Fred Dagg's gumboots - Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa - History Collection, Te Papa Collections Online, Matapihi

Fred Dagg's gumboots

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Skellerup Industries Limited


In 1973, New Zealand born comedian John Clarke created an outfit for his satirical television character Fred Dagg, shown on New Zealand television from 1973 to 1976. Fred wore a crumpled hat, black singlet, ripped shorts, and gumboots - a look that is still instantly recognisable to New Zealanders. Outfit Clarke assembled the outfit from various sources. The gumboots are a found mismatched pair. The shorts are standard issue trousers from the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation ripped off at the knees. Sheep shearing garb inspired the black singlet (Dagg had a woollen singlet for winter and two cotton singlets for summer). Clarke's sister gave him the hat as a gift. Once Clarke established the outfit he found he couldn't change it even if he wanted to - the outfit was Fred Dagg. Character Fred Dagg was both a celebration and mockery of the archetypal 'Kiwi bloke'. He appeared simple, but had a smart satirical and surreal view of the world. He related directly to the audience with s...

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