Super Safi’s Monday Morning Musings 38 – Put On a Happy Face

Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!

(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)

Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.

And what better way to start your week, then by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?

So let’s get started this week by talking about a classic musical song, “Put On a Happy Face”.

In the thirty eighth episode of The Simpsons, When Flanders Failed (Season 03, Episode 03), Ned Flanders host a neighbourhood bar-b-q party and announces to all his guests that he’s decided to leave the pharmaceutical game and open up the ‘Leftorium’, a general store for everyone who is left handed.

Homer, annoyed by the constant goody-goody personality of ‘Stupid Flanders’ and the fact that Ned can provide a better life to his family than Homer feels he can to his family, wishes that Ned fails in his endeavours and that the Leftorium goes out of business. He wishes this over a game of wish bone; a game he wins.

As per Homer’s wish, Ned starts struggling financially and is about to lose his store. He starts selling his belongings, where Homer further gouges Ned and takes most of his belongings for $75. Eventually the bank comes to foreclose the Flanders house and the Flanders spend the night in their car. Homer, now starting to feel remorse, visits Ned. Ned leaves Maude and the kids in the car, where the three of them start singing a song; while Ned converses with Homer.

Ned tells Homer he’s moving in with family in Capital City tomorrow and thanks Homer for being a great neighbour. Homer, now extremely remorseful, convinces Ned to come to the Leftorium tomorrow. Homer then goes home and calls all his acquaintances (particularly those who are left handed) and gets them all to come to the Leftorium. The store becomes an overnight sensation, with numerous sales; including the purchase of a left handed roadster by Mr. Burns. And everyone joins in to sing the same song Maude, Rod, and Todd were singing the night before in their car.

But have you ever wondered what song everyone was singing?


Put On a Happy Face

“Put On a Happy Face” is a song from the 1960 Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie. Bye Bye Birdie is a musical featuring songs with lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse.

Lee Adams (August 14, 1924 – Present)

Charles Strouse (June 7, 1928 – Present)

Lee and Charles frequently collaborated, including on the theme song “Those Were the days” from the classic TV show All in the Family.

In the musical, the song “Put on a Happy Face” is sung by the central character , Albert Peterson. Albert is a poet and former aspiring English teacher who was lured into the music business after penning a hit for Conrad Birdie. Peterson is neurotic, weak, and easily manipulated by his mother. In both the original Broadway run, as well as the 1962 movie, Albert is played by Dick Van Dyke.

Dick Van Dyke (December 13, 1925 – Present)

The original 1960–1961 Broadway production was a Tony Award winning success. It spawned a London production in 1961 and several major revivals (most recently starring ‘uncle Jesse’ John Stamos in 2009), a sequel, a 1963 movie, and a 1995 television production. Here’s a clip of Dick singing the song from the 1963 movie:

Here are the lyrics:

Gray skies are gonna clear up
Put on a happy face
Brush off the clouds and cheer up
Put on a happy face
Take of the gloomy mask of tragedy
It’s not your style
You’ll look so good that you’ll be glad
You decided to smile
Pick out a pleasant outlook
Stick out that noble chin
Wipe off that full-of-doubt look
Slap on a happy grin
And spread sunshine all over the place
And put on a happy face
Gray skies are gonna clear up
Put on a happy face
Brush off the clouds and cheer up
Put on a happy face
And if you’re feeling cross and bitterish
Don’t sit and whine
Think of banana splits and licorice
And you’ll feel fine
I know a girl so gloomy
She never laugh or sing
She wouldn’t listen to me
Now she’s a mean old thing
So spread sunshine all over the place
And put on a happy, happy face
Put on a happy, happy, happy face
Oh, come on bubby, smile it’s your birthday



Now that we’ve learned more about the song “Put On a Happy Face”, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.

Have you ever heard of “Put On a Happy Face”? What about the musical or movie Bye Bye Birdie? Did you remember both scenes featuring the song? Have you ever changed careers? What’s your favourite novelty shop in your local mall? What’s your favourite movie musical number? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.

4 responses to “Super Safi’s Monday Morning Musings 38 – Put On a Happy Face

  1. I always thought that this episode portrays Homer as particularly evil.
    The first time I watched I recall being surprised that Homer was relentless in his ill will toward Ned.
    Of course in the end he does relent but only after things went a bit too far!

    • Yes, this was indeed the first episode where Homer is somewhat of an antagonist. The previous 37, he was always shed in a protagonist light.

  2. Made me smile on a monday morning 🙂

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