updated 12/22/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/22/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST
All this has made the Aussie positively giddy with delight. Or as he puts it, as he riffles through a stack of Hollywood scripts that have been sent to his Sydney office, "pretty good." Yep, that's about as carried away as Hogan gets. His style—keep it relaxed, play it for laughs, stretch but never show that you're stretching—has carried him through all phases of life. A former laborer, swimming pool attendant, union organizer, boxer, gambler and pub lout, he broke into TV by pretending to be a blindfolded, knife-throwing tap dancer. The Paul Hogan Show, a half-hour of dryly loony sketches, made him one of Australia's most popular comedians during its 1977-82 run. Married for 28 years, the father of five, Hogan has now become a wry, laconic sex symbol—a Sam Shepard with humor.
His only worry today, he says, is avoiding "the tall-poppy syndrome, which is very common. As soon as one poppy grows a bit taller than the others, you cut it down." It hasn't happened in Australia. A recent poll gauging credibility gave Hogan a record-high rating of 7.9 (on a scale of 10), while Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke received only a 4.77. At least Hawke isn't jealous. "Hogan is a bloke who personifies our great traditions of irreverence, self-reliance and 'having a go,' " says the PM, who, whatever his problems with his own constituents, echoes the feelings of Crocophiles everywhere.