The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 5, No 4 (2017)

The progress of Australian humour in Britain

John Christopher Davies


There has long been a close link between both the comedy and, by implication, the sense of humour of British and Australians. Such distinctively British radio and television programs as Hancock’s Half Hour and Till Death Do Us Part found their main overseas market in Australia rather than in other English-speaking countries. Americans either did not find them funny or else were not allowed to find them funny, or provided feeble imitations such as Archie Bunker. Only the Australians were able and willing to share the British sense of humour. The other side of this relationship is that Australian comedians such as Dick Bentley, Joy Nicholls, Bill Kerr, Rolf Harris, Barry Humphries and Kevin Bloody Wilson, having succeeded in Australia, have gone on to be successful in Britain as well. Clearly the same formulae work in both countries.


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