When Rodney Rude tells you his plan for retirement is to buy a donkey that he can use to get to the shops, it’s hard to know whether or not he’s joking.
After 50 years in the industry – 64 if you count his radio appearance at the age of nine – one of Australia’s most loved comedians is hanging up his bawdy, politically incorrect hat to spend more time with his family.
“I actually retired in 2013, but I lied,” Rodney laughed.
“My Dad was 93 then and the whole idea was that I’d been doing this a long time and I wanted to look after Dad.
“But then my brother – about nine months ago – said he was going to retire and he was going to look after him.”
After making the decision to say goodbye to the stage Rodney decided he couldn’t leave without first saying goodbye to fans with a regional tour, including a stop off at the Evan Theatre later this month.
“I just wanted to go to some of the places that I’d been as a young man, where I’d started my career,” he said.
“That’s pretty much why I thought I’d do this last bunch of shows.”
Rodney Rude has become a staple in record and CD collections across the country since his first release ‘Rodney Rude Live’ in 1984.
Since then he’s gone on to sell millions of records – with classic Rude titles like ‘Rats Arse’ and ‘Ya Mum’s Bum’ – while bringing countless laughs to audiences around the world.
The key to Rodney’s success is the way he embraces those typical Aussie characteristics of telling a yarn and taking the piss.
“I’ve totally ignored all the perimeters of political correctness and just said anything that comes into my head,” he said.
“I haven’t tried to figure out whether it’s a current topic of condemnation or whatever the hell it is, I’ve just said anything I bloody like.”
It’s a strategy that’s kept audiences laughing, but it’s also become a dose of humorous medicine to those who need it most.
“You get young people saying ‘oh Rude, in the past three years I’ve had depression and you pulled me through and you cheered me up’,” Rodney said.
“It’s just fantastic.”
While he may be saying farewell to the stage, the iconic comedian has a surprise for fans who just can’t get enough.
“Over the years I’ve recorded so much material, in fact at the moment I’ve got 12 different albums sitting in the studio or in the shed,” he laughed.
“I’m going to slowly start releasing them so that even when I retire people are going to be able to access some new material.”
Rodney Rude will be performing at the Evan Theatre on Saturday, October 29 at 8pm. Tickets are $67.55. For more information, visit www.rude.com.au.