The Sweet Sad Story of Elmo and Me

The Sweet Sad Story of Elmo and Me is a 1965 Australian television film which aired on ABC as part of Wednesday Theatre.

"The Sweet Sad Story of Elmo and Me"
Wednesday Theatre episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 30
Directed byHenri Safran
Teleplay byRic Throssell
Original air date27 July 1965
Running time60 mins

A satire about suburbia, it was written by Canberra-based writer Ric Throssell, and based on a stage play titled Dr. Homer Speaks : 'Oh, Ai-lar-tsua Farewell'.[1] Aired in a 60-minute time-slot, it was produced in ABC's Sydney studios by Henri Safran.[2] Original music was composed by Nigel Butterley and Frank Lvons.

Per a search of their website, the National Archives of Australia may hold an (incomplete?) copy of this program, with running time listing as 43:44.

According to one paper "throughout the play the author pokes his tongue at suburbia, materialism, education and television, among other things. "[3]


"Digger" Smith returns from World War Two to his wife "Shirt" a baby girl, Betty, and a modest house in the suburbs. A happy, uncomplicated man, "Digger" Smith stays so until prosperity catches up with him and he makes strenuous efforts to "keep up with the Joneses." Betty's boyfriend is Elmo.


  • Ron Haddrick as "Digger" Smith
  • Chuck Kehoe
  • Brian Hannan as Elmo
  • Doreen Warburton as "Shirt"
  • Lynette Curran as Betty
  • John Armstrong
  • Bill Mullikie
  • Lynette Haddrick as Betty as a child (Ron Haddrick's own daughter)[3]


The Sun Herald critic wrote "it was well done, whatever it was.... It was fast moving, all right. Elmo started out as a baby, and finished up as a grey-haired tycoon. Somewhere in the one hour of bafflement there was also Ron Haddrick brilliantly playing something or other, and Doreen Warburton as his wife. Accents switched from Australian to American, dollar bills floated from the sky, and it wound up in what looked like the Australian bush. Somewhere there was a message, but it escaped me. At any rate, it is good to see the A.B.C. with enough courage to tackle such an offbeat offering... Whatever it was, they did it extremely well."[4]

The Bulletin said his "only possible reaction is to sit like a stunned mullet wondering was it all a ridiculous dream, and finally peering around to discover whether he is alone in all this."[5]

See also


  2. "WEDNESDAY". The Canberra Times. 39, (11, 217). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 26 July 1965. p. 14. Retrieved 20 March 2017 via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  3. "Play titles at suburbia". Sydney Morning Herald. 26 July 1965. p. 22.
  4. "Well done whatever it was". Sydney Morning Herald. 1 August 1965. p. 104.
  5. The bulletin, John Haynes and J.F. Archibald, 1880, retrieved 2 April 2019

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