My first exposure to Paul Hogan was when his series was syndicated on American television in the early 1980's. I always thought he was a tremendous performer, both in the material he wrote and the wide variety of characters he portrayed.
I found him far superior to Benny Hill, since Hogan's work, unlike Hill's, seemed more contemporary. Hill's work, although often amusing, always seemed like recycled music hall/"Carry On" film/"Laugh In" stuff. If Hogan did draw on things, they were instead Monty Python and Saturday Night. If he didn't draw on things, his work could be quite original, and his ability to continually re-invent characters was quite good (I recall his middle-aged beach bum character, Arthur Dunger, eventually being turned into a middle-aged beach bum superhero, and then into a middle-aged beach bum superhero video game character who ended up destroying the person playing the game).
Sadly, when "Crocodile Dundee" came out the show (which Hogan on the Tonight Show once joked was only on in America at 2 AM) got yanked, presumably for repackaging and reselling to capitalize on Hogan's new movie star status. The quality of his films declined rapidly, however, and I'm supposing up until last month, when a DVD was supposed to be released in Australia, no one saw the value in re-releasing these little masterpieces of comedy.
Although some things in "Crocodile Dundee" came close (my favorite gag in that was the "updating" of the film, "Walkabout," having its star, David Gumpilil, walk onto the scene with face paint, spear--and blue jeans!), Hogan never was able, in my opinion, to bring the magic of his TV show to his films.
One should be grateful, though, for his show, and hope a DVD will be coming this way soon.
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