Con the Fruiterer

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Con Dickaletus aka Con the Fruiterer is a fictional character created by Australian actor and comedian Mark Mitchell. Mitchell created the character after being served by two Greek Australian stall holders at Glenferrie Markets in 1984.[1] The character became known nationally from regular appearances in The Comedy Company, for which he also created the character of Con's wife, Marika. According to Comedy Company writer Ian McFadyen, "Con the Fruiterer was an attempt to represent that whole immigrant subculture which until recently has been totally ignored except as a stereotype token wog".[2] Con has six daughters, Roula, Toula, Soula, Voula, Foula and Agape. He also has two sons, Nick and Rick.

Con's catchphrases "coupla days", "bewdiful" and "doesn't madda" entered the Australian vernacular.[3] In August 1989, then Prime Minister Bob Hawke appeared in a sketch on The Comedy Company the premise of presenting Con with Australian citizenship. In reply to Con's question as to when Hawke was going to fix up the country, Hawke took great delight in responding "a coupla days".[4]

The characters of Con and Marika continue to make appearances on and off television. Con the Fruiterer was appointed Moomba Monarch (popularly called King of Moomba) in 1989.[5]

Con's Bewdiful Australia: A Guide to the Second-Best Country in the World was published by Penguin Books in 1989.[6] Although written by Mitchell, authorship was credited to 'Con Dikaletis'. A condensed version of the book, read by Mitchell as Con, was released on audio cassette. A spinoff series Con's Bewdiful Holiday Videos was screened on the Ten Network in 1997. Con also fronted a campaign urging Australians to eat more fruit in 2010.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Con The Fruiterer's secret". ABC news. 2005-11-12. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012.
  2. ^ The Bulletin, pp. 41–42, 1989-02-14 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Con the Fruiterer to give Crace in Canberra". Canberra Times. 23 August 2013.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Tony, "Wogs Still Out of Work: Australian television comedy as colonial discourse" (pdf), Australasian Drama Studies (April 1992) – via Multicultural Research Library
  5. ^ Craig Bellamy, Gordon Chisholm, Hilary Eriksen (17 Feb 2006) Moomba: A festival for the people.: "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2011-03-25. PDF pp 17-22
  6. ^ Con's Bewdiful Australia: A Guide to the Second-Best Country in the World Penguin, 1989 ISBN 0140127100
  7. ^ "Con the Fruiterer is back for a new health campaign". Herald Sun. 2010-01-21.

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