Renowned satirist John Clarke dies

John Clarke as Fred Dagg in 1976

Satirist John Clarke, whose pitch-perfect portrayal of an Australian senator denying the impact of an oil spill once prompted a Snopes fact-check report, has died, leaving his fans in mourning.

Master satirist John Clarke is being remember for his generosity and sharp wit by collaborators, family members and those who found themselves in his crosshairs.

Clarke died from natural causes yesterday while in the Grampians National Park.

The pair was best known for the Clarke and Dawe sketches that appeared on ABC TV and, earlier, on Channel Nine's A Current Affair.

Clarke co-wrote the ABC's AFI Award-winning mockumentary The Games, about the organization of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Besides his satirical segments with Dawe, one of his final screen appearances was in the 2015 film, A Month of Sundays, filmed and set in Adelaide.

"At the same time, everyone knew him to be such a kind and gentle man, so much so that when he was skewering politicians, they didn't seem to mind, because they knew you were only going to get a square deal from John Clarke".

Director of the Stout Research Centre at Victoria, Lydia Wevers, says John Clarke seemed effortlessly amusing all his life, but was also kind, generous and a serious scholar.

Clarke's film credits include Lonely Hearts (1981), Footrot Flats (1985), A Matter of Convenience (1987), Blood Oath (1989) and Death In Brunswick (1990).

"When I left secondary school I knew roughly what I knew when I left primary school, plus how to shave, " Clarke said.

Fred Dagg's Greatest Hits, released in 1976, is still one of New Zealand's biggest selling records. Gumboot and singlet-clad, Dagg had seven sons all named Trev.

In 1989, he worked with fellow satirist Bryan Dawe to conduct mock interviews.

"In the end I realised I would have to go to a country where I could explore more forms".

"And best of all it made us laugh along the way".

'So sad to hear of the passing of the brilliant John Clarke.

Actor Stephen Fry tweeted that Clarke "was a wonder and will be sorely missed". "We all copied him at some point". "His humor captured the experience of life in NZ and Australia".