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One word: Mars Bars

Rod Quantock is a long-surviving, Melbourne-based comedian. It's more than that though, isn't it? He is a veteran - and the claim is made by Token Artists that he "is one of the reasons that Melbourne is the live comedy capital of Australia".

Say what you will about the man, the comedian - but no one has more recipes for Mars Bars than Rod Quantock.

Back when the ABC was the leader in Australian comedy television; back when Australia You're Standing In It gave Tuesday nights meaning; when Wendy Harmer still had a soul. Rod Quantock took his place amongst the greats with his regular spots. The blackboard and chalk where he would explain what had happened to democracy during the week. And my favourite, How to cook a Mars Bar. Yes, yes, he deep-fried them, but he roasted them, pan-fried them and so forth. Not that he just said, "Wouldn't it be cool to make a 'Mars Bar loaf'", he got in front of a camera, with an oven and ingredients - and Mars Bars, as many as he wanted and made a Mars Bar loaf. He is a very funny man.

OK, I don't know what happened after that. There were rumours that he had had a nervous breakdown - nothing is confirmed, but there is a five-year gap in his CV. At this point, Capt'n Snooze commercials became really bizarre - and a lot of potential fans felt that he had sold out. Certainly selling mattresses was underneath his comic genius, but I forgive him.

And then he pulled himself out of the commercial wastelands. He was a driving force behind the Great Australian Debates, the Melbourne Comedy Festivals, The Big Gig and Fast Forward, all of which have been immensely valuable and entertaining. Increasingly he worked behind the scenes, with the notable exception of adjudicating the Great Debates.

He wrote a column in The Sunday Age from 1989-1994. The columns were collated and published in a book called Double Dissolution in 1999. He is married to Mary Keneally, also known as Debbie (of Brainspace fame in AYSII).

Perhaps what went wrong was that cooking Mars Bars the way that he did had little meaning, apart from having people literally rofling. His comedy is still brilliant and bizaare, but now it seems to have more of a point to it. He's more devoted to political comedy - and seems the happier for it.

I’m an instant coffee drinker. I don’t like real coffee, it tastes horrible. Unfortunately, the coffee I like most is made by Nestle, so I can’t have that. I have to drink a slightly inferior coffee that is free of the taint of multinational exploitation of the third world. This brand has a bitter taste to it which reminds me everyday that I’m making a stand.

http://www.token.com.au/html/ (Last visited: 5 Jul 2004)
http://www.bananas-in-pyjamas.com.au/arts/headspace/liaisons/quantock.htm (Last visited: 5 Jul 2004)
http://www.tabula-rasa.ssu.swin.edu.au/articles/02_3_28.pdf (Last visited: 5 Jul 2004)

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