Bibliophile | Television’s Larry Emdur is ‘Happy As’ in heartfelt memoir

Happy As
by Larry Emdur
Harper Collins

Larry Emdur, best known for hosting The Price is Right, has also been the host of Wheel of Fortune, The Main Event, The Celebrity Dog School, Weekend Sunrise, The Chase Australia and The Morning Show, which he has co-hosted with Kylie Gillies for the last 15 years. Though you might remember him for his terrible performance on Dancing With the Stars.

Born in 1964 and growing up in Bondi with older sister Nikki and younger sister Martine, Larry Emdur has made a name for himself as television’s Mr Nice Guy. His sunny disposition and self-deprecating humour shine through in this collection of autobiographical stories to show how life can reward you if you are nice to everybody.

His mother was a social worker in a prison and Larry remembers her as always being able to see the good in people. His father was a travelling salesman whose advice to the young Larry was to always be nice to everyone. Living in Bondi and starting each morning surfing would also have contributed to his happy as nature.

In high school, he wanted to be a lifeguard because they got all the girls and got to surf before, during and after work. Failing that, he thought he could also be a garbo who started work at 4am before finishing at 9am and allowing him to have the rest of the day surfing.

In year 11, he admits that he had barely read a book and couldn’t spell or use punctuation. He was encouraged to leave school, even though the Deputy Headmaster told him he would never get anywhere without the High School Certificate.

Going for menial jobs that allowed him to have plenty of time to surf, he managed to be in the right place at the right time to get some incredible breaks. By the age of 19, he was “Larry Emdur, reporting for Seven Nightly News”, specialising in the light positive stories that would make people happy at the end of a depressing news program.

By the time he was telling people to “come on down” in 1500 episodes of The Price is Right, he was a household name. The stories are more than finding the perfect job for a fun-loving, happy-go-lucky, perpetually smiling high school dropout.

With perfect timing, the humorous anecdotes are interspersed with heart-harming and life-affirming stories that, not only bring tears, but go to prove that Larry Emdur really deserves the title of television’s Mr Nice Guy.

Lezly Herbert

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