November 22, 2022
EP. 145.5 — A Look Back on Company Picnic
It’s Thanksgiving break and what better way to spend it than reminiscing on another great Michael and Holly episode? Take a look back when all the branches of Dunder Mifflin gathered for a company-wide picnic. Michael reconnects with Holly and the Scranton branch come together to slay at volleyball until Pam and Jim discover some very surprising news. The ladies break down why this episode needed “special business performers,” Angela reveals some epic volleyball moves and Jenna shares how the big season finale news was kept under wraps. So grab your soup snake and enjoy this very special episode! Happy Thanksgiving!
Link to Jennie Tan’s “Company Picnic” write-up on “Office Tally”: https://www.officetally.com/the-office-company-picnic
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145.5 — A Look Back on Company Picnic
Jenna [00:00:03] I’m Jenna Fischer.
Angela [00:00:04] And I’m Angela Kinsey.
Jenna [00:00:06] We were on The Office together.
Angela [00:00:07] And we’re best friends.
Jenna [00:00:08] And now we’re doing the ultimate Office rewatch podcast just for you.
Angela [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 [00:00:19] We’re the Office Ladies. Angela Kinsey!
Angela [00:00:24] Jenna Fischer.
Jenna [00:00:26] I think I have a meta moment because today in the world, the one hundredth episode of Office Ladies podcast came out.
Angela [00:00:35] Yes.
Jenna [00:00:36] And now here we are recording our podcast about the 100th episode of The Office.
Angela [00:00:42] That’s very meta.
Jenna [00:00:43] And our ages almost equal 100.
Angela [00:00:46] Oh, well, why did you have to throw that in there?
Jenna [00:00:48] I don’t know. I was looking for more hundreds.
Angela [00:00:53] All right. Well, we should get into this episode. We have so much to cover.
Jenna [00:00:57] We do. This is going to be a long one. That’s what she said. It’s Company Picnic. Season five, episode twenty eight, written by Jen Celotta and Paul Lieberstein, directed by the dearest man on the planet, Ken Kwapis. Summary: It’s the Dunder Mifflin Company picnic.
Angela [00:01:17] All of them are there. All the branches.
Jenna [00:01:20] Yes, in their own special T-shirts that have their branch name on them.
Angela [00:01:24] Oh, I have it, lady, we’ll get to it.
Jenna [00:01:26] Well, the Scranton branch is going to compete against the other branches in a companywide volleyball tournament. Meanwhile, Michael and Holly reunite to perform a comedy skit where they accidentally reveal some confidential information to the crowd.
Angela [00:01:43] David Wallace, why would you tell Michael Scott anything of that magnitude and expect him to keep it quiet?
Jenna [00:01:50] When David introduces their skit, one of my favorite lines is when he says, I have not seen this.
Angela [00:01:57] I have not seen this. Yeah.
Jenna [00:02:01] Finally, Dwight is going to defend Angela’s honor.
Angela [00:02:05] To Rolf.
Jenna [00:02:06] Yeah. And ultimately, an ankle injury is going to send Pam to the hospital, where she and Jim get some surprising news.
Angela [00:02:15] So sweet. I love this episode.
Jenna [00:02:18] Fast fact number one: Company Picnic was the one hundredth episode of The Office.
Angela [00:02:24] Yes!
Jenna [00:02:25] This was a very big deal for the network because it meant our show was now eligible for syndication.
Angela [00:02:31] Which I didn’t even know what that meant.
Jenna [00:02:33] I thought maybe we should explain it.
Angela [00:02:35] OK, do, because I remember when we hit 100, I was like, What’s all the hullabaloo? Yes, sure, we hit a hundred. That’s cool.
Jenna [00:02:39] I know. Big milestone.
Angela [00:02:39] Maybe, you know, we’ll all go out to dinner or something.
Jenna [00:02:44] No. For the network, super big.
Angela [00:02:47] They all showed up to the set.
Jenna [00:02:48] They did. They brought a cake.
Angela [00:02:51] It was as big as like a poker table.
Jenna [00:02:54] It was humongous.
Angela [00:02:55] It was. That’s what she said.
Jenna [00:02:57] That’s what she said. They brought champagne.
Angela [00:02:59] But we couldn’t drink it.
Jenna [00:03:01] No, because we had to go back to work.
Angela [00:03:02] We had to go. We actually only had 15 minutes with the cake all said and told. It was on our lunch break. So if you wanted to eat, we had 30 minutes, photo with the cake, and then we had to like, run out the door.
Jenna [00:03:14] Well, I remember Greg gave a very nice speech.
Angela [00:03:16] He did.
Jenna [00:03:17] About what the 100 episodes had meant to him. Entertainment Tonight was there. All the press was there. I mean, this was a super big deal. Let’s tell you why. When a show hits 100 episodes and goes into syndication, it means that the network can now start selling the show in a package to different places where they can rerun it. So it doesn’t just run on NBC anymore.
Angela [00:03:41] It gets on all the cable networks.
Jenna [00:03:44] Like Comedy Central, how it reruns on Comedy Central.
Angela [00:03:46] Right. And guys, remember this predates all streaming. So this was all kind of a cable thing.
Jenna [00:03:54] But this meant big money for the network.
Angela [00:03:57] I didn’t know that, but it makes sense because these other places pay them to have it.
Jenna [00:04:02] Yes. But what I think a lot of people don’t know is that the actors do not cash in on this unless they are what is called profit participants.
Angela [00:04:12] Oh yeah, and guess what? We weren’t.
Jenna [00:04:13] We were not. Now our union SAG does negotiate a small fee for syndicated reruns. So it’s very fun. You get checks and they’re great.
Angela [00:04:24] They’re great, but they have you guys this like cascading tier. So you get a check and you’re like, woopeee, and the next one a little lower, then it’s a little lower, then it’s a little lower, then it’s a little lower, then it’s like $2.
Jenna [00:04:36] Well, you know, that bar that they have called Residuals in Burbank?
Angela [00:04:39] Yes. This is a famous bar, you guys.
Jenna [00:04:42] Yeah. So there’s this bar called Residuals. And if you’re an actor and you bring in a residual check that’s under a dollar, they’ll give you a free drink and then they tack your check up on the wall.
Angela [00:04:52] Yeah, I have a friend of mine who saved a residual check for I think it was 17 cents, and like put it on his bulletin board.
Jenna [00:05:00] Lady. I got one for 21 cents. It costs more money to mail it to me, probably. And to print it.
Angela [00:05:07] Yeah.
Jenna [00:05:08] Yeah, exactly.
Angela [00:05:09] So yeah, they were able to make a lot of money selling the show to cable. And then eventually, you guys. I mean, you know, they were able to sell it to all the streamers.
Jenna [00:05:18] Yeah, I guess we should probably say the actors don’t get a big payout for that either. That money goes to the profit participants.
Angela [00:05:26] See the word profit participant is something I had never heard of. And as it turns out, if you’re one of those folks, that is the shiitake.
Jenna [00:05:35] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:05:36] Mm hmm. Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:05:38] It sure is. Angela, you found out the inspiration for our 100th episode while listening to the DVD commentary. Will you share?
Angela [00:05:47] I will. I’m officially part of fast fact number one, folks.
Jenna [00:05:51] Oh yeah.
Angela [00:05:52] Here’s the thing if you love really good DVD commentaries, this is one not to miss of The Office box set because Ken Kwapis and Paul Lieberstein and Jen Celotta share so many great details. They were the only three people on this commentary, and I really enjoyed it. Paul shared that the idea for the company picnic, they had it at the very beginning of season five. They always knew that they would be working towards this episode.
Jenna [00:06:17] Wow.
Angela [00:06:18] And Jen shared that they wanted to bring all of the branches together. They research company picnics. This delighted me because I just imagine Jen Googling company picnics.
Jenna [00:06:29] She was a lady who googled.
Angela [00:06:31] I was going to say, like, that would have been us. We would have been like, wait, lets research what people do. And one of the things that came up was a volleyball tournament. So they thought that would be fun. And Paul said he thought it was a great way to bring everyone back together. All the different branches, all the different characters for this big one 100th episode. The only characters you don’t see that were in the world of the show really were Jan, but it doesn’t make sense for Jan to come back.
Jenna [00:06:57] Yes.
Angela [00:06:57] And Karen.
Jenna [00:06:58] Yes, we got mail about that. Where was Karen? And Jen Celotta did an interview where she said Rashida Jones was filming Parks and Recreation, and they couldn’t get her for a whole week of work to be at this picnic. And then they realized, wait, she would be on maternity leave. So they tracked her storywise as being on maternity leave, and that’s why she wasn’t there.
Angela [00:07:22] Well, that worked out perfect. While the volleyball was a great idea, Ken did share that it was a logistical nightmare because they started filming and they were trying to keep with the rules of volleyball, which means the teams trade sides depending on score or whatever. But they just had to bail. They had to bail because it just got too complicated. And Jen said she had this memory of looking over at Ken and he had a clipboard and he had a little quarter and he was tracing this coin, you know, with a pencil and placing it and mapping out where everyone was going to stand and who was serving and who was playing what position because it was so complex to shoot.
Jenna [00:08:02] I thought it was interesting that they chose volleyball. Any company picnic I’ve ever been to, it’s usually softball, but I do see how that people are really spread out in softball. So I guess that makes sense to me.
Angela [00:08:16] Right.
Jenna [00:08:16] But I mean, I can’t even imagine.
Angela [00:08:19] Jen and Paul shared this other thing. Jen said that her and Paul, as they wrote this episode, they thought that each team had nine players, and so they wrote the whole script with each team having nine players.
Jenna [00:08:30] Oh no.
Angela [00:08:31] And then they got to the production meeting, and in the production meeting, someone was like, you know, on volleyball teams, you have six players on the court, not nine. And Paul and them were like, what? But yeah, so they had to change that like immediately. And I have more fun tidbits from the three of them in the commentary I’ll sprinkle through the episode.
Jenna [00:08:51] All right, Angela. Great job on that fast fact.
Angela [00:08:55] Oh, thank you.
Jenna [00:08:56] I really enjoyed that.
Angela [00:08:57] Thanks so much.
Jenna [00:08:57] You told me. You were like Jenna. There’s some great stuff about the inspiration behind the episode, and I said, I’m holding a spot for you up in fast facts, lady.
Angela [00:09:05] You did.
Jenna [00:09:06] All right. Fast fact number two is a location breakdown. Now, the signs hanging in this episode say that this picnic is being held at The Meadows in upstate New York. I could not find any information on this, or if this is a real place.
Angela [00:09:25] Fakey place.
Jenna [00:09:26] Perhaps. Does anyone know? Please comment on Office Ladies Pod. If you’ve ever been to a park called The Meadows in upstate New York, I’d love to know. Fan question Raian from Pakistan would like to know, Where did we actually film this episode? Well, we filmed at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu Canyon. It is a beautiful location. It’s kind of nestled into the side of this canyon in the Malibu mountains. Did you know it has its own water source from a spring on the property?
Angela [00:10:00] I didn’t know that, but I know a lot of people get married there. I’ve been to a wedding there.
Jenna [00:10:05] You know what? Randy Cordray knew about this location because he had been the best man at a wedding there, and when the script came up, he remembered it and suggested it to our locations manager Kyle Alexander. And they scouted it, and they all agreed it was perfect. So now, Angela, you mentioned how Ken Kwapis said like, this was a logistically difficult shoot. Randy said this was a very difficult episode to pull off logistically from a production side because we had so many people.
Angela [00:10:35] So many people and we were in the middle of a canyon.
Jenna [00:10:38] He said we had to hire additional crew, including multiple medics. And we had hydration stations and sunscreen stations, and Sergio and Alan, our caterers, they had to triple their staff. They had three lines to serve lunch. Like three buffet lines. And then Peter and Vartan at craft service, they also had three stations instead of one. It was a lot of concern about being able to feed everybody because all the background food people were told not to eat.
Angela [00:11:11] Yeah, it was fakey food.
Jenna [00:11:13] It was real food, but it had been at various temperatures that made it sort of unsafe to eat. So if you watched the episode, you might notice no one eats anything off of their plates of food. Check it out.
Angela [00:11:26] Ken said there was probably like 250 people there.
Jenna [00:11:29] Guess what my fast fact number three is, lady?
Angela [00:11:31] What?
Jenna [00:11:33] I’ll tell you, we had 14 guest actors, our regular cast and a hundred and eighty five background performers for this episode. Also, I thought this was interesting… Some of the background performers were called Special Business Performers.
Angela [00:11:51] Special Business?
Jenna [00:11:52] You know what their special business was?
Speaker 3 [00:11:54] Volleyball?
Jenna [00:11:55] Yeah, playing volleyball for hours on end. Lady, were you ever a background performer?
Angela [00:12:01] You know it.
Jenna [00:12:02] That’s how I earned my SAG card.
Angela [00:12:03] Yeah, same.
Jenna [00:12:04] Did you have any special business listed on your background performer resume?
Angela [00:12:09] Yes, I did.
Jenna [00:12:10] What was your special business?
Angela [00:12:11] That I could speak Indonesian.
Jenna [00:12:13] Oh. My special business was water skiing, bowling and animal handling.
Angela [00:12:21] Oh, I also put I could play tennis and roller skate.
Jenna [00:12:25] Those are a big deal.
Angela [00:12:26] Yeah, that’s a big deal. I was on 90210.
Jenna [00:12:29] Did you have to do any of your special business?
Angela [00:12:31] I didn’t. I was one of Tori Spelling’s sorority sisters, but I did pass the ballots of a voting, a sorority voting like session to- I handed them to Tori.
Jenna [00:12:43] Oh, you got to interact.
Angela [00:12:45] Yes, briefly. I said nothing. I just handed some paper to her.
Jenna [00:12:48] I was an extra on the movie Pleasantville, starring Reese Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire, and I had to play a teenager, and that was really fun because I got to dress up in old timey clothes the whole time. But check this out. They came into the extras holding area because they needed three couples to make out in the backseat of a car. They were going to like pan across all these different couples making out until they got to the car with the lead actors.
Angela [00:13:16] Were you part of the make out couples?
Jenna [00:13:18] No, you would have become a featured extra if you did it and you got a bump in pay, but I felt too shy, so I didn’t volunteer. But lady, we had a very special background performer on this episode of The Office, and it was Jenny Tan who runs the fan website OfficeTally.com.
Angela [00:13:36] Yes.
Jenna [00:13:37] We had all become friends with her and she was invited to spend the entire week with us getting an exclusive look at the finale and they asked her to be an extra and lady, she documented all five days of shooting this episode on OfficeTally.com. It is still there and she has tons of photos.
Angela [00:13:59] Amazing.
Jenna [00:14:00] She also gave this amazing breakdown of what it was like to be a background performer on Company Picnic.
Angela [00:14:07] Oh my gosh, are you going to share?
Jenna [00:14:08] Yes!
Angela [00:14:09] You guys, Jenny was sort of someone who made a community for the office online before anyone was doing that.
Jenna [00:14:16] Before social media.
Angela [00:14:17] Before social media. And she was there for the show, providing this community in our earliest days when we didn’t even know the future of the show, and it meant a lot to all of us.
Jenna [00:14:29] And we would reach out to her and give her like exclusive tips or content or photos that she would post on the website. And it became kind of the hub.
Angela [00:14:37] Yeah, and this was before networks did any kind of social media or website for any of their shows. And our show had this presence because of Jenny.
Jenna [00:14:47] And so her documenting of our show is very extensive and it’s all still there on OfficeTally.com. There’s all these exclusive interviews. It’s amazing. She said. You could really tell the people who were professional background artists because they would bring tons of gear, like rolling luggage filled with what she said, “outerwear for every possible weather condition”, chairs, water, snacks, something to read. It’s like, you know when you go to the beach and you see people like, come with the wagon full of stuff or at the soccer game? That’s a professional background performer.
Angela [00:15:24] Oh yeah, I remember doing background work and there was a guy that had a backpack that was a chair.
Jenna [00:15:29] Yes.
Angela [00:15:30] And you could open the backpack and there was stuff inside or you could unfold it and sit in it.
Jenna [00:15:34] Because background performers do not get trailers. You mostly are going to be directed to a holding area with some folding chairs in it. But my experience was there were never enough chairs for each person.
Angela [00:15:44] Never enough chairs, and they’re usually outside.
Jenna [00:15:47] Yeah. So Jenny said that when she first went to the wardrobe tent, she was given an apron to wear and she said she would be a grill cook. But then, about an hour later, production pulled her aside and made her a Buffalo branch employee. And then they winked and said, You’re going to be part of a special branch. But she didn’t know what that meant yet. And get this. Jenny talked to a bunch of the background folks, and she said that most of them were not Office fans, that they had never seen the show, and that a few of them did not know who Steve Carell was. She said they were thrilled to be working on our show because we had a reputation for treating background performers very, very well and for providing great food. She said one person told her from a work perspective to be able to be an extra on The Office for an entire week, I feel like I won the lottery. So that made me really proud that our show did a good job because as a person who did a lot of background work… Yeah. It meant a lot. Usually, the background performers were like the last people who get to go through the lunch line and it’s like, what’s left? Almost nothing. And you were not allowed to go to craft services. But on our show, we had a whole buffet set aside just for the background performers and a whole craft services table that they kept full. And it was awesome.
Angela [00:17:09] Well, you know, that’s Randy Cordray. Randy took care of everyone. However you were a part of our show, he was going to make sure you were taken care of.
Jenna [00:17:18] That is absolutely true, lady. All right, lady. Those are all my fast facts. I mean, it’s a lot.
Angela [00:17:23] Well, it’s a huge episode.
Jenna [00:17:25] I know. All right. Should we take a break and then start breaking down this episode? Just heads up. It’s going to be a long one.
Angela [00:17:32] That’s what she said.
Jenna [00:17:44] We are back and the phone is ringing at reception.
Angela [00:17:47] The lights are out.
Jenna [00:17:48] Yeah. Erin takes the call and she says that Michael is not in right now, but he’ll call this person back when he gets back.
Angela [00:17:57] When he wakes up. I mean, gets back.
Jenna [00:17:58] Right. Well, guess what? Michael’s sleeping because he had chicken pot pie for lunch.
Angela [00:18:03] Not just chicken pot pie. Jenna. He had the whole entire chicken pot pie.
Jenna [00:18:08] A family size chicken pot pie.
Angela [00:18:09] Family size. And he’s going to sleep as one would do.
Jenna [00:18:13] Well, the whole office is going to prank Michael into thinking that it is five o’clock when he wakes up so that they can all go home early. And Dwight does not normally condone leaving early, but he does have that appointment with his horse doctor today, so he’s in. Fan catch from Marci G in Connecticut. There is a small detail that tickles me every time I see it. In the cold open when they’re tricking a sleeping Michael into thinking it’s 5:00 p.m. they have to change the time on his watch. Pam has her shoes off so she doesn’t make noise in his office. But if you notice, Dwight also has his shoes off while he runs outside to change the time on Michael’s car.
Angela [00:18:51] I saw that. Jim also has his shoes off.
Jenna [00:18:54] Yes.
Angela [00:18:54] I don’t know. Did everyone just take their shoes off?
Jenna [00:18:58] We had another fan catch from Lloyd C. from Australia, who said during Jim’s talking head, when he goes to turn the clock forward, the time starts on twelve fifty. But when Dwight goes to Michael’s car to change the time it starts at 12:10. He said, was this a continuity gap or did Dwight’s panther speed turn time backwards outside of the office?
Angela [00:19:26] I think it was probably just a continuity catch.
Jenna [00:19:28] You know, maybe they had originally intended to see Dwight running outside to the car first and then have Jim explain it in his talking head, and then maybe they just swapped it in editing.
Angela [00:19:39] I bet that’s right, because Veda would have been all on top of this. She had everything meticulously time coded. Every time we had a clock, she was very like particular. So I feel like that was a change up in editing.
Jenna [00:19:51] Jenny Tan, who was there that day watching us film, noted that John had a really hard time winding the clock backwards and delivering his monologue and timing it out perfectly.
Angela [00:20:03] I thought so watching it. I’ll tell you why. John is so effortless as Jim. But in this moment, I could see him concentrating on that clock. And just for a split second, I thought I saw John.
Jenna [00:20:17] Well, she said that the knob on the back was really, really tiny and that John kept overshooting the time. Like it kept ending on like five fifteen or five ten instead of right before five. But she said they finally got it perfect on the last take and then they stopped. They were like, We got it.
Angela [00:20:36] Yeah, done. Well this whole elaborate ruse ends when they all collectively on the count of three, just erupt into laughter. And this wakes Michael up. He laughs, too, because he always wants to be in on the joke.
Jenna [00:20:47] Yes, yes. But you had to be there.
Angela [00:20:49] Yeah, to be there. It was a geography joke. And then Michael sees the clock and does exactly what they hope for. He’s like, Well, let’s all go home.
Jenna [00:20:57] I had a teeny tiny catch. On Pam’s desk at one minute, 33 seconds when we’re all laughing, I noticed- and I had forgotten this- that she has a Pratt mug on her desk that is what is holding all of her pens and pencils. And then she has her pink mug that she’s drinking out of. But I spotted that Pratt mug. It’s a great detail from our set decoration crew.
Angela [00:21:20] Well, I love that. I was way in the corner back by Stanley’s file cabinet, and that was just trying to get me in the shot. Ken Kwapis had me come out from accounting. Once again I’m standing, and that’s how we could all be there.
Jenna [00:21:34] Well, now we have our super short opening credits. They are like 10 seconds. Jenna Celotta did an interview with Office Tally and she said they cut the credits down to get more time for the episode. She mentioned that they had gone back and forth about maybe making this episode an hour. But she said they didn’t feel like they needed it. There were other season finales like The Job or Goodbye, Toby, where they had like tons of plot points to wrap up and huge moves they were going to make. But in this episode, she said they didn’t have that much. They just had kind of the one big move with Jim and Pam and a little bit of a move for Michael and Holly.
Angela [00:22:13] And then the rest of us just little nods to our storylines.
Jenna [00:22:15] Yeah. But she said they did need to steal that little bit of time from the credits.
Angela [00:22:20] The day has arrived. It is the Dunder Mifflin Company Picnic. Here’s a breakdown of all the different branches and their T-shirts. Thank you, Dunderpedia, I started making notes and then I saw you had it. So I am going to read what you have. Corporate: black T-shirts. Akron: Yellow. Albany: light blue. Buffalo: orange. Nashua: Green. Rochester: Dark purple. Scranton: red, and Utica: dark blue.
Jenna [00:22:49] Lady, I’m calling this episode the Plain Hats Club.
Angela [00:22:53] Oh, I can’t wait to hear this because I have some lingo I made up for this episode as well.
Jenna [00:22:59] Everyone in this episode is wearing a plain hat, and that is because if you wear a logo anywhere on your shirt or your hat, the production has to get it cleared with that company first. So I have a breakdown of everyone’s plain hat.
Angela [00:23:13] Like the plain baseball hats?
Jenna [00:23:15] Yes, Jim is wearing a plain black baseball hat. Pam has a white visor. Dwight has a tan fishing hat, which I Googled and I learned is called a bucket hat. Kevin is also wearing a tan bucket hat. Angela has a floppy sun hat. Andy has a tan Panama hat. Erin has a sort of light purple baseball hat. Creed has a light tan baseball hat. Ryan has a white visor. Stanley has a straw sun hat. Phyllis has no hat while she’s playing volleyball, but she has a straw sun hat on the sidelines. Meredith has no hat. Oscar has no hat. Charles Miner has a black Nike visor!
Angela [00:24:02] How did we get away with that?
Jenna [00:24:04] I don’t know!
Angela [00:24:05] Because it’s Idris. And he just like, Let Idris just do what he wants to do. We’re just glad to have you back.
Jenna [00:24:10] I don’t know. Toby also has a yellow baseball hat with a logo. It has little trees, but I couldn’t read what it was.
Angela [00:24:18] Well, you know, part of the hat strategy was because it got so hot during the day.
Jenna [00:24:23] We needed it. We needed it when we were playing volleyball as well to kind of create a shade on our faces so that you could see our expressions. So we weren’t completely blown out by the sun. Also for sun protection. But you might notice that Michael and Holly do not wear hats. They are mostly in their cutesy little like love nest shady location.
Angela [00:24:44] Shady tree area.
Jenna [00:24:46] Yeah, exactly.
Angela [00:24:47] Well, Jenna. I also did a little bit of tracking. I want you to know that I feel like this episode really brings out some of our characters’ other traits. I made a list. We have sporty Pam. Saucy Jim. Petty Charles. Trash talking Andy, Snarky Michael, and my most favorite, Vacation Stanley.
Jenna [00:25:11] I love Vacation Stanley.
Angela [00:25:14] So the picnic starts with Pam and Jim. They’re walking up and they share a little bit about what last year’s softball company picnic was like.
Jenna [00:25:23] Jim had that spider in his mitt, but that’s not what Pam is talking about. She’s talking about the guy who grabbed her boobs to keep his balance.
Angela [00:25:31] Uh huh. And then Pam points at her chest and says, Yeah, you don’t grab these for balance. And Jim goes, Well… And this is saucy Jim.
Jenna [00:25:44] Well, next up, Dwight arrives with his friend Rolf.
Angela [00:25:48] His best friend.
Jenna [00:25:50] Who they met at a shoe store when Dwight overheard Rolph asking for a shoe that would increase his speed but not leave any tracks.
Angela [00:25:58] These two are made for each other.
Jenna [00:26:00] We had a fan question from David H in Pennsylvania. Who played Dwight’s friend? Was he somehow related to the show already? Guys, Rolf was played by the amazing James Urbaniak. And get this, Ange.
Angela [00:26:13] What?
Jenna [00:26:13] He auditioned and was called back for the role of Dwight.
Angela [00:26:18] Well, that makes perfect sense to me.
Jenna [00:26:20] Doesn’t it? He and Rainn knew each other from their New York theater days, and after Rainn read this script, he called James and gave him a heads up. And he told Greg, You need to bring in James Urbaniak for this. Well, they knew him because they had auditioned him. So he went in to see Allison Jones. He read for the role and he got the part.
Angela [00:26:40] Ken talked a little bit in the DVD commentary about just how perfectly cast James was and that for a guest star to come in on such a big episode, James just fit in so seamlessly. You would have never known he had never been on the show before. That is just how organic his performance was and that he just crushed it.
Jenna [00:26:59] Well, he’s one of those guys who’s been a working actor for a very, very long time, and I feel like he’s one of those people where you recognize him immediately from his body of work. He’s a pro. We got this interesting letter from Jana M in Westport County, Mayo Ireland.
Angela [00:27:16] Oh wow, we haveletters from everywhere. This is so exciting to me.
Jenna [00:27:20] You know, we added a feature on the website where you can say where you’re writing from.
Angela [00:27:24] I love that.
Jenna [00:27:24] I know. Me too, because it’s really fun to see how international the show is.
Angela [00:27:28] I know. Well, when we get mail here to Earwolf that I open, I can always see where people are from. But before in emails, we weren’t always sure.
Jenna [00:27:36] Here is what Jana said. Fun fact: James Urbaniak, the actor who played Dwight’s best friend Rolf, whom he he met in a shoe store, also played a shoe store employee with a foot fetish on Sex and the City. What is it about James Urbaniak and shoe stores?
Angela [00:27:53] That’s really funny.
Jenna [00:27:54] I think that’s fun. And now, Christine B from Mississippi asked this: I’ve heard that Rolf was introduced because Mose was busy on Parks and Rec. Is that true?
Angela [00:28:07] Oh, savvy question.
Jenna [00:28:09] It is true. You guys originally, Mose was supposed to come to the picnic with Dwight, and they called up Mike Schur, who was now running Parks and Rec. And the week we shot Company Picnic, he was directing an episode of Parks and Rec, as well as running the show. And he was like, You guys, I can’t do it. And I guess they begged him, like Jen and Paul they were like, Please, you have to come by Mose. And he’s like, You guys, I can’t do it.
Angela [00:28:38] I am running a whole other show now.
Jenna [00:28:41] Yes. And then, you know, we’re going to have Mike on the show.
Angela [00:28:45] I can’t wait.
Jenna [00:28:45] And he’s going to tell us a little bit about how he also truly hated playing Mose.
Angela [00:28:50] Hated it.
Jenna [00:28:51] Hated it. So I think he was, like, really happy that he had a good excuse to not be out in this field in his wool clothes for four days.
Angela [00:29:03] It also made sense to me that Dwight wouldn’t have brought Mose to the company picnic.
Jenna [00:29:07] And I love this twist that he’s got this best friend.
Angela [00:29:11] Yeah. You know, there’s a deleted talking head that made me laugh, but also sad, where Michael says he usually brings the guy from his condo with him. But this year he came by himself. The guy from his condo?
Jenna [00:29:26] Yeah. Well, Rolf is going to appear in four episodes of The Office. This was his first. We loved you, James. You were. He was really fun to work with.
Angela [00:29:36] So fun. Now enters Holly. Awe. And Michael sees her and Kevin’s like, There’s Holly and Michael’s like, Oh, you know, we’re just friends. There’s a whole awkward greeting between Holly and her boyfriend, A.J. with Michael. And Jenna, this begins snarky Michael. Steve does this thing as Michael I love so much where he lets his hatred for someone just barely poke out. So he says, Hey, I could get you guys some lemonade. Holly says, Lemonade sounds great. Michael goes, OK. A.J. says, I’d love an ice tea, actually. And Michael goes, You can go to hell.
Jenna [00:30:14] Just kidding.
Angela [00:30:14] Just kidding.
Jenna [00:30:17] He’ll get him the best iced tea in the world.
Angela [00:30:19] Yeah.
Jenna [00:30:20] First of all, Rob Huebel is back as A.J., and he’s so good. He’s being so nice to Michael the whole episode.
Angela [00:30:27] The whole episode and you’re like, Oh my gosh, this guy must really love Holly to be that patient with Michael.
Jenna [00:30:35] I want to point out in this scene that Kevin is having a beer.
Angela [00:30:39] Yes.
Jenna [00:30:39] Holly asks for a lemonade. AJ wants an iced tea. According to a big banner in the background, you can really see it over Michael’s shoulder in his upcoming talking head, there is a breakdown of everything the Dunder Mifflin company picnic is serving.
Angela [00:30:55] Oh!
Jenna [00:30:56] Food was hamburgers, turkey burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, salads. Listen to the beverage list. Pina Colada.
Angela [00:31:06] Charles drinks one of those.
Jenna [00:31:07] Mai tai.
Angela [00:31:08] Stanley drinks one of those.
Jenna [00:31:09] Hurricane.
Angela [00:31:10] Oh wow.
Jenna [00:31:12] Tequila sunrise.
Angela [00:31:13] Dang.
Jenna [00:31:14] Beer. Wine. Sodas. Water. No iced tea. No lemonade. Lots of booze.
Angela [00:31:24] Lots of booze. You know, Michael has a talking head where he says, I lied to Kevin. Holly and I could never just be friends. And he wrote a whole list of bullet points why they should be together on like a receipt. On some kind of receipt.
Jenna [00:31:38] He didn’t use a proper piece of paper.
Angela [00:31:40] No, and he’s trying to read it, and he can’t really make out what he wrote. He said there are soup snakes.
Jenna [00:31:46] And then he tries to justify it by being like, I think, OK. Yeah, I think it’s because when we have soup…
Angela [00:31:53] And then it’s like, No, no soulmates.
Jenna [00:31:56] Well, we had a fan question from Tracy C in Georgia who said this. I have been holding on to this fast fact for so long. Please include it in this episode.
Angela [00:32:08] What is it?
Jenna [00:32:09] Mindy describes her and BJ’s relationship as soup snakes because she loves the scene where Michael misreads his own handwriting and instead of saying that he and Holly are soulmates, he says they are soup snakes. You guys, this is true. In Mindy’s book, Why Not Me? Here’s what it says, “We’re soup snakes. B.J. and I are soup snakes.” And then, she added, “soul mates is what you aim for, but soup snakes is what you get sometimes.”.
Angela [00:32:42] Aww.
Jenna [00:32:43] Is that so sweet?
Angela [00:32:43] Yeah.
Jenna [00:32:43] They are soup snakes.
Angela [00:32:43] They are soup snakes. Pam and Jim are going to say hi to Charles, who right out of the gate says, Nice day, huh? Jim says, Yeah. Charles says, must be nice to get a rest from all your rest. And walks away. I call this petty Charles. I want you to know Charles was way more snarky in this episode, but a lot of it got deleted.
Jenna [00:33:06] Oh no.
Angela [00:33:07] Yeah.
Jenna [00:33:07] Well, Jenny Tan said that when she was kind of going around talking to all the actors, she said both Rob Huebel and Idris talked to her about what it was like to have fans hate on them.
Angela [00:33:19] Oh, really?
Jenna [00:33:20] Yes, because Charles was always mean to Jim. But I have to say, Lady, he is not wrong on his read of Jim. Like, Jim is very charming, but he I mean….
Angela [00:33:34] He slacks off.
Jenna [00:33:34] He is a slacker. He gets his work done ultimately, but he could be more ambitious with his time.
Angela [00:33:41] Well, yeah, that comes for him later in life.
Jenna [00:33:44] He will become more ambitious in later seasons. All right, lady. It is time to play volleyball. Dwight is assigning positions to the Scranton team.
Angela [00:33:54] Andy is like, bromigo. Put Erin next to me. All of Andy’s ridiculous sayings, bromigo is pretty great.
Jenna [00:34:03] Well, guess what? The Scranton team is not doing well. Erin misses the ball. Andy starts screaming at her, Are you blind? And then he catches himself, and he redirects the question in earnest to the man on the other side of the net wearing sunglasses. He’s like, No, I’m really. Are you blind? Guess what? Sunglasses man was played by our very own editor, Dave Rogers. But the game continues. Kevin is not great. Phyllis sits down in the middle of the game.
Angela [00:34:35] Ryan is on his cell phone.
Jenna [00:34:36] Yeah.
Angela [00:34:36] And now it’s time for Pam to serve. And Dwight is like, condescending. He’s like, Are you left handed or are you right handed? Think about how you hold the phone. And Pam’s like, You know what Dwight? Back off. I got it. This is sporty Pam.
Jenna [00:34:54] Oh! She spikes that serve.
Angela [00:34:58] She does. And then she’s like, Maybe I played a little in junior high and in high school. Maybe a little in college and went to volleyball camp most- and you do this really cute thing, Jenna where you go summas.
Jenna [00:35:10] Well, this created a fan mail flurry, lady.
Angela [00:35:13] It did?
Jenna [00:35:13] Oh yes. You know, Rose G from Colorado sums up all the letters nicely by saying, in season four, Pam says that she used PMS as an excuse to get out of volleyball gym class. But here Pam is real good at volleyball. What is up with this plot inconsistency? Now we did discuss this when we broke down Job Fair.
Angela [00:35:33] You had your theory.
Jenna [00:35:35] Yes, there was a fan theory that Pam wanted out of the noncompetitive gym class volleyball because it bored her.
Angela [00:35:40] This is a very kind theory. This is like, I mean, this is a very kind, kind like, let’s just make any excuse.
Jenna [00:35:49] Well, Jen Celotta did an interview for Office Tally, and she admitted they just forgot about that line when they wrote this.
Angela [00:35:55] Of course they did. They didn’t strategically plot out like, you know what? Pam was so competitive she didn’t want to do P.E. volleyball.
Jenna [00:36:04] Right. I still like that theory.
Angela [00:36:06] I know. I know.
Jenna [00:36:07] Pam continues to dominate. She wins the game for her team, advances them to the next round because I am just that good.
Angela [00:36:14] Yeah. Well, I have a kid catch.
Jenna [00:36:18] What’s the kid catch?
Angela [00:36:20] So my kids rewatched this episode with me. They could not get over at seven minutes, 43 seconds. There is a full on face body plant. This must have been someone with special business as volleyball, because when Pam serves, you’ve got to look at the person who misses the ball. They throw themselves. They fly through the air and they land in one clump face down. I was like, Is this a stunt person? I mean, Jenna, I have to show it to you. I’m going to put it in stories. This is how this person lands.
Jenna [00:36:54] Oh, my gosh. That person did not even break their fall with their arms.
Angela [00:36:59] I know.
Jenna [00:36:59] That is intense. Well, I have a tidbit to share about that.
Angela [00:37:03] OK.
Jenna [00:37:04] But first, let me do some fan questions. Peyton, H from Vermont said Jenna, I know there was a stunt double for you in some of your volleyball scenes, but my question is how much was you and how much was the stunt double? And Meghan B from Jerome, Idaho said, Have you played much volleyball in real life? All right, I’m going to break down all the volleyball.
Angela [00:37:26] I love all these questions, you guys, I love them because, you know, I know the answer to some of them, and others I’m intrigued.
Jenna [00:37:32] I have played a lot of volleyball.
Angela [00:37:34] You don’t say.
Jenna [00:37:36] I have.
Angela [00:37:37] When?
Jenna [00:37:38] In like grade school. High school. My youth at the beach. I know how to play volleyball. And I have a really great underhand serve.
Angela [00:37:48] So do I. Very consistent. Nothing fancy, but will always get in.
Jenna [00:37:53] Same. They didn’t want that for Pam. I offered to do it. They weren’t interested. They wanted overhand serve.
Angela [00:37:59] Because, you know, in varsity High School, you have to serve overhand.
Jenna [00:38:03] I did not know that. I did not play varsity.
Angela [00:38:05] I know this because my daughter’s playing volleyball.
Jenna [00:38:07] She is.
Angela [00:38:08] In junior high. She can still do underhand, but they’re wanting them already to do overhand.
Jenna [00:38:13] Well, here was the problem. I have a shoulder injury. I have tendinitis in my right shoulder and it’s really bad and I have a sort of like lack of range of motion. And doing that overhead swoopy motion, it’s even a little sore. I’m doing it now. It’s even a little bit sore if I’m holding nothing in my hand or if I’m not hitting a volleyball. What? Why are you laughing? What is so funny? What?
Angela [00:38:41] I was just going to say. And Alias,
Jenna [00:38:49] Oh my God. You’re still tracking why I can’t be on Alias?
Angela [00:38:55] I will for the rest of my life. How can you swing on a rope and like do a cartwheel and like throw a grenade or whatever she did?
Jenna [00:39:06] I mean, you’re making a good point.
Angela [00:39:07] OK, go on.
Jenna [00:39:09] I hadn’t thought about that. You know, they didn’t ask me in my audition how my overhand range of motion was?
Angela [00:39:14] Well, that might have ruled it out.
Jenna [00:39:15] They shouldn’t have even auditioned me for that role. There’s no way I could have swung on a rope. All right. Well, listen, they had to get me a stunt double. Her name was Nancy McCrum, and Randy was kind enough to send me her photo, which we’ll post in the Office Lady pod stories. And he sent me her resume. On her resume it shows her height and her weight, which I just want to say, I can’t believe I used to weigh that. I was so tiny.
Angela [00:39:43] Oh cuz they matched her height and weight to you?
Jenna [00:39:46] Yes, when they find you a body double or a stunt double, they have to match the person’s height, the weight, the general hair color, or they’ll put a wig on the person or color that person’s hair. But it’s more than that because I was on this one movie and they had to get a body double for me. And the woman showed up and she was my height and weight but her like weight distribution was totally different from mine.
Angela [00:40:07] So walking and.
Jenna [00:40:08] She didn’t look like me.
Angela [00:40:09] She didn’t look like you. This happened to me, Jenna. I did a movie called Struck by Lightning, and there was this long tracking dolly scene that started in a room and ended up on the sofa that I was sitting on.
Jenna [00:40:21] OK.
Angela [00:40:21] And they had a body double for me for all the lighting setup because it was going to take a really long time to get this set up. So after an hour of them setting this all up, using the body double, it’s time for me to report on set. We do this long, intricate tracking shot. The camera’s coming down. This long track lands on me on the sofa and it cuts part of my head off. Well, what they found out was she was my exact height. They immediately called for her because the director of photography had set up all this time for the shot. And he said, Are you five one? And she said yes, and she came and stood next to me. We were the same height. And then he said, Sit side by side. We sat side by side. I had a longer torso than she did.
Jenna [00:41:05] Yes. This is what I’m saying. So they had to like, measure her. Like, Did we have the same waist, the circumference of your thigh, like all of that. And Nancy McCrum was just an exact body double for me.
Angela [00:41:20] Well, I could never tell that there was a body double there, so they did a great job.
Jenna [00:41:25] Well, here’s what I did. She was also very good at volleyball, and she taught me how to do the motion, how to jump up, how to serve it and all of that. And I did a whole whole bunch of takes and we used a CGI ball.
Angela [00:41:40] So that you didn’t have to actually make the contact.
Jenna [00:41:43] Yeah, Randy reminded me that the very first time I tried to do it by making contact with the ball and I like winced in pain, and he was like, No, no, no more ball. We’re never having her do that again. Because, like we said, he was so good at taking care of us. He was like, We’re going to do a CGI ball. But he said while the serving and putting in a fake ball was not difficult, it was really difficult to have people dive for a fake ball.
Angela [00:42:10] Yes.
Jenna [00:42:11] So that person that is diving in that video you just showed me is diving at nothing. That commitment.
Angela [00:42:18] That might make sense a little bit. On the DVD commentary Ken was very complimentary in saying that Jenna you did great fakey arm motion.
Jenna [00:42:29] Yeah. Well, I have to give credit to Nancy because she was such a good teacher. We became a little chummy on this episode. And they did shoot with her a little bit from behind with a real ball. And that was really helpful for the people on the other side because then they were diving for a real ball and they used some of those shots, but I’m not sure if they ever ended up using any of her serves. I think they were mostly my fakey serves that made it in. But I do want to say one more thing, which is that over on OfficeTally.com Jenny Tan took a bunch of amazing photos of me serving with no ball.
Angela [00:43:06] Oh, really?
Jenna [00:43:07] And they’re really cool, and I grabbed so that we can put them up on Office Ladies Pod.
Angela [00:43:12] Your story about Nancy, Jenna, just reminded me of an amazing run in I just had. For years Steve had a body double named Eric Sulky, and Jenna, Josh and I were in the wine country for our anniversary, and I hear Angela and I turn around and there is Eric and his wife.
Jenna [00:43:30] No way!
Angela [00:43:31] He is still working with Steve. It’s been like 16 years they’ve been working together. They’re working together on a movie right now. Look at that.
Jenna [00:43:38] Oh my gosh. Yes, I remember him.
Angela [00:43:42] I know he was so lovely. And I said, Eric, it’s so crazy to see you outside of a suit because he was just in casual clothes.
Jenna [00:43:48] Yeah.
Angela [00:43:49] But sometimes when Steve needed out for, you know, something they had to get him to a talk show or whatever, Eric, in a suit, would sit in the office there in the background, in Michael Scott’s office. You could catch his shoulder or the side of him, and they are still working together now. 16 years.
Jenna [00:44:06] I love that.
Angela [00:44:06] Me too.
Jenna [00:44:08] Well, listen, lady, should we take a little break, and then when we come back, we will talk about Michael and Holly and what they’re up to?
Angela [00:44:15] Yeah, I think we need to come back and talk about some chair pants.
Jenna [00:44:20] Oh, great.
Angela [00:44:31] We’re back and also snarky Michael is with us.
Jenna [00:44:36] He gets a big piece of news here.
Angela [00:44:39] He really does. Bless his heart. They tell him that they’re designing a house.
Jenna [00:44:44] And he says, For who? And A.J. says, for us.
Angela [00:44:50] Oh, and then Michael says, Well, wow, I’m designing a chair. It’s part of your pants. You sit down. You’re supported. Holly lights up. She’s like, I remember your chair pants idea. And A.J. is like, I like that. Put me down for a pair. I’m a size 34 waist. Here comes snarky Michael. He can’t take it anymore. He says. All right, fatty. I will do it. You know what? We should actually rehearse. He wants to get Holly away from A.J., and A.J. says, You guys are really going to do this? And Michael says, You bet your fat ass we are. Because he can’t contain like how much he’s freaking out that this guy has just swooped in and is taking the love of his life.
Jenna [00:45:35] To build a house.
Angela [00:45:36] To build a house, to build a home, to become a family.
Jenna [00:45:39] Oh, well, we have this really sweet talking head where Michael and Holly together explain that David Wallace has authorized them to perform a presentation on the history of Dunder Mifflin.
Angela [00:45:52] Again, David Wallace, what are you thinking?
Jenna [00:45:55] I don’t know. Well, Holly and Michael are going to find a nice little quiet place to rehearse. He brought her chocolate covered strawberries.
Angela [00:46:04] When I rewatched this with my kids, they were like, Wow, because I think they associate those with Valentines. When you go to the grocery store there’s always a big chocolate covered strawberry display for Valentine’s.
Jenna [00:46:15] It’s a very romantic gift.
Angela [00:46:17] It is. What snacks do you bring to a picnic? You bring like potato chips, some salsa. Chocolate covered strawberries.
Jenna [00:46:24] By the way, I love that your picnic items are potato chips and salsa.
Angela [00:46:30] I love chips and salsa.
Jenna [00:46:30] I have neverbrough potato chips and salsa.
Angela [00:46:34] You don’t like chips and salsa?
Jenna [00:46:36] But don’t you eat corn chips or like
Angela [00:46:38] tortilla chips, okay I’m sorry.
Jenna [00:46:40] But also, I’ve never brought salsa to like a picnic blanket. It’s so messy. Like I- the chips, yeah, but like, I don’t bring dips to a picnic. I don’t think dip when I think picnic.
Angela [00:46:54] Lady Lady, when my husband first came home with me to meet my family, my mom said to him, We’re dippers and chippers.
Jenna [00:47:02] OK.
Angela [00:47:04] We always have some kind of dip and something like a chip to eat it with.
Jenna [00:47:09] Even on your picnics.
Angela [00:47:10] Most definitely on a picnic.
Jenna [00:47:12] OK. It just seems like a mess waiting to happen.
Angela [00:47:16] Give me all the dips.
Jenna [00:47:17] All right.
Angela [00:47:18] And, you know, bring some paper towels.
Jenna [00:47:20] Well, I have something crazy to share about this location where they shot these Michael and Holly scenes.
Angela [00:47:27] The tree, the little shady tree?
Jenna [00:47:28] Yes, Randy said that this shaded location was the most troublesome of the whole shoot.
Angela [00:47:34] Why?
Jenna [00:47:35] He said first off, they really wanted a romantic private area where these two could sneak off to, but they still needed to feel the picnic in the background. And it was really hard to find the right spot. The one that they settled on drove Randall crazy. I guess there were these overhanging trees and then there was like a muddy creek where his lighting equipment needed to go. And we usually shot our show with just two cameras. But for this, they had to add a third camera. And it’s because they just couldn’t cover it with these over the shoulders. They looked good. But they really wanted a two shot of them from the front. But listen to this- and I barely understand how they did it. It was so tight in this area that the only way that they could do it was they had to set up a mirror and they shot the camera into the mirror. And then, in order to make it match the over the shoulder shots, they reversed them in post because when they shot in the mirror, they were on the wrong sides. It was this like special mirror called like an optically correct mirror. I barely understand this, but it was a huge ordeal.
Angela [00:48:54] Well, it sounds like a huge ordeal. I’m also very curious, could Steve and Amy see their reflections as they did the scene? Because that would be weird. I wouldn’t. I don’t want to watch myself because then I’d be like, What are you doing with your face, lady? What is that expression?
Jenna [00:49:06] I would be so distracted.
Angela [00:49:07] Yeah.
Jenna [00:49:08] So I don’t know. My question was like, Did they just have this mirror on standby? Like, Is that part of their kit? They have an optically correct mirror in your camera kit?
Angela [00:49:19] I feel like that’s a special order, lady.
Jenna [00:49:21] It sounds like a special order, but it also sounds like they kind of had to figure this out on the fly. But I don’t know. Maybe it was part of their planning scout. Get that mirror in case we need it and get a third camera.
Angela [00:49:32] You would have never known it by watching that scene, though, it was so beautiful and effortless. I would have never known there was a mirror or a third camera. There’s this great, great moment between Holly and Michael as they’re brainstorming their ideas, right?
Jenna [00:49:45] Yeah. They’re going to do this skit. But this is the first time they’ve met to figure out the skit that’s going to be going up soon.
Angela [00:49:54] And Michael has no script. He just wants to wing it. So they start spitballing like movie spoofs right to get out this information about how Robert Dunder and Robert Mifflin met. Only part of it was scripted, Jenna. Steve and Amy just improvised, and Ken said they loved the improv. They just let the camera keep going and going.
Jenna [00:50:15] Really?
Angela [00:50:16] Yes. Here’s how the scene started as written. Holly’s like, What about Back to the Future?
Jenna [00:50:21] Yeah.
Angela [00:50:22] That was scripted. The rest of this part was not. Ready? Yeah. How about Back to the Future? Steve improvises, could we get a DeLorean?
Jenna [00:50:30] So funny.
Angela [00:50:31] Amy improvises Jaws. They swim in the ocean and they terrorize the whole community. And then at the same time, like this sort of group mind, they both start going Dunder Dunder Dunder Dunder.
Jenna [00:50:43] No.
Angela [00:50:43] That’s all improvised. And then they both start cracking up. At nine minutes, 44 seconds. Go to that time code. The two of them are laughing, and I think it’s because they’re just cracking up like they’re just having a good time.
Jenna [00:50:57] Wow.
Angela [00:50:58] I think they’re both genuinely tickled that they came up with the Dunder Dunder in the moment.
Jenna [00:51:04] It’s brilliant.
Angela [00:51:05] It’s brilliant. And then they go back on script at the very end when Holly’s like, we haven’t found our great idea yet, and Michael says, but we’re circling it.
Jenna [00:51:15] Wow. Wow. That was an improv in the middle of a scene.
Angela [00:51:21] Yeah.
Jenna [00:51:22] Usually our improvs happened at the end.
Angela [00:51:24] Yeah. And Ken and Paul and Jen said that the two of them were just magic together. You just see it. You really do.
Jenna [00:51:31] Lady. Should we go back to the volleyball game?
Angela [00:51:34] It’s getting heated.
Jenna [00:51:35] Pam scores another point.
Angela [00:51:37] They’re going to move on to the finals. Phyllis is like over it.
Jenna [00:51:40] Yeah. She twists her ankle
Angela [00:51:42] and then trots over to Bob Vance.
Jenna [00:51:44] Yeah, she has no problem running over.
Angela [00:51:47] And then there’s classic vacation Stanley, where he’s like, You just had to be part of the group. And he’s got his cocktail and his hat. I’m telling you this is setting up Florida Stanley.
Jenna [00:51:57] Oh, you’re so right about that. Well, now we need a replacement for Phyllis, and Rolf is going to call up Meredith. Even though Angela volunteers.
Angela [00:52:06] Rolf is so intense.
Jenna [00:52:11] Yeah, Rolf says he didn’t hear Angela volunteer because he doesn’t hear cheeters, tramps or women who break my friend’s heart. Oof.
Angela [00:52:18] Oof. And then there’s this look between Dwight and Angela.
Jenna [00:52:22] I have two little tidbits to share about this scene. Number one, ok, so you know the part where I bump the ball?
Angela [00:52:29] Yeah.
Jenna [00:52:30] OK. That was not a CGI ball. That was me. That was real. And then when Phyllis is running to the sidelines, I spotted a man in a Yankees baseball hat. We took all of the trouble to put the whole cast in plain hats, and then they just let a guy sit in the front row with a Yankees hat on? What is that? What is that?
Angela [00:52:53] It’s a lot of people, someone’s going to fall through the cracks.
Jenna [00:52:56] You know what they would usually do if someone showed up with a hat or something with a logo on it, they would have tape in different colors, and they would just tape over it.
Angela [00:53:04] Oh yeah.
Jenna [00:53:04] Someone did not tape over Yankees guy.
Angela [00:53:07] Or maybe they did, and he ripped it off.
Both [00:53:10] Oh, scandalous.
Jenna [00:53:13] Oh my gosh.
Angela [00:53:15] We just had a Dunder moment.
Jenna [00:53:16] We did. We had a group mind Dunder Dunder on scandalous.
Angela [00:53:21] Well, Jim is going to score a point and some trash talking starts. David Wallace says We’re still going to crush you, though. Charles is like, Yeah, we are. Rolf comes out of nowhere.
Jenna [00:53:33] Oh my gosh, we could not get through this.
Angela [00:53:35] Yes, we were all cracking up. He said, You suckers are going down. They’re going to wipe their asses with your serves and piss all over your faces.
Jenna [00:53:44] Every time he said piss all over your faces we would lose it.
Angela [00:53:47] Yeah. And Rainn, as Dwight had to be like, Whoa, whoa, whoa. Come on, come on. But we kept laughing.
Jenna [00:53:54] Well, now we’re going to go to this little tidbit, the H.R. folks. And I love it so much, lady. John Hartman is back as corporate H.R. Kendall. Toby is wearing his logo hat, and they are discussing the H.R. convention last year. I could have watched the two of them talk for 20 minutes.
Angela [00:54:14] Ken shared that Greg had this idea that David Wallace would hate Kendall the same way Michael hates Toby.
Jenna [00:54:25] Oh my gosh, it’s so funny. Well, listen. One more point and Scranton is going to move on to play corporate. And Jim makes it. I mean, Dwight hugs Jim. They’re so excited.
Angela [00:54:40] I know. Oscar is like, Settle down, guys. Relax fellas. Jenna. Scranton was so good. Is that your memory that you guys were good at playing volleyball?
Jenna [00:54:50] I guess that’s my memory.
Angela [00:54:52] That Scranton Dunder Mifflin was good.
Jenna [00:54:54] That we were good.
Angela [00:54:55] That’s your memory.
Jenna [00:54:56] Yeah. Like are you saying in real life? Yeah. Like I fictionally and in real life. Yeah.
Angela [00:55:02] Hmm.
Jenna [00:55:03] Why? Why are you smiling? I feel like this is a trap.
Angela [00:55:09] Because that is not how Ken, Jen or Paul remembered it. And Ken talked about a lot of the ways the volleyball scenes were logistically difficult. And one of them was because you guys were all terrible. And they all three talk about it on the DVD commentary. Can we hear that?
Ken Kwapis [00:55:28] Volleyball is hard to direct, especially with people who don’t have a clue how to play it.
Paul Lieberstein [00:55:33] Oh my god, I couldn’t believe it. They were terrible. I will say. Corporate. Every other team that was playing against ’em, so much better. I don’t know why our people were not good volleyball players.
Jennifer Celotta [00:55:45] I was in editing. Paul and I were alternating days on the set and Paul was like, It’s going really well but our our team is terrible. I don’t know what to do. And I was like, Well, maybe the other teams could be made to be worse.
Ken Kwapis [00:55:56] I know there was one point where I said, Let’s just I think Scranton was playing Nashua, maybe Utica. And I just said, Well, let’s just play for a while. Let’s just play some volleyball as we get warmed up and Utica killed us. And I can tell looking at our cast, they all looked so sad about, this is a terrible idea. Let’s just go back to the scene.
Jenna [00:56:15] Oh my gosh.
Angela [00:56:16] You guys were the worst, the worst group there.
Jenna [00:56:20] Hey, to be fair, the other teams were filled with special business actors. Okay?
Angela [00:56:27] So after I listened to the DVD commentary, I thought, Oh, I’ve got to watch Scranton and Utica play. Ken said that Utica crushed you guys. So I went back and watched the episode and I never saw you guys play Utica. It’s in the deleted scenes.
Jenna [00:56:40] Oh, wow.
Angela [00:56:41] Yeah, and it features some major trash talking Andy.
Andy [00:56:46] Send it back. Yeah, send that ball back. Oh, really? Don’t mess with Scranton! Utica? More like you suck sticka. Who sucksticka? You sucksticka. Who sucksticka? You sucksticka!
Angela [00:57:05] Jim comes up to Andy and Dwight and he’s like pinching their arm so they stop. But yeah, Andy starts this whole chant about you sucksticka.
Jenna [00:57:12] Oh my gosh. But in reality, they were crushing us.
Jenna [00:57:17] Yeah. Oh, I love that.
Angela [00:57:20] Raddit-dit-dit don’t mess with Scranton. That made me laugh so hard.
Jenna [00:57:25] It’s time for Michael and Holly’s presentation.
Angela [00:57:29] Oh gosh.
Jenna [00:57:31] This is when David says, I have not seen this. He announces that they’re going to sing a song and they’re like, No, no, no, it’s a sketch now. It’s a sketch. David. You should already be worried.
Angela [00:57:42] Yeah. And then they say, introducing Slum Dunder Mifflin Aire. So Slumdog Millionaire was a hit movie that came out in 2008. According to IMDb, and this is a very brief synopsis, this is what it says: A Mumbai teenager reflects on his life after being accused of cheating on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Well, I saw this movie. It was fantastic.
Jenna [00:58:08] Oh, it’s so good.
Angela [00:58:09] It’s so good. Everyone was talking about it.
Jenna [00:58:11] Yes, it was huge and just a great film.
Angela [00:58:13] It won a gazillion of awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2009. But of all the movies to parody, to tell the story of Robert Dunder and Robert Mifflin coming together, no one knows what they’re doing.
Jenna [00:58:29] Well. They’re also going to get some facts wrong. Fan catch from Kacey K in Orlando, Florida. In Michael and Holly’s sketch, they say that Dunder Mifflin met in college
Angela [00:58:40] at Dartmouth, which incidentally, is where Mindy went.
Jenna [00:58:44] But in Dunder Mifflin Infinity, Robert Mifflin said he knew Dunder through the Rotary Club.
Angela [00:58:49] Mm hmm. I caught it, too. Ken shared that they really just drove home with the crowd watching to please not react in any way. Even the children. Don’t crack a smile. Nothing. And Ken was so happy with how the scene turned out because everyone really just looks at them so deadpan. And Ken said that Steve and Amy pulled him aside after the first take, and they’re like, This feels really uncomfortable. This is like, so awkward. Amy was like, I’m rattled by it, because it truly felt like they were bombing on stage in front of everyone.
Jenna [00:59:30] Well, I guess the sketch took like hours to shoot. And in addition to being told not to laugh, the extras were not allowed to move from their spots for continuity reasons. So we would bring waters around and things like that, but they had to stay right there. And Jenny Tan had this tidbit in her breakdown from her visit. Andy Buckley, who plays David Wallace, would get on the little stage during the breaks, and he would entertain the crowd with stories and jokes. She said he even sang a song.
Angela [01:00:04] Oh my gosh.
Jenna [01:00:05] But he was like the entertainment. And she said it was just like the sweetest, most thoughtful thing. And you know what? That is Andy Buckley right there. I was like, Of course he did that. Of course.
Angela [01:00:17] That is so sweet. Well, the only person that’s enjoying this is Stanley. We have some classic vacation Stanley when he has his cocktail and he says, I usually don’t enjoy the theater, but this is delightful. I think he’s had a few cocktails by this point.
Jenna [01:00:32] I guess he has. There’s a lot of booze being offered at this event. Now, Michael and Holly are going to do something. They’re going to announce that the Buffalo branch is closing. And then they take a bow. This is news to the Buffalo branch.
Angela [01:00:48] They are ticked off.
Jenna [01:00:50] Well, there are two especially very angry Buffalo branch employees. They were played by Brian Stack and Marla Garlin.
Angela [01:00:59] Brian Stack was a writer on Conan, and I’ve known Marla for years. She is just delightful.
Jenna [01:01:05] Well, also seated in the front row who was very upset about this branch closing is Jenny Tan.
Angela [01:01:10] Yes.
Jenna [01:01:11] And she revealed that she was in the front row with a real life husband and wife, couple Dan and Erin, who were booked together to play extras on this episode. They gave them two fake babies. And it’s really great. You can see Dan sitting next to Jenny. And when Brian Stack as the angry Buffalo man is yelling, he’s shushing his baby. He’s like, Shh, shh,
Angela [01:01:37] Don’t let the angry man upset you, baby.
Jenna [01:01:39] Yes, exactly, exactly.
Angela [01:01:42] David Wallace is furious. This is not how he wanted the Buffalo branch to find out.
Jenna [01:01:48] No, he says one little boy just asked him if daddy will have his job at Christmas. And Michael’s like, Well, he’s just thinking about his own gifts.
Angela [01:01:55] Not helping, Michael. The Scranton group huddles up. They’re over by the picnic tables, and Meredith is like, I think we should forfeit the game out of respect. And Dwight says people need volleyball now more than ever. Oscar agrees with Dwight. Now they have this rallying call, they want to kick corporate’s ass.
Jenna [01:02:14] Yeah, and they’re doing great. Especially Jim, which we get a little bit of.
Angela [01:02:19] Petty Charles.
Jenna [01:02:20] Yes. Petty Charles.
Angela [01:02:22] Petty Charles. Petty Charles says, look who just woke up. And then scores a point and says, I’ve been up for a while.
Jenna [01:02:28] OK, so now Dwight is going to stand up to Rolf.
Angela [01:02:32] He is, and Jenna, I had one of those moments where I think I thought I heard something that’s not in the script. It’s not in the subtitles. And I need you to tell me what I heard.
Jenna [01:02:44] What?
Angela [01:02:44] Yeah, exactly. Kevin says it’s six to six. It’s a nail biter. Angela says Kevin, No it’s seven- six. Or is that too much accounting for you? Rolf says here’s an accounting question for you. What does one fiance plus one lover equal? Answer: one whore. Dwight says, okay, knock it off, Rolf. Rolf says, what? She is sitting here casting aspersions, and Dwight goes, Rolford, please. Jenna. I swear I hear Dwight say Rolford, please.
Jenna [01:03:14] Meaning, like Rolford is Rolf’s full name?
Angela [01:03:17] Yes, it’s not documented anywhere. I’m probably just losing it. I need you to hear it. I’m going to play it. Ready?
Jenna [01:03:24] OK.
Dwight [01:03:25] OK, knock it off, Rolf.
Rolf [01:03:27] She’s sitting there casting aspersions.
Dwight [01:03:28] Rolford, please. I am asking nicely.
Angela [01:03:31] Rolford, please, I’m telling you.
Jenna [01:03:34] OK, here’s the first thing I need to know is this. Is Rolf a name?
Angela [01:03:38] That I don’t know.
Jenna [01:03:39] Did we make that up or is it a name?
Angela [01:03:41] Is Rolf short for Rolford?
Jenna [01:03:44] Well, there’s a restaurant in Manhattan called Rolf’s. It’s in Gramercy Park. Oh, here we go. Wikipedia, Rolf. It is a mail given name and surname, it originates in the Germanic name Hrolf. Interesting. But now Rolford. Rolford.
Angela [01:04:06] You need background music for ladies who Google like, Jeopardy.
Jenna [01:04:10] We really do. OK, I will tell you there is the Rolford Leather Company in the UK. They are a supplier of fine quality leathers. Also just from Ancestry.com. Michigan had the highest population of Rolford families in 1880. So I think you might be right. Both names seem to be names.
Angela [01:04:31] I mean, just come on, OK,
Dwight [01:04:33] Okay, knock it off, Rolf.
Rolf [01:04:34] She’s sitting there casting aspersions…
Jenna [01:04:37] I think you’re right. I think we have broken a big case here. Mom detectives, we declare Rolford.
Angela [01:04:44] Put it on your calendar that this is the first time Rolford is being documented.
Jenna [01:04:49] Yes.
Angela [01:04:50] In the Office canon.
Jenna [01:04:52] Angela.
Angela [01:04:53] I’m clapping for myself.
Jenna [01:04:53] Applause for you.
Angela [01:04:53] Thank you.
Jenna [01:04:55] Good work.
Angela [01:04:56] Thank you. And now to whoever does subtitles, change it to Rolford. Thank you very much.
Jenna [01:05:00] I’d like to say that that was a combo mom detective, two ladies who Google move. You see how both of those came together in that moment.
Angela [01:05:09] It’s beautiful, really. I do.
Jenna [01:05:11] I’m proud of us.
Angela [01:05:12] Ken shared that he really liked seeing Dwight softening to Angela. Angela’s clearly moved by this. And then right after the scene, there would have been an Angela talking head. It got deleted, but I wanted you to hear it.
Angela Martin [01:05:26] Today for the first time in months Dwight nodded at me. And I have to admit it made my heart sit up just a little straighter in its chair. I know I seem hard and cold on the outside, but on the inside I’m as warm as porcelain. I’m sorry for gushing on like this. It must be the apple juice talking. Or I don’t…
Jenna [01:05:52] It’s very sweet.
Angela [01:05:53] She is as soft as porcelain on the inside.
Jenna [01:05:57] Apple juice is not on the drink menu.
Angela [01:05:59] I know you were going to say that. I also now like this expression of saying it just made my heart sit up a little straighter in its chair.
Jenna [01:06:06] I loved that too. I thought it was cute. The game is going and Pam is going to fall. Lady, I did my own falling stunt. That’s all me.
Angela [01:06:17] I believed it.
Jenna [01:06:17] I’m very proud of it.
Angela [01:06:19] It’s not the first time you fall in this episode. You fall twice.
Jenna [01:06:22] I do?
Angela [01:06:22] Yeah. You had a spontaneous fall while you were playing fake volleyball earlier in the episode. I clocked it and you went down to your knees to get a ball.
Jenna [01:06:33] Huh? I’m a pro.
Angela [01:06:35] You are sporty Pam.
Jenna [01:06:38] Well, there had been a lot of discussion about using my double and shooting the fall from behind, but Ken said to sell it, they really needed to see my face on camera.
Angela [01:06:47] And it wasn’t the shoulder rotation.
Jenna [01:06:49] Yes, there was no reason why they couldn’t just have me fall. It was not going to affect my shoulder. Randy told me that sometimes in movies, they will use a stunt double from the front and then they do CGI face replacement.
Angela [01:07:04] What?
Jenna [01:07:05] Yeah.
Angela [01:07:06] Is this Face Off?
Jenna [01:07:07] Kind of like the movie magic version of Face Off. He said we could not afford that. So there was no putting my face on her face. So, you know, at the end of this, when Pam is going to leave to get her ankle checked, Dwight has to start stalling for time, and the first thing he does is he like kicks the volleyball really far away.
Angela [01:07:29] This reminded me of like the butthole kid growing up like when you played kickball, you have a tantrum and kick the ball real far and someone had to go get it.
Jenna [01:07:39] Totally. Well, we had a fan catch from Emily H in Ohio who said, I have a background catch at 16 minutes, 55 seconds. When Dwight kicks the volleyball away to stall the game, there are some weird face cut out board picture things in the background, and I think there is a person sticking their head through one of them.
Angela [01:07:58] Really? I saw those things. They look like something from a carnival.
Jenna [01:08:03] All right. I don’t know if this is related, but Jenny Tan wrote this in her diary for the day. She said during the first few takes of Dwight kicking the ball, there was a background performer hiding in the shack. And whenever the volleyball was kicked near it, this person would wave his arm outside the shack and ruin the take. She said needless to say, this person was asked to leave the set and was told not to return for the rest of the week.
Angela [01:08:33] What’s happening?
Jenna [01:08:34] I don’t know. I was like, Could that be the person whose face was in the little like picture thing?
Angela [01:08:40] Well you know I’m going to go back and look.
Jenna [01:08:42] I know.
Angela [01:08:43] Well, not in the shack waving their arms are Michael and Holly. How’s that for a transition?
Jenna [01:08:49] That was a wonderful transition. I like that.
Angela [01:08:50] We should share with you guys we often wonder how to transition.
Jenna [01:08:54] We are trying so hard not to have every transition be Lady.
Angela [01:08:58] Lady or well.
Jenna [01:08:59] Yes, the oh the wells.
Angela [01:09:01] The wells, we do a lot of wells.
Jenna [01:09:03] Dr. Peter Thibodeau, please don’t count the wells.
Angela [01:09:05] Oh, don’t oh, I have Dr. Thibodeau a few times and it was staggering. Anyways, Michael and Holly are going to reflect on their skit and on their mistake of mentioning the Buffalo thing. And they have this very sweet couplet of dialogue. Holly says, Well, I’m glad we did it. Michael says me too, and there’s a long pause, and he says, we have a lot of good material for next year’s sketch. And she lights up and says, I can’t wait. Well, this was a really beautiful performance by Steve and Amy. They shared in the DVD that everyone at video village where they were watching the playback was crying. They said, Jenny was there, Jenny Tan. She was crying. And then Ken said something I just loved about this scene between Steve and Amy. I wrote it down verbatim, and I want to read it to you. Ken said, It’s the toughest kind of scene because in a way, everything is happening and nothing is happening all at once. There’s a gigantic shift that takes place, but it’s all under the surface, and the challenge is to find it over and over again, take after take as if they’ve never been there.
Jenna [01:10:20] Mm yeah.
Angela [01:10:22] I just thought that was really well said because every time they did it, they had to have that discovery of knowing that something just changed for both of them.
Jenna [01:10:31] It’s a beautiful scene.
Angela [01:10:33] And then they say goodbye. And then Michael has this fantastic talking head where he says he didn’t find the perfect moment that day to share those things with her. But it’s OK because they’re going to be one of those couples who have a long story. And he’s just going to be patient.
Jenna [01:10:47] Yeah, Jen said in an interview that they loved setting up this idea that Michael was going to find a way at this picnic to try to make his move with Holly. But then over the course of the day, as he spent time with her, he was reminded that they have something really special. And he gains this more mature way of looking at the relationship, and it’s very different than how he would behave if this were Jan or any other woman from his past. And that, she said, “he was calm and confident and quieted by this thought”. And I loved that. And this talking head right here is why you know this is his soup snake. His soulmate. 100 percent, right?
Angela [01:11:37] Yeah.
Jenna [01:11:38] Well, Jim is going to take Pam to a local hospital, and for whatever reason, they have this belief that Dwight can stall this volleyball game. I mean.
Angela [01:11:49] For how long? I mean.
Jenna [01:11:51] Have you ever gone to get an ankle checked or anything checked?
Angela [01:11:55] Even just the commute and finding parking and getting inside and signing up and getting your insurance information?
Jenna [01:12:01] I don’t know. Jim is feverishly filling out some hospital form while a sassy nurse is wheeling Pam away. The sassy nurse was played by Alison Martin. She’s done a ton of television comedy, most recently Grace and Frankie, and she did an episode of Law & Order. We had a fan question from Christy H in Maryland who said, My 13 year old son thinks the hospital that Jim and Pam go to is the Scrubs Hospital. Is he right? He’s a huge Office fan. And Sam, O. from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said at the end of this episode, you guys are clearly in the hospital from Scrubs. Do you remember anything about working there? Was the cast of the other show around at all? Well, I tell you what, Christy, your son is right. Sam, you are right. This was the hospital that they used on Scrubs. It is a former hospital. It’s not even around anymore. They’ve torn it down. But at the time, it was an abandoned hospital. It was the Riverside Community Hospital in Sherman Oaks. The Scrubs cast were not there that day, but Randy told us that their production graciously allowed us to use some of their pre dressed corridors and examination rooms. And something I’ll tell you is that we shot all of this hospital stuff on Monday. It was our very first day of shooting. It was before we ever went out to the company picnic.
Angela [01:13:24] So all of that emotion was just day one.
Jenna [01:13:28] Day one.
Angela [01:13:28] Wow.
Jenna [01:13:29] We started with the cold open and then we relocated to the hospital, and Jenny recalled that she was not allowed to observe the hospital. She knew that we were going to a hospital, but she didn’t know why, and we’ll tell you more about that in just a little bit.
Angela [01:13:45] I don’t know how much longer Dwight can stall. The corporate team is insisting that Scranton put in their subs. And Dwight is doing this really long roundabout thing of like, well, how many people must get hurt before a lesson is learned? One? Two? Three? Four? He’s doing a horrible job of stalling. But Jim is like Dwight keeps stalling and then he gets called into the room where Pam is. And they get some pretty big news.
Jenna [01:14:13] But we can’t hear it.
Angela [01:14:14] Nope.
Jenna [01:14:15] But I think we know what it is.
Angela [01:14:16] Yes.
Jenna [01:14:18] We got some mail. A lot of people wanted to know, why was this scene silent? Obviously, they’re being told that they’re going to have a baby. Why couldn’t we hear it? Well, this was partially inspired by the British show. There is a scene in that series where Tim is going to tell Dawn how he feels about her, but first he takes off his microphone, and Jen and Paul thought that this made that moment even more intimate. It’s one of those things kind of like the teapot note. There’s nothing that you could write that could ever meet people’s expectations of what it needed to be. So if you leave it for people to fill in themselves, it’ll always be the perfect note.
Angela [01:15:03] I agree, and I feel like Randall Einhorn shared with us that the further you were away from a moment, the more intimate it feels to watch.
Jenna [01:15:11] Yeah. And so removing the sound makes you pretty far away. Well, this idea was something we had been toying with for a long time. On Casino Night there was a whole conversation about whether or not we should hear Jim tell Pam that he has feelings for her out in the parking lot. We ultimately decided to keep the audio for that. But you know, we’re going to do this again when Pam says goodbye to Michael. Every once in a while it was a trick we could use because we were a documentary. We could pull the sound and make a really impactful moment. So Jim is going to run into the hallway now. He’s going to call Dwight, and he is going to say, send in the subs. We got mail. Annette E from Minnesota, said Jim’s face when he finds out he’s going to be a father gives me goosebumps every time. He is acting goals in this scene. And Abby M, from Utah said, What were the directions given to John for when he finds out about the baby?
Angela [01:16:12] So, yeah, John Krasinski. Man, why he didn’t win an Emmy, why you didn’t, why the whole freaking cast didn’t win more awards because the show is delivering right here. Ken shared on the DVD commentary and note that he gave John for this scene, and I thought it was great. And I want you guys to hear it.
Ken Kwapis [01:16:31] The one thing I told John to remember is that over the course of this series, he’s developed a relationship with the documentary camera operator. And so when John emerges from the room to make the call to Dwight, something about seeing his pal, the film- the cameraman kind of suddenly got him very choked up.
Paul Lieberstein [01:16:52] Wow, what a great note.
Jennifer Celotta [01:16:55] He had told me this look.
Ken Kwapis [01:16:57] Because we debated whether or not he should be so wrapped up in the moment that he should ignore the camera. But in fact, it was the opposite.
Jennifer Celotta [01:17:03] The look right there that look, it was.
Ken Kwapis [01:17:05] It was almost like, you know, the cameraman has been sharing so much of what’s going on with Jim that, you know, that it became very important to acknowledge him here.
Angela [01:17:15] So the look he is talking about happens at 20 minutes, 50 seconds. And you guys know these moments in your life where you’re feeling all of this emotion and then you see a good friend. And it just comes pouring out of you. It’s that person that says, Are you OK when you’re not OK. And I loved that, and I’m so glad that they had John as Jim look to camera and look to his friend.
Jenna [01:17:40] It’s a brilliant note. It’s great directing by Ken Kwapis. And a great performance by John.
Angela [01:17:45] And you too.
Jenna [01:17:47] Aw.
Angela [01:17:47] I loved this moment. Made me tear up again watching it.
Jenna [01:17:51] Well, we got a fan question from Kaylee in Auburn, New York. Jenna, did you have any idea before this episode that the writers were going to make Pam pregnant? And what were your thoughts when you found out? Well, I barely knew. They did not warn us like weeks or months ahead. I found out basically right before the table read, and I remember sitting in that table read and Ken Kwapis read the stage directions and there was like an audible gasp in the room. Everyone was like, Ooh, ooh. So here is what the script said. This is what Ken read. The doctor tells Jim something, and we see Jim’s face light up. Pam is also grinning. Jim and Pam hug. Jim walks out with a big smile on his face. So the script did not even say the Jim and Pam were going to have a baby. But everybody knew, Oh my gosh, Jim and Pam are going to have a baby. But that was just for the table read. If you read the shooting draft for this episode, those scenes are omitted. It just says Scene 51, 52, 53. See production for details.
Angela [01:18:57] Yeah, they immediately took it out of all documentation, all scripts, everything.
Jenna [01:19:02] It was a huge secret.
Angela [01:19:05] Yeah, they shared on the commentary that our producers made a huge effort to keep this a secret. They didn’t want it to get out to the audience. They didn’t want it to be ruined. They could not let NBC know.
Jenna [01:19:17] So crazy.
Angela [01:19:18] So crazy. So none of the scripts had the final scenes, just like you said, right? And then the scripts that went out, they were omitted from those. And then every day, you guys, they would send NBC the cds of the dailies.
Jenna [01:19:31] Of what we had shot that day.
Angela [01:19:33] That’s right. It was deleted from that. And then the final master cut of the whole episode that the network gets to review before it goes on the air? They had deleted it from those as well.
Jenna [01:19:45] Oh my gosh.
Angela [01:19:46] And then Jen said that all of the scripts, every single disc that was sent to NBC, they were all watermarked so that you couldn’t copy them in any way. And Jen said in hindsight, if she was somewhat at NBC, she’d be like, You don’t ever water mark our cds or scripts like, what’s going on? Like what? What’s all the hullabaloo with the watermarking?
Jenna [01:20:10] That is so crazy.
Angela [01:20:12] She said, and thinking about it, they watermarked scripts and CDs that didn’t even have a scene to copy.
Jenna [01:20:20] It’s so true.
Angela [01:20:21] They were just, I guess, so paranoid.
Jenna [01:20:24] Wow.
Angela [01:20:25] But it didn’t get out there, and it was a true surprise.
Jenna [01:20:28] It was. I guess, when they finally had to at the last minute send the deliverable airable version, they finally put the scene back in.
Angela [01:20:38] That’s right. But it was too late, you know, for anyone to ruin the surprise
Jenna [01:20:42] or to even make promos. I think that was always their big fear was that in order to tease the audience that they would reveal like big plot points. And Greg was always so protective of that.
Angela [01:20:55] All it would have taken is one like NBC teaser of you and Jim in a hospital.
Jenna [01:21:00] Yes.
Angela [01:21:00] That’s it.
Jenna [01:21:01] Mm hmm. And they’d have an announcer being like, Jim and Pam get the news of a lifetime on tonight’s finale.
Angela [01:21:08] Thursday. NBC.
Jenna [01:21:10] We got more mail about this scene, and I’m just going to just run through them real quick. Phoebe T from Indiana would like to know if I was actually pregnant or if it was just for the show. Phoebe, it was just for the show. I was not even married to Lee yet, though. We were dating and we were getting a little serious, but we weren’t at baby yet.
Angela [01:21:29] No, you weren’t there yet. No, you were still in what I call the sexy life.
Jenna [01:21:32] We were in sexy life and I will be wearing a fakey belly in the upcoming season. And I’ll tell you all about it. And then Louise from Washington said, Why did the writers decide on Pam and Jim having a baby before getting married? You guys, that’s just Greg. He liked to keep people on their toes. He liked to surprise the audience. And finally, Liz B from Columbus, Ohio, said, what ended up happening with Pam’s ankle? Liz, I love you. I loved that in this whole episode we have left you hanging about Pam’s ankle. I feel you. This is how I feel when I watch a John Wick movie. He has lots of injuries.
Angela [01:22:10] How does he get through the day?
Jenna [01:22:11] I need them to be resolved. So, Liz, it was just a slight sprain. It’s just going to be a little rest, a little elevation, little ice. She’s going to be fine. And that, my friends, was Company Picnic.
Angela [01:22:24] I have one last thing to say. Is this goodbye to Charles Miner?
Jenna [01:22:28] I believe it is.
Angela [01:22:30] Idris. You were fantastic. We really enjoyed rewatching all of your episodes.
Jenna [01:22:36] It was really fun. You were fun to work with.
Angela [01:22:38] You sure were. Happy company Picnic Day, everybody.
Jenna [01:22:42] And happy New Year!
Angela [01:22:44] Oh my gosh, that’s right.
Jenna [01:22:45] This was a great way to kick off the new year I think.
Angela [01:22:47] It sure was.
Jenna [01:22:48] We will be back next week and we will be starting season six. We are now officially halfway through our rewatch. I can’t believe it.
Angela [01:22:56] I can’t believe it.
Jenna [01:22:58] It’s flown by.
Angela [01:22:59] It has flown by. We hope you have a great week. We hope you have a little bit of vacation Stanley in your day and we’ll be here next week.
Jenna [01:23:06] See you then.
Angela [01:23:07] See ya then.
Jenna [01:23:12] Thank you for listening to Office Ladies. Office Ladies is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Our show is executive produced by Codi Fischer. Our producer is Cassi Jerkins, our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer, and our associate producer is Aynsley Bubbico.
Angela [01:23:29] Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton. For Ad free versions of Office Ladies, go to Stitcher Premium dot com. For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium, use code: Office.
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