Jack was at times a miner, a father, a brawler, sometime poet, conman, lover, thug and comedian. In fact Happy Jack is probably a character we all recognize. The central character of John Godber's play is a typically Yorkshire mixture of tenderness, truculence, humour, pride and pig-ignorance. Happy Jack chronicles the lives of Godber's grandparents. All the incidents in the play are based on fact, but Godber could not separate these stories from his own life as they were being continually retold in his own household. He calls them the myths of his childhood.