Happy Hooligan

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Happy's jam is iced by the heat, but he has the last laugh.

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The Happy Hooligan Story

It's always sobering to come across a former pop superstar who is now just an obscure trivia item. Such is the fate of comic strip idol Happy Hooligan.

Happy Hooligan
Happy Hooligan at his peak (1902)

Hooligan was one of the first comic strip stars to recognize the great potential of the new film medium, and his early crossover into cinema (first in live-action films, and later animation) further increased his fame.

But, as with many men before and after him, he was cast from his heights by his weakness for women.

Happy Hooligan in the House of Lords
Happy Hooligan in London (1905)

The yellow journalism of that era ran with the story and pictures.

Happy Hooligan Goes Muff Diving

The scandal effectively ended his career. His strip lost syndication, and other job offers rapidly shrank to a trickle, until finally there was nothing left but the occasional guest appearances with the only friend that stuck by him during the scandal: Fatty Arbuckle.

The times moved on without him, leaving him a broken, forgotten, and pitiful Happy Hooligan - embittered by the media's treatment of him.

Bitter Happy
Happy Hooligan, in his final embittered days