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1990’s TV icon and beloved comic mastermind Rattus the Rat has been found dead after a suspected heroin overdose in his Surry Hills apartment this morning. An entire nation is in mourning.
Rattus, best known for playing an exaggerated version of himself in The Ferals and the groundbreaking Feral TV, forever changed the face of Australia’s cultural landscape.
Remembered fondly by friends and critics as “the Australian John Belushi,” Rattus was an integral figure in the alternative comedy movement that swept Australia in the late 80s and early 90s.
His combination of self-destructive rage, bitter-sweet observational quips, and biting self mockery, made Rattus one of the greatest comic performers of the late 20th century.
“I think people mistook Rattus for his persona,” remembers Medigliana the Cat, fellow Ferals star and former lover of Rattus, “but he was a very gentle soul. Very caring. I don’t know anyone who struggled with demons like Rattus, he was tormented, definitely, but he was fundamentally lovely.”
Mixy the Rabbit also fondly remembered her co-star: “those years, the early 90s, they were just magic, and Rattus was a big part of what made those times special. His ability to go off on these amazing free-verse improvisations was just wondrous, he should have been a poet, but he was just too funny.”
Mixy and Rattus both graduated from NIDA in the same year. “The humour came from his suffering,” she told the ABC, “I think after Darren (the Dog) died in 99 Rattus never really recovered, the bitter-sweet just became bitter. But he’d always send me a card on my birthday.”
Rattus became notorious as a public provocateur in his later years, running a afoul of the Howard government in regards to their foreign policy, and infamously calling Joe Hockey a “wet brained cunt” on Q & A in 2014.
Rattus state funeral will be held next week, with Agro overseeing the eulogy.
Rattus leaves behind no children, but will be remembered and adored by a generation.