Comedian Robin Williams says he loves Australia and has laughed off criticism from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, poking fun at him in the process.
Williams, recently in Australia voicing a character in the animated film sequel Happy Feet 2, has been in the spotlight for saying Australians are just "English rednecks" on David Letterman's US talk show.
Mr Rudd took offence, telling a radio show: "I think Robin Williams should go and spend a bit of time in Alabama before he frames comments about anyone being particularly redneck."
But Williams laughed off the comments.
"Nice comeback, way to go K-Rudd. How's the food on the plane? Good day," Williams said, speaking on Australian radio.
"I was just there for two weeks; every time I've been in Australia it's been wonderful. I love it down there. Helloooo!"
Williams offered this apology: "Mr Rudd, I apologise, it's linguistics; I would like to modify my terminology and say: English Good Old Boy.
"If the term redneck is offensive forgive me sir ...
"Please let me come back to Australia without a cavity search, and if not I'd love to go to a strip club with you in New York."
Meanwhile, Mr Rudd's reference to Alabama and rednecks generated a terse response from Alabama governor Bob Riley.
"I'm not sure if Prime Minister Rudd has ever been to Alabama," Mr Riley responded in a statement. "If he has, he would know that Alabamians are decent, hard-working, creative people."
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