The Paul Hogan of more recent years has been all about feuds with the Tax Office, Swiss bank accounts, the ex-wife and soon-to-be ex-wife and speculation about whether or not he's had ''work'' done.
But for generations of Australians he was all about The Paul Hogan Show, those micro-shorts and cut-off shirts, his mate Strop, memorable characters such as Leo Wanker, his love of a crumbed cutlet and still-funny skits like making Vegemite sandwiches (always ensure a dob of butter is left in the Vegemite and a smear of Vegemite is left in the butter).
''G'day viewers,'' is how he greeted TV audiences for more than a decade after his show debuted in 1973.
Now, 40 years later, Hogan is embarking on a national tour of Australia, in a stage show to reminisce about his career, which also takes in Crocodile Dundee, being named Australian of the Year, those shrimp-on-the-barbie tourism ads and beyond. His first show of the tour is in Canberra on Tuesday.
''It's a slide night but with moving pictures,'' he said.
''I don't just talk about characters and people and situations I've been in, I've got film to go with it. It should be a good, colourful, laugh-filled night. That's the plan.''
Hogan said the tour had not been his idea but it was hard to ignore the 40th anniversary of the show and overtures from others to go on the road.
''And, you know, I'm just finishing the third quarter of life and thought I should get out and share some of the wonderful experiences I've had,'' the 74-year-old said.
Hogan was famously a rigger - not a painter - on the Sydney Harbour Bridge (''Look, if I had been a painter - and you'd turn up every day and say, 'What colour are we going to do today boys?' 'Ah, Battleship Grey' - I'd have jumped off'') when he got his break in television.
''It was weird,'' he said.
''I went on New Faces, which was the forerunner to Australian Idol and Australia's Got Talent, to take the mickey out of it and it just turned into a career. I wasn't looking for it.''
He said the character of Hoges was absolutely himself (''what you see is what you get'') but he took a particular subversive delight in playing some characters, such as Perce the Wino.
''Because I used to sneak off the set and wander around without the cameras and I loved to see people looking at me with disgust,'' he said.
With his show opening in the national capital, does he follow politics in Australia?
''You couldn't avoid it for the last 12 months, the tossing and turning and taking this one out and putting that one back in,'' he said.
''They're the same galahs as always. But when I did my first concert tour, I started in Canberra, 40 years ago, and I was really into the political satire then, but not as much now.
''They're all galahs. They say you get the government you deserve, we must have been bad.''
Despite his long-running feud with the Tax Office over allegations of unpaid tax now resolved, with no charges ever laid, was there still any trepidation about being in Canberra, home to its headquarters?
''I just got bored with them in the end, it just went on and on and on and got pointless and stupid,'' he said.
''When it first started, I was described as the financial mastermind behind it. I sort of enjoyed that. But as it went on … I went from mastermind to acquiescer to poor dumb bastard who didn't know what was going on. Wasn't that thrilled about that.''
Hogan still has the ocker accent and self-deprecating humour, despite years spent in the United States, largely impervious to its celebrity culture.
And no one can deny the enduring influence of the 1986 blockbuster Crocodile Dundee, which broke box office records and became entrenched in the Australian lexicon.
''It was just unbelievable,'' he said.
''We sort of expected it to work in Australia, didn't expect it to be the biggest of all time. But it was the shock on knowing we were the No.1 in Israel, Lebanon, Chile, Denmark.''
(The film also saw Hogan nominated for an Academy Award for original screenplay. He co-hosted the 1987 awards ceremony and wowed the stellar crowd with his performance sans autocue - worth checking out on YouTube.
''Like most things I do, it was based in truth,'' he declared. ''Everything was true''.)
As for any enduring legacy, his is pretty simple.
''I'd like to be remembered for making people laugh. It's the best job in the world. Anything can make you cry, bad acting can make you cry,'' he said, with a little laugh of his own.
''But being able to get a room full of people to laugh - that's as good as it gets for a job.''
Most importantly, does he still like a crumbed cutlet?
''Yes, I do,'' he said.
''But you can't get a crumbed cutlet, a pie or a sausage roll in America. Weird.''
- An Evening with Hoges is at the Canberra Theatre Centre on Tuesday. Tickets on 6275 2700 or www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au.