February 18, 2020
PPC, Yankee Swap, and the Tea Pot, that’s right, this week we’re breaking down the Christmas Party episode of The Office, and it’s a big one! The ladies chat about British director Charles McDougall coming on for this episode, the process behind choosing the right gift for Jim to give Pam, and “what are the right type of lights for a Christmas tree?”. Then, Jenna and Angela break out their old journals for more insights into what was going on when they were filming this episode, and of course we couldn’t not talk about that iPod and Michael’s famous Yankee Swap line.
16 — Christmas Party
JENNA [00:00:04] I’m Jenna Fischer.
ANGELA [00:00:05] 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 re-watch 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. Hi, everyone.
ANGELA [00:00:25] Ho, ho, ho.
JENNA [00:00:26] This is a big episode.
ANGELA [00:00:29] It’s the Christmas episode!
JENNA [00:00:30] It’s the Christmas episode, the very first Christmas episode of “The Office”. Season 2, episode 10. You know, it’s not, we call it the Christmas episode.
ANGELA [00:00:41] Yeah, we do.
JENNA [00:00:42] Or Christmas episode, but it is technically called “Christmas Party”.
ANGELA [00:00:46] What?
JENNA [00:00:46] Yeah, that’s the name of this episode.
ANGELA [00:00:47] I don’t believe you.
JENNA [00:00:48] “Christmas Party”.
ANGELA [00:00:49] I don’t believe you. No, I’m kidding. We did. We call it, we call the Christmas episode.
JENNA [00:00:53] We call it The Christmas episode.
ANGELA [00:00:54] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:01:02] It looks like you’re holding like a mini-phonebook.
JENNA [00:01:04] I feel like I’m holding a one-act play or something. It’s very large. And when I came in today, I will share that I refused to speak to anyone because I said I was saving it for the mic. And I’m saving it for the mic.
ANGELA [00:01:13] She did. I tried to make small talk with her.
JENNA [00:01:15] No.
ANGELA [00:01:15] And she’s like, “I’m saving it for the mic”. I was like, “Okay, lady, you do you. I just, I just gonna tell you, I liked your hair”.
JENNA [00:01:23] I, well, you got a little pigtails today and that are real cute.
ANGELA [00:01:25] I have plats.
JENNA [00:01:27] What are plats?
ANGELA [00:01:28] That’s what they say in the U.K. They’re like, “Look at your plats”.
JENNA [00:01:31] Oh, yeah. They also called bangs “fringe”.
ANGELA [00:01:33] I know. I like it.
JENNA [00:01:34] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:01:35] I don’t know if you noticed my side of the table.
JENNA [00:01:37] Totally filled with notecards.
ANGELA [00:01:39] By my side of the table, you guys, I’ve made a buffet of notecards. Like I actually have to be aware. Like Sam is saying the same for the microphone because I’ve so many cards I keeps, I’m gonna have to slide back and forth.
JENNA [00:01:49] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:01:49] Down my buffet of cards.
JENNA [00:01:51] You love a buffet.
ANGELA [00:01:52] I love a buffet.
JENNA [00:01:54] Even if it’s notecards.
ANGELA [00:01:55] Give me that Vegas buffet.
JENNA [00:01:56] All right. “Christmas Party” written by Mike Schur and directed by Charles McDougall. Here’s a synopsis. It’s Christmas at Dunder Mifflin. Today is the day of the office holiday party. The group originally plans to have a Secret Santa gift exchange. But when Michael doesn’t like his gift, he turns it into a Yankee swap. This causes a multitude of confusion and hurt feelings. And Michael’s solution is then to go out and buy booze, which is against company rules, and to try to get the party back on track.
ANGELA [00:02:28] Fifteen bottles of vodka. That’ll do it.
JENNA [00:02:33] So much! Fast Fact Number One, as I’ve already said, it’s our very first Christmas episode, but we filmed it nowhere near Christmas.
ANGELA [00:02:40] No, you never do. Cause you have to stay ahead.
JENNA [00:02:43] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:02:43] So you’re always it’s like Christmas in July kind of thing.
JENNA [00:02:46] Well, we had a fan question from Sarah McGreen. “Did U.S. cast members ever have Christmas parties or do you a Yankee swap? And if so, what was the best, funniest gift someone brought”? A lot of people also asked if we exchanged gifts as a cast. Not at the holidays. We would do what’s called a “Wrap Gift”, which happens at the end of the season. And we would usually finish filming our seasons in like what? April?
ANGELA [00:03:10] Yeah.
JENNA [00:03:11] And then the cast would get together and we’d pool our money and we would buy the crew. Every member of the crew would get a gift from the cast, and then sometimes cast members would give each other wrap gifts.
ANGELA [00:03:21] Little individual gifts.
JENNA [00:03:22] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:03:23] I did host a Yankee Swap Christmas party and I did it every year for a few years and I actually want to bring it back. I took a few years off because just, you know, life, kids and, you know, stuff like that.
JENNA [00:03:34] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:03:34] But I hosted a Yankee Swap party every year and-.
JENNA [00:03:37] Oh, yes, you do.
ANGELA [00:03:38] And it was a big party and everyone would come and it got so rowdy.
JENNA [00:03:41] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:03:42] My favorite person to have at a Yankee Swap party.
JENNA [00:03:45] Yes.
ANGELA [00:03:45] Is Oscar Nunez.
JENNA [00:03:46] I was going to say Oscar.
ANGELA [00:03:47] Oscar. He makes up chants like, like I remember one of the gifts was like a really lusciously thick fake ponytail.
JENNA [00:03:56] Uh huh.
ANGELA [00:03:56] That you ended up with.
JENNA [00:03:57] I took that home.
ANGELA [00:03:58] Yeah.
JENNA [00:03:59] I took home the fake ponytail.
ANGELA [00:03:59] And Oscar, like started chants like “Ponytail, pony”! I mean they’re not really creative chants, but you’d be surprised how much they catch on.
JENNA [00:04:08] I remember one year Lee brought a small hand ax.
ANGELA [00:04:12] That thing was-.
JENNA [00:04:13] Super popular.
ANGELA [00:04:14] The hot trade. Yes.
JENNA [00:04:15] I want to put it out there, guys. If you’re going to a Yankee Swap, consider bringing a small ax.
ANGELA [00:04:20] Didn’t the next year, Lee brought a brand new water hose?
JENNA [00:04:24] A garden hose.
ANGELA [00:04:25] A garden hose.
JENNA [00:04:25] That was also a hot item.
ANGELA [00:04:27] Also really popular.
JENNA [00:04:28] Just like practical household items that maybe you need, but you haven’t been buying yourself.
ANGELA [00:04:33] Well, the next Yankee Swap party I have, I’m actually going to include the kids because those were adult only.
JENNA [00:04:38] Oh yeah.
ANGELA [00:04:38] And I want to do a family Yankee swap.
JENNA [00:04:40] OK.
ANGELA [00:04:41] Like and invite. The kids are such at the age where they’re really getting into it.
JENNA [00:04:44] Oh, yeah.
ANGELA [00:04:45] We went to one last year. But I want you to know, Jenna, for all the people that used to come. So at the end of the night, there would be these crap gifts that people would not want. And a friend of mine would, unbeknownst to me, hide them around my house.
JENNA [00:04:59] I remember this.
ANGELA [00:05:00] And I would find them months later because he really hid them.
JENNA [00:05:04] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:05:05] Like up like sort of on a top-shelf by like the spare batteries would be like a weird porcelain clown.
JENNA [00:05:13] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:05:14] You know, and Zach Woods brought this gift and he said, “Angela, I am the failure of Yankee Swap” because he brought an Egyptian Sa-.
JENNA [00:05:24] The King, the King Tut thing.
ANGELA [00:05:25] It was a King Tut miniature sarcophagus.
JENNA [00:05:29] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:05:29] That opened up and you could put things inside it. And I said-.
JENNA [00:05:33] I fought for that.
ANGELA [00:05:34] I thought it was really great.
JENNA [00:05:36] I loved that.
ANGELA [00:05:37] Well, it got traded a bunch and he was like, “I don’t think anyone likes it”. I was like, “Zach, you’re wrong”. I know I’m talking a lot about my Yankee Swap party guys, but I was really inspired.
JENNA [00:05:45] Well, this is a side note about Zach Woods, you guys. He played Gabe in later seasons.
ANGELA [00:05:49] Yes.
JENNA [00:05:49] He became a good friend of ours. When my son was born. He did the same thing. He gave me a gift and he said, I’m so sorry. I’m not good at buying gifts for children. I don’t have kids yet. I don’t know. And it was this amazing astronaut costume that we still have today and used for dress up. I think he’s better at buying gifts than he thinks.
ANGELA [00:06:06] I think you are, Zach. Just F.Y.I.
JENNA [00:06:08] All right. Fast Fact Number Two: this episode was directed by Charles McDougall. Oh, guys, do we have stories about Charles McDougall?
ANGELA [00:06:16] I mean.
JENNA [00:06:17] First of all, he was British.
ANGELA [00:06:18] Yes.
JENNA [00:06:18] He’s British.
ANGELA [00:06:19] Oh Jenna, don’t do the accent.
JENNA [00:06:20] I’m bringing out the accent. Guys, I did my spin bike and now I’m speaking like a Brit. He had directed before us, the HBO series “Rome”, which if anyone saw it, is about the Roman Empire and the killing of Julius Caesar.
ANGELA [00:06:36] It is epic.
JENNA [00:06:37] It’s also brutal.
ANGELA [00:06:39] It’s brutal. They shot in Malta. There was chariots and horses and people getting impaled.
JENNA [00:06:45] Yes. And so he went from that to our quiet little Dunder-Mifflin office. A little Christmas party.
ANGELA [00:06:53] A little Christmas party. And you guys, the directors that had directed us prior to him were Ken Kwapis, who might be the quietest human on the planet.
JENNA [00:07:01] Correct.
ANGELA [00:07:01] He says, you know, when he wants to start a scene, he just says, “Go ahead”.
JENNA [00:07:06] And when he gives a note, he’ll say, “Jenna, you know what? No, just go ahead”.
ANGELA [00:07:12] Yeah.
JENNA [00:07:13] That’s Ken Kwapis.
ANGELA [00:07:14] Yeah.
JENNA [00:07:15] You all heard Paul Feig.
ANGELA [00:07:16] Paul Feig is like, “Hey, gang, how’s it going? Hey, we’re gonna have fun today. OK. Action”.
JENNA [00:07:21] Yeah. Charles McDougall rolls in. We’re all sitting at our desks.
ANGELA [00:07:26] Quietly. About to start the first scene.
JENNA [00:07:28] And he goes.
ANGELA [00:07:29] Wait. Brace yourself.
JENNA [00:07:30] Brace yourself.
ANGELA [00:07:32] Brace yourself.
JENNA [00:07:32] He goes, “Actors. ACTION!”.
ANGELA [00:07:37] Yes.
JENNA [00:07:37] We.
ANGELA [00:07:39] I thought Phyllis peed herself a little.
JENNA [00:07:41] I. I tinkled. I tinkled. I mean, I was terrified.
ANGELA [00:07:44] I jumped straight up. He was like, “And ACTION”!
JENNA [00:07:47] And we were like, what’s happening?
ANGELA [00:07:48] What’s happening?
JENNA [00:07:49] Is Tom Cruise busting through the ceiling? At any minute?
ANGELA [00:07:51] I’m telling you that first day. The first moment of every scene, we all looked like deer in headlights.
JENNA [00:07:57] We would flinch.
ANGELA [00:07:58] We would flinch. And then we would go in the scene. But then you guys, we just grew to love this guy.
JENNA [00:08:03] Oh.
ANGELA [00:08:04] He would say things like, we’d be working on a scene and he’d be like, “All right, you know, let’s go again. Actors nearly there”.
JENNA [00:08:14] Yes.
ANGELA [00:08:14] “Nearly there”. And then-.
JENNA [00:08:16] He one time, he one time said he said, “All right, everyone, that was good for cameras. Actors, better this time”.
ANGELA [00:08:23] Yeah.
JENNA [00:08:24] We were like, “Oh ok”.
ANGELA [00:08:25] And then as we-.
JENNA [00:08:26] We’ll try to be better this time.
ANGELA [00:08:28] As we got into the episode more and the party started, he would walk up to me to be like, “Angela, remember, you’re really pissed. You’re really pissed now”. And he sort of. And I’m gonna get into it. It’s on, it’s on like four or five note cards. But he sort of highlighted the level of I called it “Angela’s pissed off-ness”.
JENNA [00:08:47] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:08:48] And it had, like it was like a building to a crescendo. And so towards the end he would just yell before a big take in the party. He’d be like, “All right everyone happy. Angela, pissed. And action”.
JENNA [00:08:59] Yes. It was amazing. It was amazing. I just think it’s so interesting that he went from filming all these chariots to filming people in a circle.
ANGELA [00:09:10] Yeah.
JENNA [00:09:11] Sitting in a circle. What was that like for him?
ANGELA [00:09:14] On desk chairs.
JENNA [00:09:15] Yes. Okay. Fast Fact Number Three: Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.
ANGELA [00:09:22] We meet Phyllis’ boyfriend.
JENNA [00:09:25] Yes. Her new boyfriend. He works across the hall. He’s played by Bobby Ray Shafer. He went on to do 24 episodes of “The Office”, including our finale. So here’s a little tidbit. Mike Schur, our writer, said that the way that Bob Vance always introduces himself as “Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration” is based on a friend of his. Actor, Hayes MacArthur, who he says for years would introduce himself as “Hayes MacArthur, Chicago, Illinois”. “Hayes MacArthur, Chicago, Illinois”. You guys, you might know Hayes. He would later go on to star with Rashida Jones on “Angie Tribeca”, which was created by Steve and Nancy Carell!
ANGELA [00:10:02] Small world.
JENNA [00:10:03] Small world. But I feel comfortable sharing that story about Hayes because I know him as well. And Mike said it on the DVD commentary. So he shared that with us on set. But since he put it out there, I was like, well, Mike, you already said is so I’m gonna share it here.
ANGELA [00:10:16] Yeah. Well, you know what? I think that some people do that. I mean, I know in my hometown, you know, I’m from a very small town in Texas. And there are people in my town that we no one ever says just their first name. I don’t know why, but my mom’s really good friend. Her first name is Sue and her last name is Dean. But everyone in the town calls her Sue Dean.
JENNA [00:10:35] Oh, yeah.
ANGELA [00:10:36] Hi Sue Dean. How are you, Sue Dean? It’d be like, “Jenna Fischer. How are you, Jenna Fischer”. “I’m good, Jenna Fischer”. I mean, it’s so, there are some people whose names just, you just do that.
JENNA [00:10:45] Yeah. Well we had some fans write in and ask why does he always say, “Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration”. It was inspired by one of Mike’s friends.
ANGELA [00:10:53] I love it.
JENNA [00:10:54] Many people. Before we go to break, many people wrote in to tell us that Mindy’s hair is down. I’ve I’ve maybe not received so many-.
ANGELA [00:11:03] In this episode?
JENNA [00:11:04] Notes. In this episode. It’s down.
ANGELA [00:11:05] No, it’s partially up. It’s partially up.
JENNA [00:11:09] Oh, well, Jennifer Dinette said that Mindy’s hair is down.
ANGELA [00:11:13] Jennifer Dinette, I’m gonna send you screengrab. I’m gonna-.
JENNA [00:11:17] I mean, maybe she means down because it’s not in the French twist.
ANGELA [00:11:20] It’s not the French twist. But she has had a few-.
JENNA [00:11:23] It is. It’s half up half.
ANGELA [00:11:24] She’s had a few half up, half downs. But I would say there’s more down than up. Jennifer, there’s more down than up.
JENNA [00:11:31] That’s what she said?
ANGELA [00:11:32] Well, I hope she doesn’t say that.
JENNA [00:11:34] Well.
ANGELA [00:11:34] We would hope there’s more up than down.
JENNA [00:11:41] All right. Let’s go to break.
ANGELA [00:11:42] All right. So let’s dive in here. We’ve got the cold open. In the very first few seconds, Pam is stuffing the Christmas envelopes. the Christmas photo.
JENNA [00:11:49] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:11:49] Right?
JENNA [00:11:50] She’s doing the Christmas card mass mail.
ANGELA [00:11:51] The Christmas card. I did this at 1-800-Dentist.
JENNA [00:11:54] Oh, you did the 1-800-Dentist company Christmas mailing?
ANGELA [00:11:58] I did. I volunteered. And you got to hop off the phone so you didn’t have to talk to people about like their rotten teeth.
JENNA [00:12:03] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:12:04] And I would go in the mailroom and they’d be playing Christmas music and I’d have a cup of tea and I would just stuff envelopes all day. And I was so happy.
JENNA [00:12:11] Oh, yeah. I did many, many mass mailings as an administrative assistant. I’d have to bind things. Copy on both sides, collate, bind and mail.
ANGELA [00:12:22] I am very happy doing those things. Okay. But the photo was our cast photo that we took. Our Christmas photo.
JENNA [00:12:30] It was not a Christmas photo.
ANGELA [00:12:32] What?
JENNA [00:12:33] Oh, yeah. It was I. Listen, I’ve maybe got a little too obsessed with it, but I thought I recognized it.
ANGELA [00:12:40] I screengrabbed it.
JENNA [00:12:41] It was- me too. It’s our season one publicity photo from the pilot.
ANGELA [00:12:47] You’re right, cause I’m sitting in the front. Oh my gosh, you’re-.
JENNA [00:12:50] And we’re not wearing any Christmas stuff.
ANGELA [00:12:51] Oh, Jenna. Good catch. I, I totally just thought it was our Christmas picture.
JENNA [00:12:56] Well, we had a fan question from Pazookki. “Did anyone keep a copy of the holiday card Pam is stuffing into the envelopes at the beginning”? Well, I don’t have a copy of the card, but I have a copy of that picture hanging in my office. And I examined it against the card that Pam is putting into the envelopes. Well, remember in the pilot.
ANGELA [00:13:18] Who’s my detective?
JENNA [00:13:19] Henriette. Thank you so much. CSI Office Ladies.
ANGELA [00:13:22] Henriette is in that photo.
JENNA [00:13:24] Henriette is in the photo on my wall because she was in the pilot. They photoshopped Kate’s head onto Henrietta’s body for the picture I’m stuffing into the envelope in this episode.
ANGELA [00:13:36] I really want that card. Dang it.
JENNA [00:13:39] Yeah, because I can see it’s Henriette’s hand on her hip in the sweater that’s hanging in my office. But Kate’s face.
ANGELA [00:13:47] Way to go, Jenna.
JENNA [00:13:49] So far we’ve covered one second of the episode that happens in the first one to three seconds. The next thing that happens is that Michael and Dwight enter with the tree. And it’s really way too big.
ANGELA [00:13:59] It’s way too big.
JENNA [00:14:00] It goes through the ceiling.
ANGELA [00:14:01] I feel like this is a little nod to “Christmas Vacation”.
JENNA [00:14:03] Yes.
ANGELA [00:14:04] You know, with Chevy Chase and that enormous tree.
JENNA [00:14:06] Yes. Well, do you remember when we were on set? About three or four times when they pushed it up, the ceiling tile actually fell down and would fall on Steve’s head. And then they’d have to brush him off with a little brush and fix his hair.
ANGELA [00:14:20] There was little pieces of white sort of like particle looking stuff all over the ground.
JENNA [00:14:26] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:14:26] Cause the ceiling kept busting apart.
JENNA [00:14:28] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:14:28] I loved that Kevin cuts the top of the Christmas tree with a paper trimmer.
JENNA [00:14:32] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:14:33] I thought that was such a nice touch.
JENNA [00:14:35] Well, it makes sense. It’s what we’d have.
ANGELA [00:14:37] It’s what we would have.
JENNA [00:14:38] Yeah. Okay. I did kind of an Angela thing.
ANGELA [00:14:40] What’s that? Did you drink rosé during the day?
JENNA [00:14:44] I did not, but I did. I. I wrote down everybody’s Christmas outfit.
ANGELA [00:14:49] I love this! So did I!
JENNA [00:14:50] You did?
ANGELA [00:14:51] Okay. Let’s do it. Let’s do it.
JENNA [00:14:53] Okay. All right. I noticed that Michael has a Christmas tie.
ANGELA [00:14:56] Yes, he does. It has a Santa on it and some snowmen. Go.
JENNA [00:14:58] Christmas tie Kevin.
ANGELA [00:15:00] Yes, snowmen wintery tree scene.
JENNA [00:15:02] All right. You and I both only have a Christmas pin and Christmas earrings.
ANGELA [00:15:09] You have Christmas ornament earrings. I have Christmas stocking earrings. And we both have a version of a Santa Claus pin.
JENNA [00:15:16] Interesting.
ANGELA [00:15:16] We’re dressed kind of similar.
JENNA [00:15:18] Very similarly.
ANGELA [00:15:19] What’s that about?
JENNA [00:15:20] I don’t know, but Phyllis has a full Christmas blouse and vest.
ANGELA [00:15:24] I love her Christmas vest. My sister’s a school teacher and she does that. Like at Christmas time. She wears all these Christmas sweaters and vests.
JENNA [00:15:30] You know, I love this stuff. I’ve got all of it. My mom back in St. Louis, Missouri. Every year she goes to the local art fairs and craft fairs and she sends me Christmas hoodies, Christmas vests, Christmas pajamas, Christmas, everything.
ANGELA [00:15:45] I mean, those earrings could have been yours because you’ve come to my house at Christmas and you always have on Christmas jewelry.
JENNA [00:15:50] I’ll tell you right now, I would never show up at a Christmas party in only Christmas earrings.
ANGELA [00:15:54] I just.
JENNA [00:15:55] I mean, that is, l-.
ANGELA [00:15:57] I know.
JENNA [00:15:58] I go all out.
ANGELA [00:15:59] You go all out.
JENNA [00:16:00] Oh, Oscar has a Christmas tie.
ANGELA [00:16:02] Oscar as a Christmas tie. Stanley has a red tie. So I guess that’s his, his attempt. Very Stanley. That’s as far as he would go.
JENNA [00:16:11] I am actually surprised he went that far.
ANGELA [00:16:13] I know.
JENNA [00:16:13] For Stanley. Also, Meredith has a crazy Christmas sweater.
ANGELA [00:16:17] Mm hmm.
JENNA [00:16:17] Yeah. See, if it were me, I would be Meredith or Phyllis showing up to your party. Full, full, full outfit.
ANGELA [00:16:23] I know. I’ve seen how you come to my party.
JENNA [00:16:24] All cheer.
ANGELA [00:16:25] I love it.
JENNA [00:16:26] All right. So in this scene that’s coming up, Jim reveals that he got Pam in Secret Santa.
ANGELA [00:16:33] He does. Can I? Listen, Jim fans. You’re probably not gonna like me for saying this. But at 2 minutes, 2 seconds in his talking head, he says he wants, you know, he got Pam for Secret Santa and he said because Pam wants a teapot so she can make tea at her desk.
JENNA [00:16:49] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:16:50] And I wrote, “W.T.F.” Who makes tea at their desk? She would go in the kitchen. What is she going to do? Go to the kitchen. Put the hot water in the teapot. Carry it back to her desk. Pour herself a cup of tea at her desk. She gonna-.
JENNA [00:17:05] Exactly.
ANGELA [00:17:06] She’s gonna carry that teapot from the kitchen.
JENNA [00:17:08] What part of this is confusing you?
ANGELA [00:17:10] I think is ridiculous.
JENNA [00:17:12] OK, here’s her other option. OK.
ANGELA [00:17:14] Yeah.
JENNA [00:17:14] She goes into the kitchen.
ANGELA [00:17:16] Yeah.
JENNA [00:17:16] Oh, I see the breakdown. I see how your brain is tracking it and why it doesn’t make sense. And also because I know you. And you just put the tea bag right into the cup. Which is a totally acceptable way to make-.
ANGELA [00:17:27] I know some people let it, let it seep.
JENNA [00:17:29] Steep.
ANGELA [00:17:31] Steep.
JENNA [00:17:34] Steep. With a “t”.
ANGELA [00:17:35] Let it seep on in there. You leave it in your pot.
JENNA [00:17:39] That’s right.
ANGELA [00:17:39] I said that the scene could be called something else.
JENNA [00:17:41] What could it be called?
ANGELA [00:17:42] Instead of “what’s inside the teapot “? It could be called “Jim’s got it bad”.
JENNA [00:17:48] Oh.
ANGELA [00:17:48] Because he saved two sauce packets from a few years ago.
JENNA [00:17:53] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:17:54] That’s someone who got it really bad. OK.
JENNA [00:17:57] I, I, yeah. Yeah, I feel like that could’ve been written a little differently where Jim could have said a couple of years ago Pam did this thing with the hot sauce and therefore I am putting a packet of hot sauce in there. The fact that he saved the two packets of hot sauce-.
ANGELA [00:18:13] For years. For years.
JENNA [00:18:15] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:18:16] He loves you. He loves you. OK. Go on.
JENNA [00:18:18] He definitely does. All right. Well, I do have a lot to say about the Teapot. So first of all, Phil Shea offered me a variety of teapots before we started shooting. In many colors and I picked the teal.
ANGELA [00:18:31] I love it.
JENNA [00:18:31] Yeah, I don’t know.
ANGELA [00:18:32] Little pop of color.
JENNA [00:18:33] The writers also said that picking what this gift would be, the fact that it would be a teapot provided a major challenge because they needed a gift that could hide other gifts that was really personal. And that would be very stressful. When Dwight takes it away from Pam, it could only cost $20 and it had to be something that Dwight really wanted. And they said it was not easy. They spent a very long time because they knew plot wise what had to happen, that Jim gives Pam a gift filled with secret treasures, that Dwight also wants to have that cost under $20. It took them a very long time to come up with teapot.
ANGELA [00:19:13] For that reason alone. OK, fine. Pam can make her tea at the counter.
JENNA [00:19:18] Make her tea at her desk.
ANGELA [00:19:19] Because when Dwight puts it in his nose, I know that’s later. But it’s so perfect.
JENNA [00:19:24] It is.
ANGELA [00:19:25] It’s so perfect.
JENNA [00:19:26] I mean, they nailed it. Right?
ANGELA [00:19:28] They nailed it.
JENNA [00:19:28] And now this teapot is famous. I mean, all the time people are using this teapot idea to propose to their loved ones. I see it all the time in my Instagram. People are tagging me. It’s always charming to me.
ANGELA [00:19:40] It’s always so sweet. It is very thoughtful.
JENNA [00:19:43] So we mentioned the things that he’s putting into the teapot. Here’s a fan question. Taylor Reling said, “What is the significance of the pencil that Jim puts in the teapot”?
ANGELA [00:19:54] Yeah. He said the story is too long.
JENNA [00:19:56] So we have a deleted scene. And I remember shooting it. What Pam says when she picks up the pencil is she says, “Oh, my gosh, this is the pencil I threw at you during mini-golf “. What? When did Jim and Pam go play mini-golf?
ANGELA [00:20:14] Maybe the whole office went and played mini-golf? That seems like something Michael Scott would be like, “We’re going to play mini-golf and we’re going to raise money for my neighbors. Like whatever.
JENNA [00:20:24] Yeah. That’s all I can think of is that there was some office outing where they went, played mini-golf , and I guess Pam got all feisty and threw a pencil at him and he saved it. So that’s where the pencil is. And then, of course, he puts a card in the box and he says, “Because Christmas time is the time to tell people how you feel”.
ANGELA [00:20:46] Oh, yeah. That’s so loaded.
JENNA [00:20:48] I have PPC next.
ANGELA [00:20:49] Let’s hit some PPC. The Party Planning Committee.
JENNA [00:20:54] You know, Mike Schur’s also wrote the PPC in “The Alliance”. I think he likes the PPC.
ANGELA [00:20:58] Oh, he definitely likes the PPC. and their weird sort of power struggle. He loves it.
JENNA [00:21:05] Well, in this scene, we find out that Ryan has been drafted into the PPC.
ANGELA [00:21:11] I can’t believe that.
JENNA [00:21:12] I remember that.
ANGELA [00:21:13] I can’t believe that Angela Martin would recruit him, except that maybe she needed help, like someone setting up things and moving things and-.
JENNA [00:21:21] Well, the Christmas party is a big one.
ANGELA [00:21:22] It’s a big one.
JENNA [00:21:23] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:21:24] Yeah.
JENNA [00:21:24] But also, I noticed that Meredith is in there.
ANGELA [00:21:27] Yeah. No, it’s all hands on deck. She probably has a bigger crew than just her core crew.
JENNA [00:21:32] Well, that’s when Michael enters in his Santa’s beard. He throws down some cash because he wants a bigger, better party. And he reveals he has a digital camera and he will be taking photos.
ANGELA [00:21:43] Yeah. And he’s gonna put him in the newsletter. Most embarrassing one wins.
JENNA [00:21:46] Yes.
ANGELA [00:21:47] I want you guys to know when Steve came behind Phyllis and I. And he was like, “I want people making out” and he shoved our heads together and was like, “Blah blah blah blah”.
JENNA [00:21:55] That was an improv.
ANGELA [00:21:55] That was improv.
JENNA [00:21:56] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:21:57] Phyllis and I didn’t know that was coming. He just did it in the moment. I was really proud that neither of us started laughing.
JENNA [00:22:03] I’m proud.
ANGELA [00:22:03] I am so proud of myself because there were a few times in that scene. I almost broke and I was really fighting it.
JENNA [00:22:10] Oh, it’s also in the scene, Angela, that it’s revealed that Phyllis was in charge of getting the lights for the Christmas tree.
ANGELA [00:22:15] And she said she got the little ones.
JENNA [00:22:17] Yeah. And you have a reaction to that? Well, that’s not going to go over well later.
ANGELA [00:22:21] That is not going to go over.
JENNA [00:22:23] So I did. Like I said, I listened to the DVD commentary of this and Mike was really good on the commentary at breaking down some of his goals for the episode. And his goal for the episode was that Angela would get more and more and more stressed out every scene that we see her. And I think you can track that. Like as I was watching it again, I can totally see that.
ANGELA [00:22:45] I have five note cards called “Angela’s Pissed Off-ness”.
JENNA [00:22:49] Yes.
ANGELA [00:22:50] That I’m going to start with timecodes soon. Before we get into all that. I do have to point out because I was texting with Kim Ferry who did my hair for nine years on “The Office” last night. This is the Angela hair braid. That is my actual hair that she had me bend over and braid. And of course, my character would want to wear it to the Christmas party.
JENNA [00:23:10] Of course.
ANGELA [00:23:11] I feel like this was her special braid.
JENNA [00:23:13] For special occasions.
ANGELA [00:23:14] For special occasions. And while, we’re talking PPC, guys. I have to say, Pam. Pam would probably irk me to on this committee.
JENNA [00:23:25] What?
ANGELA [00:23:26] I mean, at four minutes, twenty-five seconds, Angela is trying to put a tablecloth on this table. Pam is just staring at her doing nothing. Not trying to grab for the tablecloth, help her spread it out. Anything. And Angela just looks at her and this just like, “Will you help me”?
JENNA [00:23:44] When I saw that scene? I found it so satisfying. It’s her little bit of defiance against your just-.
ANGELA [00:23:54] Crazy controlling.
JENNA [00:23:56] Yes. Yes. Just your everything that’s coming at her. And, you know, I told you I’d go back and I read my journals. And I had written and I also have these old blogs and I had written in one of my old blogs that filming the scene where I don’t help you put the tablecloth on was one of my favorites of the whole episode.
ANGELA [00:24:18] It’s such like passive aggressive defiance.
JENNA [00:24:21] I loved it. I loved it.
ANGELA [00:24:23] Well, Jenna, I went and found my MySpace blogs. So they’re not online anymore. I don’t know why, but I so. But I guess before, I had printed them out at some point.
JENNA [00:24:32] Smart.
ANGELA [00:24:33] So now I’m going to start going to them for each episode and I did for this one, but I’ll save it for a bit because it happens later in the episode.
JENNA [00:24:40] Okay. Great. Fan question from “Small Actor in a Peacoat”, “who kept the camera with all of the pictures that Michael too”?
ANGELA [00:24:48] NBC.
JENNA [00:24:49] Yeah, they were property of NBC and they had them up on their website for a while.
ANGELA [00:24:54] But guess what? You can still find them.
JENNA [00:24:56] Yes.
ANGELA [00:24:56] Jenna and I were texting last night. We both found him over at officetele.com.
JENNA [00:25:00] Yeah. So you can see all those pictures that, he was really taking pictures.
ANGELA [00:25:04] Yeah. And they’re really like not centered and like people’s heads are cut off. It’s as if you just went around clicking away. But there’s some real gems in there.
JENNA [00:25:12] I know.
ANGELA [00:25:13] Six minutes, 54 seconds. Michael really, really shows what he thinks about Christmas, which is. A gift should say, I love you this many dollars worth.
JENNA [00:25:24] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:25:25] Oh, this is not gonna go well.
JENNA [00:25:27] Well, speaking of gifts, we have a scene where Toby reveals what he got Angela in Secret Santa. And it is the jazz baby poster.
ANGELA [00:25:39] Yeah, I have that poster guys.
JENNA [00:25:41] You have it? That was one of my questions from Chris Cordova. He wants to know, “did you keep the baby poster”?
ANGELA [00:25:47] Well, there was about 20 of them.
JENNA [00:25:49] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:25:49] They made a bunch. One hung by my desk for years.
JENNA [00:25:53] Yes.
ANGELA [00:25:53] Yeah. So we got to see it every day. And I have one. It’s rolled up in a little poster thingy.
JENNA [00:26:00] Now do you know the story behind that picture? Because I traded some text messages with Phil Shea.
ANGELA [00:26:06] Mm hmm.
JENNA [00:26:06] So Phil Shea had to make that poster. He did not buy that poster. He put out a casting call for babies.
ANGELA [00:26:14] And two babies were cast.
JENNA [00:26:15] Yes.
ANGELA [00:26:15] Baby actors.
JENNA [00:26:17] He said it was really hard to find tiny jazz instruments. He said that was really difficult. In fact, he said, you know, Amazon didn’t exist back then. You know, you couldn’t just Google “baby jazz instrument”. And they couldn’t be fake looking like they couldn’t be like blue and pink. So he did eventually find them at a place called “Hollywood Costumes”. He was particularly proud of the tiny sunglasses that he found. This poster ends up coming back in conflict resolution. Like you said, it stayed up there. But then it comes back again.
ANGELA [00:26:50] It comes back again. I would like to know the two babies that were in the poster.
JENNA [00:26:55] Oh, guys.
ANGELA [00:26:56] Where are they today?
JENNA [00:26:57] If you are a baby.
ANGELA [00:26:59] From the poster.
JENNA [00:27:00] From the baby jazz poster, will you please write to us at OfficeLadies@Earwolf.com?
ANGELA [00:27:06] One thing about that baby jazz poster, I remember Mike Schur… telling me that they thought it was really funny that Angela would really enjoy babies dressed as adults. OK, where are we?
JENNA [00:27:17] Well, we’re talking about the gifts. And Mike Schur’s actually said that the gifts were incredibly hard to manage because they start off as Secret Santa. So everybody had a person that they bought a specific gift for. And then you had to track the gifts as they went around in the Yankee Swap. He actually in the script of this episode, there is a whole page where he lists the gifts, who bought who what. And he did this for Veda. Our script supervisor. We haven’t really talked about her, but Veda’s job is to sit and watch every take that is filmed and make notes about everything that happens continuity wise. So I mean, like really specific. So like if in a scene you take a drink of your tea on a certain line and then scratch your nose on another one, Veda writes it down so that you do it the same every time. For editing purposes.
ANGELA [00:28:12] Yeah. Veda would come up to us and say, Angela, you were holding that pen in your left hand in the first take and then the second tape you picked it up and held it in your right hand. So that’s not going to match. So you need to pick which hand you’re going to hold that pen in and do it in every take the same way.
JENNA [00:28:27] Yeah. Because otherwise when you edit it together, the pen is magically bouncing from hand to hand. So Mike was really worried about Veda in this episode. And so he made this list just for Veda. And I have it from a script.
ANGELA [00:28:43] Yay! Oh, fantastic.
JENNA [00:28:45] Ok. So this is what everyone was intended to give. And we got a lot of fan questions about this. Like a lot of people wrote in and said, you know, eventually Michael’s going to get the paintball lessons from Dwight. But I like who did Dwight intend that to go, too? So I have all the answers right here. Are you ready?
ANGELA [00:29:01] Yeah.
JENNA [00:29:02] Okay. Dwight got Phyllis the paintball lessons and the pellets. That was his gift to Phyllis. Phyllis made Michael an oven mitt. Michael got Ryan an iPod. Ryan got Toby a book of short stories by George Saunders, who happens to be one of Mike Schur’s favorite writers. Toby got Angela the baby poster. Angela bought Stanley a picture frame. Stanley got Kelly a name plate. Kelly got Oscar a shower radio. Oscar got Creed a shamrock keychain. Creed got Jim one of his own shirts. Jim got Pam the teapot. And this is something that got cut out. Pam made Meredith a drawing of the office.
ANGELA [00:29:45] I read about that online.
JENNA [00:29:47] Yeah. And there was this big thing.
ANGELA [00:29:48] It’s in the deleted scenes. This is something I have to tell you. I got a DVD player for Christmas.
JENNA [00:29:54] What?
ANGELA [00:29:55] My husband got me a DVD player. So I got the C.Ds. He bought me the C.D. set and I got a DVD player. And last night I got to watch all the deleted scenes.
JENNA [00:30:05] Oh, Angela, you must be so happy.
ANGELA [00:30:07] I was so happy. And there’s so many.
JENNA [00:30:09] Oh, yeah.
ANGELA [00:30:10] There’s so many for the Christmas episode, you guys. There are so many great deleted scenes. I don’t want to get us off-topic here, but they’re in the deleted scenes. Meredith opens up her painting.
JENNA [00:30:22] That is from Pam and it’s a drawing of the office. Well, there’s a big backstory here again with Phil. I don’t do Pam’s drawings. People ask me that all the time. I’m, I’m not an artist. I mean, we’ve talked about this or have we? That I do cartoons. I do cartooning.
ANGELA [00:30:40] She’s very good at cartooning. And I have a few that you’ve drawn that I’ve saved. I think you’re fantastic.
JENNA [00:30:45] Well, I love my little expressive cartoons, but I needed Pam and wanted Pam to be a better artist than I am. So there is a young art student that does all of Pam’s drawings. They went out to a bunch of people like twelve different artists to, as, to turn in samples, to be the artist behind Pam. And they picked a young woman.
ANGELA [00:31:09] Now, Jenna. I read. And you can tell me if this is true. I read that the first painting that they had for this episode to give to Meredith from Pam, that they had one of our set art people who was a man do it.
JENNA [00:31:23] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:31:24] And when they looked at it. It looked too masculine.
JENNA [00:31:26] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:31:26] And so then they went out to female artists.
JENNA [00:31:29] That’s true.
ANGELA [00:31:29] A little bit of a softer touch.
JENNA [00:31:30] Yeah. And there were something like 12 different artists who all submitted their work. And I wish I knew her name and fortunately I don’t. But maybe I can find that out and reveal that in a future episode. And then so finally, two more gifts. Meredith got Dwight some shot glasses from Cancun, and Kevin got himself a footbath. Guys, around five minutes, fifty-five seconds. There was a scene where Michael is talking to Jim at Jim’s desk. This is when he reveals that he got Ryan for Secret Santa. And I just want to say, you see a ton of background action. Angela, you’re walking from reception. Over Steve’s shoulder, you see Toby and Mindy talking.
ANGELA [00:32:08] Yeah.
JENNA [00:32:08] They are 100 percent not in character.
ANGELA [00:32:11] Not in character at all. I saw that, too. I was like. They’re just talking about probably something in the writers’ room or a story pitch or they’re just having a conversation.
JENNA [00:32:20] Yeah. I mean, Paul is just being Paul.
ANGELA [00:32:22] Yeah.
JENNA [00:32:22] If you anyone’s curious the difference between Toby and Paul. Go to five minutes, fifty-five seconds.
ANGELA [00:32:27] Yeah.
JENNA [00:32:27] And you can see Paul and Mindy having a conversation in the back row.
ANGELA [00:32:29] Yeah, exactly.
JENNA [00:32:32] Tree lighting.
ANGELA [00:32:33] OK. I’ve been waiting for this moment. The Christmas tree lighting. This starts the beginning of everyone happy, Angela pissed. So this Christmas tree, the top of it has been hacked off by Kevin. It is covered in so much tinsel.
JENNA [00:32:51] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:32:51] So much tinsel. It has a smattering of just blue and red ball ornaments. It’s just not their best effort. And then it has the tiniest of tiny white lights thanks to Phyllis. So Dwight makes a big deal of it. He like takes the, like the outlet, like the plug. What do you call it?
JENNA [00:33:10] The plug.
ANGELA [00:33:11] The plug. He takes the plug from Stanley. He wants to plug it in. He’s like just like Rockefeller Center. And everyone gathers around and it’s like “bre burr” and Phyllis is like, “I’m sorry”. And it’s six minutes, 30 seconds. You see my first pissed off face. Dang it, Phyllis.
JENNA [00:33:29] It’s also one of those moments where I feel like Angela’s like, “I knew it”.
ANGELA [00:33:32] I knew it.
JENNA [00:33:33] I knew I couldn’t trust her to do these lights?
ANGELA [00:33:36] Why’d I even have her do anything? Ever.
JENNA [00:33:38] Why do you have anyone do anything?
ANGELA [00:33:39] Yeah.
JENNA [00:33:40] You can’t let. And you can’t let anyone do anything.
ANGELA [00:33:42] These people are worthless.
JENNA [00:33:43] Exactly. You know, that Christmas tree light thing is based on a real thing from Mike Schur’s life.
ANGELA [00:33:50] I know.
JENNA [00:33:52] He said that when he and his wife got their first tree in New York, he bought a bunch of small lights for the tree and he wrapped them around. And when he plugged it in, you couldn’t really see them. I love that. I love when writers work those little moments from their real-life into the show. I thought, speaking about people who are acting like themselves instead of their characters. I thought Jim’s talking head about Creed’s gift is so John.
ANGELA [00:34:16] It is John.
JENNA [00:34:17] That is John right there.
ANGELA [00:34:18] Yeah.
JENNA [00:34:19] All the delivery, the smile, all of it. And then, of course, Creed’s talking head made me laugh so hard.
ANGELA [00:34:25] Creed is very funny in this episode. I mean, everybody has some great moments. But Creed, I, Creed cracked me up a bunch in this episode. So now Secret Santa is starting.
JENNA [00:34:35] Yep.
ANGELA [00:34:35] And-.
JENNA [00:34:36] Everyone is gathered around in some office chairs. And I want to say truly, I know we were joking about Charles McDougall, but the amount of energy and movement that he uses the camera to give this scene of people sitting in a circle. I mean, it is impressive from a directorial standpoint. I think, like, I, I don’t want to be crazy, but I think like film students should study this portion of the episode because I’m imagining myself trying to film a group of people sitting in a circle doing a gift exchange. And it would not look nearly this dynamic. It’s really, really impressive directing.
ANGELA [00:35:12] No, he’s great. He is really great.
JENNA [00:35:14] OK. So we’re starting the Secret Santa and Pam opens Jim’s teapot. She loves it. But Dwight moves things along so quickly that she doesn’t have time to look inside or notice the card that’s in the box.
ANGELA [00:35:24] Yeah. Dwight wants no chitty chat between gifts. He’s like, “Go, get, go”.
JENNA [00:35:27] He’s me coming in today.
ANGELA [00:35:29] He is.
JENNA [00:35:29] He’s like, save it for the mic.
ANGELA [00:35:32] So he’s moving things along. So it’s Pam. And then the next one.
JENNA [00:35:35] We find out that Michael buys Ryan a video iPod that cost $400.
ANGELA [00:35:43] You guys, this was not product placement.
JENNA [00:35:44] It was not so many people wanted to know.
ANGELA [00:35:47] Yeah, they, we were not paid. It was just sort of a, a really cool topical gift at the time.
JENNA [00:35:52] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:35:52] And they were trying to think of a gift that would sort of be a show stopper that Michael would think was very impressive that everyone would want. So this was coincidence. We weren’t paid to use it. So I read it that-.
JENNA [00:36:04] Well. Well, here’s a something. A ton of people wanted to know who kept it at the end? Nobody. We weren’t allowed to keep any of the stuff. It all goes into a giant warehouse and it gets labeled for the episode for props. Because if for some reason we have to go back and reshoot something, they take it off the shelf and they bring it back in.
ANGELA [00:36:23] That’s true.
JENNA [00:36:23] I don’t know what happens after it’s been in the warehouse for a while, but it just goes to prop house storage.
ANGELA [00:36:29] I feel like it’s still on a box labeled “The Office Christmas Party”.
JENNA [00:36:32] Probably is. There was a fan question from “Beard up, beard down”, “Was the iPod sponsored by Apple”? It wasn’t. We said it was not. It’s just a total coincidence? But there’s more coincidence. So the week after this episode aired, Apple revealed that you could now download episodes of “The Office” onto these video iPods. Again, this was not planned. And then “The Office” became the number one downloaded show on iTunes.
ANGELA [00:37:01] Yes.
JENNA [00:37:02] The number one downloaded show.
ANGELA [00:37:04] I remember Rainn Wilson turned to me and said, “I think we’re going to make it”. I think we’re gonna. This was the first moment. It felt like the tide was turning for us and that we might not get canceled.
JENNA [00:37:15] All right. So next up, Michael gets his gift, the oven mitt knitted by Phyllis.
ANGELA [00:37:22] Now everyone had a $20 limit, you guys, that’s why this iPod really shakes everything up, because he spent $400.
JENNA [00:37:29] Yes. Yes. And he has his line where he says “I only”, he says out in the hallway. He’s holding the mitt. And he says, “do you know what this says? This says, I only care about a homemade oven mitts worth”. He is such a child.
ANGELA [00:37:43] He is such a bratty kid in this episode.
JENNA [00:37:46] Oh, my gosh. Well, we had a fan question from Chelsea Reconza and Amanda and many others, actually, “Who actually knitted the oven mitt”? Well, I asked Phyllis. She does not knit it in real life. Although she told me that she knitted a scarf for her mom a couple of years ago. But she said that’s it. She didn’t. Just one scarf.
ANGELA [00:38:04] I want you guys to know. You know how we talk about what was at everyone’s desks. So at Phyllis’ desk, like sitting on the floor sort of next to her desk for so many years was a whole knitting basket. Do you remember?
JENNA [00:38:18] I do remember that.
ANGELA [00:38:19] It had all the yarn and the knitting needles and it sat there as if her character would ever do anything with it. But it was established there and it’s out there.
JENNA [00:38:27] Well, Phil Shea told me he found a woman at a knitting store in Valley Village, California, and she knitted the oven mitt. Again, oven mitt knitter. If you’re listening, please write us at OfficeLadies@Earwolf.com and we’ll give you a shout out.
ANGELA [00:38:42] Yeah.
JENNA [00:38:43] Knitted the famous mitt.
ANGELA [00:38:44] I thought it looked like a great oven mitt now. It had like the little like a like-.
JENNA [00:38:48] The Teflon.
ANGELA [00:38:49] Teflon thingy on the inside.
JENNA [00:38:50] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:38:51] So Ryan gets the iPod and at eight minutes, 24 seconds is the next phase of Angela pissed off-ness.
ANGELA [00:38:59] Ok.
ANGELA [00:38:59] You see my face at the fact that Michael spent $400.
JENNA [00:39:03] Oh yes.
ANGELA [00:39:03] When the limit was 20. All of my instructions. I’m sure I sent out an email about Secret Santa and the rules. So one, Phyllis has ignored my requests for bigger lights and got the tiny lights. Now two, Michael has spent $400 instead of the agreed-upon $20. So we’re ramping up. She’s getting ticked off.
JENNA [00:39:25] I have no doubt that you sent a very detailed email about this to everyone with a follow-up reminder.
ANGELA [00:39:32] Mm hmm. Which is why Kevin does not come forward when he gets himself. Because he would have had to tell me.
JENNA [00:39:38] He would have. Yeah. You know what? I really relate to Angela on so many levels.
ANGELA [00:39:45] Listen.
JENNA [00:39:45] Really do.
ANGELA [00:39:46] There’s on some levels you’re way more Angela than I am.
JENNA [00:39:49] Oh, yeah. I mean, I would have generated two, three, four very detailed emails about the party, the plans.
ANGELA [00:39:56] Mm hmm.
JENNA [00:39:57] If I assigned someone to do lights for the tree and that’s what I got, I would feel so pissed and let down.
ANGELA [00:40:05] If people went over the $20 budget, you would have been furious.
JENNA [00:40:09] Furious.
ANGELA [00:40:09] Cause you would’ve been like, what’s the point? Why even have that number?
JENNA [00:40:13] Is Angela wrong?
ANGELA [00:40:14] No, I don’t think she’s wrong.
JENNA [00:40:16] She’s just, you know, why is no one helping her?
ANGELA [00:40:21] She’s a by the book person.
JENNA [00:40:23] She is.
ANGELA [00:40:23] Why can’t people follow the rules?
JENNA [00:40:25] I agree.
ANGELA [00:40:26] So at nine minutes, thirty-nine seconds, she gets pissed off on a whole new level, because as you were saying, this is when Michael is really ticked off that he got the oven mitt and he switches the party. No more Secret Santa. He says now we’re doing Yankee Swap.
JENNA [00:40:42] Yes, Yankee Swap. Slash white elephants slash, what was the other one he said?
ANGELA [00:40:46] Nasty Christmas.
JENNA [00:40:47] Nasty Christmas.
ANGELA [00:40:48] You know, there was actually a little debate about what do you call it? And people were like, why, “we call it white elephant”. Someone else was like, “we call it Yankee Swap”. And I feel like the writers took that and put it in the episode.
JENNA [00:40:58] Yeah, I know it as a Yankee Swap. What do you know?
ANGELA [00:41:01] I knew it is White Elephant.
JENNA [00:41:03] Yeah. I think it’s good they did that.
ANGELA [00:41:04] I do too.
JENNA [00:41:04] They covered everybody.
ANGELA [00:41:05] They covered everybody. But when I threw my Christmas party, I called it Yankee Swap just because I loved it so much.
JENNA [00:41:12] You know, here’s something that I heard in the commentary, Angela, since we’re talking about your character. I guess that you had a talking head in “The Fire”.
ANGELA [00:41:20] I watched it because I have a DVD player now.
JENNA [00:41:23] Where you cry.
ANGELA [00:41:24] Yes. In the deleted scenes.
JENNA [00:41:25] Well, Mike said that the writers’ room was so impressed with your performance in that talking head that they put a card on the wall that was “Angela Cries” and they wanted to find an episode where you could cry a bunch. And this was it.
ANGELA [00:41:40] Mike Schur’s told me, he said, “I love to see your character cry”. He said she’s so pulled together that when you sort of fall apart, it’s like really sort of oddly pleasing.
JENNA [00:41:54] I love it.
ANGELA [00:41:55] So, yes, at nine minutes, 51 seconds, I have a talking head and my character is really upset because she feels like Michael should have talked to the PPC first.
JENNA [00:42:04] Yeah, well, they should have. I think he should have.
ANGELA [00:42:07] And then she breaks down. So she is, she is really starting to spiral.
JENNA [00:42:11] And then when we cut back to the scene, she’s still sobbing. I mean, she’s not sobbing, but she’s still crying.
ANGELA [00:42:15] She’s sullen. She’s very sullen.
JENNA [00:42:17] OK. You know this famous line, “Yankee Swap”.
ANGELA [00:42:21] Yeah.
JENNA [00:42:21] From Michael. All right, Mike Schur. That’s a written line that wasn’t improvised. That Steve would say Yankee Swap. And Mike wrote in the script in parentheses, “crazy voice”. And he, he was like, I know, Steve, I’ll do something great with that. And that was Steve’s take on that. Because they would do that. They would sometimes put little pieces of direction in the script for us and then we’d have to interpret it.
ANGELA [00:42:46] Yeah.
JENNA [00:42:47] Guys, did you notice in this episode it is snowing outside?
ANGELA [00:42:51] I loved this touch. I love it that they kept cutting to the windows and there’d be snow.
JENNA [00:42:56] Me too. Do you remember how much fun it was to have the snow? We were so tickled. By the snow.
ANGELA [00:43:01] We were so excited. You guys remember we mostly just filmed inside and we never even saw outside or what was happening outside.
JENNA [00:43:07] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:43:07] And so the fact that we had this extra element happening was so fun.
JENNA [00:43:11] We really did film inside in a windowless warehouse. All the windows were fake. They just had backdrops behind them.
ANGELA [00:43:18] Yeah.
JENNA [00:43:18] So to see actual sunshine or snow or air was really exciting to us. I have a ton of facts about the snow. I don’t know if anyone else will find it interesting, but I had written all about it in one of my blogs slash journals.
ANGELA [00:43:31] I’m living for this. I can’t wait to hear about it.
JENNA [00:43:34] All right.
ANGELA [00:43:34] I have to pee.
JENNA [00:43:36] Oh, do you want me to give you some snow facts when we come back from the break?
ANGELA [00:43:40] I mean, can I go pee?
JENNA [00:43:40] You should be on an empty bladder when I lay these awesome facts on you.
ANGELA [00:43:44] You don’t tell me or my bladder what we’re doing.
JENNA [00:43:47] Well, what do you want? Do you want full bladder snow facts or, or empty bladder snow facts?
ANGELA [00:43:52] I want empy bladder snow facts.
JENNA [00:43:52] All right. That’s what I’m saying.
ANGELA [00:43:54] Oh, I thought you were telling me that I had to not drink any more water or tea.
JENNA [00:43:59] What?
ANGELA [00:43:59] When we go on a road trip, my husband will be like, “can you not get an ice tea”?
JENNA [00:44:03] OK. Clearly, you’re projecting some other thing on me because I said I thought you should empty your bladder for the snow facts. She’s leaving. First you push away from the mic to eat your, your snack.
ANGELA [00:44:15] This is for you. Jenna.
JENNA [00:44:18] So disgusting.
ANGELA [00:44:19] Those are honey nut Cheerios.
JENNA [00:44:21] Oh, God.
ANGELA [00:44:24] Thank you for letting me have my bathroom break. I want to hear all about your snow.
JENNA [00:44:30] All right. I hope this isn’t anticlimactic for people, but the company that came to make the snow is called “Snow Business”.
ANGELA [00:44:40] Ah, I love that.
JENNA [00:44:41] “Snow Business”. I remembered. I remembered that. It so tickled me. OK, so here’s how it works with fake snow. There is a guy from “Snow Business”. He shows up. Now the snow that falls from the sky is different from the ground cover snow. The snow on the ground is snow.
ANGELA [00:45:00] The snow that falls from the sky I know because it falls on my character at the end. And it is not snow.
JENNA [00:45:07] It’s not snow.
ANGELA [00:45:08] It’s soap.
JENNA [00:45:09] Yes. You can get a choice. You can get a choice of corn starch, plastic or soap. And Greg watched a demonstration of all three and he picked soap.
ANGELA [00:45:19] Well, when by accident, a little piece of that might get in your mouth. It tastes like soap. Cause I shriek and I, a piece of it went in my mouth.
JENNA [00:45:30] That’s what-.
ANGELA [00:45:31] Yeah.
JENNA [00:45:31] She’s said.
ANGELA [00:45:32] Yeah. Yeah.
JENNA [00:45:33] Okay. On the ground, though. It’s real snow. And they bring this machine and I don’t know exactly how it works, but it’s kind of like, like a wood chipper. But in it, in reverse.
ANGELA [00:45:43] It looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.
JENNA [00:45:47] It does. It really does. And it really blows snow. I guess that’s what it looks like. It looks like a snowblower , but it generates snow and then it just blows it all over the ground, all over the cars and all that stuff. But guys, remember, this is like we’re shooting this in like October in Los Angeles and it’s hot in October. It stays warm here.
ANGELA [00:46:09] Yeah.
JENNA [00:46:10] In the daytime, it’s still in the mid-80s , 90s, but it was night. And so we had a little bit of time with it. I mean, it was still warm out.
ANGELA [00:46:19] Yeah, it was probably like in the high 60s.
JENNA [00:46:22] Yeah, that sounds about right. All right.
ANGELA [00:46:24] Yes. We were very excited to have snow and Jenna where? Where?
JENNA [00:46:28] Did you like my snow facts?
ANGELA [00:46:30] I loved-.
JENNA [00:46:30] I’m feeling a little vulnerable about them now because we set them up so much. I mean, there’s like break.
ANGELA [00:46:36] No.
JENNA [00:46:36] I’m in my head about it.
ANGELA [00:46:37] I like your snow facts.
JENNA [00:46:39] “Snow Business”. That’s cute.
ANGELA [00:46:41] I think “Snow Business” is really cute.
JENNA [00:46:43] All right. Well, let’s go back to the gift exchange. This is when Kelly gets Angela’s poster. But Angela, you do get to take it back.
ANGELA [00:46:53] Okay, here’s the thing. I wrote in my MySpace blog about this moment and I wrote that it was one of the hardest things for us to get through as a cast, that the first time Mindy unrolls the poster and looks at it and we all see it, we all every person lost it.
JENNA [00:47:14] Because it’s so ridiculous.
ANGELA [00:47:16] It’s so ridiculous. We had not seen it.
JENNA [00:47:18] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:47:19] It was an actual surprise to us while we were filming and we all lost it. I had that. In fact, it was particularly hard on Rainn for some reason, and that in one take he broke three times because he could not get through it.
JENNA [00:47:35] I can’t believe that Mindy was tasked with having unroll that poster. How did we ever get a shot of her not laughing?
ANGELA [00:47:44] I don’t know. But we were cracking up.
JENNA [00:47:47] There is a little detail about scene that made me laugh when I rewatch it, which is how you, you just very subtly swat the oven mitt away on your way to getting the poster.
ANGELA [00:47:56] That was all me. Thank you very much.
JENNA [00:47:58] I loved it. It was such a good detail. I loved it. Well, in tracking the oven mitt, Meredith eventually takes the oven mitt. But, you know, Michael has to then call her a sucker and say that he wanted her to take it. And it was reverse psychology when he said he wanted to keep it.
ANGELA [00:48:20] I love that he decided that he needed to break down reverse psychology to all of us cause I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. This is pretty cool thing. Look, Michael, you’re such an idiot.
JENNA [00:48:29] Do you remember how Phyllis cried? During that scene?
ANGELA [00:48:34] Yes, she stayed in like sort of that sad place.
JENNA [00:48:37] She cried for like a half-hour . And in between takes of that where she had to be crying. She didn’t want any of us to talk to her. And Kate and I tried to go up and give her a hug. She didn’t want it like she was in this, like, actor zone. It’s so hard to do. It’s so hard to do. I know exactly where she was, but I would just be really worried for her, because when you see Phyllis cry, it is, oh.
ANGELA [00:49:02] You don’t want to see Phyllis cry because it breaks every part of you open.
JENNA [00:49:04] You don’t want to see Phyllis cry. Yes.
ANGELA [00:49:06] I mean, she did. She wanted. She had to stay sad. And it is really hard, especially sitting in the circle with people cracking up about a baby poster.
JENNA [00:49:17] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:49:17] But you’ve got to stay sad.
JENNA [00:49:19] Yes.
ANGELA [00:49:20] It’s hard. It’s really hard.
JENNA [00:49:22] That is very difficult.
ANGELA [00:49:23] Well, here’s the thing. Michael just gets progressively meaner. You know, he calls Meredith a sucker. And then Dwight, you know, he opens the paint paintball and he’s like, you know, how is this better than an iPod? In this moment, kind of broke my heart, too. When Dwight goes, “I never said it was better”, you know. Wait, I have an “Angela Pissed Off-ness” moment.
JENNA [00:49:44] Oh, OK. Go.
ANGELA [00:49:45] At 13 minutes, 58 seconds. Look at my face. I wrote it in all caps. So Michael has just called Meredith a sucker because she got the lame, you know, oven mitt and Phyllis storms out. OK.
JENNA [00:49:59] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:50:00] She is completely heartbroken now. And the party is falling apart. And the look on my face is just sheer, in, like rage.
JENNA [00:50:09] Now, are we at the top of your rage now?
ANGELA [00:50:11] No.
JENNA [00:50:12] Oh, no. Well, I mean, I know we’ve still got the parking lot, but.
ANGELA [00:50:15] No. Oh, no. There’s a moment coming and you’ll know it. It’s the there’s, there’s a one-two punch coming at the end for my anger. But. Yeah. All right. So people are making trades and feelings are getting hurt.
JENNA [00:50:28] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:50:29] And Pam does not go back and get the teapot. She gets the iPod.
JENNA [00:50:33] She does. When it’s Pam’s turn to pick again, she picks the iPod instead of the teapot. And Jim is so hurt.
ANGELA [00:50:41] He’s so hurt. And I, you know, I watched this and I was like, come on, Pam. But then, you know, Pam doesn’t know what all is in the teapot.
JENNA [00:50:49] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:50:49] She doesn’t. And that’s what sort of justified it for me. She’s just like, this is an iPod.
JENNA [00:50:53] This iPod has completely hijacked this whole fun party and gift exchange because everybody who’s sitting this seat is just thinking about trying to get this iPod. And so is Pam. Unfortunately, I think she kind of forgot about the teapot. So it was her time to pick. She was just like “iPod”.
ANGELA [00:51:10] But she also doesn’t know what’s in the teapot.
JENNA [00:51:13] She doesn’t.
ANGELA [00:51:13] She doesn’t know how high the stakes are for Jim.
JENNA [00:51:15] No.
ANGELA [00:51:15] She doesn’t. I think it’s kind of an innocent moment, honestly. And Michael has ruined all of this because the gifts were specific for people. I mean, Ryan gets a placard that says “Kelly”.
JENNA [00:51:25] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:51:26] He gets like, you know, a desk, whatever nameplate.
JENNA [00:51:28] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:51:30] Like. These were not meant to be Yankee Swap gifts.
JENNA [00:51:32] They were not. They were meant for certain people. Well, at this point, the party has completely broken down. And Michael goes to the liquor store. Now, I want to point out a few things.
ANGELA [00:51:44] I know what you’re going to point out because, lady, I have the DVDs now. So go. Do it.
JENNA [00:51:50] I don’t. Do you know what I’m going to say?
ANGELA [00:51:52] Is it about the attendant at the liquor store?
JENNA [00:51:54] I have one thing to say about him, but I just thought I wanted to point out that it’s also snowing outside the window of the liquor store.
ANGELA [00:52:01] Yeah.
JENNA [00:52:02] They made it snow there, too. I don’t know. Nice detail.
ANGELA [00:52:05] Nice touch.
JENNA [00:52:05] Good continuity. Veda was on it.
ANGELA [00:52:07] Well, I read that our writers found out in Pennsylvania that if you work at a liquor store, you have to wear a tie.
JENNA [00:52:14] Yes.
ANGELA [00:52:14] And so that was part of this character description is that he had to have on a tie.
JENNA [00:52:19] Ain’t that great?
ANGELA [00:52:20] And I thought the actor, his name is Ryan Martin, did a fantastic job.
JENNA [00:52:24] So good.
ANGELA [00:52:24] He just really like takes in all of that vodka.
JENNA [00:52:26] 15 bottles.
ANGELA [00:52:29] 15 bottles.
JENNA [00:52:30] Craziness. OK. So then we go back to the party.
ANGELA [00:52:34] Michael brings all this vodka back into the party and at 16, 10 minutes. This is the next phase of Angela, Angela’s spiral.
JENNA [00:52:43] Oh say it.
ANGELA [00:52:43] So Michael has vodka and she’s like, “What are you doing? There’s no alcohol at the party”. You know, Angela speaks up and Toby speaks up. No one else cares. But now she’s-.
JENNA [00:52:55] Toby speaks up. I miss that.
ANGELA [00:52:57] Yeah. Toby is like, “Michael, we really shouldn’t have any”. And he goes, “Just shut it, Toby, it’s a party”.
JENNA [00:53:02] But then later, I feel like Toby brings Todd Packer a drink.
ANGELA [00:53:06] Well, no, it’s all like. All bets are off.
JENNA [00:53:10] All bets are off at this point.
ANGELA [00:53:11] And, you know, you have to remember that Michael told the Party Planning Committee that he wanted this Christmas party to be like and I quote, “a Playboy Mansion party”.
JENNA [00:53:20] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:53:21] That was his hope.
JENNA [00:53:21] That’s his goal.
ANGELA [00:53:22] That’s his goal. So but yeah. Angela is now super ticked because now there’s alcohol.
JENNA [00:53:27] I’m surprised her whole head didn’t explode.
ANGELA [00:53:30] Well, it’s about to because the next two are what set it into motion.
JENNA [00:53:34] Oh, boy. Well, now we have the scene where Jim is trying to get the teapot back from Dwight. Jim offers to trade him the Shamrock keychain and he says, “C’mon, it’ll be good luck”. And that’s when Dwight has his line. “A real man makes his own luck. Billy Zane, Titanic”. And Angela. You made the entire cast T-shirts with that quote on them. And I still have mine.
ANGELA [00:53:59] I did. Oh my gosh, you do?
JENNA [00:54:00] I do. It’s a gray long sleeve t-shirt .
ANGELA [00:54:02] Yes with black writing.
JENNA [00:54:03] And just a quote across it.
ANGELA [00:54:05] Yeah. So I had a friend at the time who had a t-shirt press because she had a small business. And I loved this line so much. I thought it was hilarious. Of all people, for Dwight to quote, it would be Billy Zane.
JENNA [00:54:20] Well, people were asking if we gave each other gifts. That was a gift. You gave that out. I think you actually gave that out at Christmas that year.
ANGELA [00:54:26] I did. And you gave everyone an ornament.
JENNA [00:54:28] Yes. I got that cast photo and I had it printed on an ornament for everyone.
ANGELA [00:54:32] Yeah.
JENNA [00:54:33] Aw. The idea that Dwight wants to keep the teapot in order to wash out his nasal passages with green tea is based on something that Greg Daniels has actually done.
ANGELA [00:54:44] Like with a neti pot.
JENNA [00:54:45] Yeah, I mean, but I’ve never put green tea in a neti pot.
ANGELA [00:54:49] I haven’t either.
JENNA [00:54:50] I’ve only used the saline solution that is recommended.
ANGELA [00:54:53] But I could see Greg reading about it.
JENNA [00:54:55] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:54:56] And giving it a try. But, but Rainn, the way Rainn was in that scene and he like shoved that teapot deep up into his nostril.
JENNA [00:55:07] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:55:07] And just John’s face as Jim is just like. “Are you kidding me? That, that’s who gets my teapot “. Like it’s so perfect. He’s so bummed.
JENNA [00:55:17] Now when I watch this with Lee. Lee said he wondered how Dwight didn’t find the note in the box. Or how Dwight didn’t open up the teapot.
ANGELA [00:55:29] I thought of all of those things, I thought. Dwight now has the cassette and the sauce packet. I mean-.
JENNA [00:55:36] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:55:36] So you have to sort of suspend belief, I guess, at that moment that, that he took those out and just shoved him aside like. Mm hmm. What’s this crap? And just sort of shoved them aside in the box.
JENNA [00:55:45] Well, also, I don’t think Jim is trying to get the teapot back for Pam. I think he’s just trying to get the teapot back for himself. He’s just gonna keep it now. That’s what I think the motivation is there. Because Pam is over, you know, up at the desk with Roy looking through her new iPod.
ANGELA [00:56:00] I think Jim just wants to get it back because I think there’s things inside it that are embarrassing.
ANGELA [00:56:04] Yes, exactly. But he’s gonna trade the key chain and he’s just gonna take that teapot home now. So Pam is up at reception and she’s showing Roy her new iPod. He’s now at the party. He wasn’t there for Yankee Swap, but he’s all excited because now he doesn’t have to buy it for Pam for Christmas. He was going to buy her this iPod. He tells her. And now he doesn’t have to. He’s just gonna get her a sweater. Thanks, Roy.
JENNA [00:56:26] Now the party is like fifteen bottles of vodka in, Todd Packer has showed up.
ANGELA [00:56:31] Oh, yeah, it’s getting crazy. And-.
JENNA [00:56:33] Everyone’s doing shots. Angela’s fuming.
ANGELA [00:56:36] I am fuming. But the icing on the cake of my pissed off-ness is about to happen.
JENNA [00:56:41] Oh, say it.
ANGELA [00:56:42] Michael shouts to the whole bullpen. He says, “Oh, my gosh. Yes, Ryan, the king of the party planning. Thank you to, thank you to Ryan for this awesome party”. And the camera pans to me and I am livid. Ryan, the temp, the king of the Party Planning Committee? Are you kidding me?
JENNA [00:57:06] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:57:06] Oh, that’s it. She is pissed.
JENNA [00:57:11] Oh no. And it’s only gonna get worse. That’s not even still the worst thing that’s happened to Angela.
ANGELA [00:57:17] Nope. Nope. I had a headache by the end of this episode.
JENNA [00:57:20] You must have. You were just scowling and pushing anger out of your temples this episode.
ANGELA [00:57:24] Yes.
JENNA [00:57:26] You know, when Todd Packer shows up and he has that line. “What’s up, ma nerds”?
ANGELA [00:57:31] “Ma Nerds”.
JENNA [00:57:32] That was an improv sort of. In the script, what was written was “What’s up, nerds”? And he just gave it that extra special touch of “what’s up, ma nerds”?
ANGELA [00:57:44] I know. Well, that’s also Dave Koechner. I mean, I think even the line when he’s like “Packer need a drinky”.
JENNA [00:57:49] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:57:51] The line was probably like “he was getting me a drink”.
JENNA [00:57:53] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:57:53] You know?
JENNA [00:57:55] He brought so much to that role. It was amazing. And well, you know, when he has to lay down on the desk and get the silly string on him, like when he passes out. I remember shooting that he had to lay there forever . So he laid down on those desks which were not comfortable. Right. And then they silly string his head. And then we had all these scenes where that’s what he’s doing. Well, if he got up, all the stuff that he was decorated in would’ve fallen off. It would have been impossible to recreate. So he had to just lay there. Even when we were on a break.
ANGELA [00:58:23] Even when we were on a break and he was such a trooper, talked about a trooper, and I wrote in my MySpace blog that Kate and I because Kate and I knew Dave from improv days, we’d all like done improv shows together. That Kate and I walked over and talked to him while he had to lay on his back. And we just sort of like caught up and that it was so fun to see him. But I want you guys to know if you’re wondering what Todd Packer looks like at 20 minutes, 19 seconds to really paint a picture here.
JENNA [00:58:51] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:58:51] He’s laying on his back kind of across a desk part area partition.
JENNA [00:58:56] Yeah.
ANGELA [00:58:56] Right in the middle of the room. He has blue silly string on his head. Christmas lights around his torso. Christmas garland around his torso. Dwight’s desk nameplate on his stomach. And there’s like a red empty solo cup. Kind of just like in his like the crook of his arm.
JENNA [00:59:15] You know-.
ANGELA [00:59:15] He had to lay like that with all those things on top of him.
JENNA [00:59:19] He passes out so quickly. You have to imagine he showed up already half drunk.
ANGELA [00:59:25] You know he did.
JENNA [00:59:27] You know he did.
ANGELA [00:59:27] You know he did.
JENNA [00:59:28] Okay, guys. So now we have the scene where Pam reveals to Jim that she got her teapot back. She trades Dwight the iPod for the teapot. And now she’s gonna look inside and find all the items. And it’s very charming and sweet. And she is so delighted. But in this moment, Jim secretly steals the note back and puts it in his pocket.
ANGELA [00:59:53] I know. He lost his courage.
JENNA [00:59:55] He did. Now when we reached out to fans to ask them what they wanted to know about the Christmas episode, I would say that about 80 percent of the comments and emails we received were along the lines of “what is in the teapot note”? Because as you know, in this episode, Pam does not read it. It is not revealed. But then in Season 9, there is a scene where Jim has the documentary film crew put together footage of their romance and he shows it to Pam. And Pam sees that there was a note that Jim steals back and then he hands it to her and she reads it.
ANGELA [01:00:36] How brilliant is that? And you know who that is? That’s Greg Daniels.
JENNA [01:00:39] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:00:40] Because he was such a master at beautiful callback moments. I love that.
JENNA [01:00:46] Well, from the time that Jim stole the note, it drove people crazy. They always wanted to know what had been written in the note. Would Pam ever get the note? For years and years. Will he ever give her the note? Around the time of the wedding, people wanted him to give it to her as a wedding gift. Greg saved it till the end. I’m going to say something that I’ve never said before. I also feel like I’m maybe going to cry.
ANGELA [01:01:10] What? Wait, wait.
JENNA [01:01:12] What?
ANGELA [01:01:14] Are you going to. Are you going to say what was in the note? Are you going to say what was in the note?
JENNA [01:01:20] Sort of.
ANGELA [01:01:21] Because I don’t know what was on that card. None of us do.
JENNA [01:01:25] I’m the only one who knows and John knows.
ANGELA [01:01:28] Oh, my gosh, lady.
JENNA [01:01:30] In that episode in Season 9, I believe Greg suggested to John. That he write a personal message. From himself to me. Just saying what our time together on “The Office” meant to him.
ANGELA [01:01:49] Jenna.
JENNA [01:01:51] Because we were wrapping up filming, we were wrapping up the series and we were all so emotional at that time, you know.
ANGELA [01:01:56] It was all, we were all sort of saying goodbye in different ways.
JENNA [01:01:59] We were. And so that was his goodbye. Very similar to when we filmed that scene with Steve where I said goodbye to him at the airport and Paul Feig told me, “Just run up and say goodbye to your friend Steve”.
ANGELA [01:02:17] Jeff Blitz said the same thing to me when I was in the car with Oscar. And I say, “I love Dwight”. He said, Angela, in this moment, express your love for the show and everyone. And if you couldn’t have it in your life anymore. And I disintegrated.
JENNA [01:02:36] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:02:37] So I’m on camera and I open up this note that John’s written me and I just start crying. I just start bawling. Probably the first take was probably not usable. It was the sweetest note and you know, on camera. Pam says, “I’ll never say what it said, but just know it was perfect”.
JENNA [01:02:59] Mmhmm.
ANGELA [01:03:00] Well, I’ll never say exactly what John wrote, but I will say just know, it was perfect. So that’s what was in the teapot note, guys. It was a, it was a note from John to me.
ANGELA [01:03:11] A personal note about what it meant to work with you on the show.
JENNA [01:03:15] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:03:15] Yeah.
JENNA [01:03:16] About our time together on the show. It was really sweet.
ANGELA [01:03:18] Well, that would completely wreck me.
JENNA [01:03:21] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:03:22] Oh, I love that. I didn’t know that. Are you okay?
JENNA [01:03:26] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:03:26] Well, crap. How do we talk about anything else? That was so beautiful.
JENNA [01:03:29] I’m sorry.
ANGELA [01:03:30] That was so beautiful. I love that that was the direction that Greg gave. Those moments became very honest for us under that kind of direction.
JENNA [01:03:40] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:03:41] And we all had little moments like that. That’s a really big one though.
JENNA [01:03:44] Well, there were those moments on the show that were surprises.
ANGELA [01:03:47] Yeah.
JENNA [01:03:47] Steve didn’t know I was going to run up and tell him that basically that same thing. “Steve, I’m gonna miss you”. You know, all the things that I said to him.
ANGELA [01:03:58] Oscar didn’t know the note that Jeff Blitz gave me.
JENNA [01:04:00] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:04:00] So when all that emotion came, it was very like completely out of nowhere for him.
JENNA [01:04:06] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:04:06] Okay. Well, jeez, Louise.
JENNA [01:04:09] I’m sorry.
ANGELA [01:04:10] That’s okay. Where are we at in this episode?
JENNA [01:04:13] Well, we’re at the moment when Kelly approaches Dwight in the kitchen.
ANGELA [01:04:18] Kelly, that hussy.
JENNA [01:04:20] Oh, with her hair half down, half up.
ANGELA [01:04:22] I know. She goes up to my man and lays one on him.
JENNA [01:04:26] She does.
ANGELA [01:04:27] And Angela sees it and that is it.
JENNA [01:04:32] You know, a lot of people wrote in and commented that there, that you’re standing in front of a poster that says “Commitment”.
ANGELA [01:04:40] Am I really?
JENNA [01:04:40] Yes.
ANGELA [01:04:41] Oh my gosh, I didn’t even notice. That is so funny. I think I was just so focused on the scene.
JENNA [01:04:46] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:04:47] Wow. Yes. Angela loses it. Loses it. And this takes us outside. She’s left the party. And now I have some stuff to tell you guys about the scene.
JENNA [01:04:57] Oh, yeah.
ANGELA [01:04:58] All right. 20 minutes, 16 seconds. The ultimate Angela pissed off-ness has happened. So here’s some behind the scenes of this scene. You have a guy up on the roof and he’s got the soap snow.
JENNA [01:05:10] Yep.
ANGELA [01:05:10] That he’s gonna-.
JENNA [01:05:11] Falling in into your eyes.
ANGELA [01:05:12] He’s gonna. Yeah. It’s stingy. And then there’s snow on the ground because they’ve put real snow on the ground. We filmed this scene at the end of the day and everyone had gone. It was just me and Charles McDougall, Randall Einhorn and Mike Schur. So it was just a kind of a skeleton crew at this point.
JENNA [01:05:28] Those are always some of my most favorite shoots.
ANGELA [01:05:30] Yeah, me too. And we did not have a lot of time. We didn’t have a lot of time to get this.
JENNA [01:05:35] The clock was ticking.
ANGELA [01:05:36] Yeah, exactly. Because we don’t want to go into overtime for everyone. And it was the end of the day. And so Charles McDougall said to me, we’re probably only going to do like two takes, you know, maybe three. But they gave me these ornaments, and my instruction was that my character has just lost it. Michael has ruined Christmas. Kelly has kissed my man. Ryan is the king of the Party Planning Committee. Ahhhh! Right?
JENNA [01:06:03] Yes.
ANGELA [01:06:04] He said, I want you to take these ornaments and just throw them and shatter them. They were written in the script as glass ornaments. They were not glass ornaments.
JENNA [01:06:13] What?
ANGELA [01:06:14] Watch the scene. I throw them down. They bounce straight up in the air.
JENNA [01:06:18] What were they?
ANGELA [01:06:19] They were like some kind of plastic composite, whatever.
JENNA [01:06:22] Oh, no.
ANGELA [01:06:23] So when you look. Watch it, you guys, you see them bounce in the air.
JENNA [01:06:27] I assumed the. Well, that makes sense. We did not have the budget to get special breakaway glass ornaments, and there was no way they would give you real glass.
ANGELA [01:06:36] No. So these things bounced like a tennis ball. And so Charles is like, cut. And he was OK. Two things. One, we need you to stand closer to the wall. Like if you can in the scene, get us close to the wall as possible, because that’s where the guy is with soap coming down.
JENNA [01:06:54] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:06:54] Soap doesn’t fall very far. We have another take. And he’s like, why aren’t you breaking the ornaments? I like, “Charles. They’re bouncing. What are you talking about”? He goes, “Can you throw him harder”? I was like, “Yeah, they’re just gonna bounce higher”.
JENNA [01:07:04] Oh.
ANGELA [01:07:05] And I was like, “Okay, I got it. I got it. I have an idea”. So I know now we’re really running out of time. So. And Michael Gallenberg had taken the most awesome photo that I have, and it’s the snow falling and me throwing the ornaments and Charles MacMcDougall in the distance watching me. It’s the-
JENNA [01:07:23] Oh.
ANGELA [01:07:24] Coolest.
JENNA [01:07:24] Michael Gallenberg, our set designer.
ANGELA [01:07:26] Yeah, he took this photo. It was so cool. But anyway, here I am. We’re running out of time. I got to stand. I got to get myself to the wall. I got to throw these ornaments and I need them to break and I have to shriek. Right? So I throw them with I said, I’m gonna throw em harder this time. I don’t know. So I threw them as hard as I could. They bounced up higher. I shrieked and I just started stomping on them and shattering them with my feet.
JENNA [01:07:51] Was that your intention going in when you’re like, I have an idea, I can do it. I can do it.
ANGELA [01:07:55] I was thinking, if I can’t get them to break, I have to start stomping on them.
JENNA [01:07:58] Yes.
ANGELA [01:07:59] So that’s what I just did. That was just an improv in the moment I start stomping on them. Folks notice somewhere in my sass shoes.
JENNA [01:08:05] Oh, that’s the perfect shoe for that.
ANGELA [01:08:07] I know. And so I shriek. I get to the wall. I’m stomping things. I ripped the box apart. We got the scene.
JENNA [01:08:16] Let me tell you, ToneLok89 is gonna be very happy because they wrote in with a fan question.
ANGELA [01:08:21] What was that?
JENNA [01:08:22] “One of my favorite scenes is when Angela screams and smashes the glass ornaments. What was it like to film”?
ANGELA [01:08:29] All of that.
JENNA [01:08:29] Yes, exactly.
ANGELA [01:08:31] But now if you go back and watch the scene, you guys watched like the first two that I throw. I think that’s kind of from the first take. They bounce straight up.
JENNA [01:08:39] So when we go back up in the office, I have to point out that when everybody decides to go to “Poor Richard’s”, Michael gets invited and the look on his face, it’s better than any gift he could have been given.
ANGELA [01:08:51] I know. And this is that moment where you’re like, Michael has been just such a jerk this whole episode. And then you see this sort of sad, wounded person that just wants people to like him.
JENNA [01:09:02] Yes. How much he needs people to invite him to have drinks. Like he needs it.
ANGELA [01:09:07] Or, or he needs his gift to be the most popular.
JENNA [01:09:09] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:09:09] He needs that acceptance.
JENNA [01:09:12] Well, we have Michael’s talking head at the end where he’s talking about Christmas and gifts. Here’s a little fun tidbit. This talking head was originally shot to be at the beginning of the episode.
ANGELA [01:09:23] Oh.
JENNA [01:09:23] But when they were editing, they put it at the end because Greg wanted to do kind of a montage of scenes and of people leaving, of us out in the snow in the parking lot. And he was like, oh, wait, that talking head, that works perfectly because something that we couldn’t do because the documentary style. You couldn’t do a montage with a song.
ANGELA [01:09:44] No.
JENNA [01:09:45] You had montages were set to talking heads.
ANGELA [01:09:48] And we have had a montage with song. But it’s like the song playing in the car.
JENNA [01:09:52] Sure.
ANGELA [01:09:53] Something like that.
JENNA [01:09:53] It has to be sound that is that what do they call that? Like a live sound.
ANGELA [01:09:58] A live sound. Yeah.
JENNA [01:09:59] Something like that. Active sound. Yeah.
ANGELA [01:10:01] Before we get to the final scenes of the show, I just wanted to point out two lines that fans have quoted as some of their favorite lines ever in this episode.
JENNA [01:10:10] Oh, yes. Say them.
ANGELA [01:10:11] One is “Happy birthday, Jesus. Sorry your party is so lame”.
JENNA [01:10:15] Yes.
ANGELA [01:10:16] And another fan favorite is “Yankee Swap is like Machiavelli meets Christmas”. And I really do want you guys to check out the DVD deleted scenes from this episode.
JENNA [01:10:27] By the way, we’re not getting paid to say that.
ANGELA [01:10:29] We’re not.
JENNA [01:10:30] We just really think they’re good.
ANGELA [01:10:31] We just really think they’re good. And you guys Oscar Nunez is so great with physical comedy. I did a sketch show with him before “The Office” years ago in my 20s. We’ve known each other forever. He is a great physical comedian, but he didn’t get to do very much of that on “The Office”. But there is a scene in the deleted scenes where him and Creed move a desk and he gets pinned in by the desk. He has to get out from being stuck. And it’s really, really funny.
JENNA [01:10:58] I want to see that.
ANGELA [01:10:59] And Phyllis reveals in a deleted scene for this episode how she met Bob.
JENNA [01:11:04] Oh!
ANGELA [01:11:04] She says that they met because he works next door.
JENNA [01:11:08] Well, there you go.
ANGELA [01:11:09] So there you go. They were right there together. And Kevin has a whole rap. He raps.
JENNA [01:11:14] Oh.
ANGELA [01:11:15] A whole portion of a song. So really, check out these deleted scenes, if you can. They’re fantastic. All right. Let’s talk about the final scene inside the office.
JENNA [01:11:24] All right. It happens in Michael’s office. He’s getting ready to leave. He’s going to go downstairs. Meredith just walks into his office. Takes off her top and then Steve as Michael takes a picture and then walks out. I have a fan question.
ANGELA [01:11:43] Well, first of all, Kate, I really wanted Kate to be able to call in for this one. I traded text with her, but she has starting a tour with “Dancing with the Stars”.
JENNA [01:11:51] Oh, yeah.
ANGELA [01:11:52] And she’s traveling today. She’s on a plane. And she called me the night before last. She’s like, “Ang, I’m so sorry I can’t come in. But she was like, I really do want to come in and talk about all things Meredith”. So she will come eventually.
JENNA [01:12:04] Oh, that’s good. I have a feeling you might know the answer to this fan question.
ANGELA [01:12:08] OK.
JENNA [01:12:09] Carrie Schwab said or maybe it’s Carrie Chaib said, “When characters flash each other. Are the actors really flashing each other in real life”?
ANGELA [01:12:19] No, no, no.
JENNA [01:12:20] No.
ANGELA [01:12:20] No. So-.
JENNA [01:12:21] I mean, sort of. Sort of. No.
ANGELA [01:12:22] No, I mean, I mean. It’s still embarrassing, even if I had to, like, be in a bathing suit. I feel awkward.
JENNA [01:12:30] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:12:30] You know what I mean?
JENNA [01:12:31] Kate was wearing pasties.
ANGELA [01:12:32] Kate had things.
JENNA [01:12:33] She was kind of covered.
ANGELA [01:12:34] Yeah. She had things over her “who has”.
JENNA [01:12:36] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:12:36] Steve is such a gentleman. He said, “Kate, I’m just going to look at like your neck”.
JENNA [01:12:41] Yeah. Stare at your clavicle.
ANGELA [01:12:42] They had no crew inside.
JENNA [01:12:45] Yep.
ANGELA [01:12:45] Her image wasn’t on any monitors anywhere.
JENNA [01:12:47] That’s right. And there was no chip in the digital camera. So the flash goes off. It looks like Michael’s taking a picture. But there was actually never a picture.
ANGELA [01:12:56] Never a photo. So they were very, very mindful of taking care of Kate in that moment. Kate would go on as Meredith to take off her clothes and-.
JENNA [01:13:07] Quite a bit.
ANGELA [01:13:08] Quite a bit. One of my favorite, favorite things is that Kate’s father wrote her a handwritten letter.
JENNA [01:13:15] Oh, my goodness.
ANGELA [01:13:16] And all it said, this is her father, who, you know, Kate is from Pennsylvania. And all it said was, “Dear Kate, stop taking your clothes off. Love, Dad”.
JENNA [01:13:27] Oh, my gosh. Oh, my Gosh. What did Kate do? How did she respond to that?
ANGELA [01:13:36] She was like “oh my gosh”.
JENNA [01:13:36] Now is that her dad having a sense of humor or is that him being like, “Seriously. Stop it”?
ANGELA [01:13:42] I think both.
JENNA [01:13:43] Oh, all right. Should we talk about the parking lot? We’re almost done here.
ANGELA [01:13:48] Yes. Let’s talk about the parking lot, because it is definitely one of the most magical moments that I remember in filming. All nine years. And we all say that.
JENNA [01:13:57] Yeah. People often ask, like, “what were your favorite scenes”? And it’s always hard to explain because sometimes your favorite scene, it doesn’t seem like that exciting of a scene, but it’s what happened behind the scenes that make it your favorite. And this parking lot scene as one of mine.
ANGELA [01:14:14] Definitely. Definitely. OK. So it’s it’s the end of the day. We have all of this real snow on the ground and everyone is leaving and everyone’s in good spirits.
JENNA [01:14:24] And it’s really night time.
ANGELA [01:14:25] It was really-.
JENNA [01:14:26] It was rare for us to ever work past 6:00 p.m., so we always got excited to walk out in the dark. I think we all felt like we were up past our bedtime.
ANGELA [01:14:34] But also, you have to remember, this is Los Angeles. There’s never snow on the ground. So this is magical in itself that we have a parking lot full of snow. And as we’re walking to the cars, I don’t know. I. Like the shot you see, I’m actually in the front passenger seat of an SUV, but I’m only half in.
JENNA [01:14:54] Ok.
ANGELA [01:14:54] Like the doors open. But I remember one of the guys just picked up some snow and flung it at the other one. And then they all started picking up snow and having this impromptu snowball fight.
JENNA [01:15:05] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:15:05] And everyone loved it and they wanted us to keep doing it. But it was just sort of like us just all hanging out in the snow.
JENNA [01:15:13] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:15:14] And-.
JENNA [01:15:14] We turned into a bunch of kids.
ANGELA [01:15:16] We did.
JENNA [01:15:16] We couldn’t help it.
ANGELA [01:15:17] Yeah.
JENNA [01:15:17] We were up past our bedtime with snow on the ground.
ANGELA [01:15:21] Fresh snow on the ground.
JENNA [01:15:23] Yeah. It was so fun. And you know, I have a picture of all of us together in the parking lot with Charles McDougall. And it’s great. I love it. I coveted it. I coveted that.
ANGELA [01:15:35] I love that. I want to see it.
JENNA [01:15:36] Yeah, well, this is why we have to make our scrapbook thingy, Angela.
ANGELA [01:15:40] We do.
JENNA [01:15:41] We should combine-. Well, that’s what we need to do. We need to compile and combine -.
ANGELA [01:15:45] All of our photos.
JENNA [01:15:46] All of our stuff. And then make it so that we can both have what we both have.
ANGELA [01:15:50] Yeah.
JENNA [01:15:51] Right?
ANGELA [01:15:52] Yeah.
JENNA [01:15:52] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:15:53] Before we lose it all. We need to do it. OK.
JENNA [01:15:56] It’s 2020.
ANGELA [01:15:57] Huh.
JENNA [01:15:58] We need, we need to do this. This is a goal for this year. I’m setting the goal for us this year.
ANGELA [01:16:03] Well you guys she said it now. Jenna, Jenna is going to put me to task. This episode was really special.
JENNA [01:16:09] It was.
ANGELA [01:16:10] I really hope we did it justice because it means so much to us. These episodes are almost harder for me than other ones because there’s so much emotion attached to it. There’s so much that happens in the scene. Not only like is it special to us personally, but it was like a big moment for our characters.
JENNA [01:16:27] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:16:27] And just that moment at the end, that snowball fight, that is just a group of people who love each other who are all getting to hang out. And we just happened to be on a TV show together.
JENNA [01:16:40] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:16:40] It’s just a really special moment. And I love that they let that be how it ended.
JENNA [01:16:44] And that’s really how it felt when we left the show that we were just a bunch of friends who happened to be on a TV show together. Because we, we were friends.
ANGELA [01:16:56] And we are friends.
JENNA [01:16:56] Yeah.
ANGELA [01:16:57] And we’re family.
JENNA [01:16:58] We are. So next week we’ve got another big episode, Ang.
ANGELA [01:17:02] Huge episode.
JENNA [01:17:03] I mean, we, listen, the rest of this season 2 is just going to be one momentous episode after the other. Next up is “Booze Cruise” with our special guest, creator of the American Office, Greg Daniels.
ANGELA [01:17:19] Greg Daniels is gonna be here. We are super excited. Cannot wait to talk to him. Thank you, Greg in advance. And “Booze Cruise” is a huge, huge episode.
JENNA [01:17:29] We’ll see you next week.
ANGELA [01:17:33] Bye!
JENNA [01:17:33] Thank you for listening to “Office Ladies”. “Office Ladies” is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Our producer is Codi Fischer, our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer.
ANGELA [01:17:42] And our theme song is “Rubber Tree” by Creed Bratton.
JENNA [01:17:46] For ad free versions of the show and our bonus episodes “Candy Bag” go to StitcherPremium.com.
ANGELA [01:17:52] For free one month trial of Stitcher Premium use code “Office”.