It was filmed in front of a live studio audience and lasted for a total of nine seasons. Each episode lasted for a duration of twenty-two minutes.
In Angela, it is revealed that, due to the public backlash against the titular horse, an edited cut of the series was released in 2020 to remove BoJack Horseman's role, leaving the show to be now known as Around.
The show, which is set in Omro, Wisconsin, portrays a young bachelor horse simply called "The Horse." The Horse is forced to reevaluate his priorities when he agrees to raise three human children.
They are Olivia, the sensible oldest daughter; Ethan, the nerdy middle son; and Sabrina, the adorable youngest daughter.
In the series finale, The Horse dies of a broken heart because the children didn't appreciate him enough. They are then handed back over to Child Protective Services.
|BoJack Horseman||...||The Horse|
|Hulk Hogan||Guest starred in an episode telling BoJack Horseman and Sarah Lynn to say no to drugs.|
|Ritchie Osbourne||Goober, recurring role|
|Erika Eleniak||Guest starred as Goober's cousin from out of town.|
|Jose Canseco||Guest starred as Olivia's angel.|
|Nancy Reagan||Guest starred|
|Barry Sheck||Guest starred|
|Cindy Crawfish||Guest starred|
Development & Production
The show was first pitched in the mid-1980s by comedian Herb Kazzaz to the executives of the ABC network while they were drunk. The executives agreed to pick up the show. On Herb's insistence, ABC agreed to allow a fellow comedian and Herb's friend BoJack Horseman to be the lead role. The show was launched by ABC in 1987 and, despite reviews dismissing the show as mediocre, was a hit with American audiences.
For much of the late 80s-early 90s, Horsin' Around was a major success, to the point of regular guest appearances from various celebrities and major figures of the time including wrestler Hulk Hogan, baseball player Jose Canseco, supermodel Cindy Crawfish, actress Erika Eleniak, O.J. Simpson defense attorney Barry Scheck, and even former first lady Nancy Reagan. Horsin' Around was also rather progressive for the time, as there are episodes that attempt to touch upon social issues such as racism, drug use, and the Armenian Genocide. Despite this, the show also occasionally included anti-Semitic humor, as observed in the first Christmas special.
However, problems soon began to brew amongst the cast and crew. Lead actor BoJack Horseman became an alcoholic early in the show's run, leading to a shift of attitude into a depressed cynical state present as early as 1990. This change in attitude put a strain on his friendship with Herb. BoJack also began having multiple sexual relationships around this time as well, including fellow actor Bradley Hitler-Smith's mother, resulting in his parents' marriage collapsing.
Teen actress Joelle Clarke became jealous and eventually resented fellow child actress Sarah Lynn due to the attention the latter got. Sarah Lynn, whose parents were neglectful and abusive, sought affection and comfort in fellow cast and crew members, but only got attention on set from Herb and hairstylist Sharona. This resulted in Sarah Lynn developing a chronic sense of loneliness, which would start to snowball after both Herb and Sharona would eventually be forced off the show’s team.
By the early-mid 1990s, the show began to decline with the debut of rival sitcom Mr. Peanutbutter's House, which went on to be even more successful than Horsin' Around despite being a blatant ripoff and having worse reviews.
Around this time, Herb was publicly revealed to be gay after being arrested in a public indecency sting, resulting in conservative groups boycotting Horsin’ Around and calling for Herb’s termination. ABC wasted no time in terminating Herb, with executive Angela Diaz completely disarming BoJack’s attempts to stand up for Herb. Herb was then replaced by Danny Bananas as the showrunner.
In 1994, not long after Herb’s termination, another incident would result in yet another crew member being forced off the production. Sarah Lynn, confused and hurt following a severe berating from a guilt-ridden BoJack, drank an unattended water bottle filled with vodka that belonged to BoJack. As a result, Sarah Lynn was forced to leave the show early that day, arousing threats of lawsuits from her parents. Bojack blamed Sharona, forcing her to accept the blame due to the difference their respective roles had in the show and promising to help her get a fresh start. Sharona was quietly removed from the crew shortly afterward.
The show eventually ended after nine seasons in 1996, and the cast largely went their separate ways after the show’s conclusion.
As revealed in Angela, in 2020, in light of the backlash against BoJack for his role in Sarah Lynn's death, a Blu-Ray release of the show was canceled indefinitely, and reruns were edited to remove the Horse's role from the show. The edited version of the show would be known as Around and center around the three orphans living without adult supervision.
- Sabrina's Christmas Wish (Christmas special)
- I'm Ready For My Closeup, Mr. Dementia (Season Two, Episode Twelve)
- Goober Goes Home
- Herb Kazzaz wanted to write a treasure hunt episode but the network said it was too edgy.
- Pilot Episode (Season One): Sabrina accidentally breaks the Horse's "expensive bachelor vase."
- (Season One) Sabrina is afraid to go to school for the first time.
- "Sabrina's Christmas Wish" (Season One): The Horse's first Christmas with the orphans.
- Cindy Crawfish's plane crashes into the Horse's backyard and they start a relationship. However, Sabrina runs away because Cindy isn't going to be her new mommy. This was BoJack's first onscreen kiss on the show.
- I'm Ready For My Closeup, Mr. Dementia: The gang takes in an elderly man with dementia after he follows Ethan home.
- Olivia has a school project where she pretends an egg is a baby.
- Sabrina wants to be a mermaid.
- There is an episode where Sabrina has a black friend, which started a conversation about racism.
- There is an episode where Ethan looks directly at a solar eclipse.
- (Season Three) The Horse gets elected president and scenes of the Oval Office were filmed in Nixon Library in Yorba Linda.
- (Season Four) The Horse discovers that he wasn't the president and all was a dream.
- "Goober Goes Home": The only time Goober "goes home," because The Horse and Goober are on a softball team together and the "home" is home plate.
- Olivia puts too much detergent in the washing machine.
- Joelle dresses up like a pumpkin. The whole episode is fat jokes throughout, causing Joelle to get an eating disorder.
- Olivia goes to the frat party and has a kind angel played by Jose Canseco to help her get out of this jam.
- Goober's cousin comes to town and they learn about the Armenian Genocide.
- It's The Horse's birthday and Sabrina wants to make him a big surprise, but she ends up making a mess in the kitchen.
- Another birthday episode. It's The Horse's birthday but everybody forgets to buy him a present.
- Finale (Season Six): Olivia meets her birth mother and she contemplates moving to California with her.
- Premiere (Season Seven): Olivia's mom relapses and she has to go on a road trip with Mr. T, Alf, and the cast of Stomp to get back home.
- Episode 4 (Season Eight): The introduction of The Horse's identical cousin.
- The Horse accidentally walks in on Joelle in the shower.
- Sabrina is upset with The Horse after he embarrasses her when he is invited on stage at a concert.
- Sabrina wonders if she can find her biological family with her DNA.
- Originally, one episode was going to be about Sabrina skipping school to sneak into The Horse's office in his work suitcase. However, Sarah Lynn got sick from drinking vodka and had to go home early, so the episode was about Sabrina not going to the office.
- In the last episode, The Horse dies of a broken heart because the kids didn't love him enough.
Three little orphans one, two, three.
Without a home or a family tree.
Until this horse said, "Live with me,"
And now they've got a new family!
We're laughin' and learnin' and lovin' a lot.
Every new day is a dream.
We were lost and now we're found.
And we're Horsin' Around.
- Sabrina: “That’s too much, man!”
- The Horse: “I’ve heard of (x) but this is ridiculous!”
- Ethan: “Yowza Yowza, Bo-Bowza!”
- Various Characters: “Go home Goober!”
Horsin’ Around was initially dismissed by critics as broad, saccharine, and mediocre. However, the family comedy struck a chord with the United States and went on to air for nine seasons.
|"Male Animal in a Comedy Drama or Variety Show" at the 1994 Animal Choice Awards.||BoJack Horseman|
|TV Guide Award||BoJack Horseman|
For more information see Ethan Around
In 2016, Bradley Hitler-Smith attempted a revival of Horsin’ Around called Ethan Around. It would have been about Ethan and his three adopted horse children. The Horse would also appear, despite the fact he died in the series finale of Horsin’ Around.
BoJack Horseman did agree to it, and the cast attempted to film the first episode. However, BoJack had a panic attack after one of the child actors said she wanted to be just like him. It reminded him of Sarah Lynn and how he ruined her and played a part in her death, and he left the set. The series was never brought up in Season 4 and it is likely that it got canceled shortly after.
- Horsin' Around is listed as a show on Netflix but only the title sequence is available to watch.
- Despite Horsin' Around deriving from BoJack Horseman, a Netflix original series, Netflix didn't mark the title sequence as a Netflix original.
- Horsin' Around is based on various stereotypical late 80s and early 90s television shows, one of the major inspirations being Full House.
- The show's sudden drop in reception in 2020 from the public backlash to lead star BoJack Horseman mirrors The Cosby Show's syndication removal in the mid-to-late 2010's following star Bill Cosby's conviction for multiple sexual assault charges.
- Horsin' Around had nine Christmas Specials.
- Sabrina's Christmas Wish is the only known Christmas special.
- Executive Producer of the show was Garry Marshall, creator of the sitcom Happy Days.
- Marshall also voiced Abe D’Catfish.
- The production company for Horsin' Around is implied to be Ubu Productions. However, Sabrina's Christmas Wish includes a vanity plate for "All That Kazzaz Productions" in place of the Boxer vs. Raptor logo, suggesting Herb has his own production company.
- The episodes are shown to be filmed in 16:9 ratio, despite the standard ratio at the time the show was supposed to have been made being 4:3.
- It could also just be a combination of narrative convenience and how older shows are often digitally remastered to fit widescreens.
- The Horsin' Around house has two sets of stairs (one in the living room and one in the kitchen), much to Diane's confusion. This was similar to a lot of real-life sitcom sets.
- BoJack Horseman was nominated for "Male Animal in a Comedy Drama or Variety Show" at the 1994 Animal Choice Awards.
- BoJack won a TV Guide award at an unknown point in time for his work on Horsin' Around, which would then be gifted to Sarah Lynn, sold at a pawn shop, and ultimately purchased by Mr. Peanutbutter.