The man behind one of Australia’s most recognisable characters, Pauline Pantsdown, has come out of retirement to campaign for gay marriage.
University lecturer Simon Hunt, the 55-year-old satirist behind the character based on One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, shaved off his beard on Saturday morning before applying his make-up to resemble the red-headed senator.
He had received a call the night before from Labor senator Sam Dastyari and hastily agreed to go on a tour of market stalls in Sydney’s inner-west – marking only his fourth public appearance in character since 2001.
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Pauline Pantsdown has made a public appearance to share a halal snack pack with a senator
This week also marks the 20th of Mr Hunt releasing a controversial single, Backdoor Man, where Pauline Hanson’s voice was edited to declare she had a ‘horrendous plan with the Ku Klux Klan’ and wanted a ‘homosexual government’.
Following legal action, the song was banned from the ABC and its youth radio station Triple J.
A little more than a year later, Ms Hanson lost her seat of Oxley.
She would remain in the political wilderness for the next 18 years, until winning her Queensland Senate seat in 2016 after nine failed attempts to revive her political career.
Pauline Pantsdown tours the a market in Sydney’s inner-west with Senator Sam Dastyari
Sam Dastyari (left) and Pauline Pantsdown (right) share halal snack pack in Sydney kebab shop
The real Pauline Hanson (right) turned down Sam Dastyari’s halal snack pack offer last year
As for Pauline Pantsdown, the alter ego has only made four public appearances in character since 2001 – including this weekend.
‘Sam messaged me the night before and we had a couple of hours in the afternoon,’ Pantsdown’s creator told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I had a very short time. I had to shave my beard off. I had to get it all together.’
Mr Hunt, who works full-time as a design lecturer at the University of New South Wales, said he had been too busy to continue as a Pauline Hanson impersonator.
‘I didn’t see it as a continuing B-grade career,’ he said.
‘I’ve got a job and I’m looking after my dad.’
Pauline Hanson (right) asks fellow senator Sam Dastyari (left) on Q&A if he is a Muslim
Pauline Pantsdown encourages young people to update their electoral enrolment
The postal vote on gay marriage has, however, galvanised him to don some make-up and encourage people to update their electoral enrolment.
‘A lot of other LGBTI people and activists, I had my qualms about the postal plebiscite whether to boycott or go ahead,’ Mr Hunt said.
‘We’ve reached a consensus that we need to go ahead and we’ve got this incredibly short time to get people enrolled.’
Dressed in a red dress, to symbolise the colours of Australia Post, Pauline Pantsdown campaigned in Glebe and Ashfield in Sydney’s inner-west on Saturday afternoon in a bid to get young people to update their electoral details.
Pantsdown also shared a halal snack pack with Senator Dastyari, more than a year after Pauline Hanson turned down his election night offer to join him for chips and kebab meat covered in lots of sauce.
‘Good morning fellow Australians. My name is Pauline Pantsdown. If you are seeing me now, it means my snack pack has been murdered,’ she said.
That, in itself, was a parody of Pauline Hanson’s 1997 video she had made in the event she was murdered, which inspired Pauline Pantsdown’s ‘I Don’t Like It’ hit single.