"Do not taunt happy fun ball" - eh?

I keep on running across the phrase “Do not taunt happy fun ball” all over the place, but an intensive search has only turned up the usage (1920s SDR - like), not any explanation of the origin.

Where and how did this phrase originate?

It was popularized by an old Saturday Night Live skit, IIRC.

Basically, it was a dangerous toy with a warning list a mile long.

I was a Saturday Night Live fake commercial first airing (I think) 5/29/97

Here is the whole thing


To clarify somewhat, SNL used to air fake commercials, and this was one of them.


Here is a Wav file (scroll) with Phil Hartman (RIP) doing the original

Man, I hate triple-posting, but here is the full text.

See? I double-checked my URLs and ended up post number 6, but you just look silly. :stuck_out_tongue:
Heh. SNL had some funny commercials man…

The transcript I found.

I think it aired before 97 or 98. If Phil Hartman did the voicover, then it surely could not have been 5/29/98 (Hartman was killed on 5/28/98). And he had left SNL in 95, anyway (aside: I think that was also around the time I stopped watching SNL regularly).

I seem to remember seeing it some years before that, probably in the early 90s. The reference to the first Gulf War would seem to confirm that.

It was one of the funniest commercial parodies I ever saw on SNL.

Ah, now that I’ve looked at jimmmy’s second link, I see the 5/29/98 date was when that .wav file was posted on that site, and that it was posted “in memory of Phil Hartman.” That explains why the date was so spookily close to Hartman’s death.

Wikipedia (unbelievably, they have an entry for “happy fun ball”) only says it aired during the early 90s, so I’m still not sure about the original airing date.

According to this SNL site, the Happy Fun Ball Sketch originally aired on February 16, 1991. (Host: Roseanne. Musical guest: Dee-Lite feat. Bootsy Collins and The Rubber Band.)

Oh please tell me you saw my Bayeux Tapestry Fark photoshop contest entry!

Best Happy Fun Ball reference EVAR…

That’s consistent with my recollection. I have a very clear memory of seeing this sketch (in rerun, it appears) for the first time at a party at a friend’s house. Because of when I met him and when he left the house, it would have been some time from late summer of '91 to late fall of '92.


Being a bi-polar guy named Paul, my friends love to use the phrase:
“Do not taunt Happy-Fun Paul”.

(I miss Phil Hartman…)

An intensive search? My friend, I need to introduce you to Google.

I’m already quite an experienced user of google, thanks, but like I said, searching for the phrase returns thousands of cases of folks using the phrase, in amongst which it is almost impossible to sift out any that explain the origin of the phrase.

Behold! The Happy Fun Ball FAQ!