TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - They say a smile is contagious, and that’s exactly what an East Texas man has based his career on. Happy T Clown was recognized, just in time for International Clown Week, by the Gregg County Commissioners Court for providing miles of smiles in his nearly five decades of clowning around.
At first glance you may not even notice Doug Sapp, also known as Happy T Clown, sitting in the Gregg County Commissioner’s Court. He doesn’t really go in for copious amounts of makeup, but he goes all in for smiles.
“I guess happiness transcends language,” I said to Happy.
“Yes, sir. All over the world no matter where you go, laughter is the international language,” Happy agreed.
And the Commissioners appreciate that enough to give special recognition to Happy in time for International Clown week, August 1-7. Apparently laughter doesn’t start on Sunday, it could happen any time, so the week is just the first through the seventh, period.
“It’s a pleasure to offer this proclamation to honor Doug. He would be the one with the red nose,” said Commissioner Darryl Primo in open court.
Doug, or Happy, took the podium.
“Thank you for allowing me to do what I like to do, and that is making people smile,” he said.
It was a message that came to him in Pensacola back in 1972.
“I was sitting in church and something told me that, I want you to bring happiness into the world one smile at a time. I took that very seriously for the last 47 years,” Happy revealed.
He ended up in Longview in the 80s because of work.
“And after that retired, and now we’re full time clowning,” Happy said.
Happy showed his appreciation by handing the commission balloon animals and red clown noses. And I just had to ask a question.
“Can I officially request you guys put the noses on?” I asked the court.
To my surprise, they did, obviously in honor of Happy, who says he can sense when someone is down, and that’s when he goes to work.
“If you could just make that person giggle or smile, then your job is well done,” Happy added.
And he adds one more thing about smiling:
“Try it. You’ll like it,” he grinned.
Happy says he has no intentions of quitting clowning around, and will continue as long as the Good Lord lets him keep his health.