Clarke and Dawe take final shot at 'alternative facts'

John Dawe

John Dawe

Fans of the Australian satirical comedy duo Clarke and Dawe have been treated to one final episode of their program in which the pair apply their dry wit to politics and modern doublespeak one last time.

The episode was filmed on April 5, according to the ABC, just days before John Clarke died while hiking in the Grampians National Park in Victoria. His death prompted an outpouring of tributes from politicians, the public and colleagues in the arts.

The ABC released a previously unseen episode of the program on Thursday evening, with the permission of Clarke's family as well as his friend and long-time collaborator Brian Dawe.

In the episode, Clarke plays a fictional NBN employee called Richard Shinery (Dick for short), whose role is to "explain to people why they haven't got it yet or why it's so slow."

Dawe, in his usual role as interviewer, then quizzes Clarke on popular neologisms from celebrity nicknames like ScarJo to "fake news".

In one exchange on the meaning of "alternative facts" - a term coined by President Donald Trump's advisor Kellyanne Conway - Dawe presses Clarke on the meaning of that term.

"Can you give me an example there?" Dawe asks.

"Well if it's a fact that the earth's atmosphere is warming due to CO??? emissions, the fact that that's not happening would be an alternative fact," Clarke replies.

"No I'm sorry that's not right," Dawe says. "If it's not a fact at all, it's not an alternative fact."

Dawe also asks what is clean coal ("an example of alliteration"), and what politically correct means ("it doesn't mean anything".)

"And what is Brexit?" asks Dawe.

"Brexit is interestingly a quite complicated political process, Brian, whereby a lot of the London banks and finance houses relocate to Dublin," Clarke replies.

The ABC has also released episodes of The Games, the satirical program starring both Clarke and Dawe about the lead-up to the Sydney Olympic Games, on its streaming service iView.

Fairfax Media

The story Clarke and Dawe take final shot at 'alternative facts' first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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