Hogan was born in Lightning Ridge, New South Wales. He grew up in the Sydney suburb of Granville and attended Parramatta Marist High School. Hogan went on to become a rigger working on the Sydney Harbour Bridge before rising to fame in the early 1970s after an interview on A Current Affair. Hogan followed this with his own comedy sketch program The Paul Hogan Show, which he produced, wrote, and in which he played characters with John Cornell. The series, which ran for 60 episodes between 1973 and 1984, was popular both in his native country and in the UK, and showcased his trademark lighthearted but laddish ocker humour.