Fred Dagg

June 25, 2018 - 643 views
Genre New Zealand, nz, Kiwi, alternative, comedy

Fred Dagg is a fictional archetype satirist from New Zealand created and acted on stage, film and television by satirist John Clarke. Clarke graced New Zealand TV screens as Dagg during the mid to late 1970s, "taking the piss" out of the post-pioneering Kiwi bloke and ‘blokesses’.

When Clarke first unveiled the character of Fred Dagg in recordings and on New Zealand TV in 1975, he became a national star and icon. Clarke also recorded a series of records and cassettes as Dagg, as well as publishing several books.

The Fred Dagg character is a stereotypical farmer and New Zealand bloke; clad in a black singlet and gumboots, hailing from the isolated rural town of Taihape, and attended by numerous associates (or sons) all named 'Trev'. One memorable expression was uttered whenever there was a knock at the door: "That'll be the door".

Fred Dagg first became a household name in New Zealand in 1975, with the release by Clarke (as Dagg) of two singles with EMI, "Traditional Air"/"Unlabelled", and "We Don't Know How Lucky We Are"/"Larry Loves Barry", with the latter making it to number 17 on the national charts.

An album called Fred Dagg's Greatest Hits followed and was a massive seller. Thirty years after its release this album remains one of New Zealand's all-time biggest selling records.

Another single recorded with Diamond Lil was an even bigger hit in 1976. "Gumboots"/"Save The Last Dance For Me" climbed to number 6 on the charts. "Gumboots" was a modified version of Billy Connolly's "If It Wasna For Your Wellies", itself an adaptation of the old song "The Work Of The Weavers".

A second album, Fred Dagg Live was released in 1976. Following on in the style of the first, it was also a huge seller.

1977 saw the release of the film Dagg Day Afternoon, co-directed by John Clarke with Geoff Murphy, and starring Fred Dagg.

A third and final album was released in 1979 called The Fred Dagg Tapes.

In 1998 the Fred Dagg Anthology CD was released by Columbia. It contains most of the best items Fred is most remembered for, and includes various songs and interviews.

"We Don't Know How Lucky We Are!" was re-released in 1998 with revised lyrics.

In 1979, Clarke moved from New Zealand to Australia, taking the Fred Dagg persona with him, and New Zealanders lost one of their favourite humorists.

In Australia Clarke has gone on to establish himself as a top script writer and personality. He still appears regularly on Australian television doing political satire sketches with actor comedian Bryan Dawe.


Top Tracks

We Don't Know How Lucky We Are 1

We Don't Know How Lucky We Are

Gumboots 2


Solar Energy 3

Solar Energy

The Phone Call 4

The Phone Call

21st Speech 5

21st Speech

The Front Fell Off 6

The Front Fell Off

Real Estate 7

Real Estate

Hamlet 8


Medley 9


Protecting the Environment 10

Protecting the Environment

Top Albums

Fred Dagg Anthology
Fred Dagg Anthology
Kiwiana Goes Pop, Vol. 2 (Another Truckload of Klassic Kiwiana)
Kiwiana Goes Pop, Vol. 2 (Another Truckload of Klassic Kiwiana)