The Virginian-Pilot: ‘Daily Show’ satire can’t shake the happiest man

By John Warren

Jon Stewart’s posse of satirical clowns wasn’t enough to turn J.P. Godsey’s world-renowned smile upside down. They gave it a good try, though.

Godsey – the “Happiest Man in America”  and author of “How to be Happy Every Day” – appeared this week on the tongue-in-cheek current events Program, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

The late-night Comedy Central show flew Godsey to New York in June and taped him – for 3 hours and 55 minutes’ Godsey said Friday – talking about volunteerism, giving back, glass-is-half-full thinking.

Less than three minutes of the conversation made the cut’ The show aired Wednesday. Godsey talks about reclaiming the word “gay” to its original meaning – happy”. I want to take gay back,” he said.

That made the show.

Correspondent Jason Jones pounced on Godsey’s  mispronunciation of “Darfur.” “I hate to be portrayed as an idiot,” Godsey said. “I talked about simple Pleasures in life, like chasing an ice cream truck, and that’s all they put in.”

Godsey, 50, has done the national TV circuit before. After being voted Happiest Man in America by USA Weekend magazine in 2003, t he Beach stockbroker appeared on ABC and CNN.

This time, the editor’s cuts were less kind. Godsey said he has received hate mail.

“It was a goof, a laugh,” said Godsey. “I was surprised so many people took it so seriously.”

Godsey played along for the segment, carrying a small cache of smiley-face balloons in one vignette.

Will he be more wary next time a TV Producer calls?

“My shoulders are Pretty broad,” he said Friday. ” I f you’re in the spotlight, You have to be able to take the blows.”