John Clarke combined his twin passions for sport and the arts in this memorable piece, which he performed at the 1995 Auckland Comedy Festival. In an excerpt from documentary The Dagg Sea Scrolls, Clarke describes his inspiration: childhood memories of what seemed to be "the most important thing in the history of the universe" — the announcement of the All Black team. Clarke's team is devoid of athletes; instead he chooses a lineup high on writers and musicians, who have contributed as much to Kiwi culture as any All Black. Check out both the complete team list, and a bonus piece written by Clarke.
John respected and admired people from widely varying fields. There are tributes to sporting champions (All Blacks, swimmers, runners and golfers) which underline that they were heroes to him for much more than their ability at sport, mostly for decency and a sense of proportion. When you add similar appreciations for Seamus Heaney, WH Auden, Jane Austen and other authors you have the sense of a well-rounded man.– Arts All Black Roger Hall, in a review of John Clarke's last book Tinkering, The Spinoff, 22 February 2018
John Clarke Estate