12th Aug 2012 3:55pm | By Alasdair Morton
Real-life Read is ripe for mocking, his streetwise outlook meaning while he has been incarcerated for more of his life than he has spent on the outside, although he maintains he has never injured an innocent person.
Indeed, his skewed morals have seen him become a celebrity with a number of books – auto- and semi-autobiographical – to his name, and who has fronted a nationwide, if ultimately banned, TV advert about the indefensibility of assaulting women: “The lowest thing in jail is a woman-basher and a rapist,” Chopper threatened, brandishing his tatts.
“If you’ve bashed a woman, you’re a weak, gutless individual, and in prison you will get dealt with. Be afraid.”
So is Franklin at all worried Read might take offence, not get in on the joke, and choose to take some form of retaliation, as many who have crossed him have discovered?
“Yes. But I’m a long way away at the moment, so I’ll take a break from stressing,” he says when we quiz him on his thoughts about how his comedy might be received. He needn’t worry though, as Read, who’s seen the character many times since he was birthed in The Ronny Johns Half Hour, is a fan himself.
“He’s very funny, but he is only impersonating Eric Bana who is impersonating me,” Read told online Roo TV before adding: ”And he has clearly got ears in that sketch, too!”
Ears or not, Franklin’s Chopper is a hilarious take on one of Australian’s most notorious criminals, a show that will resonate with those familiar with his tales, and whose view of the world, and Antipodean traits in particular, will ensure it has a long life in the northern hemisphere, too.
So, it’s now time to find out – are you a mango or are you a diamond?