Entertainment

Hello Possums: Dame Edna’s Rare Clips Published Online

As we await the federal budget release on Tuesday May 8, there’s something to keep us occupied til then.

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) is celebrating Australia’s very own Dame Edna Everage with a new online collection featuring rare video clips of Edna through the ages.

The collection is available permanently on the NFSA website. It’s got some ‘spooky’ bits, and there are lots of splendid frocks, gladdies, winged ‘face furniture’ and celebrities to check out.

Initially a suburban housewife from Moonee Ponds, Edna Everage (as in average) was created by satirist Barry Humphries in 1955 whilst touring with a group of actors around Victoria in 1955. She was a caricature of the typical mayor’s wives they met on the road and was named after his childhood nanny. Today, Edna shares a pylon with the greatest entertainers.

The online collection celebrates Edna’s contribution to the world, with her classy view of Australia and Australians being preserved for posterity. From appearances on radio and the stage to the big and small screens, many of these haven’t been seen/heard since they first aired.

Highlights include:

  • Dame Edna through the ages – a compile of Edna’s looks over the decades, from The Mike Walsh Show (1985).
  • Dame Edna on ‘nice well-mannered lass’ Princess Diana (1980, prior to the Royal Wedding).
  • Dame Edna using numerology to analyse the similarities between Goug Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser (1975).
  • Intro to An Aussie Audience with Dame Edna, featuring her ‘adoring fans’ in the audience – including John Farnham, Molly Meldrum, and other celebrities (1986).
  • Dame Edna enjoying a ‘scrummy’ pizza named after her, during the Moonee Ponds centenary celebrations (1981).
  • Barry Humphries on ‘being Dame Edna’s manager’ – interview on The Mike Walsh Show (1980).
  • Barry Humphries on having ‘an eye for the absurd’ and why he does what he does – interview with Mike Willesee (1975).
  • Edna’s cover of the Neighbours theme song (1989) and her single True British Spunk (1972).

From the beginning Edna had a back story, including her husband Norm (as in normal), and children, Valmai, Bruce and Kenny. She’s been all over the world but she has a special connection with England and its royal family, offering advice to Queen Elizabeth II and acting as a confidant to many world leaders and celebrities.

For more information

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