|Death: ||Oct. 8, 1972, Spain|
Comedian. "Yes, What?" is an Australian radio comedy series, recorded in the late 1930s and early 1940s. It was originally known as "The Fourth Form at St Percy's". It is set in a school and features Dr Percy Pym , the school master, who was easily flustered, and incapable of controlling his rowdy students.
The class was improbably small, with only three students, aged fourteen: Bottomly, Standforth, and Greenbottle. Later in the series, after Greenbottle left, de Pledge joined the series. Later still, when Greenbottle returned, there were four students for a while.
The show received its name from the habit of Greenbottle to frequently say, "Yes," to which Dr Pym would reply, "Yes, What?" from which Greenbottle would launch into some long explanation about something.
The class never seemed to learn anything. There was always some distraction. Greenbottle was more often than not late. Just as Dr Pym was starting to get the class under control, Greenbottle would arrive with some lengthy excuse to delay the proceedings even further.
Guests featured occasionally, such as Bottomly's girlfriend Daphne, Mr Snootles the caretaker, a policeman, a charity worker, a school inspector, and various others.
The show was produced in the studios of radio station 5AD in Adelaide. The first thirty to fifty episodes were broadcast live to air, and were never recorded. Journalist Ray Polkinghorne once wrote that Rex Dawe had written 786 episodes, and Ralph Peterson (who played Bottomly) was quoted in 1974 as saying that there were about a thousand episodes made. But recent research puts the number at 520. Radio syndication company, Grace Gibson Productions has 260 episodes in circulation, and another 50 or so are known to exist. In August 1985, the Australian Film And Sound Archives announced that they "received several hundred 16 inch recordings of the schoolroom comedy series, Yes, What?..." "...Mortein Mosquito and Insect Sprays of Ermington NSW (owned by the firm Samuel Taylor) discovered the lost issues of Yes What when they recently moved premises." But there are some episodes that seem to be lost forever.
The actors were paid two shillings per episode. Rex Dawe, who played the part of Dr Pym, also wrote most of the scripts and produced the show, receiving ten additional shillings per episode. These were the days before residuals. So although "Yes What" has been repeated hundreds of times on radio stations all over the world through all the decades right up to the present, the actors received only their original fees.
Some of the early scripts were written by Maurice Chapman, and Ralph Peterson (who played Bottomly), wrote six of the later episodes.
Recording techniques were primitive. In an interview with the Australian newspaper in 1966, Ralph Peterson said, "We used to stand in front of a huge microphone and bellow our lines into it. We had a total of about three sound effects, too."
The series is very Australian in style and content, and many of the jokes would go over the head of a non-Australian. For an Australian, however, much of the humour is timeless.
The first episode of Yes What was broadcast on either Sunday June 30, or Sunday July 7, 1936. The series finished in 1940 when most of the cast joined the armed forces in World War Two. But there has not been a week since then when an episode hasn't been heard somewhere on Australian radio and indeed around the world.
Rex joined the Army and entertained troops overseas and back in Australia.
Rex played bit parts in several movies including the Eureka Stockade.
He went to live in Spain and owned a pub.I dont know why he went to live there but he died in October 1972
Is there any one with any additional info on Rex Dawe and where he was buried.He deserves to be honoured.
West Terrace Cemetery
South Australia, Australia
Created by: David W. Rixon
Record added: Sep 25, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77053725