June 20, 2023
It’s summer break so why not remember when Michael fell in a koi pond? Writers Warren Lieberstein and Halsted Sullivan sent in audio clips about the inspiration behind this episode and our audio engineer, Sam, soundscaped it! Angela discusses her squirrel eating performance, Jenna reminisces on spending the day shooting with Ed Helms for their cold sales call storyline and the ladies break down everything behind shooting the koi pond incident. This ep is so good you won’t even have time to wonder why Ryan is rocking a new look. (He wouldn’t tell you why anyways.)
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168.9 — A Look Back on Koi Pond
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 [00:00:25] Get out your snorkels.
Jenna [00:00:28] I am so excited today. I loved this episode in the rewatch.
Angela [00:00:35] It was so fun and we have so many fun people who are going to share memories from this episode. I say, let’s get into it. I’m excited.
Jenna [00:00:44] Well, before we get started, we have some morning announcements. Did you have morning announcements in school? Like did a person come on the intercom and give you morning announcements?
Angela [00:00:55] Yes.
Jenna [00:00:56] Me too. Me too.
Angela [00:00:58] I think they still do it. I think there’s still morning announcements.
Jenna [00:01:02] We had this thing when I was a senior in high school where the seniors got to take over the morning announcements for a week.
Angela [00:01:09] Ooh.
Jenna [00:01:10] I know it was like a big, fun thing. All right. Well, I’m going to do my best at a morning announcement. This is really exciting. We now have signed copies of our book, The Office BFFs, available for preorder. They are online right now at the following retailers: Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, BJ’s Wholesalers, and Premier Collectibles. And you can support independent bookstores by purchasing a signed copy at Strand Bookstore.
Angela [00:01:40] You guys, Jenna and I signed thousands of copies of books.
Jenna [00:01:44] Boxes and boxes of these sheets of paper that were pages from our book that they bind into the book.
Angela [00:01:53] Yes. And I mean, our families, I feel like they were like, What? Oh, are you signing more? OK, are you signing more? What do you- oh, you’re signing more? Like that was like the narrative for weeks. I set up a little TV tray by our TV in our family room, and when we would watch a movie, I would just all you would hear in the background was a Sharpie going (MAKES NOISE).
Jenna [00:02:15] It took me two months to sign all of these. It was a big project.
Angela [00:02:22] Yeah.
Jenna [00:02:24] But they’re out there. They are available. You can find a link on our Office Ladies dot com website. We’re going to put it up on our socials, and you can also find it at HC.com/OfficeBFFs.
Angela [00:02:38] We signed them with love, you guys. We signed them with love.
Jenna [00:02:43] We did! OK, morning announcements are done. Let’s get in to this episode. Today we are breaking down Koi Pond. It is season six, episode eight written by Warren Lieberstein and Halstead Sullivan and directed by Reggie Hudlin. Here is your summary. It’s very simple.
Angela [00:03:03] It really is, but it packs a big splash. Wahhh.
Jenna [00:03:08] Michael falls into a koi pond while out for a meeting and becomes the butt of many office jokes. Meanwhile, Pam and Andy go out on mandated cold calls and are mistaken for a married couple all day.
Angela [00:03:25] A married couple expecting a baby.
Jenna [00:03:28] Mmhmm. A very funny runner. I enjoyed it. Fast fact, number one. This episode was directed by legend Reggie Hudlin. You know, it happened from time to time on The Office when we would get these directors that you just can’t believe that they are directing your television show. And Reggie was one of them. So Reggie wrote and directed the film House Party. He directed the film Boomerang. He directed 11 episodes of The Bernie Mac Show. He was the president of Black Entertainment Television for three years, and he went on to be a producer on Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, which was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Reggie was amazing to work with. He was just great. And in addition to all of his professional accomplishments, his family history is amazing. I knew a little bit of it, but I didn’t know everything. In researching this episode, I went to his website and his bio. His family bio is worth a read. I will give you the highlights. His family grew up in East St. Louis. His great great grandparents were Peter and Nancy Hudlin, who were part of The Underground Railroad. His great uncle was a very famous tennis instructor who mentored Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson. Reggie attended Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in visual and environmental studies. And it was at Harvard that he directed his thesis project, which was a short film version of House Party. It was inspired by his experience growing up in East St. Louis, and that short film became the basis of his feature film House Party.
Angela [00:05:25] Well, we reached out to Warren and Halstead, the writers of this episode. They are going to share awesome, awesome stuff with us. We can’t wait to share with you. Warren said that one of the perks of writing on The Office was being able to meet some of the people in the industry you really admired. He was a big fan of House Party and Boomerang, so he was thrilled Reggie was going to direct the episode. And he said Reggie was “all class and we had a great week together. It was an honor working with him.”
Jenna [00:05:52] Yeah. And Halstead also mentioned working with Reggie when we reached out, and he just said that Reggie had an amazing sense of humor and he knew how to land the jokes. He also said that Reggie was a great storyteller. He said he doesn’t think he told stories with the intention of Halstead repeating any of them on a podcast, but he just wanted to say that he was really great to work with and he’d really like to work with him again. I feel the same way. I mean, I just have wonderful memories of doing this episode.
Angela [00:06:23] Same.
Jenna [00:06:24] All right now for Fast Fact number two, Ange. Warren shared with us that there was a very, very unique writing style for this episode, and I found it totally fascinating. He said that with most episodes of The Office, and including most shows he’s ever worked on, they lay out the story on index cards, which we’ve talked about.
Angela [00:06:47] You love the index cards on the wall of the writers room.
Jenna [00:06:50] I love an organizational technique. But he said that for the most part, the only thing you write down on those cards are just the main beats of the story. And you can move them around, you know, and then you figure out the flow. And then you make an outline and you use that outline to make your first draft of the script. But with Koi Pond Warren shared that so much of what they were telling was a subtextual story between Michael and Jim, that Greg had them do something different when they were writing this episode. He said that they had to write the main story beats on white note cards. And then they wrote all of the subtext on pink note cards. So anything that Michael and Jim were feeling went on pink and like plot went on white. And he said it was really helpful for this episode, and he gave some examples. So he said early on, Michael has a talking head where he wants to insult Jim, and he starts off by saying that if Jim wants to be the boss, then he’ll have to wear Michael’s suit, which would be too small for him. But then Michael stops, and he admits that, you know, Jim would probably still look good in it.
Angela [00:08:05] Yeah, it’s so great. He’s like, Dammit, he’d still look good.
Jenna [00:08:09] So the text is that he is mad at Jim, but the subtext is that he’s still envious of him. So Envy went on the pink card. And then, of course, at the very end of the episode, Michael gets to have this talking head where he realizes that, wait, Jim is actually jealous of him. And so I just thought that was really, really interesting, the idea of mapping out the subtext.
Angela [00:08:33] I love that. I mean, that’s something we would do in our scripts as actors, like our actory homework. We would get a script with like a paragraph that’s like Angela is mean to Oscar, right? And there’s a speech where she’s mean to Oscar. But the subtext is Philip was turned away from daycare. Right. So she’s coming in was like shame and embarrassment. So in her angry speech to Oscar about him using her stapler, the subtext is Angela is embarrassed. Right? So we would do that kind of thing. But I love that they did that in the writers room, too. It’s like a really cool, creative writing exercise.
Jenna [00:09:13] Yeah. Well, Angela, this brings us to fast fact number three.
Angela [00:09:17] Oh, I’m so excited for fast fact number three.
Jenna [00:09:20] This is not Angela’s digital clutter this week, folks.
Angela [00:09:23] Sorry to disappoint.
Jenna [00:09:26] Guys. The plot of Michael falling into a koi pond while on his way to a meeting is based on a real life event.
Angela [00:09:36] This happened to Warren, you guys, the writer of this episode. Warren and Halstead together went on a meeting, and Warren fell into a pond in a lobby. And here they are today to share the whole story with us.
Jenna [00:09:55] Yes, they each sent in audio clips and they were so fun we decided to turn them into a fully sound produced story thanks to our own Sam Kieffer. So here it is…
Angela [00:10:08] The inspiration of Koi Pond by Warren and Halstead.
Warren Lieberstein [00:10:19] Hi, my name is Warren Lieberstein, and along with Halsted Sullivan, we wrote the Koi Pond episode of The Office. The idea for the story stemmed from my falling into a koi pond. What happened was our agents set up a meeting for Halstead and I on the west side of Los Angeles. It was in this nice two story office building. There was a marble reception, an open atrium lobby. There were these dark travertine floors. So we enter into this building for the meeting and I’m I’m chewing gum. And I can’t go to a meeting chewing gum. That’s horribly unprofessional. And so I’m immediately looking for a trash can.
Halstead Sullivan [00:10:59] Warren and I walk in for this meeting and you know, I head over to the receptionist just to announce our names and Warren says, Oh, I’m going to go throw away my gum.
Warren Lieberstein [00:11:10] I see a trash can by the staircase off the corner, so I walk over. After I toss my gum in the trash, I turn and pivot on my right foot. My right foot somehow, though, doesn’t reach the floor.
Halstead Sullivan [00:11:23] So while I’m there at the desk, you know, checking in, suddenly, I hear this huge splash.
Warren Lieberstein [00:11:31] So my right foot doesn’t find the floor and I lose my balance and I’m falling backwards. This point, real concerns that I’m falling to my death, down an open stairwell or whatever. My legs did it first and I have no idea what size tank of water I’m falling into. In this millisecond, I now believe I’m falling into a shark tank and I’m definitely going to die by shark attack. But after a second or so, I realize obviously I’m in a koi pond, I just Nestea he plunged into it. I am drenched. And all I can say over and over again is, Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my God. Halstead turns around and sees me.
Halstead Sullivan [00:12:19] Warren is basically like lying in the pond splashing going, Oh my god, oh my god, oh my God. I’m like Warren? Warren? Warren? As Warren’s sitting there splashing in the pond, we look up.
Warren Lieberstein [00:12:31] Of course, everyone comes out of their offices to see what the commotion is. So basically everyone in this building is now staring.
Halstead Sullivan [00:12:37] And on the railing, there are like eight people looking over. You know, on the first floor all of these people have come out to see all the commotion.
Jenna [00:12:45] My favorite part of Warren’s description is the Nestea plunge into the koi pond. And also just like how disorienting that is.
Angela [00:12:54] Yeah.
Jenna [00:12:55] Like it’s going to take you a minute.
Angela [00:12:56] It’s so many things. It’s like, I’m falling, I’m wet. Why am I wet? Where am I?
Warren Lieberstein [00:13:03] So I’m drenched. And there’s so much water on this nice lobby floor.
Halstead Sullivan [00:13:07] And someone comes up to us with a roll of those brown paper towels that you get from the bathroom. You know, they’re just basically made of Manila paper and have zero absorbency. And it’s like, OK, thanks.
Jenna [00:13:23] At this point, they leave, right? Because Warren is soaking wet.
Angela [00:13:27] That’s what you would think, Jenna. But you have to remember, we all live in Los Angeles, and they had driven really far for this meeting.
Warren Lieberstein [00:13:36] They actually offer us to move the meeting for a week later. But Halstead wanted to keep the meeting because, you know, for those who don’t live in L.A., going to the West Side, no one wants to cross the 405 ever. The 405 is a highway, and no matter what side of it you’re on, traveling to the other is like a traffic nightmare.
Halstead Sullivan [00:13:59] We know that around the corner is a sporting goods store, so we go there, you know, we walk in. Warren’s soaking wet.
Warren Lieberstein [00:14:08] I’m sopping wet. There is these two women working there and I looked insane like Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura when he comes out of the bathroom. Water is pouring all over their floor and I just say, I need one of everything. We go back to the meeting and Halstead looks great per usual, you know, it’s his normal meeting outfit. And I look like a rap star from the 80s. It was a sports clothing store so, you know, all I could get really was a tracksuit. But we take the meeting. And of course, all we can really talk about is me falling into the koi pond. And the puns w’re flying. You know, they kept asking if I needed more water. You know, all of it. And we we used all that in the script. And then after the meeting, my agent called and said, I heard you made a splash at the meeting, which is a line that Erin says in the show.
Halstead Sullivan [00:14:55] So that is the koi pond story. Life imitates art, art imitates life, and you make an Office episode out of it.
Angela [00:15:06] Sam, you crushed it. That was so much fun.
Jenna [00:15:09] Yes, Sam, that was so good. Oh my gosh. And I just have to say, Warren, I am so glad you fell in the koi pond because I am so glad it got turned into an episode that I thoroughly enjoyed. And you know what? This is what artists do. They take moments from their life and they turn it into art. Thank you, Warren.
Angela [00:15:36] Absolutely. I remember when it happened. You know, Warren is my ex-husband and we’re still very good friends. And I remember saying, You know what? This will be a great story someday. And it was. And it still is.
Jenna [00:15:52] Yes. Well, on that note, I think we should take a break and then we’ll come back and we’ll get into this episode.
Angela [00:16:00] Sounds great.
Jenna [00:16:05] Let’s get started this week with a fan question, Angela.
Angela [00:16:09] Great.
Jenna [00:16:10] This comes from Tom W. in San Francisco, California, who says whenever this episode airs on DirecTV Cable, the onscreen guide summarizes it as, “The office plans a haunted house for children in the community”, but there’s no mention of a haunted house in the episode or deleted scenes or in any other episode that I can remember. Was this a storyline that the writers chose not to pursue? Well, Tom, here is your answer. This episode originally had a Halloween cold open. We shot it, and it actually aired because this episode came out the week of Halloween. And there is a haunted house in the warehouse and Michael fake hangs himself in the haunted house. And after it aired, NBC decided to pull it from all future episodes. So that’s why you’re seeing it in your description but the cold open is not there anymore.
Angela [00:17:10] It’s also not on the DVDs in the deleted scenes section. There are photos of the cast in their costumes from this episode online. I was a spider. Mindy was Lilu from Fifth Element.
Jenna [00:17:22] Yeah, I think this is the one where Jim is Facebook, but he just wrote “book” on his face for Facebook.
Angela [00:17:28] That’s right.
Jenna [00:17:29] But anyway, guys, instead, this episode opens in Jim’s office. And Michael is sharing about his plans for the weekend.
Angela [00:17:40] Yeah, he’s going to go to a garlic festival.
Jenna [00:17:43] It’s a real thing, lady.
Angela [00:17:45] Is it?
Jenna [00:17:46] There is a Pocono Garlic and Harvest Festival. I looked it up. It is held every year on Labor Day weekend in the Shawnee Mountain ski area. The festival is Saturday and Sunday. Angela, I think we have to go.
Angela [00:18:02] I was just- I was about to say it. I know I say that every time you bring up one of these things, but I am telling you I would love a garlic festival. I bet they have all kinds of things made from garlic.
Jenna [00:18:14] Lady. Listen to what your ticket price includes.
Angela [00:18:17] I can’t wait.
Jenna [00:18:19] Four stages of continuous live music.
Angela [00:18:22] Great.
Jenna [00:18:23] Professional chef cooking demonstrations.
Angela [00:18:27] Ding Ding, Ding
Jenna [00:18:28] Farmer garlic growing seminars, as well as children’s craft activities. Can adults do the craft activities?
Angela [00:18:36] I was going to say you got to have a craft table at a festival.
Jenna [00:18:40] I found out that Pennsylvania is home to something called hardneck garlic. Hardneck garlic. It’s a type of garlic, and there are three main types of hardneck garlic. They are: rocambole, if I’m pronouncing that correctly, it has a rich, full bodied taste and it’ll last up to six months. There’s porcelain hardneck garlic. That’ll stay good up to eight months. And then there’s purple stripe, hardneck garlic, and it’s famous for making the best baked garlic. It has a distinctive bright purple streak on that papery sheath.
Angela [00:19:20] I’ve seen that.
Jenna [00:19:21] Well, if you need to bake your garlic, you’re going to want to buy that purple stripe garlic.
Angela [00:19:26] OK.
Jenna [00:19:27] Anyway, Michael’s going to the Garlic Festival.
Angela [00:19:30] He’s also very excited because there is a TCBY booth. I remember us all going to get yogurt. There was this like yogurt phase. I think it’s still happening, obviously, right? There’s lots of yogurt places. But I feel like TCBY was the first one where we were all like, Oh my gosh, let’s go get yogurt.
Jenna [00:19:49] No. Steve used to come to work very excited when he found a new frozen yogurt place. He was especially into it. I feel like this line maybe came from that real life obsession.
Angela [00:20:01] It was a thing. It did crack me up that Michael says, Yeah, it stands for I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt.
Jenna [00:20:08] Yes.
Angela [00:20:08] But it’s TCBY. I looked it up Jenna. And it actually stands for The Country’s Best Yogurt. TCBY. The country’s best yogurt? There used to be one in Scranton, per the internet, in the fashion mall, but it’s no longer there. There you go. Erin is going to interrupt all of this talk of garlic and TCBY to say that Raskin design called and is expecting both of them for their meeting in an hour. And Jim’s like, Hold up, it’s just me. Michael is delighted that they want him to tag along.
Jenna [00:20:43] Yeah, I know. He’s like, Really? Oh, they want me as well. I. Oh, wow. He’s all like playing like he’s not delighted. That must have been a pink card.
Angela [00:20:56] Pink card. Michael’s delighted.
Jenna [00:20:58] Yes. Well, Michael’s going to try to prep Jim for this meeting.
Angela [00:21:04] Oh, my gosh, Jenna, in deleted scenes this was a much bigger moment. It cracked me up. Michael’s like, This office is very formal, Jim. You don’t just say Dave, it’s Mr. Bourchard. And also is that what you’re wearing? And then the scene would have continued where Michael is going to help Jim re tie his tie. He says he needs a double dimple. A double dimple. Have you ever heard of this Jenna?
Jenna [00:21:29] No.
Angela [00:21:30] Can we hear it?
Michael [00:21:32] Is that what you are wearing?
Jim [00:21:34] Yes, it is.
Michael [00:21:35] How about the knot in the tie double dimple?
Jim [00:21:37] I think we need to go.
Michael [00:21:38] No.
Jim [00:21:38] Don’t touch my-.
Michael [00:21:39] You need to double dimple your tie, Jim. Come on. Here we go. I want you to look good. I can’t… Turn around.
Jim [00:21:45] No.
Michael [00:21:46] Come on. I can only do this in one direction. And here we go. Here we go. I don’t want them to think that you are a country pumpkin. And up through the rabbit hole up around the merry go round and up again through the rabbit hole and down into the gopher hole. Up up up. How do we look? That’s perfect.
Angela [00:22:14] OK, so in this scene, Michael steps behind him, and Jim is so annoyed. He unties this tie that was really well tied. He does this rabbit hole gopher hole. He’s very awkwardly trying to reach over Jim, who’s taller than he is, right? And then when he spins him around and says, How do we look? He just looks- the tie looks horrible.
Jenna [00:22:34] Is there a double dimple now?
Angela [00:22:36] I couldn’t see a double dimple, and Jim’s collar is all messed up, and it’s just a really physically funny scene. But it got me curious what is a double dimple? Jenna, this is all over the internet. It’s clearly important when it comes to tying a tie.
Jenna [00:22:52] What?
Angela [00:22:52] Yeah, there’s video tutorials. One says, The perfect dimple every time. There was a quote I found online that said, Dimples matter. You’ll see this even in the simplest of tie knots. The four in hand. Make sure you create the dimple under the knot, otherwise your tie will look flatter and less finished.
Jenna [00:23:13] Wow.
Angela [00:23:13] No one wants a flat tie. You need the double dimple.
Jenna [00:23:17] I had no idea.
Angela [00:23:19] But it was a really cute scene where Michael is basically trying to get Jim all spiffy.
Jenna [00:23:24] Well Michael also wants him to change his watch. He says, You need a tankard watch. I looked that up. That’s not a watch.
Angela [00:23:32] There’s no such thing?
Jenna [00:23:34] There’s no such thing as a tankard watch. There is such thing as a tank watch. It’s a Cartier watch. Apparently, it was designed after the tanks of the World War Two battlefields. It has a rectangular face, so when Michael is handing Jim this rectangular face watch, he’s- I don’t know. I feel like maybe someone kind of like with his fake Seiko. Maybe they sold him a fake tank watch and called it a tankard. A tankard is actually a drinking stein. It’s sort of like a beer stein. That’s what a tankard is. I learned.
Angela [00:24:14] Oh my gosh.
Jenna [00:24:16] Isn’t that crazy?
Angela [00:24:17] That is crazy.
Jenna [00:24:18] A tank watch by Cartier sells for like $4000.
Angela [00:24:23] Yowza.
Jenna [00:24:24] So that’s clearly what Michael thinks he has purchased.
Angela [00:24:28] He’s purchased a tankard.
Jenna [00:24:30] A tankard.
Angela [00:24:32] We’re about to start a really fun runner between Pam and Andy. Jenna, this must have been a blast. You had Ed Helms to yourself doing all these bits all day. I loved this runner.
Jenna [00:24:46] It was so much fun. We had the best time. You know that scene where Andy is singing the directory?
Angela [00:24:55] I wrote it out. I wrote the whole thing out. Palpabon Drilling, where are you? Dean Trophy Suite 100 and Doodly Doo. Sherman Blinds and Rugs Suite 202. Palpabon Drilling. I mean, I was cracking up.
Jenna [00:25:09] Yeah. Ed made that up. I mean, he made up that tune.
Angela [00:25:13] He made up the whole melody?
Jenna [00:25:15] He did. That was just on the fly. And we knew that I was going to cut him off at the end with the suite 401.
Angela [00:25:22] Yeah. And then he couldn’t resolve the melody and his brain hurt.
Jenna [00:25:25] Yeah, he said it felt like he was holding in a sneeze.
Angela [00:25:28] Well, Warren shared they loved your look to camera when Andy sings, Suite 401 like as the door shut. And I have to tell you guys, you know, I’ve known Warren and Halstead a very long time and they were both in a cappella in college. So I have to imagine this scene was just such a fun moment for them.
Jenna [00:25:52] I’ve got a location alert for my scenes with Ed. We did shoot one entire day out in Woodland Hills, California, at the Warner Center Corporate Park. We did everything in this one office, so basically they dressed two different offices, one to be Palpabon Drilling and then later Reed Diamond Labs when we’re going to meet with Miss Gifford. And we also did the driving scenes on that same day. So this was truly a full day, just me and Ed and Reggie and Warren and Halstead, basically. It was awesome.
Angela [00:26:32] Back at the office, Michael and Jim return from their meeting and Michael is soaked. I mean, he is drenched.
Jenna [00:26:41] Well, he was caught in a flash flood storm is what happened. Jim outran it, though. That’s why he’s dry.
Angela [00:26:49] Yeah. He outran the storm. Meredith was like, No way. If there was rain, my hip would have been throbbing.
Jenna [00:26:55] I know.
Angela [00:26:56] So I want you to note something in this scene at three minutes, 35 seconds. I have a background catch. Did you see Angela Martin’s sassy, wavy ponytail?
Jenna [00:27:08] No. A wavy pony?
Angela [00:27:10] Yeah, I clocked it right away because wavy ponytail means one thing… It means we had been to a fancy party and this is day two hair for me. I showed up at work with great hair that had been blown out and styled the night before, and that’s when Kim Fairey, who did my hair, would usually put it in a cute pony. And then we would have to match the wave every day that I worked after that. Sassy ponytail led me to my digital clutter, and lady, we filmed this episode in September of 2009, around the time of the Emmys. And I also wrote that my parents were in town for the Emmys. This is the year my dad went with me.
Jenna [00:27:50] Yeah.
Angela [00:27:51] So I took them to everything I could get us invited to because I really wanted them to feel the whole experience of like going to the Emmys and the parties. So, yeah, I had sassy ponytail. Leftover hair.
Jenna [00:28:02] Well, that is amazing. And Angela, look at that. Your digital clutter made it into this episode after all.
Angela [00:28:08] I snuck in.
Jenna [00:28:09] Well done.
Angela [00:28:10] Thank you.
Jenna [00:28:12] Well, I wanted to point something out in the background of this as well. This is at three minutes, 13 seconds. The watercolor on the wall. It has been replaced with a photo of a golf course that says, Failure is not an option.
Angela [00:28:28] Yeah, it’s been replaced with an inspirational poster.
Jenna [00:28:31] Mm-Hmm. Although nothing’s more inspiring than Pam’s watercolor.
Angela [00:28:36] It’s hope in a frame, Jenna.
Jenna [00:28:38] It is. I know. It’s going to be back. Don’t worry.
Angela [00:28:41] It’ll come back.
Jenna [00:28:42] It’s coming back.
Angela [00:28:43] Pam and Andy are now chatting with the receptionist. I watched this scene. I rewound it because I laughed so hard. I feel like this is something I say when I’m in my mom mode. Looks like someone’s got a case of the definitelys. Oh, my gosh, Pam is so mortified when the receptionist thinks she’s a couple with Andy and she does that thing where she overcompensates, where she’s like, No, no, no, no, no, definitely not. Definitely not. No, no, no, no, no.
Jenna [00:29:15] Yeah, she keeps repeating it. The receptionist was played by Jennifer Hasty. She’s been in tons of stuff. She’s been on Bosch, Better Call Saul, Transparent and True Blood. And Angela, we had the hardest time getting through this scene. It was it was really difficult because they wanted me to really go on too long. Like way too long before Andy says, Somebody has a case of the definitelys. The direction was like, Keep hearing this idea in your head. Like re-realize it over and over again. So I think I do it like three times where I’m like, No, definitely not. Oh no, no, no, definitely not. It’s as if she keeps saying it, but she’s not saying it. That was the direction was to keep hearing it and responding.
Angela [00:30:05] Well, it was really funny. I loved it.
Jenna [00:30:08] Well, Warren and Halstead said that this plot was loosely based on a story that they heard in their real life. But they couldn’t remember now who it was, but they said they had a female friend who was pregnant, and she went to IKEA with a male friend, not her husband, and everyone kept referring to them as a couple. And they were just like, We get it. I mean, we’re shopping for furniture together and I am pregnant. Everyone just kept congratulating them. And so they remembered that. And that’s kind of the inspiration for this plotline.
Angela [00:30:43] And I’m sure in that moment at first, you’re like, Oh, actually, we’re not related. Oh, actually, we’re not a couple. Oh, yeah, yeah. And then at some point you’re like, Yeah, sure, we just- because it’s just easier to go with it.
Jenna [00:30:53] You’re like, we need to buy what we’re buying.
Angela [00:30:54] Yeah, sure.
Jenna [00:30:55] We’re going to get out of there.
Angela [00:30:57] Back at the office, Erin gets an interesting phone call.
Jenna [00:31:00] She does.
Angela [00:31:01] It’s from the custodian at Raskin Design.
Jenna [00:31:06] Apparently, they found Michael’s keys in the koi pond. Hmm.
Angela [00:31:10] She announces this out loud. And the bullpen is in instant buzz. Koi pond? Your keys in a koi pond? Everyone is very curious.
Jenna [00:31:23] I love the cut to the next moment where Michael’s phone rings and then we pull out and reveal everyone hovering around reception, and Erin just being like Michael, people have a lot of questions.
Angela [00:31:36] These scenes were always so much fun to film because it’s just a big group clump, and we got to have like our dialogue sort of rapid fire back and forth. I have such fond memories of doing scenes like that.
Jenna [00:31:50] Well, the truth is going to come out. Michael tries to say, yes, he fell in a koi pond, but how do they know that he wasn’t trying to save a child?
Angela [00:32:00] Mm-Hmm. And Angela is like, so a child fell in the koi pond?
Jenna [00:32:04] And Michael’s like, not yet. Not yet. It’s amazing,
Angela [00:32:11] Jim has a great talking head. He says it wasn’t so much how Michael fell in, but it was how long it took him to get out. You know, that’s got to be true. You know, like getting out of that koi pond for Warren…
Jenna [00:32:24] I thought the same thing.
Angela [00:32:25] Realizing what had happened and all the people looking over the railing at him. Oh my gosh. Well, it’s time for Pam and Andy to do their big pitch, right? They’ve got their sales pitch.
Jenna [00:32:37] Yes, they’re talking to Tim Dockery, and he’s really impressed. He’s especially impressed, you know, because he’s running a family business and they’re clearly a family business. Pam and Andy have to do the, Oh no, we’re not.
Angela [00:32:52] We’re actually not a couple.
Jenna [00:32:54] No, no. But then Andy goes on and on.
Angela [00:32:58] Well, it’s payback time. It’s payback time for the lady who had a case of the definitelys.
Jenna [00:33:03] I guess so.
Angela [00:33:04] And he says, Oh yeah, no, I’m not with her. I only date face models. On a scale from one to Giselle, like my girlfriend’s a nine. Pam’s just a surrogate. You know, because we don’t need her to look good.
Jenna [00:33:16] I loved that. Apparently, like, we’re not a couple, but that is his baby.
Angela [00:33:20] Oh, yeah.
Jenna [00:33:21] He is going to claim the baby. All right. I have two things to point out in this scene. Number one is my guest star alert. Tom Yi played Tim Dockery. According to his bio, he has lived in four countries on three continents. Impressive. And he has been on the West Wing, Arrested Development, Doctor Ken, Community, and Monk!
Angela [00:33:45] Monk connection!
Jenna [00:33:47] We got another one of those. It’s been a while. And then at three minutes, 55 seconds, I wanted to point out Pam’s baby bump.
Angela [00:33:58] OK.
Jenna [00:34:00] It is much more pronounced in this episode compared to last episode, and that is because I am wearing Bump B.
Angela [00:34:09] You’ve gone up a size in the bump.
Jenna [00:34:11] I’ve gone up a bump. Alicia, our costume designer, made a document that she called the belly tracker. And she tracked from the first time we heard of Pam’s pregnancy news all the way to when she would give birth. And she painstakingly mapped out each time we needed to go up in a belly. And this was our first belly bump. We went up to bump B. They became increasingly less comfortable and I became increasingly more miserable.
Angela [00:34:45] I have something to share about that later that you don’t know. But I’m waiting. I’m waiting.
Jenna [00:34:51] Oh my gosh. Well, Angela, I look forward to whatever this piece of information is that you will be giving me later.
Angela [00:34:59] Yeah, I think it’s going to make you laugh.
Jenna [00:35:01] OK.
Angela [00:35:02] Before we leave this scene, Jenna, I wanted to share with you guys that the name Tim Dockery actually came from Warren’s best friend from college who’s Martin Dockery. Hi, Martin. But I guess the name Martin didn’t clear. Tim is Martin’s brother. So there you go. Tim Dockery. And it was always fun when our writers got to put a friend’s name or a relative’s name in an episode.
Jenna [00:35:25] The next scene has a joke in it that made me laugh so hard. Am I a dork? Michael asks Erin for one of those clips that hold paper together, and Erin says, Staples?
Angela [00:35:37] Staples? Yeah.
Jenna [00:35:40] I loved it.
Angela [00:35:41] I did, too.
Jenna [00:35:43] Erin tells Michael that David Wallace called to say that he heard Michael made a big splash at the meeting. But then she immediately backtracks because that didn’t really happen, and she feels bad and everybody put her up to it.
Angela [00:35:55] She says Kevin and Meredith put me up to it, and then Kevin leans through the file cabinet and says, I will kill you. But yes, that line is inspired from the real life event when Warren’s agent called and said, I heard you made a big splash.
Jenna [00:36:13] We had a fan question from Ella B in Ontario. At seven minutes, 13 seconds you can see a picture of a fish tank on Pam’s computer, which is Jim’s old desk, and then a couple seconds later, you can see the same screensaver on Andy’s computer. Was this a nod to the koi pond?
Angela [00:36:34] It was. And in fact, if you watch Michael walk through the bullpen, he clocks Andy’s computer.
Jenna [00:36:40] And obviously, Pam and Andy don’t know anything about the falling in the koi pond. They are not at the office to change their screens. So I guess you have to imagine that someone in the office is doing this.
Angela [00:36:52] Well in the deleted scenes, it’s clear that Kevin is having maybe the most fun with this. I don’t know if it’s cuz Kevin usually the one that falls or trips or something happens, and now someone else has had a big fall. But in the deleted scenes, as Michael walks through the bullpen, Kevin makes this noise with each step like water, like squishy water in your shoes and Michael’s like, stop it! So someone in the office was really having fun.
Jenna [00:37:23] Well, Michael is going to hold a sensitivity training meeting in the conference room. And we’re going to make a list. We’re going to make a list of things that we can no longer talk about.
Angela [00:37:36] No teasing. It’s called a do not mock list.
Jenna [00:37:39] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:37:40] Michael writes the first one. Koi pond. And he also admits he’s fallen into the fountain at the Steam Town Mall as well. So he writes koi pond and fountain.
Jenna [00:37:50] We had a fan catch from Victoria S in Orlando, Florida. When Michael says he’s fallen into a fountain at the Steam Town mall, I don’t think there’s actually a fountain there. I was born and raised in northeast PA. I have been to the Steam Town Mall, and I don’t recall seeing one there. Well, Victoria, our producer Cassie wanted to find out. Cassie, tell us what do you know about the fountain at Steam Town Mall?
Angela [00:38:18] Do you have a deep dive, Cassi?
Cassi [00:38:21] Yes, I have a little deep dove of me trying to figure out if there is some fountain at the Steam Town Mall. I called and emailed and I could not get through, and I think they probably were like, super weirded out by me just saying like, hi, just want to know if there’s a fountain here. So they weren’t responding to me. And I like went on Google. I tried to look at pictures. I watched like old news clips of people doing segments at the mall, and I could not find a fountain. I was about to give up and I was like, You know what? I’m going to reach out to the Office Ladies Facebook fan page because people post like pictures of them in Scranton. So I reached out to Nikki, who moderates it. And then she was like, I’m on it. And like a couple of hours later, she got back to me and was like, So I couldn’t find any pictures. I called the Steam Town Mall, got a hold of someone. They were very weirded out by her asking if there’s a fountain there.
Angela [00:39:20] Why are all these people calling and asking if there’s a fountain?
Cassi [00:39:25] Yeah. So they like, we’re like, Well, we’ll get your name and phone number and someone will contact you. And then an hour later, she just got a text message from them saying, No, we don’t.
Jenna [00:39:35] All right. I love this story so much. I love that both of you women were calling the Steam Town Mall asking if there’s a fountain and the people are like, What did these ladies want to do in a fountain? Why are they looking for a fountain so badly?
Angela [00:39:51] I want to picture the person answering the phone like later that day. Maybe they’re on their break, you know, having a snack. They’re with other coworkers and they’re, like you guys getting calls like with people asking if we have a fountain? Like what the hell? Thank you, Cassi.
Jenna [00:40:07] Victoria, you are right. There is no fountain in the Steam Town Mall.
Angela [00:40:12] Yes. OK.
Jenna [00:40:15] Well, Angela, I have a mystery I want to solve from the scene, and I’m calling it, Ryan has glasses. Remember last episode he was wearing his trilby hat? Yes. Well, now he’s holding a pair of glasses. They never go on his face. After I saw this, I watched the whole episode waiting for those glasses to go on his face, but he’s just gesturing with them. He’s just got a pair of fake glasses. I don’t know what he’s going through.
Angela [00:40:45] Ryan and the accessories. He’s wanting to fill dignified or something?
Jenna [00:40:49] I guess so.
Angela [00:40:50] Michael wants other people to shout out things they don’t want to be teased about. And Dwight volunteers. He says, my nose is too small. And then he has a talking head where he says the geometric proportions of my face are perfect in every way but one. My nose is too small. I mean, it works. I can still smell things. I just have to be a lot closer than most people. And then Rainn, as Dwight does this little like sniffy sniff. It’s really cute actually. I thought it was cute.
Jenna [00:41:18] We got so much mail about this, Angela. People really wanted to know if Rainn participated in this, the writing of this, or if it was a total surprise to him when he got the script.
Angela [00:41:32] Well, here’s what Halstead said. He said they asked Rainn if there was anything about him that people made fun of or that he was ever sensitive about growing up. And Rainn said, OK, my nose being small. And it actually worked as a really funny bit. Obviously, Rainn is fine with his nose now, you know? But Halsted said they liked to reach out to the actors to get things, that way it’s better coming from the actor than the writer making something up that maybe, I guess, could hurt your feelings, right?
Jenna [00:42:03] Yeah, no. They were always really good about that. That’s very funny.
Angela [00:42:06] As the scene goes on, other people participate, and I zoomed in on the dry erase board at the end to see what Michael had written on the board under each person’s name. The Do Not Mock list has Michael: Koi Pond and Fountain. Dwight: Nose too small. Erin: Orphan. Kevin: huge gut. Angela: Shrimpy. Meredith: sex with a terrorist. Shrimpy? Shrimpy? So I was like, what? So I went to the script. Shrimpy is not in the script. It says for Angela, Michael writes tiny bitch, and I think Steve in the moment just wrote shrimpy.
Jenna [00:42:50] Well. There is a deleted scene for Erin explaining why they wrote orphan.
Angela [00:42:55] That’s right.
[00:42:57] Leaving the conference room, we are back with Pam and Andy. They are at their next sales call. They are with Keena Gifford, played by Amy Reed. Well, Angela, we know Amy Reed very well. I thought, perhaps you’d like to give us the guest star breakdown on this one?
Angela [00:43:13] Oh, I would love to. So Amy Reed, we knew her at this time as Amy Weaver, and she is just a dear friend of mine and I’ve known her a long time. We met working at IO West. I think our bonding moment was the song Jolene came on and she’s from Oklahoma and you know, my family’s from Texas and Louisiana, and we both, without missing a beat, just started going, (SINGING) Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene in our southern accents. I just love her so much. She is a hilarious actress and phenomenal writer. She’s still one of my dearest friends to this day. And I reached out to Amy and asked her if she could share her memories of being on the set of The Office. And here’s what she had to share. First of all, she said her scenes were only with Jenna and Ed in this super small, abandoned office building. There wasn’t a huge cast or crew, so she really got to hang out, which is fun. She said one of the things she remembers is that Jenna was wearing a really huge baby bump. And it was making her go to the bathroom, and she went to the bathroom one time right before they called them back to set and some very sweet, but maybe a little too eager, production assistant was knocking nonstop on the door while poor Jenna was trying to get the belly back on. Amy said, I only really appreciated how hot and heavy those suckers are many years later, on a shoot where I had to be fake pregnant. She said she would like everyone to know even fake pregnant women should not be rushed in the bathroom. That’s the lesson here. I knew you’d be happy, I know you’re applauding.
Jenna [00:44:59] I am slow clapping that, Amy. Thank you. I feel so validated. Let me explain what you have on. It’s not just a belly. So I was wearing, for a reason I don’t know, tights.
Angela [00:45:17] Yeah.
Jenna [00:45:18] So I’ve got underwear, tights, then on top of that, you have on like what’s like almost a wet suit with boy shorts and that goes all the way up over your bra. It’s like a whole contraption. And then from there they can slide in different sized bellies. Then I had all my clothes on top of that. But I also had on a microphone and a microphone pack
Angela [00:45:48] with a wire taped to you.
Jenna [00:45:51] Yes. So to go to the bathroom, I had to dismantle all of that. It was a good 10 minutes just to get undressed. Then I had to pee. Then I had to put it all on. Again. It was like 20 minutes. If I said I need to go to the bathroom, that was a 20 minute break because it was really difficult and frustrating. And no one seemed to get it. And I really, like I asked Alicia, I was like, Alicia, is it worth like gathering the production team together and sort of like taking them through all the layers? Because they expect me to pee in the same amount of time that I always peed. But I’m wearing so many more elements and maybe there’s like a workshop we could do.
Angela [00:46:45] To show them.
Jenna [00:46:46] Yes. And I actually think, Angela, correct me if I’m wrong… Wasn’t there a day where Kelly Cantley, our first AD, put it on and wore it?
Angela [00:46:57] Yes, because you were like, someone else needs to experience this.
Jenna [00:47:01] Please, I’m begging you.
Angela [00:47:03] And so she put it on. You know, years later, I would have to wear the same thing, and I feel like you paved the way with our crew about what to expect.
Jenna [00:47:12] I know. But you know what? It was a tough road. It was a tough paving.
Angela [00:47:17] Well, after all these years, that’s the first thing Amy remembered to share with me.
Jenna [00:47:21] Amy, thank you. Thank you. I’m so touched.
Angela [00:47:25] She went on to say, Jenna and Ed and I were jammed into a tiny office and the director, Reggie, and the crew were outside the door on the other side. And at some point during downtime between takes, Jenna and I got really chatty with each other. And I guess we were kind of leaving Ed out of the conversation with very little room to jump in, and he finally just interrupted and said, Do you two know each other? Because you had met Amy through me and we had become all a group of friends.
Jenna [00:47:55] Yeah, yeah.
Angela [00:47:57] The last thing Amy shared was this. One random thing that made a huge impression on me that day was when Jenna invited me to her trailer for lunch. As we sat there chatting, it somehow came up about the beginning of you and her friendship. Jenna shared about the transition you guys had by being on the cast of The Office, how you two really bonded over going from inconsistent acting careers to suddenly being in the limelight, and the impact and weight of being on The Office and the adjustment to that, and how you two were together through all of it. Through that transition you balanced earnest humility and the thrill of being on the number one comedy.
Jenna [00:48:38] Wow. Now I’m like crying. Now I’m like, really moved.
Angela [00:48:44] I thought that was wonderful. I know.
Jenna [00:48:46] Yeah, I mean, that was true. I can’t imagine having to have done that without you, Angela.
Angela [00:48:54] Oh, lady.
Jenna [00:48:55] It was overwhelming. It was all of your professional dreams coming true but all the ways that you don’t think that that is going to impact your life in weird ways you know? Your face on television every week. And what that does, how it changes different relationships or friendships, how your time is not your own when you are on a television show, the long hours, but then all of the additional promotional work that takes up your weekends and how you can’t go to things anymore. And to have someone to go through that with and navigate that with. And you’re so excited, but then the Midwesterner in me would always feel like very shy about it, and I think we had that in common. I mean, she really nailed it.
Angela [00:49:49] I know. I thought what great observations from her day on set.
Jenna [00:49:53] Yeah.
Angela [00:49:54] Well, you know, I feel the same way, lady. My gosh, how would I gotten through, you know, the last 18 years? Oh my word. Without your friendship?
Jenna [00:50:03] Oh my gosh.
Angela [00:50:04] 18. I have one last fun tidbit about this scene. Warren reminded me of it, and I went and looked for it immediately. There is a photo of our daughter, Isabelle, in a frame just over Amy’s shoulder. If you go to 11 minutes, 35 seconds, you can see Isabelle in the little silver frame. She’s smiling so big. She’s in her car seat. I love that Phil Shea did that for us. It just, oh my gosh, warmed my heart so much.
Jenna [00:50:33] I saw it too.
Angela [00:50:35] Oh, and one last thing- I know I’ve had a lot to say about the scene. So Miss Gifford and Andy bond over this birthing teacher named Miss Janet. Well, Janet is my sister’s name.
Jenna [00:50:49] Hmm. That’s so sweet.
Angela [00:50:52] So there you go, that’s everything that I had for that scene.
Jenna [00:50:56] Well, I think we should take a break and when we come back, we’re going to talk about how you eat like a squirrel, Angela.
Angela [00:51:01] OK, great.
Jenna [00:51:07] We are back and we are still in the conference room. People are still talking about the things that bother them. And Angela, you do not like it when people say you eat like a squirrel.
Angela [00:51:18] Mm-Hmm.
Jenna [00:51:20] You don’t care for that.
Angela [00:51:21] I don’t care for that. And also, I’m afraid someone’s going to throw me around like a football because I’m so petite.
Jenna [00:51:27] Mm hmm. Erin is going to interrupt this meeting and let Michael know that someone has called to inform them that one of the koi died and they want him to pay for it, it’s going to be $300.
Angela [00:51:42] Aren’t koi, like crazy expensive?
Jenna [00:51:45] Yeah, they are. And Halstead shared that they had pitched around in the writers room a kind of extension of this storyline because they found out that some koi can, like, cost as much as $2000. So at one point, the koi that Michael killed was going to be worth $2000 and that Michael was going to pay for it. He was going to get it because he was going to want to see a $2000 fish. And then back at the office, he was going to cook it in the toaster oven and eat it.
Angela [00:52:22] No!
Jenna [00:52:24] Yes, this was the pitch, but that ultimately Michael was going to chicken out and he was just going to throw it away. And Halstead said by the time they got to the end of this pitch, they were like, You know what? It’s disturbing. We’re going to. How about the koi is just $300? And there’s no eating of the koi.
Angela [00:52:43] Or throwing it away.
Jenna [00:52:45] Yes. And Halsted said, I’m very happy we changed that.
Angela [00:52:50] Well, you know, Michael wouldn’t have thrown it away. If he didn’t eat it, he would have had a proper burial for it.
Jenna [00:52:55] That’s most likely, yes.
Angela [00:52:57] And there would have been a koi funeral.
Jenna [00:52:59] Yes. And then maybe Creed would have digged it up and eaten it.
Angela [00:53:02] Oh gross. I did love when Creed was like, Oh man, you’re paying way too much for worms. Who’s your worm guy?
Jenna [00:53:10] Who’s your worm guy? So funny.
Angela [00:53:13] Put that on a shirt.
Jenna [00:53:17] Jim is going to get Michael aside and say, I have a strategy. I think maybe you should make fun of yourself for falling into the koi pond.
Angela [00:53:29] Yeah, and that will defuse everyone else, right? They won’t be able to tell jokes because you’ve covered it.
Jenna [00:53:35] So Michael’s going to try it. He’s like, All right, I’ll try it. And at first, it goes well. And then it doesn’t.
Angela [00:53:44] He goes too far, he goes too far, and he knows he’s going too far. This was such a brilliant performance. It’s like that thing when you’re like talking to someone and you know that moment you went past, where you should have stopped, and in your own brain you’re like, Stop, stop, but you can’t.
Jenna [00:54:03] Yes. And he just keeps talking. He keeps saying embarrassing things about his life that aren’t even about the koi pond.
Angela [00:54:10] Well, Warren shared with us that this was one of his favorite comedy bits. And he said when Michael goes too far with it, they had even more pitched, Jenna. They had even more jokes in the pipeline here. He said he and Halstead loved writing this runner. Here were some that didn’t make it in the show. Are you ready?
Jenna [00:54:28] I’m ready.
Angela [00:54:29] I can’t listen to talk radio when I drive because I get scared that someone else is in the car.
Jenna [00:54:35] OK?
Angela [00:54:36] Then there was another one where Michael locks himself in a dog cage at K-Mart. No one could get him out. He was stuck. And they had to call the fire department.
Jenna [00:54:45] OK.
Angela [00:54:47] Then there was a take when Michael goes so far and cuts so deep at himself that he makes himself cry. And Warren said Steve’s performance was so phenomenal. It was his favorite take. He fought really hard. But too many people disagreed. They said it was too depressing. And Warren lost the battle, so it ends with a loo hoo ser.
Jenna [00:55:11] Wow. This was definitely one of those scenes where we would go to the candy bag. They would always have extra stuff for scenes like this.
Angela [00:55:20] And I know we say this a lot, you guys but Steve is so amazing because he could dial it up or dial it down or cry or just he could do anything. He was so impressive. I would lose myself. I’ve said this before. I’d be like, Oh crap, I’m supposed to be reacting as Angela Martin. And instead, I was just there like, Oh my gosh, Steve is crushing it.
Jenna [00:55:41] I wish I could have been there. I would have loved to have watched this. That was maybe one of the things that was so fun about rewatching this episode was that I was really watching this as a fan because I wasn’t there. So I don’t have memories of what else went on or what got cut. I’m just watching it. It’s great.
Angela [00:56:01] Same. Same, I think that’s why I got so tickled when Andy says, It looks like someone’s got a case of the definitelys cuz I wasn’t there when you guys did that.
Jenna [00:56:10] Yeah. Well, now, Angela, I’ve got a fan question for you because you are in the break room and you are eating a nut. Heather C from Leeds in the UK said, Angela, one of my favorite Angela moments ever is the bit where you eat like a squirrel in the break room. Also, the part where you wrap your packaging back up cracks me up so much. How did you come up with this bit exactly? Did you perhaps watch a lot of videos of squirrels eating?
Angela [00:56:43] Heather, that’s hilarious. Well, thank you for appreciating my squirrel eating performance. You know, honestly, I didn’t watch any videos. I just, you know, I’ve seen a squirrel eat and I used my own personal life observation. And just so you know, the stage direction in the script for the scene was: Meredith, Kevin, Angela and Oscar sit at tables. Angela gnaws at an almond, holding it with two hands like a squirrel. So I knew I had to hold it with two hands just the way I’m doing it. And then I just ate it the way I thought a squirrel would eat it. And then in the script it goes on to say, She puts the rest of her almond back into Saran Wrap. So that was in the script. But how I folded it and did it, you know, it was just me sort of playing in the moment. I had so much fun doing that and we kept laughing. Like Brian and Oscar, we all kept cracking up.
Jenna [00:57:40] Well, as your BFF, I will go on record to say that you do not actually eat like that. We all know you bite right into the string cheese.
Angela [00:57:49] Oh yeah, I’m not holding it with two hands, gnawing at it. I’m gonna chomp at it.
Jenna [00:57:53] You’re not stringing it or anything. You’re just eating it. But you do often wrap up the second half of whatever you haven’t eaten. That is true.
Angela [00:58:02] This is true. If you open my fridge right now, there’s like four grapes wrapped up in a little piece of tinfoil.
Jenna [00:58:09] You’re going to eat those later.
Angela [00:58:10] I will.
Jenna [00:58:11] So listen. Back in the meeting with Pam and Andy, Andy is really gets a little out of control. He’s like smothering Pam’s belly with his face.
Angela [00:58:25] Well, they’ve just finally decided to lean into it. Yeah, fine. We’re a couple. This is our baby. To try to make the sale. But we learn a lot about Andy in this moment.
Jenna [00:58:36] We do, and afterwards, Pam says, You know, that was great, but maybe you took it a little far. And he’s like, Yeah, yeah, I thought it was maybe the belly kissing was a little much. And he reveals a couple of things. One, he reveals that it was nice for him to pretend for a minute that he was part of a couple with a baby on the way.
Angela [00:59:01] Aw that broke my heart.
Jenna [00:59:03] I know. And then he also reveals that maybe he has a little crush on Erin.
Angela [00:59:46] Hmm.
Jenna [00:59:47] Hmm.
Angela [00:59:48] Well, guess what? Meredith’s roommate is friends with the night janitor at the office building where Michael fell, and she’s got a copy of the security footage.
Jenna [00:59:58] Yes, she does. Everyone is going to gather around Meredith’s computer and we are going to see Michael fall into the koi pond. We got so many fan questions about the fall into the koi pond, and we’re going to do our best to break it down for you. Starting with Callie B. from Rogers, Arkansas, who asked, Where was the security footage of Steve falling into the pond filmed? Randy told us that we shot the koi pond just down the street from our studios. They were a neon sign manufacturing business called Knights of Neon. This business has operated for over 30 years, and they make custom neon signs for commercial use.
Angela [01:00:43] I really hope their logo is like a knight in like metal armor holding up like a shield. Knights of Neon.
Jenna [01:00:51] Oh well, it’s spelled NIGHTS of neon.
Angela [01:00:54] Ohhh boo. I’m kidding. I’m kidding.
Jenna [01:01:00] This company, Knights of Neon, had a really big empty warehouse, and that’s why we picked it. We rented it out for a whole week, and Michael Gallenberg and his construction coordinator, Tim James, they started by laying down like a waterproof liner over the entire floor of the warehouse. Then they built a koi pond on top of it that held a thousand gallons of filtered water. And then they made the walkways on top of it. They also then set up two cameras. Reggie really wanted like this motorized surveillance camera that would sort of sweep the lobby back and forth. And so Matt Sohn created this effect by using a tripod with a fluid head mounted on top of a tall ladder. So they made this fakey sweepy security camera. I guess this sweeping shot is best seen in the deleted scenes around four minutes, nine seconds.
Angela [01:02:04] Oh yeah, go to the deleted scenes for this episode. It’s the last one. It’s the whole entire footage of Michael falling in. And when I watched it, I was like, Oh wow. I didn’t realize how long Steve was in the water. I mean, they really went for it.
Jenna [01:02:23] Well, I guess we added another stationary nonmoving b camera that was angled a little bit more at the front. Derek Carver was our B camera operator that day, and the footage that you end up seeing on this tape that everyone’s watching is that B camera footage. The still footage. All right. Next question. This one comes from Braylon M in Seattle, Washington. Were there actually koi in the pond that Michael falls in? Yes, yes. Randy told us that we went with our usual animal training company, which was Bob Dunn’s Animal Rentals in Sylmar, California.
Angela [01:03:07] They do it all. Clearly.
Jenna [01:03:08] They do. The head trainer there is Denise Sanders, but we had to also employ a special koi wrangler named Mike Long. What was Kelly Cantley thinking? She’s had a fruit fly wrangler. She’s had a koi wrangler.
Angela [01:03:26] Several cat wranglers.
Jenna [01:03:28] Fascinating. They filled up the koi pond with water several days in advance because they had to let the chlorine evaporate from the water. They did a careful PH balance, all of that. Randy said the koi were very expensive. And before they put the koi into the pond, they did a test with some goldfish just to make sure. So the goldfish, they were like, you know, when the king has a tester eat the food first?
Angela [01:03:59] Yeah.
Jenna [01:04:00] So those little goldfish, they lived.
Angela [01:04:03] Well, thank god they lived.
Jenna [01:04:06] The koi went in. He said that we used twenty eight koi that were up to two feet long.
Angela [01:04:14] They’re very big.
Jenna [01:04:15] And that the total cost for the fish, the holding tanks, the pumps, the filters, and all the labor was $12000.
Angela [01:04:24] Wow, that’s a pricey koi pond. Well, when we started filming, Halstead shared that when they put the koi in the pond, they immediately all swam under the steps that went over the middle, you know, of the koi pond?
Jenna [01:04:41] Yeah.
Angela [01:04:42] And I guess they were in a new environment. And so they kind of go and hide. They check it out. And it takes them a bit to get comfortable and then to swim out from their hiding place. The koi wrangler told Halsted and Warren that they had to wait for the koi to settle and come out before they could do the first take.
Jenna [01:05:01] Aw, those guys were just standing there waiting for the koi?
Angela [01:05:04] Yeah. So someone probably made an announcement. Guys, we’re going to take five and let the koi get ready. Waiting on the koi.
Jenna [01:05:13] I’ve got another fan question now from Nina D. in Washington. How many takes did you do of Michael falling into the pond? Randy said they really hoped the answer would be one. But the answer is two.
Angela [01:05:29] Uh oh.
Jenna [01:05:30] I think we should mention that Steve did not have a stunt double. Steve actually fell into the pond.
Angela [01:05:36] That is very clear if you go to deleted scenes.
Jenna [01:05:41] When he got out from doing it the first time, they went over and they checked that sweeping camera that they had set up
Angela [01:05:50] to look like security footage.
Jenna [01:05:52] It had missed all of the action. It swept past him. And then he fell. And then it swept back. It missed it all. So they had to ask Steve to dry off and do it again.
Angela [01:06:07] Warren shared that he could tell Steve was, you know, bummed out because he had fallen into the koi pond and splashed about, and now he was going to have to do it again. And he said Steve asked out loud if anyone would believe this was even possible. And Paul Lieberstein, Warren’s brother, who was there at the time, pointed at Warren and said, Oh, it’s possible.
Jenna [01:06:32] Oh no.
Angela [01:06:33] And I guess somehow up to this point, Steve was unaware that it had actually happened to Warren. And Warren said Steve just looked at him and said, Wow. Warren said that that was very generous because he could tell clearly there were many thoughts running through Steve’s brain, which he chose not to say. And he just said, Wow. And then they all started laughing. And Warren said he knows a lot of people have said this, but it is true that Steve truly was the nicest.
Jenna [01:07:06] Wow.
Angela [01:07:07] Can you imagine Steve looking at you and going, Wow. All right, then.
Jenna [01:07:17] Halstead shared that after Steve fell into the pond, it caused all the koi to hide again. So Steve dried off, but then they had to wait for them to come out again. Halstead also shared he doesn’t even think you can see any of the koi.
Angela [01:07:34] Listen, when I watched the deleted scene, it’s like black and white kind of security cam, right? I couldn’t really see the koi. I don’t know why I’m whispering that. I’m doing that thing my mom does where you whisper bad news. I didn’t see the koi.
Jenna [01:07:50] Yeah. Well, I guess on this second take, they did get it on the sweeping camera, but like I said, they didn’t even end up using that part of the footage anyway. Now this all leads me to our final fan question about this from Logan Z in Columbus, Ohio. When everyone is watching the clip of Michael falling in on the computer, did you actually get to watch the video or are you guys just pretending?
Angela [01:08:16] It was a little bit of a combo. So they had some of the footage of Steve falling in and they had it on a little monitor that they showed us? It actually wasn’t on Meredith’s computer. But they did show it to the cast before we started rolling so we could see what happened. And then we all gather around Meredith’s desk, and we just sort of faked it.
Jenna [01:08:39] Yes, Randy said that they burned it into the computer screen with special effects. That that came later. And I think some of that is because they hadn’t quite decided exactly what they were going to use yet when you guys shot your scene. I guess we should probably explain that as they’re watching this video, everyone notices that as Michael’s falling in, Jim like leans back. Hard.
Angela [01:09:10] I mean, he completely- it’s like he’s stepping out of the way, like, no, no, no, no, no, don’t take me with you.
Jenna [01:09:17] He does not try to grab Michael. He does not try to stop it. And everyone is now piling on Jim.
Angela [01:09:26] They’re like, Yeah, Jim, you could have called Michael. What the hell?
Jenna [01:09:29] We got a fan question from Kelly S in Portland, Maine, who is wondering, like, was Jim really at fault for Michael falling in the koi pond? You know, it’s not like he bumped him. Kelly says what was Jim supposed to do? If he’d grabbed Michael maybe they would have both fallen in. Thoughts?
Angela [01:09:50] Thoughts. It’s sort of an interesting character assessment of your personal character. It’s like fight, flight or freeze, right? So so Michael’s falling. Let’s say you and I are walking over a koi pond and you’re next to me and you start to fall. I would hope my first instinct would be to grab for you. I mean, I do that with my kids. You know how that mom instinct kicks in? Like, you’re at a soccer game and there’s a ball that goes crazy towards the stands and you grab your kid out of the way? I mean, it’s just like a reflex.
Jenna [01:10:25] Lady, this just made me remember something that happened in my real life.
Angela [01:10:32] What?
Jenna [01:10:34] So… I’m just remembering this. I was in the kitchen and Lee walked in the kitchen and he was soaking wet. Just like this, just like he’s soaking wet. I’m like, What happened?
Angela [01:10:48] I know, I know where this is going.
Jenna [01:10:50] What happened? And he was like, I fell in the swimming pool. I’m like, You fell in the swimming pool? How? So when our daughter was little, she used to like it when Lee would fake throw her in the swimming pool.
Angela [01:11:06] Sure. Like, swing her out over and then swing her back.
Jenna [01:11:08] Yes, swing her out over and swing her back. And he was like, I was doing the thing where I swing her over the swimming pool. But I lost my balance and I fell in. And I was like, Is she OK? Did she fall in? He’s like, She’s fine. She’s dry. Well, we have a security camera, Angela, and we went and we got the footage. It is so funny. We still sometimes play it as a family. You can see him like fake swinging her over the pool, he’s swinging her and then he’s swinging her and then he swings her and you see him start to lose his balance. And through some, like you’re saying, like in these moments, what is your character?
Angela [01:11:54] What is your instinct?
Jenna [01:11:56] Through some like hero quick feat like the kind of thing you see football players do where they get both feet down before they fall out of bounds, like, you’re like, How did they do it? He, while falling into the pool, whips our daughter around and places her gently on the side and then sort of falls backwards into the pool himself. It’s really incredible. He saved her while falling himself. So I guess… I guess it’s true, you know, in these moments, there’s this instinctual part of you that just kicks in.
Angela [01:12:39] Yeah. So I would hope my instinct would be to grab you, knowing I might fall in with you, but to at least try.
Jenna [01:12:48] Yeah.
Angela [01:12:49] But Jim does just the opposite. He leans so far back, he’s almost like, better you than me, you know?
Jenna [01:12:56] Yes.
Angela [01:12:58] Yeah, could he have helped him? Should he have at least reached out? Was he maybe just surprised and thrown off guard? Because that could happen. You could just be so surprised in the moment.
Jenna [01:13:08] I thought John did a great body acting job there. I thought he really did a good job.
Angela [01:13:15] Well, the episode ends with Pam asking Erin to fax something for her. And she sees it as an opportunity to bring up Andy. And she says, Isn’t he, you know, great? And Erin’s, like, Andy, is the coolest person I’ve ever met.
Jenna [01:13:31] Ooh, romance.
Angela [01:13:31] Ooh. I did catch a Post-it note at 20 minutes, 47 seconds. Guys, does it say call mom? It says, call mom and then something on the bottom I couldn’t make out.
Jenna [01:13:43] That’s weird.
Angela [01:13:44] I know. Because Erin has just shared she’s an orphan. So what’s the Post-it note with Call Mom?
Jenna [01:13:51] Do you think Ellie needed to call her mom?
Angela [01:13:53] I don’t know. Was it a post-it note to herself?
Jenna [01:13:57] Maybe it was. I used to do that.
Angela [01:13:59] Oh, I know I saw your grocery list.
Jenna [01:14:02] Well, guys, that’s Koi Pond.
Angela [01:14:04] It is, and we have some shout outs, some big thank you’s to go over.
Jenna [01:14:09] Yes. Thank you so much, Randy Cordray for giving us the lowdown on how you built that koi pond and how that all worked. And thank you to Warren and Halstead for your amazing behind the scenes facts and for your audio clips breaking down the real life event. We wanted to let you know that Halstead is a producer on Central Park. It’s an animated show, and the second half of season two is going to premiere on Apple TV on March 4th. It is a fully animated musical starring Leslie Odom Jr., Kathryn Hahn, Josh Gad, Titus Burgess, Emmy Raver-Lapman, Kristen Bell, Daveed Diggs and Stanley Tucci.
Angela [01:14:56] And I think I have to say a personal thank you to Warren, who just humored his ex-wife texting him a whole bunch about this episode. And I’d also like to say a big thank you to our friend Amy Weaver, now Amy Reed. She has written a feature called Smokey Mountain Rain, which she is also set to direct. Go Amy!
Jenna [01:15:16] Go Amy! Guys, we love you. We’ll see you again next week.
Angela [01:15:20] Yeah, because there’s a double date with Jim and Pam and Michael and Pam’s mom.
Jenna [01:15:27] Oh no.
Angela [01:15:28] What could go wrong? We’ll see you next week.
Jenna [01:15:32] See you then. 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 [01:15:55] 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.