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The Ray Bradbury Theater: The Happiness Machine

A man becomes obsessed with building a happiness machine, much to his wife's dismay and disappointment.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 6x2
Airdate: Friday July 17th, 1992

Director: John Laing (1)
Story: Ray Bradbury
Teleplay: Ray Bradbury

Guest Stars
Elliott GouldElliott Gould
As Leo Auffmann
Mimi KuzykMimi Kuzyk
As Lena Auffmann

Co-Guest Stars
Paul McIverPaul McIver
As Saul Auffmann
Tania MasonTania Mason
As Naomi Auffmann
Matthew BrennanMatthew Brennan
As Aaron Auffmann
Claire ChithamClaire Chitham
As Rosalyn Auffmann
Main Cast


Leo Auffmann wakes up one morning, in bed next to his wife Lena, and goes to the window. He hears the world singing to him and wonders what the occasion is, and then decides that he has to pay back. Lena wakes up and wonders who they owe, and Leo dresses and goes to his garage. Inside is the detritus of his life, things he's collected over the years. He starts making up a blueprint for his plan and then places toys and knickknacks atop it. His son Saul comes in and asks what he's making, and Leo says that he's making a happiness machine. Saul puts a flower on it and Leo tells him that it's complete. ..

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Episode Notes
Based on the short story "The Happiness Machine" by Ray Bradbury. This story was first published in The Saturday Evening Post (September 14, 1957).

Episode Quotes
Leo Auffmann: You're not contented, delighted, joyful?
Lena Auffmann: Leo, cows are contented. Babies, old folks in second childhood are delighted. As for joyful, look how I laugh ironing your shirts.
Leo Auffmann: Next month we'll take off, get away.
Lena Auffmann: Next week you'll be asking me what makes my heart beat all night. Who knows? Or what's marriage. Don't ask. Eat, sleep, breathe, Leo.

Lena Auffmann: You should never have made quick tings go slow and stay around. And you brought faraway places to our backward where they don't belong. Where they just tell you, you'll never travel, Lena Auffmann. Paris you'll never see, Rome you'll never visit. But I always knew that, Leo, so why tell me? Make do. Make do.

Changes from the short story:

* The opening sequence in the episode, with the world coming to life, isn't in the short story.
* In the episode, Lena is afraid to enter the Happiness Machine. In the short story, Lena insists on entering so she can "know what I'm yelling about."
* In the episode, there are a number of boarders at the house who gather to watch the Machine's destruction, and there's are other family member: Grandpa Spaulding, Douglas, and Tom. They're dropped from the episode.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRay Bradbury
Executive ProducerRay Bradbury  |  Larry Wilcox  |  Peter Sussman
Supervising ProducerTom Cotter (1)  |  Don Reynolds
ProducerMary Kahn  |  Chris Bailey (3)
Production DesignerRon Highfield
EditorPatrick Monaghan
CastingSusan Forrest  |  Marianne Willison  |  Darlene Kaplan
Line ProducerJanine Dickens
First Assistant DirectorJessica Hobbs
Second Assistant DirectorPhee Phanshell
Music SupervisorDavid Greene (4)
Costume DesignerNgila Dickson
Make-upTrish Cohen
Key GripKevin Donovan
Camera OperatorRichard Bluck
Location ManagerLisa Kissin
Production CoordinatorJane Lindsay
Assistant EditorChristine Monaghan
Post Production SupervisorJohannes Konigstorfer  |  John Harcourt
Director of PhotographyWarrick Attewell
Production SecretaryLynn Hargreaves
Art DirectorMike Becroft
Post Production CoordinatorSteve D'Onofrio
Special EffectsSteve Ingram
Sound RecordistGraham Morris (2)
Third Assistant DirectorSarah Miln
Boom OperatorMyk Farmer
Production AccountantSally Campbell
Sound SupervisorJohn McKay (3)
Wardrobe AssistantJanis MacEwan  |  Geraldine Stevens
Best BoySiggy Spath, Jr.
Special Effects SupervisorKevin Chisnall
Executive In Charge Of ProductionNicholas Wry
Production ExecutiveRick Weaver (2)
Unit ManagerPeta Sinclair
Assistant To The Executive ProducerDel Mehes
ContinuityRowena Yalland
Focus PullerFred Renata
HairTrish Cohen
ComposerChris Dedrick
Construction ManagerPhil Chitty
Still PhotographerGeoff Short  |  Ken George
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