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30 Awesome Things You Didn't Know About Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Updated on March 25, 2015

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog Teaser Trailer

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is a musical web series that aired in July of 2008 on the web streaming site Vimeo. Joss Whedon's tragicomic brainchild, this tale of a mad scientist (played by Neil Patrick Harris), his super strong nemesis (Nathan Fillion), and the girl from the laundromat (Felicia Day) impressed critics and fans alike. Critics enjoyed the complex music and effective pacing. Fans enjoyed the well-developed characters and entertaining plot. It continues to exist in the form of DVDs, comic books, and costumes. There are bound to be fans that know everything in this list, but these are thirty facts you may not know about Dr. Horrible.

Just a quick warning: you'll want to watch Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog before reading this unless you don't mind plot points being spoiled. All proceeds from DVD sales go to feed and clothe the cast and crew, from the headlining actors to the guy who operated the stunt cables, so buying a copy would be nice.

All photos are credited to Mutant Enemy Productions.

Pre-Production Facts

  1. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog was an act of rebellion. It was written during the Writer's Guild of America strike, during which striking writers were not supposed to write. The strike lasted for three months.
  2. Joss Whedon had worked on the story for a year before filming began.
  3. The movie was a Whedon family affair, with Joss, Zach, and Jed all joining in on the writing. Jed’s then-fiancée Maurissa Tancharoen also wrote some music.
  4. This movie was pitched to various TV studios, but the producers turned down all offers so they could have maximum creative control. The producers funded it on their own, without compensation.
  5. The musical was originally going to be filmed using only webcams. The producers eventually decided they wanted a bigger scope.
  6. The entire film was produced in two weeks. There were six days of filming, two days of recording vocals, and roughly a week for editing.
  7. My Freeze Ray captured the writers’ concept for the music.

A photo of the cast and crew.
A photo of the cast and crew.
A web banner for the show.
A web banner for the show.

Behind the Scenes Facts

  1. Apparently, the large chair Dr. Horrible has in his lab was part of the house they rented, not brought in from a prop shop.
  2. The house used as Dr. Horrible’s lab was the same house used in Monster House.
  3. The items in Dr. Horrible’s lab include brain scans, test tubes, and an anatomy chart. This could imply Dr. Horrible has a medical degree. He also has some equipment that would not look out of place in a comic book laboratory, so maybe the directors went to the prop shop and got every "laboratory" thing they could.
  4. The photo Dr. Horrible has of Penny was taken from behind a bush, probably the travelling bush used in So They Say.
  5. Joss Whedon cried when he heard Neil Patrick Harris and Felicia Day sing My Eyes together for the first time.
  6. This was the first time Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion had sung in a studio.
  7. It took an entire day for Neil Patrick Harris to record his music because there was so much of it. He sung in six songs, the most of any main character, and three of those were solos.

Dr. Horrible plotting.
Dr. Horrible plotting.
Penny asking for signatures for a petition.
Penny asking for signatures for a petition.
The Doctor's plan in action.
The Doctor's plan in action.

In Front of the Scenes Facts

  1. Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen both make cameos as a part of a trio. Jed is in the Bad Horse chorus, while Maurissa is one of Captain Hammer’s groupies. In addition, Maurissa sings the backup vocals in Everything You Ever.
  2. Bad Horse being a horse was a surprise for many viewers, but it’s actually hinted at in the very first line. Dr. Horrible calls his laugh a "death whinny", which wouldn't make sense if the character was human.
  3. Johnny Snow, who is never shown on screen, is an iced-based hero who frequently writes to Dr. Horrible. He wears a parka.
  4. The death ray is actually a modified prop from Firefly, where it was known as the Sonic Rifle.
  5. Look closely in the background of the shots on top of Captain Hammer riding the van. The background repeats. They only had enough street to film the wide shot where the van goes out of control.
  6. During So they Say, one of the newscasters introduces the next segment: “who’s gay?” The next person to sing is Captain Hammer’s male groupie, but before that, Dr. Horrible is seen mixing chemicals. The actor who plays him, Nial Patrick Harris, came out publicly two years before the shoot took place.
  7. Captain Hammer never wears a sweater vest on screen, but according to his groupies, he owns four of them.
  8. Captain Hammer owns a jet, the Ham-Jet, and a motorcycle, the Hammer-cycle. Neither are seen in the film. The Hammer-cycle could be a bicycle.
  9. Moist goes on a double date with two young women, Bait and Switch. They show up in the last scene. One is much prettier than the other.

10. When the newspapers show up on screen, there is a typo. “Heroes Girlfriend Murdered” should be “Hero’s Girlfriend Murdered”.

11. The Bad Horse Chorus appears to be singing their own song during Everything You Ever.

Billy spying on Penny and Captain Hammer.
Billy spying on Penny and Captain Hammer.
Captain Hammer's groupies reminding him what they're willing to do for him.
Captain Hammer's groupies reminding him what they're willing to do for him.
Billy and Penny at the laundromat.
Billy and Penny at the laundromat.

Other Facts

  1. Dr. Horrible’s first act was available online for free from July 15, 2008 to July 28, 2008. That is thirteen days online. Act Two was available for eleven days, and Act Three was available for nine days.
  2. There is a prequel that has been officially acknowledged by the creators of the original. It’s called Horrible Turn, and follows a young Dr. Horrible as he tries to win a math competition.
  3. Dr. Horrible took over the 2009 Emmys, where his show won Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Programs. Joss Whedon jokingly called the category nonsensical.
  4. Dr. Horrible won 77% of its Streamy award nominations.
  5. As of March 24, 2015, the trailer has over 551,000 views.

How Much Do You Know About Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog?


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Did you know all of these facts? Are there any more facts you think I should know? Let me know in the comments.

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    • Molly Layton profile image
      Author

      Molly Layton 2 years ago from Alberta

      Great, Billy! I hope you like it.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Never heard of it. Thank you for telling us about this. I am a huge Whedon fan, so I'm not sure how I managed to miss this. Very cool! I'll be checking it out soon.