August 4, 2020
Break out the nutcrackers and fire up the karaoke because we’re breaking down A Benihana Christmas. This is a supersize episode and we’re bringing on not one but TWO amazing guests! Actress Rashida Jones and writer Jen Celotta join us to share their memories and insights of this episode. We deep dive on the history of Benihana, and we talk about The Party Planning Committee v. The Committee to Plan Parties. Finally, we answer fan questions around Angela Martin’s siblings, some continuity errors, and who got a Dundie for ‘Tallest Music Dude’.
39 — A Benihana Christmas w/ Rashida Jones and Jen Celotta
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:04] I’m Jenna Fischer.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:05] I’m Angela Kinsey.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:06] We were on “The Office” together.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:07] And were best friends.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:08] And now we’re doing the ultimate “Office” rewatch podcast just for you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:12] Each week we will break down an episode of “The Office” and give exclusive behind-the-scenes stories that only two people who were there can tell you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:19] We’re the “Office Ladies”. Merry, merry Christmas. Merry, merry Christmas. It’s Christmas on “The Office” again.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:30] Well, someone showed up very festive.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:33] That’s right. It’s “A Benihana Christmas”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:36] Well, I think Angela Martin would let you know it’s a Nutcracker Christmas.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:41] Oh, wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:42] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:42] Oh, wow. You’re already going there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:44] I am, lady. I am here. The Party Planning Committee has arrived.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:48] Well, we’ll talk about that. Guys, this is Season 3, Episode 10, written by Jen Celotta, directed by Harold Ramis, “A Benihana Christmas”. And this is an hour long episode.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:02] Yeah. So buckle in. It’s going to be a supersize episode of “Office Ladies”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:06] And we have some exciting news. We have two special guests this week, Rashida Jones and writer, Jen Celotta.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:15] So much fun. And both of these ladies will be joining us for interviews during the episode. Well, Jenna. How about giving us a summary?
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:23] OK, it is Christmas at Dunder Mifflin. Carol breaks up with Michael the day of the Christmas party after Michael photoshops himself onto her family Christmas card.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:36] He put his face on her ex-husband’s face from a family’s ski trip and sent it out to people.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:44] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:44] Oh, Michael.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:46] Well, Andy suggests he and some of the guys take Michael to Benihana to cheer him up. Meanwhile, Angela kicks Karen out of the Party Planning Committee. So Pam and Karen band together and start the Committee to Plan Parties. We’re gonna have some dueling holiday parties.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:05] Well, she should have better ideas.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:07] Oh, boy. You, you are in it to win it today, Ang.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:11] I came to play. I came to play.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:12] Well, later, Michael and the boys come back from Benihana with dates just in time for the two parties to merge. And we end with everyone singing their hearts out to karaoke. All right. Fast Fact Number One. Harold Ramis.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:28] Harold Ramis. I mean, Jenna. My whole childhood were his movies.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:33] Legend.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:34] I was so giddy, nervous, excited to work with him. I mean, “Meatballs”, “Caddyshack”, “Ghostbusters”, “Ghostbusters 2”, “Groundhog Day” for flippin’ sake.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:47] “Stripes”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:47] “Stripes”. Oh my God, yes. “Stripes”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:50] Oh, also Angela. He got his start at Chicago’s Second City.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:53] Yes. He’s just like, so talented. He’s such a great writer as well, you guys. He’s a writer, actor, director. He was just a comic, a legend. And I was in awe.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:06] Well, you know, he passed away in 2014. I just can’t believe that I got to work with him, frankly.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:13] I know. Harold Ramis was just a teddy bear of a human. He just made you feel so comfortable. And he was so fun to talk to. And I have some great memories of him. We did a lot of conference room scenes, obviously, in this episode, I was in the conference room quite a bit. Right? Because my party versus Karen’s and Pam’s party.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:33] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:33] And Harold was in the conference room with me and we were just chatting. And he told this great story about how when kids would come trick-or-treating to his house, he lived in Illinois. He would put on the Ghostbusters uniform and answer the door and his Ghostbusters uniform.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:53] Yeah, he did that every year.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:55] I thought that was so delightful. It was the sweetest story.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:58] All right. Let’s move in to Fast Fact Number Two, which I’m calling, “Guest Star Break Down”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:03] OK.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:03] We got to break down all of our guest stars. The Benihana waitresses. The main waitress in the restaurant, Cindy, is played by Brittany Ishibashi, who you might recognize from “Runaways”. She starred as Tina. As well as recurring roles on “Hawaii Five-0” and “Grace and Frankie”. But here is something very interesting about Brittany and me.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:31] What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:32] OK, weirdly, both Brittany and I have had guest appearances on the TV shows “Off Centre” and “Mismatch”, but we were not in the same episode. So “The Office” was the third project that she and I have both been in. But we’ve never shared a scene and we’ve never met.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:52] That’s crazy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:54] Our lives have sort of been intersecting. Brittany, am I going to meet you one day?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:58] You’re on track to finally be in a project together at the same time. On the same day, in the same scene.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:04] So, Angela, there are two more guest star waitresses. These are the waitresses that Michael and Andy bring back to the party. So first there is Amy, who is played by Kat Ahn, and she’s done just a ton of sketch comedy, standup, “Funny or Die”. And then there is Michael’s girlfriend, Nikki, who is played by Kulap Vilaysack.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:26] OK. I worked with Kulap on “Hotwives of Orlando”. It was this show on Hulu. It’s a really funny spoof of “The Real Housewives”. And she was great in it. She’s great in a lot of things. But that was a lot of fun to do.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:38] Well, lady, you know, I loved that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:40] I know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:42] OK. Fast Fact Number Three, I got the scoop from Kent-apedia on the Benihana location because we got a lot of fan questions about it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:54] I wanted to ask about that because I was wondering if it’s the Benihana’s in Encino.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:59] It sure is.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:00] I have been to that Benihana’s. And when I was rewatching this, the, the way you walk into the restaurant, you know, it’s the same. And I was like-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:08] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:08] Come on. That’s Benihana’s in Encino, California.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:12] Well, lady, we got some fan questions from Ashley Hildreth, Rachel Martino, Hannah Holtman, Malia Holbrook, Abigail Hess, Rupinder Gosal and many others all asked, “Were are the restaurant scenes filmed at an actual restaurant? How long did it have to be shut down? And is the chef at Benihana an actual Benihana chef or was it an actor”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:38] I’m going to say yes, because he was too good with that knife.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:41] Yes, we will start there. It was a real chef. We hired all of the chefs and all of the waitstaff of the Encino Benihana to perform in the episode. And we also hired 78 background actors to play diners. We shut it down for a whole day. We rented out the entire place and it took about 12 hours to shoot those scenes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:06] This is reminding me that we had a bigger budget because when in the past, could we go in and be like, we’ll take the whole place? I mean, even Chili’s was like an out-of-business, boarded up-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:19] Yes. That’s right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:19] Like restaurant. But this was like an actually like very successful restaurant that was always full of people. And we closed them down for a day. Wowsies.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:29] Well, Ang, I did a deep dive on Benihana. And I’d like to give you now the history of Benihana, the restaurant.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:40] Well, I didn’t see that coming. So I’m ready.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:44] It’s fascinating. This is from the Benihana website. And this is the first line from their description of the history of the Benihana restaurant. I’m going to quote it because it is fantastic. Quote. “Like any good story, the history of Benihana begins with the descendant of a samurai warrior and a small Tokyo coffee shop”. Are you intrigued?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:11] I’m riveted.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:12] OK. It’s amazing. So this is what happened. So there’s a couple in Tokyo, Yunosuke and Katsu. They started a coffee shop. And in order to set themselves apart, Yunosuke would bike over 20 miles to get real sugar to serve with the coffee in his shop. And this little detail caused the shop to be a huge success. The name of their coffee shop was Benihana. All right, cut to years later, the couple’s son, Rocky, moves to the United States with dreams of opening a restaurant. He starts by going to night school to study restaurant management. And during the day, he sold ice cream on the streets of Harlem. But here’s what he did. He put a little Japanese cocktail umbrella into the ice cream. And this really set it apart. And eventually, he earned ten thousand dollars, which he used to open his first Benihana restaurant, naming it after his parents coffee shop in Tokyo.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:16] Well, that was adorable. Also, I’m a sucker for anything with a tiny umbrella in it. Give it to me.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:22] Any drink with a tiny umbrella tastes better. It really does.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:26] Oh, yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:26] I mean, that’s a fact.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:27] I might have saved a few of those, like from special occasions, and there in my kitchen.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:33] I don’t doubt it. That is very you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:35] I know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:36] That sounds like you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:37] My husband’s like, do we still need these? I mean, the little stick is broken. And I’m like, no, don’t throw it away.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:44] OK. So there’s more to this story. OK. His first shop, which was on West 56th Street, it was exactly like how it is today. His vision was to have the teppanyaki grills set up in front of the customers with the chefs doing all the knife work. But it was, it was struggling at first until six months after they opened the restaurant, got a boost when a famous food critic came in and gave the restaurant a fabulous review. Here is my favorite part of that. Can I tell you the name of the food critic? This famous food critic, like you wanted this person to come to your restaurant. Are you ready?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:20] Who?
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:21] Clementine Paddleford.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:25] Oh my god.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:25] She sounds like a made up character in a Mary Poppins movie.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:28] She sounds like an improv game that I used to do when I did improv. Hey, guys, come on, we’re gonna do a Clementine Paddleford. Let’s do it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:37] Right? I was like what is happening? We’re in a Disney film.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:41] I want that, I want that-, wait, wait, wait. There’s just so many ways I want to use that name now. Like, I want it to be a cocktail. I’ll take a Clementine Paddleford please.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:48] It comes with an umbrella. And thank you, Clementine, for giving Benihana a rave review because the restaurant became a huge success. And there are now over 70 Benihana restaurants in the United States, Caribbean and Central and South America. How about that?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:04] That is a really good one, and you know what? If your name is Clementine Paddleford, you are the best food critic in New York City. I mean. You know?
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:12] Oh yes, I have a clear picture of this woman and her discerning food eating looks.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:17] Yeah. Oh, I need to see what she looks like.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:20] I only imagine her eating with, like, very tiny cutlery. Like a tiny fork in a, right?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:27] Mmhmm. Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:28] Why? Why is that? All right. Lady, thank you for indulging my deep dive on Benihana and Clementine Paddleford.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:36] Are you kidding? I loved it. I need more Clementine Paddleford in my life.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:41] Same. Same. But listen, should we move on now to our first interview?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:48] Yes. OK, guys, we had such a fun storyline with Rashida Jones in this episode. With the whole dueling Christmas parties, and it was such a blast to shoot. We couldn’t wait to reunite with her and talk all about it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:00] So let’s get to it. Sam, run the interview with Rashida.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:06] I so happy to see your face.
RASHIDA JONES [00:12:07] I know, me too. This is so nice. I don’t think the three of us have been-. Well, we’re not in the same place, but we haven’t at least been all talking to each other for like a decade.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:20] Oh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:20] Yeah. All in the same one place.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:22] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:22] I think you’re right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:24] That makes me a little sad, but.
RASHIDA JONES [00:12:25] That’s crazy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:26] Isabel asked me really random question the other day. She’s like, “Mom, who of your friends have you been on a boat with”? And I was like, well, “I mean, Rashida and I went on an ocean conservation trip for Oceana. So we were on a lot of boats”.
RASHIDA JONES [00:12:43] I mean, a lot?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:45] I mean, we were like on a boat almost every day.
RASHIDA JONES [00:12:48] That’s true.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:49] For a week. At least.
RASHIDA JONES [00:12:49] That’s true. That’s true.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:51] And so we were, we were like clocking how many boats. And I’m like, well, technically maybe same boat, but a boat every day.
RASHIDA JONES [00:12:58] That one dive that we took that day where there was like, it was like the 101 of the ocean. It’s like sharks and eels and turtles. It was just the coolest.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:06] It was the coolest. I know. Oh. That was great. I miss all of that.
RASHIDA JONES [00:13:12] I know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:13] But yeah, I just thought, it was just like one of those questions your kid asks you and then she’s like, “Wait. You’ve never been on a boat with Jenna”? I was like, “No”. Jenna.
RASHIDA JONES [00:13:22] Have you guys never been on a boat?
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:23] We’ve never been on a boat.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:24] We’ve got some adventures, Jenna.
RASHIDA JONES [00:13:26] You got to, you got to make that happen. You might have to do like a like a recording of your podcast on a boat.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:32] Oh, dear Lord. Rashida, look at our setup right now. What is that going to look like?
RASHIDA JONES [00:13:37] Doesn’t it sound good to imagine, though?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:39] Yes.
RASHIDA JONES [00:13:39] For the future?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:40] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:41] One day we’ll be boating and podcasting together.
RASHIDA JONES [00:13:44] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:45] Oh God, I love it. Well, we can’t thank you enough for being here. We’re so thrilled to have you.
RASHIDA JONES [00:13:49] I’m so happy to be here.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:51] Well, Rashida, one question we always ask our guests is, how did you come to be on “The Office”?
RASHIDA JONES [00:13:56] I auditioned many, many times. I knew people socially before I joined the cast. And I, I went to college with Mike Schur. We were in a play together freshman year.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:11] Oh, man.
RASHIDA JONES [00:14:13] Oh, it was a doozy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:14] I would love to see what Mike Schur was like in college.
RASHIDA JONES [00:14:16] He was the same.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:17] He was the same?
RASHIDA JONES [00:14:18] Yeah. He was like floppy haired. I mean, he was a little less, I remember like in our 20s, he got like a fancy shirt for the first time and making fun of him for a really long time. So he was like, he was like Mike without like any, any sort of like socialization, you know? And we were in like a really bad farce together. And yeah, we became fast friends and we took a lot of classes together. And anyway, so I knew Mike and I came to know about the U.S. “Office” because he moved from, from New York and said, I got a job in L.A. and I’m going to write the U.S. “Office”. And I was really mad at him, as I think a lot of people were, because we were like, how could you do that? The UK “Office”, my favorite show. How could you even try?
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:04] Yeah.
RASHIDA JONES [00:15:05] And then it was in a lot of ways, you know, its own thing and even better and great. And, you know, but it was a big mountain, I’m sure, for you all to climb.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:14] Oh, yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:14] My first reaction was like, no, no, no, no, no. It’s perfect. It’s perfect.
RASHIDA JONES [00:15:18] Right. Right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:19] And then, of course, I was like, so thrilled, you know, when it was like Greg and such smart people in the writers’ room.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:25] You guys had the benefit of playing characters that didn’t have a British counterpart. Like, I was always worried. Oh, no, I don’t want people to think that I stole my performance.
RASHIDA JONES [00:15:35] Right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:36] From from Lucy Davis.
RASHIDA JONES [00:15:38] Right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:38] And so, but I had seen her performance, and I’m sure it seeped in. How could it not? And also, the lines were the same in the pilot.
RASHIDA JONES [00:15:47] Right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:48] But you guys had a big part, I think, of getting to influence your characters. Is that true on your part, Rashida? Angela’s kind of talked about that before.
RASHIDA JONES [00:15:58] There were some, I remember there were some third point in a triangle that showed up in the UK “Office”. There was like a love interest for Tim that came up, but a completely different, like, characterization of somebody who, you know, who, who would be like a threat to that relationship. To end that other point, just to say that I auditioned many, many, many times, and I remember having a distinct feeling then when, when I got to the point, Jenna, where you and I sat in a room and read lines together.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:27] Yeah.
RASHIDA JONES [00:16:27] And then got to improve a little bit like everything just like made sense, all of a sudden.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:33] Yes.
RASHIDA JONES [00:16:33] You know, like it all, it was such a cool like counterpart like it made me feel like, oh, I really, like I feel like I really get this dynamic, you know? And I feel like you, you kind of got me the part in a lot of ways.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:46] No way.
RASHIDA JONES [00:16:48] Yes. No. You did.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:49] I had that same experience with you in the room. And it’s very similar to when they paired me up with John. I was like, oh, when I’m paired up with this person, I just turn into Pam. I think I read with two or three different people. And Mike asked me, So what do you think? Who do you like? And I just went on and on and on and on and on about you. And I was like, I mean, she was amazing. I told them all those things. She made it so easy to be Pam. And he was like, OK, noted. But he didn’t say like, oh, she’s my best friend from college. I can’t wait to tell her. He was so, he played it so cool.
RASHIDA JONES [00:17:25] No. And by the way, with me too, like, I wish, if there were a time I really wanted a part and I had, I could like curry some favor with people I knew, this was the time. But like, nobody would do anything for me because you know how Greg is too. I mean, he was like asking everybody he could not make up his mind. There was like another woman who he was kind of trying to decide between us. I came in so many times. I waited for so long. Mike, you know, Mike is like ethical Mike. So he wasn’t going to be like, I’m going to just, I’m gonna gun for you. He was it has to be the right person for the part and everybody has to be on board. So, like, it was tor-, it was torturous. Like they, they really, really took me to the bitter end before I, before I got the call.
JENNA FISCHER [00:18:06] I’m so glad you got the part.
RASHIDA JONES [00:18:08] It changed my whole career.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:10] Yeah.
RASHIDA JONES [00:18:10] Yeah. I was like about to quit acting, before I got the show. So it was, it was a big deal for me.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:17] For Jenna and I, this was the first time I had rewatched the whole Benihana Christmas like all in one sitting.
RASHIDA JONES [00:18:22] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:22] I had seen little clips because, you know, it’s the “Little Drummer Boy” and people like send me clips of me doing that, but I haven’t really sat down and watched it all. And what about you? Is this the first time you rewatched it?
RASHIDA JONES [00:18:34] Yes, I hadn’t seen it, I don’t think since it aired and I was giggling so much and like a couple of things occurred to me. One was that we got that pay off, Jenna. Finally, like that thing that, like, came to life in the audition, I don’t think it really got to really manifest until this episode, you know, because up to now we were kind of like rivals, like sniffing each other’s butts. That sounds gross. But you know what I mean? Like if we were dogs, we would have been doing that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:01] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:02] Yeah.
RASHIDA JONES [00:19:03] And, and this is the first time that, like, I think the humanity in both characters recognized the, the mutual humanity in the other one and was like, you know what? Like, it’s Christmas. And we work in this, in these close quarters. And also, we have a common enemy in Angela. So it was like–.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:20] Yes.
RASHIDA JONES [00:19:20] It was just easy for us to, to, to like to, to, be a team, which I thought that was really cool.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:27] I don’t mean to toot our own horns, but I think we had amazing chemistry in this episode. I just. I mean, we are adorable. Can I say it?
RASHIDA JONES [00:19:35] You can say it. You can say it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:37] There could have been a spin off. That’s all I, I just want to say.
RASHIDA JONES [00:19:41] Totally. Pam and Karen Christmas special. Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:44] I can tell you guys, we would hang out between scenes and I would just start cracking up and just be with you guys. I would be like, yay, I’m hanging out, it’s the girls. And then like on action, I had to be so mean to both of you and then you, like, got to have this whole other hang out. It was hard.
RASHIDA JONES [00:20:00] I know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:01] Phyllis, Phyllis really gets to emote how much she’s like missing the other party. I wasn’t able to, but that’s how I felt too.
RASHIDA JONES [00:20:07] I know. I know. But it’s good because it all plays out in the episode because we like, we join forces.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:12] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:13] Yeah.
RASHIDA JONES [00:20:13] We did what we needed to do, which is just like teach you a lesson and help you to stop being so controlling. And then you got to sing, you know?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:20] Oh god, I was terrified. I don’t like singing in front of people, you guys. That was really hard. But.
RASHIDA JONES [00:20:26] Oh God, I, listen, I had to do it at that, in that wedding episode, we had to sing The Police, and I was so scared. Do you remember that episode?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:36] Yes.
RASHIDA JONES [00:20:36] Whose wedding was it?
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:37] Is that Phyllis’ wedding?
RASHIDA JONES [00:20:38] Phyllis’ wedding, yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:39] Oh, yeah.
RASHIDA JONES [00:20:40] Oh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:40] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:41] It is an interesting time to watch these episodes again. You know, Jenna and I have talked about this little bit. That was interesting for me to rewatch it now. How was it for you?
RASHIDA JONES [00:20:50] I mean, listen. That was the second thing I was going to say is, watching “The Off-“, I haven’t watched the show since it aired. And, you know, I think so much of the show and so much of Michael and the, and what works about Michael is this delicate balance between full cringe and like, well-intentioned, lovable, like bad boss. And to watch it now in the current climate like that balance feels different. It just feels so different. I mean, there’s so much stuff. It’s not, it’s beyond cringe. It’s like, wow. But, but it’s also to me, like, you know, I think there’s so much conversation right now about what’s acceptable, but also like in, in retrospect, what we’re allowed to kind of partake in. You know, in a time where things were, were considered more acceptable, even if they weren’t and they shouldn’t be. I think it’s good to have things that read really badly now and didn’t read badly at the time, because it is a mark of our, of our progress. And it’s also like the show resonates because Michael reminds people of their bosses and people they work with and maybe a little bit of themselves. And it’s really important that people see that like you have to measure up to the moment that you’re in. So much of the show is like people putting up with, like, his bad behavior and being like, oh, my God. And now, I think people feel armed at work to be like, you know what? I don’t like the way you’re talking about that person or that woman or that whatever. Like, I don’t, that’s not acceptable behavior anymore. And you could say something and feel empowered as like an employee to do that, you know?
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:34] Yeah.
RASHIDA JONES [00:22:34] So it was super fascinating.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:36] I think a lot of times we on the show as characters, we would speak up by giving a look to camera. Or indicating our disapproval. But you’re right. I think today we would speak up right to his face.
RASHIDA JONES [00:22:52] Michael wouldn’t have a job with that behavior, probably.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:55] No!
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:55] It’s one too many infractions. Michael. Jeez.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:58] He’s like a human resources nightmare.
RASHIDA JONES [00:23:00] And that’s the funny thing too, is that Toby is the enemy. Like Toby is trying to, like he’s sensitive and he’s trying to take care of people and be tolerant. And like, Michael hates him so much for it because he’s killing his party. And like that, this feels like, like a relationship you couldn’t even write today, really. You know?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:18] One of the notes that Greg gave Steve when Steve was like starting to perform as Michael is that he saw the character as this guy who thinks maybe Jennifer Aniston might see this tape someday. Like, so to sort of play it like into it.
RASHIDA JONES [00:23:34] Right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:34] And I so see in Steve’s performance how Michael Scott thinks he’s an entertainer. He thinks he’s funny and cutting edge and pushing boundaries. And he’s just so inappropriate. But I, I see his performance in a different way, knowing that note from Greg.
RASHIDA JONES [00:23:49] Totally. Well, also because, you know, there’s a conversation around who is entitled to push the boundaries. And I think that entertainers feel like they can, in a way that normal people can’t.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:00] Yes.
RASHIDA JONES [00:24:00] And so it would make sense that, like Michael would think, he’s one of those entertainers and not one of those normal people, you know?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:06] Oh. Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:06] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:07] We have talked a lot about Party Planning Committee scenes and how much fun we had getting to do them as actors. Right?
RASHIDA JONES [00:24:13] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:14] And I just loved, loved, Rashida, that you got to be in on that and that you guys like that we get to sit in there and play. That was the most fun.
RASHIDA JONES [00:24:23] So fun.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:24] Particularly there’s that scene, Rashida, where you try to participate in the party. You try to throw out some ideas of things you guys used to do in Stamford. And Angela just shuts you down.
RASHIDA JONES [00:24:37] Yeah. They’re like good ideas.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:38] A raffle.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:39] Very good. As we will see played out in a successful party in the break room.
RASHIDA JONES [00:24:45] She just had it out for me. I mean, I don’t actually, I don’t take it personally. I think it was just like that’s, that was your place to shine. And that was your committee for so long.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:54] Well, it’s like the people that only have a tiny bit of power. But with that power, it just means everything.
RASHIDA JONES [00:24:59] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:00] Everything.
RASHIDA JONES [00:25:01] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:01] I mean, so I think that was, the Party Planning Committee was her thing. And if you messed with it, she spiraled out. There’s a deleted talking head that’s not in the episode, but it’s on the DVDs.
RASHIDA JONES [00:25:11] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:12] You’re like, I don’t know. We didn’t have a Party Planning Committee in Stamford. Like, I, like, like it’s really funny because you’re just like, why, why is there a committee? Like.
RASHIDA JONES [00:25:22] Yeah, I mean, I love. I also love those scenes. Those are my favorite scenes on the show, is like when you’re all kind of stuck in a room and there’s like a rhythm to the scene because A, I get church giggles, even though I’m Jewish, but I do. And, and also, like, it’s just so fun to watch the ping pong of, like, you know, Phyllis’ eyes dart. Or like, you know, like Kate being like, yes! Like, please. Anything with alcohol, I’m in. Or like just to see that, I love watching the rhythm of like especially because it was like, it’s all ladies in that scene, right?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:54] Yeah.
RASHIDA JONES [00:25:56] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:57] Yeah.
RASHIDA JONES [00:25:57] It’s just so fun. It was great.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:00] Rashida, I have to bring this up. We’ve been tracking this. I call it Wishy Washy Jim. And I want to get your take on Wishy Washy Jim. I am annoyed that Jim did not tell Karen about his past with Pam at Dunder Mifflin. She walks in to this whole world, this whole thing. She has no idea.
RASHIDA JONES [00:26:24] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:24] And then it’s sort of, he doesn’t tell Pam that he’s seeing Karen. So there’s this whole like many episodes where these two women, Karen, is in the dark. Pam is like sensing something, but trying to figure it out.
RASHIDA JONES [00:26:40] Well, I think this speaks to a larger thing, which is like in the lore of “The Office” universe, like, you know, I take umbrage with like what Karen means now in the modern day, because I think neither, neither Rashida, Rashida is definitely not a Karen. And even Karen is, from “The Office” is not Karen like because she’s, she’s out for a good time. She’s not a tattletale. She’s not a racist. But anyway, the point being like there is this thing, right? Like Karen is sort of designed to be the third point in the triangle, which is, was designed to be a thing to, to, like, make people feel like they wanted, they wanted Pam and Jim to be drawn closer together, driven closer together. So, like, I was kind of a tool in that way, you know, and, and so everything was like, I remember like the writers talking about it, they just didn’t want to push anything too far in each direction. But, yes, I think that the, that the end, end result is that Jim ends up being, like, not great to me and not great to you because he’s like not really being honest with anybody. But I guess you could chalk it up to his confusion about what he wants.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:54] Yeah.
RASHIDA JONES [00:27:54] But I agree with you. It’s irritating. And I think in real life, that would be like super annoying. You know?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:01] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:01] Well, I think what I found in the rewatch is that I am siding more with your character. I’m having sympathy for her. Like, of course, I want Jim and Pam to end up together, but at the same time, it’s, it’s making me, like the tension. I just like, this poor woman. She-.
RASHIDA JONES [00:28:21] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:22] She just loves him. She’s just-.
RASHIDA JONES [00:28:25] And she knows nothing. She knows nothing.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:27] She knows nothing.
RASHIDA JONES [00:28:29] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:29] So it’s making me very much side with your character. I have to say and I’m Pam. That isn’t Pam saying that. Pam is like.
RASHIDA JONES [00:28:37] There’s like this meme that’s like, like for kids who grew up watching “The Office”, it’s like, like that feeling when you realize that the only reason you hated Karen was because you wanted Pam and Jim to be together and you realized that she did nothing wrong. Like, that’s like a thing.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:53] Yeah.
RASHIDA JONES [00:28:53] That’s like a thing that kids who are like. Which is kind of cool. It’s like providing this opportunity to, like, see people in a more nuanced way for kids you grew up being like, that’s the enemy. And that’s the people that I want to be together. Now, they’re like, wait a second. She’s like, not that bad. It’s just that I wanted her not to be with him. I wanted her to be with him. You know?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:09] They’re growing. They’re learning.
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:11] Well, before you leave, do you have any other memories? Or behind-the-scenes stories that you want to share? It doesn’t even have to be about this episode. It could be about just your time on the show.
RASHIDA JONES [00:29:21] You know what’s funny watching it, I was like, it made me really nostalgic ’cause it just reminded me of all the, like, little moments and like, I don’t, you know, like I haven’t talked about in so long. But I, I just remember, like, Ed and I, there’s a, there’s a line where Andy says in this episode, oh, no, sorry, it’s the next episode where he goes, “There’s only two left. And I’m going to be the last man standing”. And he was the last man standing. But like, you know, Ed and I were like, it was so weird because we, like, started in this like weird like bizarro world version of “The Office” for like, none of you guys were there except for John. And then we, like, moved over to, like, actually work with you guys. And then, like, we didn’t know how long we were gonna be there. And I was like signed up for, we were signed up for four episodes and then it was like ten. And then they were like, the whole year. But it was this weird thing that was like, what is going on? Because we were like on this little train together where we were both like, just like what’s going on? This is like a crazy, huge opportunity for both of us. And we would just have these little, like, powwows at the, at our trail-, or our tiny little trailers and just like try to check in and see what was going on ’cause it really was like, it’s such a game changer for me and like and everybody was so nice to me. And it just, just everybody was, everybody’s so different on the show. So, like, I think just to, like, get to know you all and Phyllis, like the ladies were like my favorite. Like, just so, it was such a like formative time for me in my life, you know?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:46] Yeah.
RASHIDA JONES [00:30:47] Really was.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:48] Well, Rashida, we loved you too. And I know we should probably wrap up your interview because we could talk to you forever. But I want to give a little shout out to “#blackAF”. It was so fun to get to work with you again. You’re so hilarious in this. You play Joya.
RASHIDA JONES [00:31:03] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:04] That’s such a fun character.
RASHIDA JONES [00:31:05] So fun.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:06] She’s so complicated.
RASHIDA JONES [00:31:08] She is so complicated.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:09] She is so layered. Like she’s like a good mom. She’s a crappy mom. She’s like all over the place, like in her marriage.
RASHIDA JONES [00:31:15] I know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:16] It’s done in the mockumentary style too. Like the premise is that your daughter is doing this documentary of your family, her dad, who’s this writer and creator of a TV show. And it’s for, it’s like in place of her college essay.
RASHIDA JONES [00:31:30] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:30] Right? Is that idea?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:31] Yeah.
RASHIDA JONES [00:31:32] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:32] And so you guys do talking heads, but she’s also, like, capturing video, and then more formally. Sometimes you guys are performing for the camera a little bit.
RASHIDA JONES [00:31:42] A little bit.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:42] ‘Cause you know it’s there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:44] Rashida, you’re such an amazing writer, director, performer, actress. Is there anything else we can share?
RASHIDA JONES [00:31:49] I mean. Oh, I have I, I produced a show that’s on Quibi that I love. And I, and I think everybody should go watch if they have Quibi. Or if they don’t, then they can, I don’t know, get a trial or something. My friend Maurice Harris, he’s this beautiful florist, artist, dancer. Is just like a magical person. And we produced this show called “Centerpiece”, which is, where he sits with an artist and they talk about their process and their life and their childhood. And then he creates this beautiful, magical centerpiece that’s like the embodiment of their life and art and journey. And it’s just like a cool, like, wonderful little inspiring show.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:28] I want to see it. I want see it.
RASHIDA JONES [00:32:30] “Centerpiece”. Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:31] “Centerpiece”. OK, guys. Well, Rashida, thank you so, so much.
RASHIDA JONES [00:32:34] Thank you, it was so fun. I’ll come back.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:38] Come back!
RASHIDA JONES [00:32:39] I mean, you didn’t invite me, but if you invite me, I will come back.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:41] OK. OK.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:43] You are officially invited and you will officially come back. I can’t wait.
RASHIDA JONES [00:32:47] Great.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:47] Rashida, I hope we get to go on a boat again.
RASHIDA JONES [00:32:49] I know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:50] We’ll bring Jenna. We’ll podcast.
RASHIDA JONES [00:32:51] I do love a boat so I can, I can be the recurring character on your boat cast. “Boat Cast”? Trademark. Trademark.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:00] “Boat Casting with Jenna and Angela”, with special guest, Rashida Jones.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:05] Rashida Jones. Oh my God. I love it. All right, guys, we’re back because it’s a Christmas miracle. Dwight has run over a goose.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:24] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:24] It’s a Christmas miracle. That’s what he says. And then he flops it on your desk.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:29] Yeah. He flops a dead goose on Pam’s desk. And then my favorite is when Toby comes in and he’s like, Dwight, we’ve talked about this.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:39] He said we talked about it for like half an hour.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:43] Yeah, you have to stop bringing dead animals into the office. Well, we had a lot of fan questions about this cold open, Angela.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:50] OK. Let’s hear it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:51] This one always delights me. Logan Yancer, Kayla Sewel, Kerry Rice, Demetra Lizzo and Harshida Vermont all asked if Phil Shea made the goose that Dwight carries in. He did.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:05] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:05] He had to make and find that goose. That’s another day in the life of Phil Shea. What are you doing today, Phil? I’m making a dead goose.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:14] Actually, I’m making five different types of dead gooses, and I’m going to take photos of them. And then, you know, the executive producers and writers are going to pick which dead goose. But I have eight dead gooses. You know what I mean?
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:28] Exactly. That’s more of what Phil Shea did that week.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:30] Yeah. He’s gonna have like a portfolio of dead geese. Jenna, so many people have huddled around Pam’s desk about this. Phyllis, Kevin, Creed, Jim, Toby, they’re all discussing this. Everyone is grossed out, but Phyllis.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:45] Yeah, Phyllis is kind of like, that seems reasonable.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:47] She’s got no problem with it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:49] What’s that about?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:50] What is that about?
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:51] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:51] I mean, I mean, I feel like this is the first time ever, quote me if I’m wrong out there, Internet folks. This is the first time that Creed says something is crazy. Creed is like, that’s crazy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:03] Well, we’ve got a fan catch, Angela. Nyasha, Christian Harper, Kimberly Classon and Rebecca McAllister all noticed that while Creed is in this cold open giving his two cents about the goose in the next scene, he enters for the day and takes a toy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:22] Yes, at 4 minutes, 10 seconds. All of a sudden, Creed is arriving for the first time. He’s in his coat. The whole thing. And I was like, wait, that’s continuity error. So we probably shot that cold open a different day, right?
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:33] Well, guess what, Ang? I went back to the old script-aroney.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:38] Ooh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:38] And this entire cold open about the goose is not even in there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:42] Aah, they added it. They added it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:44] They added it. The original beginning of this scene was Michael riding in on his bike. So we shot this cold open and added it later. And somebody obviously just forgot that Creed shouldn’t be at work yet.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:57] Yeah, well, I have a little bit of a Creed catch that I’m going to call “Spiky Creed Hair”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:02] Oh, OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:03] And we got some classic spiky Creed hair in this one.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:06] All right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:06] I mean, literally, it’s like this. Like, I want to take a screen grab of it and text it to Creed and be like, what was this phase of your hair?
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:13] It’s very fluffy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:15] It’s fluffy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:15] I would describe it more like fluffy than spiky.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:19] OK, fluffy Creed hair. Track it. OK. I’ve taken this on a hair tangent, but let’s get back to the episode. Do you remember Steve trying to ride that bike in?
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:32] I about fell off my couch laughing from the memory of shooting that scene of Steve riding the bicycle into “The Office”. When he curses, that was Steve.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:45] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:45] And they bleeped it out. And it was so funny. And you can almost start to see him break. But that was like, I feel like that was take like 72 or something. And he was like, fuu-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:55] You guys, you have to understand there was not a lot of space there. And it was like. It was like. Like an S. Do you know what I mean? So you, you had to come out of that elevator. And then about five steps. There’s like a hard right. Then there’s like a left, then a right. And he had to get on the bike and balance and then tried to maneuver this really quick zigzag into the office in one take. And it was not easy. So then Michael does something in this episode that I just love so much because I love a Christmas pun. I really enjoy them. I also really enjoy any pun in like the hair salon genre, if you will, the hair salon puns are the best. Like hair today, gone tomorrow. Like I love all those.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:47] Now, let me ask you this question.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:49] OK.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:49] Is that hair like hair on your head, your hare like a rabbit? Hare today, gone tomorrow, and then it’s like a rabbit hopping away?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:00] Why would, why would? If you were a hair salon, why would you have a rabbit and not use the word hair? H-a-i-r.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:06] If you were a hair salon, why would you use the pun hair today, gone tomorrow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:12] Because they do.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:12] Oh. Because they cut it off.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:14] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:17] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:18] Oh, lady. OK. Anyway, so he, he hits Pam with a whole bunch of Christmas puns. I can’t believe you’re just getting that. What’s happening? So he just is about to lay him out one after another. He was like, I would like a nice slice of Christmas, Pam. With the side of Candy Pams or perhaps some Pam chops, he’s just like boom, boom, boom.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:40] He really does. While Michael has a talking head where he says it’s going to be the best Christmas ever because his girlfriend Carol, is coming to the Christmas party and he has a surprise for her. Two tickets to Sandals Resort, Jamaica. It’s all inclusive. He’s just so proud that this resort is all inclusive. It’s his selling point as he tries to get many women to go on this trip with him. So, guys, now Carol enters and she’s looking for Michael. She goes in his office and she confronts him. She’s upset that he photoshopped a picture of himself onto her old family ski trip photo with her ex-husband, and he sent it out to people with the message “Ski-son Greetings”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:28] He says, A Christmas Carol, Ski-son’s Greetings. Uh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:32] Fan question from Allison Catrion, Sarah, Joe, Lisa and Elise, “Were the kids in the Christmas card photo actually Steve and Nancy’s, since they were married in real life”? No, no. They had Nancy pose for a photo with a couple of kids and a really tall guy that was gonna be her ex-husband. And then they Photoshop Steve’s face onto his face. But those are not Steve and Nancy’s kids in real life.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:01] I like that it’s a crappy Photoshop because I believe it. You know?
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:05] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:06] It’s not even well done. Like it clearly-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:08] Well, we’ve seen Michael’s Photoshop skills from when he photoshopped us in that office group photo.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:14] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:14] So he clearly has not learned anything from then until now. But Carol ends up breaking up with Michael. And Michael is devastated because he’s like, no, Carol, can I tempt you to stay with me so that we can go to the all inclusive Sandals Resort? We leave day after tomorrow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:34] Well, I mean, Michael, come on. She’s a single mom with two kids. You can’t spring a surprise trip. That’s not to say you already did a grand proposal to her. Now you have photoshopped your head on her ex-husband, and now you’re going to like try to say, but we have this last minute trip that you haven’t planned for. This will seal the deal.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:55] I thought the same thing. I was like, she has two small children. It is the holidays. You think she doesn’t have her own holiday traditions and a very complicated, like, custody arrangement, probably. You think she can just fly off to Sandals, Jamaica with 48 hours notice? This is just another example of the disconnect here for Michael and this relationship.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:20] Yeah, by the way, once you have young children, there’s no last minute anything.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:25] No.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:25] As far as like your adult life, you don’t just get to go out to dinner last minute or meet people for drinks last minute or take a trip last minute, that, those days are over. Michael and Carol have a pretty fantastic breakup moment. If you’re Carol. Because it’s, it’s sort of a power play. Michael goes, you walk out that door and it’s over and Carol goes, I know. It’s kind of, it’s kind of like boss lady moment. Yeah, I know. I’m walking out the door, baby. Bye.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:54] Should we talk about another gift that doesn’t go well in this episode? Pam’s gift to Jim.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:00] You mean the scene that I just wrote in my note card as “Oof”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:05] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:05] Oof. Ouch.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:09] Pam calls Jim over to her desk and she’s like, hey, I need to give you your present early. I’ve been sending Dwight Communications from the CIA for a couple of months, and the gift is that you get to decide his final mission.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:23] Oh, she’s so excited. She has a little red folder she’s handing him.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:29] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:29] She is so excited that this is just going to tickle Jim and they’re gonna be back together in their prank wars with Dwight.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:37] But Jim turns her down. He’s like, you know what? I just, I just don’t think I should be doing this anymore because of my promotion. But then he has a talking head where he says he can’t fall back into doing all the things he used to do. Otherwise, what’s the point?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:54] He said it’s a chance to start over. That one had to hurt. And when he walked away and didn’t take the folder and Pam is just holding this folder of these ridiculous CIA letters, your look. It’s painful.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:08] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:08] Well, now Michael is devastated because Carol has broken up with him and he comes out and he says Christmas is cancelled. He’s canceling it. And Stanley’s like, you can’t cancel a holiday. And Michael is like on the verge of tears. And he’s like, Jim, take New Year’s away from Stanley. Like he’s really about to spiral out.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:31] Well, lady, did you notice at 8 minutes and 47 seconds, there is an amazing shot of the accountant stack.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:38] I say, the accounting stack, but with Andy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:42] Yeah. There you guys are. You’re all standing there at the edge of the desks in your accountants stack.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:50] We’re, we’re standing there and this is the first shot you get of the blouse I absolutely hated. I hated this blouse so much because it had and I counted 32 buttons.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:05] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:06] 32 buttons and they were tiny little pearl flat buttons like the size of like your pinky fingernail. Like tiny. And I had to button 32 buttons and literally they would knock on my door like, Angela. They’re ready for you on set. And I’m like, still buttoning.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:25] Well, couldn’t you have just undone a few of them and pulled it over your head?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:29] No, no, because it was so fitted in the armpits.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:34] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:34] And I had. And they buttoned all the way up to the top of my neck. It was like a turtle neck, but full of buttons. Lady.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:41] Wow. I remember that. Now that you’re saying it, I remember the week of the tiny buttons.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:46] Mmhmm. And I remember Carey, our wardrobe stylist, saying to me, if we ever, ever use the shirt again, I’m going to strip out these buttons and put a Velcro or something because it was driving us both crazy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:59] But I believe you never wore that again.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:01] No, I think Carey and I were both like, forget it. There were buttons down the arms. There were buttons from my neck all the way like I mean, literally to my thigh. That shirt was so long too.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:13] I think it was such a good shirt for your character, though.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:16] No, it was perfect.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:16] It was so fussy and lacy and-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:21] I know it was like Ye Olde Christmas.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:23] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:24] And I had my nut cracker. I had my nut cracker pin on because for me the theme was very clear of this party.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:31] Well, I think this leads us very well into the conference room for our PPC meeting on The Nutcracker Christmas, which you start by insulting Phyllis.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:42] Yeah, I’m mad and I take it out on Phyllis and repeat. That is Angela Martin. I tell Phyllis to get green streamers and Phyllis gives me a little Phyllis sass and says, I thought you said Green was whore-ish. And I mean, Angela is not having it. She’s like, no, orange is whore-ish.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:02] Which is the color that Phyllis was wearing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:05] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:05] Mmhmm.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:05] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:07] Well, Karen now decides to propose a few traditions that were typical at Stamford. We’ve got the raffle. We’ve got the karaoke. And Angela just shuts down everything and then throws Karen out of the meeting.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:24] Well, she suggests a Christmas drinking game. And I’m like, God help you. That’s it. And I escort her to the door. Angela is just so ticked off. She starts off ticked off. She finishes ticked off. But I loved, Jenna, that she just keeps going back to, and none of them are on the theme of a Nutcracker Christmas.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:44] A Nutcracker Christmas.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:46] I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to coordinate a party with someone who’s very, very big on theme. Have you? In your real life?
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:57] Well.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:57] Is that you, Jenna?
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:59] Well, that’s what I was going to say. I feel like maybe you’ve done that when we’ve planned a party.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:06] I think there are two type of people who plan parties. There’s people who are just like, ah, we’ll just throw it together, which is kind of me. I’m just like, yeah, whatever. Let’s just, I’ll grab whatever snacks we have and we’ll just invite people. But then there’s the people that are like, I need a theme and we’re all going to stick to the theme. And here’s the theme. And if you waver from the theme, I will be pissed off. And Jenna-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:30] Well the funny thing, Angela, is I think you would throw the Margarita karaoke party. You would throw the party with just all the random most fun stuff.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:40] Yes. And you would throw the Nutcracker themed party and there’d be nutcrackers everywhere.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:45] Yeah. Nutcracker cookies. Nutcracker cake. There would be, I don’t know, maybe a handout on the history of The Nutcracker, perhaps. I don’t know. We’d have “The Nutcracker” playing on television. The ballet.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:58] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:58] You know what I’m saying?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:59] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:01] Well, now we go into Michael’s office and he is wallowing. He’s listening to a clip of “Goodbye My Lover”. He hasn’t purchased it, though.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:09] Just a clip.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:10] He’s just listening to the free part on repeat.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:19] “Goodbye my lover”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:20] And Dwight enters and he’s like, we’re getting rid of everything that reminds you of Carol, we’re getting rid of all of it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:27] Dwight does that classic Dwight thing, though, of while someone else is maybe hurting or trying to forget about something, he thinks he’s helping, but he’s just like, wow. Carol was a really good realtor. Oh, look what she did with this mold. He’s like going through her condo.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:42] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:42] Like contract and like praising her. She’s smart.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:45] Yeah, well Pam is over at reception and she sees Karen now. She has a talking head where she says, I’ve been a little cold to Karen for no reason. She’s never done anything to me. And then we see Pam walk over to Karen’s desk and kind of apologize and say, hey, I’m really sorry that meeting was like that, that Angela was mean.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:07] And now I guess Pam and Karen are going to bond. And. And if you look at the shot of Jim’s face, it’s so good. He’s like, what is happening?
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:17] Yeah, well, listen, I mean, I feel like Jim set a clear boundary at the beginning of the episode. He’s like, hey, listen, things are different now. I’m not going to get into it with you. And I think this is a little bit of Pam taking him at his word.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:31] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:32] And being like, OK, well, you know what? I’m going to step up and I’m going to treat this person the way I would treat them if I didn’t have a past with Jim.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:41] Right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:42] If this woman came into the office, this is how I would behave and that’s how I’m going to behave.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:47] Yeah, I think Pam is trying to be a grown up too. Well, now the war has begun.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:54] Mmhmm.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:55] I mean, Angela, of course, as, you know, being crappy to Phyllis, they’re hanging up their signs. She’s like, this should have been hung two days ago. And then who just comes in and hangs up their sign over my sign?
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:08] Yeah. Our party also starts 15 minutes before yours, and our poster is more brightly colored.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:14] Shady. And Kelly says, this looks fun. And then Kevin walks over and Angela’s getting ticked off. So she rips your sign down.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:23] I know. And then Karen rips down a Nut Cracker Christmas sign.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:28] I know, it is on. And there is a deleted scene. So right after I ripped that poster down, my character goes over to Toby and is like, you have got to cancel their party. We can’t have two parties. This isn’t like sanctioned. They don’t have a budget. And on and on and on. She’s just reading him the Riot Act. And Toby says they can throw their party. It’s a free country. And my character slaps him across the face.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:57] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:59] Yes. Yes, and then Toby is like, Ow, that really hurt. And then I say, I’m trying to wake you up. Wake up. There could only be one party. And then Toby’s like, that really hurt. And you can’t touch people. You can’t hit people. And I’m going to write you up.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:19] Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:21] And then I say to Toby, you know what? Michael was right. You are pathetic.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:28] Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:30] I know. Well. So, you know, Angela, what you didn’t see in deleted scenes is that she goes to Toby for help and he’s no help. So now back in the real scenes, she goes to Dwight. But there would have been a progression. She was mad. She went to Toby. He didn’t help her. Now she goes to Dwight.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:47] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:48] As number three. How can he help her?
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:51] He walks over to reception where Pam and Karen are on Pam’s computer. And he says, I am dismantling your party. I’m dismantling your committee. And I’m canceling your party. As ranking number three. But then Jim walks up as ranking number two and he assembles a one man committee to determine the validity of the Party Planning Committees.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:15] Wait, I have to tell you, this is the, the actual name of his committee. Ready? I love how many committees there are. So there’s the Party Planning Committee. There’s the Committee to Plan Parties. Now, Jim is the sole member of the Committee to Determine the Validity of the Two Committees.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:33] I love that. I love that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:37] And Jenna, what does he decide?
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:39] He decides in favor of Karen and Pam. He says their Committee to Plan Parties can stand. Dwight asks if he could please become a member of the Committee to Determine the Validity of the Two Committees. And Jim says.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:54] Permission denied.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:56] There you go. So now Michael is still moping in his office and Andy invites him to lunch at Benihana to cheer him up. And then Michael invites Jim, Ryan and Dwight. But Ryan has the delicious list of excuses as to why he cannot go. He rattles them all off in a row.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:16] He says, I’m not feeling well. I’ve got a ton of work to do. MSG allergy, peanut allergy. I just ate there last night. And Jim was like, wow, thanks for taking all of the excuses. And then Ryan goes, doctor appointment, car trouble, plan rewards. Granddad fought in World War Two. He’s got like a ton of them.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:35] He keeps them on his phone. He’s like, I keep them on my phone. You have to, like, stay sharp, Jim.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:40] Yeah. Step it up, Jim. Welcome back.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:42] We had a fan catch from Casey Hilton who wants us to know that there is no Benihana in Scranton or even near Scranton. I looked that up. They have one in Pittsburgh, which is a four and a half hour drive and one in Plymouth Meeting, which is a one hour and 45 minute drive.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:00] We didn’t even try. We just, we’re like, okay. Clearly, there’s not one there. We’re just, we’re just going to write it in anyway. So they’re getting their table at Benihana. And you guys know how it is. You all sit around like the stovetop, right?
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:14] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:14] And, and so Michael and Andy sit together and Jim. And then there’s a seat next to Jim. But a couple scootches in there, before Dwight can get in there because Dwight and Andy were like wrestling for the seat next to Michael. And now there’s a couple there. And you guys that have watched the podcast before, you will know Stephen Saux, our stand-in, is the man in the couple. He got to be in the scene. And I just love that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:39] Well, you know, on IMDB, he is credited as playing the role of Justin Spitzer. The name that they gave to the character sitting at the table is our writer’s named Justin Spitzer, played by our stand-in Stephen Saux.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:57] I love that. Here’s the thing. Now Dwight’s on the other end of the table and he’s going to have to shout throughout the rest of the time there at Benihana, he has to keep shouting. And he’s really annoying this couple in between and Jenna, I was just like, I know it’s for comedy sake. But, you know, that couple would’ve been like, do you want to trade seats? So you’re next to your friends.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:16] I thought the same thing. I thought the same thing. What? They want this guy shouting over them through the whole meal?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:21] No.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:22] Of course not. But you know what? Maybe they’d already started to get their food or something. And it just felt like a huge headache. I don’t know. But they, they stay. They’re like, no, we want to be in the center of the table. We want to see the chef most clearly. I don’t know what their motivation was for not letting this guy sit with his group. But.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:41] So Michael is still being mopey, even though they’re at Benihana. You know, he wants to call Carol. And Andy’s like, no, let’s start ordering drinks. He starts ordering this weird eggnog sake concoction. It sounds disgusting.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:54] We had a fan question from Dan Solomon who wanted to know, was that a real drink or was it invented by the writers? It’s a made up drink. This is not a real drink. Angela, someone on Cracked.com did an article where they made all kinds of fake cocktails from different TV shows, like they made cocktails from “30 Rock” and “Parks and Rec” and they did a review of this drink.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:22] Ugh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:22] Just to remind you, it is one part eggnog and three part sake.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:26] Sounds so gross.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:29] All right. Here’s what they had to say. Quote, “It looks like so many different disgusting things and none of them are anything I would want to put in my mouth. You can actually hear the eggnog curdling in the glass”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:44] Gross.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:46] Then they said, “It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever had, but it is far from the best. The real problem lies in the aftertaste. Both of these drinks have a tendency to linger on the breath by themselves, and neither is very pleasant. When mixed together, they make your mouth tastes like toes. I wish I could say something nice about this drink, but every time I attempt it, I suddenly forget all the good in my life”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:13] Oh my God.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:13] Well, what I want to know now is what were those guys actually drinking on the set? Were they drinking water mixed with eggnog? Were they just drinking eggnog? I don’t know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:26] I don’t like eggnog. So I’m not a big eggnog person.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:30] I liked it as a kid, but as an adult, it’s just, it’s very thick.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:35] It’s like drinking a dessert. It’s so sweet.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:38] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:39] We should go back because I need to talk to you a little bit about the scene with Roy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:43] Mmhmm.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:44] Mmhmm. So Roy comes in and he’s looking cute. He clearly just wants to talk to Pam. He’s asking her about her gift wrapping techniques. And she says she only uses three pieces of tape. Are you crazy?
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:59] Yeah. Well, Angela, Adrian Thorneblom, Sydney Leighton and Elisa Schroeder and Kelly Lubert wrote in to say, “How on earth can you wrap a gift with only three pieces of tape? How”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:15] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:15] They are all saying there must be at least four. Why is Pam giving such bad advice here? Guys, it can be done. You can wrap a gift with three pieces of tape. I personally, Jenna Fischer, can’t do it. I use more than three pieces of tape when I wrap a gift. But because Pam says this in this episode every Christmas when I, Jenna Fischer, give a gift and I use more than three piece of tape. People comment on it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:43] Oh no. Do they really?
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:45] Yes. Yes. They’re like, use more than three pieces a tape, ay? And I’m like, I, I am not Pam. I can’t wrap. Apparently, Pam can. You can watch a ton of YouTube videos on how exactly Pam does it. Many people have made videos on how to wrap a gift with only three pieces of tape so it can be done. But.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:03] Hold up, lady.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:05] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:05] People commenting on your tape. That’s got to be in your family because who you’re giving-? At Christmas, you’re like with your family. So you’ve got like some aunt that’s like, oh, you use more than three pieces.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:18] Yeah. Yeah, I get grief. I get grief from my family and some friends.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:24] For not being your character.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:27] Yeah. I mean, that’s the tricky thing about having a character that you played for a long time who makes grand declarations. It gets superimposed onto me. But, you know?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:38] Do you know what I get almost every single year from a family member?
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:43] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:43] I get at least one gift that has a cat on it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:48] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:50] I like cats, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:51] Because Angela Martin likes Cat.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:53] Yeah, I like cats. I don’t need a gift every year with a cat on it, guys. From my own family.
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:00] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:00] My favorite is more than once, more than once I have gotten a cat calendar and there’s usually a photo of a cat hanging for dear life from a tree. And it says, hang in there.
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:16] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:17] I’ve gotten that calendar more than one.
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:19] Oh no.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:23] OK, wait, wait, wait. We have to get back to the scene because they’re flirting. And then Karen sees the flirt, sees Roy and is like, he’s cute. You should date him. And then Pam does not say a word. She doesn’t own up. And she just says, maybe.
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:40] Well, I feel like Pam can’t tell Karen that she used to be with Roy without it opening up a lot of questions that might lead her to having to tell her things that she knows Jim hasn’t told her.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:54] I agree.
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:55] Well, lady, I think we should pause our breakdown for this episode for a moment, because this is kind of the halfway mark. And we thought that this would be a good place to play our interview with Jen Celotta.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:06] Yeah, I think it would be great to hear from the writer of this episode before we dig any deeper. All right, Sam, will you play the interview with Jen?
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:16] Hi, Jen Celotta.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:17] Hi, Jen.
JEN CELOTTA [01:01:18] You guys look gorgeous, you look, it literally looks like time stopped since I last saw you.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:23] I love you.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:23] You stop it.
JEN CELOTTA [01:01:24] I’m so excited.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:26] My favorite guests are when we have writers on because you guys have this perspective that is totally different from the actors. And I could just listen to you guys talk forever. It’s my favorite side of the story.
JEN CELOTTA [01:01:40] Oh, and vice versa.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:40] That and probably Phil Shea having to make all the weird props.
JEN CELOTTA [01:01:44] All I remember about Phil Shea is constantly when, if I had to come in on like a Saturday or Sunday because I needed to do a little work or I forgot something at the office. He was always there. He was always there making a prop, like he just never stopped working and he was just too good, brilliant. You know?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:00] Yeah. My, my memory of him is him running. He was always like, like across-, and had things in his hand and I’d be like, hey Phil, and he’d be like, hey, I just got to attach this hat to the squirrel. And then I-, and I’m like, what?
JEN CELOTTA [01:02:14] Well, it made me laugh when you told me that he, I forgot that he presented everything on a tray and the bird thing made me laugh so hard because I’m sure that is. I can imagine that. I can picture that. And I wanted to tell you, when I was listening to the bird stories that you guys were telling from your own home. But I Googled it and I found out that there was an article about why we’re seeing dead birds and birds that are struggling now. It’s because of quarantine.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:40] What?
JEN CELOTTA [01:02:40] It was the most interesting article. They said that we are just around and we’re noticing nature more and we’re more aware because we’re not like in our offices all day long, so that, unfortunately, this is a time where birds struggle, but we don’t usually see it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:54] Oh my God.
JEN CELOTTA [01:02:54] So I don’t know, if it’s like yay or boo or somewhere in between. But.
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:59] No, it is.
JEN CELOTTA [01:02:59] I thought that was interesting.
JENNA FISCHER [01:03:00] This is the big bird baby boom season this time of the year. And a big part of, because I looked it up too, Jen. A big part of a bird’s life cycle is that between the nest and being a full adult bird, they actually nest on the ground. So they, the parents kind of kick them out of the tree and they nest under bushes or on the ground for a couple of days and their parents visit them. But it’s sort of like that’s like they’re going to college phase, you know, they’re out of the nest. But the parents are still kind of like sending them money from time to time. And so in that little period, like 80 percent of birds die because they are, you know, peril meets them. Maybe it’s, you know, a raccoon or a cat-.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:50] Squirrel.
JENNA FISCHER [01:03:50] Or something.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:51] A squirrel.
JENNA FISCHER [01:03:52] Yeah. This is the part of their life that where they meet the most doom.
JEN CELOTTA [01:03:56] Oh, this is sad. I, but I read that somebody rescued, another person, like a bird fell into a pool, but they rescued it. So it’s like there may be more rescues happening because we’re more aware and vigilant right now. There might be-.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:04:10] Cut to next year, an article that says a rise in birds due to people intervening and saving them. Has now bled us of all of the gnats. And it turns out gnats were necessary.
JEN CELOTTA [01:04:24] Gnats were necessary.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:04:24] But the birds ate them all.
JEN CELOTTA [01:04:26] I know this is Benihana Christmas, and I’m sure you will deal with this, but like I do remember reading articles that people’s lives were saved because of staying alive in the “Safety Training”-. Is it “Safety Training”? In the episode where, “Stress Relief”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:04:39] Yeah, CPR.
JEN CELOTTA [01:04:40] “Stress Relief”. Yeah. Because I remember, I wrote that. I wrote that. And I remember having to make sure, I remember wanting to make sure it was correct in case anybody watched the show and actually used it. But then I started to hear news reports that people remember it from “The Office” and are saving people’s lives from that.
JENNA FISCHER [01:04:58] I’ve read those same articles.
JEN CELOTTA [01:05:02] It’s crazy.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:03] You’re saving lives, Jen Celotta.
JEN CELOTTA [01:05:05] Well, I don’t know.
JENNA FISCHER [01:05:08] Jen, we always like to ask people when they come on the podcast how they got their job on “The Office”.
JEN CELOTTA [01:05:14] I was on the show, “Malcolm in the Middle”, which I really enjoyed that show. But I, every, every morning after the, after “The Office” aired, I would come in and just talk about “The Office” forever. They’re like, let’s get to work on Malcolm stories. And I was like, yeah, yeah. Sure. Did you see what happened on “Diversity Day”? So I was a big fan. And I actually wrote a short story about a woman who falls in love with the middle of a man. She works in quality control in a button factory, and she sees the middle of people walking by a window all day long. And she puts all her hopes and dreams in the middle of this man. And-.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:55] Oh my God. I love that. Jen, that is brilliant.
JEN CELOTTA [01:05:58] It was so crazy. I had never written a short story before I wrote it. It took me forever to write it because I, it took me forever to sit down and figure out what I had to say, if any-. Did I have anything to say? And it kind of. Anyway, I wrote it and then Susanne Daniels, I found out that they have piles of scripts the Daniels house has piles of scripts, to the point where the kids have told me that they almost forget that their scripts, they think of them as furniture, like a coffee table and somewhere to put their legs up. And Susanne Daniels, I guess, grabbed my short story. Probably thinner than the rest of those scripts on the pile and responded to it and gave it to Greg. And then I met him at a Coffee Bean, had a meeting right before he’s about to go to upfronts for Season 2. And just probably begged to be on the show, was really excited and just loved him, loved meeting him and that’s how it happened.
JENNA FISCHER [01:06:48] Oh my gosh.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:06:48] That is such a fantastic story. Well, Jen, we have a question for you about, you know, obviously we’re talking “Benihana Christmas” today.
JEN CELOTTA [01:06:57] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:06:57] What was the inspiration for this episode? Do you remember how it came about, how you came to be the person to write it, like sort of the beginning of what was Benihana?
JEN CELOTTA [01:07:07] Yeah, the initial idea was Michael goes through a breakup and I can almost see myself leaping out of a chair at that moment, if that, when that came from the room saying this, I need to have this episode because I just felt like taking Michael through a breakup is just like having, how would a 14 year old boy deal with a breakup? You know? And just kind of, just the riding those waves for the first time. Has he ever been that close to a person to have, you know, to a romantic partner to have those waves? So you can really take him to the point where he’s lying on the floor. So I put in a little bit of 14 year old boy and then a little bit of me, you know, listening to James Blunt. “Goodbye My Lover” and breakups that I’ve had, like. So there was a smoosh of the two of us. My version of Michael stuff. And when I ended up leaving “The Office”, which is devastatingly difficult to do, but I ended up telling Steve that I was leaving and his, I’ll never forget his comment to me. He said, I think this is gonna be really difficult for you. And I said, yeah, no, definitely. But he’s like, ’cause I think you work a lot of your own stuff out through my character. I was like, there’s this game that people play of who are they in “The Office”? And I’m like, I can’t be Pam or Angela or Phyllis? Like I’m Michael? Michael thinks I’m Michael?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:32] Steve was aware. Steve was aware when it was a Jen Celotta script. Oh, well, we’re going to work out some issues this week.
JEN CELOTTA [01:08:39] Yes. So I, I think that for the breakup, I put myself as being sort of delayed in that area in experiencing a breakup. I think my first breakup with a boyfriend was late, you know, mid 20s. You know, just experiencing that. And then also just having, you know, just thinking of a young, a younger boy going through it. And I just leapt. I wanted it so badly. And so I think I probably just wrestled someone to the ground for it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:04] Oh, my God. Well, Jen, I would love to talk to you about the Party Planning Committee vs. the Committee to Plan Parties. What the hell?
JEN CELOTTA [01:09:14] You were saying on a previous podcast, Jenna, that I really am drawn to Angela and writing for Angela. And there was something, I’m starting to think about why that was besides just being brilliant and it’s so funny and it’s just fun to write for you. But I was thinking, I can’t stand sometimes rules and bureaucracy and all of that stuff. And I feel like your character represented so many of those lines and things you can’t do and limits. So somehow it was like cathartic for me to go deep in there and like, have you push those lines with people. You know, comedy writers oftentimes want to push against authority and rules. And so you were, you represented that. So I just kind of love to give you that. So then, what do you do to your character? You threaten her with a rival party and just kind of upped the stakes, a rival, a planning committee and upped the stakes. And have you kind of lose it when you run out to try to get the permission from Dwight that the party needs to-.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:13] Start.
JEN CELOTTA [01:10:13] Start now. It’s just like the intensity with which you’re clinging to the fact that you need to maintain the balance of your structure is like, I just, I just delight in that.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:25] I remember that scene. I remember actually talking to you about the dialog and you and Harold and, and I guess the first take I did it, maybe I didn’t have that urgency, like. And you guys, like, pulled me aside. You’re like, no. Like, like think like the building’s on fire. Like I have an announcement! You know, and that kind of like stakes. And then Jen, while we’re talking about this, I had a line where I said to Meredith, as she’s deciding which party to go to, I say, Meredith, like if you go to that party, you’re going to be very, very sorry. I say something like that. And then Meredith is like, is that a threat? And I go, no, it’s an invitation. Like I don’t think I really got the joke on the first time I read it. And you were like, Ang, will you? Like, maybe when you say it’s an invitation, switch gears to like a smile. And I remember it changed the whole scene. Like.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:23] I love that moment. That moment reminds me of in horror movies when, like, the deranged ex-boyfriend is like, Let me in this house right now. And then, then there’s like silence. And he’s like, Monica? I’d love to come inside. And you’re like, whoa, that is super creepy. I mean, that’s scarier than the banging on the door. So that’s, when I watch that scene, Angela. “It’s an invitation: was like super unnerving. It was like, what just happened?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:55] That was a note. That was a note from Jen Celotta. Just a peek into her brain.
JEN CELOTTA [01:12:03] Well, what I think. Maybe. There’s definitely an alternate reality where “The Office” is horror and Angela-. There are moments where you’re standing by the copier and then just, you know, jump out. But I feel like there is something where you get to see Angela’s struggle of her real feelings in the episode, because they leak out all over the place. But then the pop back to this is work. This is an office. We have to be professional. So there’s like, we get to see that moment where you, where you, the threat comes out. And then, you know, no, this is office decorum. Here I am, the spokesperson. It’s so creepy because we just saw what you really are. Or what part of you is.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:45] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:12:45] I love this storyline too, because it serves that whole purpose. And then it also serves the purpose of putting Pam and Karen together and freaking Jim out. So that’s why I, it’s so rich with storyline. Should we head over to Benihana? Because, Jen, we were not there that day that you shot in the restaurant. And there are so many delicious scenes. Delicious. I feel like that was a really good use of. Is that a like a metaphor? Because Benihana serves food.
JEN CELOTTA [01:13:17] I think so.
JENNA FISCHER [01:13:17] I don’t know.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:18] Well.
JEN CELOTTA [01:13:18] I think that the idea of Benihana might have come up because it always cheered me up when I was a kid, if I had been sick or if I got a good grade, we would go to Benihana. And I remember they used to, like, fling shrimp in your mouth. I heard that that when I was doing research for this episode that they stopped doing that. I think that they were worried about it being dangerous and so.
JENNA FISCHER [01:13:40] Flinging hot shrimp across a restaurant.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:44] But Jen, I love to know, like how Benihana was, like, part of your childhood memory, because our youngest son, when he turned 8, the one thing he wanted to do was go to Benihana.
JEN CELOTTA [01:13:55] Aw, yes!
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:56] That was like our 8 year old’s birthday.
JEN CELOTTA [01:13:58] It’s dinner and a show. I remember. So there was a scene where Dwight talks about the knife that the chef is using and how, oh, I bet you’re bummed that you want this other knife and the chef saying, no, no, this knife is better. Dwight, you don’t know what the best knife is. And I kind of put this together when I was watching the episode. But when we were there, there was a problem making the onion volcano town. So that was sort of the biggest hold up of the day. The chef couldn’t make the onion volcano, and then they brought in another chef to make the onion volcano.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:14:41] Oh no.
JEN CELOTTA [01:14:41] We couldn’t get an onion volcano off the ground. It was. And I think we had one of the more celebrated onion volcano chefs there. And what immediately happened to me, even though I wrote the scene with Dwight talking about knives, is I was like, well, maybe, is the oven hot enough? Are you sure that the right positioning of the onions? And I’m like, they know onion volcanoes. I don’t know onion volcanoes, but we were desperately trying to get this. And so all of us were sitting around giving notes to a person who was already having a difficult time making the onion volcano, trying to give help, you know, how can we help this? So secret little fun fact. The steam from the onion was added in post. Because we’ve never.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:27] Oh my god. The volcano never erupted on the day.
JEN CELOTTA [01:15:30] There was, I think, a futtering of smoke that came out after, I want to say, hours of trying to get this off the ground. And I think it was Dean Holland who was editing the episode, who was like, here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna add, we’re going to add some smoke to the onion. We can do this. And I, I can just imagine my past Jen crying at that moment of release. Because the onion sputtering, it would not lift up a heartbroken Michael. And, you know, we needed it. We needed that onion to do its part.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:04] Yes. Yes. Oh, my gosh. I love that story so much. So, Jen, now we want to talk about this storyline with the Benihana waitresses and how Michael can’t tell them apart. And I know we traded e-mails about this, even though we’re saying, Michael, you should know better. What you’re doing is wrong. Is it even right to put that storyline out there? Can you share your reaction to rewatching it?
JEN CELOTTA [01:16:28] You know, it’s like I feel conflicted about the whole like, there was this like Archie Bunker, Michael Scott, David Brunt thing that we would make a joke that this is clearly inappropriate. But some of that stuff is just not appropriate, even if it’s being made a joke, fun of, and some is. And I don’t know where some of the line is, but what is, what is offensive? What is going to hurt somebody? What is making fun of a character who does this? And is that even OK? Or where’s the line for that? We’re constantly growing and, and have to understand, you know, even if our intention was to do something to show how ridiculous this behavior is at the time. How does that portrayal come across and is that affecting people? And just taking it all in and just trying to educate myself as much as I can about how what we put out there affects people.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:17:15] Yeah, absolutely. I feel like as a creative community, we need to learn and, and reevaluate how we tell stories.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:24] Yeah. And, and like you said, Jan, how those stories affect people.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:17:28] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:28] Yeah. All right, Jen. Well, before you go, can we ask you just a couple of quick little questions about this episode?
JEN CELOTTA [01:17:37] Sure.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:37] OK, first of all, everyone wants to know, is there a significance to Jim and Karen both giving one another a copy of “Bridget Jones Diary”? Is there a story there?
JEN CELOTTA [01:17:48] I, as far as I remember, it was that they saw it together. I don’t think they were fans of it. And they kind of gave it to each other as sort of a joke gift. I remember we were talking about, they wouldn’t be giving each other a really significant gift. Right? At this point, it’s not like a really big gift, but at the same time, it should be a gift that if Pam is watching, will feel like, oh, God, they’re on the same wavelength. So it was like, you don’t want him to give her jewelry, but at the same time, you don’t want just two different gifts where it’s just, you know, A, for just the efficiency of a script where they have to both be explained. Why does this mean something? Why does this mean something? So it was a quick way to sort of say they’re on a similar wavelength, but it’s not a real serious gift. There was a debate between Mindy and Mike about that movie because Mindy would talk about her classic comedy movies. And this is more about her age. She would say Bridget Jones is like a classic comedy and Mike would probably talk, I can’t remember the examples of “The Apartment” or like just-.
JENNA FISCHER [01:19:00] Sure.
JEN CELOTTA [01:19:01] Right? So Mindy got Mike a “Bridget Jones Diary” poster and signed it, and Mike hung it on his wall. So I think the fact that it was a bit of a joke between Mike and Mindy. It ended up getting, that was the specific that we used. So it wasn’t just let’s make fun of a movie that’s super popular and great.
JENNA FISCHER [01:19:22] Angela, you wanted to ask about karaoke?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:19:25] I did. I wanted to ask you, Jen, how you guys decided on the songs that each character would sing. Kevin sings “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette. Michael and Andy sing “Your Body is a Wonderland” by John Mayor. Kelly sings “We Belong”, which is hilarious, by Pat Benatar. Creed sings his own song “Spinnin’ and Reelin’”. And then of course, Dwight sings “Lady” by Styx.
JEN CELOTTA [01:19:47] Yes. So. All right. I remember “We Belong”. Definitely me. I came up with that because I, as soon as I like a guy, I would start singing out in the shower. That is me. That is where me and the Kelly Kapoor character collide. However, I am 99 percent sure it was Mindy that said, “We belong together, Ryan”. Like I did not have that in my draft, I just had her singing. It’s genius. It makes the moment. It’s so good. I just looked up. I had in my writer’s first draft. Kevin singing. One second, please. “Mo Money, Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G. instead of Alanis Morissette. So somehow during the rewrite process it became “You Oughta Know”, which is just fantastic. Where he just goes for it at the end. I watch that scene and I notice, I don’t know if it’s Jim or if it’s John, where you see him laughing and smiling.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:20:48] Oh, he’s breaking.
JEN CELOTTA [01:20:50] At Brian. It feels like he’s breaking. But I-.
JENNA FISCHER [01:20:53] I agree.
JEN CELOTTA [01:20:54] I’m never a 100 percent sure.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:20:55] I wrote it in a tiny code and everything. He’s clearly breaking. You can see his cheeks bulging. And that’s why he does that turn around. He’s like fixated on Kevin because John is breaking.
JEN CELOTTA [01:21:07] That’s amazing. And I do remember we wanted Creed sing one of his own songs. We just thought that was incredible.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:21:12] Yeah.
JEN CELOTTA [01:21:12] Like, just what a cool opportunity. How often do we have that? Like dude was in a band.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:21:17] He was in a band. He’s phenomenal.
JEN CELOTTA [01:21:20] I was going to say one thing that’s in another song thing, but not here. I wrote a joke where Michael says, I got two tickets to Paradise. He says, Pack your bags. We leave the day after tomorrow. And at the sound mix, I found out from Kent that that was a 60,000 dollar joke. I was like, it’s a fine joke, but none of my jokes I’ve ever written have been a 60,000 dollar joke. But I remember not so long after that we had some of our music budget pulled away from us. And I can’t help but think I mean, I was sitting at the mix and had no idea that because of he sang that song, that song had to be cleared and that joke was 60,000 dollars.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:22:03] Jen Celotta, you’re such a delight. I just enjoy you so much. And we just want you to come back as many times as you will, please.
JEN CELOTTA [01:22:11] Oh. I mean, it’s so much fun. It’s so much fun.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:22:14] All right, Jen, thank you so much.
JENNA FISCHER [01:22:16] Thank you so much, Jen.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:22:27] OK, we are back. Let’s break down the rest of this episode. We are at the habachi table and Dwight is decided that he knows more about knives than the Benihana chef.
JENNA FISCHER [01:22:40] Yeah, he’s sort of like, oh, is that in a nakiri? And the chef is like, no, it’s a soba. And Dwight’s like, oh, I bet you wish you had a nakiri. And the chef’s like, actually, this is better for large quantities.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:22:56] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:22:56] And Dwights like I’m not sure.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:22:59] And then I, I wrote down, restaurant lady sass. I love this moment so much. And the actress’s name is Annie Sertich. And she says, I think he would know. And then they look at each other. They like glare at each other. But I loved the way she delivered that line.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:17] Also, want to give a shout out to the chef in the scene who I believe was a real Benihana chef. That’s what Kent told us. I also noticed this is his only credit on IMDB.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:23:28] He also really knew what he was doing.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:30] And his name is Chatree Yodvisotsak.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:23:32] Good job schooling Dwight, Chatree.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:34] Exactly.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:23:35] Well, there is a deleted scene that happens right here, Jenna. And it’s so good. Michael sneaks off to call Carol and he asks her what he did wrong and he’s on the phone for a long time. And then he says, well, all right, could you tell me something that I did right? And then she hangs up.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:56] Oh, no. Oh. Oh, that’s crushing.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:24:00] But just watching Steve as Michael play the moment where he’s listening to her rant and he’s like, OK, well, did I do anything right? It’s, it was really funny.
JENNA FISCHER [01:24:09] After that phone call, is that when he would go back to the table and then Andy’s trying to cheer him up?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:24:14] Yes, exactly. Then Andy’s like, let’s get a round of drinks going, you know, and he tells them about this smoking volcano onion that’s gonna come so that, he comes back from the call, really dejected.
JENNA FISCHER [01:24:26] Ah. And this is what we talked about in the interview with Jen about the, the steam from the onion. I tracked it. It’s 21 minutes, 44 seconds if you want to see a real good shot of some fake onion steam.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:24:39] I tracked it too. Look. I have my time code and everything. I got really excited. OK, where are we? Oh, well, we’re back. We’re back at Scranton. And Pam and Karen have announced that their party is starting. And this is when Angela starts to spiral out and she’s like, I have a very important announcement and she’s trying to, like, make sure her party starts before theirs.
JENNA FISCHER [01:25:04] Yes. And then this is when Angela calls Dwight and she announces that her party has started early. And it’s also here, I tracked this, Angela, because we talked about this with Jen as well. At 20 minutes, 50 seconds, this is that scene where you say, it’s an invitation.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:25:22] Yeah. It’s not a threat. It’s an invitation.
JENNA FISCHER [01:25:25] It’s right there.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:25:26] That’s, that’s when you see how Angela Martin would be in a horror movie.
JENNA FISCHER [01:25:28] Well, also in this scene, we didn’t talk about with Jen at 23 minutes, 20 seconds, there is a really good shot of my gray tights that I’m wearing instead of pantyhose. That’s all.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:25:40] That’s all. Well, Jenna, I have something that I got really excited about. This is a great background catch for my folks that love the background like I do. I mean, I froze it. I took a picture of it. I’m very excited. At 23 minutes, 10 seconds in the deep background, Andy’s screen in accounting looks like someone was surfing the Internet. Zoom in. So then at 23 minutes, 28 seconds, there is a picture of a cat with a cowboy hat screensaver on Andy’s computer.
JENNA FISCHER [01:26:16] I want to say, Angela, this same thing happens in the cold open when Dwight comes in with the goose. I am surfing the Internet. And then the next shot, when you see me at my desk, I have changed it to a screensaver. We were really surfing the Internet and this episode clearly. What happened?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:26:36] We were just like there, like, you know, paying our bills and shopping. So now Angela has announced that her party is starting. Do you know who the very first person to go to the other party is?
JENNA FISCHER [01:26:46] Stanley.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:26:47] He stands there for a long time and looks back and forth and then picks Karen and Pam’s party and he gives a look to camera. Is this Stanley’s first, like, direct look to camera?
JENNA FISCHER [01:26:58] Yes, I think it is.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:27:00] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:27:01] I think it is. I also want to say, Stanley, what were you mulling over? I mean, what took so long? There was, there was a chance you were ever going to go to Angela’s party? A lot of suspense.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:27:16] Well, he might have to put up with Phyllis, you know, because, you know, Phyllis is going to my party. So maybe, maybe it was more layered of a decision. All right. So here’s a breakdown of who goes to Karen and Pam’s party. You have Stanley and you have Kelly and Ryan and Meredith. And then later we see that Darryl and Roy and Creed are all there as well. The only people that go to Angela’s party are Hannah, who’s, by the way, really snarky, she’s so snarky, and Kevin and Phyllis.
JENNA FISCHER [01:27:47] Yeah, but then Kevin is going to leave your party and come to my party.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:27:50] I know. I know.
JENNA FISCHER [01:27:52] We’ll get to it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:27:54] Something I want to point out to everyone is that there is this huge Pam, Karen, Angela stare off, right?
JENNA FISCHER [01:28:01] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:28:02] Yeah, it is for 9 seconds. That’s 9 seconds of dead air time. It starts at 24 minutes, 30 seconds. It goes to 24 minutes, 39 seconds. And I don’t know why but I wrote that’s longer than you have to stay on a bull, in like professional bull riding. You get 8 seconds to stay on a bull. We stared at each other longer than you have to stay on a bull in professional bull riding.
JENNA FISCHER [01:28:27] Well, Angela, I loved that you tracked our stare in bull riding seconds. I think that should be a new standard on our show.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:28:35] You’re welcome. You’re welcome.
JENNA FISCHER [01:28:37] Is it longer or shorter than a bull ride? Well, Angela, this leads me into your talking head. It’s so wonderful, you explain that you don’t back down. It’s a source of pride. And in fact, you have not talked to your sister in 16 years because of an argument that you guys got into. You’re that good. You don’t even remember what the argument was about.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:01] Yeah, she’s really proud of it. She’s proud that she hasn’t spoken to her sister. She doesn’t even know why anymore. But she’s not making that phone call.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:11] Well, we had a fan question.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:13] OK.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:14] Hannah Mack, Lindsay Neem, Allie Burke, Veronica Ramirez and Jesse Clark all said, “Angela says that her sister was her best friend, but they haven’t spoken for 16 years. But then later, her sister Rachel appears at the end of the series in her bridal shower. Where Angela describes them as being very close. Is this the same sister”? OK. I don’t know what you have to say about it, Angela, but I have some facts about it. What is your answer?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:44] No, no, I want to hear your facts.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:45] I looked it up in the show Bible.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:48] Ooh.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:48] And here’s what it said. Season 5, Episode 13, it is revealed that Angela has several sisters. So later at the wedding, we’re referring to one of her sisters, Rachel. Although in the wedding it sort of implies that you only have one sister again. So it is a little ambiguous. What’s your story here, Ang?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:30:10] I always assumed that I had several siblings. You know, I have that line in the Martin family, we say looks like someone took the slow train to Philly. I just assumed there was more than just me and my parents, you know?
JENNA FISCHER [01:30:22] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:30:22] So I assumed I had more siblings and that the sibling at my wedding was not the one that I haven’t spoken to. ‘Cause unless she reached out to me, I’m still not talking to her.
JENNA FISCHER [01:30:34] Well, you made that clear in your talking head.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:30:36] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [01:30:37] That’s for sure. All right. So should we go back to Benihana now? Michael is getting wasted and he is going to steal some steak from a stranger’s plate because he claims it’s family style.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:30:51] And Jim is like, no, it’s not. Jenna, this brings me to, I think we need to start tracking some drinks. OK?
JENNA FISCHER [01:30:58] I love it. If. If. How could we do this podcast without you tracking drinks? It’s your favorite thing.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:31:05] Truly. It’s like my purpose in life is to track these ridiculous things. So I’m gonna take us back for a moment. But at 19 minutes, 40 seconds, that’s when Andy orders the first round. Right?
JENNA FISCHER [01:31:16] OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:31:16] Michael’s come back from this phone call that we didn’t know about. And now Andy orders the first round. Andy, Michael and Dwight all get these cocktails. Jim gets what looks like to be like a Coca-Cola of some kind. It’s like a brown looking soda.
JENNA FISCHER [01:31:30] For my own peace of mind, I’m going to make Jim their designated driver. Go on.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:31:35] Oh, he 100 percent is. OK. And then at 21 minutes, 25 seconds, you see Michael like downing his. He’s like slamming it back. Then at 21 minutes, 31 seconds, Cindy is giving them a second round. Now she just gives it to Andy and Michael. I don’t know about Dwight but at 25 minutes, 8 seconds, there’s two drinks in front of Michael and Andy. So.
JENNA FISCHER [01:32:00] Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:32:00] By my tracking. I think they’ve had at least three.
JENNA FISCHER [01:32:04] OK, so now we have the scene with the waitress where Andy is asking the waitress to close her eyes and imagine her dream house and then describe it to him. And Dwight can’t hear any of this. So he asked Jim to explain what’s happening. Jim says, oh, she’s trying to describe how to butcher a dead goose, but she can’t figure it out. So then Dwight chimes in and it ends up being very creepy and random. And can I just say? I was in food service, guys stop being pervy and weird.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:32:34] Yeah. Just be cordial. Be cordial. I mean, when they asked her to close her eyes, like-.
JENNA FISCHER [01:32:40] Ugh.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:32:40] Did you see how many tables she had? She is so busy. She’s probably in the weeds getting everything out to all these tables. She doesn’t have time to, like, humor some guy who wants to flirt.
JENNA FISCHER [01:32:51] You’re at a restaurant with chefs doing a whole food show for you. That’s your entertainment. Leave your waitress alone. In general, leave your waitresses alone. Come on, everybody. Oh, but before we move on from this table scene, I want to give a shout out to the guest actress who plays the woman at the table.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:33:10] Yes, Annie Sertich who gives Dwight so much sass.
JENNA FISCHER [01:33:14] Yes. Guys, she’s amazing. I feel like she’s only got the one line to Dwight, but her expressions and all of her reactions during the scene are so great. And she is a company member at the Groundlings. She’s had recurring roles on “Silicon Valley” and “Two Broke Girls”. And I did a deep dive on her IMDB and I found this little interesting bit of trivia, Angela.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:33:39] What?
JENNA FISCHER [01:33:41] She was on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” where she played, quote unquote, Buffet Woman.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:33:45] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [01:33:46] And then she was on “Cougar Town” playing female chef. I just thought it was interesting that she’s had three guest roles involving food.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:33:53] I’m also really envious that she got to play Buffet Woman because that’s like the role of my dreams.
JENNA FISCHER [01:34:04] Yes, exactly.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:34:05] All right. We’re back now at the parties. Angela’s is not going well. It’s pretty boring. Phyllis is like desperate to get out of this party. She really is one of my favorite things in this whole episode. Her yearning to be at the other party is so brilliant. Phyllis is so brilliant. And there is a deleted scene. That’s great. That really would have amplified this. She pours herself like a drink and it’s like ginger ale. And she says, oh, there’s not a lot of fizz in this. And she starts to make her way to the door. And I’m like, No, no, no. She goes, I might, should get some more ginger ale. And I’m like, No, no, no. And I block her from leaving. I was like, I’ll go get it. You stay.
JENNA FISCHER [01:34:46] That is amazing.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:34:47] But her reaction when she pours it and she’s like, there’s not a lot of fizz, like you see her plotting to get out of the conference room.
JENNA FISCHER [01:34:56] Well, I also quite enjoyed it in the scene, Hannah. If you look at her in the background, she is like a really examining the napkins. She is giving your napkins like the third degree. I’m sorry, she’s not going to stick around longer. Well, we’ll get to that in future episodes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:35:15] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [01:35:16] All right. Well, Pam and Karen’s party is a big hit, except the karaoke machine won’t work because they don’t have the right cord. But don’t worry, because Darryl is gonna go get his keyboard.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:35:29] And then there’s this scene that I absolutely love. As Darryl walks past the conference room, he’s like, hey, when you’re done with your meeting, there’s a party in the break room.
JENNA FISCHER [01:35:39] But it’s the way Craig says it, because Craig is like, hey, guys, when you get done with your … Meeting. It’s like he doesn’t quite know what to call it. He was like, meeting? You should come to the break room because we’re having an actual party. And I love it. And that’s when at 28 minutes, 24 seconds, Phyllis is standing in the doorway and she sort of gazing at the other party. And then Ryan comes to get his jacket. She’s like, are you cold? That’ll help. Is it cold in there?
JENNA FISCHER [01:36:10] You know what? That was an improv. That was not in the script.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:36:14] Stop it. Stop it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:36:15] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:36:15] Which part? The final line?
JENNA FISCHER [01:36:17] It was scripted that Ryan would come and get his jacket and that Phyllis just says something like, how, how is it in there? And then he’s like, huh? And that was the end of the scene. And then he walks away. So Phyllis being like, maybe that’ll help. Is it cold in there? That was Phyllis.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:36:37] Well, her maybe that would help. Like had me fall out of the chair. Her runner is just absolutely one of my favorites in this whole episode. So now the guys return from Benihana and they have brought waitresses with them.
JENNA FISCHER [01:36:52] So we covered a little bit of the Benihana waitress storyline with Jen, but we did not really talk about this. And we got a lot of fan questions from Emma Bloom, Kelsey K, Kayla Bass, Abby Roleton, Tanessa Lea, Samantha Munden and many others want to know, “Why do the actresses playing the Benihana waitresses change when Michael and Andy bring them back to the office? Is that supposed to feed into the ongoing joke that Michael and Andy can’t tell them apart”? So, no. The idea here was simply that Michael and Andy couldn’t land the original waitresses that they’d been flirting with all night. And then they managed to get these two younger, kind of more naive waitresses to come back with them to the office. And in the script it says Michael and Andy walk in, not with Cindy and her hot friend, but with two other 20-25 year old Asian-American waitresses. So the idea was that these two older, sophisticated women would never go back to a party. But these two younger gals, college age gals, would be like, oh, yeah, like free drinks will go. Who cares?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:38:05] Free drinks.
JENNA FISCHER [01:38:05] Like they’re more up for it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:38:06] Yeah, free drinks. And Michael’s like, and I have a present for you. It’s a bicycle.
JENNA FISCHER [01:38:11] Yes. And she’s thrilled. She’s like, I love it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:38:15] Yeah. Well, I have a background catch at 29 minutes when they walk into the office, the girls have on a lot of makeup. And then at 29 minutes, 12 seconds later, no makeup. What happened?
JENNA FISCHER [01:38:28] Well, Angela, a lot of other people noticed this as well. Sonia Maria Raposa wrote in with a theory.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:38:34] Oh.
JENNA FISCHER [01:38:35] She thinks that they appear with makeup at first because that’s how Michael perceives them to be because he’s drunk. And then they appear with no makeup, because that’s what they truly look like. It’s not the case. Jen did a little bit of a deep dive and she actually found an interview that her and Greg did on an “Office” panel about this exact thing. And she said basically it was a continuity error.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:38:59] Yeah, exactly. She was telling us that the first day that they worked, they put makeup on them. Then they watched the dailies and they were like, well, wait, that doesn’t really track for who they are in the show as their characters, these younger college girls. And, you know, they’re they shouldn’t look that sophisticated. So the next time they worked, they toned down, didn’t have them have makeup on. So it was as simple as that.
JENNA FISCHER [01:39:21] Yeah. They really wanted to drive home this idea that these were college girls to kind of further emphasize how ridiculous Michael’s infatuation and belief that he’s found his true love is. Yeah. And Michael now starts going around the office and introducing Nikki as his new girlfriend. Everyone is like girlfriend? Huh? Really?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:39:43] Well, they realized pretty quickly that Angela’s party is super lame. And as they leave, Nikki takes one of Angela’s decorations and Angela is ticked off and she insults her with the Hello Kitty backpack line.
JENNA FISCHER [01:39:57] It’s just a horrible thing to say. And Michael wants to get Nikki away from Angela as soon as possible. So he takes her to the really fun party in the break room, we have Kevin singing karaoke.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:40:14] Yeah, go to 31 minutes, 14 seconds. And please watch Ryan. It is the most animated I’ve ever seen him. He’s like swaying back and forth, singing like, “you oughta know”. He’s like so into it. I’m like, what’s happening, Ryan? Is he drunk too?
JENNA FISCHER [01:40:29] Well, I did have a fan question from this scene.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:40:32] OK.
JENNA FISCHER [01:40:32] From Sasha Lara, who wants to know, does Craig Robinson play the keyboard in real life? Oh, Sasha. Yes, he does. He definitely does.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:40:41] Oh. He’s phenomenal. Are you kidding? He’s amazing.
JENNA FISCHER [01:40:45] And in those scenes on the show, when Craig would get out the keyboard, it really did turn into a party. Like that was really fun to shoot. Angela, I’m sorry that you weren’t in there, but we were having an amazing time. And between takes, Craig would play and we would sing and Kate would sing show tunes. And I mean, it was like, it was exactly as much fun as you would imagine it would be.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:41:09] I’m bummed I wasn’t in that scene to be able to hang out with you guys like that. But I cherish the times we were all in the conference room. And if Craig for, you know, in the latter years he was in the main office bullpen and he and Kate would start singing. And Ed. I have found a video on my phone. Oh, my God, Jenna, it’s us in the conference room and they just start making up a song and like, and everyone is singing and it’s so great. I love it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:41:39] Those are some of my favorite memories.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:41:41] I’ll text you the video.
JENNA FISCHER [01:41:42] Lady, should we go back to your super sad party?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:41:45] Oh, I guess.
JENNA FISCHER [01:41:46] Angela’s having a horrible day, but a big thing happens here, which is that Dwight holds Angela’s hand.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:41:54] I know. It’s like a very, very small moment. She’s holding her boombox in her lap and they hold hands.
JENNA FISCHER [01:42:01] Well, this is when then Karen enters and announces that Dwight won the raffle, which, of course, is like a super passive aggressive thing to try to lure Dwight into the fun of their party. And as Dwight is excitedly opening the gift, Pam kind of clocks Angela’s sadness and pulls Karen aside and says, I feel kind of bad for Angela.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:42:26] Hold up. Did Dwight really not win the raffle?
JENNA FISCHER [01:42:31] No, lady. We just did that to try to lure him to our party.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:42:35] This whole time, I-.
JENNA FISCHER [01:42:35] When did he have time to enter the raffle?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:42:37] I don’t know, but this whole time, I thought he won the raffle and I was like, Oh my god, Dwight won the raffle.
JENNA FISCHER [01:42:45] I mean, I always took it to be like another, like how we lured Kevin away from your party. This is how we were gonna lure Dwight away by coming into your party and, like, trying to poach him.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:42:57] Oh, my God. Mean girls. Here I am all naive thinking like, way to go, Dwight.
JENNA FISCHER [01:43:04] I mean, I don’t think he won the raffle. That was my take on it was that it was a little bit of a mean girls moment on Pam and Karen’s part.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:43:12] OK. But you get Karen to come around and now you guys try to make amends.
JENNA FISCHER [01:43:17] We do. And by the way, I mean, we may have passive aggressively let Dwight win the raffle, but you stole our power cord and hit it in a plant.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:43:26] I know, I was about to say, you guys faked a raffle and I’m shocked by that. How could you? But I full on stole the cable and hid it in a plant.
JENNA FISCHER [01:43:37] Yes. You sabotaged our karaoke machine. OK, so now the parties have merged and the karaoke machine has its cord. And we opened with Andy and Michael singing “Your Body is a Wonderland”. Michael is not sure which waitress is his girlfriend here, so he’s singing to both of them. So we talked a little bit with Jen about all the different songs that people sing for karaoke. But we did not touch on this one. And I have some really good trivia about it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:44:06] Let’s hear it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:44:07] So we reached out to John Mayer to ask him if we could use his song, “Your Body is a Wonderland”. And it was actually B.J. Novak who reached out to him because B.J. knew him.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:44:16] Knows him. They’re pals.
JENNA FISCHER [01:44:19] He reached out to him and he was like, can we use this? And at first, John Mayer was like, I don’t think so.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:44:28] What? He told his friend, no, not happening.
JENNA FISCHER [01:44:31] He was like, I don’t think so. And he actually wrote about this on his blog. He was like, one of my favorite shows on television, “The Office”, wanted to use my song, “Your Body is a Wonderland”, in a scene for their Christmas episode. And he was like, Now, I’m not making apologies for my work, but it’s safe to say I don’t get asked to use “Wonderland” for strong man competitions and documentaries about aircraft carriers. I usually get asked so that people can goof on it. So I initially turned down their request. But after thinking about it, I decided to go for it. But with one stipulation.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:45:07] What was it?
JENNA FISCHER [01:45:10] He wrote, I want to Dundee.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:45:15] Ah!
JENNA FISCHER [01:45:15] So B.J. presented him with a Dundee for tallest music dude.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:45:20] He is very tall.
JENNA FISCHER [01:45:21] He’s very tall. And then he agreed to let us use the song.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:45:24] Well, look, I get it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:45:26] Andy and Michael are being total idiots in this episode. And so do you want your song to be the song the two idiots picked? Right?
JENNA FISCHER [01:45:34] Right. But he agreed. And Angela, we have a very fun story about John Mayor. We danced at the “Walk Hard” premiere party with John Mayor. And you were very pregnant.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:45:44] Look, this is like true BFF friendship because I did not feel like being in a dress or in any kind of fancy shoes. But this was a big premiere for you and I was, so excited to celebrate it. And then, of course, because you and I have to we had to dance. Listen, I left the afterparty before 10:00 p.m. I was like, I’m out. But I was going to have one dance with my best friend at her big movie premiere. And John Mayor was on the dance floor and he was dancing with someone. And I’ll never forget, he turned around. And I’m sure he was really surprised to see a huge pregnant woman, like, directly behind him. And he was like, oh, my God. He goes, You’re so beautiful. And then he touched my belly and he said, Blessings. Blessings. I will never forget it. My belly was blessed by John Mayor.
JENNA FISCHER [01:46:35] And John thank you from us for letting us use your song.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:46:38] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:46:40] And he said he still has his Dundee, by the way. He still has it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:46:43] He better still have his Dundee. I have both of mine.
JENNA FISCHER [01:46:48] I have both of mine. So now we have the scene that where Michael is over with Roy and Kevin. And he’s kind of trying to brag about his new girlfriend, but it’s very clear that he doesn’t know which one is Nikki.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:47:00] Right.
JENNA FISCHER [01:47:01] Kevin and Roy are like, you don’t know? You should know, Michael. You should know. This leads Michael to really spin out. He needs to figure out which woman is his girlfriend. So he goes into the kitchen and he does this whole elaborate bit where he’s like, where’s my girlfriend? Where is she? Is she in the refrigerator? And it’s this, such this awkward moment where finally Nikki says, Michael, you know where I am. I’m right here. So then when Michael goes in for a hug,hHe takes out a pen and he marks Nikki’s arm because this is now how he’s going to be able to determine which one of these women is his girlfriend. And Angela, this moment really made me cringe.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:47:54] Yeah, it made me cringe too. I just don’t think the storyline would have been written today.
JENNA FISCHER [01:48:01] Yeah, I don’t think so either.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:48:04] All right. Well, let’s get back to the party. It’s going really well. Everyone’s having a better time. Karen and Jim exchanged “Bridget Jones Diary”. And Jen told us the story about that.
JENNA FISCHER [01:48:16] Yes. And Pam gives Toby a robe. Where she got it, I don’t know.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:48:20] Maybe it’s her robe.
JENNA FISCHER [01:48:22] That was a fan theory that Pam gives Toby her robe. I like that.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:48:26] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:48:27] And that’s when the waitresses decide to leave, though. She’s like, you know what? This party kind of sucks and we’re gonna take off. And Michael’s like, no, don’t go, don’t go. She’s like, I’m gonna go. And that’s when he invites her on a trip to Sandals, Jamaica. It’s all inclusive.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:48:47] He is determined to get someone to go on this trip. That is the third person in one day he has asked to go. He asked Carol. He asked Pam. And now he’s asked Nikki, the waitress.
JENNA FISCHER [01:49:00] Yeah. But she’s like, no, I think I’m just gonna take my bike and get out of here.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:49:04] Yeah, get out of your lame party.
JENNA FISCHER [01:49:06] I’m sorry. I really love that she takes the bike.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:49:09] Oh, I do too.
JENNA FISCHER [01:49:11] She’s like, I have this bike at least.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:49:14] Yeah. So Michael is devastated. And he’s on the couch with Jim. And Michael is really mopey. He’s like, she was the one. She was my true love. And she’s gone. And Jim is like you barely knew her. You knew her for three hours. She’s not the one. She was a rebound. And Michael’s, like, oh my God, a rebound. And Jim’s like, yeah. And he goes on to say, which don’t get me wrong, can be a great distraction. But when it’s over, you’re left thinking about the girl you really like, the one who broke your heart.
JENNA FISCHER [01:49:48] And Jim is, I mean we know who Jim’s talking about in that moment. He’s talking about him and Pam. And he’s basically saying, Karen’s a rebound, just like Nikki was a rebound.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:50:00] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [01:50:01] Yeah, but all Michael hears is that he’s had a rebound and he’s, he’s super excited.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:50:07] Yeah. But, Jim, we hear you. We hear you.
JENNA FISCHER [01:50:10] We hear you, Jim. We hear you. You love Pam. We hear you. Now, Angela, we need to discuss “Little Drummer Boy”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:50:18] OK.
JENNA FISCHER [01:50:21] We had a fan question from Amanda Jervais.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:50:25] Hey.
JENNA FISCHER [01:50:25] Hey. Spelled differently than Ricky Gervais, but she wants to know, “How was it decided that Dwight should hold the microphone for Angela? I found this choice really interesting because they don’t want to look like they’re dating. But this was kind of the first impression that they gave of interacting in a personal way in front of the entire office”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:50:50] Well, here’s, here’s my story. I was terrified to sing the song in front of everyone. I do not like singing in front of people. I, I just am not comfortable singing in front of people. It’s kind of crazy to my whole family because I will do improv. I’ll do standup. I’ll do crazy sketch comedy. I’ll be all these weird characters. I have no fear, ever, getting up on stage. But if you want me to sing in front of people, it’s like I, I shut down. Like my brain computer is like, buh, I can’t do it. And there’s been a few times in my career when I’ve had to do this, and this was the first time and I was terrified. And I’ll never forget. I went up to Harold Ramis, who, you guys, you know, we’ve said he was just a teddy bear. And I went up to him and I was like, Here’s the thing, Harold. I, I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I, I really just can’t sing in front of people and I can’t do it. He really calmly put his hand on my back and looked at me and said, But you will.
JENNA FISCHER [01:52:01] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:52:04] I was like, oh, God. Oh no, I’m doing it. I am doing it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:52:08] But Angela, I looked in the script and this bit of Dwight holding the microphone is not in the script. So how did that happen?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:52:15] I shared with Rainn how scared I was. You know, we did it take or two where the microphone was on a stand, you know? And I’m standing, holding my hands, like in this very sort of like, I don’t know, I’m, I’m clutching my hands.
JENNA FISCHER [01:52:29] Very prim and proper.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:52:29] Very prim and proper, clutching my hands in front of my chest. This was an idea that Jen had, you know, and so I’m standing like this because she was saying that she thought I should look like I’m in a very serious church choir stance or something, you know? So.
JENNA FISCHER [01:52:43] OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:52:44] So I’m standing like that. And you guys, I was so nervous. I was digging my fingernails into the skin of my other hand. I had marks on my hands where I was just like, ah, like death gripping myself. And after the first take, I showed Rainn my hands. I was like, I am so, look what I’m doing? I’m so nervous. And Rainn, you know, listen. He just came through for me, you guys, just came through for me. I was having a hard time, even though I know the song. I was so nervous and everyone was looking at me. I was having a hard time staying on beat and he dropped, he took the microphone, he improvised this. He took the microphone. He dropped to his knee and to help me, like, find the song. He’s just started going by rippa bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. And all of a sudden, I wasn’t alone. Rainn was with me. I mean, Rainn is 6’3, so when he’s kneeling down, he’s almost my height. It was like he was standing side by side with me. And then I could do it. And you see, if you watch ever so slightly, you see me smile. I’m not smiling because Angela loves Dwight and she’s getting to sing a Christmas song. I’m smiling because Angela Kinsey sees her friend Rainn Wilson come through for her.
JENNA FISCHER [01:54:06] Well, lady, I knew that story and I was there when it happens. And when I watched this scene, I 100 percent saw that this was a scene between Angela Kinsey and Rainn Wilson.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:54:18] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:54:19] The way he’s supporting you and the way you’re smiling at him, it is so wonderful. And then it translates into this moment between Dwight and Angela that just enriches that relationship. What a wonderful, wonderful moment.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:54:38] It really is. Anyway, so Rainn, thank you so much for coming through for me with your rippa, bum, bum and getting me through that scene.
JENNA FISCHER [01:54:46] Now, during all of this, Angela, Oscar and Gil walk into the party.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:54:52] What?
JENNA FISCHER [01:54:53] And he’s like, too soon.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:54:55] What brilliant timing, though. I mean, that was such a well-written moment. Here he is making his return to work. You know, he’s bringing his boyfriend. That’s it. Oscar is back. Right?
JENNA FISCHER [01:55:08] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:55:08] And then he sees Angela, of all people, singing “Little Drummer Boy”. And he just does a pivot. He’s like, nope, not happening.
JENNA FISCHER [01:55:18] Also during this in the background, we see Roy give Pam a Christmas gift. And we had some people write in to ask, “What book did Roy get Pam for Christmas? Was it a really thoughtful gift”? This was asked by Juliette Wilson, Donna Miller, Celia Quiggle, Dimitri Elizeu, Sarah Thorpe, Sarah Fletcher and Brooke Biegel. A lot of people want to know what the present was.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:55:43] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:55:43] You guys. It was an art book. It was a very thoughtful present.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:55:48] Roy is winning me over. He wasn’t the best boyfriend.
JENNA FISCHER [01:55:51] Same.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:55:51] Fiancé, but he’s really trying. He’s, you know, invested in how to learned, how to gift wrap. And he is dressing nicer and he’s getting in shape. He is like, I’m going to buy you a thoughtful gift and.
JENNA FISCHER [01:56:08] I know. This was intentional. There was a part of the season where I thought Pam might be won over by Roy.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:56:16] And they weren’t even sure in the writers room, right? They hadn’t decided.
JENNA FISCHER [01:56:20] No. No. I had this whole conversation with Greg where I was like, Greg, wouldn’t it be like a crazy, crazy thing if the real true love story is Pam and Roy? Like, what if all this time, Jim is just a device that leads Pam to her real, true love of Roy and Roy completely rehabilitates himself. And that’s the love story of “The Office”. It would blow people’s minds. And Greg was kind of like, yeah, I hear what you’re saying. I also think it’s going to be Jim and Pam. But I was like I’m just saying, if we really want to shock people, maybe it’s Pam and Roy.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:57:04] Well, there.
JENNA FISCHER [01:57:04] And he was like, Yeah. I don’t know.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:57:06] There are people listening right now that are like, No! Oh.
JENNA FISCHER [01:57:07] I know.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:57:07] So instead of Jam fans, there would have been Poy fans?
JENNA FISCHER [01:57:14] Poy fans. Ram fans.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:57:19] Ram fans.
JENNA FISCHER [01:57:20] Well, I ultimately I do believe that it was always gonna be Jim and Pam, but we we had, like, a pause. We had a moment. I think partially because David Denman’s performance, we were all a little bit falling in love with Roy right now.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:57:35] Yeah. Yeah. He did a great job. I think it was such an excellent foil to see Roy step it up, you know, and I think that needed to happen. I think Mindy sort of touched on that when she was a guest that like we needed to see Roy, like, really make a go of it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:57:51] Yeah, well, I want to say something. What’s up with Jim? Jim clocks this through the window and then all of a sudden he’s like, hey, Pam, I want to do your CIA joke. Oh, do you, Jim? You do. Interesting timing.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:58:10] Well.
JENNA FISCHER [01:58:10] That you’re suddenly invested in the CIA joke. Why couldn’t he have just left while enough alone?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:58:16] Well, Pam was delighted. It literally saved the day for her.
JENNA FISCHER [01:58:21] Yeah, she was thrilled. And it’s very fun. They decide that they’re gonna tell Dwight that a helicopter will be picking him up. And he goes up to the roof and then they play that final prank on him.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:58:37] I know. And then he throws his phone off the roof. Dwight.
JENNA FISCHER [01:58:42] Amazing.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:58:43] Dwight. Come on, buddy.
JENNA FISCHER [01:58:45] Well, we can’t. And this episode without the major cliffhanger, which is that we spot Michael on the phone in his office, inviting someone, a fourth person to Jamaica. And they say, yes!
ANGELA KINSEY [01:58:57] And the look on his face, he’s like, oh, OK. Like, oh my God.
JENNA FISCHER [01:59:02] But who he has called? We don’t know. It will be revealed next week in “Back from Vacation”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:59:09] I remember at the table read for this, when he read that last line, there was such a buzz in the room. They’re like, oooh.
JENNA FISCHER [01:59:16] We know who it is.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:59:17] We know.
JENNA FISCHER [01:59:17] But.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:59:18] You guys know. And next week we’ll talk all about it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:59:22] Well, that’s it. We had “A Benihana Christmas”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:59:24] We had awesome guests. Thank you, Rashida. Thank you, Jen. And thanks you guys for listening.
JENNA FISCHER [01:59:30] Yeah. We’ll see you next week. Bye. Thank you for listening to “Office Ladies”. “Office Ladies” is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Our producer is Codi Fischer. Our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer.