Danny Elfman ‘Surprised’ by ‘Wednesday’ Success, Thought It Was Going to Be ‘A Little Cult Thing’

Wednesday is officially a smash. The Netflix show, which premiered Nov. 23, has climbed the ranks since its release and has become the third most watched show on the streaming platform after Stranger Things and Squid Game, but for the show’s composer Danny Elfman, the success came as a major surprise.

Speaking alongside Phoebe Bridgers for an interview with NME published Friday (Dec. 16), the composer — well known and loved for his work on The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland and more — spoke about what it was like working on Wednesday and how he feels about the show resonating with the masses.

Wednesday was just fun. I grew up on The Addams Family, but I really also dug the Charles Addams cartoons even more so, so for me, it was like a well known kind of character, so to do a variation [of Wednesday] it was just fun,” Elfman said.

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When the interviewer asked if the show’s success came as a surprise to him, the composer replied, “Yeah, completely. But you gotta realize, I’m surprised by anything I do having any success. When Batman came out, I was composing to a cut that was so dark on the video I could barely even tell what was happening at the time. I thought this was going to be a little cult film at best, and so the fact that it was a big hit — that shocked me and surprised me. I thought Wednesday would be like Batman: I thought it was going to be a little cult thing.”

Wednesday has been quite the opposite of “a little cult thing” — the show’s synch of The Cramps’ “Goo Goo Muck” drove up on-demand streams of the track to more than 2 million in the U.S. in the week of Nov. 25 to Dec. 1, a more than 8,650% increase from the average 47 weeks before this year. And though Lady Gaga’s “Bloody Mary” was not featured in the show, it also gained 2 million streams thanks to the show’s corresponding TikTok dance trend.

Watch Elfman talk about Wednesday in the video above.