The Age

Comedy writer McKellar, 80, dies

Author: CLARE MORGAN
Date: 15/09/2010
Words: 192
Source: AGE
          Publication: The Age
Section: News
Page: 6
THE man who wrote his way into the Australian vernacular courtesy of his 1960s show A Cup Of Tea, A Bex and a Good Lie Down has died.

Comedy writer John McKellar died on September 6, aged 80.

He was resident writer at Sydney's Phillip Street Theatre in the 1950s and '60s. The revues, which ran until 1971, starred a who's who of Australian entertainers, including Gordon Chater, Noeline Brown, Charles Tingwell, Ruth Cracknell, John Meillon, Barry Humphries and Reg Livermore.

The 1965 show A Cup of Tea, a Bex and a Good Lie Down was one of McKellar's biggest hits and the title quickly became a common Australian saying.

He entered the lexicon again in the 1970s while working at an ad agency. He came up with the line "The drink you have when you're not having a drink" for Clayton's.

Phillip Street director Peter Batey said McKellar should be remembered for his sharp eye for social satire.

"So many people owe him a great deal for the opportunities he provided," Batey said. "He'd make piercing comments. They were always hysterically funny but if you weren't tuned in you'd think, 'Who's this loony?"'

 
 
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