September 19, 2023
This week we’re taking a look back on “Double Date”. To celebrate Helene’s birthday, Michael treats Jim, Pam and Helene to lunch, and of course, it ends up being a very cringey disaster. Meanwhile Dwight and Andy struggle to outdo each other in nice favors. Angela reads from her personal journal about her first New York bagel experience, Jenna shares a story about joining what she thought was an international Spice Girls group and of course, the ladies break down Pam hitting Michael. ‘Cuz just like this episode, the power comes from the back foot. So put your hands in your pockets and enjoy!
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178.5 — A Look Back on Double Date
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.
Both [00:00:23] Hi.
Angela [00:00:25] All right. We are sitting across from each other, you guys, this is very exciting because 2022 we couldn’t do this until now.
Jenna [00:00:33] Until now, I’m tearing up a little. So good to be back.
Angela [00:00:39] It’s so good to be back, lady.
Jenna [00:00:42] Aw. Today we’re talking about Double Date. It is season six, episode nine. It’s written by Charlie Grandy, who is the writer famous for “Boom. Roasted.” And directed by Seth Gordon. Here’s your summary: Jim, Pam, Michael and Pam’s mom, Helene all go out to lunch to celebrate Helene’s birthday. This is the double date of Double Date.
Angela [00:01:09] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:01:10] And it all goes well until Michael spirals out about Helen’s real age, and then he breaks up with her at her birthday lunch.
Angela [00:01:19] Ugh, Michael.
Jenna [00:01:19] Ugh. Meanwhile, Dwight does nice things for everyone in the office in an attempt to get each of them to owe him a favor. Then he’s going to cash in his favors to get Jim fired. But unfortunately for Dwight, Andy is also very good at favors.
Angela [00:01:37] Andy will not owe you anything.
Jenna [00:01:39] I love it when he’s like,
Angela [00:01:41] you send me a wedding invitation? I respond.
Jenna [00:01:44] Yes.
Angela [00:01:45] Invite me to your birthday? Boom. Accepted.
Jenna [00:01:48] Yes.
Angela [00:01:48] Yeah.
Jenna [00:01:49] I would like that.
Angela [00:01:51] Mm-Hmm.
Jenna [00:01:51] It’s a good quality.
Angela [00:01:53] I mean, you know, you probably get a handwritten thank you card from Andy.
Jenna [00:01:56] You probably do. All right. Let’s get into fast facts. Fast fact number one is all about our director, Seth Gordon. You know, we said last week, we’re going to get in to some of these like heavy hitter directors, and Seth is another one. I loved Seth because he directed one of my favorite movies of all time, the documentary King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.
Angela [00:02:25] It’s so flippin good.
Jenna [00:02:28] It’s so good, Ange, we rewatched it as a family.
Angela [00:02:32] Did you?
Jenna [00:02:33] With the kids. If you do not know this documentary, you need to watch it immediately. It is about the world of competitive arcade gaming. Specifically, it follows this just gentle hearted
Angela [00:02:49] sweet guy
Jenna [00:02:50] named Steve Wiebe and his attempt to beat the Donkey Kong high score which was held for like 20 years by this guy Billy Mitchell.
Angela [00:03:02] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:03:03] Billy Mitchell is like the ultimate documentary villain. This story of these two guys battling it out to have the high score on Donkey Kong… I couldn’t love him more.
Angela [00:03:16] When he would go in his garage and practice.
Jenna [00:03:18] Yes.
Angela [00:03:19] And his wife would like check in.
Jenna [00:03:21] I know.
Angela [00:03:22] Oh my gosh, you guys, it is such a wonderful story.
Jenna [00:03:26] You can find it on Prime Video and Apple TV. We watched on Prime. We had to buy it. I’m so glad we did. So, Seth Gordon, he did everything on this movie. He directed it. He was the cinematographer. He edited it. And then he came and did our show. So we got another documentarian film director.
Angela [00:03:45] I look through my digital clutter, lady.
Jenna [00:03:48] Mm-Hmm.
Angela [00:03:48] And I actually emailed a friend of mine saying how excited I was to have Seth on set. And that we were all really excited. And then I also said, and I have a day off because
Jenna [00:04:01] because of the double date storyline?
Angela [00:04:03] The double date story. And guess what I did with my day off?
Jenna [00:04:05] What?
Angela [00:04:06] I did an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba?
Jenna [00:04:08] Oh, I remember that, Ange.
Angela [00:04:10] Yeah, because my daughter loved the show and I went to the set, I got to play the school teacher. I had to sing about show and tell. Here it is:.
Yo Gabba Gabba Song [00:04:20] Time for show and tell. Time for show and tell. Show us what you can do well…
Jenna [00:04:21] Oh, my gosh. Well done, Angela.
Angela [00:04:28] Time for show and tell. I had to sing and dance. You know these are things I do not do. But it’s what you do for your kids. Isabel was so excited. They gave me this great picture of her and I on set with all of the characters and I have it in my office.
Jenna [00:04:43] It’s so cute.
Angela [00:04:44] And everyone there was so nice. They were so much fun. It was one of the most fun days of work I’ve ever had. Every day on Yo Gabba Gabba was a theme day and that day was birthday day and you would come dressed as whatever your interpretation of that was. And this one gal came dressed as a cake, like fully a cake, like a hat and a skirt, but she was a tiered cake.
Jenna [00:05:08] You would wear that. You love a birthday.
Angela [00:05:11] I do love a birthday.
Jenna [00:05:13] Should we start having theme days on our tape days here at Office Ladies? Is that a lot of pressure?
Angela [00:05:19] It feels like a lot of pressure.
Jenna [00:05:20] OK, we won’t do it.
Angela [00:05:21] Maybe once.
Jenna [00:05:23] We’ll do one theme day.
Angela [00:05:24] We’ll do one. Sam, you have to participate. Everyone participates.
Sam [00:05:28] I would love to.
Angela [00:05:29] OK. Theme day coming up.
Jenna [00:05:32] Well, before we move to fast fact number two, let me also add that Seth Gordon has gone on to direct huge movies. Four Christmases, Horrible Bosses, Identity Theft and Baywatch. He’s also directed a ton of television. I loved working with him.
Angela [00:05:49] I loved him.
Jenna [00:05:51] So now fast fact number two is a location breakdown.
Angela [00:05:57] Is it of the restaurant?
Jenna [00:05:59] Yes. I mean, so much of this episode takes place at this restaurant, Paparazzos. Not a real restaurant. We made it up. We filmed it in Los Angeles at this place called Bistro Garden in Studio City.
Angela [00:06:15] I was going to say, Wait, I’ve driven past that.
Jenna [00:06:17] Yeah, I’ve eaten there. It’s at the corner of Coldwater and Ventura.
Angela [00:06:22] Oh yeah, with the big awning and the steps.
Jenna [00:06:26] Yes, yes. It’s now closed, but it was a really great restaurant. When I reached out to our writer on this episode, Charlie Grandy, to ask him about some of his memories that we might be able to share. He reminded me that there was a giant water main break on Coldwater Canyon Road that exploded and flooded the whole area.
Angela [00:06:50] Yes, I remember that.
Jenna [00:06:52] And that was like the day before we were supposed to shoot in this area. I used to live off this road of Coldwater Canyon. There was one way in and one way out of my neighborhood, and it was this road where this water main broke. Randy Cordray confirmed that this happened, and it caused a huge problem with this intersection. There were hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. It was about four feet deep. There was all this traffic. It took like three days to clean it up. Some guy had to be rescued from his car.
Angela [00:07:27] All the businesses along that street flooded and had to be closed, and some of them had to be renovated, and some didn’t even come back because it was too much damage. And you know what I remember? I remember right on Coldwater, a few days after the flood, there was a sinkhole.
Jenna [00:07:46] Yes.
Angela [00:07:46] And they had a giant hole in the ground.
Jenna [00:07:49] Lady, I found a picture of it. This was in the L.A. Times.
Angela [00:07:53] Yes. It was crazy. And then they had to fix the sinkhole by laying these big metal plate things on the ground.
Jenna [00:08:01] And when you drove over, it was like (MAKES NOISE) it was scary. And then later they had to fix this water main and you had to have a special pass to even drive on this road. You had to prove that you were a resident with only this road to access your home. So we got the special car passes.
Angela [00:08:21] The traffic was a son of a b-
Jenna [00:08:24] It was. Amazingly enough, the bistro where we were shooting did not flood. And they found a way that we could access it from this back road and we still shot that day.
Angela [00:08:36] Wow.
Jenna [00:08:36] Yeah. All right. Fast fact number three Angela. The other memory that Charlie Grandy shared was that he got a BlackBerry during this episode. He finally upgraded his flip phone. But he said he did not know how to set it up, so he asked John to help him.
Angela [00:08:58] To set up his BlackBerry on set?
Jenna [00:09:00] Because John was the voice of BlackBerry.
Angela [00:09:04] Oh yeah. John had one. He had to know how to use it because he was like part of a campaign.
Jenna [00:09:10] Yeah. I found an audio clip.
John Krasinski [00:09:14] What’s this? The new BlackBerry? You’ve seen BlackBerrys before. It’s no big deal. Maybe one quick peek just to see what all the fuss is about. Whoa.
Jenna [00:09:27] Mm-Hmm. So this was when BlackBerry was getting away from the little buttons, and they were just like going to become a touch screen BlackBerry, so that’s why he’s like, Whoa.
Angela [00:09:36] He has a really good voice for that.
Jenna [00:09:38] He’s done tons of voiceovers.
Angela [00:09:40] I know.
Jenna [00:09:41] So anyway, I loved that Charlie had a memory that during different set ups, he’d be like getting John to set up his new BlackBerry for him.
Angela [00:09:50] It’s so funny because, you know, like when you’re talking to someone and they all of a sudden tell you something and all of these memories flood back? So that’s now happened twice today. First of all, the sinkhole, I remember the sinkhole. Secondly, I remember getting my BlackBerry and having Rainn help me.
Jenna [00:10:07] Yeah.
Angela [00:10:08] Rainn got so frustrated with me because he was like, Angela, you’re not listening.
Jenna [00:10:14] Yeah, because Rainn was the first one to get one.
Angela [00:10:16] Yeah, but I just remember Rainn help me set up my BlackBerry.
Jenna [00:10:20] Well, that’s all I got for fast facts.
Angela [00:10:23] Well, I loved your fast facts. They took me down memory lane. And this is such a fun episode. I was so delighted by it. I can’t wait for us to just get right into it.
Jenna [00:10:32] I had forgotten about so much of it, so I loved it too.
Angela [00:10:36] Well, how about this? Let’s go to break because when we come back, lady, I brought in one of my journals.
Jenna [00:10:42] Oh, this day is awesome.
Angela [00:10:47] Things are going to get spicy. We are back. Dwight is walking around with- I want you to know- what I think was a very nice basket. Because I notice a basket. He’s got all of these beautiful bagels from H&H Bagel in New York, and he has started his favor campaign.
Jenna [00:11:11] Yeah, I’ll have, you know, H&H Bagels is a real place in New York. It’s very famous for having the best bagels. And this is also not the first time that H&H Bagels has been featured on a television show.
Angela [00:11:26] What was the other show?
Jenna [00:11:27] Seinfeld.
Angela [00:11:28] Oh yeah.
Jenna [00:11:29] And I have an audio clip.
Angela [00:11:31] Oh my gosh.
Kramer [00:11:33] Great news. Yeah, the strike’s been settled, I’m going back to work.
Jerry Seinfeld [00:11:38] What strike?
Kramer [00:11:39] At H&H Bagels. That’s where I worked.
Jerry Seinfeld [00:11:41] You?
Elaine [00:11:41] Worked?
Jerry Seinfeld [00:11:42] Bagels?
Kramer [00:11:42] Yeah look, see? Still have my business card. Yeah, we’ve been on strike for 12 years.
Elaine [00:11:48] Yeah, I remember seeing those guys picketing out there, but haven’t seen them in a long time.
Kramer [00:11:53] Well, H&H wouldn’t let us use their bathroom while we were picketing. Put a crimp on our solidarity.
Elaine [00:12:01] What were your demands?
Kramer [00:12:03] Five thirty five an hour, and that’s what they’re paying now.
Elaine [00:12:06] I believe that’s the new minimum wage.
Kramer [00:12:09] And now you know who to thank for that. All right. I got to go.
Jerry Seinfeld [00:12:12] Why didn’t you ever mention this?
Kramer [00:12:15] Jerry, I didn’t want you to know I was out of work. It’s embarrassing.
Jenna [00:12:21] So this is the storyline that suddenly you find out that Kramer had a job, that he’s been on strike, and it was H&H Bagels and he goes back to the bagel place and he gets his job back. But he doesn’t know- like he gets there and- I ended up watching the episode.
Angela [00:12:38] I can tell.
Jenna [00:12:39] And he gets there and he’s like, raisin bagel? We’re putting raisins in them? And you’re like, Yeah, I mean, the raisin bagel. He’s like, All right, I can do it. It was very funny. But I’ll have you know that the bagels that Dwight is passing out were not actually H&H bagels from New York. They were from a place called Western Bagel in Van Nuys.
Angela [00:13:01] Western Bagel’s very good, too. I’ve been there. I have a little something to share about H&H.
Jenna [00:13:06] What is it? Why are you reaching in a bag?
Angela [00:13:08] I’m reaching for my journal.
Jenna [00:13:10] What?
Angela [00:13:11] Get ready. OK. The first bagel I ever had was an H&H Bagel, and it was when I was interning on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
Jenna [00:13:21] Stop it right now. This journal, it’s a flower journal. It has many Post-it notes sticking out of it. Pages are falling out. And there is a late night with Conan O’Brien sticker.
Angela [00:13:34] I got the sticker when I got the internship and I put it on my journal.
Jenna [00:13:38] I mean, I’m taking a picture of you, obviously.
Angela [00:13:41] All right, before we turn to the page where I talk about my first bagel experience, I interned on Conan O’Brien. Years later, over a decade later, I was asked to be a guest. It was a full circle life moment because I went from the person who was getting everyone’s coffee to actually being a guest. And I brought my journal when I was a guest, and I read this on Late Night with Conan. Ready?
Jenna [00:14:08] Yes. I cannot wait.
Angela [00:14:09] Turning to the page. Here we go. Tomorrow night is Conan’s first year anniversary party at the Museum of Modern Art. Lots of important people, stars, NBC folks, and the interns get to go. Wow! Details later. Why am I details later to myself? This is my journal. I go on to say, And there are serious food perks to interning here. I get a free meal with the writers and I had my first bagel. It’s basically bread that looks like a donut.
Jenna [00:14:43] No. You did not just describe what a bagel is in your journal.
Angela [00:14:46] To myself.
Jenna [00:14:50] Just in case you forget later.
Angela [00:14:52] Just in case I forget. Just in case someone finds this journal someday and they’re curious, what is a bagel? And they’re curious what’s going to happen at Conan’s party? Details later. Yeah. Oh yeah.
Jenna [00:15:08] Keep going, please.
Angela [00:15:09] No, that’s it.
Jenna [00:15:10] That’s it?
Angela [00:15:11] OK.
Jenna [00:15:11] No, please, please.
Angela [00:15:14] Let’s see.
Jenna [00:15:14] Did you ever write the details later?
Angela [00:15:16] I did. I don’t know if I can read them. OK.
Jenna [00:15:22] This is when the journal becomes just for you.
Angela [00:15:24] Yeah. OK. In a nutshell, Conan’s party, the interns had to work the front door.
Jenna [00:15:31] Oh, so you got to go but also…
Angela [00:15:32] I had to work. We had a list of names of people who could come in. After working the party we got to come inside at the end and we got to have drinks. We all got tooted.
Jenna [00:15:47] Oh my gosh. Wait. Can you go back and read your description of what a bagel is one more time? I just want to hear it again.
Angela [00:15:53] Yes. And there are some serious food perks to interning here. I get a free meal with the writers, and I had my first bagel. It’s basically bread that looks like a donut.
Sam [00:16:05] I’m sorry. You guys got what? At the party. What did you guys get?
Angela [00:16:10] Tooted.
Sam [00:16:11] What time period does this take place?
Angela [00:16:14] You guys, this is nineteen ninety four. I got tooted. I got tooted it on free drinks after workin the door all night.
Jenna [00:16:23] I’m sorry. I need a mug that has a picture of a bagel. And underneath it says, Basically bread shaped like a donut.
Angela [00:16:32] There you guys go. My first H&H Bagel. And I’m- now you know how lame I was in my 20s.
Sam [00:16:43] Your journal reads like how they write Michael Scott’s journal.
Jenna [00:16:45] It does, lady. It’s amazing. It’s amazing.
Angela [00:16:49] Oh my gosh.
Jenna [00:16:50] Please bring it back again some other time. Please just keep reading it. Oh booy.
Angela [00:16:55] Oh my gosh.
Jenna [00:16:57] OK. All right. All right. Back to the episode. I’m sorry, OK. OK, back to the episode. You know when Dwight went in to offer Michael the bagels?
Angela [00:17:10] Yes.
Jenna [00:17:11] And Michael claims he isn’t hungry because he had two fish stick sandwiches which were an aphrodisiac.
Angela [00:17:19] Right. But his lady friend declined.
Jenna [00:17:23] Yes. Dwight says something like, You’re thinking of deer penis.
Angela [00:17:28] I was thinking of oysters.
Jenna [00:17:30] There are many things that are aphrodisiacs.
Angela [00:17:32] Oh no, I I sense a deep dive.
Jenna [00:17:36] But I was most curious…
Angela [00:17:38] You did not type deer penis.
Jenna [00:17:41] I did type, Is deer penis an aphrodisiac?
Angela [00:17:44] Oh, Lord Jesus.
Jenna [00:17:45] It is.
Angela [00:17:46] What?
Jenna [00:17:48] It’s real.
Angela [00:17:49] Come on.
Jenna [00:17:50] Yeah. It goes all the way back to Hippocrates recommended deer penis as a solution to “resolving sexual difficulties”. But that’s not all. According to Wikipedia, in traditional Chinese medicine, deer penis is thought to have like other therapeutic properties. There’s something called deer penis wine.
Angela [00:18:16] No.
Jenna [00:18:17] Yup.
Angela [00:18:18] Nope.
Jenna [00:18:18] Yup. You can get it for about $12 a glass.
Angela [00:18:23] Get away from me with your deer penis wine.
Jenna [00:18:26] It supposedly can help heal athletic injuries.
Angela [00:18:30] Well, I’m not athletic, so
Jenna [00:18:32] But if you don’t want deer penis wine, you could have three penis wine.
Angela [00:18:40] What?
Jenna [00:18:40] Three penises in the wine.
Angela [00:18:42] Whose three penises?
Jenna [00:18:43] A seal penis…
Angela [00:18:44] Stop it.
Jenna [00:18:45] A deer penis… And a dog penis.
Angela [00:18:48] Come on. Who is making wine out of a bunch of penises?
Jenna [00:18:53] I don’t know, but you can get it. And since I was in studio today, I thought…
Angela [00:18:57] No, no, no. I’m not trying it. I’m not drinking it. You did not bring deer penis wine. No.
Jenna [00:19:03] I didn’t. I didn’t.
Angela [00:19:04] Oh my God. Oh my God.
Jenna [00:19:08] I didn’t. I was just kidding.
Angela [00:19:10] Oh my God.
Jenna [00:19:12] But I did find a website called Ale Sessions, and this person did drink three penis wine, and I thought I’d read you the description.
Angela [00:19:21] OK.
Jenna [00:19:23] Here’s what they said. “It’s something along the lines of an expired port with a pungent vinegar taste and some prune juice. And if you thought you’d get away with not tasting the three different penis profiles, you thought wrong. Also, it does not work in cocktails because it really just overpowers any possible combinations.”.
Angela [00:19:46] Ya think? The multiple penises overpower? The other flavors?
Jenna [00:19:53] The writer said, “No one should consume more than just a sip of this concoction. If you truly are interested in tasting the weirdest of the weird, three penis wine can generally be found in select Chinese grocers. It is sold on the shelves as it is classified as more of a natural herbal drink than alcohol. But honestly, don’t drink this. It’s not good. But that should be fairly obvious already.”
Angela [00:20:24] I don’t even know what to say. I am just thinking about these poor animals. How are they getting the penises? I can’t.
Jenna [00:20:33] I didn’t want to know. But what they do is they like, soak the penises in something.
Angela [00:20:41] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:20:42] There’s also something called baby mouse wine. It’s like a jar of baby mice, and then it ferments and then you drink it.
Angela [00:20:50] For what?
Jenna [00:20:51] I don’t know, but you know, when you’re Googling three penis wine, all these weird wines come up. Just weird drinks, you know? There’s articles about the weirdest drinks.
Angela [00:21:04] OK? Note to self do not Google about penis wine. A sentence I never thought I would say out loud.
Jenna [00:21:11] Well, just like we weren’t the first show to feature H&H Bagels, we aren’t the first show to mention deer penis. Three penis wine was also a plot line of an episode of The League where they drink it.
Angela [00:21:29] Well, I don’t know what you thought you were going to hear today on Office Ladies. A bagel looks like a donut. There’s penis wine. I… Anything can happen, guys. Anything.
Jenna [00:21:42] I don’t have much else for the rest of the episode, so the scale is tipped to here at the top of the show, just with the cold open.
Angela [00:21:50] I have two more things about this cold open.
Jenna [00:21:52] Oh my gosh, we’re not done with a cold open?
Angela [00:21:55] We’re not. At 19 seconds. I got a coffee mug callback.
Jenna [00:22:00] What’s that?
Angela [00:22:01] I love a coffee mug callback, Andy has his mug from Kelly’s America’s Got Talent viewing party sitting on his desk. Also, this was not the cold open in the shooting draft.
Jenna [00:22:14] Really?
Angela [00:22:15] Yeah, there was a whole different cold open. Here’s what it said. Cold open. Interior Michael’s office. Michael sits at his desk, flipping through a small stack of pictures. He sees Jim walking by. Jim, Jim, you have to see this! Regarding the photo. Do you know who that is? Jim: No. Michael: come on. How can you not tell? The T-shirt, the jeans. Jim: Is it you? Michael: I’m flattered, but it’s Johnny Depp. Jim: really? Where did you take these? Michael: my condo complex. Jim: of course. And what was he doing there? Michael: keep this on the down low. But he was moving in. Jim: right, because I read in People that Johnny Depp was looking for a two bedroom in Scranton. Michael: I’m totally flipping! You know my idea for a fourth Pirates movie, right? So this goes on and on. Michael is convinced that Johnny Depp has moved in and is his neighbor. And as it turns out, when he goes to see Johnny Depp’s mailbox, it says M. Shulman. So it’s not Johnny Depp.
Jenna [00:23:23] I’m surprised Michael doesn’t think that’s an alias.
Angela [00:23:27] It is a really funny scene. And we shot it. And it also includes Michael’s impression of Jack Sparrow. That exists somewhere.
Jenna [00:23:35] You know, this is crazy. This is unlocking a memory for me. When we read that at the table read, we all thought that was so funny. Amazing. Are we closing out the cold open?
Angela [00:23:45] That’s it. We’re done with the cold open.
Jenna [00:23:47] All right, let’s move in to the episode. Dwight goes up to Pam’s desk and offers her a bagel. She does not want one because she’s having an early lunch, and this is when we find out the information that she’s going on this double date for her mom’s birthday. We had a fan question from Genevieve B in Omaha, Nebraska. Why is Pam wearing such neutral, earthy colors in this episode? Normally, she would be wearing at least a little pop of color, but in this episode she looks like she’s dressing, dare I say, like Dwight.
Angela [00:24:22] What?
Jenna [00:24:24] I see what she’s saying. The color palette is varied, Schrute-y. But I also noticed that everything about it was there was no color. I think Pam is in mourning. I think she is going on this double date and she like- when she looked in her closet, this is what spoke to her.
Angela [00:24:44] I have noticed since Pam has become a salesman that her whole outfit has become more muted. There’s less pop of color.
Jenna [00:24:51] Yeah, I’ve noticed that too. We’re going to get it back.
Angela [00:24:54] OK. Ryan is continuing to evolve. Who is Ryan? Here’s the hat wearing glasses, guy. Now he’s a photographer. He’s showing his portfolio to Erin. It’s a black and white series that he calls Exposure in the Workplace. I wrote down the images I saw.
Jenna [00:25:14] Do tell.
Angela [00:25:15] One looks like some drains on the side of the building. Another one is clearly the Dunder Mifflin parking lot. You can see the top of Meredith’s van, the hedge, and the sign. And then, of course, we have Kelly nudie from the waist up at her desk.
Jenna [00:25:32] We had a fan question from Cecilia P. in Minnesota who would like to know, What is this photo book? How did we take the photo of Mindy? I want to know everything.
Angela [00:25:43] Let’s hear it.
Jenna [00:25:45] Well, Randy Cordray told us that all of the photos were shot by our production designer, Michael Gallenberg. He would do that for the show. For example, you mentioned that coffee mug. Michael took the pictures of all the cast members that then Phil Shea put on the coffee mugs. He’s actually a very talented, real life still photographer, so he did all of these photos. And the shoot with Mindy was done with her wearing like a flesh colored bandeau.
Angela [00:26:12] Like a tube top.
Jenna [00:26:13] Yes, because they knew that it would be pixelated later in post. So that’s how we did it. You know, I’m going to bring out this story. I wasn’t planning on it, but this episode feels like, I don’t know, it feels like it would be on theme. I wrote about this in my book The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide. The scene with Ryan showing Erin the pictures of like Kelly nude… Have I ever told you the story of how I almost joined like an international Spice Girls singing group that was actually a front for a call girl service?
Angela [00:26:49] What?
Jenna [00:26:50] Yeah.
Angela [00:26:51] You thought you were auditioning to be in a band?
Jenna [00:26:55] Yeah. A singing group.
Angela [00:26:56] That’s how they hoodwinked the girls?
Jenna [00:26:58] Yeah.
Angela [00:26:59] Ahh!
Jenna [00:27:00] Oh yeah. I’ve also told this story on Conan.
Angela [00:27:03] Oh my gosh.
Jenna [00:27:05] So I moved to L.A. and you know, you’re just looking for any gig you can get.
Angela [00:27:11] Sure.
Jenna [00:27:12] My friend was a really talented singer, and she saw a listing in the newspaper, the free newspaper.
Angela [00:27:19] OK. Red flag number one.
Jenna [00:27:21] Correct. For singing auditions for a new international Spice Girls type singing band in this guy’s condo. Red flag number two.
Angela [00:27:35] Yeah. Audition in a condo. Red flag two.
Jenna [00:27:38] She asked if I would go with her. I said, Sure, I’ll go with you. So I stood in line with her. Big group of people. Went in. She sang, and the guy’s like, Do you sing? To me. And I’m like, Not really, no. He’s like, Well just sing something. So I sang Rocky Top.
Angela [00:28:00] What?
Jenna [00:28:01] You know the song Rocky Top.
Angela [00:28:02] Like, good old rokcy top…
Jenna [00:28:05] Rocky Top, Tennessee. Rocky Top Tennessee!
Angela [00:28:07] That’s what came to your-.
Jenna [00:28:08] That’s what came to my mind. So I sang Rocky Top. Guess what, lady?
Angela [00:28:18] You got the part. You’re in the band.
Jenna [00:28:21] Me! I got it!
Angela [00:28:22] With your rocky top song.
Jenna [00:28:24] I’m the American girl.
Angela [00:28:25] Red Flag Number three,
Jenna [00:28:28] I get a call. It’s me. Imagine my friend, my friend, who’s like a professional level singer. She didn’t get the gig. I got it. I’m going to be the American girl. This guy gives me a tape. I’m supposed to listen to it. I’m supposed to learn my song. It was a country song about a truck stop. I practiced it and practiced it and practiced it. And I was like, When do I meet the other girls in the group? He’s like, soon, soon.
Angela [00:28:58] Red flag.
Jenna [00:28:59] And then he calls me and he’s like, Listen, we have a gig coming up. I’m like, We have a gig coming up? I’ve never met the other girls in the group. How are we going to do our dance moves? How are we going to harmonize?
Angela [00:29:15] What are our outfits?
Jenna [00:29:18] And he’s like, Come by the condo.
Angela [00:29:21] Red flag.
Jenna [00:29:22] And, you know, let me just see how your song is doing. You’ll just do your song. You’ll do it’s just a solo. Like, Oh my gosh, OK. Meanwhile, by the way, I’ve basically told everyone back in Missouri, Buckle in. I’m about to be a huge pop star.
Angela [00:29:39] A big star. Oh my gosh.
Jenna [00:29:39] So just I don’t know if I’m going to be able to come home for Thanksgiving this year.
Angela [00:29:45] I sang Rocky Top. I am now going to be a pop star.
Jenna [00:29:49] I had a whole new country name star for myself. Ginny Lee. My name was going to be Ginny Lee.
Angela [00:29:57] Oh, my God, you are giving me (BLEEP) about my journal about like getting tooted at a party, you’re Ginny Lee singing Rocky Top.
Jenna [00:30:09] I am. So I go to the guy’s condo and I’ve got my whole bit. I just want to say that when I got there, there were girls walking around in lingerie. You guys. None of this is penetrating the stars in my eyes. None of this is like I’m taking in none of this information. So I sing the song so earnestly. My truckstop song. Gosh, I wish I still had the tape. I sing it and I’m like, Oh, what do you think?
Angela [00:30:40] You sang your country and western song about a truck stop?
Jenna [00:30:43] Yeah, I’m like, Do you think I’m ready? He’s like, I do. I do. Then he says to me, You know what you need are-.
Angela [00:30:53] Some lingerie?
Jenna [00:30:54] Well, I guess I skipped the part where he offered to take my photo.
Angela [00:30:59] Hmm.
Jenna [00:31:00] He had mentioned that my headshots, they weren’t very dazzling. And he said that he takes headshots. And he offered to take some new headshots for me. And I said, I can’t afford that. He said, It’s fine. You can pay me back later. And then he said, while we’re doing it, why don’t we take some of you in like a bikini or maybe nude? Because I’d like to represent you as an actress as well? And what if you go in on a part that requires nudity? You know, you don’t want to have to get nude in the room. It’d be better to just hand them a photo.
Angela [00:31:31] Which never happens. Red flag. Red flag.
Jenna [00:31:34] But you know what my answer was?
Angela [00:31:36] What?
Jenna [00:31:36] I was like, you know what? I’m not going to want to do parts with nudity, so I won’t need those photos. Again. Why am I impenetrable?
Angela [00:31:45] You’re just sweet and innocent, and this person is a monster. OK, so what happened after you danced and sang your heart out about the truck stop?
Jenna [00:31:52] I said, Am I ready? Do you think I should do the show on Friday? I’m so nervous. And he goes, I think you should. He goes. Now here’s the thing. I also want you to know it’s going to be for a group of international businessmen.
Angela [00:32:06] Oh gosh.
Jenna [00:32:06] It’s a private show. And afterwards, you know, if you want to offer the gentleman some companionship, it can be quite lucrative.
Angela [00:32:16] Here we go.
Jenna [00:32:17] This is when suddenly everything comes into focus for me. Suddenly, I’m very aware of the people in lingerie. I’m very aware of the fact that I’ve never rehearsed with any of the other girls, the offer to take nude photographs… The fact that my friend, who’s an actual talented singer, didn’t get the gig. I’m like, Oh my god. This is a call girl ring. I’m not going to be a famous pop star. And I left. I changed my phone numbers. I never spoke to him again.
Angela [00:32:53] What did you tell everyone back in Missouri?
Jenna [00:32:56] The truth.
Angela [00:32:57] You did?
Jenna [00:32:58] I just did. I mean, what am I going to do? I told my parents.
Angela [00:33:02] Were they like, get on a plane home?
Jenna [00:33:04] How did my parents not fly out and bring me home? I don’t know. That was a very long tangent, but it’s sprung to mind when Ryan was like, I could take photos of you.
Angela [00:33:16] Creeper.
Jenna [00:33:17] Creeper. So guys, if you’re an aspiring actor and you want to come to Los Angeles or New York, maybe buy my book, The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide, where I lay out a lot of things that you should and shouldn’t do based on my experience.
Angela [00:33:37] While this photo display is happening, Pam’s mom walks in.
Jenna [00:33:42] Yes.
Angela [00:33:43] And we’re going to have a little bit of Angela sass coming up.
Jenna [00:33:46] Oh yeah. Pam. Aren’t you going to introduce us to Michael’s girlfriend?
Angela [00:33:51] Angela Martin enjoyed saying that so much.
Jenna [00:33:53] I know. How about the story about the necklace that Michael slipped on to Helene’s neck this morning.
Angela [00:34:00] While she was sleeping.
Jenna [00:34:02] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:34:03] Kelly’s like, it’s beautiful. No, it’s not.
Jenna [00:34:05] I loved that.
Angela [00:34:07] I’m going to break down all the gifts that Helene got in a little bit. So remember the necklace.
Jenna [00:34:11] Oh. We got a piece of mail from Genevieve B in Omaha, Nebraska, who said this. I found this fascinating. I worked as a manager for Claire’s in the late aughts, early 2010s, and I am 90 percent sure that Helene’s necklace was from the Icings dressy special occasion collection.
Angela [00:34:33] Claire’s Boutique in the mall?
Jenna [00:34:34] Yeah.
Angela [00:34:34] That’s where I got my ears pierced.
Jenna [00:34:36] Me too!
Angela [00:34:38] Really?
Jenna [00:34:39] Yeah.
Angela [00:34:39] Oh my gosh.
Jenna [00:34:40] It’s still where you get your ears pierced. It’s what they’re known for. Genevieve goes on to say, If so, the piece in question appears to be a cubic zirconia necklace. And in 2009/ 2010, ish they were marked down to $5.
Angela [00:34:59] OK.
Jenna [00:35:00] I’m not sure where we got this necklace, but I think this is a good guess.
Angela [00:35:04] I think it’s a great catch.
Jenna [00:35:06] Well, Pam’s going to try to get out of going to lunch by having Erin transfer a fakey phone call. This was very funny to me, along with Creed’s talking head.
Angela [00:35:17] I thought all of it was really funny. I also loved John’s performance as Jim, where he like, Nope. Hardly ever. And he like hangs up.
Jenna [00:35:27] Also he doesn’t say anything like when he’s like, I’ll handle it. He takes the phone and he goes. OK, great. It’s there. They found it.
Angela [00:35:36] And then Creed’s worried. He was like, that paper was never supposed to arrive. What is Creed running on the side?
Jenna [00:35:41] I don’t know.
Angela [00:35:42] Is Creed the reason they’re going bankrupt?
Jenna [00:35:44] I think so. Probably.
Angela [00:35:48] Pam doesn’t get out of it, she’s got to go to this birthday double date. The car ride was so cringey, but guess what? The car ride home is going to be even worse.
Jenna [00:35:57] Pam’s mom calls her Pammy. Did you notice?
Angela [00:36:01] I did notice, and it’s like Helene and Michael are like talking to Pam about making good choices and being a good salesperson and they’re being so parental. And you can just see, like Pam is like, Oh my God. What is happening.
Jenna [00:36:15] So next, we’re going to go into the kitchen. And Dwight is continuing his favors for the office. He’s cleaning out the freezer.
Angela [00:36:25] Oh, I have some catches here.
Jenna [00:36:27] Oh, tell.
Angela [00:36:28] Four minutes. Forty two seconds. Did you guys see what all Dwight had taken out of the freezer and put on the counter?
Jenna [00:36:34] I did. I paused it.
Angela [00:36:36] I took a screengrab.
Jenna [00:36:37] Let’s see if we clocked the same stuff.
Angela [00:36:39] Seven tubs of ice cream.
Jenna [00:36:41] Seven tubs of ice cream, all of which still have the plastic thing on them. Like none of them have been open.
Angela [00:36:48] Yeah. Six frozen microwave dinners. Some mixed veggies? A whole thing of butter. A bag of- what is that- six small baguettes?
Jenna [00:36:58] Yes.
Angela [00:36:59] And then two enormous bags of what looks like to be raw chicken sitting on top of the microwave.
Jenna [00:37:05] Which will get called back later.
Angela [00:37:07] So much raw chicken.
Jenna [00:37:09] We had a fan question from Hefsy Cornavaca, Mexico. I noticed Dwight cleaning the fridge in this scene, and I’m wondering if you guys ever used the fridge or freezer or cabinets to actually store your real snacks? We did not. It was just props. We never ate any of that. We never kept our food in there. There was-
Angela [00:37:34] Well.
Jenna [00:37:35] What?
Angela [00:37:34] Sometimes Mindy would eat prop food. We know this. Mindy and Ed were notorious for eating prop food, but we kept all of our snacks in our desk drawer.
Jenna [00:37:44] Yes, my perishable snacks we kept in the fridge that was backstage.
Angela [00:37:50] Yeah. But I had like a bag of potato chips in my drawer.
Jenna [00:37:54] Oh yeah.
Angela [00:37:55] Oh yeah.
Jenna [00:37:55] I had gum. Yeah. But I would never I would not trust eating something I found in that fridge because maybe it was from like, who knows when? Unless it was a new item made for that episode. The other stuff in there just sort of stayed.
Angela [00:38:15] I remember one time a few of us- I don’t know why- ate some of those cheese balls.
Jenna [00:38:20] Oh yeah, I was there. I was part of that. It was like a dare near the end.
Angela [00:38:24] All of a sudden I remember Phil Shea being like, guys, guys, we spray those with this stuff so they don’t go bad. We’re like, ughhhh.
Jenna [00:38:32] Yeah, with like a lacquer.
Angela [00:38:34] Well, you know, we’re fine.
Jenna [00:38:36] We’re here. Well, while Dwight’s cleaning out the freezer Andy comes in to give him his newly polished briefcase because he’s returning the favor of the bagels. And this leads to this favor competition, basically, as they’re walking back to their desks.
Angela [00:38:54] It’s really funny. These two guys cracked me up.
Jenna [00:38:58] Me too. You know, at five minutes thirty six seconds, Dwight says, if you clench your buttocks together while walking, you can really take the pressure off your knees.
Angela [00:39:06] Little tip there. Just a little tip.
Jenna [00:39:09] Well, I looked it up.
Angela [00:39:10] Does it work? I was going to try it.
Jenna [00:39:12] Well, I read an article called Getting to the Bottom of Knee Pain In Women.
Angela [00:39:18] Hey-oh. OK.
Jenna [00:39:19] Knee pain in women caused by their butts? The article asks. It says, If you’re experiencing knee pain and you go to a physical therapist, they might ask you, Are you using your butt? If the pain is not from like an obvious injury, you know? This physical therapist says, I always start with the glutes. I guess a lot of times knee pain can be caused by either tight weak hips or weak glutes because the glutes are like your stabilizer. And so they will often want you to increase your glutes. But the question here is if you’re supposed to clench your buttocks or not.
Angela [00:40:03] When you walk.
Jenna [00:40:05] And so while yes, weak glutes could be the root of your knee problem, I read a different article called To Clench or Not to Clench Your Butt, That is the Question by Brooke Thomas. She says, Do not perma-clench your butt. Don’t perma-clench it.
Angela [00:40:25] What’s a perma clench?
Jenna [00:40:26] That’s I think where you’re just clenching for no reason.
Angela [00:40:29] Why would you clench for no reason?
Jenna [00:40:31] To take the pressure off your knees. She said it can lead to other problems. It can lead to wear and tear on your lumbar discs. You can get too tight of a pelvic floor. I guess that’s bad. Instead of clenching, just do good glute workouts to build up the whole muscle. Ok? I know that we have not gotten very far into this episode, but should we take a break though? And then we’ll come back and we’ll break down the rest.
Angela [00:41:02] Yeah, because when we come back, the Scott family is checking in at the restaurant.
Jenna [00:41:08] Yes.
Angela [00:41:12] The Scott Family Table is ready.
Jenna [00:41:14] But which one is it? I mean, there’s just a bunch of boring tables.
Angela [00:41:18] Yeah. Oh wait. One has a ton of balloons and nice of the restaurant to let them hang a banner in their potted plants.
Jenna [00:41:26] I know. It is so sweet. Michael has completely decorated this table for Helene’s birthday. Pam notices. I think this is the first moment where she’s kind of softening to this. Also, because Helene is so delighted.
Angela [00:41:42] She’s so happy. They start the birthday lunch sort of talking about how like, Oh, they’re at this great Italian restaurant. Michael’s like, You know, I’d love to go to Italy. Helene’s like, Oh, you can have all my travel books. I, you know, I can’t do those big trips anymore.
Jenna [00:41:54] Yeah, the flights are too long. Not interested. And he’s like, Great. I guess I’ll take your books.
Angela [00:42:01] And then Pam and her mom have this like fun little banter. Pam’s like. So mom, which birthday are we celebrating this year? Jenna I used to do this with my mom.
Jenna [00:42:11] What do you mean?
Angela [00:42:12] I would be like, OK, mom, what birthday is it? And for years my mom said, 32.
Jenna [00:42:17] Really?
Angela [00:42:19] Mm-hmm. 32.
Jenna [00:42:20] That is so funny.
Angela [00:42:22] So Helene says, I’m sticking with forty nine. Pam says 49 again? That’s nine years in a row. Michael’s like, ha ha, that’s funny. But you can see him trying to do the math.
Jenna [00:42:33] But then he’s going to need to take pencil to paper.
Angela [00:42:36] And still get it wrong.
Jenna [00:42:37] Right. Michael realizes that Helene is 58.
Angela [00:42:42] And you can tell this hits him pretty hard.
Jenna [00:42:45] We had a fan catch, though, from Allison H in Louisville, Kentucky, and many others, by the way, who said, I think there’s a math error. Helene says she’s forty nine. Pam says it’s the ninth year in a row. But if she first celebrated her 49th birthday on her 49th birthday, that counts as one of the nine. So you would actually add forty nine plus eight additional birthdays, which means Helene is really turning 57.
Angela [00:43:17] Nice catch.
Jenna [00:43:18] Yeah. So when I was trading messages with Charlie Grandy about this episode, he said that what he remembers most about working with Seth Gordon was the fact that me, John, Steve, and Linda were going to be locked at this same table for like four big scenes in a row. And it became this big question, How are we going to visually differentiate these scenes? How are we going to make them feel alive, right? And Charlie said, If you rewatch it, you can really see what a great job he did. He added multiple angles. He keeps flipping sides to keep it interesting. And by mostly framing out the other tables, he does a great job of shrinking what was a really big space and “imprisoning you in Michael’s awkwardness.”
Angela [00:44:10] Ooh, that’s so artsy.
Jenna [00:44:12] I know. And it’s really true. I started rewatching these scenes and we only use two cameras, but in each of the scenes, they set them up a little differently. So you didn’t feel like you were coming back to the same table. And as the scenes go on, the camera gets closer and closer and closer. So you really are like going into Michael’s like little mind. It’s cool.
Angela [00:44:40] It’s really cool. Well, we’re going to go from this talk of being forty nine nine years in a row, but actually being fifty eight, with more sexy talk. What name should she be called, nana or grandma? Michael’s really feeling it now.
Jenna [00:44:56] He is. I noticed something at nine minutes and six seconds in this scene.
Angela [00:45:00] What?
Jenna [00:45:01] Do you notice how Steve eats his food as Michael Scott? It’s exactly how he ate in Dinner Party.
Angela [00:45:09] Well, he kind of scrapes the fork with his teeth.
Jenna [00:45:12] Yes, he eats tiny amounts of food off the tip of the fork with his very front teeth. He doesn’t put the fork all the way in his mouth. He, like, bites it off the tip of the fork. It’s very interesting. He does not eat this way in real life. I’ve dined with him many times. This is clearly a Michael Scott eating choice.
Angela [00:45:35] It’s either a Michael Scott eating choice or it’s Steve, the actor, not wanting to eat the food and making the best of it. Because I would do something similar. I would just put the tiniest amount like on the end of the fork or spoon, so I didn’t have to eat too much of it.
Jenna [00:45:51] Well, now I guess I’d have to watch Steve’s other films.
Angela [00:45:55] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:45:56] And see if he’s eating in any of them and see if this is just his actor way of eating or if it was a character choice. I’ll investigate.
Angela [00:46:04] Investigate. Because with prop food, when you start out, it’s usually really fresh and warm and they’ve made it ready for you to eat. But as each take goes, it gets colder and colder and a little bit more wilty, depending what you’re eating, and I just found early on, the smaller bites are better.
Jenna [00:46:21] True.
Angela [00:46:23] It’s also lunchtime back at Dunder Mifflin and oh my gosh, Andy has set up a whole taco buffet in the conference room.
Jenna [00:46:31] Yes, but Dwight is going to volunteer to serve everyone.
Angela [00:46:34] Yes. Did you notice at nine minutes, 26 seconds when Angela Martin enters?
Jenna [00:46:40] Yes!
Angela [00:46:40] Her face she makes and she does a 180 out of the room.
Jenna [00:46:43] Well, ’cause she’s vegetarian.
Angela [00:46:45] So I went to the script because I was like, What did it say in the script about this moment? In the script it just says, Angela Martin enters the room and immediately walks back out.
Jenna [00:46:54] Oh!
Angela [00:46:55] So the face I made was just me, like, probably playing around in the moment.
Jenna [00:47:01] I have a question. Did you guys actually eat those tacos that day? They looked good.
Angela [00:47:06] We did not just because it had to sit there for a bit. But we wanted to. When they first brought them out we’re like, Woo hoo tacos. They’re like, No, no, no, guys. There’s also a Kevin talking head and little moment that got deleted, probably for time. I loved it. Kevin is so excited that Dwight is going to serve the tacos, and he has this talking head. This is great. I love tacos, but whenever I try to make one, I get too excited and I crush it.
Jenna [00:47:32] Aw.
Angela [00:47:33] And so then it cuts back to the scene, and Dwight’s making his taco. Dwight hands it to Kevin and Kevin’s so excited he crushes it in his hand.
Jenna [00:47:41] Oh, Kevin, well, after these guys compete to see who’s going to serve the tacos, now they’re going to compete to see who’s going to clean them up. It doesn’t stop.
Angela [00:47:52] It doesn’t stop. Jenna, I’d like to break down all the gifts that Michael got Helene and really show how all out he went for her until he broke up with her. He went all out. He got her the necklace. And then also the lunch reservation, right? Where he decorated the table. I counted eight balloons, a birthday banner and also a really beautiful flower arrangement that none of the other tables had.
Jenna [00:48:18] Yes. I assume she can take that with her.
Angela [00:48:20] Yes. As well as a scrapbook of their courtship, the wrapping paper says love in several different languages. Here are a few things that were in the scrapbook per the shooting draft. Some made it in the episode. Some did not. The penny that Helene threw into the wishing well at the mall…
Jenna [00:48:37] Which doesn’t exist.
Angela [00:48:39] Right. The fountain that doesn’t exist. Also a ticket stub to a movie they went to together, Love Happens. I looked up Love Happens. It was a movie that was out in 2009, starring Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart. As well as the poem that Michael wrote slash plagiarized from Shel Silverstein. Here was the poem. I cannot go to school today, said Little Peggy Ann McKay. I have the measles and the mumps, a gash, a rash and purple bumps. My teacher’s really mean. Happy birthday, I love you, Helene.
Jenna [00:49:14] I mean, it’s beautiful.
Angela [00:49:16] It might be in my journal.
Jenna [00:49:19] We had a fan question about the scrapbook from Carla B in Gardena, California. The cover page of the scrapbook at the very bottom where it says Love Copyright Michael, we also see the letters x x LR. Any idea what those letters stand for? Do you know, Ange?
Angela [00:49:41] I do.
Jenna [00:49:42] What is it?
Angela [00:49:42] It’s in the shooting draft.
Jenna [00:49:44] Oh, tell us because I thought they were Roman numerals, but when I looked it up, there’s no R in Roman numerals.
Angela [00:49:50] Yes. So Helene reads that out loud, kind of like curious. And Michael goes, Those are Roman numerals. I made them up.
Jenna [00:49:56] Oh my gosh! I did not know that you knew the answer to that question when I asked it.
Angela [00:50:02] Yeah, it’s in the shooting draft.
Jenna [00:50:04] Wow, the shooting draft. It Unlocks so many mysteries.
Angela [00:50:07] So many mysteries. I have a few other things to share from the shooting draft as well. Did you notice that Jim and Pam left Dunder Mifflin with a box, a gift box wrapped in green wrapping paper? Jim is carrying it.
Jenna [00:50:19] No. Oh, yes, yes. Yes.
Angela [00:50:20] And they bring it in to the restaurant. It’s their gift to Helene.
Jenna [00:50:23] Oh!
Angela [00:50:24] Do you know what they got Helene?
Jenna [00:50:25] What?
Angela [00:50:26] In the shooting draft, it says Helene is holding a sweater that Jim and Pam gave her. Michael, Ah, what a nice gift.
Jenna [00:50:33] Oh yes, a cozy sweater on his 58 year old girlfriend. It’s not sexy. It’s not sexy to him. I mean, Michael is really spiraling. So much so that he’s going to go hide. Pam has to go find him. He’s like hiding in the bar.
Angela [00:50:51] Yeah. She’s like, Come on, weirdo. It’s time for cake. This scene was amazing. Start to finish. The fact that it starts off with Michael saying, Finish your cake, Helene. I want you to enjoy that cake because I have something terrible I need to tell you.
Jenna [00:51:08] Yeah.
Angela [00:51:09] How did you get through that without laughing?
Jenna [00:51:11] First of all, the thing that made us laugh the most was the waitress interrupting us to pour the water.
Angela [00:51:19] That was so brilliant. I thought that was brilliant. It is scripted exactly in the shooting draft the way you guys shot it.
Jenna [00:51:27] Yeah.
Angela [00:51:28] Because this is what you really do. You have these conversations and sometimes someone walks up to your table and you have to stop mid-sentence.
Jenna [00:51:35] Yes, I do it all the time, all the time. What is that like from the waiter’s point of view?
Angela [00:51:43] I mean, you know, I walked in a restaurant, you know, people like, you walk up, sometimes you hear stuff, sometimes they don’t stop. But this was hilarious. Michael is saying how he wants kids and you- and he gestures to Helene, unfortunately, have already completed that part of your journey down there. Pam’s like, Michael. Michael’s like, Hey, it’s not my decision. It’s mother nature. And mother has very strict rules about fer…tility.
Jenna [00:52:10] It was so difficult to get through.
Angela [00:52:13] I would have completely lost it. So Michael’s clearly breaking up with Helene, and he uses Pam as the excuse. He’s like, You know, I’ve thought about it. This isn’t fair to Pam. Pam’s like, No, no, no, Michael. Jenna, there was a talking head that would have come here. It was in the shooting draft. It got deleted and it really showed what Pam was feeling. I’m going to read it to you. My mom used to call me every night to cry about the divorce. Then she started dating Michael, and she stopped calling. And I thought it was because she knew how mad I was. But now I think it was because she stopped crying. And that’s what I should want for her, right?
Jenna [00:52:50] Hmmm.
Angela [00:52:51] And so you would have had that talking head and then you would have cut back to the scene when Pam’s like, You know what? No, Michael, it’s OK. It took me a while to come around to it, but I’m OK with it.
Jenna [00:53:02] I’m glad they cut that talking head. Because I think that makes you kind of really hate Michael for breaking up with her. Because I don’t know.
Angela [00:53:12] It’s so- it’s so pure. It’s so sweet, you know, and it just really breaks your heart for Helene.
Jenna [00:53:19] Too much.
Angela [00:53:20] Too much.
Jenna [00:53:20] Yes. Before we move on, I just want to say the cake was really good.
Angela [00:53:27] Oh, I wondered about that.
Jenna [00:53:29] It brought back memories.
Angela [00:53:31] Well, Michael’s going to tell Helene there’s another woman, and her name is Italy and skydiving and bungee jumping. And then, Jenna, Michael decides that he’s going to also try to comfort her in this moment. It’s in the deleted scenes. We have to hear it.
Michael Scott [00:53:49] It’s like you don’t buy a Mad Libs book with everything already written in it. You are going to find somebody so quickly with your killer bod and your wisdom. God! Ow! Somebody kicked- did you guys get kicked?
Jim [00:54:05] Nope. I kicked you to stop.
Angela [00:54:09] Jim kicks Michael really hard. It is so funny, and I think I almost see you start to break.
Jenna [00:54:17] I remember filming those now. It was really funny.
Angela [00:54:20] Yeah. So Michael is like, what? What? And Jim just shuts him down. And this leads us to the super cringy car ride home.
Jenna [00:54:30] Yeah. Helene is wondering out loud, what is she going to do now? She’s 58 and single. And Michael’s like, how about hobbies? Jim’s like, no.
Angela [00:54:42] No. The scene continued on. Helene says, why do I keep dating these losers? But she doesn’t stop there. You have to hear it.
Helene [00:54:52] What is it about me that makes me choose these loser guys?
Michael Scott [00:54:56] I don’t know if I’d say loser.
Jim [00:54:57] You want to change the station? I can totally change the station.
Helene [00:55:00] Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had an orgasm? Years.
Michael Scott [00:55:12] She told me she doesn’t like them.
Jenna [00:55:16] Oh, my God.
Angela [00:55:19] Isn’t that so funny? I mean, how awkward is that car ride for Pam?
Jenna [00:55:25] Oh my gosh. I mean, Pam has had to hear so much today.
Angela [00:55:31] So much.
Jenna [00:55:33] Maybe she already knew, I mean, it sounds like they’re close, but I don’t know. I think there’s new information coming at her today.
Angela [00:55:38] Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Jenna [00:55:41] Well, they get back to the office. And first of all, we see Andy trying to get something from a real tall shelf. He can’t get it. Dwight, can you help me?
Angela [00:55:52] Dwight’s so excited. Here it is. Andy needs him. It’s a favor.
Jenna [00:55:56] Guess what it is?
Angela [00:55:58] Starbucks gift card.
Jenna [00:55:59] From everyone.
Angela [00:56:01] Were you curious how Andy got the whole group to chip in for a gift card for Dwight?
Jenna [00:56:05] A little.
Angela [00:56:06] I was, so I went to the shooting draft.
Jenna [00:56:09] Does it tell all?
Angela [00:56:10] It tells all, and I’m going to share it with you. Dwight goes to the restroom and when he does Andy gets up and makes an announcement to the bullpen. He says, Maybe you noticed Dwight has been trying real hard to do nice things for us. That’s not his normal way, and he’s not having an easy time with it. And like the bullpen’s, like, who cares? Stanley’s like, so? Meredith’s like, What’s your game? Andy’s like, We need to give him a gift. And Creed’s like, what? Like a present? Andy continues. He says, Dwight wakes up every day at four a.m. and kills a pig. That’s his workout. He’s not like us. But today he tried. And you know, it wasn’t too long ago I had a temper. I was a real bastard. And do you know what got me out of it? Oscar comes in with some snark and says, Mandatory anger management?
Jenna [00:57:01] We’re calling back all this stuff.
Angela [00:57:04] Yeah. And Andy goes, No. And he he wants to shout at Oscar so badly. And Ed is really funny in this scene. He goes, No, the kindness and gentle words of my anger management sponsor. And his whole thing is, guys, my point is, maybe we can be that for Dwight, we can be that person.
Jenna [00:57:23] Wow.
Angela [00:57:24] And Phyllis coming in hard with the sass says, Look, we all do nice things. I bring in muffins at least once a week. And Stanley says, Those are leftover book group muffins.
Jenna [00:57:37] Oh, my gosh.
Angela [00:57:38] There’s so much sass anyway. Andy’s like, Hey, we’re getting off topic. He’s coming back. Will you guys please give me some money? So when Dwight gets the gift card and it pans to the bullpen, do you see how like everyone is like, whatever?
Jenna [00:57:51] Yeah.
Angela [00:57:52] That’s why.
Jenna [00:57:54] Wow. The shooting draft.
Angela [00:57:57] The shooting draft.
Jenna [00:57:58] Well, Michael is going to ask Pam to come in his office. It’s about work. It really is. It is about work. It is.
Angela [00:58:07] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:58:08] He is going to offer her a raise.
Angela [00:58:11] She’s going to take it.
Jenna [00:58:12] Yeah.
Angela [00:58:13] But it’s still not changing her mood towards him.
Jenna [00:58:16] No. And he wants her to know that the race has strings attached from his heart to her mean attitude.
Angela [00:58:26] Pam is like, Are you bribing me? And then he’s like, Well, what do you want? What do you want? You want a million dollars? Do you want to hit me?
Jenna [00:58:32] She says, I want to hit you. Lady. This plotline was so controversial when this ended up airing. Oh my gosh, it lit up the message boards.
Angela [00:58:43] I bet. Not only does she want to hit him, but she says, In the parking lot in front of everyone. I’m going to hit you as hard as I can. Everyone gets very invested very quickly. There’s a lot of chatter around the office and Toby is like, Pam, can I talk to you for a second? We all think he’s human resources and he’s going to stop this.
Jenna [00:59:03] Yes. But Toby just wants to confirm that she’ll be hitting him off property.
Angela [00:59:08] And then he wants to show her how to throw a punch.
Jenna [00:59:12] Oh my gosh. Charlie Grandy said that Paul is the one who pitched this bit. He pitched it in the room during the rewrite, and Charlie said he was pretty new on The Office at this time. And when Paul was first pitching it, he thought, Well, I don’t know, how are we going to? How is this going to like play realistically and funny? But Paul was like, I know how to do it. I know how to do it. And he said that Paul just did it perfectly.
Angela [00:59:43] Totally. I also think this whole joke of Toby showing Pam how to throw a punch is a great example of a joke that lives in history in the character. This is part of Toby’s history, and we have gotten to know Toby so well, and we have seen years of Michael giving Toby, you know, such a hard time that, of course, of course, Toby is going to be like, so the power comes from your back foot. And you want to turn- because it’s so clear. The joke is in the subtext that Toby has fantasized about throwing a punch at Michael for years.
Jenna [01:00:21] We had a fan catch from Efrat T in Israel, who just wanted to point out that when Michael hit Meredith with his car, he tells Ryan that it was on company grounds because it was the parking lot.
Angela [01:00:36] Ooh, good catch!
Jenna [01:00:38] But also in The Duel, Andy and Dwight are fighting in the parking lot, and Jim tells them not to fight at work. So just kind of pointing out suddenly the parking lot is not company property, at least as far as Toby is concerned.
Angela [01:00:57] That is a really good catch because technically she’d have to try to throw a punch out in the street.
Jenna [01:01:02] Or at least on the sidewalk.
Angela [01:01:03] Yeah.
Jenna [01:01:05] Well, speaking of the parking lot, everyone’s gathered outside. Kevin’s money is on Pam. Oscar notes it’s a one sided fight. It’s not really, you know, Pam winning is the only outcome here.
Angela [01:01:19] Well, right now there’s no Michael. There’s just Pam. We can’t find Michael. Meredith checks the men’s room, says the toilet seat is still warm. Thanks for putting your hand on the toilet seat, Meredith.
Jenna [01:01:30] I guess so.
Angela [01:01:32] Kelly has made popcorn.
Jenna [01:01:34] Yes, she has.
Angela [01:01:35] She’s bringing snacks. And we find Michael in the stairwell. He’s clearly trying to psych himself up for this moment. And he walks out to the parking lot.
Jenna [01:01:47] And Pam is going to wind up, she’s going to wind up for the punch.
Angela [01:01:51] He flinches. And can I just say that Angela Martin for once is on Pam’s side!
Jenna [01:01:59] Oh my gosh, your line is so funny.
Angela [01:02:02] Pam says, Michael, you have to put your hands down. Angela says, Put your hands in your pockets. So this is just another person who is excited for Michael to get hit.
Jenna [01:02:14] Well, as Pam is getting ready to hit Michael, he actually stops. He apologizes to her for everything. Pam takes it in and she’s like, OK.
Angela [01:02:25] OK. She she says, fine. Don’t date anyone else in my family ever again. And she’s going to walk away.
Jenna [01:02:31] She is.
Angela [01:02:32] Then Michael cannot shut his mouth.
Jenna [01:02:36] Yeah.
Angela [01:02:37] He says, For the record, your mom came on to me. (GASPS).
Jenna [01:02:41] Pam pivots on her heel and slaps him so hard across the face.
Angela [01:02:50] And she’s got that super human pregnancy strength, per Kelly.
Jenna [01:02:55] We got a lot of mail, I might say fan mail flurry.
Angela [01:03:00] Oh!
Jenna [01:03:00] Enoch N from Pennsylvania wants to know, did Jenna really slap Steve? And Angela, Katie M. from Fresno, California, said, “The moment Pam slaps Michael, I absolutely believe Jenna could have played Sydney Bristow on Alias.”
Angela [01:03:18] Oh, Katie. OK, fine, Katie, I agree this is a real Pam kickin’ some butt moment. Jenna, you nailed it! I am also curious because my character, as you know, slaps two people on this show and I really did hit my costars. Did you really hit Steve?
Jenna [01:03:39] I did not. Steve said I should hit him. It did not seem safe to me because I am whipping around. If it was just a slap from a standing position, but this was like… I could not bring myself to do it.
Angela [01:03:56] I think that’s really smart because I hit Mike Schur on the run. Your whole body goes into it.
Jenna [01:04:02] And he discussed that slap on our podcast.
Angela [01:04:05] Yes. yes.
Jenna [01:04:06] Well, our stunt coordinator, Eric Sulky.
Angela [01:04:09] Love Eric.
Jenna [01:04:11] Yes, he gave me very detailed instructions on how to pretend slap Steve. And he also worked with Matt Sohn on positioning the camera behind me so that you couldn’t even tell that I’m not hitting him. And then Randy told me that we added that slap sound in post-production. So I did not slap Steve.
Angela [01:04:34] Well, I’m glad you didn’t, because also you couldn’t see him. Your back was to him.
Jenna [01:04:39] Yes, that’s what I was worried about. I mean, I was worried that I might make contact, but I was very specific, like we lined up our bodies. My pivot was highly choreographed. I just pivoted on that one spot.
Angela [01:04:54] Yeah. You guys sold it. I thought it totally worked.
Jenna [01:04:58] Well at the end, Michael is limping away and-.
Angela [01:05:03] Limping.
Jenna [01:05:03] I know, and Dwight’s like, Why are you limping? He’s like, I don’t know. Well, we had a fan question from Emmy L in Baltimore, Maryland. Was Michael’s limping and Dwight’s reaction scripted or improvised? It was scripted.
Angela [01:05:17] Yeah. When I reread the shooting draft, almost every single thing you see was completely scripted.
Jenna [01:05:23] All the little details. Well, fans had very mixed reactions to the slap.
Angela [01:05:29] Yeah.
Jenna [01:05:30] A lot of people felt like it was one step too far. They did not like Pam for doing this. I think Steve is so good at playing the vulnerable side of Michael, people were upset. How did we feel about it in rewatching it?
Angela [01:05:47] I mean, I thought, you know, Pam was walking away. She wasn’t going to do it.
Jenna [01:05:55] Mmhmm.
Angela [01:05:56] And Michael just couldn’t leave it alone.
Jenna [01:05:59] I think that collectively, I remember the writers and producers felt that we couldn’t end this story of Michael dating Pam’s mom doing this like highly insensitive thing to Pam.
Angela [01:06:18] Not only did he date her mom. He then broke up with her mom on her birthday in a public place. And-.
Jenna [01:06:27] He needed a comeuppance. Basically.
Angela [01:06:28] He needed- yes, he did. Him and Pam needed to settle this.
Jenna [01:06:33] And now it’s settled. It’s not going to fester. So that was, I think the reasoning behind it was that we needed to… This was now… It’s been resolved.
Angela [01:06:46] You know, there were a few relationships on the show that reminded me of siblings. Like Angela, Oscar, and Kevin. They were almost like siblings, you know?
Jenna [01:06:55] Stanley and Phyllis.
Angela [01:06:56] Stanley and Phyllis. And I felt like Pam and Michael were like brother and sister.
Jenna [01:07:01] I think that’s a really good analogy.
Angela [01:07:04] But yeah, I remember people were really chatting about this. Dwight is going to bring Michael inside and he says he’s got some chicken he can put on that. Call back to all that chicken on the microwave.
Jenna [01:07:16] Fan question from Victoria H in Columbus, Ohio. Was Dwight holding real raw chicken on Michael’s face? Or did Phil Shea make that? Well, both. It is real chicken that Phil Shay like shrink wrapped. So it was real, but it was like covered in something so that.
Angela [01:07:38] Gross. That is so gross. I thought for sure you’re going to say, no, it’s a fakey rubber chicken thing.
Jenna [01:07:44] No, it was real chicken.
Angela [01:07:46] Wowsers.
Jenna [01:07:47] Yeah.
Angela [01:07:49] Well, Dwight thinks he finally did his favor, and he says, Fire Jim. Michael’s like, no, Dwight is angry and takes his dinner away.
Jenna [01:07:57] Yeah, he’s going to eat that after it was on Michael’s face.
Angela [01:08:01] Apparently. You know, I feel like this episode wraps up best with the talking head that Michael had.
Jenna [01:08:07] Yes.
Angela [01:08:08] I feel like I need to read it.
Jenna [01:08:09] OK, please do.
Angela [01:08:10] As I watched Pam’s big, strong hand coming towards my face, I saw my entire life flash before my eyes. And guess what? I have four kids and I have a hover car and a hover house, and my wife is a runner and it shows. And Pam and Jim are my best friends and our kids play together. And I am happy. And I am rich. And I never die. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough for me.
Jenna [01:08:40] There you have it.
Angela [01:08:41] There you have it. Michael, in the end, just sees them as his family.
Jenna [01:08:48] Always.
Angela [01:08:49] Always. Next week, you guys, buckle in because it is Murder.
Jenna [01:08:54] Oh, this is one of my biggest memes.
Angela [01:08:58] Me too! People tag me all the time as Voodoo Mama Juju.
Jenna [01:09:04] That was Double Date, everyone. Listen. Check your glutes and maybe pick up some three penis wine if your muscles are aching after your glute check. We should probably go get some right now, Ange.
Angela [01:09:17] Skip the three penis wine.
Jenna [01:09:20] We love you. See you next week.
Angela [01:09:22] Have a great one.
Jenna [01:09:28] 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 [01:09:45] 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.