September 6, 2022
EP. 135 — Andy’s Play with Ed Helms
This week we’re breaking down “Andy’s Play” and the ladies are joined by Ed Helms! Michael becomes jealous when he discovers his “Law and Order” audition didn’t get him a part in the local production of “Sweeney Todd” but Andy did. Ed Helms shares what it was like to prep for this episode, Angela reveals why Angela Martin looks so cute and Jenna makes orange juice and Baileys for everyone to try inspired by Jim and Pam. Plus there’s a special treat at the end of this episode that will make your heart go on. Enjoy!
135 — Andy’s Play with Ed Helms
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 [00:00:24] Hi there.
Ed Helms [00:00:26] Okay. Hi! It’s Ed! Hi!
Angela [00:00:31] Surprise, you guys! We have Ed Helms here today and we will be talking about Andy’s Play.
Ed Helms [00:00:36] I didn’t know if I was supposed to talk right away or if you were going to introduce me or that- but then you both looked at me and-
Jenna [00:00:41] We just stared at you until you spoke.
Angela [00:00:41] We did
Ed Helms [00:00:44] Yeah. And that’s- Okay, so, yeah, I’m talking. Now I’m talking. I’m here.
Jenna [00:00:47] Well, this is season seven, episode three. It was written by Charlie Grandy, directed by John Scott. Would you like a summary?
Angela [00:00:56] I mean, I would love nothing more.
Ed Helms [00:00:56] I would. Yeah. I would.
Angela [00:00:57] Ed, what you think about a summary? Feeling good?
Ed Helms [00:00:59] I love summary.
Angela [00:00:59] I love a summary.
Jenna [00:01:00] Here it is. Andy invites his coworkers to watch him in a community theater production of Sweeney Todd, which Michael is upset to learn he was not cast in. The entire office attends except for Erin, who steps in at the last minute to babysit for Cece. And Angela is going to get another punch on her punch card from Dwight, but not for the reason you might think. There it is. What do we think? Did I cover it?
Angela [00:01:28] I thought that was a fantastic summary.
Ed Helms [00:01:30] It’s actually, yeah. I rewatched the episode in preparation for this, and that summary is spot on.
Angela [00:01:37] Right?
Jenna [00:01:38] Ah! Thank you! Yeah, I wrote it myself. I also thought maybe we want a quick summary of Sweeney Todd, the production that Andy is starring in, to give some context. What do you guys think?
Angela [00:01:52] I want to hear it. I went down the Wikipedia rabbit hole about Sweeney Todd and, wow.
Jenna [00:01:57] Oh! Well, I hope I cover it. If I don’t, will you let me know?
Angela [00:02:01] Maybe.
Jenna [00:02:02] Oh no.
Angela [00:02:03] I didn’t commit any of it to memory. There’s just a lot of versions.
Ed Helms [00:02:05] I don’t. I don’t know anything about it, so I won’t know if if I mean, I know what what is in the episode, basically. But I don’t know the-
Angela [00:02:14] The musical.
Ed Helms [00:02:14] And I know the premise, but I don’t know the story. So anything you say is, is going to be fine with me.
Jenna [00:02:19] All right. Well, here we go. Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, is a real musical that first opened on Broadway in 1979. The music and lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim, and the book is by Hugh Wheeler. The character of Sweeney Todd, a murderous barber who goes around killing people, it originated in Victorian serialized fiction known as The Penny Dreadfuls.
Angela [00:02:43] Yes, I saw that on Wikipedia.
Ed Helms [00:02:46] I have one little beef with your summary, actually. Are you done? You’re not done.
Jenna [00:02:49] I have a little more to say.
Angela [00:02:51] Okay. Go for it.
Jenna [00:02:51] Okay.
Ed Helms [00:02:52] Sorry.
Jenna [00:02:52] Now already one beef I’ve earned. All right. The musical was based on a play by Christopher Bond, where he introduced a psychological backstory for Todd’s crimes. And Stephen Sondheim had seen this play, and that inspired him to write the musical. Over 80% of Sweeney Todd is set to music, either through singing or an underscore to dialogue. And the musical won both the Tony and the Olivier Award for Best New Musical when it came out.
Ed Helms [00:03:24] When was that that it came out?
Jenna [00:03:25] 1979.
Angela [00:03:27] What’s your beef, Ed?
Ed Helms [00:03:28] Okay, so you said that he goes around killing people. He actually is a barber and he murders people in his barber shop.
Jenna [00:03:36] So really, people come around to be murdered.
Ed Helms [00:03:39] Exactly.
Angela [00:03:40] Yes.
Jenna [00:03:40] That would have been more accurate.
Ed Helms [00:03:41] He doesn’t go around murdering.
Angela [00:03:43] Mm hmm.
Ed Helms [00:03:43] People come around to get murdered.
Jenna [00:03:46] More accurate.
Ed Helms [00:03:46] They come around for a haircut.
Angela [00:03:48] They come around for a haircut.
Ed Helms [00:03:49] And then he kills them with the straight razor.
Angela [00:03:51] Right. And then he opens the chair. He has a lever, and they go flying down into the basement. And then he has a friend who turns their bodies into meat for a really bad mince pies.
Ed Helms [00:04:03] Aren’t they really yummy?
Angela [00:04:04] Oh, yeah. Sorry. She has a song at the beginning that she has really bad pies.
Ed Helms [00:04:07] Oh.
Jenna [00:04:07] So when the pies are people, then they’re good?
Angela [00:04:10] Yeah. Then people can’t get enough of the pies when they’re people.
Jenna [00:04:12] Oh, my God. I did not realize this part of the story!
Ed Helms [00:04:16] Yeah.
Angela [00:04:16] Oh, yeah.
Ed Helms [00:04:16] Oh, there’s a whole cannibalism- I mean, it’s like accidental cannibalism. They sell them as mince pies. But they’re people. It’s like Soylent Green. It’s people! It’s people, people! Come on, people!
Angela [00:04:25] People! Yeah, it’s people.
Angela [00:04:27] Yeah, people pies.
Ed Helms [00:04:29] People pies.
Jenna [00:04:29] The musical could have been called People Pies.
Ed Helms [00:04:32] It should have been.
Angela [00:04:33] It should have been, really.
Ed Helms [00:04:35] I gotta, yeah. We got to write Stephen Sondheim a letter.
Angela [00:04:40] Getting out my old timey typewriter.
Jenna [00:04:43] Well, Ed, we can’t wait to talk to you about this episode and your experience. We thought we’d start by asking you, do you have any musical theater background? Have you ever been in musicals?
Angela [00:04:53] Like in high school?
Ed Helms [00:04:54] Well, yeah. So I was in some musical theater productions in high school. And then I was in- let’s see, I was in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Angela [00:05:06] Okay. Jenna and I both have one we’re wondering if you were in. Keep going.
Ed Helms [00:05:08] Um and gosh, I’m drawing a blank. Oh, I was in Into the Woods, another Sondheim.
Angela [00:05:13] Oh, yes, Into the Woods.
Ed Helms [00:05:14] Another Sondheim masterpiece. And that was all high school. And then when I was in college, I did I was in a musical called The Cradle Will Rock, which is a really cool, like a during the Great Depression, it was written as like a a sort of pro-worker- anyway, it was a cool piece. And that’s one I did in college and then I think that’s it.
Jenna [00:05:39] Wow.
Angela [00:05:39] No Guys and Dolls, Jenna.
Jenna [00:05:40] We really.
Angela [00:05:41] We were positive.
Jenna [00:05:42] We were really feeling like that would be a good role for you.
Ed Helms [00:05:44] Man.
Jenna [00:05:45] Nathan Detroit.
Angela [00:05:46] Yeah.
Ed Helms [00:05:46] Sure.
Angela [00:05:46] Yeah. Sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down. Sit down you’re rockin the boat.
Ed Helms [00:05:48] Yeah. I’m not I don’t I’m not that I don’t know Guys and Dolls. And I wasn’t in it. But I wish I was, because then we’d have a lot more to talk about.
Jenna [00:06:02] Did you do musical theater, Angela?
Angela [00:06:04] Oh, I mean, I was in The Music Man at my school in Indonesia.
Ed Helms [00:06:09] Awesome.
Angela [00:06:09] Mm hmm. I played Amaryllis. And we thought it was really funny. We would give everyone a nickname based off their character name. So everyone called me “I’m a real ass?.
Ed Helms [00:06:20] Oh.
Angela [00:06:20] Yeah. So.
Jenna [00:06:20] You. Your life has just been a series of nicknames. People love nicknaming you.
Angela [00:06:27] I know. Hambone. I’m a real ass. That was my big musical theater debut, but I actually get really anxious singing in front of people. I can be on stage doing, you know, zany comedy skits and things like that, but to sing in front of people makes me so anxious. So I opted then to go into the most serious theater productions.
Ed Helms [00:06:47] Of course.
Jenna [00:06:48] I see.
Angela [00:06:49] What about you?
Jenna [00:06:51] I did in high school. I’m not a strong singer, so I was in the dance chorus.
Angela [00:06:57] I’ve heard you sing. I think you have a great voice.
Jenna [00:06:59] Thank you for saying that. I’m really self-conscious about it.
Angela [00:07:02] Oh, well, I think. Anyway, I think you have a great voice. So you danced. You were in the chorus?
Jenna [00:07:07] I did the dancing chorus. And then my senior year, I got the lead dance role in Fiddler on the Roof. I was the fiddler.
Ed Helms [00:07:14] Wow!
Angela [00:07:15] Hey!
Jenna [00:07:16] To which I say, without me, it was just called The Roof.
Ed Helms [00:07:19] Wow. Yeah, of course.
Jenna [00:07:20] He really- it’s an important role. I had no lines and didn’t sing, but I danced my heart out and I pretended to fiddle.
Ed Helms [00:07:25] Yeah. That’s awesome. I just remembered another one that I was in. Godspell.
Jenna [00:07:31] Oh, I was in Godspell in college!
Ed Helms [00:07:33] Hey! High five.
Angela [00:07:33] High five.
Jenna [00:07:34] I should say, yeah, and then, oh, and in college, I was in um it’s all dancing. Bob Fosse.
Ed Helms [00:07:40] Oh, Chicago?
Angela [00:07:40] A Chorus Line?
Jenna [00:07:41] No, the one um…
Ed Helms [00:07:43] Nice job, us. Just pulling out some Bob Fosse.
Jenna [00:07:48] Liza Minnelli.
Devon [00:07:50] Cabaret?
Jenna [00:07:50] That’s it!
Angela [00:07:51] Thank you, Devon.
Jenna [00:07:52] Thank you, Devon. Yes.
Ed Helms [00:07:52] I was going to say Arthur? No.
Jenna [00:07:56] Yes. And also in college I was in Cabaret and I got to choreograph that. So very like dance forward musicals were my thing.
Ed Helms [00:08:03] I’m very impressed.
Angela [00:08:04] Yes.
Jenna [00:08:04] Thank you.
Angela [00:08:05] Okay. So we are here to talk about Andy performing Sweeney Todd. Randy Cordray- we talk to Randy Cordray all the time. He’s amazing. He told us the writers originally pitched the storyline over the summer between seasons six and seven. How did you first hear about it? Did they come to you and say, Hey, Ed, we want to do a full musical, you’re going to sing a bunch? Like, did you have any input?
Ed Helms [00:08:27] I don’t recall knowing anything about it before the table read.
Jenna [00:08:31] I am shocked and also not shocked.
Angela [00:08:33] Not shocked.
Ed Helms [00:08:33] Yeah, I mean, we were so buried in whatever episode we were working on. It’s not like there was a lot of extra time. But now that you mention it, I’m sure that I must have started rehearsing before. Like, at least the week before. Yeah, because that’s hard music. Sondheim is, like, crazy hard music.
Jenna [00:08:54] Yes.
Angela [00:08:54] Yeah.
Ed Helms [00:08:55] Yeah.
Jenna [00:08:56] Randy told us that on his schedule, he went back and looked in his files, the only day that you guys had to rehearse all together as a cast was like the Monday morning for half a day. At the theater. And then we all came and started shooting the episode. Does that sound right?
Ed Helms [00:09:15] That does sound right. But if you, you know, if you’re paying attention to the episode, there’s not that much of the play that you see. You know, like it’s not a ton of production time. So I think we really only rehearsed a couple of things that- the much more complicated thing was the cold open.
Jenna [00:09:32] Yeah.
Angela [00:09:32] Oh yeah.
Ed Helms [00:09:32] That because that was a whole song that we all learned. And then there was choreography. It looks, in the execution, it looks spontaneous, like we’re just running around the space. But obviously it was all meticulously blocked. And all of the the fun, dramatic flourishes that everybody is doing in that scene, that that I remember being quite complicated and having and learning that song was, was very hard because, again, Sondheim, he doesn’t like to write melodies that you expect. Everything kind of goes in weird directions and the and rhythms are weird. It’s like the that ends with like the cadence is like “the demon barber of… Fleet-Street” or something like, it’s like a straight, you know, like a weird hiccupy thing and everyone had to get it right. But yeah, there was a- you were just saying earlier how you are nervous to sing in front of people. And I love to sing. Obviously. Anyone who knows me, I love to sing, but I actually struggle with lyrics. And so I really have a hard time memorizing lyrics and that can then make me really anxious in a performance setting. Or like, you know, if I have to, you know, like there were a few times I had to sing like long songs on The Office and I, it just, yeah, it puts me in a panic state. So that one, that cold open was really hard. But I don’t know, it was enough rehearsal time.
Jenna [00:10:57] Were you singing live when you guys did that? Or were you singing to like a playback recording? It seems live.
Ed Helms [00:11:05] It is. It’s all live.
Angela [00:11:06] Yeah, that’s my memory.
Ed Helms [00:11:06] And even the stuff in the theater is live.
Jenna [00:11:08] I thought so.
Angela [00:11:09] Yeah. That was my memory too.
Ed Helms [00:11:11] Yeah. The, the, the the boombox is fake. Like there was, you know, obviously that was-
Angela [00:11:18] That you hit. You faked.
Ed Helms [00:11:20] I hit play on the boombox and then but I think they had a they had a guide track sort of pumped in under the desks or something that we sang along to. But yeah, that was all real singing.
Jenna [00:11:31] I remember the first take we did of that cold open when you guys came in. We did not know anything. We had not seen you rehearse.
Angela [00:11:39] Yeah.
Jenna [00:11:39] It was a complete surprise. I found it so delightful and amazing. It was also my first time seeing all the costumes, which were so well done. And it was good. You guys were good. And I didn’t know if it would be good or bad. And I heard that you actually fought for the production of Sweeney Todd to be good and not bad.
Ed Helms [00:12:00] I did, yeah. I was very passionate about that because I don’t think that- I rare- I mean, there are exceptions, but I generally don’t think that, like, intentionally bad performance for comedy works. It feels like cheap and easy and like, and so I thought, like my, my take on it was- and I was very happy that, that everyone in production agreed, that- and but there was a lot of discussion about it. This is obviously an amateur production. It’s a little regional theater production in Scranton, Pennsylvania. But there’s no reason that that people in Scranton, Pennsylvania aren’t, like, passionate about musical theater and extremely talented and coming from all walks of life and just really eager to do this and that maybe there’s a really great director in the town who did a great job casting this thing. And then when we made the decision to sort of commit to a really good production, that then also cascaded down into like, okay, so the costumes are really well done and the sets are going to look good. And, you know, Andy has a big fumble with his cell phone in the production, which is kind of like, that’s the mess up. But it’s Andy messing up. It’s not like it’s not it’s not these these like, you know, supporting actors who are who came in to like, you know, really sing and perform for us. They’re not the butt of the joke.
Angela [00:13:24] Right. Right.
Ed Helms [00:13:25] They’re part of the fabric of this, the premise of this episode. And I was excited to honor them and honor that and honor, honor regional theater in that way.
Angela [00:13:35] I love that, because I mean, I’ve been to great regional theater and we’ve all like supported like smaller theaters and came up and doing theater. And I thought that was a great choice. I’m glad you fought for it.
Ed Helms [00:13:47] Yeah, it made it so much more fun too, because, yeah.
Jenna [00:13:51] I think it also played into Michael’s jealousy. Like he had to sit through a great production that he wasn’t a part.
Angela [00:13:59] Right. And Darryl’s plumber was crushing it.
Ed Helms [00:14:01] Yeah.
Angela [00:14:01] You know, because you can be a plumber and still kick ass in a musical theater.
Jenna [00:14:05] That’s right.
Angela [00:14:06] Yeah. My favorite thing when Andy’s phone went off was the fact that he ruined the whole plot.
Ed Helms [00:14:12] Oh, my God.
Angela [00:14:13] It’s like it wasn’t so much the phone was ringing. Is then how Andy tried to justify it, and he just ruined the rest of the play?
Ed Helms [00:14:21] Well, it’s so great because because the Sweeney Todd guy gets a huge laugh with, like, his improv.
Angela [00:14:26] About the bird chirping, yeah.
Ed Helms [00:14:28] Yeah, the little fix. And then and Andy just overcompensates, as he always does, and, like, goes way too far. He has to pull it back.
Angela [00:14:36] I loved it.
Ed Helms [00:14:36] Yeah. It was really actually fun- I have to say like, you know, as a fan of musical theater and just sort of singing production stuff like, it was real- those parts of The Office where Andy got to to sing and do stuff like that was so fun. You know, when he serenaded Angela and John Michael Higgins came on board to like, put that whole a cappella thing together. Man. It just like, it’s really fun to put that sort of put all that work in on the side or, you know, rehearsing in your trailer, getting everything kind of like, you know, you want it to be good and you want it to be tight and then you get to perform it for the cast and do it. There was that Closing Time bar song.
Angela [00:15:21] Yeah.
Ed Helms [00:15:22] Yeah. There are just a lot of a lot of great musical moments throughout the show. You have one of my favorite lines in this episode, Jenna, which was when you guys check in with Ellie on the phone and you’re like, Yeah, no, it’s great to see Andy singing in the right context or something like that. I forgot what the line is but like-.
Jenna [00:15:41] Yeah, that is it.
Ed Helms [00:15:43] It’s so perfect because it is that is- it actually, I agreed, rewatching the episode I was, you know, I thought it was it was nice to see Andy singing in this context. It’s usually so intrusive and so like, you know, and that’s part of the why it’s funny sometimes. But but in this context, it actually was kind of, it was nice and and it was part of something that was supposed to be that way. And it really it gave Andy, I think, a sort of authenticity in this episode that that he really struggles with in most of the Dunder Mifflin universe.
Angela [00:16:20] Well, I loved the ending of this episode. I think I rewatched it, I don’t know, three or four times. It made me happy. It made my heart happy. And Darryl is playing Macy Gray’s I Try on the piano and Andy is just belting it out. And you have this montage of all this group of people and where they’re at in life and dealing with whatever it is they’re dealing. But your singing. Ed, in that moment, as Andy is like, it’s like your halftime at the Super Bowl, man. You’re just like, everything, your whole body is into it. And it made me so happy. I just love that moment.
Jenna [00:16:55] Randy told us that the original song for the end was My Heart Will Go On. The Titanic Song?
Ed Helms [00:17:02] That rings a bell. Yeah.
Jenna [00:17:04] He said you even had to go into a studio and record it. And he has, like, the only recording.
Angela [00:17:10] What? Of it?
Jenna [00:17:11] Of you. We haven’t heard it, but he said there is this impassioned version of you singing My Heart Will Go On. And then they couldn’t get the rights to it and they had to change it.
Ed Helms [00:17:23] I vaguely remember that, but I don’t remember recording it or- but man, I want to hear that.
Angela [00:17:28] I know. So do I.
Jenna [00:17:29] We’ll get it for you from Randy. He has a vault of pretty amazing things.
Angela [00:17:34] Is there any moment from this episode for you that, like, stood out for Andy as like one of your favorite moments?
Ed Helms [00:17:40] I think there’s a lot of really cool stuff in this episode. The cold open is just so fun. That’s a really special, special thing. And it’s Andy kind of like… It’s a rare moment of Andy just living in his skin with so much passion and self-confidence, you know? And that’s really, really cool. I think that I was proud of how the- it’s very short, but the musical, the solo.
Angela [00:18:11] Johanna.
Ed Helms [00:18:12] Joanna. Yeah.
Jenna [00:18:13] Yeah.
Ed Helms [00:18:14] I put a lot of work into that and was really proud of how that turned out. Narratively, the Erin stuff is is really poignant. I thought that was really sweet. You know, Erin is just so detached and so like- but it’s- but she’s clearly tapping into some longing for Andy by showing up. And then and then him kind of getting it at the end and just being like this, yeah, this is not, not good.
Angela [00:18:44] Yeah. I loved Andy’s earnestness when Erin had to take the babysitting job when he’s like, I get it. It’s a huge opportunity for her.
Ed Helms [00:18:53] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, my gosh. And he’s checking his phone backstage. One of the most brilliant- okay, so this is actually funny because I was saying before how I generally think that performing badly is a cheap joke. Like, if it’s if you’re performing, you know, in a performance context and you’re doing it badly on purpose. I don’t like that usually. But the tag of this episode.
Angela [00:19:20] Oh, my gosh.
Ed Helms [00:19:21] Of Michael Scott doing Law and Order.
Angela [00:19:23] Law and Order.
Jenna [00:19:24] An entire episode. As a monologue.
Ed Helms [00:19:26] So badly. So badly. It’s so funny. I watched that four or five times. It’s just it’s priceless.
Angela [00:19:36] But how many people could do that and sell it but, Steve, you know? Because that- I believed it. I believed every second that that’s how Michael Scott would have done it.
Ed Helms [00:19:46] 100%. And, you know, Steve almost never broke on- I mean, he very rarely broke.
Angela [00:19:51] Right.
Ed Helms [00:19:52] And I was watching that being like, he had to be cracking himself up. Like this was- there were- I guarantee you there were a few times he broke.
Angela [00:19:59] Yeah. When he was slinging, I don’t know, what is it, a belt or a sash or something as the lady?
Ed Helms [00:20:05] Yeah.
Angela [00:20:05] I know he broke doing that. I know he had to have cracked himself up.
Ed Helms [00:20:09] Or singing the theme song like that dunt dunt dunt dunt dunt… Just, oh, my God.
Angela [00:20:16] I know.
Ed Helms [00:20:16] Priceless. Do you guys, I’m curious, like, we made so many Office episodes, and it’s really funny to me the way fans understand the episodes as these like, very tight, coherent stories, whereas I find that from our perspective as the actors, in looking at these stories from from a production standpoint, it takes us a week to shoot a half hour episode, and then we go right into the next week of another episode. And when you look back on it, it’s just kind of this wash of work, right? And I don’t- for me, it’s very hard to kind of remember the specifics of episodes and the specifics of like what was in what episode. And I mean, you guys have been really kind of studying them so it is probably more front of mind for you. But. But I, I am, I’m, I found this going back and watching this episode, like, it did trigger a lot of memories, but it also was a little frustrating kind of realizing that- what I don’t remember. And there are certain scenes, I don’t know if you have this experience watching episodes of The Office.
Angela [00:21:31] All the time, Ed.
Ed Helms [00:21:32] Where you’re like, I don’t remember shooting that. I don’t remember- I don’t even remember that day or what was going on. And sometimes it’s because you have some crazy thing going on in your life or but more often I think it’s just because you just don’t remember every day at work. And I got a little heartsick kind of watching. There were some some parts of this episode where I was like, Oh boy, I wish I remembered like… Just, you know, that that that scene where we’re all around the piano together. It’s one of those rare scenes where almost everybody is, like, in a clump and it’s with positive energy, right? Usually it’s usually it’s like, you know, a meeting in the in the conference room.
Angela [00:22:10] Conference room, yeah.
Ed Helms [00:22:11] And it’s all crazy. But like to have a moment where where everyone’s kind of in a good place and happy. It just I remember watching that and thinking like, this is this is so special. Like, I love these people. I love these human beings. And it made me a little bit heartsick for the things I don’t remember.
Jenna [00:22:28] You’re literally- your character has the line at the end where you say-
Angela [00:22:32] In the finale.
Ed Helms [00:22:33] Right.
Jenna [00:22:33] You wish that you knew you were in the good times when you were in ’em. Like, that’s literally what you’re saying.
Ed Helms [00:22:38] So true. Yeah,.
Jenna [00:22:39] But I get it.
Angela [00:22:40] It is true, though, because you work every day, and some days stand out and some days don’t. It doesn’t matter what your job is. And acting is no different. But sometimes I don’t know the show the way people know it, when they can just sit down and watch it all the way through.
Ed Helms [00:22:57] Right. Right.
Angela [00:22:57] And we, we cross boarded episodes.
Ed Helms [00:23:00] Yeah, of course.
Angela [00:23:01] Sometimes we shot three days in one episode and two days in another episode. And it kind of becomes like when your kids mix all the Play-Doh together, you know? And you get that one big Play-Doh mound. I don’t know. That’s not very articulate.
Jenna [00:23:14] I liked that metaphor.
Ed Helms [00:23:16] I do too.
Angela [00:23:16] Oh.
Jenna [00:23:17] I feel like every conference room scene is one memory in my head.
Angela [00:23:22] So many of these episodes I hadn’t seen since we filmed them.
Jenna [00:23:26] Crazy.
Angela [00:23:26] But I’m so thankful.
Ed Helms [00:23:28] Amen.
Angela [00:23:28] For like the wonderful thing that we have.
Ed Helms [00:23:29] Amen. Yeah. And when I do catch an episode here and there, it is, like just hanging out with old friends.
Angela [00:23:38] Yeah.
Ed Helms [00:23:38] It’s just awesome. I don’t think I ever lost the feeling of excitement walking onto set about what was going to happen.
Angela [00:23:47] Yeah.
Ed Helms [00:23:47] Like, what are these hilarious, wonderful people going to do to surprise me today?
Jenna [00:23:53] Mmhmm.
Ed Helms [00:23:53] And I can, like you were saying, conference room scenes, like all of us getting in there, just being like there’s- something funny is going to happen. Like somebody is going to do something. We all have the script. We know what I’m going to say, but it’s still, like, I can’t wait to see how B.J. does this line or I can’t wait to see how Oscar does this line and then, you know, take after take it’s just so warm and funny. And there are, of course, times that you get run down and you get tired and cranky. But I always, always would walk into that soundstage, like, feeling excited. And real and remembering back, I mean, years. How many years? I worked on the show less than you guys, but seven years?
Jenna [00:24:32] Almost as long. Yeah, seven years.
Angela [00:24:34] Yeah almost as long.
Ed Helms [00:24:34] And it just always walking on that stage was was so, like, just just so fun and, like, what’s going to happen?
Jenna [00:24:44] Well, Ed, before we let you go, can you tell us a little bit about your music? Are you performing anywhere with your banjo? Are you still doing The Bluegrass Situation?
Ed Helms [00:24:55] Yeah. So TheBluegrassSituation.com is still very much alive and well. And that’s a that’s just kind of a roots and folk bluegrass music kind of community news blog hub. And that’s great. I have pulled back from performing a lot in the last couple of years. I had kids and I’ve just kind of been focused elsewhere, but I still play all the time, especially for my kids, because they’re a captive audience and they can’t walk away. And and I’m eager to start getting back out there. Yeah, I’ve been I’ve been playing a lot, and I’m starting to kind of get more serious about practicing and and rehearsing. But there’s not much going on in the professional space at this point.
Jenna [00:25:45] Except Rutherford Falls. Season two is out now on Peacock.
Angela [00:25:48] Yes.
Ed Helms [00:25:48] Yes, indeed. Rutherford Falls season two. Very, very proud of this show, which I co-created with an amazing showrunner, Sierra Teller Ornelas and Michael Schur.
Angela [00:26:01] Yes.
Ed Helms [00:26:02] Who Office fans know well. That’s going on.
Jenna [00:26:06] We love it.
Angela [00:26:06] We love it. And I want to say two things to you, banjo kids album.
Ed Helms [00:26:12] Right? That’s a that is a that has crossed my mind. I’ve been writing a lot of music lately and I think I’m going to I just I think.
Angela [00:26:20] I would have loved that when Isabel was little because, you know, I don’t know, I had all the same songs that everyone had had forever. And any time there was a new kids song that had any kind of a fun tune, oh, my gosh. I got so excited.
Ed Helms [00:26:35] All right, that might be the push I needed to get it done.
Angela [00:26:38] Okay. All right. Ed, we love you so much. Thank you so much for being here. .
Jenna [00:26:43] Thank you for coming in the studio!
Angela [00:26:44] Yes, Ed is in here, you guys!
Ed Helms [00:26:46] I’m in the studio!
Angela [00:26:46] He’s sitting next to us. This is the table. He’s next to.
Ed Helms [00:26:49] Yes! We’re here! Thanks so much for having me. It’s just so good to see you guys.
Angela [00:26:55] It’s wonderful. Warmed my heart. I love you.
Jenna [00:26:57] Well, we’re going to take a break. We’re going to walk Ed out and then we’ll be back to break down this episode. Angela. I’m just gonna be happy all day now because we got to hang out with Ed.
Angela [00:27:08] I know.
Jenna [00:27:09] We should tell you guys, we’ve actually been chatting with him for, like, an hour.
Angela [00:27:13] We talked to Ed for 2 hours.
Jenna [00:27:15] Yeah.
Angela [00:27:16] I didn’t want him to leave.
Jenna [00:27:17] Me either. We did finally have to let him go.
Angela [00:27:19] Let him go. Yeah.
Jenna [00:27:21] We have to finish this episode.
Angela [00:27:22] Yeah. Also, during our break, we reached out to Randy. And you guys, he’s sending Cassi the audio file of Ed singing My Heart Will Go On right now. We are going to play it at the end of the episode! I can’t wait! Yes, definitely stick around to hear this. We heard it and it is truly, truly amazing. Like I got chills.
Angela [00:27:44] I know!
Jenna [00:27:44] It was kind of a moment.
Angela [00:27:46] We’re going to play the whole entire song. Ed gave us his permission. Enjoy. But stick to the end. It’s there. It’ll be at the end.
Jenna [00:27:53] Okay, let’s start breaking down this episode. We talked about this a little bit. This episode opens with this fantastic cold open. This performance of a musical number from Sweeney Todd surprises the whole bullpen.
Angela [00:28:06] Yeah.
Jenna [00:28:06] And Michael is like, Oh, my gosh, I auditioned for this. When did the cast list go up?
Angela [00:28:12] What part did I get? How clueless is Michael?
Jenna [00:28:15] We got a fan catch from Carrie F in Japan who said, When Michael asked about the cast list, look at Creed’s face in the background. It is amazing, and I feel like everyone should pause to see it.
Angela [00:28:29] Oh, my goodness. Did you look at it?
Jenna [00:28:31] I did.
Angela [00:28:32] What’s he doing?
Jenna [00:28:32] He, it’s hard to explain, but it is a great look. He, he looks almost like he’s responsible for not casting Michael. Like, I don’t want this guy. Eeeh.
Angela [00:28:45] It was his decision?
Jenna [00:28:47] It’s amazing.
Angela [00:28:48] All right, I have to go check that out. Thanks, Carrie. I was so impressed with this opening musical number. I really thought we should hear these guys.
Jenna [00:28:55] Oh, let’s do it.
Erin [00:29:00] Andy?
Andy [00:29:04] Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd. His skin was pale and his eye was odd.
Sweeney Todd Cast [00:29:06] He shaved the faces of gentlemen who never thereafter were heard of again. He trod a path that few have trod did Sweeney Todd the demon barber of Fleet Street.
Erin [00:29:09] Did you write this?
Andy [00:29:10] No.
Erin [00:29:25] Who did?
Andy [00:29:28] Stephen Sondheim.
Angela [00:29:29] Who is he?
Sweeney Todd Cast [00:29:31] Swing your razor wide, Sweeney. Hold it to the skies. Freely flows the blood of those who moralize.
Jenna [00:29:37] Oh, my God. We had a fan question from Miriam L in Utah, who wanted to know how much did NBC pay in royalties for Sweeney Todd? Miriam said typical grand rights can cost a small high school production thousands of dollars. What did you guys pay? Well, I checked with Randy Cordray, of course, and he said this really was a huge deal. Quote, We basically had to produce a full blown community theater production of Sweeney Todd embedded into a full blown episode of The Office. And negotiating the music rights was complicated. He said Eric Colgan, our post producer, contacted the Universal Television music supervisor, Kerry Druten, about getting the sync rights. That meant that we were allowed to sing the song ourself. We weren’t going to, like, play a recorded soundtrack.
Angela [00:30:37] Yeah, there’s all these layers to it.
Jenna [00:30:39] But we also had to get something called grand rights, because we were going to air it on television.
Angela [00:30:46] Oh.
Jenna [00:30:46] There’s a difference between just doing it on a stage and then committing it to television forever. Stephen Sondheim had to sign off. They had to send him our script.
Angela [00:30:59] Really?
Jenna [00:31:00] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:31:01] He read our script?
Jenna [00:31:01] He read Andy’s Play.
Angela [00:31:03] Oh, my gosh.
Jenna [00:31:04] Guess what?
Angela [00:31:05] What?
Jenna [00:31:05] He loved it.
Angela [00:31:07] Aw!
Jenna [00:31:07] He gave us his blessing. Ultimately, we ended up paying $100,000. And we got the rights to sing four songs. And that’s how we did it.
Angela [00:31:19] Wow. I have a fan question from Sara L in San Antonio, Texas. What’s up, Sarah?
Jenna [00:31:24] Hi, Sarah.
Angela [00:31:25] Where did the singers come from for this episode? Sarah, I love this question. We’ll tell you all about it.
Jenna [00:31:30] Yeah. All the singers were cast by our casting director, Allison Jones. And our director for this episode was John Scott. Before he directed The Office, he had directed episodes of Glee, and he’d also worked as a camera operator and cinematographer. So this kind of made him perfect because he knew how to blend musical performance and documentary style shooting. This is the only episode of The Office that he directed, and thank goodness we got him for it.
Angela [00:31:57] I know. He’s a prolific director. If you look him up, he’s just done everything.
Jenna [00:32:01] We also hired a musical supervisor for this episode who Randy called a musical genius. His name was Nathan Wang. He prepped all of the musical background tracks, attended all rehearsals, and he sat in on the auditions with Allison Jones and John Scott. So the three of them found all of our singers.
Angela [00:32:20] Yes. And Nathan, if you listen to this, Randy could not say enough wonderful things about you. He just went on and on about how important you were for this episode.
Jenna [00:32:30] Yes.
Angela [00:32:31] Randy also told us that this cold open sequence was choreographed by Mary Ann Kellogg. You guys remember she did the lip dub. And here were the performers: Kelly Ebsary played the beggar lady. Maxwell Glick played Tobias. Heather Marie Marston played Mrs. Lovett. David Kirk Grant played cast mate number two. Erica Hanrahan-Ball played Johanna. Harry Murphy played Judge Turpin, Randy Guiya played Pirelli, and Michael Tuba Heatherton played Beedle. What a fantastic group. And lady, how fun was it to see Tuba?
Jenna [00:33:05] I know, I know. We should tell everybody who he is because he appeared on The Office several times. We even got a fan catch from Rob B in Los Angeles, California, who said, Ladies, I think you need a Tuba tracker.
Angela [00:33:19] Oh, a Tuba tracker!
Jenna [00:33:21] This episode marks the first appearance of Michael Tuba Heatherton in the series, and he reprises this role in a deleted scene from season eight, episode 13, Jury Duty, where he pretends to be a police officer, only to be recognized by Darryll as a member of Andy’s play. I look forward to that deleted scene, lady.
Angela [00:33:43] Yeah. Uh huh.
Jenna [00:33:45] But we will also see Tuba in The Seminar as an attendee of Andy’s seminar. And we’re going to see two of Tuba’s clown headshots in Roseanne’s Talent Agency in season nine. And finally, we’re going to see him as the minister in season nine, The Farm, and in the finale, marrying Dwight and Angela.
Angela [00:34:10] He’s just like Nelson Franklin.
Jenna [00:34:12] He is, because he played multiple roles. Or maybe the same. Maybe he’s a man who has many jobs.
Angela [00:34:20] Yeah.
Jenna [00:34:20] Like the character Kirk on Gilmore Girls. He worked everywhere.
Angela [00:34:24] I have never seen Gilmore Girls.
Jenna [00:34:26] Whoa. Really?
Angela [00:34:27] Yeah.
Jenna [00:34:28] Oh, they talk real fast.
Angela [00:34:29] They do?
Jenna [00:34:30] Mm hmm. Yeah, that was the thing. The dialogue, it comes out very, very fast.
Angela [00:34:34] Oh.
Jenna [00:34:35] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:34:35] Just a style choice?
Jenna [00:34:37] Yes.
Jenna [00:34:38] And you had to say your lines exactly as written.
Angela [00:34:42] I would not do very well.
Jenna [00:34:44] This is not the show. It’s good you are not cast on it.
Angela [00:34:47] No, I was not.
Jenna [00:34:48] Well, Rob B from Los Angeles wants to know, is it just a happy coincidence that Tuba was cast in so many one-off roles on The Office? Or is there another reason?
Angela [00:34:59] There is another reason. First of all, Tuba’s amazing. We love him. In addition to being extremely talented, Tuba was also married to our amazing script supervisor, Veda.
Jenna [00:35:10] Yeah. And Tuba was an actor. He was a professional clown. Just an amazing person.
Angela [00:35:16] Well, let’s get into this episode, because Andy has two comps for closing night of his show for Erin and her Gabe. And he finds out Gabe isn’t going. He didn’t think anyone else was going to go. How happy is Andy?
Jenna [00:35:29] He is so happy until it looks like nobody else is coming. Like…
Angela [00:35:34] Yeah.
Jenna [00:35:36] Jim and Pam’s babysitter fell through.
Angela [00:35:38] Michael’s real sour. He doesn’t want to go. There was a series of talking heads here in the shooting draft, and several people share their thoughts on musical theater.
Jenna [00:35:46] Oh, yes.
Angela [00:35:48] I really want to share with you what Stanley has to say in his feelings about standing ovations.
Stanley [00:35:53] I’ll be there. But do not expect a standing ovation. I am sick of going to shows and feeling like I need to stand when the show isn’t that good. You hear me, Steve Harvey?
Angela [00:36:07] What?! He’s throwing shade at Steve Harvey?
Jenna [00:36:11] I love this talking head.
Angela [00:36:13] I did too.
Jenna [00:36:14] I’ve been to shows where everyone’s standing up at the end. It’s almost like we stand up at the end of every show.
Angela [00:36:22] And then you feel bad if you don’t.
Jenna [00:36:23] Yeah, and I had a little Stanley. I was like, Well, how are they going to know when it’s a real standing ovation? If we stand at the end of all of them, it’s sort of like, you know, the participation prize.
Angela [00:36:35] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:36:36] But then I know what it takes to put on a theater production.
Angela [00:36:39] And you’re like, you better stand.
Jenna [00:36:41] Just stand up.
Angela [00:36:41] We worked our butts off.
Jenna [00:36:43] Yeah. Just getting a show off the ground. And from beginning to end. Stand on up. I feel both ways.
Angela [00:36:51] This talking head really made me laugh. And then also now, when you rewatch this episode, at the end, when they give a standing ovation, it cuts to Stanley and he’s got the biggest grump face because he has to now stand. And he’s really annoyed.
Jenna [00:37:05] You know what? It’s funny. I know they cut the talking head, but everything about that shot of him, like doing the obligatory standing ovation, told me the whole story. I knew all his feelings about it. Well, lady, Dwight is not going to go because the last time he went to the theater, a man dressed as a cat sat on his lap.
Angela [00:37:25] I feel like Angela made him go to Cats.
Jenna [00:37:27] Lady! We got so much mail from people!
Angela [00:37:30] You did?
Jenna [00:37:31] Coby S from Wisconsin said, In my mind, I have come to believe that Dwight attended a local production of Cats to appease Angela. And I believe Andy was the cat who sat on Dwight’s lap.
Angela [00:37:43] Oh.
Jenna [00:37:45] Because in season five, Employee Transfer, Andy dressed like a cat from a production of CATS.
Angela [00:37:50] Yes. I was so curious about that line that I went to the shooting draft to see if it said something like, Dwight glances over at Angela, Angela rolls her eyes, or something like that. It didn’t. But I fully believe that Angela made him go to CATS.
Jenna [00:38:05] I’m with you and Coby S.
Angela [00:38:07] Yes, Coby. Guess who wants to go to the play?
Jenna [00:38:10] I know.
Angela [00:38:11] Angela!
Jenna [00:38:12] I think this is proving the point that she goes to musicals.
Angela [00:38:16] And she says she would like Dwight to take her. And he’s like, just disrobe. Let’s get to it, basically. And she’s like, uh uh. No, no, no. You have to take me to the play to get the punch.
Jenna [00:38:27] I have a location alert for this scene.
Angela [00:38:29] Yes, it’s a new location.
Jenna [00:38:31] This is Dwight’s office. Now that he’s the owner of the building. This is his business manager office.
Angela [00:38:38] Yes. And it’s much nicer than his office at Dunder Mifflin.
Jenna [00:38:41] Yeah, that’s true.
Angela [00:38:42] Which he doesn’t have. He’s just part of a desk clump.
Jenna [00:38:45] Well, this was designed by Michael Gallenberg and built by Tim James, and it existed over on our warehouse set.
Angela [00:38:51] At 4 minutes, 28 seconds, did any of you guys notice the picture of the drone? The Predator drone? Big picture. It’s tilted.
Jenna [00:39:00] Yes, I did notice that.
Angela [00:39:01] I was wondering why it was tilted. I figured it had to be on purpose because it’s so obviously tilted. I went to the shooting draft to see and this is how it read: Dwight is in his building management office hanging a picture of a Predator drone, and Angela enters. Angela says, It’s crooked. Dwight says, Yes. And if I come back and it’s straight, I’ll know someone was here. Angela says, Smart. And then she goes on to say, I want you to take me to the play this evening. And the scene continues as it aired.
Jenna [00:39:32] Well, Dwight does agree to take her to the play, but he’s not wearing a cape. Okay?
Angela [00:39:36] This made me realize, does he always wear a cape to plays? Like he’s not going to do his usual zsoosh for her.
Jenna [00:39:43] Yeah. Has she asked in the past?
Angela [00:39:45] And he wore a cape.
Jenna [00:39:47] Maybe to CATS.
Angela [00:39:47] Yes. Angela is going to have a talking head where she says, Dwight and I have a contractual agreement to procreate five times. Plain and simple. And should he develop feelings for me, well, that would be permissible under item 7C clause 2. So I would not object. So that little smile at the end that I do? I improvised. It wasn’t in the shooting draft. And they really liked it and they asked me to do it every time.
Jenna [00:40:12] Oh, I love when we would do things like that.
Angela [00:40:14] I know. It was fun to see it again because I remembered all of a sudden, all those memories came back. I was like, Oh, yeah. We thought maybe she would give away a little bit of her true feelings just, just for a second.
Jenna [00:40:25] It would always just fill me with such pride as an actor, if I was there performing for the director and the writer and I did something with something they’d written for me and they asked me to do it over and over again.
Angela [00:40:36] Yeah, yeah.
Jenna [00:40:37] I was like, oh yes.
Angela [00:40:38] Oh, yeah. I did it. I did it!
Jenna [00:40:39] I love it.
Angela [00:40:40] Pam and Jim are in a pickle because they actually really want to go, but they don’t have a babysitter.
Jenna [00:40:45] Yes. Andy comes in the kitchen and asked them if they could just keep looking.
Angela [00:40:50] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:40:51] And Pam’s like, Yes, we will keep looking.
Angela [00:40:54] There was a joint Jim and Pam talking head.
Jenna [00:40:57] Yes.
Angela [00:40:57] About how much they love going to musical theater.
Jenna [00:41:00] I know. I know. When Randy was giving us his insider info on this episode, for this scene, he wrote, Jenna, you sound like you have a cold.
Angela [00:41:10] Oh, yeah.
Jenna [00:41:11] I did.
Angela [00:41:12] You did.
Jenna [00:41:12] I think I did have a cold.
Angela [00:41:13] Yeah, well, it’s time for the show. The Loose Screw Playhouse is buzzing.
Jenna [00:41:19] Yes, everyone has made it.
Angela [00:41:21] Yeah.
Jenna [00:41:21] Phyllis is wearing her fur stole, and she’s arrived with Bob Vance.
Angela [00:41:26] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:41:27] Stanley has brought his mistress.
Angela [00:41:30] Cynthia.
Jenna [00:41:31] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:41:32] There was a whole runner where Phyllis thinks Cynthia is hitting on Bob, and she’s ticked off.
Jenna [00:41:37] I loved it.
Angela [00:41:38] I know, it’s in deleted scenes.
Jenna [00:41:39] It’s so good. We had a fan question from Erin Y in Springfield, Ohio, Where was the performance of Andy’s play located? Well, this was a little bit of trickery.
Angela [00:41:51] Mmmm.
Jenna [00:41:52] The exterior shot of the theater that you just see very briefly with no people in front of it, that was the Macha Theatre in West Hollywood. We used an old stock photo of the theater and added graphics on top to say, Loose Screw Playhouse. But the whole interior, the lobby backstage, the stage, that was the Assistant’s League Theatre. We shot there for four days. And our base camp was in a Sears parking lot that was nearby.
Angela [00:42:22] Oh.
Jenna [00:42:23] Lady, I feel like there’s a chance you went to Sears one day. Maybe at lunch. Sounds like you.
Angela [00:42:29] I’m sure I did.
Jenna [00:42:30] Oh! I went there! I just remembered.
Angela [00:42:35] I like that you just had a memory of yourself going, and you got so excited.
Jenna [00:42:40] I remember this. I was so excited. You know, it’s not easy to find a Sears in Los Angeles, California.
Angela [00:42:45] No, it’s not. It’s where I bought my first washer and dryer when I moved here.
Jenna [00:42:48] Yeah. And I had to go far into the valley to find a Sears.
Angela [00:42:53] Yeah. My very first credit card was a Sears credit card.
Jenna [00:42:57] Really?
Angela [00:42:58] That I applied for by myself. I was so excited. I had a credit card.
Jenna [00:43:04] But only for Sears.
Angela [00:43:05] But only for Sears.
Jenna [00:43:06] Wow.
Angela [00:43:07] My first pair of roller skates I ordered out of a catalog, because I’m 100 years old. We were living in Jakarta, Indonesia. We got the Sears catalog and I ordered a pair of roller skates. And eight months later they were mine because it took forever to get anything overseas at that time.
Jenna [00:43:23] Well, listen, I don’t know what Sears is like today, but back in ye olde days.
Angela [00:43:28] Ye olden times.
Jenna [00:43:29] That’s where you bought all of your appliances because they had wonderful warranties and great service.
Angela [00:43:35] Yeah.
Jenna [00:43:36] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:43:37] Michael is going to arrive, and one of my favorite lines that teases up the best tag of any episode, I think, is an usher says, Hey, are you the guy that did the entire Law and Order episode for your audition?
Jenna [00:43:53] Mm hmm. Oh my gosh. The usher was played by Barbara Fisher. No relation. I think we should point out that Michael arrived with a giant bunch of helium balloons.
Angela [00:44:03] Oh, yes. Yeah.
Jenna [00:44:05] That are going to become a problem later.
Angela [00:44:07] Well, there was a deleted scene where he called to get flowers, but they were so expensive, he pretended that he lost reception and hung up.
Jenna [00:44:15] And then he got balloons instead.
Angela [00:44:17] And then he got balloons instead.
Jenna [00:44:19] Well, Andy is thrilled that everyone has shown up. But he notices the one person who isn’t there is the only person he wanted to be there, which is Erin.
Angela [00:44:28] Yeah.
Jenna [00:44:29] But she is who is babysitting for Jim and Pam.
Angela [00:44:33] Listen, the 13 year olds have cornered the market on babysitting. It’s been a real tough industry for her to get into.
Jenna [00:44:40] Yeah, she has this whole talking head where she says she really needs to get into the babysitting game. And lady, I did a deep dive on babysitting.
Angela [00:44:49] Did you? I’m very curious. You know, my very first job was babysitting. I started babysitting when I was 14.
Jenna [00:44:55] Same. What did you get per hour?
Angela [00:44:57] Oh, my goodness. I can’t remember.
Jenna [00:45:00] I got a dollar an hour. That’s what I got. And if there were two or more children, I got $2 an hour.
Angela [00:45:07] I just remember I babysat these twin boys who were so little. They were like, I don’t know, five months old. And I look back and I’m like, What were they thinking leaving these twins with me? I was so unqualified. But I did take good care of them. No one was injured on my watch.
Jenna [00:45:25] Yeah. My best friend and I, we shared a babysitting summer job for this family. They had three children, all under the age of seven. The littlest was, like, ten months old. I don’t remember him walking. And I would do like Mondays and Wednesdays. She would do Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then we would both babysit on Fridays. And I must have been 15.
Angela [00:45:49] Yeah, I couldn’t drive a car if something happened.
Jenna [00:45:52] Yes!
Angela [00:45:52] I didn’t have a cell phone.
Jenna [00:45:54] Nobody had a cell phone!
Angela [00:45:55] Nobody had a cell phone.
Jenna [00:45:57] I think back on that time and I just think, like, what did I do with that baby all day?
Angela [00:46:03] I know.
Jenna [00:46:04] I mean, they all lived, so I guess I took care of them.
Angela [00:46:07] I’m sure we did a good job. But looking back on it now, especially that we have kids, you’re like, What?
Jenna [00:46:13] Yeah. It was bonkers.
Angela [00:46:15] I know.
Jenna [00:46:16] Well, I did have a lot of energy. And I do remember doing things like setting up a sprinkler in the backyard and we’re all running through it.
Angela [00:46:22] Oh, I remember one time I babysat this little girl and I decided we were going to make our own newspaper. I had a lot of energy.
Jenna [00:46:31] See, we were great babysitters.
Angela [00:46:33] What’s your deep dive say?
Jenna [00:46:35] Well, listen, according to Mom News Daily, the average cost of a babysitter nationwide right now is around $15 an hour. And then Parents.com tracked the average hourly rate for a baby sitter in every state.
Angela [00:46:49] Ooh.
Jenna [00:46:49] State by state.
Angela [00:46:51] What’s it for California, because Isabel said she wants to start babysitting this summer.
Jenna [00:46:55] California’s pretty good.
Angela [00:46:57] What is it?
Jenna [00:46:57] It’s around $17 an hour.
Angela [00:46:59] An hour?
Jenna [00:47:00] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:47:01] Wow.
Jenna [00:47:01] In Pennsylvania, it’s $15 an hour. The most expensive was New York at just over $18 an hour.
Angela [00:47:10] Hmm.
Jenna [00:47:11] The least expensive was Louisiana at $12.49 an hour. But listen, no matter what state you’re babysitting in, all of the rates are well above the federal minimum wage of $7.25. So this got me curious. Started looking up minimum wages.
Angela [00:47:30] Okay.
Jenna [00:47:32] Because a lot of states have adopted higher minimum wages. For example, the minimum wage in Arkansas is $11. In Maine, it’s $12.75. But there are many states who do not have a state minimum wage, and instead they just rely on that $7.25. The minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25. And this would have been true even at the time that this episode was filmed in 2010, because the last time that we had a federal minimum wage increase was in 2007. This episode was filmed in 2010. So the minimum wage was $7.25. It is very likely that Erin was going to earn more than that. The bottom line of all my research is that babysitting is almost always going to earn you more than either the federal or your state minimum wage. And Erin was right to want to get into this side hustle.
Angela [00:48:24] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:48:24] Babysitting.
Angela [00:48:25] Babysitting. Well, the play is starting, and there’s an important piece of information that is going to send Michael in a huge spiral.
Jenna [00:48:34] Oh, it’s so great.
Angela [00:48:35] Darryl says, Hey, that’s my plumber. Michael’s like, No, no, no. The guy playing Sweeney Todd, he’s a ringer. He’s like a world class actor. Darryl’s like, Nope, it’s in the bio. That is my plumber. He’s never even been in a play. They discovered him doing karaoke. Michael’s like, Are you kidding me? And then Darryl has one of my favorite lines in the episode. He goes, Shh. If we don’t listen to the overture, we won’t recognize the musical themes when they come back later.
Jenna [00:49:04] I loved that too. At 7 minutes and 10 seconds, I want to give a shout out to our sideline musicians. So we talked with Ed about how everybody was singing live, the music was actually not performed live. That was a playback soundtrack that had been prepared by Nathan Wang, our musical supervisor. But we have some musicians pretending to play all the music. They were Kevin Roberts, who was our keyboardist and conductor. Trey Balfour, who was our percussionist. Marina Manoukian, who was the violinist. And Tom Evans was our flutist. Flautist?
Angela [00:49:44] Flautist.
Jenna [00:49:45] Is a flautist a flutist?
Angela [00:49:48] A flautist is a flutist.
Jenna [00:49:49] It sounds like flautas. Like, you know, the dish.
Angela [00:49:52] The flautist.
Jenna [00:49:54] Why aren’t they a flutist?
Angela [00:49:56] I don’t know.
Jenna [00:49:57] What’s wrong with- why are we confusing it? Why are we changing all the letters?
Angela [00:50:00] It’s probably a ye olde timey reference that we held on to for no reason.
Jenna [00:50:07] Well. M’kay. Our flautist in his hammock was playing the flute. How about that?
Angela [00:50:16] The show is well underway. And you know what? Andy’s crushing it.
Jenna [00:50:21] He really is. He’s singing his solo, Johanna. I mean, Stanley is sleeping, but…
Angela [00:50:27] Jim and Pam are impressed. So is Dwight. Dwight is kind of like nudging the guy next to him like, Hey, I know that guy. Angela is going to get gum on her seat. Gross. She’s got to leave.
Jenna [00:50:36] Is she? Is she going to get gum on her seat? She has to change.
Angela [00:50:37] Yeah, she is. Yeah, she does. Because it’s gross. Her body has touched some gum that was on a seat. Dwight says, You know what? I’m not going to tell you what happened while you were gone.
Jenna [00:50:48] He refuses.
Angela [00:50:50] Do we have a newsflash old tech alert?
Jenna [00:50:52] What is it?
Angela [00:50:53] Kelly’s going to ask Ryan for the time, and he’s going to show her a clock on his iPad.
Jenna [00:50:58] We had a fan mail flurry about that iPad, Angela. Ella Ward from Dallas, Texas, and many others said, When Michael asks Andy in the beginning how long the play is, Andy says it’s an hour and 45 minutes and it starts at 8 p.m. sharp, meaning it should be over at 9:45. Maybe 10:00 with an intermission. But later in the episode, when Ryan shows Kelly what time it is, his clock reads 10:07 and the first act isn’t even over. Why has the play already gone 2 hours and 7 minutes before intermission, is Ella’s question?
Angela [00:51:30] Good catch. Is that.
Jenna [00:51:33] I went to the script. It’s not much of a help. Because in the script it was scripted to read 9:35, which would still be off timeline wise.
Angela [00:51:42] Right. Right.
Jenna [00:51:43] I don’t know.
Angela [00:51:44] That’s a good catch.
Jenna [00:51:45] Well, lady, should we take a break? And when we come back, we’ll go to intermission? Because a lot happens.
Angela [00:51:50] So much happens.
Jenna [00:51:56] We are back. And the first thing that happens at intermission is that the director of this stage production.
Angela [00:52:03] Shelby Thomas Weems.
Jenna [00:52:05] Who was played by Phil Abrams and who I could not have loved more.
Angela [00:52:09] He’s so fantastic. There’s more of him in deleted scenes I’m gonna share.
Jenna [00:52:13] Oh, really?
Angela [00:52:14] Yes.
Jenna [00:52:15] Oh, I’m so happy to hear that. He comes up to Michael and he says, If you keep auditioning with that same gusto, we will find a part for you, Michael. What is this character he’s created? I love Shelby Thomas Weems.
Angela [00:52:30] There’ll be another pep talk from him. I’m going to save it. I’m going to save it.
Jenna [00:52:35] Oh, lady. I’m so very excited.
Angela [00:52:36] Michael is still so sour. He’s going to steal a whole bottle of wine.
Jenna [00:52:41] I love it.
Angela [00:52:43] Angela is going to show up dressed in tight jeans and a cute top.
Jenna [00:52:48] They’re just her old, dirty gardening clothes. What are you talking about?
Angela [00:52:52] Yeah. Dwight’s like, why are you the seed catalog model?
Jenna [00:52:56] Yeah, why are you dressed like a seed catalog model?
Angela [00:52:58] I wanted to read you the stage direction from the shooting draft, because there was one little detail that Alysia, our costume designer, had to make sure was on my pair of jeans.
Jenna [00:53:10] What?
Angela [00:53:10] And it was there for the whole show, and I don’t think you really catch it.
Jenna [00:53:14] What is it?
Angela [00:53:15] All right, here you go. Angela approaches Dwight wearing cute jeans and a gingham blouse. They start to exit. In spite of himself, Dwight’s eyes linger. The camera finds the clear plastic strip on the jeans that has the size. Clearly, this was very calculated.
Jenna [00:53:33] Oh, yes.
Angela [00:53:34] She had bought this outfit. She didn’t own any of these clothes. She quickly changed and forgot to take the sticker on the side of the jeans off that says the size.
Jenna [00:53:45] I’ve done that so many times.
Angela [00:53:47] Me too.
Jenna [00:53:48] You walk around all day and then you get home, you go to put it in the laundry and you’re like, Oh, my gosh.
Angela [00:53:53] Yeah, exactly.
Jenna [00:53:54] Okay. I love this detail because when I saw that outfit, I was like, they made you too cute.
Angela [00:54:02] What?!
Jenna [00:54:02] That it was, no. I’m like, I don’t even believe it. Like, you looked so stinkin cute in this outfit, and it was like, it’s too sexy. It’s too sexy.
Angela [00:54:14] The seed catalog outfit?
Jenna [00:54:16] The seed catalog outfit. It was such a departure from Angela’s regular wardrobe, and this makes so much sense. She just bought it.
Angela [00:54:23] Yeah. And you know what? She’s going all out. Did you catch the platform shoes?
Jenna [00:54:28] I did. Well, also, during this intermission, Pam is going to call Erin to check in. And this is where she’s going to tell Erin that the play is going great. We talked about this scene a little bit with Ed.
Angela [00:54:40] Yeah.
Jenna [00:54:41] He liked this line of Pam’s.
Angela [00:54:43] Yeah.
Jenna [00:54:44] I wanted to say that we got some mail from people who were saying they thought that Pam seemed a little unusually tense in this phone call with Erin.
Angela [00:54:55] Oh, well, I mean, there’s a lot more in deleted scenes.
Jenna [00:54:59] I was going to say, before the play started, there was a scene where Erin is texting Pam, but only as Cece.
Angela [00:55:06] Yes. It’s so like bonkers. Erin will only communicate with Pam and Jim as if she’s Cece talking.
Jenna [00:55:14] And that’s why, at intermission, Pam was like, do not put Cece on the phone. She cannot talk.
Angela [00:55:17] Yeah.
Jenna [00:55:18] That’s why there’s that edge and urgency to her.
Angela [00:55:21] Mm hmm. Backstage, Andy is checking his email. Any last minute messages from Erin? Nothing. There were more scenes backstage as Andy really starts to get down. He’s really bummed out. I loved it so much because we get to see more of the director, Shelby Thomas Weems, give him a pep talk. You have to hear it, Jenna, because as an actor, it’s that classic pep talk that you get. Can we hear it?
Director [00:55:49] Andy! Andy. I know the sadness that you’re feeling right now does not feel like a gift. But it is. Use it. Let it inform your performance. Use it!
Andy [00:56:02] I’m so upset. I just. I think I should go home.
Director [00:56:05] Then go home. Conrad can do your part.
Andy [00:56:12] I’m gonna use it.
Director [00:56:13] Use it.
Conrad [00:56:21] I can do your part if-.
Andy [00:56:21] I’m going to use it.
Angela [00:56:24] There are so many things about the scene that are amazing.
Jenna [00:56:27] He’s every director I’ve ever had. Every theater director I’ve ever had.
Angela [00:56:30] Yeah, used it. I really wish you could see- I want to record it and show you. I have to put it in stories. When Shelby, the director, says you’ve got to use it, and then Andy’s like, I don’t know if I can. He’s like, Well, then go home. Conrad can play your part. It cuts to Conrad.
Jenna [00:56:47] No!
Angela [00:56:48] The person who played Conrad gives the most brilliant look. Like huh? Like what? It’s so good.
Jenna [00:56:59] Oh. That needs to be in the episode. It really does.
Angela [00:57:02] It’s really fantastic. While all of that was happening backstage, there is a quick cutaway to the lobby where Creed is giving a review of the play!
Jenna [00:57:12] Unfavorable review.
Angela [00:57:13] Yes, his line is, Unfortunately, in this ham fisted production of Sweeney Todd, the real terror comes from the vocal performances.
Jenna [00:57:25] Well, listen, it’s act two now, and Michael is drinking from his full bottle of wine.
Angela [00:57:31] He’s passing it around.
Jenna [00:57:32] Yeah. It goes to Darryl, to Meredith, to Kevin. And we got a fan question.
Angela [00:57:38] Okay.
Jenna [00:57:38] At 10 minutes, 45 seconds, Victoria S from Chesterfield, Virginia, says, I’ve got to know, was there a storyline cut out involving Kevin and a jacket that he wears to Andy’s play? Yes, Victoria, there was!
Angela [00:57:54] Yes.
Jenna [00:57:55] If you see, he’s wearing this, like, what do you call that? Like a bomber jacket?
Angela [00:58:01] Well, they remind me of, like, the varsity athletic jackets you get when you make the varsity team. It has the leather sleeve and then the fabric on the torso part.
Jenna [00:58:11] Yeah. And it’s embroidered with the name Kevin.
Angela [00:58:14] Yeah.
Jenna [00:58:15] So there was a scene from before the play starts. In the lobby, Oscar’s looking at old show posters. And Kevin walks up wearing a Sweeney Todd jacket.
Angela [00:58:24] And Oscar’s like, Kevin, why did you buy that?
Jenna [00:58:27] And Kevin’s like, It was cold. And then the stage directions said, Reveal the jacket is embroidered with Kevin. Now, here’s the thing, lady. That’s all I could find was that little bit.
Angela [00:58:40] I was curious about this, too, because not only did he buy this very expensive merch, but then he had a personalized. And you can’t buy it in the moment personalized. They can’t just quickly monogram your name on it.
Jenna [00:58:52] That was my thing. I wondered if it was a cast member’s jacket named Kevin?
Angela [00:58:59] Well, here’s what I found. In the shooting draft there was a scene where Kevin goes backstage to meet the actress who played Mrs. Lovett. He is a huge fan of hers and has been to every show, kind of implying that he has a big crush on her.
Jenna [00:59:14] Oh.
Angela [00:59:15] And she’s a total stranger.
Jenna [00:59:16] This isn’t his first time seeing Sweeney Todd.
Angela [00:59:19] She says, You’ve come to every show. Yeah. He’s, like, kind of obsessed with her. And I think he got the jacket to impress her.
Jenna [00:59:29] Wow.
Angela [00:59:30] If he had been coming to every run of the show, he had time to order it and get it monogrammed. But in deleted scenes, there is a scene where Kevin goes backstage and he runs up to the person who plays Mrs. Lovett and he says this.
Kevin [00:59:47] Hi.
Kevin’s Sister [00:59:49] Kevin! Hi. Stewart, this is my brother, Kevin. I can’t believe you came to every show.
Kevin [00:59:58] You were good!
Kevin’s Sister [01:00:00] Oh, thank you. See, you never come to anything I ever do so what’s the change?
Kevin [01:00:03] We need to put Mom in a home.
Jenna [01:00:07] Wait, wait. So in one iteration of this-
Angela [01:00:11] In the shooting draft, she’s a stranger. And he’s been to every show and he’s her biggest fan. I never saw this scripted anywhere, so I don’t know if this was something that they handed pages changed right then that day, but in deleted scenes, Mrs. Lovett is Kevin’s sister, and he’s been to every show.
Jenna [01:00:30] Wow.
Angela [01:00:31] But I think that explains why he bought the jacket.
Jenna [01:00:34] Yeah.
Angela [01:00:36] We tried to do a little Mom Detective for you there.
Jenna [01:00:38] Yeah, we detective’ded it.
Angela [01:00:41] We did. That jacket would have been really expensive, by the way.
Jenna [01:00:44] 100 bucks?
Angela [01:00:45] Easily.
Jenna [01:00:46] It was nice.
Angela [01:00:46] Yeah.
Jenna [01:00:47] We talked about this next scene a little bit with Ed, where Andy’s phone rings in the middle of the performance. But that’s not the only disturbance, is it?
Angela [01:00:56] No. Michael is trying to set the bottle of wine in between his feet on the floor. Knocks it over, and it starts to roll down the whole entire audience. This bottle rolls for 19 seconds. It made me laugh every time. I want to hear it.
Cast member 1 [01:01:15] Where do you suppose all the wig makers of London go to obtain their human hair?
Cast member 2 [01:01:19] To youth!
Cast member 1 [01:01:22] So you think…
Angela [01:01:30] It’s so long! That’s such a long amount of television time to just, in silence, let a bottle roll.
Jenna [01:01:43] I looked in the script at the script note and it had a delicious little nugget that says, You think it’s done, but it’s not. It was so great. I mean, when they were looking at locations, I guess they had to make sure there was no carpeting. Like they had to be able- this was in the script from the beginning.
Angela [01:02:00] Yeah.
Jenna [01:02:01] Oh. Well, that’s not even all, because then.
Angela [01:02:05] Balloons start popping.
Jenna [01:02:07] Yes!
Jenna [01:02:07] Michael loses control of his balloons. They start popping. And then a baby starts crying.
Angela [01:02:13] A baby.
Jenna [01:02:16] Cece. Erin has brought Cece and is standing in the back of the theater.
Angela [01:02:21] Andy is so happy. He says, She’s a terrible babysitter.
Jenna [01:02:28] We had a fan question from Sean M in Cincinnati who says, Oh, my gosh. I have been waiting to ask this question since you all started this podcast. No, scratch that. I’ve been waiting to ask this question since this episode first aired 11 years ago.
Angela [01:02:45] Oh, my goodness.
Jenna [01:02:47] At 13 minutes and 56 seconds, why is Meredith climbing onto the stage behind Andy’s talking head? Please tell me there is an answer because it keeps me up at night and I just need this mystery solved.
Angela [01:03:00] Sean, you’ve held on to this for a long time.
Jenna [01:03:04] Did you notice it, Ange? Because I didn’t even notice it.
Angela [01:03:07] Sean, I didn’t even notice it. And I watched this episode four times.
Jenna [01:03:10] I went back and looked at it. And sure enough. Yes, Meredith is climbing on stage behind Andy’s talking head. So I went to the script and there is a very odd stage direction that is supported by nothing but does say this: behind Andy, we see Meredith climb onto stage and jump up and down. I think it was just meant to be like an extension of the mayhem. That it was like bottle, balloons, baby. Andy’s giving this talking head. Meredith’s jumping on stage.
Angela [01:03:42] Well, Meredith had drank most of that bottle of wine.
Jenna [01:03:44] I think that’s what it is.
Angela [01:03:46] When they passed it around. She held on to it for a bit.
Jenna [01:03:49] Exactly.
Angela [01:03:50] Wow. Sean, I did not catch that. That is hilarious.
Jenna [01:03:54] Everyone can look for it now. Great background catch.
Angela [01:03:57] Real good. Jim and Pam are so ticked off, they’re going to take Cece home. Pam says they won’t ever be leaving the house together again.
Jenna [01:04:07] Yeah. This is our first time getting to meet little baby Cece.
Angela [01:04:11] What a cutie.
Jenna [01:04:13] We used twins for Cece. They were Sienna and Bailey Strull, and they played Cece for the bulk of the show. They were just the sweetest kids. Their parents were wonderful. I just loved these girls. When I saw myself holding that little baby, I mean, I held those girls a lot.
Angela [01:04:29] A lot.
Jenna [01:04:30] I was with them a lot.
Angela [01:04:31] You spent a lot of time with them, too, off camera, so they’d be comfortable with you.
Jenna [01:04:35] Yeah.
Angela [01:04:35] You were so great with them.
Jenna [01:04:37] Oh, I would love to see them again.
Angela [01:04:39] I know. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Jenna [01:04:41] What’s it like for them to know that they were baby Cece on The Office? I wonder. Because they’re like, I can’t believe it, they must be almost teenagers now.
Angela [01:04:49] Yeah.
Jenna [01:04:50] Maybe they- are they like 13 now? I think they are, lady.
Angela [01:04:55] They’d have to be close in age to Isabel, because when we filmed this episode, Isabel was a year and a half old.
Jenna [01:05:02] Oh, my goodness.
Angela [01:05:03] I know. I measure everything- it’s like that thing you do where you measure everything that happened in your life by how old your child was. I do that a lot for The Office. I have pre-baby years and then post-baby years on The Office.
Jenna [01:05:17] Yes.
Angela [01:05:18] Well, unfortunately for Stanley, there will be a standing ovation. He’s going to have to get up.
Jenna [01:05:24] There is. It seems to be motivated when the actor playing Sweeney Todd comes out on stage. People loved his performance.
Angela [01:05:32] Michael starts to boo him.
Jenna [01:05:34] Boo’s him.
Angela [01:05:35] So rude.
Jenna [01:05:37] Ugh. Meanwhile.
Angela [01:05:40] Mm hmm.
Jenna [01:05:42] Outside, Angela and Dwight are looking for Angela’s car in the parking lot.
Angela [01:05:49] Did you catch this couplet of dialogue? When Dwight and Angela are talking about how bad the show was and Angela says, that was more horrifying than Nunsense? Did you catch that she said Nunsense?
Jenna [01:06:05] That’s the name of the show!
Angela [01:06:06] Yes. She doesn’t say nonsense. Some people thought that. She says Nunsense. So Nunsense was a musical comedy written by Dan Gogan.
Jenna [01:06:17] It’s very famous, lady. Nunsense.
Angela [01:06:19] Yeah. I wasn’t familiar with it.
Jenna [01:06:21] Well, you know who is familiar with it?
Angela [01:06:23] Who?
Jenna [01:06:23] Our very own Phyllis Smith. She starred in Nunsense.
Angela [01:06:28] That’s right!
Jenna [01:06:29] At the Saint Louis Muny!
Angela [01:06:31] That’s right! So, you guys, here’s the plot of Nunsense: the show starts when the Little Sisters of Hoboken discover that their cook, Sister Julia, had accidentally poisoned 52 of her sisters. They are in dire need of funds for the burials. The sisters decide that the best way to raise the money is to put on a variety show. So they take over the school auditorium, which is currently set up for the eighth grade production of Grease. You meet all of the nuns. It’s a full on musical. It features tap dancing, ballet dancing, an audience quiz, comic surprises. And it became an international phenomenon.
Jenna [01:07:10] Well, we got a fan question from Candy B in Cartersville, Georgia, who said, My girlfriends and I make an annual pilgrimage to the Muny in Saint Louis. Angela, the Muny is this huge outdoor amphitheater, and every year they put on a variety of big musical productions.
Angela [01:07:28] So fun.
Jenna [01:07:29] I went there as a kid. It’s so big that you need binoculars sometimes to see the stage if you’re back far enough. But that’s like part of it. I would go as a kid, we’d get the binoculars and you watch the show. Candy said, One time we got to see Phyllis Smith perform in Nunsense. When she made her entrance on stage, she got a big laugh because another character asked her where she had been for so long, and Phyllis pointed offstage and said, Over there in the office. That was her line; Over there in the office.
Angela [01:08:04] That’s fantastic. Dwight and Angela’s scene will continue. And I wanted to read you guys the stage direction in the shooting draft.
Jenna [01:08:13] Oh, lady, I wrote it down, too.
Angela [01:08:17] It says, Angela stops and turns towards the wind, looking for her car. Looking is in quotes. The moon lights up her face. The wind blows through her hair. She looks stunning in a natural, normal way we’ve never seen. Dwight is taken aback.
Jenna [01:08:36] I loved this phrasing. A natural, normal way we’ve never seen. And, lady, Lexi T from Bermuda wrote in and said, Damn, Angela, you look amazing! Go, lady!
Angela [01:08:50] Thank you!
Jenna [01:08:51] It was. It was, like exactly perfect. Did they have a fan to blow your hair?
Angela [01:09:00] They had a fan. And I had to turn just right so my hair didn’t blow across my face.
Jenna [01:09:04] Yeah.
Angela [01:09:05] And they also put little twinkly lights in the trees to kind of make it look a little bit more, you know, romantic. This scene was really fun to do, especially playing someone who was so buttoned up for years, to finally just even be in a normal outfit.
Jenna [01:09:22] Yeah.
Angela [01:09:24] Here’s how the scene continued in the shooting draft. Angela leans into Dwight. She reaches for his pants. Dwight sighs. She reaches into his pocket and pulls out the hole punch. Dwight says, Was that in the way? Get rid of it. She punches the card and hands it back to him. Good night, Dwight. Angela climbs in her car. Dwight watches her, completely frustrated.
Jenna [01:09:48] Yeah. He wanted to get it on, and she was like, No, no, this’ll count. Just coming to the play with me. She’s leaving him wanting more.
Angela [01:09:56] Mm hmm. We had to figure out exactly how we were going to choreograph that scene. And, you know, Rainn is so much taller than me. So we were trying to figure out what their embrace looked like. And, you know, he picked me up fairly easily so we went with that.
Jenna [01:10:11] We had a fan catch from Maddy M in Minneapolis who said, Old tech alert. At 17 minutes and 20 seconds, Angela had to use the key to manually unlock her car door.
Angela [01:10:21] Yes!
Jenna [01:10:22] Backstage at the after party, Michael can be found eating dried apricots. He’s eaten 30 of them. I had to look that up, lady. That seemed like too many.
Angela [01:10:32] He’s had 30 dried apricots and a bunch of red wine. How’s the rest of that evening going to play out?
Jenna [01:10:38] Well, I’ll tell you. The recommended daily consumption of dried apricots is 3 to 4 per day.
Angela [01:10:43] What? He ate 30?!
Jenna [01:10:45] He’s eating ten times the recommended amount.
Angela [01:10:47] Oh, no.
Jenna [01:10:48] It was about 480 calories of dried apricots. And if you eat too much dried fruit in one sitting, it can cause gas, abdominal cramping, bloating, constipation, or possibly diarrhea.
Angela [01:11:00] Oh.
Jenna [01:11:01] So that’s what.
Angela [01:11:02] That’s what’s ahead of Michael.
Jenna [01:11:03] He has coming. This is when Sweeney Todd, who is played by Robert Mammana, comes up.
Angela [01:11:11] Darryl says, You crushed it. You did great. And he sees Michael and says, You’re the guy that booed me. Michael was like, there were a lot of people booing you. It wasn’t just me. And he’s like, No, it was you. And Darryl really calls Michael out on it. He’s like, How would you like that? And he starts booing him. Michael doesn’t like it at all.
Jenna [01:11:32] The actor who played Sweeney Todd has done a ton of stuff. He’s done television dramas, but also a ton of theater. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and he has been nominated and won several awards for theater. He really was our ringer.
Angela [01:11:47] Yeah. Well, Andy and Erin are going to have just, you know, their usual sweet but weird scene, where Andy is going to show or how Sweeney Todd would kill people in the barber chair. And they’re just having the best time. And she says, I’m so glad we’re hanging out outside of work again.
Jenna [01:12:04] Yeah. And then he takes her into the audience and he shows her where her seats would have been. How it’s the exact perfect place to get the right acoustics. It seems far back, but it’s actually the best sound. And that’s when Gabe calls. He needs some soup.
Angela [01:12:21] Gabe. They’ve really written him like a wet blanket.
Jenna [01:12:24] He is. It’s true.
Angela [01:12:26] Well, Jim and Pam get home and they have that classic parent moment where the kid is happy in the car seat. Maybe she’s fallen asleep. And they know if they get her out of that car seat, she’s going to wake up. So they decide to have their own nightcap out in the car.
Jenna [01:12:41] Well, we got a fan question, Ange, from Samantha G in Florida who said, This is more of a request than a question. In a continuation of your scotch and Splenda sampling…
Angela [01:12:53] Oh, no! No! We’re not going to have Irish cream and orange juice. No.
Jenna [01:12:57] Samantha said, I wanted to see if you would be willing to brave orange juice and Irish cream.
Angela [01:13:02] Samantha.
Jenna [01:13:05] It sounds like a terrible combination, but I’d love for you ladies to take one for the team and give it a try. So, lady, I brought in some Irish cream and orange juice.
Angela [01:13:15] You did not. I cannot believe you brought Irish cream and orange juice.
Jenna [01:13:18] I’ll go get it. It’s in the fridge. Are you supposed to refrigerate Irish cream?
Angela [01:13:22] I don’t know. I’ve never had it.
Jenna [01:13:23] I wasn’t sure.
Angela [01:13:24] I’ve never had Irish cream.
Jenna [01:13:25] It’s like whiskey and cream, right?
Angela [01:13:28] And you mix that with orange juice?
Jenna [01:13:30] I mean, normally you put it in your coffee, I think.
Angela [01:13:33] Oy oy.
Jenna [01:13:34] It’s, yeah. All right, I’ll go get it.
Angela [01:13:36] All right. Jenna has gotten the Irish cream and orange juice.
Jenna [01:13:41] I have it. Now I don’t know what proportions I’m doing here. I’m so sad that Sam isn’t here today. I feel like he would want to be a part of this. Sorry, Sam. But you’re on a lovely vacation. Abby, our guest engineer, surprise!
Angela [01:13:58] You get Irish cream and orange juice. Just what you’ve always wanted.
Jenna [01:14:02] This probably disgusting drink. What do I- what do you think? How much orange juice, Ange?How much Irish cream? I feel like it should be mostly orange juice, right?
Angela [01:14:12] I mean no, not on me. Go light on orange.
Jenna [01:14:15] Light on orange juice? Heavy on Irish cream?
Angela [01:14:18] Well.
Jenna [01:14:18] Am I supposed to shake this first? Why do I feel like I should shake it?
Cassi [01:14:22] No. Don’t shake it.
Jenna [01:14:24] Don’t shake it?
Cassi [01:14:25] Found a recipe.
Jenna [01:14:26] Oh! There’s a recipe?
Cassi [01:14:29] Yeah, it looks like 5/8 a cup of Irish cream and then one and a half cups, orange juice.
Jenna [01:14:35] So it’s mostly orange juice.
Cassi [01:14:37] Yeah.
Jenna [01:14:38] All right.
Angela [01:14:38] Okay.
Cassi [01:14:40] And then you are supposed to stir it or try blending it.
Jenna [01:14:43] Blending it? Well. Well, you know what? Jim and Pam didn’t blend anything, so.
Angela [01:14:46] I, I’m, that looks-
Jenna [01:14:47] Oh, it’s curdling.
Angela [01:14:50] That looks disgusting. We need to stir it.
Jenna [01:14:53] It’s not mixing together. It looks like someone vomited in their orange juice. Angela, this is yours. It’s more Irish cream.
Angela [01:15:05] Oh no. Follow the recipe.
Jenna [01:15:05] That’s what you said! You wanted it with the more weird curdling stuff. We need something to stir it.
Angela [01:15:11] I’m going to go get a spoon.
Jenna [01:15:12] Okay. Hold, please.
Angela [01:15:15] Okay. Here’s a spoon. It’s not really helping.
Jenna [01:15:22] The spoon is not doing anything.
Angela [01:15:26] These two liquids don’t want to go together. That’s clear to me. Here we go.
Jenna [01:15:32] Here we go. Cassi. Abby. They are not running in. Other times, I mean, there’s no movement from them. They have not left their chairs. They clearly don’t want to drink. You don’t have to.
Angela [01:15:43] I want to go on record that for my beet vodka, people came in here at least at a quicker pace than this.
Cassi [01:15:49] Oh yeah. I was excited for beet vodka. This is this looks really scary.
Angela [01:15:53] Yeah, it looks disgusting.
Jenna [01:15:55] Abby did not know what she was getting into when she was like, I’d love to fill in for Sam today.
Angela [01:16:00] All right. Here we go.
Jenna [01:16:01] Here we go. Oh, it’s not bad.
Cassi [01:16:05] Yeah, it kind of tastes like a.
Abby [01:16:07] Creamsicle.
Cassi [01:16:08] Creamsicle. Yeah.
Angela [01:16:08] It is. It tastes like a creamsicle. Yeah. It’s not as bad as it looks.
Cassi [01:16:12] It looks really gross.
Angela [01:16:14] It looks disgusting.
Jenna [01:16:15] I can’t taste any of the alcohol. It just sort of tastes like creamy orange juice.
Angela [01:16:20] It’s not the worst thing in the world.
Jenna [01:16:22] Well… Paint me surprised.
Angela [01:16:25] Yeah, I mean, scotch and splenda, total surprise. Beet vodka, absolute surprise. And this one? Not as bad as it sounds.
Jenna [01:16:34] Not as bad as it looks. I’m not going to order it. Like I would maybe order a Scotch and Splenda. The look of it is so.
Angela [01:16:43] Foul. It’s just foul looking, but it doesn’t taste as bad. Well, Samantha, there you have it.
Jenna [01:16:52] Can I say something?
Angela [01:16:53] I hope so.
Jenna [01:16:54] It’s not sitting in my stomach good. I wouldn’t take another drink, lady. I would stop drinking it. It’s. It’s turning on me.
Angela [01:17:01] Is it really?
Jenna [01:17:02] Mmhmm? Mmhmm.
Angela [01:17:03] That one tastes more like orange juice than anything else. Which is good.
Jenna [01:17:07] You know that acidy feeling you get in your throat after you’ve grown up?
Angela [01:17:11] Oh, no. I’m taking a sip of water now.
Jenna [01:17:12] Yeah, I used my water glass. I’m gonna.
Angela [01:17:16] Take that water.
Jenna [01:17:17] Okay.
Angela [01:17:18] Well, fair warning. It could turn on you.
Jenna [01:17:22] All right.
Angela [01:17:23] Okay.
Jenna [01:17:24] I will continue.
Angela [01:17:25] Oh yeah, I have a little bit of heartburn all of a sudden.
Jenna [01:17:28] Right. Yeah.
Angela [01:17:29] Do you guys feel the heartburn?
Jenna [01:17:29] Are you guys feeling the heartburn in there?
Angela [01:17:31] A little bit?
Cassi [01:17:33] Nothing yet. But now I’m scared.
Jenna [01:17:35] I’m. I’m really glad we’re near the end. I’m glad I didn’t come earlier. In the episode.
Angela [01:17:43] All right.
Jenna [01:17:43] I should eat a banana or something.
Angela [01:17:45] Yeah.
Jenna [01:17:46] Where are we? Can’t even concentrate.
Angela [01:17:49] Okay, we are ummm.
Jenna [01:17:51] Andy is moping backstage.
Angela [01:17:54] Yes.
Jenna [01:17:55] That’s where we are. And we’re about to have that great scene that we talked about with Ed.
Angela [01:18:00] I absolutely love this scene. Everyone’s like, Andy, you were so great. Come on, sing us a song. Sing a song. And he starts to sing- and, sorry. It’s making me burp.
Jenna [01:18:12] See? I told you! It, I mean, how many sips did we take? Like, two.
Angela [01:18:16] I know.
Jenna [01:18:17] And it is immediately. My body is rejecting it. It didn’t taste bad, but my body is saying, don’t. My eyes said don’t drink that. First, visually, my eyes were like, Don’t put that in your body. But now my body is never wanting me to ingest that again.
Angela [01:18:33] I took three sips.
Jenna [01:18:35] I told- that third sip.
Angela [01:18:36] Is like, I feel like something’s burning in my chest. Okay. I’m so sorry I had to burp. My apologies.
Jenna [01:18:44] Who wrote that? Who wrote this episode?
Angela [01:18:46] Charlie Grandy.
Jenna [01:18:47] Charlie, what have you done to us?
Angela [01:18:49] Okay. Anyway, everyone gathers around. I absolutely love this. Darryl starts to play Macy Gray’s I Try on the piano. And Andy sings his heart out. I went to the shooting draft, Jenna, because I wanted to see if it mentioned the Celine Dion song that Randy told us about.
Jenna [01:19:07] Yeah.
Angela [01:19:08] It doesn’t. This is what it says on the shooting draft. Darryl starts to play I Would Do Anything For Love by Meatloaf.
Jenna [01:19:16] Oh, my goodness!
Angela [01:19:17] And Andy starts to sing, And I would do anything for love. I’d run right into hell and back. I would do anything for love. I’ll never lie to you and that’s a fact. As Andy sings, Bob puts his arm around him.
Jenna [01:19:32] Oh?
Angela [01:19:33] That’s the shooting draft.
Jenna [01:19:34] Well, Randy told us that this song, Macy Gray’s I Try, cost $25,000 and that Craig Robinson prerecorded his keyboard track. So while we’re shooting, Craig is just pretending to play. And the reason that they did this was so that they could keep the tempo of every take the same during editing so they could cut between.
Angela [01:19:58] Smart. The episode is going to end, we mentioned this very briefly with Ed, with my favorite tag, I think maybe ever in the series. We are going to see Michael’s audition where he performs an entire episode of Law and Order.
Jenna [01:20:13] Including the opening and all musical interludes.
Angela [01:20:17] It starts with, “In the criminal justice system, the people are defended by two separate but equally important groups; the police who investigate the crimes and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.” And Michael goes, kung kung.
Jenna [01:20:30] Well, you know, my love of Law and Order, so I thoroughly enjoyed Michael’s whole monologue. I needed it to go on. I wanted more.
Angela [01:20:36] I couldn’t get enough of it. I could not get enough of it.
Jenna [01:20:39] I went to deleted scenes. I wanted to know if there was more. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any other footage. This is an email to Dave Rogers, I think. He is the holder of all footage.
Angela [01:20:49] It is absolutely brilliant. Every single second of it is magic. And you guys, that was Andy’s Play.
Jenna [01:20:57] Yes! And a big thank you to Ed Helms, who joined us in studio today.
Angela [01:21:02] You can catch Ed’s series. Rutherford Falls, on Peacock. It’s wonderful. Ed, we love you. And thank you to Randy Cordray for such great behind the scenes details. And now, here is Ed Helms as Andy singing My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion.
Ed Helms [01:21:24] (SINGING) Every night in my dreams. I see you. I feel you. That is how I know you go on. Far across the distance and spaces between us, you’ve come to show you go on. Near, far, wherever you are, I believe that the heart does go on. Once more, you open the door and you’re here in my heart and my heart will go on and on. Love can touch us one time and last for a lifetime and never let go till we’re gone. Rit dit dit doh doh doh doh love was when I loved you one true time I hold to. And in my life we’ll always go on. Near, far, wherever you are, I believe that the heart does go on. Yes, it does. Once more you open the door and you’re here in my heart and my heart will go on and on. (SINGS INSTRUMENTAL) You’re here. There’s nothing I fear. And I know that my heart will go on. We’ll stay forever this way. You’re safe in my heart and my heart will go on and on. Ooh!
Jenna [01:24:49] 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 [01:25:05] Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton. For Ad free versions of Office Ladies, go to Stitcher premium dot com. For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium, use code “office”.
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