How Happy!'s Crazy Jerry Springer Cameo Came About, According To Grant Morrison

Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched the second episode of Happy!, titled "What Smiles are For."

When Syfy debuted Christopher Meloni's latest series Happy!, viewers got to watch one of the craziest new shows of 2017, or any year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the second episode almost immediately upped the ante with an unexpected sequence set during an episode of The Jerry Springer Show, completely with a cameo from Springer himself. When creator and comic book icon Grant Morrison spoke with CinemaBlend about Season 1, I asked him how that sequence came about, and he gave credit to co-writer and director Brian Taylor, of Crank franchise fame.

I think that was Brian's idea. And it was the notion of, 'Hey, this whole thing of Nick rejecting his kid is really like a Jerry Springer show.' So they actually managed to get the real Jerry and Jerry's studio, which does exist apparently, that still films with people yelling at each other. They shot it with that camera crew and the studio and he really kinda played along. So we were really pleased with that one.

Fans know that the series premiere ended on the surprised reveal that Nick Sax is the biological father of the kidnapped Hailey, which is the reason why her imaginary friend Happy can appear to Nick without issues. (Here's why the TV show introduced that comic twist so soon.) Of course, the intoxicant-adoring Nick didn't immediately embrace his newfound parenting role, and that sense of denial dovetailed perfectly with the idea of throwing The Jerry Springer Show into the mix. Jerry Springer has long been handling "real" domestic squabbles between jilted lovers, double-crossed friends and unwitting parents, and even though Maury Povich is the one better known for declaring bloodline legitimacy, Springer has absolutely dropped his share of rage-inducing info-bombs.

Amusingly, we got to watch a pair of assumed rednecks denying their love for one another even before Nick shows up, and anyone who tuned in to Happy! during those moments likely faced an overwhelming wave of confusion. "Since when does Jerry Springer play on Syfy, and why didn't this happen back whenever all the paranormal shows were all the rage?"

It makes sense that Mom and Dad director Brian Taylor was the inciting factor in getting Jerry Springer and his crew involved with Happy!, since Taylor is American and has probably been quite familiar with Springer's schtick over the years. Grant Morrison, meanwhile, lives in Scotland for part of the year, and he probably doesn't spend his L.A. time catching up on what Jerry Springer's backwoods guests are up to. Hopefully, anyway.

Grant Morrison also teased that this Jerry Springer Show bit is far from the only weird thing that Happy! will offer viewers, specifically referring to the episodes' openings. Since, you know, any scene involving a flying blue horse voiced by Patton Oswalt is inherently weird. Here's what he teased for future episodes.

Each of the teasers in the whole season, we start off with something weird and unusual with each one of them.

I'm trying to think about how Happy! could immediately top a Jerry Springer cameo, but it's not the easiest thing in the world. Perhaps a full animated segment, or something involving puppets? (Morrison told me there was a point in the development process where Happy was considered as a puppet.) Or maybe there will be an opening meant to look like Christopher Meloni's old show, Law & Order: SVU. Whatever happens, we'll be watching.

Happy! airs every Wednesday night on Syfy at 10:00 p.m. ET. To see all the other new and returning shows hitting the small screen soon, head to our 2018 midseason premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.