ANZAC DAY – JOHNNY LEOPARD REMEMBERED

I can’t celebrate Anzac Day without conjuring up my old pal, the late Johnny Leopard who would have turned 65 this ANZAC DAY – a birthday he shared with my grandmother.

Johnny and I had many adventures together, of course lots of people know us through our music in Dave Warner’s from the Suburbs but we wrote a lot of comedy together too – films, TV and radio ideas most of which have never been produced, but also live comedy which we performed with various troupes including such luminaries as @damieno’doherty, @davidzampatti and @catejennings.

One of my favourite “live” sketches with Johnny was Elizabethan Radio where I played a radio host, Dudley Dunwoodie, and Lep played a variety of guests including Marie Antoinette, Quasimodo and Marco Polo.  Here is a transcript of much of the sketch which we also recorded for radio.

ELIZABETHAN RADIO

Dudley

It’s 12.05 here with Dudley Dunwoodie on Elizabethan Radio and we’re ready to speak with ut first guest, former pro-footballer turned poet Willy Wordsworth. And He’s on the line now. Willy.

Willy

Hi Dudley.

Dudley

Willy has it been hard adjusting to the thought you’ll never pull a pair of footy toggs again?

WiLLY

First Dud I was really down I could think of nothing but football.

DUDLEY

I’m sure most of my listeners will recall the embarrassing incident at the zoo with Perky the Pekinese.

WiLLY

Yeah,the moment I heard those song birds it was like hearing the ref’s whistle, like I was back in the middle.

DudLEY

Oblivious to the screams of Perky’s octogenerian owner you began dribbling through the crowd.

WiLLY

I’m not proud of that. It was instinct. I dodged those schoolkids and with a low-hard drive sent Pekie canonning into the top left hand corner of the cage giving the keeper no chance.

DuDLEY

I bet the lion is still picking the fur out of his teeth.

WILLY

He’s not the only one. I was so ecstatic at the thought I’d scored I jumped into the monkey cage and started kissing the chimpanzees.

DuDLEY

So you’ve got a new poem for us?

WiLLY

Not quite. I got this idea staring at the margarine lid.

He sings the Meadow Lea ad.

WiLLY (CONT’D)

What do you reckon?

DUDLEY

It stinks Willie. But maybe try Daffodil.

WILLY

Okay thanks Dudley.

DuDLEY

Willy Wordsworth there. Now I wonder how many of you were lying in bed this morning, thinking I don’t want to get up and empty the chamber pot, just lying there listening to the town crier go on about the famines in France and Ireland. Give us a call. I’ve got a caller on the line now. Marie?

Marie

Yes Dudley, Marie Antoinette.

DUDLEY

And what do you do Marie?

MarIE

Queen of France.

DUDLEY

And what would you like to talk about?

MariE

Well Dudley like you were saying about the town crier and the famine and everything?

DuDLEY

Yea

MaRIE

I had an idea. You know Dudley you use twice as much grain to make a loaf of bread as you do for a lamington?

DUDLEY

No.

MarIE

Well you do. And anyway the girls and I from the Royal Ladies Auxillary decided we’d have a lamington drive to help feed the starving masses.

DudLEY

So let me get this right, Marie, you’re saying …

MarIE

What I’m saying is: if they can’t have bread, let them eat lamingtons.

DuDLEY

Marie I can’t hear you very well, what’s that thumping noise in the background?

MaRIE

Well the drive is going so well that the girls and I have rigged up this big chopper thing to slice the sponge.

DuDLEY

So where can the starving masses come to get their lamingtons?

MariE

I’ll be in all day at the palace of Ver-sail

DuDLEY

That’s Versize isn’t it?

MarIE

Yes it’s quite large, and you can’t miss it it has big stone lions heads out the front.

DuDLEY

So has the Medici mansion hasn’t it?

MaRIE

Yes but their lions are blue with the Madonna riding side-saddle. Excuse me Dudley. The chopper has got some sponge caught in the winch.

(off mike)

Should be okay now – just give it a big hard tug …

A scream and thump.

DuDLEY

Marie? Marie? She seems to have been cut off. But I have somebody else here … Hello Quasimodo.

Quasimodo

Hello Dudley. Dudley I am depressed.

DuDLEY

Why’s that Quasi? Cause you’re French?

QuaSIMODO

Because I am ugly. I’ve got no personality and my face is twisted. I’ve got a hunch like you wouldn’t believe.

DUDLEY

Have you tried Oil of Ulan?

QuASIMODO

Oui. And now my skin is greasy.

DUDLEY

Have you got a job Quasi?

QUASIMODO

I am a bell-ringer.

DUDLEY

In the tower high above Notre Dame Cathedral?

QUASIMODO

No in the western suburbs. I work for Avon. Dudley I’d like you to play a song for my girl Esmerelda.

DuDLEY

Which one?

QUASIMODO

The Bells Are Ringing For Me and My Girl.

DUDLEY

Consider it done Quas. And now it’s time for the Confucian Horoscope. One of the many exotic things brought to you by our next guest Marco Polo.  Here’s the Horoscope.

Girl’s voice

Pisces.

Unintelligible Chinese jabber.

GirL’S VOICE (CONT’D)

Aquarius.

More unintelligible Chinese babble.

GiRL’S VOICE (CONT’D)

Saggitarius.

Very stern unintelligible Chines jabber.

DUDLEY

And as promised here in the studio a big hello to Marco Polo.  Marco did I get it right “China.”

Marco

That’s right Dudley.

DUDLEY

As in the plate. Where exactly is China Marco? Perhaps if I hold a map up to the microphone you could show our listeners.

MarCO

It isn’t on the map.

DuDLEY

(smarmy)

How did you find it then?

Marco

I didn’t use the map that’s for sure.

DUDLEY

Tell us about the people who live in China.

MarcO

They are small people who have wise-sayings and long fingernails.

DuDLEY

Tell us one of their wise sayings.

MarcO

You block my view I scratch your eyes out.

DudLEY

Now you’ve got a sackful of goodies there Marco. How about you explain them to our listeners. Those little sticks, what are they, cabers for Scottish babies?

MarcO

No. These are chopsticks. You eat with them.

DudLEY

Obviously they don’t eat much soup.

MarCO

Au contraire Dudley. They have birdsnest, sharkfin and wan-tan soup.

DUDLEY

Wow that’s a heavy soup. What else do these people eat?

Marco

They have eggs they bury and dig up one hundred years later.

DUDLEY

Well it worked for McDonalds. What else?

MarcO

There is a gigantic wall spanning half the country.

DuDLEY

I guess that’s to keep out those Mongol hordes.

Marco

No, they wanted to make Guiness book of Records.  And look at this, go on Dudley feel it.

DuDLEY

That’s sensational it’s incredibly smooth and it hangs so well.

MarCO

I’ve had no complaints so far, the women especially love it.

DuDLEY

I’m not surprised, even a fella could get into that. What’s it called?

Marco

Silk.

Dudley

Silk? What’s it made from.

MarcO

These

Produces a matchbox.

DuDLEY

Eeek! Worms. It must be hell skinning them to get all that cloth.

Marco

No Dudley they make it themselves.

DudLEY

They must have tiny sewing machines.

Marco

No, they secrete it from their body.

DudLEY

With you now Marco but I think you’ve backed a loser there. Can’t see people wearing something made from worm’s poo.

 

1 Comment on ANZAC DAY – JOHNNY LEOPARD REMEMBERED

  1. Dave, there are just to many great injustices in this world & the passing away of Leopard was another one.
    Johnny Leopard – telecaster slinging , anti hero, everyone’s showman & your straight man gone….. it was to soon. I remember seeing a guitar wielding showman on stage & a gentleman off, sharing jokes on tour & book discussions off. You just have to admire his professionalism in the way in which he welcomed ‘new boy’ Durant, all admired Johnny (don’t call me cougar) Leopard & owe him some debt great or small. No longer ‘shooting the balls in Leopards pool bar’ as per your song “new age” but doing what he does well with Duane Eddy et al.
    Vale Leopard, Saint Peter opened those gates wide when you arrived, see you there!
    Andre Fritze

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