Derham Groves

The Day I Met Happy

by Garry Scale (Derham’s best mate at school)
As kids growing up in Geelong we were aware that Happy Hammond (compere of The Happy Show) was Geelong born and bred. His tartan hat and coat and the click of the fingers followed by the catch phrase, “Is everybody happy?” set up Happy as everybody’s friend – a happy affable chappie. My grandfather’s best friend, business partner and nextdoor neighbour was a boyhood friend of Happy’s and if Hap was down for the day he would often pop in for a cup of tea. One afternoon whilst staying with my grandparents I was sent next door on an errand. There, sitting in the breakfast nook sans tartan hat and coat, but clearly recognizable, was Happy Hammond himself. This just didn’t happen to young children in Geelong: Happy Hammond in Uncle Frankie’s kitchen. I stood gob-smacked as Hap turned to Uncle Frankie saying “Bloody hell Frankie! Everywhere I go there are bloody kids, even on my day off, bloody kids.” Not being mean spirited I choose to believe that Happy was having a non-too happy day. And I did continue to tune in.


Happy Hammond was an Australian comedian. He was famous for clicking his fingers musically and wearing a ‘test pattern’ suit and tartan hat that clashed awfully in real life but worked well in black and white TV (which was then being broadcast in Australia). He started in radio in Melbourne and hosted the Tarax Happy Show on GTV 9, Melbourne, which was then relayed to ATN 7, Sydney. It won a Logie in 1959 for Most Popular Children’s Show. He performed a famous routine which had him singing a silly song while throwing cream pies in his own face. He moved to HSV 7 in 1960 and won a Logie in 1963 for Outstanding Contributions to Children’s Entertainment. (Wikipedia, plus my own corrections)