'Hello Possums!'

Dame Edna Everage has been making generations of Australians laugh (and cringe) since she burst on the scene in 1955.

Watch The Dame and her creator-manager Barry Humphries AO, CBE at their satirical best in our new curated collection.

Making an entrance

House-proud and full of gossip, Everage is well known for her lavish couture fashion, wisteria bouffant, winged spectacles and the gladioli she flings at her audiences.

Watching this clip you'll see a collection of Everage's outfits and a spooky sprinkling of her appearances on Australian television.

 

Daybill poster for Les Patterson Saves the World depicting an illustration of Sir Les Patterson in a tuxedo holding a smoking gun and Dame Edna Everage holding a koala with a lot of leg showing in her pink dress.

This poster for Les Patterson Saves the World (George T Miller, Australia, 1987) cleverly parodies the James Bond franchise but the amateurish artwork and static composition fails to be either dramatic or humorous.

The Dame's backstory

Barry Humphries created the character of Edna Everage (as in average) from the Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds whilst touring with a group of actors around Victoria in 1955. She was a caricature of mayor's wives they met on the road and was named after his childhood nanny.

One of the reasons behind Dame Everage's success is her rich backstory, which includes her husband Norm and his prostate troubles, and her children, Valmai, Bruce and Kenny. Her supremely downtrodden bridesmaid Madge Allsop (often played by Emily Perry) also became a beloved character in her shows.

Everage has appeared on television, stage, radio and the big screen. The famous scene where she was made a Dame by then-Prime Minister Gough Whitlam appears in Bruce Beresford's Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (Australia, 1974).

Confidant to the stars

One of Everage's most loved tropes is her satirical relationship with celebrity.

Going out of her way to treat the famous as she would anyone else, Everage loves to humiliate the stars appearing on her spoof talk show The Dame Edna Experience.

She's been all over the world but she has a special connection with England and its royal family, supposedly offering advice to Queen Elizabeth II and acting as a confidant to many world leaders and celebrities.

Apart from The Dame herself, the Dame Edna Everage collection includes appearances by Sir Les Patterson, Zsa Zsa Gabor and of course Barry Humphries, on stage in England and on Australian television, radio and celluloid.