Deborah Kennedy is now much happier about ‘Not Happy, Jan!’

A Place to Call Home star was once haunted by 3 little words on a TV ad, until she saw an episode of The Simpsons.


It’s the mark of any good actor that three little words uttered in a television commercial can become part of the Australian lexicon.

And for years the words “Not happy, Jan!” haunted actress Deborah Kennedy -until she watched The Simpsons.

“Three little words I once shouted out a window!” she told TV Tonight.

“It used to really irritate me, and then I watched an episode of The Simpsons, that was more or less about the same thing. So I thought ‘Get over yourself. It made people laugh.’

“As long as I can make people laugh, so if that made people laugh then I’m delighted.”

Presumably that was the ‘Bart Gets Famous’ episode in which Bart Simpson’s “I didn’t do it” catchphrase makes him a pop culture phenomenon.

But she is a little less enthused about the financial remuneration for giving life to the ad agency script.

“Unfortunately that’s where I stop laughing,” she admits.

“They played it for 3 years and then it became part of the public domain.

“So not (another) nada for this one!”

But there is better news with a third season of A Place to Call Home currently underway for Foxtel, with Kennedy reprising her role as the nosy local, Doris Collins.

“Someone has to do it. Someone has to tell it like it is,” she laughs.

“It’s a role that I really enjoy.”

A Place to Call Home marks the third Foxtel project for the versatile Kennedy, having previously appeared in :30 Seconds and as the merciless agent to Mick Molloy on the comedy series, The Jesters.

“That was such a fun show. I wish they had gone again. But the best thing is that Foxtel is supporting Australian drama and comedy.”

7 Responses

  1. I’m sure she wouldn’t want to be associated with the current success-level of Yellow Pages. We should explain to younger readers what that thing was – here, let me put down this computer and pick up a big hard-copy of a tiny internet.

  2. I love Deborah in A Place to Call Home and have always enjoyed her work. Even before “not happy Jan”, I remeber her from the original large cast of Chances, before they revamped the show and cut two thirds of the cast.

  3. Nice post, David. I had the privilege of working with Deb a couple of times, and she is the nicest lady, and such a dynamic actor. First saw her as Mel Gibson’s protective sister in ‘Tim’. Glad she is still getting good roles. She’s back on air this week in Prisoner.

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