As we all try (in one way or another) to navigate our way through this 21st century we live in, on top of being in the midst of a pandemic, we can often forget to “s ‘stop and smell the roses’, AKA appreciates the little things in life. And unfortunately, sometimes that means the simple act of laughing. So what better time to catch up with longtime Gold Coast resident and “Happy Human” socialite Scott Williams. From humble beginnings, this self-taught character now shares his love of life and happiness with people all over the world. We get to know its history and local favorites.
How long have you been a Gold Coast resident?
I’ve called the Gold Coast home since 1976. That’s a long time! It was on the GC that I met my wife Angie (the year I arrived, early 1976) and it’s also where our son Oliver was born. The Gold Coast is where I got my first ‘break from show business’ – so I have a lot to thank the GC for.
Tell us a bit about your career to date.
The year my family came to GC, I did Grade 11 at Keebra Park High School. During the Christmas holidays of that year 1976, I met the hypnotist Ronricco, an icon of the Gold Coast. He toured the world most of the year and always came back to the GC for Christmas, usually doing shows somewhere. During the 1976/1977 Christmas season he performed at the old Pacific Hotel in Southport. I ended up getting a job with him and never went back to 12th grade! My first newspaper article was in the Gold Coast Bulletin in January 1977! I was delighted. It was a photo of Ronricco and me outside the Hall of Fame at the Broadbeach International Hotel. I traveled the world with Ronricco for 5 years, learning my trade. I started out as Ronricco’s stage manager and was encouraged by Ronricco to develop a magic act. My girlfriend at the time, and now my wife, Angie finished grade 12 (she’s the smartest in the family!) and joined us on our tours of Australia, New Zealand, Germany and United Kingdom. She made an excellent magic assistant! Meeting Ronricco on the Gold Coast in 1976 fundamentally changed the direction of my life.
After my time at Ronricco, I got a job at the Magic Castle, Nobbys Beach, with another world famous actor and GC icon, international escapologist and magician Arthur Coghlan. Arthur gave me the opportunity to work with large scale illusions and I performed regularly with Arthur in the magic theater for several years. Later, when it became Magic Mountain, I was invited back and played there again until it closed in 1987, the year my son Oliver was born. International touring became difficult with a young family, so Angie and I decided to stay on the coast and moved into the corporate arena, doing magic and then stand-up. I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. Hosting conferences and conventions at home and abroad has also become an important part of my career. In my busiest times, I was often doing around 100 flights a year, so it was all gone, go, go! Over the past few years the opportunity to be part of the cruise ship industry has opened up to me and I have thoroughly enjoyed playing on many unique ships all over the world. Of course, it all fell apart when COVID hit. But like others, during COVID, I decided to explore other ways to continue my craft; that’s when I set up a home broadcast studio and hosted some events virtually, as well as recording a weekly happiness talk called “One Minute About Happiness”.
What professional achievement are you most proud of?
Probably my ability to evolve to meet new markets and demands. From magic to comedy, passing through the animation of conferences, then talking about business with “The Happy Human”. The ability to adapt and change gave me a long and very interesting career that spanned 40 years – so I’m very grateful for that.
What do you enjoy most about making people laugh?
It’s a tough world sometimes, and the more stressed we become, the less we tend to laugh. So having the ability to make a positive contribution to people’s lives through laughter is truly a blessing. Clean comedy has always been a staple of my shows, and hearing someone say “I can’t believe I laughed so hard for an hour and didn’t hear a dirty word” is a great comeback. on my investment.
Why is laughter so important?
Laughter releases endorphins, one of the “feel-good” chemicals produced naturally in the body. This chemical elevates our mood and gives us a warm glow! We interpret this glow as a feeling of happiness. When we feel happy, a perception of hope is created. So laughter effectively becomes a “hope generator” for us, and that’s really important because, without hope, life feels like drudgery.
If you had to give people one piece of advice, what would it be?
I love to quote Dennis Prager who said, “Don’t let the compliments go to your head and don’t let the insults go to your heart”. That pretty much sums it up. Sometimes we take ourselves and others too seriously and it can backfire.
Tell us your best joke!
Are you trying to steal my number? Seriously, there are so many jokes that I love and I’ve probably forgotten more than I remember now at 61! I love silly lines like, “What do you call a Woolworths supermarket that burned down?” . . . “Coles” (coals – get it)!
What are your Gold Coast favourites…
Coffee: There are so many on the coast doing a wonderful job. It depends where I am today. The last cafe I visited was Paddock Bakery in Burleigh and they always use wonderfully fresh ingredients in their creations. A favorite for a late breakfast.
Coffee corner: Wherever a Merlo coffee shop proudly brandishes! Usually I get a coffee at Merlo Brickworks when I pick up a bag of coffee beans from their “private” blend! – I live for coffee!
Restaurant: Indian Empire at Runaway Bay has been a favorite for many years and has won many awards. Delicious Indian cuisine! Brooklyn Depot in Surfers is also a great stop for a quick lunch. My physio just told me to check out the Brazilian Flame Bar and Grill in Surfers Paradise, so that will be next on the list to try.
Bar or pub for a drink: Anywhere that serves Los Sundays Tequila!
How do you choose to spend your weekends?
I have become an avid baker and love making sourdough breads and chewy New York bagels. Also, I love long walks with Angie around the Paradise Point waterfront and maybe to one of the cafes there for something delicious!