‘Happy!’: Christopher Meloni and a Flying Blue Horse Are Quite the Team

Happy - Christopher Meloni
Happy! - Christopher Meloni

“Roger Rabbit meets Quentin ­Tarantino.” That’s how Christopher Meloni sums up his bonkers new series, Happy!, based on a graphic novel by legendary comic book writer Grant Morrison.

Nick Sax (Meloni) is a corrupt cop who becomes a hit man fueled by drink, drugs and self-pity. Following a near-death experience, he begins to see the titular flying blue horse (voiced by Patton Oswalt), an imaginary friend of Hailey (Bryce Lorenzo), a young girl who’s been kidnapped by a very bad Santa (Joseph Reitman). She has sent Happy to recruit Nick to find her, and the resulting action can only be described as Law & Order: WTF?!

Meloni reveals more about the show, which he promises is “unlike anything you have ever seen.”

Is it safe to say this is a no-kids zone, despite the animation?
There’s an M for “mature audiences” in the opening crawl!

Nick is a real mess. What’s his story?
He’s on a journey of self-destruction until he meets Happy, who infuses meaning into his life. Morrison professes the show is about what happens when dark meets light. There’s nothing more joyous and life-giving than a child’s friend. And here, the unabashed imagination of a child meets hard-bitten reality.

Happy! seems to defy single-genre categorization.
Sometimes it’s ­whimsical; other times, very dark. You have this wacky element, but the stakes are real. A child has been taken, and you want to give a certain truth to that.

Did you hesitate at the prospect of costarring with a cartoon?
Actually, I liked that I would have a sense of control. Basically, they would have to mold Happy around my behavior and my reaction.

Nick gets beat up quite a bit. Suffer any injuries?
I got a volleyball-sized bruise on my right hamstring and I stretched out tendons in my left hand. But that’s all. Nothing Advil and a little bit of ice can’t take care of.

Happy!, Season Premiere, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 10/9c, Syfy