The Games (Australian TV series)

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Games (1998–2000) was an Australian mockumentary television series about the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. The series was originally broadcast on the ABC and had two seasons of 13 episodes each, the first in 1998 and the second in 2000.

Series 1[edit]

The Press Conference [1.1][edit]

Barrie Cassidy: See that thing you're doing with your hands?
John Clarke: Yes.
Barrie Cassidy: Never do that.

Barrie Cassidy: This is just a huge distraction, isn't it?
Gina Riley: Pardon?
Barrie Cassidy: This is just a huge distraction.
Bryan Dawe: Pardon?
John Clarke: Pardon?
Gina Riley Pardon?
Barrie Cassidy: Isn't this whole issue just a distraction?
John Clarke: Er ... sorry Barrie? Er ... yeah. It probably was.

John Clarke: Does anyone have any questions that don't have anything to do with lacrosse?
Journalist: How much over budget are the Games at the moment?
John Clarke: Have we got any more lacrosse questions?

Journalist: Is Mister ... "Costellopto" going to be coming?

Journalist: Your budget figures seem to be blown to the shithouse.
John Clarke: Excuse me? That's a question is it, Shakespeare?

Athletics Schedule [1.2][edit]

Bryan Dawe: John, what is this amount here?
John Clarke: Where it says 'contingency'?
Bryan Dawe: Yes.
John Clarke: It's a contingency.
Bryan Dawe: Yeah. What's it for.
John Clarke: I don't know what it's for. If I knew what it was for, it wouldn't be a contingency. That's what a contingency is.
Bryan Dawe: John, I know what a contingency is. I want to know what it's for.
John Clarke: Well, the opening ceremony. How the hell are we supposed to know how much the opening ceremony's going to cost, it hasn't happened yet!

Bryan Dawe: John, why didn't you guess a hundred million?
John Clarke: A hundred million dollars?
Bryan Dawe: Yeah.
John Clarke: It's a bloody opening ceremony Bryan, it's not global poverty!

Bryan Dawe: John? John?
John Clarke: [To President Clinton on the telephone] Sorry to do this to you again, I'll be with you as soon as possible.
Bryan Dawe: John, this contingency here is supposed to be in the bank account according to your figures.
John Clarke: You're still here.
Bryan Dawe: It's not in the bank account!
John Clarke: Bryan, look, I don't want to worry you. I've got Juan Antonio Samaranch coming here in half an hour to see a swimming pool. We haven't even finished stage 1 on!
Bryan Dawe: Appreciate that.
John Clarke: We've finished the water! I can show him the water! I've got the Premier out there now having a cup of coffee, I hope he doesn't drop it - he'll set fire to himself Bryan! I've got a very nice Mr Clinton on the blower here, I've not even had time to speak to him! I haven't got time to go pushme-pullyou with all this budgetary crap!

John Clarke: Are you serious? No-one is going to see the final of the 1500 metres? It's one of the most popular events we've got going! I mean, the only people not watching it, Gina, will be people who like watching synchonised drowning on channel six million and eight!

Gina Riley: It's on at a quarter to four in the morning!
John Clarke: A quarter to four in the morning out here, sure, by all means! But that's not where the bloody audience for the event is!
Gina Riley: But there's not going to be an audience! You're not going to get an audience! You've got the thing on in the middle of the bloody night!

John Clarke: That is the only place ON THE PLANET where it will be the middle of the night!

[Discussing the film Chariots of Fire]:
John Clarke: It's about this guy Anderson...
Gina Riley: Abrahams.
John Clarke: ... and he's competing in the 400 metres ...
Gina Riley: 100.
John Clarke: ... in the Helsinki Olympics.
Gina Riley: In Paris.
John Clarke: In 1932.
Gina Riley: 24.
John Clarke: And there's this other guy, Little.
Gina Riley: Liddell.

Funding [1.3][edit]

Bryan Dawe: Eighty years of age. We would have had him kneecapped at forty.

John Clarke: Ah, one message! This is the Olympics and we have one message. The rest of the world has conducted its business while we slept and we have one message. Let's hear it world. How can we help you?
Voice on answering machine: ... so if you could call back on that number at your earliest convenience Mr Clarke, I would be very grateful.
John Clarke: After the beep! AFTER the beep! Après le bloody beep!

John Clarke: You know what irritates me?
Gina Riley: Pollen?

[Reading the paper with increasing anger]:
John Clarke: That's not right. That's wrong. That's not that guy's position. He is not head of the Athletics Federation. Sorry, he isn't. That is completely wrong. Check your facts! He's not Portuguese, he's Polish ... and you, sir, are a bloody idiot.

Video voiceover: No wucking furries.

Gina Riley: What couldn't you do without?
John Clarke: My arse.

John Clarke: Tobacco sponsorship?
Bryan Dawe: Yes.
John Clarke: Well done Bryan. That really is terrific news. Now here's a number. I want to see if you can get some more. You ring that. That's the Cambodian Embassy. They'll have a number for the estate of the late Pol Pot. See if you can get them to tip some money into a humanitarian sponsorship of some kind. You seem to be good at it.

John Clarke: The Formula One Grand Prix is currently less interesting than the video game that's based on it. The cars go around in a circle, they get Murray Walker off the ceiling, the game itself is a procession. You can't get past - the car in front at the beginning wins the race. The whole thing is decided by who's going to have a pit-stop. They're the fastest cars on Earth and the key element here, Bryan, is not racing. It's parking!

Gina Riley: Your favourite drink ... apple and guava juice.
John Clarke: Why don't you just put 'wanker'?

Bryan Dawe: You're just afraid if you start again you won't stop.
John Clarke: Well that's the thing with addictive chemicals, Bryan!

Elderly lady: Apple and guava? Wanker.

Robbo and the 100 Metres [1.4][edit]

Gina Riley: I've got to go.
John Clarke: It's only ten past nine.
Gina Riley: You know what the traffic is like.
John Clarke: I do. It's a good thing we're not expected to run a major sporting event in this city. It could well be complete mayhem.

John Clarke: Mr Wilson.
Jasmine Holt: [Interrupting] Now John ...
John Clarke: Or Jasmine, of course. That's the other obvious alternative.

John Clarke: I don't understand then, Mr Wilson, why in the construction of a 100-metre track you would want to depart too radically from the constraints laid down for us by the conventional calibration of distance.

John Clarke: Mr Wilson. Do you know who is the current 100 metres all-comers Australian record holder?
Mr Wilson: Can I guess?
John Clarke: There's not much point in guessing.
Mr Wilson: Is he an African American?
John Clarke: He's not an African American, no.
Mr Wilson: Is he that Canadian from Jamaica?
John Clarke: No, he's not a Canadian from Jamaica.
Mr Wilson: I give up.
John Clarke: The 100-metre record in this country, Mr Wilson, is currently held by Bryan.
Mr Wilson: Bryan?
Bryan Dawe: Yes.
Mr Wilson: Congratulations.
Bryan Dawe: Thank you.
John Clarke: A new mark, Mr Wilson, set at a blistering session last Wednesday. I wish you'd been there. We were down there and we had a bet.
Mr Wilson: Was this wind assisted?
John Clarke: No, and we'd had a couple, and in my view Bryan is not in quite the nick he was in at the same stage of last season.

John Clarke: [Answering the telephone] Hello? "Dead Builder Proprietary Limited"?

Journalist: They say you've reneged on your commitment to use totally recycled water within the Olympic village.
Fran: [Whispering from off-stage] There's a good reason for that!
Gary Robertson: There is a good reason for that, and it is this:
Fran: [Whispering from off-stage] The Hindus won't touch recycled water.
Gary Robertson: The Zulus won't torch it.
Journalist: The Zulus won't torch it?
Gary Robertson: Not in a million years. We asked them. We're not idiots.
Fran: [Whispering from off-stage] The Indians won't drink it!
Gary Robertson: West Indians want trinkets. What can I do? My hands are tied.

John Clarke: I'm a humble man, Mr Copperfield, but I refuse to be remembered as he who ran the 100 metres at the Sydney Olympics over 94 metres.

John Clarke: Robert Walkley?
Bryan Dawe: Writes for the Star.
John Clarke: Star?
Bryan Dawe: Weekly tabloid. Light-heared mixture of racism and pornography.

Past Sports Stars and Gender [1.5][edit]

Gina Riley: There's a labourer over there in about Section 12. He's not so much as farted in twenty minutes. Look at him!

Gina Riley: Asia's broke, John. They called this morning to say they're not coming.

John Clarke: Let the minutes show that at this point Mr Clarke left the meeting of the Australian Rationalists' Society looking tense but dignified.

John Clarke: Oh I'm sorry. Did you want the slice of pizza without the staples?

Gina Riley: [Answering the telephone] Hello, welcome to the island continent.

John Clarke: David, if you could tell a man from a woman, how did a woman win the Men's World Championship?

John Clarke: Can this person compete or not?
David Pigot: In which event?
John Clarke: In either event.
David Pigot: Let's take them one at a time, shall we?
John Clarke: The Men's?
David Pigot: No
John Clarke: The Women's?
David Pigot: No.
John Clarke: That pretty much exhausts the possibilities as I see it.

John Clarke: David, do you want the shooting to be a very big success at the Sydney Olympics, or are you completely insane? Richo says you can only pick one.

Millennium Bug/FAQs [1.6][edit]

[Discussing the problem of the Millennium Bug]
John Clarke: I don't see what all the fuss is about. What did they do the last time this happened?
Bryan Dawe: What, in 1899?

John Clarke: There I was thinking you were a bloody idiot and it turns out you're very smart.

John Clarke: Plan B, Bryan, is basically Plan A with an element of panic.
John Clarke: [Attempting vainly to imitate Gina's voice] Open up! Open computer up!

[Giving a live press conference over the internet]
Gina Riley: How do people send questions to us on the internet?
John Clarke: With a mouse, as I understand it Gina.

[Answering questions sent by email]
John Clarke: This is just one taken at random. This is actually about the country, Australia. What is the population of Australia, and what are its main industries?
Gina Riley: Well, the population is about 17 million.
John Clarke: Yes, and we don't have any industries as such.

[Answering questions sent by email]
Gina Riley: I have another question here: what is the separation of powers?
John Clarke: Ah, well this is a constitutional question. The separation of powers is a constitutional division of the two entities in which power is vested in Australia: Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch. If Mr Packer wants cricket, Mr Murdoch would be given Telecoms. If Mr Murdoch wants rugby league, of course Mr Packer would be given the cotton industry.

[Giving a live press conference over the internet]
John Clarke: If you would like us to answer any questions on the internet - perhaps we could settle an argument, or maybe you'd like to make a booking, or perhaps you're just curious - this is how you get in touch with us: 'dot com'.
Bryan Dawe: What's 'dot com', John?
John Clarke: What is 'dot com'? I was told you 'dot com' - you put the mouse through the window in the 'dot com'.
Bryan Dawe: No, no ... no.
John Clarke: And you do it, and it comes through the service station. And you choose the search motor, and there's a drop-down dinner.

Dead Man [1.7][edit]

John Clarke: I don’t think there’s a serious problem with Sydney water. I mean, I drink it. Unless you mean the incident the other night when somebody emptied the Olympic pool by mistake and killed a couple of hundred species of fish up in the Ryde area but that’s a once-er, that’s not going to happen again.

[Arguing about who should "entertain" a visiting IOC Official]
Gina Riley: You take him out.
John Clarke: Oh, he doesn’t want to go out with me, Gina.
Gina Riley: Of course he does. He’s bisexual. He’ll love it.
John Clarke: I beg your pardon?
Gina Riley: It’s a courtesy, John. It happens all over the world.

John Clarke: Would you like to sit down?
Nicholas Bell: No, I won’t, thank you. [Sits down]

John Clarke: We were just discussing who might attend the dinner with the delegate.
Nicholas Bell: He’s dead.
John Clarke: I beg your pardon?
Nicholas Bell: He was found dead in his hotel room at four o’clock this morning.
John Clarke: How dead?
Nicholas Bell: Well, completely dead.

Jasmine Holt: Look, look, Bryan, Bryan. If KFC gets, say, Carl Lewis to endorse their product the potential for confusion in the marketplace is absolutely enormous.
Bryan Dawe: Oh come on, how? What are they going to do? Get Carl Lewis to hold up a chicken and say "This is a hamburger"?

John Clarke: I don’t know that this is what we do, is it? Sequester the dead?

Gina Riley: They want to put the track, the skeet shooting, the badminton and the fencing all at the main venue.
John Clarke: Out here?
Gina Riley: Yes.
John Clarke: How are they going to do that?
Gina Riley: They’re going to make them night events. They’re going to put them on after everything else is finished.
John Clarke: But people will get shot, won’t they?
Gina Riley: Well, they say they’re going to fire above their heads.
John Clarke: It’s never been a terribly convincing defence. "We were firing above their heads, Your Honour, and then we noticed large numbers of deceased persons."

Gina Riley: He was particularly appalled – please get this down – that the games seemed to be turned into a benefit for television; a notoriously greedy and selfish medium that is obsessed with money and sensation, and is often run by morons who wouldn’t know if their arses were on fire unless the ratings told them so!
John Clarke: Excuse me. Excuse me. You’ve lost me a bit. Go back – greedy and selfish industry. Arses on fire. Morons.
Gina Riley: Morons: M–O–R–
John Clarke: [Writing] Run by morons, many of whom are insane.

Bryan Dawe: [Brandishing wallet as official badge] Federal Police.
Jasmine Holt: [Brandishing wallet as official badge] Mittagong Regional Library.

Lateline/Rural [1.8][edit]

[Attempting to explain the changes to the swimming programme to the audience]:
Interviewer: Okay, well tell me about the major changes to the swimming programme.
John Clarke: Well, what's currently proposed is the, what I believe I've just given you a copy of, which is that all heats will be run in the morning, as they normally are... slight change insofar as heats will be worked out on the best of three, times will obviously count. Perhaps Gina knows a little bit more about this than I do?
Gina Riley: Thank you John. Yes, each swimmer will swim three heats in each event, the swimmer's slowest heat time will then be dropped, the other two times will then be multiplied by three over two then divided by three to give an aggregate time and the fastest 32 times will then move on to the next round.
John Clarke: Yes, and then there's a "wild card" entry, for those who are the top place getters in each of the races in which the fastest three times were recorded, and then there'll be quarter-finals, and then there'll be finals, and then there'll be repechages.
Interviewer: Remind me, what is a repechage?
John Clarke: After the final sequence of heats, competitors who have not been successful go back into a stage of three previous heats in which there is a separate sequence of semi-finals - quarter-finals and semi-finals - and so people are given another chance, really. And then there'll be, obviously, a preliminary final, and then a quarter-final, semi-final, and then the rounds of three heats subsequent to the repechages, and the quarter-finals and semi-finals in respect of those, and that'll fill the eighth lane - the other seven lanes being filled as I've described - and, er, so, you know, that's fairly simple.

Nicholas Bell: Look, they're coming from somewhere up in the sticks, they just want to present their proposal for the opening ceremony, alright?
Bryan Dawe: Nicholas, you've just finished telling me that the contract for the opening ceremony has been awarded to a German company.
Nicholas Bell: Yes, Einfahrt. [To camera] Nobody knows that yet, alright?
Bryan Dawe: Well, it's academic, isn't it? You've already awarded the contract!
Nicholas Bell: No, you will have to see them.
Bryan Dawe: But there's no possible reason for seeing them Nicholas, you've awarded the contract!
Nicholas Bell: That's precisely why you have to see them!
Bryan Dawe: Why, because you've awarded the contract to the Germans?
Nicholas Bell: Yes!
Bryan Dawe: I don't believe it.
Nicholas Bell: Well, things have got to be done fairly and kept above board. [Patronisingly] There's the chap.

Bryan Dawe: Now, you have all these schoolkids swarming into the stadium dressed as luminous glow-worms?
Joyce: Not yet.
Mrs Dundas: Not now, not yet. They're not in until just gone dark.
Joyce: Yeah.
Mrs Dundas: Cause they won't glow otherwise, and they'll need to glow.
Joyce: Course they will, with everyone wanting to wave to mum and dad up in the stands.
Gina Riley: What were you thinking Bryan, they're glowing!
Bryan Dawe: Okay, glowing kids - after.

Joyce: I do tell you though, you cannot get horses to form Adelaide churches. God, we tried. Can't get them to be pointy!
Gina Riley: Shame.
Bryan Dawe: That is a shame.
Joyce: We could do Tazzy instead.

J'Accuse [1.9][edit]

John Clarke: We can't have this sort of rubbish being written. This is badly written, unresearched rubbish.
Gina Riley: You don't mind badly written, unresearched rubbish when it's on your side.
John Clarke: I don't have a problem with favourable crap. Favourable crap is an excellent result. It's the best result you can get in Australia, favourable crap.

Bryan Dawe: What's a lacrosse centre? It's a paddock with a couple of goalposts.

John Clarke: There was an earthquake up here in 1973. It did two hundred grand's worth of improvements.

Jack Hughes: You can check it until your arse falls off. I'm telling you that's what's happening.
John Clarke: Well you can tell me that until your dick catches fire. I'm still going to have to go check it out.

Gerry Connolly: [Imitating Bob Hawke] Look, Juan Antonio Samaranch has realised he's in shitter's ditch, mate, and he has pleaded with me to go in there and take over.

Gerry Connolly: [Imitating Bob Hawke] There's a shortlist, there's one name on that shortlist, and your name is on the shortlist.

John Clarke: [Introducing Gina to Gerry] You're familiar with most of Australia's post-war governments, aren't you?

A Management Course [1.10][edit]

John Clarke: It’s Friday afternoon and we’ve got three brand new sporting venues opening in Sydney on Sunday. We should be down there preparing for that but we are not. What are we doing this weekend instead?
Gina Riley: Bonding.

Gina Riley: Did you read this letter, John?
John Clarke: Yes I did read the letter. I was very impressed with the letter.
Gina Riley: "You will travel by luxury coach."
John Clarke: Luxury coach, yes. And an ant therefore is a bird of prey.

Miki Oikawa: [Reading from sample ticket] "This ticket admits holder to the session nominated on Box 4 on the obverse of this ticket and is..."
John Clarke: I see. Which side is the obverse?
Miki Oikawa: This side.
John Clarke: The side with the box on it?
Miki Oikawa: Yes, the session is nominated in the box.
John Clarke: Okay, what’s on the obverse of the box?
Miki Oikawa: That’s the information I’m reading to you now.
John Clarke: The information’s on the obverse?
Miki Oikawa: Yes.
John Clarke: I thought what you were reading before stated that the box was on the obverse of this ticket?
Miki Oikawa: Yes, well, they’re both obverses.
John Clarke: They’re both obverses. That's a bit confusing, isn't it?

John Clarke: So what other crises have we got to deal with?
Katerina Kotsonis: Let’s assume there are five other major problems.
John Clarke: Let’s assume there aren’t.
Katerina Kotsonis: Let’s assume that the phones are ringing.
John Clarke: Let’s assume they’re not. Let’s assume we answered them all. Wrong numbers, a lot of them.

Gina Riley: I would rather sit at home with a pencil in my eye than do that again.

Nicholas Bell: All I’m saying is that a problem that up until 30 seconds ago was the Minister’s problem is now your problem. [Walks off]
John Clarke: [Shouting after him] And the minister will be confronting this issue, will he, by his usual method of being photographed in a hard-hat pointing at a concrete mixer?

John Clarke: I don’t think that presents a major problem. If the gold medals aren’t gold, we shouldn’t call them gold. Call them the yellow medal.
Gina Riley: It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it? "Triple yellow medallist Dawn Fraser."
John Clarke: Well, no, it lacks mystique. And I can’t imagine that the winner of the grey medal and the winner of the brown medal will be all that disappointed that they didn’t get up for the yellow.

John Clarke: It’s just that right at the moment I’m not in the right frame of mind to deal with make-believe problems. We have real problems.

John Clarke: Everything the IOC says is code for something else. If, for example, they describe the function that Bryan persists in calling "the Atlantic Olympics" as exceptional, that’s the equivalent of saying "hand me a twig, please, I’d like to scrape the Atlantic Olympics off the sole of my shoe."

John Clarke: "Finishing touches" is code for "we've bought the concrete."

A Conflict of Interest [1.11][edit]

John Clarke: Manny the Mouth. All the news that's fit to flush.

John Clarke: I beg your pardon. What do you mean "no signal"? No signal. I’m at the centre of the universe. I’m at the epicentre of the known cosmos. No signal.
Taxi Driver: Ninety-seven per cent coverage, those new phones.
John Clarke: Really? The other three per cent presumably consists of the central business district and a couple of outlying districts in which human beings live.

Bryan Dawe: John, don’t fight what you can’t change.
John Clarke: That’s the ANZAC spirit, isn’t it Bryan?

[Gina runs past towards the bathroom]
John Clarke: What’s wrong with her?
Bryan Dawe: Big night with the Albanians.
John Clarke: Really? She went out with an Albanian delegation. What does that mean?
Bryan Dawe: She set fire to one of their wigs.

Bryan Dawe: What happened in Melbourne? What legacy did they have?
John Clarke: As a result of the Olympics?
Bryan Dawe: Yes.
John Clarke: Slums, by and large. They built a whole lot of accommodation out at West Heidelberg. It’s still there, I think. You still hear it mentioned from time to time. "Police later found the vehicle abandoned at West Heidelberg." "Police are anxious to speak to the population of West Heidelberg."

John Clarke: Can you get Ian Barrundi to come?
Bryan Dawe: Ian Barrundi? Yes.
John Clarke: Get him to come.
Bryan Dawe: We’d need a weight lifter.
John Clarke: Well, we need a recently retired, top flight international athlete.
Bryan Dawe: Who’s as thick as pig shit.
John Clarke: He’s very good in a meeting, Bryan. He’s excellent in a meeting.
Bryan Dawe: He knows nothing about corporate law and doesn’t know what the Minister’s deal is.
John Clarke: The Americans don’t know that.
Bryan Dawe: It’ll take me an hour and a half to brief him.
John Clarke: He doesn’t need to say anything. Go and ring him. He doesn’t need to say anything. I just want him to be there. Tell him to dress for church and be in attendance.

William T. Eyck: So who is the Chief Executive?
John Clarke: At the moment?
William T. Eyck: What do you mean at the moment? How many have you had?
John Clarke: I’m speaking from memory... about four, so far.
William T. Eyck: What happened to the other ones?
John Clarke: Some of them are spending a little bit more time with their families.

[John reads the latest Joseph Williams article in the Sunday paper]]
John Clarke: "Businessman’s secret charitable donations. Joseph Williams tells of his little known secret million-dollar deal to benefit philanthropic causes." "Secret"... "tells of" "secret"... "tells of" "secret"... "tells of" "secret"... "tells" "secret". I give up – spot the deliberate mistake. Does the man think we’re absolute idiots?

Horse and Dream Team [1.12][edit]

John Clarke: Some sheep are terribly brisk.

John Clarke: [To taxi driver] Could you possibly experiment with a slightly higher gear? I'm actually a fair bit late and I'm going to see an American, and they think lateness is very, very rude? It'd be a pity to annoy them at this stage after so many years of sycophancy. [pause] It's the pedal on the right. [beat] That's the one.

[Referring to the film crew]

John Clarke: I can ask them to leave, if you like?
Tom Miller: No, no problem at all.
John Clarke: No?
Tom Miller: I'm an American, we invented television you know.
John Clarke: Ah yes, in your capital of London.

Frank Woodley: G'day g'day! And another g'day.

Transport! [1.13][edit]

Nicholas Bell: Do you know who it was who made that call?
John Clarke: Yes, I do. Yes. And he did it on my specific instructions.
Nicholas Bell: It was a woman.
John Clarke: Ah well, that is serious. Oh yes, I can see the concern there. That’s actually dangerous. I’m surprised that’s allowed. A woman?

John Clarke: Have you got the Media Accreditation stuff here somewhere?
Gina Riley: Just putting the finishing touches on it.
John Clarke: Have you done the press release on the Internet?
Gina Riley: Yes. Got that covered.
John Clarke: Have you booked the satellite for the CNN thing next week?
Gina Riley: Got a call in.
John Clarke: Did you fax Juan Antonio’s itinerary out here next week…?
Gina Riley: As we speak.
John Clarke: …because there’s a message on the machine that they haven’t got it.
Gina Riley: Bloody hell.
John Clarke: Do you think perhaps we could fax it again? You do know they should actually have had it yesterday?
Gina Riley: I’ll take that on board, John.
John Clarke: [Quietly] Gina, have you actually done any of these things at all?
Gina Riley: No, I haven’t.

Nicholas Bell: Thank you. John, can I ask what work has been done up to this stage by your people on this question? You see, what I am thinking is there maybe a detailed study already undertaken on the Los Angeles public transport system and how it worked for them at the ’84 Games. That sort of thing would give us a lot of information. Is that available at all?
John Clarke: Bryan?
Bryan Dawe: No.
Nicholas Bell: It hasn’t been done at all?
John Clarke: Bryan?
Bryan Dawe: No.
Nicholas Bell: Is there a reason for that?
John Clarke: Bryan?
Bryan Dawe: They don’t have a public transport system in Los Angeles.

Sam Neill: You don’t like us very much, do you?
John Clarke: That’s a very old-fashioned way of thinking.

Series 2[edit]

In the Public Interest [2.1][edit]

[Bryan is being interviewed by Liz Jackson]:
Bryan Dawe: He’s got a very soft side, John. You don’t see it very often but it’s there. I remember we were once in Milan and we were sitting out on this fifteenth-century balcony. We were drinking a local liqueur called ‘Mist of Heaven’ and all of a sudden John just started to weep. I don’t think he was unhappy. I mean, we’d drunk about three bottles of the stuff and the weather was very beautiful and we were just sitting out there looking over the harbour.

[John is being interviewed by Liz Jackson]:
John Clarke: Well, I’ve always responded pretty well to a challenge. I can remember when I was a kid once playing cricket with my cousins on the lawn at the back of my grandmother’s place and somebody said, ‘I bet you can’t put a ball on the roof of that big tool shed at the bottom of the garden’, and I can still remember thinking, "You reckon I can’t do that, don’t you?"
Liz Jackson: [Off-camera] And could you do it?
John Clarke: No. It was too far away.

[Bryan is being interviewed by Liz Jackson]:
Bryan Dawe: Yes, he had some disappointments, but John could have been a world-class runner. No doubt about that. He wasn’t. But he could have been.

Liz Jackson: [Voice-over] Further revelations followed a few months later, and in November of that year, fifteen ONAN committee members were cashiered when they were found to have received an estimated $4 million worth of jewellery from a man who gave his name as Mr Tabernacle Choir.

[John is being interviewed by Liz Jackson]:
John Clarke:I felt at this stage Allan Ronaldson still deserved a chance to clear his name. There was still some doubt. Don’t forget that Allan had worked very, very hard for a very, very long time for the movement. I thought that there was still a chance, in my mind, that all of this could turn out to have been a mistake.
Liz Jackson: [Off-camera] Did you ever see him with a yacht?
John Clarke: No, categorically, I never once saw Allan with a yacht. I did see him with a light aircraft once, at a meeting.
Liz Jackson: [Off-camera] And where did he get that from?
John Clarke: He told me he’d won that in a card game.

John Clarke: Allan Ronaldson got a very fair hearing. I think if you ask, even Allan Ronaldson will say he got a very fair hearing over this matter.
[Cut to Allan Ronaldson, interviewed in an airport lounge]:
Allan Ronaldson: [Laughing] No, he didn’t actually say that, did he?

[John is being interviewed by Liz Jackson]:
Liz Jackson: [Off-camera] How do you feel when you get personal criticism? Does it hurt?
John Clarke: Personal criticism? I don’t pay much attention to personal criticism, to be honest. Who said something?
Liz Jackson: [Off-camera] Well, it has been said that you’re arrogant, for example, hasn’t it?
John Clarke: Well what complete barking moron said that?

[Bryan is being interviewed by Liz Jackson]:
Bryan Dawe: Arrogant? John? No. Arrogant? No, not exactly.

[Gina is being interviewed by Liz Jackson]:
Gina Riley: John? Arrogant? No, [Thinking about it] no... [Less convincingly] no...

[John is being interviewed by Liz Jackson]:
John Clarke: Yes, I have regrets, I suppose. I’d like, for example, to be able to get out of the office a little bit more and perhaps spend some time with some of the charity organisations that I’m involved with.
Liz Jackson: [Off-camera] And which ones are they?
John Clarke: Oh, Bicycles for the Deaf, African Dog Hospital, something at Thredbo. American Express. Countless others.

[John is being interviewed by Liz Jackson]:
Liz Jackson: [Off-camera] It’s been said that ONAN is undemocratic, hasn’t it? That it is a closed, secretive, elite group.
John Clarke: Yes, but only by riffraff.

John Clarke: Tell them Daddy’s in Europe. You haven’t seen Daddy for a bit. You think he’s in Switzerland.
Janice: Will I say you’re with Auntie Fahey and Aunty Linda?
John Clarke: No, no, no, no. Don’t say I’m with Aunty anybody. Don’t say I’m with Aunty anybody. You haven’t seen me for a bit. You know, I’ll be back in six weeks.

Michael: Hey Dad, there’s a guy out there with a camera.
John Clarke: Well, go out there and tell him you’re a policeman and explain to him that he’s in breach of regulations and if he’s not off the property in one minute you’re going to call the police.
Michael: If I’m a policeman, haven’t we already called the police?
John Clarke: Well tell them you’re going to call more police. [Shouting] Bigger ones!

Talking to the Troops [2.2][edit]

Gina Riley: I had a proposal for the naming rights to the mascots this morning.
John Clarke: Millie, Olly and Syd?
Gina Riley: Uh-huh.
Bryan Dawe: Any good?
Gina Riley: Not bad if you don’t mind them being called Big Mac, Fordie and Microsofty

John Clarke: In this very room, we’ve probably got a microcosm of Australia’s fabulous cultural diversity. [To Asian-looking staff member] Where, for example, do you come from?
Staff Member: Who, me? Collaroy.
John Clarke: No, I mean where are your parents from?
Staff Member: Oh, they’re from Petersham.
John Clarke: What about your grandparents, then? Where are your grandparents from?
Staff Member: Well, they had a market garden up in Maitland.
John Clarke: Yes, well, good on them. My point is the cultural diversity. I mean, we all come from somewhere. In my own case, for example, probably principally Ireland and Scotland in the 1860s. What about you?
Staff Member: Oh, well, they came up from Melbourne in about 1855.
John Clarke: Good on them.
Staff Member: From the Victorian goldfields.
John Clarke: Yes, very good. Yes, well, the cultural point is probably well made.

John Clarke: Yes, we are embarked upon what is undoubtedly the greatest event ever mounted in Australia.
Bryan Dawe: Of any kind.
John Clarke: Yes, Bryan, yes, probably the greatest event ever mounted in any Australia of any kind.
Gina Riley: Of any kind in Australia.
John Clarke: Pardon?

Staff Member: Why have we issued tickets that don’t fit the little tickets slots?
Bryan Dawe: Can I just handle that? Can I just say that the ticketing system that we implemented for these games is absolutely superb? If it had come off we would have been national heroes. I mean, it was a brilliant idea.
[The room erupts in laughter]:
Staff Member: What went wrong?
Bryan Dawe: We got caught.

John Clarke: Listen. I mean, before you get abusive, shagnasty, you want to consider organising something of the magnitude of these games. I mean, this a serious undertaking. This isn’t a school gala day we’re organising here.

[Reading from an information pack issued to all members of staff]:
John Clarke: Australia is a bi-cameral, monarchical federation run by the states and with the right of appeal to the media. The capital is Canberra, obviously. The principal industries in this country are coal and the Olympics. If a visitor comments on the high price of accommodation or Olympic tickets do point out that due to strong management at the highest level, the Australian dollar is now roughly equivalent to the American dime. So they’re not getting a bad deal. The reason prices might seem slightly higher in some instances is of course, Australia’s exciting new GST. The long-term benefits of taxation reform far outweigh the relatively minor inconvenience of paying $6.50 for a cup of coffee. If you are with a visitor from overseas in a traffic jam in Sydney, you are to say, "This is very unusual. A truck must have tipped over". If it rains during the period September 15 to October 1, say "Goodness me, how tremendous. A benediction for Australia’s rich farmlands". Of course, if it hails, go inside because, obviously, you might get killed. The Aboriginal population in Australia is a happy and largely nomadic people and while we are deeply committed to the improvement of their desperate condition... they are perfectly well. You might like to mention Cathy Freeman – they’ve probably heard of her. The name of the man who built the hundred-metre track is Mr Jim Wilson of ACME Construction. He has absolutely nothing to do with this organisation. He’s only ever been here the one time.
Gina Riley: And we don’t think anyone saw him.
John Clarke: He also, incidentally, designed and built the triathlon track, a range of very high-quality ticketing machines, the main runway at Sydney Airport and lanes four and five of the Olympic swimming pools. If you are asked who is paying for these Olympic Games you are to say, "No speeka di Inglish". If attending Olympic events, visitors should be advised to eat before leaving home - that one’s quite important - and if attending the swimming, visitors should be advised to take a very powerful telescope and maybe a small amount of oxygen if they’re sitting above about row F. The minister’s name is Mr Michael Knight. Mr Michael Knight. Beach Volleyball is not simply a game of volleyball played on a beach. It is a game of volleyball best played in a very large neo-Hitler construction which people can’t get into without paying and is built on an area that used to be a beach. That about covers it. Good luck. Bat on.

Staff Member: What do the IOC actually do?
Gina Riley: Well, as I’ve just said, they select the city for the Games.
Staff Member: And how do they do that?
Gina Riley: Well, they travel around the world for many years looking at places where the Olympics might be held.
Another Staff Member: Have the Olympics ever been held in a brothel?

Reconciliation [2.3][edit]

John Clarke: Morning, Bryan. Are you aware that we had a transport meeting this morning?
Bryan Dawe: Yes, it was cancelled.
John Clarke: Yes, good. Thanks, I worked that out, Bryan. There’s nothing like sitting in someone’s empty office for 40 minutes to focus the mind, is there?

John Clarke: How do you spell "phonics"?
Gina Riley: The way it sounds.
John Clarke: Doesn’t fit.
Gina Riley: "Incongruous"?

[John is throwing the day's post into the bin]:
Bryan Dawe: Ah, John? Any for me in there?
John Clarke: No, Bryan.
Bryan Dawe: How do you know? You’ve just chucked it all out.
John Clarke: Most of it was from the public.

John Clarke: They’d be in that in a minute wouldn’t they, the media? Planeload of dedicated Australian journalists. A few photographers. A couple of drug and alcohol counsellors.

Gina Riley: We were flying in the face of one of the basic rules of food consumption.
Bryan Dawe: Which one?
Gina Riley: "Never eat in a Scottish restaurant."

Gina Riley: [On telephone] Hello. How would your radio show like exclusive coverage of one entire leg of the Olympic torch relay? No, there would be no fee involved. No. [Shouting] Because we haven’t got any money!

Ambassador Berger: Much could be made in achieving this end if the government were to address the deep wrongs inflicted on the indigenous population and attempt to achieve true reconciliation with the Aboriginal peoples.
John Clarke: Yes. When?
Ambassador Berger: I hope the Games go ahead as planned.
John Clarke: Yes. Pretty soon...

John Clarke: They’re concerned that Australia’s treatment of its Aboriginal people is... you know.
Gina Riley: A disgrace?
John Clarke: Well, he didn’t actually say that.
Gina Riley: Well, he wouldn’t. He’s a diplomat.

Nicholas Bell: Have they got witchetydoodles?
John Clarke: Didgeridoos?
Nicholas Bell: Long thing. You blow through it.
John Clarke: Didgeridoos, Nicholas.
Nicholas Bell: Bloody marvellous. There you are, then.

Gina Riley: I’ve got an answer.
John Clarke: I’m delighted to hear it, Gina. Kofi Annan can’t work it out; the international court at The Hague reckon it’s beyond their jurisdiction. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that you’ve bowled it over.

John Howard: Good evening. My name is John Howard and I’m speaking to you from Sydney, Australia, host-city of the year 2000 Olympic Games. At this important time and in an atmosphere of international goodwill and national pride, we here in Australia, all of us, would like to make a statement before all nations. Australia, like many countries in the New World, is intensely proud of what it has achieved in the past 200 years. We have a vibrant and resourceful people. We share a freedom born in the abundance of nature, the richness of the earth, the bounty of the sea. We are the world’s biggest island. We have the world’s longest coastline. We have more animal species than any other country. Two-thirds of the world’s birds species are native to Australia. We are one of the few countries on earth with our own sky. We are a fabric woven of many colours and it’s this that gives us our strength. However, these achievements have come at great cost. We have been here for 200 years, but before that there was a people living here. For over 40,000 years they lived in perfect balance with the land. There were many Aboriginal nations, just as there were many Indian nations in North America and across Canada, as there were many Maori tribes in New Zealand, and Incan and Mayan peoples in South America. These indigenous Australians lived in areas as different from one another as Scotland is from Ethiopia. They lived in an area the size of Western Europe. They didn’t even share a common language. Yet, they had their own laws, their own beliefs, their own ways of understanding. We destroyed this world. We often didn’t mean to do it. Our forebears, fighting to establish themselves in what they saw as a harsh environment, were creating a national economy. But the Aboriginal world was decimated. A pattern of disease and dispossession was established. Alcohol was introduced. Social and racial differences were allowed to become fault-lines. Aboriginal families were broken up. Sadly, Aboriginal health and education are responsibilities we have yet to address successfully. I speak for all Australians in expressing a profound sorrow to the Aboriginal people. I am sorry. We are sorry. Let the world know and understand that it is with this sorrow, that we as a nation will grow and seek a better, a fairer and a wiser future. Thank you.

IOC Man [2.4][edit]

John Clarke: Tell me about the Bolivian soccer team.
Gina Riley: Beaten 2–nil by Poland on Saturday. Got home yesterday. Last night the goalkeeper was shot.
John Clarke: Shit!
Gina Riley: Shot.

Gina Riley: Oh, come on, John. That’s a bit old hat, the corrupt IOC delegate.
John Clarke: Old hat? Gina, in the scientific world when they see that something is happening again and again and again, repeatedly, they don’t call it old hat. They call it a pattern.

Gina Riley: Christ. I suppose it’s possible one day somebody might ask me a question about sport.
John Clarke: Oh, you won’t get a question about sport, Gina. No chance of that. Very old hat, sport. No-one will ask you about that. Every Olympics has got sport. The thing that differentiates the Australian Olympics, Gina, is that it’s going to be paid for by Australians.

[Repeated line]
Various characters: Good news!

Bryan Dawe: All of those trees we planted were uprooted and blown away in last week’s hailstorm.
John Clarke: I take it you’re not telling me this in order to demonstrate the awesome power of nature.

John Clarke: Well, who will be announcing we're not going to replant the trees , he asked rhetorically?

Tim Schwerdt: The Minister wants you at his office.
John Clarke: Ah!
Tim Schwerdt: Now.
John Clarke: Did he specify if I was to bring my own sword or will I be falling on one provided by the Minister?

[After angrily reversing his car into the garage wall]
John Clarke: Now why would you put a wall in there?

John Clarke: Well, this will be a moment of excitement. I’ve never actually met the Minister before. I've only ever seen him on television. Normally just his smile and maybe a tiny bit of his lawyer.

Nicholas Bell: Good news.
John Clarke: We’re going to replant all the trees?
Nicholas Bell: Good on you. Don’t get much time in the garden myself.

John Clarke: Good to know, Bill, that the IOC is well off for fully functioning photocopying machines. Photocopying whatever it is you photocopy up there. What is it? The location of stolen bullion, is it? Nazi escape routes? Something like that?

John Clarke: Do you bother naming the female children?

Bill Ten Eyck: I’d love to move, but not for a million dollars.
John Clarke: Two million dollars perhaps, Bill?

Nicholas Bell: And here’s that brief for the press conference for the launch of Australia’s Games tomorrow. You’ve got a rehearsal first thing in the morning.
John Clarke: Rehearsal?
Nicholas Bell: The Channel Seven commentary team are going to be there dressed up as Shagger, Australia’s Gumnut Kangaroo.
John Clarke: All of them?
Nicholas Bell: I think so.
John Clarke: Wilko?
Nicholas Bell: Wilko’s its arse, I think.

Bill Ten Eyck: Beer, mate?
John Clarke: One perishingly cold, thanks.
[Bill doesn't move]
John Clarke: Yes, that’s the other thing, of course. I could get it myself.

Gina Riley: Well, Bill’s safely off and I, for one, am very, very sad to see him go.
John Clarke: Yes, a commonly held view as it happens, Gina. For example, Detective Conroy here of the Fraud Squad is also a little dewy-eyed at Bill’s tragic departure, given that she and most of the international police force have been looking for Bill for quite some time.

Inquiry [2.5][edit]

Bryan Dawe: I've had sponsors on the phone all day trying to screw extra value out of their deal.
John Clarke: Yes, thank you Bryan. Yes, yes, thank you very much Bryan.
Bryan Dawe: They want to know where every cent is going. Selfish pricks.
John Clarke: [Gesturing to camera operator] Perhaps you could just lose Bryan very, very slightly.
[The camera pans off Bryan altogether]
John Clarke: No, that's good.

Gina Riley: Are they paying us a lot of money, John?
John Clarke: I believe they are, Gina, yes. That's certainly the proposal.
Bryan Dawe: How much?
John Clarke: A shirtload, Bryan, I believe was the expression the Minister used. An absolute shirtload.

John Clarke: Nicholas, this is very cloak and dagger. What do you want to do? Draw all the curtains? Why don't you turn the radio on? The Russians normally pop a bug in the lamp, don't they?

John Clarke: Well, I can't go and answer a whole lot of questions about a subject I know nothing about.
Nicholas Bell: You know, it's actually easier. It's easier to answer questions on something that you don't know anything about.
John Clarke: I wouldn't even know how to begin to talk about art.
Nicholas Bell: Well, you'll be alright then.

Nicholas Bell: You've never been before an inquiry, have you, John?
John Clarke: No, Nicholas, and I've never been cleaning anything when it went off either.
Nicholas Bell: Well, I can't go. I've already fronted the ticketing inquiry.
John Clarke: And didn't you go well, Nicholas. I'm surprised they don't want you back. You couldn't remember either end of any conversation you ever had and you didn't turn out to have kept any notes about anything.
Nicholas Bell: Thank you, John. Yes, well, there's a way of doing these things, alright?
John Clarke: You got a round of applause at one stage for remembering your own name.
Nicholas Bell: Thank you John. I will tell the Minister that you will be in touch when you've spoken to the barrister.
John Clarke: It was like watching a zeppelin fall out of the sky.

Barrister: I want you to listen very carefully. If you're asked a question about what happened on a particular occasion and you don't want to answer, you say "I don't recall."
John Clarke: I don't recall.
Barrister: Yes. And if you're asked if some event happened, you say "Not that I recall."
John Clarke: Not that I recall.
Barrister: That's right. If you're asked whether something happened and it has been established that it did happen, you say "Not in my presence."
John Clarke: Not in my presence.
Barrister: That's right. If you're asked any detail about anything, it means they think they've got you. You clam up, you say "Not to my knowledge.
John Clarke: Not to my knowledge.
Barrister: That's right. And if you think you're about to reveal something, anything, you stop immediately, you turn to the judge and you say "Can I have a glass of water?"
John Clarke: Can I have a glass of water?
Barrister: That's right.
John Clarke: God, it's no wonder the court system's going so well is it?

[Discussing a potential sponsorship deal with Dunkin' Donuts]

John Clarke: They're one of the biggest fast food franchises in the whole United States. Very popular with the young, Bryan, as their very amusing name might suggest.
Bryan Dawe: And do you know what they sell?
John Clarke: I'd go for donuts, but I'm pretty sure it's already taken. I'll have a crack at something else. Drinks.

Counsel Assisting: You are Bryan Dawe?
Bryan Dawe: [Turning to judge] Can I have have a glass of water please?

Pommy Visitor [2.6][edit]

[On the telephone to Bryan]

John Clarke: I've been out on the street for twenty minutes trying to get a cab, Bryan, that's why I'm ringing you. There are no cabs. I have used binoculars. You cannot see a cab. Van? What van? No, I'm not going to go out and pick up an international visitor in a van, Bryan. No. Alright, where is it?

Nicholas Bell: Did you actually see John in the courtesy car?
Tim Schwerdt: No.
Nicholas Bell: Good.
Tim Schwerdt:Why do you say that?
Nicholas Bell: Because I sold it this morning.

John Clarke: How late are we?
Gina Riley: The difference between the time his plane arrived and the time it is now could be measured by an archaeologist.

John Clarke: Dead weight he might be, but at least I think we could have got here on time to meet him.
Gina Riley: It won't matter anyway.
John Clarke: "It won't matter anyway," she said boldly.
Gina Riley: His plane will have been late.
John Clarke: Oh, we're predicting the past now. You don't often see that.

John Clarke: Just trying to keep the dream alive, Gina.

[Neil has brought a shotgun with him from the UK without attracting any attention from Customs]

Gina Riley: No-one asked you about the gun?
Neil MacPherson: No.
John Clarke: Did you have it with you when no-one asked you about it? Did you just walk straight through?
Neil MacPherson: Yes, no problem.
Gina Riley: It doesn't really look like a gun.
John Clarke: I suppose it fires things that don't really look like bullets.

Gina Riley: It doesn't look like a gun. it could be anything.

[Arriving back at their taxi]

Taxi Driver: Take your gun, mate?
Neil MacPherson: Thank you very much.
John Clarke: And this small thermo-nuclear device if you've got room. Just anywhere in there.

[Discussing the Olympics Minister]

Bryan Dawe: He's in the newspaper today.
John Clarke: Oh, not again! What's he done today? Give us a look
Bryan Dawe: Yesterday he christened a baby gorilla the the zoo.
John Clarke: Oh, yes. There's virtually no end to his capacity.
Gina Riley: He's the one on the left.

Nicholas Bell: We've had a review of all aspects of the office setup.
John Clarke: Could you perhaps be a tiny bit more specific?
Nicholas Bell: You do try to make this as difficult as possible, don't you?
John Clarke: No, I'm not trying to make it difficult Nicholas. And personally I think you're doing fairly well so far. But would you mind please defining "we", "review", "aspects", "office" and "setup".

Bryan Dawe: These are the latest figures on the sponsorship shortfall.
Nicholas Bell: Situation.
Bryan Dawe: Sponsorship shortfall situation.
Nicholas Bell: Sponsorship situation.
Bryan Dawe: Sponsorship situation.

Immigration [2.7][edit]

Nicholas Bell: Thanks for coming over, John.
John Clarke: I think if you've ordered someone to do something you should probably resist the urge to thank them.

Gina Riley: They're doing a profile piece on John for the Sunday lift-out. You know, what's his favourite food, favourite film, favourite natural disaster.

Gina Riley: Nicholas, what happened to the $12 million you were given to beef up the Customs service?
Nicholas Bell: It's been spent.
Gina Riley: On the Customs service?
Nicholas Bell: Presumably.

Gina Riley: I thought it might help his asylum application if he got a little publicity.
John Clarke: Do you think publicity's a food group?

Gina Riley: John, if I might explain a little of Mr Stoyanov's background for you. I've done some research, Nicholas. Mr Stoyanov comes from a little-known part of Bulgaria called Glasgow. When he went through Customs last week, he did so under what I can only assume was his gypsy name of Euan McTavish.

Gina Riley: It won't stand up to analysis.
Nicholas Bell: There won't be any analysis. It's the Australian media, Gina.

Gina Riley: They may seem familiar to you. They tell me they've met you. They are two young men from drought-stricken Somalia who tell me that they too are intending to claim status as economic refugees, the starvation rate in their country being what it so tragically is. You may not recognise them, however, as both of them now appear to weigh 22 stone, are white, and - according to their passports - bear the Somalian names of Nikolai Grigoriev and Yuri Ivanov. You'd be comforted to know though, Nicholas, that their superlative skills remain intact in the traditional African sport of the hammer throw.

Jack Hughes: So where are you guys from?
Nikolai: Somalia.
Jack Hughes: Somalia?
Yuri: Please give us food. We are hungry.

Jack Hughes: Mr Stoyanov, thank you very much for your time.
Euan McTavish: Pick a winda Jimmy, you're leavin'.
John Clarke: [Pretending to translate from Bulgarian] It is the best interview I am ever having.

Solar [2.10][edit]

John Clarke: We're running on the smell of an oily rag.


  • John Clarke - John Clarke, Head of Administration & Logistics for the Sydney Olympic Games
  • Gina Riley - Gina Riley, Manager of Marketing & Liaisons for the Sydney Olympic Games
  • Bryan Dawe - Bryan Dawe, Manager of Accounts, Budgeting & Finance for the Sydney Olympic Games
  • Nicholas Bell - Nicholas Bell - Secretary to the Minister for the Olympic Games

External links[edit]