Long before fans discover the dark depths of “BoJack Horseman” or pick up on the show’s nonstop assault of jokes, they first fall in love with its opening credits. A minute-long fast track through the self-destructive world of the main character, the opening credits get an iconic kick from its theme, a jazzy composition from “The Black Keys” drummer Patrick Carney that captures the core of BoJack’s hard-partying delirium.
Carney recently joined his uncle, Ralph Carney, on Hrishikesh Hirway’s “Song Exploder” podcast and revealed the surprising origins of the infectious theme song. Most shocking of all is how the track wasn’t even written for “BoJack Horseman” to begin with, which is surprising given how perfect it matches the show’s main character. According to Patrick, the theme started just as a way to test the equipment and acoustics of his new studio in Nashville, Tennessee. The drummer sent early chords to his uncle, who realized his nephew was working on something pretty special. Ralph added the song’s signature mix of tenor saxophone, bass trombone and baritone sax.
Eventually Patrick was contacted by “BoJack” executive producer Noel Bright, who was feeling confident he could land the musician to do the theme after the show’s producers secured all of their top picks for vocal talent, including Will Arnet and Aaron Paul. Bright wanted something emblematic for the show, and his first pick just happened to already be cooking something up.
“When we heard the original track, we knew immediately it worked,” said Bright. “It just captured the tone so well. When you hear the saxophone and you hear the dream-like quality of the piece, it was something we weren’t looking for, but we knew it was right when we heard it.”
Fans will most certainly agree with Bright. Listen to more about the creation of the “BoJack” theme straight from Patrick and Ralph Carney in the podcast below. The talk ends with the debut of the four-minute version of the song.
The first three seasons of “BoJack Horseman” are now streaming on Netflix. The show has already been renewed for Season 4.