The INSIDER Summary:
• Netflix’s new show “A Series of Unfortunate Events” is based on a book series by Lemony Snicket — a pseudonym for author Daniel Handler.
• Handler has a cameo role as a fish seller in the Netflix show.
Netflix’s latest show, “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” is a wry and stylised adaptation of a book series written by Daniel Handler. But Handler assumed a pseudonym when he penned “Unfortunate Events.” He wrote under the name Lemony Snicket, and the narrative of the story eventually brings the fictitious Snicket into the plot.
In Netflix’s adaptation of “Unfortunate Events,” the narrative voice of Snicket is played onscreen by Patrick Warburton. But the real Snicket makes a small appearance, too.
In episode five, “The Wide Window: Part One,” there is a scene when the Baudelaire orphans’ Aunt Josephine goes shopping at an outdoor market. She passes by a fish seller boasting about his “roly poly fish heads” — and it’s none other than Handler himself.
One “Unfortunate Events” fan spotted Handler right away, and tweeted at the author. Handler retweeted the photo, essentially confirming the cameo (it also appears on his IMDb page as “fish head salesperson”).
Handler’s role as the fish seller was reprised at the beginning of episode seven, “The Miserable Mill: Part One.” The scene takes place after the Baudelaire orphans have run away right under Mr. Poe’s nose, and the banker is freaking out about their disappearance — a scene that never happens in the books.
“It’s a catastrophe! It’s unprecedented! It’s off-book! It’s unfortunate!” Mr. Poe yells while frantically looking around and right into the camera.
He then moves to the side and Handler (as the fish seller) appears beside him.
“The Baudelaires are lost and unsupervised! Do you know what that means?” Poe asks the fish seller.
“Without supervision?” the fish seller replies.
“Good God, man, you’re right!” Poe yells back.
This exchange between Mr. Poe and the fish seller/Handler was extra clever because it included the meta reference to the Netflix series going “off-book.”
In the books, the Baudelaire children don’t run away from Mr. Poe and choose to go to the “Miserable Mill” themselves. Instead, Mr. Poe selects Sir — the man in charge of the lumber mill — as their next guardian. He knows exactly where they are in the books.
So Mr. Poe’s exclamation of the events being “off-book” to the literal author of the books was a great moment and a nod to those watching at home who were carefully tracking changes made to the original series.
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