Joe Hendren

[ Home ] [ Articles ] [ Blog Home ] [ Travel ] [ Links] [About Me]

Friday, May 14, 2021

Tribute to David McPhail - a memory from my primary school days.

Sad to hear about the death of David McPhail today.

When I was 11-12 McPhail and Gadsby was one of my favourite programmes on TV, and my Dad was also a big fan of McPhail in particular.

In my last year at Mt Pleasant Primary School (1988) I wrote a series sketch comedy pieces for our end of year school concert to perform with my friends. My biggest inspirations were McPhail and Gadsby and the Muppets. To most I assume it signalled there was something pretty odd about this 12 year old, but that show was my first public political act.

Long before I was an Alliance 'die hard', I didn't like the Forth Labour government. I admit to playing Richard Prebble in one sketch but in my defence I played him as a dog - an 'asset hound'

In another I was a newsreader who announced a plane carrying an orchestra had experienced engine trouble and was forced to jettison some of the instruments - "There is no danger, whatsoever, to the public". I was then hit from above by a 'piano' made out of cardboard that was rigged up on a pulley. My friend did a perfect shot on the night and it landed directly on my head. This was followed by a weather report that a 'cold front was sweeping across the country' - my friend then crossed the stage with a broom.

As you can see my sense of humour has not improved.

Our little show was a big hit with the parents, and my brothers class also gave us a big cheer before we started as they had some idea as to what was to come. Now that I have attended school concerts as a parent I have more of an idea as to how out of the box our little show was!

All I wanted to say was a big thank to you to David McPhail - you are a taonga and an inspiration who will be long remembered - even for out of the box 12 year olds with an keen interest in political satire and surrealist humour.