A Series Of Unfortunate Events was originally a series of books written by Lemony Snicket, really Daniel Handler. Daniel Handler, born in 1970, wrote the books and published them one by one, creating an exciting series that fans flocked to. The series was turned into a movie in which Jim Carrey and even Meryl Streep starred in. Recently, the series became the TV show we are discussing today. The movie was fascinating, as it attempted to fit a series of books all under two hours. But it was not nearly as successful as the TV show has been/is expected to be (but we did enjoy Jim Carrey playing Count Olaf).
Still, we are here today to discuss the TV show. The TV show was picked up by Netflix and put together with an outstanding cast, led by Neil Patrick Harris playing Count Olaf, the main villain. While Jim Carrey predictably went for a zany version of the show's premier villain, Neil Patrick Harris unsurprisingly went for a sly yet humorous version of Count Olaf. Both did tremendous jobs, but the TV show captured the villain and the show in a way the movie could not. Luckily for us fans, the show will likely have a second season, and hopefully continues from there. We can't wait to see more of Neil Patrick Harris in disguises. That being said, here's 15 fun facts about A Series of Unfortunate Events that you may not have known. Enjoy!
15 Lemony Snicket Is Real...Sort Of
Lemony Snicket is a character in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series, but he is also the author of the books. You see, Lemony Snicket is actually the pen name of author, Daniel Handler. You will learn plenty about Daniel Handler throughout this list, but Handler became Snicket and made Snicket a character in a fascinating turn of events (did you catch the pun?). The story behind the 'Lemony Snicket' name is that when Handler was working on a novel unrelated to A Series of Unfortunate Events, the author wished to receive sensitive materials that he was not comfortable using his real name for. With that, Handler had to come up with a pseudonym, and used the name Jiminy Cricket to help come up with the famous Lemony Snicket name.
14 Lemony Snicket Was A Failure
Like many other authors, Snicket (Handler) was not a success straight off the bat. J.K. Rowling was turned down for her Harry Potter idea plenty of times, even considering giving up writing at some points. Handler, however, was turned down mainly for the other idea he was working on when he came up with the Lemony Snicket pseudonym. Handler was working on a dark tale about a teenage girl he titled The Basic Eight. The Basic Eight was turned down 37 times, and Handler was left scrambling for other ideas. We can't help but wonder what would have happened had The Basic Eight been approved, as his focus likely would have shifted to that. Would A Series of Unfortunate Events have ever existed in that case?
13 Daniel Handler Is In The Show
Lemony Snicket is a character in A Series of Unfortunate Events, as you already know. What you may not know, is that Lemony Snicket is *also* in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Got that? No? Let us explain. Daniel Handler, who wrote and created Lemony Snicket, yet IS Lemony Snicket, has a role in A Series of Unfortunate Events, the TV show. There's no way for you to know it's him, as he does not play Lemony Snicket (himself). We swear this makes sense! Handler cameos as a fish head salesperson, getting very little screen time and hardly being noticeable at all (he's the man to the right). Still, we find it amazing that he was in his own book's TV show, playing a different role than the character created after himself. What a whirlwind!
12 Georgina Orwell Was Justice Strauss
The actress that played Georgina Orwell in A Series of Unfortunate Events the TV Show, played Justice Strauss in A Series of Unfortunate Events the movie. There were very few holdovers from the movie to the TV show, but Catherine O'Hara got the nod as one of them. Rather than continuing in her familiar role, however, the actress was handed a more mischievous role. While O'Hara was wonderful as Justice Strauss in the A Series of Unfortunate Events movie, we love Joan Cusack's rendition of Justice Strauss even more. O'Hara also fits way better as Georgina, as her on-screen chemistry with Neil Patrick Harris (Count Olaf) is off the charts, and her ability to be a zany, humorous character is wonderful. We're glad they made the switch!
11 Sunny Had A Voice Actor
Although Sunny Baudelaire never had any lines that could necessarily be understood by the viewing audience, she still had a major role in the show. The youngest of the Baudelaire siblings, Sunny was best known for her ability to cut things down with her teeth, and her mischievous mind working wonders against her older counterparts. Of course one of the most comedic aspects of Sunny's character was her repetitive speaking and being misunderstood by everyone - then one of her siblings interrupting and saying "What Sunny means to say is..." However, it's fascinating that despite the lines being incomprehensible, Sunny still required a voice actor. The greatly talented Tara Strong, she who played Timmy Turner among other popular characters, spoke Sunny's lines that made no sense!
10 Daniel Handler Chose Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris was chosen as Count Olaf very early in the casting process, as the Count Olaf role was one of the most important in the TV show. Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), the author of the series, personally chose Harris. The story behind how Handler chose Harris is an interesting one, as Handler was just like you or me watching the Tony Awards. Handler saw Harris performing "It's Not Just Gays Anymore," in the show, and realized that he would make the perfect Count Olaf. Said Handler: "I just immediately saw someone who could pull off a million things at once." Count Olaf carries many disguises throughout the show, so that's an essential trait for any actor to have in playing the role. We love the decision here!
9 The Movie Was Supposed To Have Sequels
A Series of Unfortunate Events was not always supposed to be a TV show, as we have already discussed how it was originally a movie after the books. What we have not yet covered is that the TV show would likely have never happened had the movies panned out as planned. The first movie came out in theaters and did well enough, but there were multiple sequels planned as well. The remainder of the book plotline was supposed to be played out over the sequels, but a shakeup in DreamWorks (the company that produced the movies) stopped the sequels from ever being worked on or completed. Thus, the opening for A Series of Unfortunate Events TV show, and the wonderful show we have today was created. It all worked out in the end.
8 The Number 13
Like any dark story, A Series of Unfortunate Events has plenty of recurring themes and symbols in the story. One of those is the importance of the number 13. one that plays a large role without being totally noticeable at the same time. Consider the following: there are 13 books in the series, with each book having 13 chapters. The title "A Series of Unfortunate Events" is 26 letters long, which is 13 doubled. The series was released on the 13th of January. (We don't think that was any coincidence!) The series was also released in 2017, a certain number of years after the 2004 movie release. Yep, 13 years after. We find these all too similar to be a coincidence, so the number 13 is a trend in the story.
7 'How I Met Your Mother' Reference
Arguably, Neil Patrick Harris' most famous role in his television career was his spot as a lead actor on the hit TV show How I Met Your Mother. In How I Met Your Mother, Patrick Harris played Barney Stinson, a character known for his womanizing ways. We'll have more on this in a moment, but the show nodded towards Patrick Harris' former role in a stealthy little way. In the episode "The Reptile Room: Part One", Count Olaf struggles tremendously to eat his food using chopsticks. Which happens to be one reoccurring problem for Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother. We love that we keep finding these hidden nods in the series!
6 Friends, Lovers, Enemies
Neil Patrick Harris was not the only How I Met Your Mother alum to own a role in A Series Of Unfortunate Events. Cobie Smulders, the actress that played Mother (yes, the character's name is Mother. Kinda hilarious how that's simultaneously not creative at all yet creative at the same time!) and Robin in the How I Met Your Mother TV show. Of course, Robin and Barney are known as one of the premier couples in the TV show, though (spoiler alert!) they do not end up together. In A Series of Unfortunate Events they are enemies, as Count Olaf is trying to steal Mother's children's fortune. He also is suspected of burning down Mother's home to do so. Because of this, we don't think they'll end up together in this show either.
5 Al Funcoot
We are now diving into the spoiler section of this list, so watch out for things you may have missed when watching the show for the first time! The first spoiler we have is a bit of foreshadowing done by the show, as when Count Olaf tells the Baudelaire children that they will be starring in a play against their will. Essentially, he tells them that the play was written by Al Funcoot. If you're reading the name Al Funcoot and wondering why it seems awfully familiar, that's because the name Al Funcoot is an anagram for the name Count Olaf. That Count Olaf sure is a trickster, but he can't even come up with a name without simply re-arranging the letters in his own name!
4 We Like Ike
If you were producing a TV show and needed a throw a line in there, would you put one in about how handsome you are? Well, a producer on the set of A Series of Unfortunate Events basically did just that, while also mocking himself a bit in the process! Let us explain. In the show, Aunt Josephine explains that her husband, Ike (who passed away), looked handsome when wearing a cowboy hat. She shows a picture of Ike to prove it. The picture is actually a picture of producer, Barry Sonnenfeld, who was known on set for wearing a cowboy hat around. So he gets to be called handsome on a Netflix TV show, but they also make fun of him a bit for the cowboy hat. Fair deal!
3 There's A Video Game!
Haven't had enough of A Series of Unfortunate Events after the TV Show, movie, and books? Well we have some good news for you! Not only did they make A series of Unfortunate Events into a movie starring Jim Carrey, or a show starring Neil Patrick Harris, but they also turned it into a video game! Following the 2004 movie's success, they decided to capitalize by turning it into a video game in which you can control one of the Baudelaire children and fight off villains like Count Olaf. We wish they would make a new one based on the TV show, as this is the best version of the book series yet, and we'd love to stop Patrick Harris' Count Olaf in video game form!
2 Daniel Handler Was Not Always Popular
We already covered how Daniel Handler, A.K.A. Lemony Snicket, was rejected 37 times for a different book. But A Series of Unfortunate Events did not exactly hit the ground running either. In Handler's first public appearance to share his work, only two people showed up to support him. Only they did not even show up to support him, but instead showed up because they hated the books and wanted to see who was behind the Lemony Snicket name. That's actually kind of awesome dedication by the haters, isn't it? We don't support hatred, but going that far just to ridicule someone's work is actually pretty impressive (maybe not admirable, though!). Anyway, Handler came out alright from the experience, as his books are now a TV show on Netflix. He got the last laugh!
1 Handler Was Fired From Writing His Own Movie
Returning one last time to the A Series of Unfortunate Events movie, it was told that Daniel Handler did not write the script for the A Series of Unfortunate Events TV Show. You see, Handler was fired from writing the movie after having eight different scripts rejected by the producers and people in charge. That's right, the author of the book attempted to simply turn it into a movie eight different times and was rejected each time. So, Handler let someone else write the movie script, and was essentially fired from his own movie. He did not attempt to write the script of the TV show, and we can't blame him. That's a lot of writing to end up not doing it at all!