Forget Spanish. There's nothing in that language worth reading except Don Quixote, and a quick listen to the CD of Man of La Mancha will take care of that. There was a poet named Garcia Lorca, but I'd leave him on the intellectual back burner if I were you. As for everyone's speaking it, what twaddle! Who speaks it that you are really desperate to talk to? The help? Your leaf blower? Study French or German, where there are at least a few books worth reading, or, if you're American, try English. (Advice given in a Vanity Fair agony column)
  • (to a member of the audience, Back with Vengeance tour, Melbourne, 2006) I'm trying to think of a word to describe your outfit ...affordable.

As Sir Les Patterson

  • The Yartz. (Sir Les's area of concern)
  • I'm that low I could parachute out of a snake's arsehole and still have room to free-fall.
  • Are you with me? (Sir Les's usual comment to the audience after a suggestive remark)
  • My wife's so boring, she could bore an arsehole on a wooden horse.

As Barry McKenzie

  • I'm up shit creek in a barb-wire canoe without a paddle.
  • He was as busy as a one-armed taxi driver with crabs.

About Barry Humphries

  • He would have been a handful in any society. He is a misfit and fully conscious of it. The punctilio of his old-world manners, the dandified scrupulosity of his Savile Row suits, are compelled by an unsleeping awareness that he has no more business among ordinary human beings than a Venusian.


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