by liberal japonicus
I tried posting this as a comment to my last post and it doesn't seem to go, so I'll make it a post
This piece in the Guardian about Dame Everage and her creator, Barry Humphries might be of interest to people thinking about fame in our modern society. 2 grafs
What began as a joke about Australian suburban delusion – Edna was initially a kind of Melbourne equivalent of Beverly in Abigail's Party – gradually became a much edgier reflection on celebrity. Along with the artist Andy Warhol (who can be seen as a character actor of a less openly declared kind), Humphries precociously understood that, over the next few decades, fame would shift from being something rare and earned to becoming randomly available.
Decades before Big Brother and the internet, Humphries saw the humour in the unlikely and accidental celebrity. The biggest problem for the character comic is becoming trapped in a single vocal and visual joke – one reason that Paul O'Grady, for example, retired his Liverpudlian Edna, Lily Savage – but a spoof on celebrity has the advantage that fame naturally transmutes. Humphries brilliantly piled upon Edna all of the victories and defeats that contemporary celebrity offers: physical makeover, TV talkshow, volumes of memoirs, stadium venues, tragedy (the loss of husband Norm to prostate cancer), rehab and comeback. With each return, Edna was different, her genuine and increasing fame constantly feeding the material. Typically, the farewell tour now opens up a whole new set of jokes about showbiz retirement rituals.
A video below the fold
I didn't really get Dame Edna until I started using some clips to illustrate Aussie English for my students, and finding out more about the character and the creator. This video gives some background.