September 22, 2020
This week we’re breaking down Business School. We reached out to writer Brent Forrester, to get his memories about this episode and what it was like working with director Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Avengers). Then we dig into everything you want to know about filming those hilarious scenes with Michael at Ryan’s business school, and we get some amazing insights from Brent about what went into picking Pam’s watercolor paintings for her art show. Finally, we hear from Kate Flannery herself, who gives us the scoop on everything we want to know about that scene with Meredith, Dwight and that bat, and Jenna recounts her memories of shooting that really touching Pam and Michael scene.
46 — Business School
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:04] I’m Jenna Fischer.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:05] I’m Angela Kinsey.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:06] We were on “The Office” together.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:07] And we’re best friends.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:08] And now we’re doing the ultimate “Office” rewatch podcast just for you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:12] Each week we will break down an episode of “The Office” and give exclusive behind-the-scenes stories that only two people who were there can tell you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:19] We’re “The Office” Ladies. Hello, everyone.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:24] Hey.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:25] We are going to Business School today.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:28] Oh, you guys, it’s going to be so fun. We might get our frizz on.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:35] I wouldn’t know anything about that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:36] You’re going to know everything about it because you and I have a frolfing date.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:40] I can’t wait to frolf with you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:42] I’m going to chunk it at you, lady.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:44] Oh, boy. Guys, this is Season 3, Episode 16, written by Brent Forrester and directed by Joss Whedon. I’m going to hit you with a summary.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:53] Do it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:54] I wrote my summary really succinct today.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:59] Oh, it’s so succinct that you had to call it out.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:03] I did.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:04] Hey, guys, get ready for some succinct summary.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:06] Ooh, say that five times.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:07] I know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:08] Ryan brings Michael to be a guest speaker at his business school. A bat causes mayhem at the Office. Jim pretends to be turning into Dracula to prank Dwight. Pam shows her art at an art exhibition. It sounds so simple, right? Four simple sentences. And yet it is not simple at all.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:27] It’s simple, but there’s so much. I have one little thing to add. Brent says in the DVD commentary he was handed two cards off the wall. You know, we’ve, we’ve talked about how on the wall the writers have all these cards.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:40] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:40] He was just handed two three by five cards. One said “Business School” and the other said “Bat in the office”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:46] Well, look at that. A succinct note card give.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:50] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:50] To go along with my succinct summary.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:52] And I guess “Business School” was Greg’s idea. He always knew at some point down the road he wanted to go to Ryan’s Business School. And I guess that card had been on the wall for a while.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:03] Well, Angela, speaking of bat storylines Fast Fact Number One, Joss Whedon directed this episode. So Joss is famous for creating “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, the series starring Sarah Michelle Geller. This was a huge hit on the WB network, which was run at the time by Suzanne Daniels. Suzanne’s husband is Greg Daniels, and that is how Joss kind of got his in to direct an episode of the show. But I guess it is just a pure coincidence that he got assigned the episode with a bat and a vampire storyline.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:41] I remember he was like, come on, guys, you gave me the bat vampire story? And we’re like-, and everyone was like, it is pure coincidence.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:47] Well, guys, we reached out to writer Brent Forrester. Remember, he sent in so many amazing audio clips for our “Grief Counseling” episode. He did it again this week. And here’s what he had to say about this.
BRENT FORRESTER [00:02:59] This episode was directed by Josh Whedon, who was a big successful television creator at the time and happened to be a big fan of “The Office”. And he approached us asking if he could direct an episode. He ended up directing two. And this was the first one that he did. And it’s just a total coincidence that the first episode that he directed happens to have a vampire subplot in it. And he was the creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. What you notice in that vampire subplot that I remember most is this visual detail that Joss added that was not in the script. If you notice at the end of the Jim Dwight vampire subplot, Jim says goodbye and leaves the office at the end of the day. And when he does, he turns and he flips up his collar and sort of looks over his shoulder. And it’s the perfect image of Dracula looking over the corner of his cape. And it just works wonderfully as a visual gag. Not in the script, totally the contribution of a guy who has worked a long time in the vampire genre. That was pure Joss Whedon.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:07] I did not know that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:08] I didn’t know it either.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:09] Ang, you remember at this time because I asked Kent Zbornak about this as well. He said that after Season 2, after we won the Emmy, we had a bunch of directors reaching out about directing our show. Remember, like Harold Ramis, J.J. Abrams.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:26] Jason Reitman.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:27] Yes. So crazy. And Kent would just assign scripts. According to director availability. And that is, he confirms, how Joss got this episode. So now Fast Fact Number Two, location breakdown with Kentapedia.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:45] Ooooh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:46] We did a jingle for location breakdown with Kentapedia. “Location Breakdown with Kentapedia”. Do you like it?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:55] It’s OK.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:56] I was trying to do like a “Schoolhouse Rock” thing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:58] Yeah, I like it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:59] OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:00] OK. Location breakdown with Kentapedia. Is this about Northridge?
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:04] Yes. We had a fan question. Bea Smith, MajorTarWater, Julia Lee, Meghan Meeker, Rose Cosette and Tess Schmidt, “Where were the ‘Business School’ scenes shot in real life? Was it a real classroom on a campus? Were those real students or were they actors”? Well, as Angela said, Ryan’s business school and the scenes with Pam’s art school were all shot at Cal State Northridge. How did you know it was Cal State Northridge, Ang?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:32] Because I listen to the DVD commentary.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:34] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:35] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:35] Well, Kent said all of the students in the classroom were hired extras, that we used a total of 122 background actors that day for the classroom scenes and the exterior campus scenes. He said that the Business School and the exterior scenes were filmed on Day 1. And on Day 2, we filmed the scenes for Pam’s art show, which was held in the Cal State Northridge “Design Center”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:02] One of the things I liked that they talked about in the DVD commentary was Brent said they asked all the people playing students if they would please bring their own personal laptop.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:11] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:12] And when I watched the scene, Jenna, I noticed that all the laptops were different.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:16] That is such a good detail. All right. Fast Fact Number Three.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:20] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:21] Nine days after this episode aired, Rainn Wilson hosted “Saturday Night Live”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:27] Oh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:27] Do you remember?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:29] Yes. We were so excited for him.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:31] So we had to kind of move around our shooting schedule to make this happen for Rainn. And I just remember we were all so excited for him. And during his opening monologue, he did this bit, it’s so funny, where he says, oh, he’s just so excited to be “Saturday Night Live” because it’s just way more exciting than shooting “The Office”, which is basically just sitting at a desk under fluorescent lights all day.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:56] He was like on the set of SNL, there’s like scaffolding and there’s props and there’s costumes and wigs. You know, it feels like a real show.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:04] And he’s like, let me show you. Let me show you. And he takes the audience on, like this backstage tour to show how exciting it is only to find the cast of “Saturday Night Live” kind of dressed up doing impersonations of all of our characters from “The Office”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:20] Yes. Well, Kristen Wiig is Pam. And she’s answering phones.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:24] Yes. And he’s like, hey, Kristen. And she’s like, SNL. Hi. Can I help you? Like.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:31] She’s like, I’m just answering phones and he’s like, what are you doing? She’s like, I do this all the time. I do a lot of things.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:37] He’s like, don’t you do anything else? And she’s like, Well, I also like to paint. And then she holds up a watercolor painting of 30 Rockefeller Center. That’s where they film SNL. And that is a callback to this episode that had just aired of Pam’s watercolor of Dunder Mifflin. And I was freaking out excited when I saw it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:01] Amy Poehler played me.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:03] Oh, it’s so funny.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:03] And like had this, like, sort of like snarl and like kind of flirted with Rainn as Dwight and, and if you remember Jenna, Rashida was there that weekend and she’s friends with a lot of the SNL cast members. So they were like, just hop in as Karen.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:17] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:17] So she did.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:18] He walks down the hall.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:19] Yeah. And they took all these pictures and Rashida e-mailed them to me. She was like, Ang, look, it’s Amy as you and I have all of these great pictures of them from the set that day.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:29] Amazing. Are you going to put those on the pod? On OfficeLadiesPod?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:33] Yes. I’ll put one. I have a great one. I think I have a group shot I’ll put on the pod.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:37] We’ll listen to what Kristen Wiig did after that episode aired.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:40] What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:41] So she and I shared a manager and we’d met a few times. We were both really struggling actresses at the same time. And kind of when I got on “The Office”, she got on “Saturday Night Live”. So this was really thrilling to us. I get a package in the mail. It is the watercolor.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:57] Oh, come on.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:58] That she held up on the show. She signed the back of it and then she wrote me the nicest note. That was just like, I just know what it would mean to me if I were ever parodied on this television show. And I thought you might like to have a prop from the moment. So I asked if I could send this to you and they said, yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:18] That is so lovely.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:20] Yeah. And I have it framed and it’s in my family room.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:24] That is so great, Jenna, I never knew that. I’ve been in your family room a gazillion times.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:29] Yeah. It’s up on the shelf with “The Simpsons” cartoon that Greg made of us. It’s like my two treasured items.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:36] I’m going to look for it next time I’m at your house.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:38] She’s the best, guys.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:40] That is so sweet.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:41] Well, listen, that’s all I got. I think we should go to a break and then we’ll come back and talk all about “Business School” with a bunch of great audio clips from Brent and a little special surprise from.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:53] Kate Flannery.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:54] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:54] We’ll see ya. OK, we are back and let’s get into this episode. You guys, we start with Kevin arriving a little late to work and he says he almost died because his tire blew out. Michael doesn’t care. He doesn’t care. He just keeps saying, “Why is today a special day”? And Jenna when he said “pop quiz”, all I could think about was Keanu Reeves.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:23] Why?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:23] Because of “Speed”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:25] Oh, yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:26] “Pop quiz asshole. You have a hair trigger aimed at your head. What do you do? What do you do”?
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:33] When’s the last time you watched this movie?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:34] Three days ago.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:36] Well, I see now why you made the connection.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:39] I know, I’m really sad Michael didn’t do a Keanu Reeves impression in this moment.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:45] Oh, well, that’s a missed opportunity.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:46] I know. That would have been full circle for me. It would have made me very happy. But yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:50] I remember shooting the scene.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:52] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:52] And here’s my problem. When ever they would put Brian Baumgartner by reception to do anything, Kevin, especially Kevin, with, like, hurt feelings. I can’t keep it together. I can’t look at him when he is doing sad Kevin. I can’t. It’s so funny.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:17] Well, Michael is excited because he gets to go to Ryan’s business school and he’s so happy. And we have a Ryan talking head where he’s like, look, I get to go up a whole letter grade if I bring my boss in. I should-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:32] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:32] I should do it, right? No. No, you shouldn’t, Ryan.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:38] Yeah, well, we’re going to see maybe no, you shouldn’t. But Michael is just thrilled. We have a scene where Dwight is helping him pack. And this leads us to one of my favorite Dwight talking heads, which is a famous talking head.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:57] It is a one of my favorite. My kids love this talking heads so much, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:02] Michael’s asking him, “What is the best advice I ever gave you”? And Dwight’s like, “The best advice he ever gave me, Michael, is don’t be an idiot. It changed my life”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:13] Then it cuts to those famous amazing talking head, where Dwight looks at camera and says, “Whenever I’m about to do something, I think, would an idiot do that? And if they would, I do not do that thing”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:26] I love it. I just wrote out a birthday card to a young woman who was turning 21, and I put this in her card. I said, “Listen”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:36] That’s brilliant.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:37] “As you, as you move on to this next phase of adulthood, remember these wise words from Dwight Schrute”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:12:44] Yes. That is so good.
JENNA FISCHER [00:12:47] So I used this all the time. So then Michael’s in the car with Ryan and he’s like, “Man, do you think people are going to throw their hats in the air after my speech? You know, because they do that sometimes at graduations or at naval academies”. And Ryan’s like, “Yeah, this is, I don’t. This is just, it’s not that. It’s not that occasion”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:09] I loved this actual line from Ryan, Jenna, made me laugh out loud because he says, “You understand no one is graduating”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:21] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:21] And you’ve got to know Ryan is now crapping his pants because he’s like, he has a line prepared if they throw their hats.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:31] And this is the line. “May your hats fly as high as your dreams”. And I have seen people put that on their graduation hats for graduations.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:42] I have too.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:44] So now we go back to the office. And this is when we learn about Pam’s art show, because Roy’s says he’s really excited.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:51] We have back-to-back really awkward Pam and Jim talking heads.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:55] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:55] Pam’s like, “I’m happy to be with Roy” and then Jim’s like, “Yeah, Pam’s with Roy. I’m with Kevin. Moving on”. And just like, OK guys.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:02] I think he’s with Karen.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:04] Who did I say?
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:05] Kevin.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:06] No, I didn’t.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:07] You did. And everyone listening right now just heard you say it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:10] Oh, no. Maybe I should take a sip of my tea. Maybe I need more caffeine this morning.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:15] Wake yourself up. You were up late last night.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:18] I was, lady. I was.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:20] I know. Because I woke up to a string of messages from you that were sent at like 12:30 in the morning.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:26] I’m so sorry, I didn’t think you, like what? Does it alert you or something? I have my alerts off.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:30] No, no. It was when I woke up. I woke up and looked at my phone and I was like, wow. And, because I woke up really early this morning and I was shocked to see all these messages from you, I was like, wow, Angela’s a real early bird today too. Look at us. And I was like, no, they were from late last night.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:46] Yeah. They were from really late last night. I wasn’t up being an idiot. I was, I was working. Jenna and I, you know, we have some other stuff.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:52] I didn’t say you were up being an idiot.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:53] No, I know. I’m telling the 21 year olds out there. Jenna, I have some other stuff, guys, that we’re hatching. And I was working on one of them.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:01] We have something brewing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:02] I was inspired late last night. OK.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:05] I like it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:05] I’ve had a cup of tea. I’m waking myself up. I’m not going to call Karen Kevin. So now Pam tells Kelly about her art show. Mindy’s performance, where she feigns interest and acts like she’s going to come, is just frickin’ amazing.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:19] It’s perfect.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:20] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:20] It’s all of us when we’ve been invited to something that we know we’re not going to go to. But we’re saying we’re gonna go to it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:27] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:28] Oh, I would, yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:29] Yes. Oh, yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:30] I will absolutely be there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:33] Yes. Uh huh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:35] I can’t wait. All right. So now Michael arrives on campus. He is so excited. There’s just all of these memories coming back to him that he’s having that might have occurred if he had ever attended college.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:50] That made me sad, by the way.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:53] That made me sad too.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:54] I mean, Michael would have loved college. I think Michael would have been like an R.A. in the dorm, you know?
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:59] 100 percent.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:00] And he probably would have been like a lifer R.A. They probably would’ve been like, you can leave now. He’s like, no, we got another batch of students coming in and they’re like, you’re not a student anymore.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:09] Yeah. Yeah, that’s true. It’s true. Well, we had a fan comment from Amber Morris.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:17] OK.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:19] You know that moment when Michael runs up and tries to join the Frisbee game?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:23] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:23] She says, “Fun fast fact. A friend of mine, Nathan Blank, played the Frisbee student at Ryan’s school. Michael ran up and stole a Frisbee and threw it. And Nathan’s line was something like, ‘Dude’. And he has had nothing but wonderful things to say about his filming day and working with Steve and B.J.”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:44] Aw, I love that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:46] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:46] That is very sweet. That scene made me laugh really hard because everything about how Steve approached that Frisbee was wrong. No one should ever grab a Frisbee and throw it that way. And it, it just was so perfect.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:01] Well, now we’re going to go back to the office, Angela, because now that other card that Brent talked about, that one that says “bat in office” is about to go into play.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:11] We’re in the office, Dwight sees some kind of animal feces. He’s on the case. He’s like, oh, there’s a bird in the rafters, guys. But it’s not a bird.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:23] No.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:23] It’s a bat, and everyone freaks out.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:26] Everyone except Jim and Creed.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:28] Oh, yeah. Creed is ready.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:30] Angela stops, drops and rolls.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:33] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:33] Stanley leaves. Eventually, Dwight is able to lock the bat in the conference room after a bunch of mayhem. Fan question from Leona Wooldridge, Ruth Rodriguez, Heather Flynn and Abby Mole. “At approximately 5 minutes, Angela drops and rolls while the bat flies around. Then you barely hear her voice in the background, either talking to herself or praying. Do you know what you’re saying”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:57] I do. I remember Joss saying to me, all right, Angela would totally freak out. And, you know, we talked about what did that look like? And would I, would I dropped to the ground, and I came up with this dropping to the ground and rolling. That’s my memory, Jenna. That I dropped to the ground and I decided to roll. And Joss really liked that. And then I just laid face down on the carpet and I improvised this. And I said something like, “God, this is Angel Martin. Please don’t let that stupid thing come anywhere near me”. And I just sort of mumbled these prayers.
JENNA FISCHER [00:18:31] I love it. When I was a child and I would pray I would lead with, “God, this is Jenna Fischer”. I would lead with an introduction.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:42] Same. 100 percent.
JENNA FISCHER [00:18:44] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:44] I would do it-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:18:44] I was like, well I need, I need God to know, like, I need him to like key in to who are these prayers for. As I’m receiving these prayers, who are they coming from? So I thought, well, I’ll lead with my name.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:56] I used to say, “Lord God, this is Angela Kinsey. I’m in my bedroom. I am on a street called Caviling in Jakarta, Indonesia, that is in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s a group of islands. I’m just below the equator”. I would do this. Like, I needed him to know where I was.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:17] That was some serious location honing right there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:20] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:20] You were like, the coordinates are.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:22] Yes. Latitude.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:22] 75 degrees latitude.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:26] I’m in my bedroom. It’s down the hall. On the right. It’s across from the bathroom.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:32] My gosh, I, I did not get that specific, but I applaud that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:38] Thank you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:38] Then we had more fan questions about this scene. From Rosalie W., Tanner W., Mia F. and Jacob W., “Was the bat that got trapped in the office a real bat”? Kentapedia says, “Yes, we used a real bat for three scenes”. The scene where Dwight stands on Pam’s reception desk to look inside the ceiling. A few shots of the bat on the ceiling in the conference room. And for that shot of the bat on the ceiling in the kitchen. Kent hired two bat wranglers to provide us with the bat. Chad Dunn and John Baldwin. And they put Chad up in the ceiling to hold the bat for that scene where Dwight peers in, the one we were just talking about. Now, the rest of the time, when we see the bat flying around, that was all CGI. Kent said he hired Mitch Suskin as our visual effects supervisor. He was great, did a terrific job, and they worked with several production houses to animate the bat. And then there was a third kind of bat that we used, which we will talk about later in the scene with Kate.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:47] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:48] And it was a mechanical bat.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:50] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:51] So three different bats everyone.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:52] Three different bats. I have a tiny bit of bat trivia.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:55] Oh, lay it on.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:56] OK. Here’s my little bit about trivia from this episode. In the DVD commentary, Rainn says he named the bat. That he was talking to the bat wrangler and Rainn said, “What’s his name”? And the bat wrangler was like, “Oh, we’ve never given him a name”. And Rainn was like, “What? I’m gonna name him”. And so who Rainn named the bat, Gary.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:19] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:19] It’s Gary. Gary, the bat. And we call him Gary all week.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:23] Well, good job, Gary.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:25] Yeah. And now my question is, Rainn, if you ever listen to this, is that Michael Gary Scott?
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:35] Oh. Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:35] Oh. Or is it just Gary? Just Gary the bat?
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:39] Well, I remember shooting the scene, Angela, because they laid out for us this very elaborate trail of how the bat would fly so that we could all react to it because we’re reacting to nothing. Nothing is flying through the ceiling.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:53] Right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:54] And so it was really choreographed, like bat is here, bat is there, bat swoops here, bat goes into conference room. And I, it looks so real.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:04] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:06] So, yeah, guys, we are screaming at and reacting to nothing, flying through the office there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:09] Yeah. We’re not freaking out the bat. We’re not screaming at him. I have a few background catches from the scene.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:17] Lay them on me.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:18] 3 minutes, 54 seconds, Pam is sketching a tape dispenser.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:23] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:23] We don’t see it, though, at the art show.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:26] Well, she doesn’t have time to watercolor that, before the art show.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:29] Well, I didn’t know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:30] This is just something she’s doing on the side.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:31] Well, that’s what I was going to ask, because is she last minute trying to hustle up some more art for her wall? OK.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:36] No. She just has a light work day and she’s sketching at her desk.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:40] OK. At 4 minutes, 26 seconds Rainn’s butt is right in your face.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:46] Super right in my face.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:47] Super right in your face. You’re like, “Dwight, what are you doing”? His butt it’s right in your face.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:53] Yeah. Rainn thought that was very fun.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:54] I’m sure you did.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:55] I’m not going to give you a deep dive on bats.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:58] I am shocked.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:59] But me and my kids listen to this amazing podcast. It’s for families and kids called “Smash Boom Best”. And what they do is they have two people debate two different things and then a kid decides which one is better.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:16] Oh cute.
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:16] And they had a really-, it’s so cute. So they had one called Bats versus Owls. And if you want to learn some really cool stuff about bats and owls, I recommend this podcast because we loved it. They eat a ton of mosquitoes, guys. Especially in Texas. There’s this huge swarm of bats that’s responsible for really controlling the mosquito population. And their feces can be used as energy. Uh oh, I maybe am telling you some fast facts after all.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:45] I know. Now you’re telling us bat facts. Toby has a fantastic talking head during all this chaos. And he’s like, you know, the simple solution would just be to open a window. But none of our windows open. That’s a little creepy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:59] It really is. Well, Angela, then you have a talking head where you say-. I can’t even say it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:05] This is one of my most quoted lines to me. You know, like when you meet fans of the show and they quote a line to you?
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:11] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:11] This is one of the lines. Strangers would come up to me and be like, “Poop is raining from the ceilings. Poop”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:17] It’s so good. Angela, we had a fan question from Jackie K. “How many takes did it require for Angela to get the poop is raining from the ceiling talking head”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:27] We did a few because we, we were playing around with what type of distress was this for Angela? Was she angry or terrified? Scared? Annoyed? So we did a few, and the one they picked was where I’m actually concerned and scared. And I have my rain bonnet on.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:45] I was gonna say the rain bonnet is everything. Everything. Angela, my grandmother had one of those.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:53] Yes. My grandmother got her hair done once a week.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:57] Same.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:57] And it would be the same hairdo. It was set for the whole week.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:02] Yeah, that’s what the ladies used to do. They used to have their weekly appointment. They’d get their hair washed and set and then just teased and sprayed.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:10] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:12] And then my grandma had this little rain bonnet folded up in her purse. And if there was even a sprinkle, she would throw that thing on.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:19] Yes. Same with my grandmother. I have so many memories of her putting it on, going to church because there was just maybe a tiny, tiny bit of mist. I was just tickled by the scene because it made me think of my grandmother. And I love that Angela Martin keeps one on hand. She has a rain bonnet ready to go.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:36] When I saw it, I thought, we need to bring back this rain bonnet.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:40] I looked online. There’s a lot you can buy now. And, you know, I love a good pun. There is a company that makes one and they call it the “hair-brella”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:50] I want to hair-brella. Well, Jim calls Animal Control and they say they’re gonna be there by 6:00 o’clock. But Dwight finds this unacceptable.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:59] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:59] But this is when Jim starts his prank on Dwight. He’s distracted by this bite on his neck and he’s just feeling like really tingly and strangely powerful. Huh? Can’t explain it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:14] That’s all he has to do. And Dwight fills in all the blanks. Well, now, back at the Business School, Michael is in like a sound booth watching Ryan sort of give an introduction is what he thinks. Right? But Ryan is basically telling the classroom that Dunder Mifflin can’t compete with the bigger chains. He thinks this whole business is going to be obsolete in like five years. And in fact, he thinks the management isn’t flexible and able to adapt. And you know what I wrote?
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:42] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:44] “Ryan, how dare you”. You know what this means to Michael. How dare you set him up like that? Look, if that conversation was going to come out in the classroom on its own. Fine. But Ryan could have set him up differently. He could have said, you know what, guys? Dunder Mifflin is a small company. It has a harder time competing. But you know what? Management really believes in it. They really believe in like a one-on-one personal connection. And my boss is someone, is, he’s sort of part of a dying breed of a traditional salesman.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:15] He’s being a total punk in this moment.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:17] I think so.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:18] Well, then when Michael takes the stage thinking he’s been introduced in a totally different, more flattering way, he enters with his own musical fanfare.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:30] He shows up-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:31] That he has brought with him.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:32] He shows up with his boombox.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:34] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:35] He’s playing like classical music. That’s a bold move. No matter how Ryan set you up. Even if Ryan had painted you in an, in an amazing light to walk in with your boombox, playing your intro song is really, it’s a really bold move.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:50] Knowing everything we know about Michael, it’s surprising that he didn’t show up dressed as a character to inspire the students. But he has come as himself.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:01] But he does bring props.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:03] Oh, does he ever? Well, he starts by tearing up someone’s book as a way of inspiring them. And then he moves in to his candy bar runner pun.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:17] Then he lets the classroom know there are four kinds of businesses. Number one, tourism. Number two, food service. Number three, railroads. Number four, sales. Number five, hospital and manufacturing, and then also air travel.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:36] My favorite is hospital, slash, manufacturing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:41] I know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:41] So then he moves into his candy bar puns. Oh, yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:49] So good. So good. Do you know who wrote this whole scene?
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:53] Who?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:53] Jen Celotta.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:55] Oh, that makes so much sense.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:57] It’s so great, isn’t it?
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:58] Well, we had a lot of people write in Sammy Sols, Ali Stecklean, Lily Magrath all asked, “How much of Michael’s speech to Ryan’s business class was improvised”? Guys, basically none of it. It was almost, like I went to the script, it’s basically all scripted. What you see there in the episode, scripted.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:21] Yeah. You know, we didn’t get to be there, Jenna, to be in that classroom. It looks like so much fun. So we asked Brent Forrester, what was it like to shoot those scenes with Michael and the students? And here’s what he had to say.
BRENT FORRESTER [00:29:33] Filming the Business School scenes with Steve Carell in that lecture hall full of kids was really unforgettable. And I kind of suspected that it was going to go great because I knew that Steve had come from this live performance tradition with Second City. And he really thrives on that live audience connection. And here was a chance for him to perform both in front of a camera and in front of a live audience of kids who at this time were all fans of “The Office”. We were in Season 3 at this point. What I remember is the way these takes would go. Steve would perform the scene and then the kids in the audience would have to pretend that they were very unimpressed by his lecture. And so they would sit there in silence. And then the assistant director would call “Cut”, and then a whole group of kids would just burst out into laughter that they’d been repressing through the whole scene. So over and over again, it was Steve performs, silence. Cut. Huge laugh. Then in the final take of the final scene, Steve performs, there’s silence. The AD says, “Cut. That’s a wrap for Steve”. The audience of kids burst into laughter. They stand up and they give him this ovation that went on forever. I was standing next to Steve at the time and I saw the tears come to his eyes. It was so beautiful. One of the highlights for sure of my time on “The Office”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:55] Oh, my gosh. I wish I could have been there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:57] I bet it felt so magical to those kids, you know, and to Steve too. He basically had this whole audience just for himself.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:06] And kind of what Brent was talking about, which is that Steve started in life performance.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:12] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:12] And I did too, with theater, Angela. And it was a big adjustment to be sort of acting into a void, which is the camera. You don’t get to see your jokes land. You don’t get to hear people in their living rooms at home, you know, moving through your performance with you like you do in a theater situation. So it’s always fun to get to perform for a live audience.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:33] Always. Always. That’s, that was my whole, you know, every week doing an improv show. And it is a real energy to have a room like that with you and in the moment with you. It just always kind of makes my skin tingle.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:47] All right. So should we go check in at Dunder Mifflin now? Because Dwight is making a trap for the bat, using a box and some glue.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:58] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:59] So-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:59] Poor bat.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:59] Terrible.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:59] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:01] And in the background, Jim and Karen are continuing this prank.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:07] Yeah. Karen is doing it. Not Pam.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:11] I noticed, and I don’t, I mean, I don’t want to be-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:15] Oh, here it comes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:17] I mean.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:17] Was Pam better at pranking?
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:22] You said it. I mean, yes. I feel like Jim and Karen’s prank is a little presentational and a little on the nose. And I think that when Pam pranks Dwight with Jim, it’s more subtle and creative. I don’t know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:44] Yeah, well, you know, it’s really hard to have the finesse of, like, drinking your water by the water cooler and, you know, covering up whatever Jim is doing by drinking a little cup of water and looking around. I mean, that is hard. That is, that doesn’t come natural.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:02] I knew you were going to bring that up. I knew you were going to bring that up because it’s the one time that Pam is terrible at pranking.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:09] It makes me laugh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:10] But.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:10] It makes me laugh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:12] But I’m sorry, her other pranks are very good. But yes, so they have this whole bit where like Jim can’t pick up her piece of bread.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:22] It’s white hot.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:23] Because it’s garlic bread and it’s burning his hands and she’s like, this is ice cold. And then we go into, I mean, it’s a little bit of heart break in the break room again.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:36] With Toby?
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:37] But it’s Toby.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:38] Oh, yeah. It’s Toby has some heartbreak. I mean, you guys, Toby is in love with Pam and here is his opportunity to see her outside of work and maybe dazzle her somehow with his knowledge of art and support her. And it’s the same evening of his daughter’s play. And he’s devastated and he’s even trying to think of a way to get out of going to see his child’s play.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:01] I know. He’s like, it’s just, we need to support local art. And, and what they’re doing is not art. Let’s be honest.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:12] And Pam’s like, and she’s, Pam’s like, you should go see her child’s play.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:17] Yes. Yes. Oh, oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:22] Well, lady, while this is going on, back at the school, they’re starting to get into the Q&A part. Right? And the students are starting to ask Michael questions. Things are kind of falling apart. There is a moment, Jenna, I love so much. I love it when Michael says real business is done on paper. Write that down. And they all type.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:45] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:45] It’s just the sound of keyboards.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:48] Yes, that’s a very fun joke in the script too. Like it says, the students all get out their computers and begin typing. It’s so good. So the students start asking him, how would you keep a client from leaving Dunder Mifflin for a nationwide chain? And Michael’s like, I don’t need to persuade them to come back, they’ll just come back eventually when they realize what a debacle it is to go to anyone else. And then the students like, well, has anyone ever come back? And Michael’s like, I don’t want them back because they’re stupid.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:24] Michael is starting to take this personal. He’s getting his feelings hurt.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:28] Yeah. And that is when one of the students points out, even your own employee says that Dunder Mifflin is gonna be obsolete in five to ten years.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:38] Oh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:39] Oof.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:39] I mean, this is just like a sucker punch. Michael is so hurt.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:44] Yeah. So now, back at the office, Dwight has formed an allegiance with Creed.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:51] What I love about this, Jenna, is that Dwight couldn’t even get a sentence out. He was like, “Listen, Creed, I need an alliance”. He’s like, “Sure”. Like Creed is just like reads to go.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:02] He is up for it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:03] He has a drawer of tools.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:05] So does Dwight. They’re, I mean, they’re meant to be.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:08] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:09] Dwight asks him, can you turn a wooden mop handle into a steak? And Creed is like, “What size”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:14] Yeah. He’s got a drawer of mung beans and weaponry, apparently. Well, Jenna, I think this is a great time to take a break, because when we come back, Dwight and Creed are gonna catch a bat.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:30] All right, guys, so Creed and Dwight are on a mission. They are going to catch this bat before 6:00 p.m., before the professionals of Animal Control arrive. They’re going to take care of this problem.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:41] And Kelly begs them, because Creed has now gone into the, the supply closet. He’s grabbing some kind of spray. And Kelly’s like, “Do not hurt that bat. It isn’t, it has feelings”. And she just makes this big, like, plea for the best safety and it comes flying into the main area. And then Kelly immediately screams, “Kill it, kill it, kill it”!
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:04] Yes, exactly. The bat flies into the little kitchen area and Kevin closes the door. So now the bat is trapped inside and Kevin is like, “Oh my gosh, I am a hero. I am a hero”. Kevin’s day has gone from a near-death experience to being a hero. He is having a day.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:28] Why do I feel like that’s like Kevin’s every day? Every day Kevin thinks he’s a hero over a really mundane thing that’s not quite heroic.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:39] You might be right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:40] Yeah. I mean, Kevin thinks he saved everyone in the office, but guys not everyone was out of the kitchen.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:48] No.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:49] Meredith had gone to the bathroom.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:50] Well, we’re gonna leave her in there for a while because we’re going back to Ryan’s class.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:55] It’s getting ugly. It’s getting ugly. Michael is grasping at straws. He’s so offended. He’s taking it personal and he just starts saying all kinds of stuff.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:04] Yeah, he’s like, “Guys, this is a David and Goliath situation. But remember, David always wins. And it’s just like America. America is facing five Goliaths. Five”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:17] And then he lists them off. It’s like Al-Qaida, global warming, sex predators, mercury poisoning.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:24] This is when Michael points out, “You know what? Ryan has never made a sale. And he started a fire trying to make a cheesy pita”. That made me laugh out loud.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:37] And then he said, “And everyone thinks he’s a tease”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:39] Amazing. And then he says, “You know what? Ryan doesn’t know anything and neither do you. So suck on that”. And he storms out of the classroom. He is so hurt.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:50] If you’re Ryan, what are you thinking right now? Because you now know, you rode there with him. You are going to have to ride back to work with this person.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:00] That is uncomfortable. Michael tells Ryan, “Business is always personal, Ryan”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:05] I mean, that says everything you need to know about Michael. But we know this.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:08] Well, I respect that about him. I respect that about Michael. That business isn’t business. Business is always personal. And that, you know, he’s gonna say this later. A business is made up of people. I liked it. He tells Ryan, when we get back to the office, you better pack your things.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:26] This now starts one of my favorite storylines. Pam is finally at her art show. She’s waiting for people to arrive.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:34] Yeah. And we had a fan question. Alex Lane, Ryan Moberly and Shelley Jones would like to know, “What kind of discussions occurred regarding Pam’s art show outfit”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:46] And hair. This little like swoopy side ponytail. Pam just is trying to look like she lives, I feel like, in the east village of New York.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:54] Yes. Well, they wanted to know if I had any input into what artsy Pam would look like that night. Oh, yes, I did. And it was so much fun. Carey Bennett and I, we had the best time she came up with this idea of kind of like this, this beatnik turtleneck.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:13] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:14] With the little jumper over top. And then Kim Ferry and I thought, what is the hairstyle that coordinates with this little hipster outfit? And we thought, low side pony. And it, I think it works.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:29] It’s not just any low side pony, though. It’s got a little bit of curl. It’s kind of relaxed.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:35] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:36] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:36] It’s smoothed out. It’s not her like frizzy curly hair that we normally see her with.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:41] She is ready to walk out of that art show into 1960 something.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:46] It’s so sweet. I absolutely loved it. And you can see all of Pam’s art behind her. It’s a series of watercolors. Of, you know, simple, ordinary items and things which I think kind of goes to that whole theme of the show. And Pam finding beauty in ordinary things.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:06] And I liked the juxtaposition that, you know, Pam’s wall is like a coffee mug and a stapler and a vase holding flowers and, you know, a painting of Dunder Mifflin. And then just to the left, whoever’s art display that was is like aliens, or like an alien robot. I’m not really sure what it is.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:26] Yes. Well, we had a fan question from Molly Warner, who says, “According to Dunderpedia, Joss Whedon was not satisfied with the original art that was produced for Pam at the art show and that new art had to be made. Can you clarify what that original art was and why it had to be changed”? Well, we asked Brent about this, and here’s what he told us.
BRENT FORRESTER [00:41:52] What I remember most about Joss Whedon’s directing of this episode was a crisis that happened around one of the watercolor drawings that appears in Pam’s art show. Now these watercolor drawings were created by the art department at “The Office”. And they appear in the background of all of the shots of, of Jenna. And, you know, as background items, they might not seem that important. But when we got on set, there was one drawing that Joss just strongly felt that Pam’s character would not have done. It was a watercolor drawing of a church. And he just felt it was out of character for her. And you have to imagine, when you’re shooting a television episode, the time pressure is so intense you do not have time to stop and mess around. And Joss, however, felt so passionately about this picture that he stopped production and said, I need a new picture. I would like a picture of a stapler. That’s what I think that Pam would have drawn. And like I say, the whole production shutdown, they brought the executive producer, Greg Daniels, to set. They had a big discussion about it. But Joss would not back down. And we were on location. We didn’t have the art department with us. Who is going to draw a picture of a stapler? So the assistant director. We were on a location at a university. The assistant director went into a classroom full of art students and said, “Is anyone here able to draw a watercolor of a stapler”? And they pulled some young woman out and they paid her 50 bucks or something. And she just cranked out this picture of a stapler that you see in the background of all of Pam’s shots. And afterwards, I was riding back in the van, you know, to home base with Joss. And I said, “Joss, what was all that about? Why did you get so intense about this”? And he said, “Brent, in my experience as a director, every single time that I have felt strongly about some detail of the shoot and I have allowed myself to be persuaded out of it because of time pressure, 100 percent of the time, I have intensely regretted making that choice. And so now I understand that I should never compromise when I feel something strongly as a director”. It’s a great lesson. In my limited experience as a director, I’ve never forgotten it. I think it’s a really good lesson for all of us as artists, stick to your guns. If you feel it passionately, you’re probably right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:11] I have to say, Angela, the watercolor that stood out to me the most when we first flash up to her wall was that stapler.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:20] Yeah, me too. It was absolutely what Pam would have done because Pam, we already established, she’s sort of drawing things in her world and she’s sketched a tape dispenser. It would make sense to me. And then, you know, Jim, I feel like that stapler also represents Jim. Jim, put that stapler in Dwight’s Jell-o mold. You know? I-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:43] I never thought of that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:45] Yeah, that’s what I thought. I thought Pam painted that stapler because she was thinking of Jim.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:52] I just got chills. Well, I got a little lowdown on the Dunder Mifflin painting from Kentapedia. He said that that is not actually a watercolor, but it was a photograph of our building that they manipulated to look like a watercolor.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:11] Oh. Like just some fancy kind of graphics.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:16] Yeah. So no one ever did a from blank page watercolor of the building.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:24] You know, that time, a while back, Jenna invited me to do a wine and canvas night.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:32] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:32] And it was so fun. It was like in a s-, like part of a mall like but you entered from outside, right? Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:38] Yeah. It was a mall in Pasadena.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:41] Yeah. And we went and, and you kind of just sort of picked a random night to go, and I wasn’t really sure what we were painting. And then we found out we were painting cats on a fence at night time.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:53] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:54] And I still have mine. My husband loves it so much. He hung it by where he feeds the cats. So the cats see the cats on the fence as they eat their dinner. It’s kind of funny, but I became sort of really interested in this wine and canvas night. We were talking about doing another one, maybe inviting a few friends. I found that they do wine and canvas and everyone can paint the Dunder Mifflin building.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:19] Oh, my gosh, that is amazing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:22] Wouldn’t you want to do that? I would love to do that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:24] Angela, I think it would be really weird if you and I showed up at a wine and canvas and painted Dunder Mifflin.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:32] There’s like a room of people, like you sign up-. We showed up, there were probably 30 people there and we each had a little seating assignment. We had our canvas and our paints. And then they pass around wine and the teacher is at the front. She had a headset on, remember? So we could all hear. So you and I would be in a room with like 30 other people, total strangers.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:52] I totally remember it because my daughter has always, from the time she was born, loved cats. She loves cats. And I knew she was going to love this painting. And I didn’t want my son to feel left out when I came home from my painting night. So on my canvas, I added a little space ship out-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:11] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:12] Out in the sky. Because he loved outer space. So I was like, OK, well, this will bring him into this painting and we have it in our play room.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:21] I love it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:21] Hanging up.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:21] But I do. I want to do a wine and canvas night and I want to paint Dunder Mifflin, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:26] I can’t say I want to do that. Can’t say it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:31] You don’t want to paint Dunder Mifflin?
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:32] I, I, no.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:33] Well, you have it, don’t you? You own it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:36] I do. I already have a painting of Dunder Mifflin.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:38] You own it. And-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:38] I was gonna leave that for the end.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:40] You own it. But also, Jenna, what if your painting was horrible? Your attempt of painting Dunder Mifflin. No, I’m kidding.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:51] Well, I will say, I will say this too. In this pandemic, my daughter has gotten really into watercolor painting. And so it’s very funny to me that I, as Jenna, am now sitting around every day doing watercolor paintings like my character Pam did. And I think I’ve gotten really good at doing flowers. I’ve actually watched some tutorial videos.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:14] Well, maybe I’ll watch a tutorial video on painting Dunder Mifflin and I’ll-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:18] There must be one.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:19] I’ll paint it and show it to you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:22] There you go.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:23] OK. Sorry. Where are we, lady?
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:25] Well, back at Dunder Mifflin, Meredith is still hiding from the bat and everyone is just leaving for the day. Everyone’s like, Bye”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:35] Creed is like, “Later, Mary Beth”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:38] Yes. People wanted to know if that was improvisation. No, that was scripted.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:41] Well, there are a few deleted scenes that happened right here, Jenna, that are worth mentioning. One is that there’s a few cutaways that they didn’t have time for of Meredith trying to leave the bathroom and then scream-, seeing the bat, screaming and going back in.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:56] Oh, OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:57] You know, so kind of playing up the fact that she really does feel trapped and she really is scared.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:02] OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:03] And then, there’s a scene of Dwight looking through the blinds and screaming at her. So there, there’s this sort of like build up of this moment. And then the other scene that I love that’s deleted is as everyone’s leaving for the day, leaving Meredith trapped, Angela and Kelly exit together. And Angela says, “Just goes to show you the power of prayer”. And Kelly says, “You prayed for this”? And Angela says, “In a general sense”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:29] Oh my goodness.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:31] So did I pray that Meredith needs some kind of reckoning, and it’s going to happened?
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:36] Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:36] I know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:37] I guess Angela maybe prayed that she would be scared into better behavior.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:43] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:44] And this is, she feels, the answer to her prayer.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:47] Better lifestyle choices, Meredith.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:49] So now we have the scene. The scene of Dwight going in to capture this bat. And it ends up landing on Meredith’s head. So he has to put a trash bag over her head with the bat inside.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:08] And kind of like wrestle her around.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:11] Insanity. Well, you know, we got a lot of mail about this one, Angela. Monica Sweeney, Jessica Bone, Ashley McGetrick, Aaron Westra and Rafael Bresselsmith, and I mean, just countless others said, “The scene with Dwight trapping the bat on Meredith’s head looked so real. How did they do it”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:32] Well, we asked Kate to tell us all about the scene, and she told us she worked with both a real bat and a mechanical bat. Here’s what else she had to say.
KATE FLANNERY [00:50:42] Yes, we had a real bat with five handlers. I wish I had five handlers. Yes. But we were not allowed to make any noise around the bat. You couldn’t, I couldn’t scream. So even though I was screaming, I was acting like I was screaming when we were shooting because don’t upset the bat. Something with the sonar. And then we had this motorized thing that I had in my head that we actually did have a stunt double. But she, I don’t really think they used her and they did one little shot with her in it, one cutaway. But I, I did all of it. The motorized thing on the head. It was like, sort of like this fluttery thing, something like a headband with a motor. And then there was a human being with like a puppety thing with a stick. He was on his knees and he was trying to put the stick up my skirt before he introduced himself, which whatever, a little out of order. And yes, I could breathe with a bag over my head. We figured it out, it was fine. So I was acting my ass off. And it was one of the most fun scenes I got to do with Rainn, since he is, he is an amazing actor and he goes for it, man. So but I’m not afraid. I have never been afraid of Rainn Wilson or Dwight Schrute. So that is. That’s it. Same bat time. Same bat channel. I’ve been wanting to say that for a-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:12] Yeah. I guess, Phil Shea got this mechanical bat like a battery operated Halloween toy, and they put it on a headband on her head because it really does look like there are wings flapping inside that bag. It was, what a good just old fashioned movie magic moment.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:32] Yeah, it was like some, some new technology and old tech. All came together.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:38] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:38] I have a memory, Jenna, of like Kim Ferry and Phil Shea working on that headband. Like, like he, I remember it in her hair and makeup area. Do you? Like she was like sort of like-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:50] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:50] Futzing with it and stuff.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:52] She had it on one of those little mannequins.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:54] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:55] And he was in there with the little battery operated controls, explaining how it would work and they would put a bag over it and they would test it. I remember that too. We must have been in there, in the trailer, when they were doing that. I have that same memory.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:08] Ah, man. And then, and then on top of it, there was a guy with a stick and a puppet? My god.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:14] What was that about?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:15] I know, I know. I mean, Kate said that he had to like put a stick up her skirt. Maybe they, they had all these different ways the bat might be under the bag. Anyway, well done, everyone. It was a team effort, but I thought that scene was fantastic.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:31] Well, the other thing she said in her clip too, Angela, was about how she wasn’t allowed to actually scream.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:36] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:37] So when I heard that, I remembered that from our big group scene with the bat.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:42] Yes, I did too. When Rainn sort of like pokes the ceiling up, the real bat is up there. That shot was the real bat. And we all had to be silent.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:50] And I remember we had to be super silent as they brought the bat in and placed the bat.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:56] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:56] And then when they removed the bat before we started doing all of our screaming and reacting to nothing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:01] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:01] That happens a lot with animals. I worked with a squirrel where you had to be super quiet around the squirrel.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:07] Really?
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:08] Yeah. No sudden movements around the squirrel.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:11] OK, so now we’re back at Pam’s art show, and Roy has come and he’s brought his brother.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:17] Yes, and, uh. And, you know, Roy has just regressed. Right? He says all of this stuff that is so insulting. He’s like, oh, hey, look at this. Like no one else showed up, but I came.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:39] And I brought someone.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:41] That’s pretty cool.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:42] Well, you know, I don’t know if it’s Roy regressing or is he just trying in his very lame attempt here to say, Pam, look, you know, I show up for you. But-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:55] I know, but like what? He needs a big congratulations for showing up to his girlfriend’s art show? Like you’re doing the bare minimum.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:03] Roy, at his real, true self is going to make the most basic amount of effort and expect that to be enough and even applauded.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:10] Roy is the type of man who needs to be thanked profusely for doing everyday chores like the dishes and taking out the trash as if he’s done something extraordinary. But really, you’re just contributing to the partnership of running a household.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:24] Yeah, I changed a light bulb.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:26] Yeah. Oh, my gosh. Thank you. Meanwhile, Roy is not probably thanking Pam for everything she’s doing to contribute to running the household. That’s the dynamic that Pam has to look forward to, if she follows through on this.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:39] Well, I definitely think this art show night, she is raw, she’s feeling vulnerable, and she needs Roy to be more of a support and he’s just not able. And I think that’s, that’s the reality. Roy is going to be a great partner to someone else that doesn’t need the same things from him that Pam needs.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:59] Well, as he’s leaving, he tells her this famous line, which is that her art is the prettiest art of all the art. Thank you. Roy, for that nugget.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:12] So I do have a little Post-it and I wrote on it, “Mmm, I’m sorry, is this some Gil sass”?
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:18] Yes. Some Gil sass.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:20] Yes. Because Oscar and Gil show up to the art show. They don’t know that Pam has walked up behind them and Gil is really kind of going off on your art. He’s like, listen, real art takes courage and honesty and this is motel art. And-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:37] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:37] Oscar says, those aren’t Pam strong points. I think I think all of that hits her so harsh. I think it’s even more powerful for, for Pam to hear because in this moment, she’s forced to hold up a mirror to her life. And part of that courage and honesty is finally boldly saying, Roy is not my person.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:03] Well Angela, earlier in this episode. Pam declares that being back with Roy shows maturity and dignity. Remember?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:14] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:14] And she’s like, Oh, I hope that didn’t sound braggy. But when she hears this from Gil and Oscar, she’s being confronted with the fact that getting back with Roy does not show dignity or honesty or courage.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:31] Yeah, and I feel like it’s one of these beautiful moments on our show where, you know, on the one hand, we’re talking about her art. But on the other hand, for Pam, it’s like this self realization about her choices in her life.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:46] Well, you kind of think that it can’t get lower for Pam because her only two visitors have been Roy and his brother, and Oscar and Gil. And then she’s standing there alone. The evening is winding down. She starts to take her art off the wall. But then Michael walks in.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:08] And we hear, “Pam-caso”. And you’re like, oh, no. Oh, no. Is this gonna be good or bad? He’s, he’s started off with “Pam-caso”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:18] Yeah. It’s like, wow. And I think that’s Pam’s reaction. Pam’s like, “Oh, Michael, you came”. And, but it’s kind of like, I don’t even know if I can do-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:28] This.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:29] But Michael is immediately just so taken with her art. And some of this is because of what he’s been through today. You know, Michael doesn’t know what Pam has been through and Pam doesn’t know what Michael’s been through. But in this moment, these two human beings are coming together and they heal one another.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:52] Yeah, yeah. They’re coming together a little hurt and broken from the day. And this is such a beautiful scene, Jenna. I just love all the beats of it. I love how excited Michael is. I love how moved Pam is by his excitement. And he sees that her car and his car, she painted both of them. And it’s just such a sweet scene.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:14] We had a lot of people write in Mary Reph, Soraya Garlip, Madison Schnurple, Stacy Doll and Layla Baroka all asked, “Jenna, how did you prepare for the level of emotion you had to play in this scene when Michael shows up and tells Pam that he’s proud of her? Did you stay in that emotion during the breaks? And if not, was it hard to get back between takes”? Guys, I will tell you, I didn’t have to prepare much for this because my scene partner was Steve Carell. And the relationship that I had with Steve in real life, and I think, Angela, this is a little bit for you too. He was someone I looked up to in the way that you look up to a mentor or a parent. And I admired him so much. So just to have him look at me and say, “I’m proud of you”. I just started crying.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:18] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:19] His sincerity, and his truth in saying it. He’s a wonderful actor. And it was easy. Easy.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:30] He’s just such a special person. So to have moments like that with him. The emotion is pretty ready to go.
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:38] I did this appearance on Busy Philipps’ talk show.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:43] On “Busy Tonight”. I remember.
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:46] Yeah. And it was, it was like around my birthday. And she had secretly called people from “The Office” to send in gifts for me. And you sent in a shirt with a loaf of bread on it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:58] Here’s the crazy thing. She reached out to me. She was like, “Ang, I want to do this. What do you think”? I said, “I. I am literally online buying her a T-shirt with a loaf of bread on it”. And she was like, “Oh my god. Can we have that”?
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:13] So it was this total surprise. And I get all these presents and this whole time that I’ve been doing this talk show appearance, the entire time there has been a giant box sitting on the set.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:24] For like 20 minutes. Right?
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:26] 20 minutes. Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:28] Easily.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:28] And at the end of the segment, she says, “Well, we have one last gift for you”. And it’s this giant box and the box pops open. And Steve Carell pops out of the box. First of all, it, I was so scared because I wasn’t expecting a human being to come out of the box. And then as soon as I saw that it was Steve. I just, like, immediately burst into tears. He had sat in a box for like 20 minutes while I droned on, giving this interview just to surprise me for my birthday. I don’t know. It’s like that’s Steve, you guys. It was such a just generous like kind, loving thing to do. So you just have to, that’s how he’s always been. So in this moment, shooting the scene with him or any emotional scene with him. It’s all just right there.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:20] I love that so much, Jenna. I hope people can still watch that because that moment is so sweet and you start to cry. And Steve is smiling and, and you guys hug and you say. “How long have you been in there”? And he’s like, “For a while”. Because they had to set that box before you came out.
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:39] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:40] So he was there before the interview and through the whole interview.
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:43] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:44] Well, we asked Brent about the art show and how they created this moment between Michael and Pam and, Jenna, you might want to buckle in because get ready for a love fest from Brent Forrester.
BRENT FORRESTER [01:02:59] When people ask me what is my favorite episode of TV that I have ever written, I always say “Business School”. And partly it’s because the episode is so nicely designed. It’s got that big comedy C story with the Bat and the Vampire. It’s got a big comedy performance story with Michael going to Business School, but above all, it has this tremendous emotional story with Pam’s art show. I think that what is happening in Pam’s art show is one of those wonderful coincidences of the experience of the writer, me, and the actress, Jenna, coming together. If you try to be an artist of any kind, a writer, an actress, any artist at all, you have to believe in yourself so profoundly. And inevitably there will come moments of failure where your belief in yourself is dashed. And it is so painful and unforgettable when it happens to a human being. And I think it’s really what Jenna is expressing at the end of this episode. If you read her tremendous book, “An Actor’s Life”, which is both an instructional manual and a riveting autobiography, you will learn that Jenna Fischer spent seven years trying to break into the business of acting. At the end of seven years, she felt that she had failed. She packed up her car and she decided she was going to return home to Missouri. She was only persuaded to stay by her acting coach and her manager, who said, “Please Jenna spend one more season trying out for TV”. And that’s when she got “The Office”. But that experience of terrible defeat is something that I believe she never forgot. And it’s what she’s expressing at the end of this episode. Steve Carell says that when he watches “Business School” that moment where Michael Scott hugs Pam and there’s a close on her face, Steve says he can see five different emotions play through Jenny’s face in that performance. It is heartbreak and it is gratitude. It is just the whole human experience wrapped up in a single take. It’s a tremendous performance. And it’s part of why I will always be so grateful that I got to write this episode for one of my favorite actresses of all time, Jenna Fischer.
JENNA FISCHER [01:05:06] Oh, my gosh, Brent.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:07] What do you say after that? That is the most beautiful thing ever. Like Jenna, that is so lovely.
JENNA FISCHER [01:05:17] You know what? I am going to save that and I’m going to listen to that any time I am having a bad day because that really, thank you, that lifts me up.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:29] Jenna, I have been at all of your big life moments. Really, I have. I have heard toasts and speeches about you. And that’s probably the best. I’ve, I was at your wedding. Brent should have given a toast at your wedding.
JENNA FISCHER [01:05:44] Clearly. Clearly.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:46] Oh my gosh. He like recapped your book and your whole life experience. And then what Steve said was so beautiful. I mean, Jenna, Brent was going on for so long. He ran out of air. Did you hear at the end he had to go [gasp]? He was so passionate talking about you.
JENNA FISCHER [01:06:03] Everything he said is true. There’s one thing I never actually packed up my car and said I was going to leave. But I did say, I called my managers after seven years of failures and said I’ve decided to become a vet technician. I had signed up. It was a two year program. I’d been doing some animal rescue and I was going to do it full time. And I wanted my vet tech license so that I could administer medicines. And so I was like, I’m, I’m out of here. And it is true that my manager and my acting coach sort of yelled at me and they were like, What did you think an acting career was? You thought it was just a bunch of ups, just a bunch of, just a bunch of successes? No, it’s little successes followed by many failures. This is what being an actor is. And it’s true what Brent says too, which is that I did channel a lot of those struggling years into my performance for Pam. I literally sat at a reception desk and dreamed of being an artist. I have done that. I did it for seven years. So I deeply, deeply felt Pam’s longing.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:10] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:11] Brent also sent us in an audio clip where he discussed just the overall story for this episode with Pam and Michael and why he thinks that it resonates so much with people. And here’s what he had to say about that.
BRENT FORRESTER [01:07:26] I remember before I was sent off to write this episode, I got into a big debate with Greg Daniels, the show creator, about the story of Pam’s art show. And I at the time thought of myself as a sophisticated storyteller. And I took the position that this story did not work because I said to Greg, a story is about a protagonist pursuing a goal, overcoming obstacles, and in the end, accomplishing that goal. And in this case, Pam’s goal is to be respected as an artist. But when Michael Scott buys her painting at the end, it doesn’t resolve her problem because she does not respect Michael Scott’s taste. Ipso facto, her problem is not resolved and the story does not work. And I remember Greg saying to me, Brent, this is a sophisticated story with a sophisticated ending. It would be like this. Suppose you, Brent were the protagonist and your goal was to impress me with your storytelling abilities. But you said something so stupid in the breaking of this story that I fired you and sent you home. You went home miserable, not having accomplished your goal, but your family dog came up to you, cuddled with you on the couch and put its head on your lap. This would be an emotional resolution and consolation, even though your stated goal was not achieved. Greg was so right about this and it was so funny the way he put it. You know, Greg, his body of work is characterized by these sophisticated endings, where the character does not get what they think they want, but still gets what they emotionally need at the end. And it’s part of the reason why I’m so grateful to have worked on this show and worked with Greg Daniels, who taught me so many priceless lessons about storytelling.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:02] Jenna, we both feel like we know Greg. We’ve known him a long time. But when I hear these stories from the writers’ room, it’s this whole new perspective on Greg. And man, I am just more and more impressed with him and how he can convey a thought or explain the dynamics between human relationships. And he’s so flippin’ smart.
JENNA FISCHER [01:09:23] It’s so true. And it is such a sophisticated way to tell a story. I mean, they’ve written songs about that idea. You don’t get what you want, but you get what you need.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:33] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:09:34] And that is what happens in this story.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:37] Yeah. It’s so layered.
JENNA FISCHER [01:09:39] Pam and Michael heal one another and give one another what they need. Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:45] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:09:45] Someone to say, “I’m proud of you”, and someone to show Michael, I guess, what the power of a piece of paper is. That’s what he says. It’s so sweet.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:54] Well, and also just to be appreciated. Pam really appreciated that he came there. And. And it’s a reminder for Michael that, you know, business is people and you can’t cancel people.
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:07] That’s right. We had a question from Amber, Julie, Aubry and Rowit. “Did anyone end up keeping the picture of ‘The Office’ that Pam made”? Yep, me. We talked about that in “Casino Night” with John.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:23] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:24] That I got to keep that. And I have it hanging down in my entryway of my house.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:30] And a little thank you to Phil Shea for making that happen for Jenna. Well, we wrap up this episode finding out that Ryan has not lost his job, that Michael has just moved him to the annex, which is such a punishment because now he’s going to have to share a desk pod with Kelly.
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:49] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:49] And Kelly is so excited. She’s so thrilled. And here’s a little tidbit from the DVD commentary. Brent said he went into Mindy’s office and he said, Mindy, here’s the scene. And he pitched the scene to her and she began to just improvise as Kelly how Kelly would respond to this news. And Brent just wrote it all down verbatim. So he was like, he said Mindy is so great at channeling Kelly that you literally could go in and pitch to her a Kelly moment and she’d be like, oh, she would totally say this.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:22] I love that. Well, we had some fan questions about this, Hayley Fortino, Jillian, Audrey and Marielle all asked, “Was Michael moving Ryan to the annex as a punishment, a way to get Ryan back out of the bullpen so that he wasn’t as visible and could be in the writers’ room some more”?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:43] I’m sure.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:44] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:45] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:45] Because now our three writers were all back there. Paul, B.J. and Mindy.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:51] No, it was very smart. Well-.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:53] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:54] Jenna, there are some deleted scenes, you know, in this episode that are really fantastic. I haven’t talked too much about them, but there are two that are sort of interesting. And I thought I’d share a little bit with you about that.
JENNA FISCHER [01:12:06] Great.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:06] And we had some fan questions. So here’s the first one. And Ryan Moberly, Jamie Kernes, Ali, Giancarlo and Jamie Miller all wrote in and they said, “In the deleted scenes, Karen attempts to rip down Pam’s art show flier in the kitchen”. All right. They say, “I know there’s so many people that say that Karen didn’t deserve all of this hate because her only crime was not being Pam, but can we please discuss”?
JENNA FISCHER [01:12:34] Yes. So what happens, Angela?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:37] OK. Well, Karen is in the kitchen, there’s a flier for Pam’s art show and she looks around and she reaches up to grab it, to pull it off the wall. And then I think Oscar walks in and she just quickly just leaves. And we don’t really know anything more than that, just a little glimpse. But, you know, everyone, everyone in the office knew about it. I don’t know that she was being that vindictive. Maybe she just wanted to see the details. But you could say maybe she didn’t want Jim to see it. Maybe she didn’t want Jim to want to go.
JENNA FISCHER [01:13:11] Maybe she wasn’t being vindictive. I mean, she was going to take it off the wall. I think this was a good cut because I don’t, I don’t like this side of Karen. I’m glad that this was cut from her story.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:25] Me too. Because Karen was already so vilified. She didn’t need to lean into it, you know?
JENNA FISCHER [01:13:30] Yeah. I agree.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:31] So I think that was a good scene to have deleted. Now, here’s another deleted scene that Kate Flannery and I talked about. And Susan Lewis and Kyle Meeker wrote in and said, “There’s a deleted scene where Meredith is telling Oscar a joke about Pam and Roy. The joke is almost all bleeped out. What was the joke”?
JENNA FISCHER [01:13:50] Oh, no. This is like us doing “Laundry and Betrayal”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:52] I know, I know. So I said, “Kate, what was that all about”? I went and watched the scene and the deleted scene is Angela’s in the kitchen and Meredith’s in there and she’s like, “Hey, why did Pam leave the wedding with Roy”? And I’m just like, “Would you stop it”? And I leave the kitchen. I am not going to entertain this. Then Oscar comes out of the bathroom. Meredith goes, “Hey, Oscar, why did Pam leave the wedding with Roy”? And Oscar is like, “Meredith, I’m not gonna get into this. I think gossip is like harmful”. And then Meredith can’t even contain herself. And she starts to tell the rest of her joke and she kind of does a gesture with her hands by her crotch area. And it just is like because Roy Bu-bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep. And then Oscar’s like, “Gross”. And Meredith cackles and says, “I know”. And leaves the kitchen. And Kate said, Kate said that in the script. All it said was Meredith tells an off color joke to Oscar. That’s it. And it didn’t say anything else. Is that true, Jenna?
JENNA FISCHER [01:14:59] Yes. I checked the script and it says Meredith has one scripted line. Then the script says “Meredith says Roy, then long bleeped sentence while gesturing in an unusual way ambiguously that could be totally nasty or could be something quite different. Hard to tell, really. There is no visible lip flap”. And then the script says, “Oscar says, ‘That’s disgusting’”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:26] So I said, “Kate, do you remember what you said”? And she said, “No, I, I don’t remember”. She said, “But, you know, I remember I just wanted to try to shock them. And my dad owned a bar in Philadelphia. And so I just tried to throw out some of those bar jokes I had heard”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:42] Oh, I love that. I love that. Well, guys, that was “Business School”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:46] Yes. Thank you so much to Brent for sending in audio clips and Kate as well for telling us everything about that bat.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:55] Yes. And I also want to tell you guys, Brent is an amazing teacher and he’s currently teaching an online class called “Writing the TV Comedy Script”. It is such a bargain. So if you have, like, an idea for a TV pilot or a TV show that you’ve been dying to write, you have to check out this class. You can find it at BrentForrester.com.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:18] Well, thanks, you guys, so much for listening. We hope you have a fantastic week.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:22] Yeah, we’ll see you next week for some “Cocktails”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:26] Oooh. Oh, Jenna. One last question for you.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:29] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:30] Do you know what Pam’s art show was called?
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:32] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:34] “Artists for Art”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:35] Did Roy write that?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:37] He did.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:39] We’ll see you next week, guys.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:40] Bye. Thank you for listening to “Office Lades”. “Office Lades” is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:50] Our producer is Codi Fischer, our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer, and our associate producer is Aynsely Bubbico.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:57] Our theme song is “Rubber Tree” by Creed Bratton.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:59] For ad free versions of “Office Ladies”, go to StitcherPremium.com. For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium, use code “Office”.