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July 22 2008

Joss Whedon on 'Dr. Horrible', Stephen Sondheim, and Bad Horse. New York Magazine's Vulture speaks to Joss about his musical influences and favorite Dr. Horrible moments.

This is nice, but I'm starting to wonder where all these interviews with Joss are coming from. Has he just been talking to people for three days, nonstop?

I do like the attention this thing is getting, it is kind of a big deal, isn't it?
This should be tagged for spoilers.
And my biggest regret is that we didn't get to have another Penny and Billy duet. When they sang together, it made my heart go ping.


Right with you there, Purple Dude. :)

"Is that the new catchphrase?" It's a little throwaway thing that I wish I had thrown away.


It made me laugh. And reminded me how cheesey I am for thinking Dr. Horrible's catch-phrase was liquid gold.

This should be tagged for spoilers.

fortunateizzi | July 22, 00:30 CET

Done -- to be honest, after reading the interview, I didn't see a spoiler; looking back, however, a mild punchline might be revealed.
Joss swored! :P Great interview.
I am reading Soon I Will Be Invincible because my manperson said the same thing as "Our Husband." I feel like it has a very different tone from most of Dr. Horrible.
"Is that the new catchphrase?" was poignant. Even his supportive hench-buddy couldn't fake being impressed.

[ edited by Pointy on 2008-07-22 00:57 ]
Did the do a find-and-replace changing "My" to "Our"? "Our husband" seems possible but unlikely.
I suspect the tyranny of editorial style guidelines that prohibit the use of first-person singular pronouns ("I," "me, "my") by reporters in articles. It could as easily have come out as "New York Magazine's husband."

ETA a bit of sense.

[ edited by Pointy on 2008-07-22 01:07 ]
How did Joss know we didn't laugh at "is that the new catchphrase?"? Because I did...
I'm loving all these interviews, and I wouldn't be surprised if Joss wasn't getting calls from every paper across the country, this is the brave new world of online entertainment! I have been thrilled that this is a top iTunes download and I personally intend to buy dozens of DVDs with which to stuff stockings.
*giggles at embers*

Joss made a dirty about stocking stuffers with Dr. Horrible the other day...

But yeah, definitely gifts. Perfectly packaged quaint gifts of evil with big bows of horribleness.
I too am surprised he thought the "is that the new catchphrase" line didn't hit people. Everyone I showed the video to at the very least snickered at the line.
How did Joss know we didn't laugh at "is that the new catchphrase?


I guess from the press screening.

I thought it was funny, but not laugh-out-loud-funny... more like cute-funny.
Nice interview...maybe there will be a small few deleted scenes on the DVD..maybe?...*desperate for more Horrible!*
So... how many Horrible posts are we at now? Have we broken the one million mark yet?
"So I did something I should've done a long time before I took matters into my own hands."

As in -

"How I hesitated, now I wonder why"

I did think Brand New Day contained some lyrics that paralleled the situation that resulted in Dr Horrible being made, but I never quite got around to posting about it. Also:

"It's true I was vague, on the how, so how can it be that you, have shown me the light"

Reflecting the way that the studios effectively help push Joss into making this project, perhaps?
I liked the "Is that the new catchphrase?" line. I like it when characters say what I'm thinking, especially if they say it the way I am thinking it. I wonder what the other joke he thought didn't work was.
I also chuckled at the "catchphrase" line. And like newcj, I'd like to know what the other joke he thought wasn't funny was. I bet it was funny.

I can't wait to find out who wrote what song. I'm particularly interested in knowing this for some reason. Anyone care to guess? Off the bat I think that Jed (and Maurissa?) wrote "So They Say." I think Joss wrote "Brand New Day" and the Sondheimian ones in Act 3. I'm not sure about the others (except for "Freeze Ray," which we know was Joss's because he told us so).
Hadn't heard of The Specials before. Must check it out.

Not sure if it's been mentioned elsewhere, but did anyone else feel that the final scene in act III (the Evil League of Evil reveal) had a Lynch vibe to it? Way more surreal than the rest of the show.
I was secretly laughing for days about the "Thoroughbred of Sin." But I guess he's saying that the catchphrase didn't hook ppl as much as he hoped.
Haunt: almost. I'd say about, oh, 4 or 5 more posts and we're there ;)

And "Is that the new catchphrase?"... I totally laughed at it first time round. Also: my friends I was showing this to, laughed as well. I'd disagree with Joss that it would've been better to cut it, as it also nicely sketches the kind of relationship Joss and Moist have.

herb: went off to google The Specials as well, while reading the interview. Had never heard about it either. The rottentomatoes rating is 43% though (based on 14 reviews, though) and it 'only' gets a 6.1 on imdb, guess it was not that well-received. But I'll take Joss' word for it and now plan to check it out.
When Moist asked about the new catchphrase I was actually more caught up in Dr. Horrible's non response. You see him give it the slightest of attention then go back to what he was saying. That catches me every time I see it. Not quite sure why.
Did the do a find-and-replace changing "My" to "Our"? "Our husband" seems possible but unlikely.

When I read "Our husband" I had a very bizarre image pop into my head of Joss being interviewed by a couple of FLDS wives in their long, pastel dresses.
Mr. Whedon (the Joss one) always humble.

"Is that the new catchphrase?" is classic! It not only was humorous, but it was also very telling of Dr. H's history in one single statement. It filled in so many gaps.

The only thing I would say is "timing". It gave us so much info that we needed just a beat more to process it all.

Nah. I'm kidding. It was perfect. I laughed.
I like it when characters say what I'm thinking, especially if they say it the way I am thinking it.

I completely agree with this. I laughed the first time I heard that line, and it immediately became one of those lines my daughter & I say out loud while watching.
I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who went "Wha-huh?" after reading that Joss wishes he'd cut the catchphrase line. I can't remember if I laughed out loud or not, but I thought it was one of the most memorable lines. Especially since just before Moist said it I'd been thinking "OK, PhD, we get it" :-).
I grinned at the "taking matters into my own hands" comment.
I didn't laugh at that line but I certainly don't think it detracted anything. And it wasn't really presented like a joke; it was just a throwaway line so if it doesn't work it does no damage.
Moist's disaproving tone with that line was kinda subtle, so I didn't really pick up on it the first time around. So for me it was one of those great little repeat viewing things. I love those things. I wish they had a name.

Also, you know what would have been cool? A cameo by Summer Glau's feet.
This should be tagged for spoilers.


It's finished so it doesn't need a spoiler tag anymore.
I knew PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE was an influence. Guy's got taste.
Don't love the catchphrase line but I like it well enough, grin if not necessarily chuckle worthy. I'm also curious about the other line cos unless it sailed straight past me (i.e. didn't even seem like it was meant to be funny) I didn't notice any that fell flat.

And when I saw 'The Specials' my first thought was "what the hell does ska have to do with Dr Horrible ?" ;). Probably have a look at the DVD, s'only 6 quid.
Probably have a look at the DVD, s'only 6 quid.


Wait. Is Joss now having the 'Oprah-effect' on us? He is, isn't he?
As a fan of Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible, I was excited to at least read that Joss felt that the title of the novel, if not its content, was probably an influence on Dr. Horrible.

The novel is an entertaining read, and, I believe, a fresh take on the superhero genre. It takes place in a definite comic book world, with superteams fending off alien invasions, and supervillains rising time and time again to threaten humanity, and, at the same time, the characters feel like they could be real people. The audiobook version has the advantage of switching voices as the narrative switches perspective from the superheroine Fatale to the villainous but charming Dr. Impossible.
My question is: who wrote what?

I'd wager that Joss wrote 'the hammer is my penis'. The whole bit including 'these are not the hammer' sounds like Joss but I reckon that even if he didn't write that he at least chucked on 'the hammer is not my penis'.

The switch and bait joke doesn't feel like Joss.

That's my speculation.
I'm currently reading a novel called "Devil's Cape" that's quite a dark treatment of super-heroes. It's comic-book in the sense that it has super-heroes and teams and villains etc. but it's pretty noir in the sense that it's set in a town that's utterly corrupt where super-heroes are killed in mundanely nasty and gruesome ways all the time.

Wait. Is Joss now having the 'Oprah-effect' on us? He is, isn't he?

I'd be lying if I said Joss' recommendation wasn't a factor but it also meets my "3 hits" criteria for a random try i.e. Joss recommends it, James Gunn wrote it and [shallow mode] Paget Brewster (who I fell for pretty hard in 'Huff') is in it [/shallow mode]. At full price I also probably wouldn't bother but at about 2 pints on the beero-scale, it's cheap enough ;).

(though it's not lost on me that Joss said it's "the best script about lame superheroes ever written" - my emphasis - i.e. not necessarily the best film)

I'd wager that Joss wrote 'the hammer is my penis'. The whole bit including 'these are not the hammer' sounds like Joss but I reckon that even if he didn't write that he at least chucked on 'the hammer is not my penis'.

That's what I thought too but that line was actually by Zack Whedon (according to the interview with Jed and Maurissa a couple of days ago). Authorial voices are tricky that way.

ETA: Link to the initial Jed/Maurissa thread/article.

[ edited by Saje on 2008-07-22 13:50 ]
I have to confess to never having seen anything by James Gunn (was confused with the Sci-Fi author James Gunn there for a moment, by the way ;)), not even Slither. I don't do the whole 'gore' thing well :).

I now had to go and imdb "Paget Brewster". I saw her picture, saw that I knew her, and then I found it: she's Chandler's incredibly cute couple-of-episodes girlfriend Kathy in Friends! I had a total tv-crush on her too, in those episodes ;). It now meets three of my criteria as well (the third being: geeky subject matter ;)).

And yes, I noticed that script part as well. I'm guessing the film may be less succesfull, but I guess we'll find out :)
There were a couple of jokes that don't really get laughs. I'm proud to say I wrote both of them.

There were a lot of little jokes in there that I liked but didn't comment on here. When you pepper your script with small jokes throughout, I expect it's tricky to gauge what internet commenters liked unless they walk through the whole script.
I love the jokes (once I got them), but I wouldn't laugh as loud because I didn't want to chuckle over what was happening in the story... miss that key word, or look, you know?

Now watching Act 3... I can't say I'll be able to chuckle again at my favorite funny lines (because of the deep tragic undertones), but I do smile in my pinky finger.
"Is that the new catchphrase?"

I loved this line.
Now watching Act 3... I can't say I'll be able to chuckle again at my favorite funny lines (because of the deep tragic undertones)

I still laugh. I mean I was really horrified (no pun intended) when Dr. Horrible walked into that party smiling at the end. That was the worst moment for me. But I still laugh every single time Captain Hammer flips Dr. Horrible off as he finishes his last note.
Ah yes, the finger, the spork being driven into the leg, the "signatures"... they make me smile. :)
Now watching Act 3... I can't say I'll be able to chuckle again at my favorite funny lines (because of the deep tragic undertones), but I do smile in my pinky finger.

I'm the opposite. Now that i've had a bit of time to come to terms with the end, i'm finding Nathan's "hero" song and fantastic delivery thereof even more brilliant (just thinking of "in their own not that heroic way" and his posture and expression is gonna make me smile for a long while to come ;).

And as a commenter says on John "Kung-Fu Monkey" Rogers' blog entry
... and Nathan Fillion surely now goes down in history for best rendition of a misread cue-card gag.

Couldn't agree more.


ETA: a 'k'. Cos "Kung-Fu Money" is just nonsense. Not like "Kung-Fu Monkey" at all ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2008-07-22 21:16 ]

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