The 1970's and 'Ocker' Comedies

Tim Burstall, whilst being a 'pioneer' of Australian ocker comedies, it also influenced a range of popular Australian films that are iconic today and associated with the Australian 'new wave.'

Similar films that leaned towards the humor and style of Burstall's classics such as 'Stork' and 'Alvin Purple' include 'The Adventures of Barry McKenzie'.

Barry McKenzie was hugely popular in Australia, and was released just a year after Stork in 1972. Directed by Bruce Beresford and written by Barry Humphries it was produced from a popular comic strip in an Australian newspaper created by Humphries. (Film Reference)
Barry McKenzie was also rather popular in the UK, allowing audiences to poke fun at what was considered to be an 'typical idiotic Australian bloke' in the character of Barry.

Elements of 'ocker' comedies that give Barry McKenzie a similar reference to Burstall's Stork or Alvin Purple and place them in the same category are;

- Cultural clashes between characters.
- Making fun of Australian culture and life, using the central character as a focal point for seemingly 'innocent'  and dumbfounded humor.
- Seemingly crude scenes and humor for the time.
- Targeted towards a local audience.
- A great deal of focus on sex or sexual desires.
- Local settings
- A 'send up'
 Oz Film

The main players in Ocker Comedies during the 1970's were Tim Burstall, Bruce Beresford, David Williamson, and Barry Humphries. Their 'ocker' films were all essentially Australian films, and were owned by Australian film directors, producers and writers. The films were made to highlight 'the australian' (Ocker and the Tariff) and they did so by creating a commercial identity for Australians overseas as well as within the country; this involved the humor, the character, and the social and political wants and needs of the Australian people, no matter how underlying the points were.

Some modern 'ocker' comedies can be seen in all kinds of art forms within Australia, not just film. Whilst Barry Humphries has continued with his characters from Barry McKenzie and further on, he has continued to use 'ocker' humor in his comedy shows and theatre productions. Other Australian comedians also have borrowed from the later times of the 1970's and used the familiarity and national identity as a way of achieving success.

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