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Word games, wit and the pleasure of annoying people: a daughter's memoir sheds new light on the notoriously private John Clarke

By Matthew Ricketson, Professor of Communication, Deakin University
Not long after John Clarke died in April 2017, his elder daughter, Lorin, attended a children’s birthday party where she found herself standing alone.

A woman came up to pass on her condolences. Another woman, a stranger, overheard and squealed. Your dad was John Clarke? “Are you serious? I love him!” Trying to go along with it, Lorin replied, “I love him too”.

The woman looked at her sharply and Lorin thought she was about to be admonished for her dark humour. Instead, the woman leaned in and said: “I don’t think you understand. I grew up with him”.

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