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#033: The Happy Show

The Happy Show was a familiar favourite for young viewers in the early 1960s — produced at Melbourne’s HSV7 and later relayed to ATN7 Sydney. The cast included Vic Gordon, Princess Panda and Happy Hammond, whose ‘test pattern’ hat became his trademark. Picture: TV Week, 27 April 1963

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  1. I have a certificate still in its original cardboard tube that says I am a member of the Happy Club. I was 6, so the certificate is from 1960. It cost 2/- and the money went to the Royal Children’s Hospital.
    The certificate is red with a black and white photo of some of the cast from the show. There is a man wearing a PMG cap, a ventriloquist dummy, a man with sylvester the talking sock, Happy, a magician holding a white rabbit, another man dressed like a farmer, and the last man is dressed a bit like Al Jolson. No Princess Panda or Lovely Anne though.

    The certificate includes the phrase: “I promise to be good at all times, love and help my family and friends, be courteous to everyone and be kind to animals. I will try always to ‘look up and laugh’.” Membership number is 8474.

    When I was about 8 my neighbour took her twin daughters, my brother and myself to the studio to be on the show for our birthdays. I can remember it being very hot in the studio, lots of bright lights, and lining up at the end and getting a lot of goodies. All the kids at school watched the show to see if they could spot us. All those who were celebrating their birthdays went out the front and the rest sang Happy Birthday to us.

    • Mike on 8 August 2016 at 8:48 PM
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    I was on the Happy Hammond show twice . As a 5 year old ( 1960 ) I was picked out of the audience and I was sat at a table and somebody asked my name . ” I don’t know ” was my reply. The guy dressed up as a black character scared me . Later on, I was in the audience again, would have been around 1964 , I remember the bag of goodies given out at the end of the show, as we lined up and walked past . My brother at home spotted me . Cousin Roy was the country Bumpkin character , and funny face Gordon was there too. I remember Princess Panda being really close to me as they were talking to a kid in the front row. Some kids came out and performed a dance routine and the music came from speakers on the rear wall. My cousin did a Scottish dance on the show. I also recall the this game, they had a bottle on its side and a kid had a stick with string , a small loop was on the end of the string, and you had to pick up the bottle and stand it up…

    Ron Barassi and his Bertie Beetle chocolate ads…. all so long ago . Mike

    • Patricia on 15 November 2016 at 10:40 AM
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    I was a dancer in the happy show. We were the happy olivettes. Such great memories for me. I often think of members in our dance troup. I am 67 now. I would love to see footage of this show. In those days tv was in black and white. Thanks channel 7

      • Lee Barnes on 16 November 2017 at 11:05 PM
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      I was also a Happy Olivette. My name was Lee Barnes. My sister Susan was on the show more frequently than I was. Our friend Linda Walters was as well. Our dear Mum used to sew all of our costumes and race us into the Channel 7 studios after school. They were the good ol’ days! I’m on Facebook (Lee Collie) if you’d like to make contact.

    • Cheryl Long on 5 March 2018 at 5:54 PM
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    Back when I was only four or five years old, I used to appear on the show with Stan Stafford, a country and western singer.

    We lived next door to him in Kew and he took me along as his ‘sidekick’.

    I would love to know whether it’s possible to get film footage of me at that age.

  2. In about 1960, I escorted my sister to & from the studio, where she was rehearsing for Australia’s first TV Pantomime, a pas seul choreographed by Eugene Utassy, a vision of a young 18th century girl with long ringlets, coming into focus, returning to life, dancing to a Minuet.
    The principal character was played by a cute teen, vivacious, with admirably professional focus. I believe her name was Patti McGrath. I suppose no record, on 16mm film or Ampex, was kept. Pity.

    • David on 7 January 2020 at 8:29 PM
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    What beaut memories

    • Gail Maxwell on 3 August 2020 at 11:47 AM
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    I was on that show and my brother was picked for the happy smile contest. He didn,t win, the winner was a little girl who lost her parents in a car accident, or so I was told. My dad told me that I had a really big smile when the camera panned us kids in the audience. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that I had to look at the camera, so I must have looked like a right idiot, grinning away at nothing.

    • Cherrille Boschert on 28 August 2020 at 12:46 PM
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    I remember the Happy Show and used to be in the audience! My favourite was Perror the
    Magician and Frosty the white rabbit!
    Fun memories!

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