Happy Hotpoint was a pixie mascot for Hotpoint appliances during TV commercial segments on the ABC sitcom THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE & HARRIET during the 1954-1955 season.
The role of the pixie was played by then 17-year-old Mary Tyler Moore (just out of high school) who was making her acting debut as Happy Hotpoint. For the part, she wore a head-to-toe gray leotard costume fitted with a heavy corset. A small curl of blond hair peaked out of her headpiece at the forehead.
The character of Happy Hotpoint was superimposed on the TV screen. She could be seen skating on an ice-cube tray or leaping out of an oven piping such phrases as “Hi! Harriet, Aren’t you glad you bought a Hotpoint?” and “Everyday’s a holiday with Hotpoint.”
Mary Tyler Moore earned about $6,000 for filming 39 Happy Hotpoint TV spots (in five days) but later was unable to continue in the role of the slender little sprite when she became pregnant.
Moore recalled in her biography “After All” (Dell Publishing, 1995 p.81-82):
“Fitting into Happy’s elf costume for the next block of commercials proved to be a challenge. I was now three months pregnant and my breasts reflected that fact. I remember the pain of that neutering bra to this day (a bandeau, a sort of bra without cups). I looked a bit egg-shaped, but we got away with Happy’s little secret for that group of ads. The elf bit the dust afterwards, though. The sponsor couldn’t stop showing the character for the duration of my pregnancy and then bring her ‘it’ – back again. So off she – ‘it’ – went. TV history.”
Before the “female” Happy Hotpoint campaign, the Hotpoint company featured an impish male figure in a red body suit as their advertising mascot from the 1930s to early 1950s. A doll version of Happy Hotpoint was fabricated from wood and composition materials. It stood 17.5″ tall and was manufactured by the Cameo Doll Company. There was also a hand-puppet created to advertise the Hotpoint appliances.
NOTE: Hotpoint was founded in 1911. In 1918, the company, merged with General Electric. In 2014, Electrolux agreed to buy General Electric’s household appliances business including the Hotpoint brand in North America for $3.3 billion).
Born 12/29/1936 in Brooklyn, New York, Mary Tyler Moore’s first recurring role in a TV series was in 1959 as a switchboard operator in Richard Diamond, Private Detective; only her legs were seen. After her success as Laura Petrie on THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW (1961-1966), Moore formed the production company MTM Enterprises with then-husband Grant Tinker in 1969 and produced several hit series, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, Hill Street Blues, Remington Steele and St. Elsewhere.
In 1985, Mary was inducted into the Television Arts & Sciences’ Hall of Fame. Ten years later she published her autobiography “After All.”
In 2002, TV Land unveiled a statue in her honor which depicts the famous hat-throwing scene from the opening credits of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in downtown Minneapolis.
Happy Hotpoint Opening for the The Ozzie and Harriet Show (Video)
Happy Hotpoint Commercial Spot for The Ozzie and Harriet Show – The Guests (Video)
Happy Hotpoint Commercial – Real Estate Agent (Video)
Happy Hotpoint Commercial with Animated Cartoon (Video)