Happy the Clown with friends
WPVI-TV Official Photo

Happy the Clown was portrayed by Broadcast Pioneers founding member Howard Jones. Here's Happy with two friends. Note that Happy's hands are not in makeup. Over the years, at least a hundred thousand children appeared on the Happy the Clown TV broadcast which was created by Broadcast Pioneers founding member Jack Steck.

Broadcast Pioneers member Lew Klein, who was the Executive Producer of American Bandstand during its time in Philadelphia tells the story that before Happy, Howard Jones portrayed Santa Claus. Jack Steck tried to figure out how to do the popular Santa broadcast all year round and came up with the concept of Jones being a clown. Of course at Christmas time, Howard still continued to be Santa. Well, one day Howard passed Lew in the stairway while Jones was in route to the area studio. Dressed in full clown makeup and costume, Jones said hello to Lew, who responded, "Howard, it's a Santa Claus show." It's believed that it was the first time in television history Santa wore clown makeup on the air.

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
© 2008, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
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