Merry Happy Whatever: Who is Alice McCarthy?

2 min

Netflix’s latest festive family sitcom has viewers around the world in stitches as musician Matt (played by Brent Morin) does his best to impress his girlfriend Emmy’s (Bridgit Mendler) family. However, it’s a lot easier said than done as her overbearing father Don (Dennis Quaid) doesn’t take a shine to his daughter’s new man. The series draws to an end after eight episodes, with the final instalment unveiling a title card in the memory of Alice McCarthy, leaving many fans wondering who she is.

Who is Alice McCarthy

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Merry Happy Whatever.


Merry Happy Whatever ended on the bombshell that Emmy and Matt would be moving to London after getting engaged.

Despite a rocky festive period with her family, Matt decided to propose to Emmy in the last few minutes of New Year’s Eve.

After finally winning her dad over, he gave him his blessing and the pair put their differences aside to embark on this new chapter together – with Emmy’s family close by, of course.

As the Quinns dropped the two off at the airport, the episode drew to a close and a title card appeared on-screen.

The title card read: “In loving memory of Alice McCarthy.”

Very little other information is given in the episode but there’s a heartwarming reason why the show was dedicated to her.

According to Distractify, Alice McCarthy was the mother-in-law to the show’s creator Tucker Cawley.

In fact, Cawley shared a tweet back in July explaining how Merry Happy Whatever was actually inspired by his interactions with his mother-in-law.

Cawley said: “That’s a wrap on season one of #MerryHappyWhatever, loosely and (mostly) lovingly based on 25+ yrs of Christmases spent with @AileenCawley’s family. #Netflix this holiday season.”


McCarthy died a few months after Merry Happy Whatever wrapped up filming.

Her obituary, via Givnish, states she was 80-years-old when she died on September 13, 2019.

McCarthy was married to Aileen Cawley’s father Jim for 61 years after tying the knot in 1958.

With Cawley using his “25+ years” of interactions with his wife’s family as the basis for Merry Happy Whatever, fans are keen to see another season in 2020.

However, Netflix is yet to announce whether or not the series has been renewed for season two.

Fans needn’t fear as the streaming service can take up to a few months to announce renewals.

With the show’s debut series only premiering on November 28, 2019, there’s still plenty of time until the next festive period.

It appears Cawley would be open to the idea, judging by his social media activity.


The Merry Happy Whatever writer has liked a series of tweets calling for season two.

One fan said: “I just finished binge-watching #MerryHappyWhatever and it was great. Very enjoyable. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait till #season2. #merryHappyWedding.”

A second liked tweet read: “@RealElizabethHo Congratulations for Joy, she is funny, loved her. Can’t wait for next season.” will update this article if season two is announced.


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