Almanac Comedy: ‘Mo Goes to the Dogs’


Detail of the Roy Rene statue in Hindley Street, Adelaide, created by Robert Hannaford. (Source: Wikipedia.)


Mo Goes to the Dogs


McCackie Mansion, starring the legendary Australian actor/comedian ‘Mo’ (Roy Rene, born Henry van de Sluice), was a radio series made in Sydney, recorded before a live audience in 2GB’s theatrette. It dates from the latter part of Mo’s career, starting in 1947 as a filler in a variety show named Calling the Stars. The series focused upon Mo McCackie’s house, with his friends, neighbours and son ‘Young Harry’. Its popularity was such that it went on to 155 episodes over almost six years.


I’m pretty certain when I was a young kid in the late 1960s the show was still on radio in re-runs, and I first became aware of it way back then. It’s still very funny today – so much of the humour has stood the test of time.


In this classic episode, Mo, Young Harry, Uncle Horrible and Spencer the Garbageman go to the Harold Park dogs.




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Kevin Densley is a poet and writer-in-general. His fourth book-length poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, was published in late 2020 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.


  1. Excellent stuff Kevin. I have that record :-)

  2. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for the comments, Mark.

    Interesting thing: Mo and his ensemble of actors in this radio series performed in full costume because the studio audience could see them.

  3. I often walk past that statue in Hindley St Kevin.
    The State Library of SA put this 1931 record online
    In the summary they say ‘The routine is Mr Macachie parts 1 and 2, reformatted from a 78rpm disc recorded about 1931 with his wife Sadie Gale.
    Interestingly, the Mr Macachie character in this routine is not Mo, but the straight man played by an unknown actor.’

  4. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks again, Mark.

    I had a listen to the much earlier (1931) Mo routine you provided the link for.

    In this 1931 sketch the comedy is much less broad than McCackie Mansion, isn’t it, with the demure wife and the unknown actor playing a plum-in-the-mouth character called Mr McCachie.

  5. Yes Kevin. I believe he could be pretty ‘blue’ in his Vaudeville days but probably had to tone it down for the records

  6. Kevin Densley says

    Sounds right, Mark.

    From what I’ve heard/read, though, much of Mo’s “blueness” live was in the implication, rather than the actual saying of something – and he could also give a knowing look to the audience, apparently – hold this look for an extended period of time – and they’d be cracking up with laughter and he hadn’t uttered a word.

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