Friday, February 17, 2012

Barry Day

This sketch was done a month ago.
It's Barry Humphries's 78th birthday. The day we all give thanks that this great comic genius is still among us, still working, still sharing his genius with the world. Why, in the December and January just past he starred in a London panto, playing two highly energetic shows a day for five weeks in Dick Whittington.

This is the program for Dame Edna's Christmas Panto that Adina, an Absolutely Fabulous London possum friend of mine sent me.
She was lucky enough to see three performances, and even get called up on stage by Edna herself.

Do you know any 78 year olds who are getting dragged-up in hot costumes and doing two, looooonnnnnng shows a day, involving singing, dancing, running about, performing slapstick comedy, flying in from the rafters, and stunning audiences with their genius day after day, week after week?

But I have been celebrating Barry's birthday in a legal manner, and I'm really too lazy now to write another tribute to this, the man I love most of all, so here's a link to a prevous birthday tribute I wrote of him, and here's some lovely pictures of Barry and his divine dame.

Edna provided every panto-goer with these lovely Edna 3-D glasses to watch the Finding Nemo 3-D film that was part of the show. (Barry is the voice of Bruce the shark in the Finding Nemo movie and the Finding Nemo ride at Disneyland. He's a theme park attraction!) Adina kindly sent me a lovely pair of them, so I am always the most-stylish person at the 3-D action movies.
Any excuse to look again at Emily Perry as Madge Allsop is a treat. Emily was in her 80s when she got cast as Madge Allsop, Dame Edna's silent, sullen sidekick, and suddenly this little old lady who had been in show business at the low ends, much of it teaching dancing to children, all the way back to World War I, became a star, and traveled the world making people laugh. I was lucky enough to meet her twice, and a sweeter, more darling woman never drew breath. Her smile could light up a room. She lived to be 100.
She will always make me smile.
Barry's creation has become part of the culture. Knowledge of Barry's creations can help when you're in Jeopardy.

I don't know art, but I know what I like.

This was the night Little Dougie first met Barry Humphries, forever one of the happiest nights of his life. That's Christy Kanen wearing Chevy Chase's name badge. Little Dougie met Madge that night too. Edna threw those gladdies. When Barry signed this photo, months later, we were together in a room which had once been Gracie Allen's dressing room, Hallowed Comedy Space. Adina took this photo.
Barry was very happy the day he was "elevated" by the queen. I've been elevated by a few queens myself, and it is quite often an exhilerating experience.

When Emily Perry retired and passed away, Barry retired the role of Madge. Emily had been the third "Madge Allsop," but she was definitive, and Barry retired her number. In his hilarious 2010 book Handling Edna, Madge "dies," revealing a shocking secret set-up 19 years earlier in My Gorgeous Life. (Handling Edna, is dedicated to Emily Perry.) So now, Edna's daughter Valami is often in her shows. Poor Valmai. She's "troubled."

Wouldn't Barry make a GREAT Doctor Who?? And Edna could be his companion. It would be Absolutely Fabulous!

Cheers darlings!

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