LEGENDARY Aussie larrikin Paul Hogan has fond memories of filming that Winfield television commercial at the Narooma golf course in the 1970s.
And who knows he could be back on the South Coast as he plans to move back to Australia, but the closest he’ll come on his upcoming “Hoges Goes Bush” tour will be Nowra.
Hoges spoke to the Narooma News from Sydney as part of his publicity for the 25-stop tour and we could not resist asking him about that Winfield cigarette commercial all those years ago.
“I hit it at across the ocean and it went into the water and I ended up down in a boat with my caddy trying to play a shot underwater. Yeah I remember it, it was cool,” he said.
Asked if he much of a golfer he joked, “Like anything I did in those Winfield commercials, I did superbly.
“Nowadays I’d be a drug dealer – but in the good old days smoking was good for you, so they told us.”
He had no idea the hole had been named after him and was impressed.
“I actually didn’t play it into the water, we had to pretend we did,” he said. “I had a gentleman with me by the name of Norman van Nida, an Australian golfing legend,” he said.
Hoges said he would move back to Australia in a heartbeat, there were just some family matters to take care of.
“I miss everything the people, the ambience… I’m trying to move back but I’ve still got my son over there in school. You know I’ve been a gypsy moving around every six months.”
His son is in 10th grade and well settled in, so the plan is to stay in California for a couple of more years until the school commitments were over.
Asked if he had any connections to the South Coast of NSW, he said he loved the place.
“Holidays, surfing and fishing - it was our tradition.”
The notion of the Aussie larrikin does still exist according to Hoges and still has a place on television and in popular culture, as was evidenced in the recent documentary on Hoges by current larrikin Shane Jacobson who hit international stardom with the character Kenny.
“It’s there and part of the Australian tradition,” he said.
“We have become more cosmopolitan and then you’ve got the ugly bogans on the other end of the scale, I tried not to get to that.”
His favourite characters and ones that made a big impact were Arthur Dunger and Leo Wanker, who his said could make a come back even in this politically correct world.
He copped some flack for being sexist but he said the point of all the beautiful girls in skimpy outfits was to show what “melons men made of themselves.”
When he first uttered those iconic words “Throw another shrimp on the barbie” he said there was “a bit of hew and cry from the literati” who were not used to hearing such a broad Aussie accent, but it worked and charmed the Americans.
His other famous catch cry of “That’s not a knife” also became part of global culture and for that he is proud – and the knife he designed himself takes pride of place at home.
“When you see those expressions turn up in the Flintstones, Family Guy, Beavis and Butthead or something like that…it’s an honour, when you write a line and say it and then have it go into the language 30 years later, that’s pretty cool.”
Hoges is in Sydney now preparing for the tour that starts in Albury on July 20 before coming to the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre at Nowra on Friday, July 25.
“It’s actually me telling my true story of the bizarre wonderful life that I’ve had.
“It’s actually the “It’s all your fault” tour. I never wanted to be in this business. If they hadn’t given me the ratings or gone along to the movies I wouldn’t be have been.”
He also had words of encouragement for anyone looking to break into show business.
“I have you haven’t made it by 21 don’t give up – I started in the entertainment business at 30 and made my first movie at 46. I think I am inspiration to late starters.”
“Have a go and have a hide like an elephant. If you are sensitive don’t get into this business.”