July 6, 2021
This week we’re breaking down Customer Survey, and the ladies interview Stephen Merchant! Stephen shares with us how he met Ricky Gervais and came to co-create the UK version of The Office, along with directing this very funny episode. When both Jim and Dwight get bad customer survey reviews, they team up together to uncover the truth behind who’s calling them arrogant and smudge. Angela shares her struggle with that “hand-plowed field” scene and Jenna talks about the infamous moment between Pam and Alex, and of course, there’s talk about those fakey, tiny Bluetooths. So get in! It’s time to peel into a parking spot and listen to this legendary episode.
83 — Customer Survey with Stephen Merchant
[00:00:03] Jenna I’m Jenna Fischer.
[00:00:04] Angela And I’m Angela Kinsey.
[00:00:06] Jenna We were on The Office together.
[00:00:07] Angela And we’re best friends.
[00:00:08] Jenna And now we’re doing the ultimate Office rewatch podcast just for you.
[00:00:12] Angela 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.
[00:00:19] Jenna We’re the Office Ladies. Ooh, boy, this is a good episode of Office Ladies today.
[00:00:27] Angela I’m so excited for you guys to hear it. I’m excited to listen to it.
[00:00:31] Jenna I’m going to listen to it over and over and over again.
[00:00:34] Angela We’re listening to ourselves right now.
[00:00:37] Jenna Today, we’re going to be talking about Customer Survey. It is season five, episode seven. It was written by Lester Lewis and directed by Stephen Merchant.
[00:00:48] Angela The Stephen Merchant. Come on, you guys listening, you know who Stephen Merchant is.
[00:00:52] Jenna Yeah. Creator of the British Office.
[00:00:55] Angela Come on.
[00:00:56] Jenna We got to talk to him, you guys. I was supposed to wait until fast fact two, but I can’t wait. I can’t wait.
[00:01:00] Angela We tried really hard to keep it together.
[00:01:03] Jenna We couldn’t do it.
[00:01:04] Angela We couldn’t do it.
[00:01:05] Jenna All right. We’ll still go through the motions. Summary: Jim and Dwight receive poor customer surveys and they joined forces to uncover why. Were they really bad? Is something going on?
[00:01:15] Angela Yeah, a little bit of a whodunit.
[00:01:17] Jenna Who done it? Meanwhile, Pam and Jim communicate all day long via teeny tiny Bluetooth earpieces and Andy and Angela make some wedding plan decisions.
[00:01:29] Angela Oh, yes, they do. They get the best tentist in all the land.
[00:01:35] Jenna They do. I loved that so much. We got him. We got him.
[00:01:38] Angela Got him.
[00:01:39] Jenna All right. Fast Fact number one, we shot this episode the week of September 8th, two thousand and eight. It was our seventy ninth episode overall. And I got curious, like, how many episodes of Office Ladies have we done.
[00:01:53] Angela Oh my gosh, how many have we done?
[00:01:55] Jenna This is our eighty third.
[00:01:56] Angela You’re kidding.
[00:01:58] Jenna That’s bonkers, right?
[00:02:00] Angela Wow.
[00:02:00] Jenna Now we’re like zeroing in on the big one hundred in both cases.
[00:02:04] Angela Can we have a party?
[00:02:06] Jenna I think we can.
[00:02:07] Angela Sam, can we have a party?
[00:02:09] Sam We sure can.
[00:02:09] Angela Thank you, Sam. Sam, you can be head of the PPC for Office Ladies.
[00:02:15] Sam Oh, so it’s become a task for me.
[00:02:17] Angela I mean, you got the coolest Christmas tree this year. Come on.
[00:02:21] Sam That is very true.
[00:02:22] Angela You’re head of the PPC.
[00:02:23] Jenna You had to ask Sam if we could have a party because he’s like the one person who’s going to come. We don’t have very many people that work on Office Ladies. If Sam’s not down, then we don’t have much of a party.
[00:02:34] Angela Pretty much it’s Sam and Cassi. Codi, will you stop by? Maybe Colin.
[00:02:38] Jenna Yeah, we got to get Ileana in.
[00:02:40] Angela Oh, and Marissa.
[00:02:41] Jenna Yeah.
[00:02:42] Angela Those are our peeps. And we still need to have take your kid to work day because my kids really want to come in the studio.
[00:02:47] Jenna We were just talking about it on the drive to school today about how they want to come because summer break.
[00:02:52] Angela Oh, let’s get them in here.
[00:02:54] Jenna Yeah.
[00:02:54] Angela OK, wait, this is a big episode. Well, chit chat later.
[00:02:57] Jenna All right. We’ll figure that out later. Fast fact number two, Stephen Merchant directed this episode. So he and Ricky Gervais created the British office, it ran on BBC two for two seasons, they were six episodes each, and then they did a two part Christmas special. They wrote and directed all of the episodes themselves. I mean.
[00:03:17] Angela Yes, they would sit together with a Dictaphone. Right. And they would talk out scenes and then transcribe them. They wrote the whole series, just the two of them.
[00:03:26] Jenna And then they let us make an American version. And then Stephen directed this episode and then he agreed to come on our podcast. Oh, my goodness. I mean, wow. To prep us before we listen to the interview, I thought we should go over a few facts about the British office and the American office.
[00:03:47] Angela Oh, I like it.
[00:03:48] Jenna OK, so the British Office was set at a paper company called Wernham Hogg, and it was located in Slough. The building that they used for the exterior of their show, it was located on Slough Trading Estate and it was called the Crossbow House, but they tore it down in 2013. So you can’t visit it.
[00:04:10] Angela When we do our England tour of Office locations.
[00:04:13] Jenna We’re not going to be able to see that one.
[00:04:15] Angela Well, we might just have to go to the spot.
[00:04:17] Jenna Yeah.
[00:04:17] Angela We’ll point to the spot.
[00:04:18] Jenna OK. It’ll be a great photo.
[00:04:21] Angela You know what? I’ll put it in our scrapbook.
[00:04:23] Jenna Dunder Mifflin, on the other hand, was located in Scranton and the exterior of our building was and still is located at Chandler Valley Studios on Saticoy Street in Van Nuys, California. You can take a picture with that one.
[00:04:37] Angela You can.
[00:04:38] Jenna But as a nod to the British series, the address of Dunder Mifflin is listed as seventeen twenty five Slough Avenue.
[00:04:46] Angela I know. I always love that.
[00:04:48] Jenna It’s so sweet.
[00:04:48] Angela So sweet. It’s even on like the fakie business cards.
[00:04:51] Jenna Oh yeah.
[00:04:52] Angela Yeah. Like Michael Scott had business cards I might have taken one. I might have stolen one. It has that address.
[00:04:58] Jenna Well, we will talk more about these two companies when we speak with Stephen.
[00:05:03] Angela Should we get to it?
[00:05:04] Jenna Well, I have one more fast fact.
[00:05:05] Angela Oh, my Lord. OK, let’s do it.
[00:05:07] Jenna I know, I know.
[00:05:07] Angela I’m so excited.
[00:05:09] Jenna Fast fact number three. This episode was written by Lester Lewis.
[00:05:13] Angela Oh, yes.
[00:05:13] Jenna And I found an interview with Lester where he talked a little bit about what it was like knowing that an episode he had written was going to be directed by Stephen Merchant.
[00:05:22] Angela Oh, I love it. Can I hear it?
[00:05:23] Jenna Yes. So he said that the story for this episode was already in place before Stephen was attached to direct. So as he was writing it, luckily, he had no idea that like one of the-
[00:05:33] Angela Thank goodness.
[00:05:35] Jenna Yes.
[00:05:35] Angela I wouldn’t want that in my head. I would just want to, like, write what I was going to write without any pressure.
[00:05:40] Jenna Yes. But then he was so nervous when he found out because, you know, the writer gets to walk around with the director for the whole week.
[00:05:47] Angela They’re together the whole time.
[00:05:49] Jenna It’s like a very close relationship.
[00:05:51] Angela Yeah.
[00:05:51] Jenna I mean, I would be pooping my pants.
[00:05:53] Angela Yeah. A little bit.
[00:05:54] Jenna But he said any nervousness that he felt totally disappeared when he met Stephen and that Stephen participated in the final rewrites of the script. He wished that Stephen Merchant could be with us for every single episode.
[00:06:06] Angela Well, that’s so sweet.
[00:06:07] Jenna Well, I couldn’t agree more with that.
[00:06:09] Angela I know. I know.
[00:06:10] Jenna His energy is just fantastic.
[00:06:13] Angela So smart, so funny and so kind.
[00:06:15] Jenna Yeah.
[00:06:16] Angela Well, Jenna later when we break down the episode, I have a little story I want to share about Lester because he rescued me in a scene. He really did. But now we’re going to take a break. And when we come back,.
[00:06:29] Both Stephen Merchant.
[00:06:30] Jenna I can’t believe it.
[00:06:30] Angela I can’t believe it..
[00:06:35] Jenna Stephen, hello.
[00:06:36] Stephen Merchant Hi. Well, I say I feel like I should say hello, Office Ladies.
[00:06:40] Angela Oh, hi!
[00:06:42] Jenna Aww. Thank you.
[00:06:43] Angela I love that.
[00:06:44] Stephen Merchant I, I don’t know if you’ve noticed in honor of both the British and the U.K. versions of The Office, I am wearing my my Wernham Hogg baseball cap, which is which is the Dunder Mifflin of the UK. And the but I have my Dunder Mifflin mug, which I believe was a gift for my cup of tea. So, you know, I’m just trying to pay homage to both both sides of the Atlantic and both shows.
[00:07:07] Jenna You’re awesome. You are so awesome.
[00:07:09] Angela We love that so much.
[00:07:09] Jenna Well, let’s see. To kick things off, I thought that, and I’m sure you’ve been asked this a million times, Stephen, about meeting Ricky for the first time. But the reason I bring it up is because you mentioned Angela and I we’re rockin a duo. You’re part of this duo with Ricky. But there are these people who, when we meet them, they just change the course of our lives. I think back to, you know, Lennon meets McCartney, right? Like, what is that?
[00:07:41] Stephen Merchant Wow. I’m already an amazing company. This is exciting.
[00:07:44] Angela Jenna, as you said that I’m like, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Wow. When we sat next to each other in the basketball episode, I didn’t realiz the impact I was going to have.
[00:07:52] Jenna That was our Lennon McCartney moment, Angela.
[00:07:54] Angela wow.
[00:07:54] Jenna So Stephen, I know that you went into interview for a job to be Ricky’s assistant at a radio station. You walk in the door, you meet this man. Did you feel it?
[00:08:06] Angela Was there a spark?
[00:08:07] Jenna Was there a shift in the universe?
[00:08:12] Stephen Merchant Well, it was interesting because, as you say, I did indeed go into a building to meet him, but he very quickly said, let’s go to the pub for a pint of beer.
[00:08:21] Angela Oh, my God. This is my guy.
[00:08:23] Stephen Merchant And there aren’t many bosses that do that. He was hiring me for the job, so I was immediately charmed by that for that sort of seemed like the right approach. And we went down the road and had a pint and we got chatting. And we seemed to have a lot of common lots of things like music and comedy and stuff. So we hit it off in that regard. But then he said something to me, which I think was revealing. He said, listen, I- this was a radio station where we were both going to work. And he said, listen, I don’t know anything about radio. I’ve sweet talked to my way into this job. I don’t know what I’m doing. And and you seem to have a little radio experience. If you do all the work, I’ll make sure you have fun. And I, in need of a job, thought that sounds like a fair deal. And so I joined the station with Ricky as essentially my boss, and true to his word, he did not know what he was doing, but we managed to find a sort of working relationship. And and after a little while, we were behind the scenes guys. But after a little while, they realized that our better asset was being on the radio. And once we went on the radio and we started talking and being and being kind of presenters, kind of like you guys, that was when I think where it all started to make more sense. And I think that was where our if you like, our sense of humor and our relationship with each other and our rapport, I think that’s where it really began to develop sort of on the radio. And and then from then it was sort of, you know, it was plain sailing, really. And we just had so much of what we our experience, so much of sort of getting to know someone that you end up working with in that way is I think, just as I’m sure you guys discovered, it’s just finding all the things you have in common. And I suppose the things you don’t like, you know, and sort of deciding that these are the movies we like, these are the comedy we like. This is what we don’t. And I think that so much of the initial sort of partnering was that, was was finding that stuff, that common ground.
[00:10:09] Angela Oh, man, that is such a great story.
[00:10:11] Jenna And also I feel like something Angela and I have discovered in working together is like our strengths and weaknesses and how they and our differences in our in our work. We both have strong work ethics, but we work differently. What do you think were some of those things that made you and Ricky a good duo?
[00:10:32] Stephen Merchant Well, I think I was a little younger than Ricky, and so I had a sort of youthful ambition and a kind of get up and go sort of dynamism and at the time we were working this radio show. And then I would go off and do up comedy in the evenings and things, whereas Ricky would sort of be home eating cheese with his girlfriend by sort of, you know, 6pm. And I think, you know, he was older and he’d sort of settled into a certain groove. And I think I had this kind of eagerness to sort of make my stamp on the world. And I think- but at the same time, I think what Ricky had was just a sort of untapped kind of explosive brilliance that was just sort of waiting to be to be sort of mined, you know. And I think I had this slightly more kind of structured, slightly more rigid approach to things. And I think it was his sort of his wild spontaneity and my kind of slightly more, you know, by the book approach, I think kind of bringing those two things together sort of work well, you know. And I was able to kind of chaperone him through some of the more boring bits of writing, if you like, the working of the plots and all those sort of things. Whereas but at the same time, he had a kind of- he was just sort of um smart. He was just wise about people and about, you know, it just he was just older. And so there was a big brother quality to him that he could bring to it as well. So it was just a really interesting dynamic. We sort of supported each other and we kind of, I think, sparked each other’s creativity in different ways. It was just a very exhilarating sort of time in both our lives I think.
[00:11:59] Angela Stephen, you’re my Jenna. You’re my Jenna.
[00:12:01] Stephen Merchant Well, there you go.
[00:12:02] Jenna That’s what I was going to say. I’m you, Stephen. I’m I’m the structure and the the tasks and the and Angela’s the ba boom boom.
[00:12:12] Angela I’m like, let’s go grab a pint. Let’s bounce some ideas off.
[00:12:18] Jenna And I’m like, I’ll get a pint with you but I’m bringing a notebook.
[00:12:18] Angela Yeah.
[00:12:20] Stephen Merchant Right, exactly. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly.
[00:12:22] Jenna Well I remember meeting you for the first time when you came to the set of The Office early early.
[00:12:29] Angela Jenna, where was that? Where did, where did you guys meet? Was it the original Culver City set?
[00:12:34] Jenna Wasn’t it, Stephen, do you remember?
[00:12:37] Stephen Merchant I definitely think it was it was the season one set.
[00:12:39] Jenna Yeah. And we weren’t on the soundstages yet, right?
[00:12:43] Angela We were in an actual office building.
[00:12:43] Stephen Merchant That’s right. It was a real a real office above a real factory. Is that right? Or a real warehouse?
[00:12:49] Jenna Above a real warehouse.
[00:12:50] Stephen Merchant Yeah.
[00:12:51] Angela Didn’t you guys, Stephen, when you filmed the BBC version, weren’t you in an actual office building as well? Weren’t they like people working on the other side of the wall?
[00:12:58] Stephen Merchant That’s very that’s absolutely true, although bizarrely, we were within a studio complex, a small British TV studio, but we were not in the studio. We were in an actual office in the studio complex. And yes, as you say, there were there were people sort of who were kind of annoyed by the noise we were making. And wre trying to get on with a job of work. And we were there kind of running around, making noise and doing funny dances and whatever else. So, yeah. So it’s very much a real office. And it had all of the the the pros and cons of that I suppose, that it was- it felt real and we wanted it to feel very lived-in and we wanted it to we always wanted our version of The Office to feel like a documentary that had sort of been made and then everyone forgot about it and it was just on a shelf somewhere at the BBC for like ten years and someone dusted off and was like, put this on TV. So we wanted the whole thing to feel tired. The office should feel tired. The people, the clothes. We always were very excited when the plants that we had on the set were slightly dying. We liked that idea. It’s the British that British approach. You know, you reflect the weather by just making shows that are depressing. And and that was what that office had. It had a slightly tired feel because it had been a real place. And it’s somehow slightly harder to create that artificially, when you build a set, you know, you’re always striving for that. So it had that nice lived in quality, but but obviously also restrictive to shoot in a little bit difficult and, you know, and not much elbow room and, you know, so it’s pros and cons.
[00:14:21] Angela Right. Our camera guys have talked about that where we filmed the original set in Culver City was an actual office. So no walls moved and you could pop anything out. And that really just added to the authenticity. But that’s that’s where you guys met. You guys met for the pilot, maybe Jenna? Or the table read.
[00:14:39] Jenna I remember doing a reading for you guys, I gosh, I mean, and then I remember we ordered some food and had some lunch and just, and just-
[00:14:49] Stephen Merchant Yes, but you were maybe shooting by then. I feel like you were maybe shooting. I have a photo from that time which feels like you’re on the set and everybody’s kind of… I’m sure you’re maybe working, and we were up and running by the time we actually visited, I felt like a lot of what we did initially was remote. I know that Greg Daniels came and visited us in England and we sat with him for a couple of days and we sort of chewed the fat and tried to talk about how- tried to give him a better insight into why we had chosen certain things for the British version and how they might translate to America and what the versions, what the equivalents would be in America. And it was fascinating to me because there were things which we assumed would be the same all over the world. For instance, the the idea of an office, a group of people in an office going to a pub quiz is quite a traditional idea here. You’d go to a trivia night as a group. And that I remember at the time, it felt like Greg- that wasn’t as familiar to Greg, the idea of kind of the trivia night or the quiz night. And I guess maybe they are more common now, but I don’t know that that was his- and it’s interesting because when they did a version in France, it turns out that apparently on Friday night, the end of the working day on a Friday, the champagne comes out in an office.
[00:16:02] Jenna What?
[00:16:04] Stephen Merchant Where I guess in France, I think champagne is just like water in France, it’s just everywhere. And I just thought it was fun, you know, just these interesting variations.
[00:16:13] Jenna Yeah. How many different countries is The Office in now?
[00:16:18] Stephen Merchant There was a French version. There was a French Canadian version. There was an Israeli version. There was, I believe, a might be an Indian version. And I think there’s a South American version, but I forget where exactly in South America. But we was first because they would send us copies of these. But of course, none of them had subtitles. So it was just speaking in their local languages. And I have no idea whether it was good or bad.
[00:16:44] Angela It’s got to just be so amazing, Stephen, when you take a moment and sit in that, that you went and grabbed a pint with this guy and all these years later, this idea that the two of you had is everywhere. It’s everywhere. It’s got to be just so humbling and amazing.
[00:17:02] Stephen Merchant It’s like covid-19.
[00:17:03] Angela Oh, no.
[00:17:07] Stephen Merchant Yeah, no, it’s no, I know what you mean, but I think yes, but I think also what’s exciting about that, and I think particularly one when you guys began your version was that, you know, we always were a fan of our show, but we could never watch it as an audience watches it because we were too immersed in it. We were there. We we’d written it and we were just too involved that we couldn’t get any distance from it. Whereas I remember when they would send the ep- the seasons of your show, the episodes of your show, I could watch it like a fan. It was like I was like, I’m just enjoying it as a fan and not as a creator in the same way, you know what I mean it’s very, very pleasurable. It’s like you get to design your ideal show and then go off and have talented people make it and send it to you, you know, I mean, it’s like sort of like an amazing like you won a competition. You design a show and then talented people make it for many, many years.
[00:17:54] Jenna One of my favorite experiences was after we filmed the pilot, I was in London and you and Ricky grabbed drinks with me at is it called the Groucho Club?
[00:18:05] Stephen Merchant That’s right. Yeah.
[00:18:06] Jenna OK. And that was just so exciting. But then I was on the tube and I picked up what was like your version of TV Guide. And I looked in there and there was an article about how America was going to ruin The Office. And there was a little picture of my face in a bubble comparing me to Lucy Davis. And there were bubbles of all our faces talking about how we it specifically outlining how we were each going to ruin the show.
[00:18:41] Angela No.
[00:18:41] Jenna Yeah. I still have it. I put it in a scrapbook.
[00:18:44] Stephen Merchant Let me tell you right now, Jenna, what really happened was Ricky and I had that manufactured specially and placed on the tube- planted on the tube in order to really make you buck up your ideas and do a good job. But it’s funny you should say that because because I remember that when that when it was first being discussed, as you say, there were a lot of things about oh America going to ruin the show. And then there was when the show, your show started airing in the UK, it was kind of, oh, it’s not as good as the British version. And then over time, it’s become the American version is far superior to the British version. This is the British. This is the way we do things here, you know, I mean, we like we kind of build you up and then we knock you down. And and so, yeah, now we’re very much the American version is kind of the much loved version, even by the British the British press. And Ricky and I are seen as kind of, oh, those guys, we’re tired of those guys.
[00:19:34] Angela No, no.
[00:19:36] Stephen Merchant Yes it is. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. Maybe it’ll come full circle.
[00:19:40] Angela Well, I remember meeting you guys on the the new set when we moved way deep in the Valley, Chandler Valley Studios. And I’ll never forget because you guys were coming for lunch and we were all super excited. And I think by now, the supporting cast, we were we were actually, um, we had real contracts, so I think I was a little braver to, like, come up and say hi because maybe no one would fire me now because I was locked in. And you guys were going through the food line and the the assistant director came up to me and said, Angela, you’re the first talking head up after lunch and Ricky and Steven will be here. And I just went like I was like, oh, no, no. I just got the courage to say hi, please don’t make me do a talking head in front of them. And Ricky said, oh, don’t worry, I don’t tisk too loudly. And he did his finger. And I was like, ha ha ha. And then sort of broke into a cold sweat. But it was-.
[00:20:36] Stephen Merchant I hope, though, that we I hope ultimately I think we always ultimately tried to be supportive when we could. We were kind of aware that it was like there was this I think just because we had British accents and we’d come from a long way away, it was like it was like the queen had come to visit and we were aware of that. And I think trying to, you know, make sure people realized we weren’t here to judge or be mean.
[00:20:57] Angela Oh, no, you guys were great. We were we were just abuzz about having you guys on the set. And then when you came, I guess, you know, we’re talking about Customer Survey this week, when you came to the set I read that you were in the writers room for weeks before we actually shot.
[00:21:12] Stephen Merchant Yes. Yes, absolutely.
[00:21:13] Jenna Yeah. And we always ask people how they got their job on The Office. I think we know you started by creating. But how did you end up directing this particular episode, do you remember?
[00:21:24] Stephen Merchant Well, I think whenever I visited, because I used to kind of visit whenever I was in L.A., sometimes with Ricky, sometimes without. And I tried to come, you know, once a season and stop by. And I was always very- I just loved being in the writers room because remember in the UK Ricky and I wrote the show together, it was just us and we didn’t do a lot of episodes, but it felt like a lot of hard work. And it was just the two of us in this sort of cold London little tiny office. And whereas when you come to an American writing room, you know, there’s so many people and it’s just it’s just a really buzzy, exciting atmosphere. You’re just you’re just with a lot of very talented, very smart people. Ideas are sort of pinging around. And it’s it’s a very different experience to the to the British experience. And I always loved that. I was just always a fan of being in that environment. And so I think there have been conversations with Greg about sort of directing an episode and it just never worked out schedule wise or I was always doing something with Ricky or I was doing some something else in the UK and for whatever reason, I had that little window of time. And I think so I think in a sense that particular episode was the one that was up and when I could slot it in and I had those few weeks ahead of it. And I just wanted I just thought, well, I really I love being in the writing room. I love being in that that sort of environment. Let me come over and just absorb that. And I’m sort of really glad I did because I felt like I was able to contribute to the script of that episode. And and again, I just I just really had a blast just seeing how it worked and seeing the ideas bouncing around the room and seeing how one idea becomes another and how jokes are improved. And like I say, not something I’d really experienced in the UK and so it was it was a learning curve for me as much as it was as much as it was a job, if you like.
[00:23:14] Jenna And do you remember any pictures from the room? I know there’s one scene, the Mr. Buttlicker scene.
[00:23:22] Angela Right. That was was loosely based off a situation you had at a job where you had to do the the train up. Right?
[00:23:29] Stephen Merchant That’s right. That’s right. I was working at a call center answering phones, and we had to have training for a week beforehand. And one of the things we had to do was one person went in one room and called another trainee and one was the customer and one was the person working at the call center. And I figured the in order to maximize this and kind of get the most out of it, I thought it would be useful to be sort of a challenging customer, a little bit difficult or or ask difficult questions or go quiet sometimes just because that’s what I wanted to learn, because it’s figured you’re never going to be able to just follow a script. There’s someone always that is going to be kind of difficult. So I started playing difficult customers for the other trainee so I would be a little angry or whatever it would be. And eventually the guy in charge of the training took me aside and said, I can’t have you do this anymore because you’re upsetting the other trainees with your with your characters and with your questions and with your attitude. And anyway, so I’d always been very amused by the idea that in the course of that sort of training, you you get so into the role that you’d sort of- it would overtake the training.
[00:24:38] Angela Yeah.
[00:24:39] Stephen Merchant So I raised that as an idea. It just seemed like a funny idea to have Jim kind of deliberately needling Dwight in that way. And some of the writers went off and kind of and came back with that scene. And I really was so happy with that. I thought it was absolutely fantastic. I thought it was a really funny spin on that idea. I thought that when we shot it, I thought the three guys were just fantastic. I loved the fact that it was sort of longer than a lot of scenes are traditionally in the show that it just it could just we could just sit in that moment. And I think it’s in a way, it sort of escalates. And and I just I thought everyone kind of knocked it out the park. And I’m sure there was a version of that that we shot where either Steve or or I think I think it was Steve at the end just said, we got the Buttlicker account! Which I don’t think we could ever squeeze into the finished cut. But there was a lot of sort of fun little improv around the edges. And yeah, I just think when there’s a sort of when there’s three great performers and a really funny idea like that sort of given free rein, it’s so thrilling to be there as a director and watch it happen. And that was I just I was so satisfied with that, with that scene.
[00:25:47] Angela It’s so great, it’s so great.
[00:25:49] Jenna So good.
[00:25:50] Angela Well, Jenna do you remember I remember, Stephen, when you were on set we did rehearse scenes and we had sort of been rehearsing for technical for camera. But I felt like when you were there, we rehearsed really sort of the meat of the scene and walked through the scene and I loved it. I had a few scenes with Andy and I had that scene with Dwight where basically we’re going to get married on Schrute Farms and I’m so happy and we’re flirting and it’s very weird. But we rehearsed and I, I wish that we had done more of that. And was that part of your routine when you guys filmed in England? Were you rehearsing scenes before you shot them?
[00:26:28] Stephen Merchant We were and I think also what I think I probably brought with me, which was perhaps a bit unnecessary, was I I think I was still slightly hung up with the this obsession with the kind of realism of of what we tried to do. And not that your show wasn’t realistic, but I think Ricky and I had became obsessed about realism and naturalism and what was real and what might happen and what might not happen. And and I think actually it was sort of unnecessary obsession because in the end, it’s a TV show and, you know, it’s just you just do what’s the funniest and smartest thing to do. And so I guess I was bringing with me this sort of this we must we must get to the truth of it, you know? And it’s kind of like, wait a minute, aren’t they wearing tiny little Bluetooth headsets that don’t exist? Like, why am I so hung up on the realism of this? You know? And so I think I was probably bringing an unnecessary obsession with that, which I transposed from our version. And it’s funny because even when I look back at our version, it’s not it’s not realistic. There was lots of completely absurd moments, but for whatever reason, we got that in our head. So I think probably I was bringing a bit of that to it. And I think what I hadn’t anticipated is just that you guys were so in a groove by that point that you didn’t need rehearsal, you didn’t need directing. You know, you could do it just standing on your head. You knew the characters way better than me. And you were just you could just slip in and out of it so kind of effortlessly that you just didn’t need that that sort of that that rehearsal or that kind of attention to detail, whatever it is. You know, you could just I could have just left you to do it and come back after lunch. And, you know, so I think it was just like I say, it was again, I think it’s just it’s like naivete in a way about having not done, you know, American shows, particularly long running shows, where at some point the cast are just so in sync with the show and the characters, they don’t really need directing.
[00:28:15] Angela Well I don’t I agree with you that we were sort of like we were a machine at this time, season five, but for for me and Jenna and I and the cast have talked about this, when we did rehearse with you, it sort of grounded us back down and got us back into character. And not that we would step out of character because we could like you said, we could go right to Angela Martin. I know her, right?
[00:28:39] Stephen Merchant Yeah.
[00:28:39] Angela But I don’t know, for for us as actors, we got really into it because it it allowed us to, you know, like not to sound too actory, but have the moment that’s the craft. Right. And feel like you’re really part of a production and kind of remind ourselves, oh yeah, we’re here to to do this really cool show that’s a mockumentary. And I don’t know, I had geeked out about it, Jenna.
[00:29:02] Jenna No, I agree with you, Angela, because by this time it was season five. And, you know, at a certain point it can feel like a comedy factory, a comedy TV show factory. And we never wanted that. And we we did always try to come back to that place of authenticity. And and when you came in in this season and really reminded us of that, I thought there was such value in it.
[00:29:31] Angela Mm hmm.
[00:29:32] Jenna And then also, I was so grateful that you directed this episode, Stephen, because it ends with this big Jim, Pam, Alex art school guy scene. You talked about the tiny Bluetooth that actually did not work. They were fake.
[00:29:49] Angela They didn’t exist at the time. They were like completely like made up. Right.
[00:29:54] Stephen Merchant Yeah. That’s funny, isn’t it, now? Because, you know, now with the airpods and these other things, you know, they’re kind of standard issue, aren’t they, really. But at the time that just seems such a kind of crazy. That was probably something I was probably hung up on at the time. It was like, what is this? Is this a thing?
[00:30:07] Jenna Yeah.
[00:30:08] Stephen Merchant Can these exist?
[00:30:09] Angela And not only that, they probably would have been really expensive because no one no one had them.
[00:30:14] Jenna Yes. And and so we’re- we would be shooting these scenes and it would either be like an AD reading the lines so you’d be shooting John’s side and I’m either off camera saying my lines so he can hear me, or it was an AD reading the lines. But in that last scene in particular, when Alex comes in to Pam at Corporate and Jim can hear him giving her this pitch that she should not leave New York. I, I we spent hours on that, I mean, it felt like a whole day we spent on that and the the script had like seven alternates to that scene. It was bonkers.
[00:31:00] Angela Didn’t -didn’t one alt Jenna wasn’t he like professing that he actually wanted to be in a relationship with you? Didn’t- wasn’t like there are a huge spectrum of like what Alex was going to say to you?
[00:31:09] Jenna Yes. It was that either the plea was he actually had a line where he said, it’s always been you, Pam. I mean, that’s heavy. And and then there was this whole other version where he had no feelings for me. He was just really invested in my artistic life. And we would just.
[00:31:31] Stephen Merchant But did we shoot different versions? I can’t because I remember the discussion about that. And I and I feel like I was it seemed odd to me that kind of big declaration of love. I for some reason, I was uncomfortable with that. But what you got to remember is what is I wasn’t entirely up to speed on what had already been being built within the season because obviously I’d only come in for that one episode. So but I just there was something for me that disquieted me about the declaration of love, I think partly because I … I think it was something whenever the kind of Jim and Pam relationship is threatened, particularly once you got together, I kind of it just makes me uncomfortable. It’s like it’s like knowing it’s like your parents kind of the idea that your parents might get a divorce. It’s sort of- I’m not- it makes me sad. That kind of threat to the threat to the relationship just makes me sad. And so the idea I don’t know, I was worried that it was a sort of artificial jeopardy, like it didn’t really count because there was no way that you were going to leave Jim. And so therefore, we were sort of creating a phony drama. But that might be my mis memory. I don’t remember. I don’t- was it was it was it was it nailed down by the time we filmed it, do you remember?
[00:32:41] Jenna I do remember the version where he professes his love was in the script. And John and I felt like you did. We thought, where is this coming from? We don’t need this obstacle. And the one that appears in the show was an alternate. And so when we got to set, we were so excited that you were on our side and we could be like, guys, Stephen Merchant, creator of the whole thing thinks we’re right. But it was still like this discussion. And I feel like for a while we tried to do this Frankenstein version where there was a little bit of his feelings and a little bit of art school. But ultimately, I’m so glad that we picked the one that was picked.
[00:33:30] Stephen Merchant But having watched the show again in anticipation of this, it’s a little odd that he declares, like you say, he’s he’s so invested in your art school because it feels like when he comes into the office.
[00:33:43] Jenna He’s known me three months!
[00:33:43] Stephen Merchant That’s right. He comes into your wherever you’re working in order to to kind of have a word with you and that definitely feels like he’s going to declare his love because probably we filmed it thinking that was what was going to happen. And then by the time he gets into the little side room with you, he’s like, man, you’ve got to stick with that art. It’s kind of… yes so it’s a it’s a little odd. It’s still probably a little Frankenstein-y.
[00:34:05] Jenna Well, it’s also it’s also slightly out of the blue because we ended up cutting so much of my art school, which at the time when we filmed this, we didn’t know that scenes with Alex and, you know, he had given me a couple of art pep talks already, but they never made it. So it is a little jarring, but it sets up a really nice story for Pam and Jim, which is that, you know, what does the art really mean to her? What did this New York experience mean to her? And, you know, and this is going to kind of haunt her for a while. And that that part I like about the scene.
[00:34:45] Stephen Merchant Yeah, I agree. And I and I think, yes, it’s the idea of do you of do you pursue a particular dream or do you be with the person you love? And the two things pulling at each other is an interesting idea.
[00:34:57] Jenna Yeah.
[00:34:58] Angela Well, I watched this episode again last night with my tweens, my 13 year olds. And just when Alex says, hey, can I talk to you? Just that, like the fact that he went to Dunder Mifflin corporate and sought her out to have a private conversation, they were like, whoa. So it to me, it was a reminder that you don’t have to do much to really convey emotion. And yes, Alex is saying you’ve got to give your art a shot. You can’t do New York in three months. But it’s clearly about so much more. And Jim can hear that. Jim knows. It’s that that dude thing where when he’s like, oh, he’s into you. And so for me, it was everything we needed. We didn’t need anything more.
[00:35:41] Jenna There was something in the script that didn’t make it in that made me laugh, which is that while Alex is talking, Jim says, cough if you still love me, and I cough.
[00:35:55] Angela Oh, that would have been great.
[00:35:57] Stephen Merchant I can’t- I don’t want to take credit for things that weren’t mine, but I feel like… I’m maybe I’m wrong about this, but I my instinct is that the little sort of tag on that when when Dwight recognizes the brand of Bluetooth in Jim’s ear, I feel like I had some contribution to that because I felt like I felt like the scene originally, maybe just ended with the sort of the kind of dot, dot, dot and the drama of it. And I felt like it needed a little conclusion or something to just kind of take away from the from the sort of emotion of it or the drama of it or something, and also sort of slightly resolve the Bluetooth idea.
[00:36:34] Jenna Yeah, yeah. That wasn’t in the script, Stephen, that that-.
[00:36:37] Stephen Merchant Oh it wasn’t?
[00:36:37] Jenna It wasn’t. It was not. So that was clearly like an on the day thing. Yeah.
[00:36:42] Angela A pitch, yeah. I also loved the reveal of the coffee mugs and how in fact they had not gone to Kelly’s party and how that sort of built within the episode. And you talked a little bit on the DVD commentary how you were so invested in shooting this coffee mug reveal.
[00:36:58] Stephen Merchant I was quite excited because there was a sort of there was a sort of mystery element, and I quite liked that. It’s funny how the project I’m working on at the moment has a sort of thriller element to it, it’s the first time I’ve done that. And that that that little taster on The Office of just sort of Jim as the detective kind of piecing things together was very pleasing to me and sort of and sort of seeing the Columbo, you know, seeing the evidence and kind of the mind working. I don’t know if I find that very, very fun and sort of sort of seeding the cups early on and then the kind of the sort of when Jim looks around the room and he sees the mugs on the different desks and then he rushes to the you know, just the idea of having a little bit of a a sort of, you know, like a kind of little bit of a sort of thriller-y, NCIS, quality to it or whatever. I just find that that was fun. It was a kind of nice it was a different kind of energy, which I which I find very pleasing to do I remember.
[00:37:53] Angela I took my mug. I have it.
[00:37:56] Stephen Merchant Smart. Why not? I would hope that you’ve got all your memorabilia from the show and it’s just in a giant warehouse somewhere.
[00:38:03] Jenna I didn’t get a mug.
[00:38:04] Angela I took mine.
[00:38:05] Jenna I was at art school.
[00:38:05] Angela Yeah, you werre at art school.
[00:38:08] Jenna Oh well. Aw, Stephen, this was so great to reminisce about this episode with you and just reminisce with you in general. Is there anything else that you would want to share?
[00:38:18] Stephen Merchant Well, the only thing occurred to me as I was watching it the other night, the thing that I was suddenly reminded of, and I’m sure this was a trick that was used a great deal in your show. And I and I certainly we’d used in our version. But I remember there’s a moment where Michael calls Jim in for his kind of customer survey appraisal and and the camera kind of whips from Jim at his desk to Michael in the in his office doorway. And then it whips back again to Jim at his desk. And I remembered watching it again, I’m suddenly reminded that those were those were shown two different days and that Steve had to leave for whatever reason. And we didn’t have him for that following day. And so we shot him in the doorway and we whipped the camera off him. And then the following day, we whipped back onto to John at his desk and tied the two together in the in the editing room. So it looks like it’s happening in real time. And I was just watching it and I was very pleased at how effective it was when I watched it again, because I realized hopefully only me and the editor know that’s what happened there. It was very pleasing.
[00:39:19] Jenna I would have no idea.
[00:39:21] Angela Yeah.
[00:39:22] Stephen Merchant Yeah, it was very it was a very satisfying little trick.
[00:39:25] Jenna I remember Randall talking about the whip cut, that this was their trick because you couldn’t so much of our footage is like a oner docu style camerawork. It was really hard to cut, but if you did a whip, you could cut in a whip. And that was that’s a way that they would be able to use two versions of a scene or something.
[00:39:48] Stephen Merchant That’s absolutely right. And it’s it’s very satisfying to do it because it sort of somehow you’re playing a little trick on the audience and they don’t realize. I don’t know why that’s so satisfying.
[00:39:59] Jenna Well, I was just going to say over the course of the whole series, you were such a champion for Jim and Pam. And I remember that so much. You know, we talked about how that was true in this episode, but all the way to the end, you were always so invested in them. And I just say thank you because your voice in the writers room was really meaningful. So thank you.
[00:40:22] Stephen Merchant Well, thank you. And thank you for such an amazing job and congratulations with your podcast. And I also I wouldn’t mind just saying a final thought, which was just about Lester who wrote that episode.
[00:40:33] Angela Yes.
[00:40:34] Stephen Merchant You know, Lester Lewis who so tragically died a few years after that. And I only knew him for that for that one episode. And that was every time I worked with him. But he was such a lovely man. And I just, you know, sort of whenever I think of that episode, it’s kind of tinged with that bittersweet, you know, that bittersweet aftertaste, if you like. So, yeah, a little reminder to him.
[00:40:54] Jenna Yeah. We loved Lester so much.
[00:40:54] Angela Yeah. Lester was wonderful.
[00:40:57] Angela Well, Stephen, I just want to say thank you. I mean, I I feel like everyone in our cast was just… Like, humbled that we got this job, we all felt like we won the lottery ticket and you gave us that lottery ticket, you know, you and Ricky and you forever changed our lives. Like, I I’m like I’m the person that’s quick to laugh and quick to tear up and and what you gave us and how you changed our lives and our families just from having this idea, I, I don’t know. I will never be able to say thank you enough. So thank you.
[00:41:35] Stephen Merchant Well, that’s very sweet of you. But again, I you know, it’s it’s I think we can all feel very proud of of our version, but also of the American version. I think for me, I grew up watching and loving American shows and I was hooked on, you know, MASH and then Cheers and then Roseanne. And then the idea of having my fingerprints on a show like yours, which which stands in the lineage of those shows and is now as beloved by audiences as that as those shows, it’s just incredible. And that’s a testament to you guys and all the cast and all the crew and all the writers. It’s far it’s gone way beyond what Ricky and I did. It’s like you mentioned about Frankenstein earlier. But to us, we’ve always thought of The Office as it’s like Frankenstein’s monster. And we kind of created this thing in the lab and it went off and rampaged around the world on its own without us. And and the idea that this show is having this kind of this sort of whole second life and, you know, audiences finding it again, I just think it’s it’s such a thrill and an honor to be to be associated with it. So thank you.
[00:42:36] Jenna And will you tell us a little bit about the show that you’re working on now, The Offenders?
[00:42:40] Angela Yeah.
[00:42:41] Stephen Merchant No, no. Goodbye.
[00:42:42] Jenna Oh, dear.
[00:42:43] Angela Oh, come on.
[00:42:44] Stephen Merchant Well, it’s interesting because it was it’s a show that is about people doing community service. You know, when you get like a DUI or some minor crime and instead of sending you to jail, they give you one hundred and twenty hours of picking up garbage at the side of the road or whatever. And my parents used to be- my parents didn’t they did not do DUI’s, they were people that were in charge of of offenders that did these these days. And I just thought was always an interesting idea, a good way of bringing a completely disparate group of people together. And interestingly, it has parallels with Ohe office in that regard because, you know, like with an office, those people only know each other because they work in that same environment and they fall in love and they hate each other and they fight and argue. And it’s the only thing that keeps them together is because of that job and those four walls. And this was sort of a similar idea in a way, is that although it has a bit more of a dramatic thriller-y spine, the jumping off point is, again, how do you bring an interesting bunch of characters together that wouldn’t otherwise meet and sort of watch the the sparks fly? And so so it shares some DNA with The Office in that regard. But, um, but yes, we’re we’re sort of in the middle of filming it now and hopefully it will be out later in the in the year.
[00:43:50] Angela And where can we find it? BBC and Amazon Studios. Is that right?
[00:43:54] Stephen Merchant Amazon Prime and BBC, yes, that’s right. And it may its name may change at some point. Who knows? Maybe its cast will change. I don’t know. But but at the moment it’s called The Offenders and yeah, and it’s shaping up really nicely. I’m I’m excited.
[00:44:06] Jenna Well, I want to throw something out there, too, because I’m a big fan of your film, Fighting With My Family.
[00:44:11] Stephen Merchant Thank you.
[00:44:11] It came out in twenty nineteen. I discovered it during the pandemic. It is so, so good. You wrote and directed it. So while you’re waiting for The Offenders, check out Fighting With My Family.
[00:44:24] Stephen Merchant Thank you so much. I’m very proud of that film. I think it turned out really nicely, so I appreciate it.
[00:44:28] Jenna Well, Stephen, this was just a joy. Thank you.
[00:44:32] Angela Yes, thank you so much.
[00:44:33] Stephen Merchant Yeah. It was wonderful. It’s so great to reminisce. It’s really nice to talk about it. If I hadn’t re-watched it, I realized I was completely forgotten so much of that and so much of the fun of doing it. It was really pleasing to kind of go back and look at it again.
[00:44:45] Angela Well, thank you so much, Stephen. Thank you so much for today.
[00:44:48] Stephen Merchant Thank you, guys. Thanks so much.
[00:44:53] Angela Where do we go from there? That was so great.
[00:44:56] Jenna I don’t know, Angela, but I have to tell you, I was on a high for days after we did that interview.
[00:45:00] Angela I know.
[00:45:01] Jenna Here’s all you need to know about Stephen Merchant, by the way. Just the warmth and heart of this man. He really was the champion of Tim and Dawn on the British show and of Jim and Pam on our show. And if you need an example of that, just look at how he wore his Wernham Hogg hat.
[00:45:16] Angela I know.
[00:45:17] Jenna For a podcast-.
[00:45:18] Angela And brought his coffee mug. His Dunder Mifflin coffee mug.
[00:45:21] Jenna That he had tea in.
[00:45:21] Angela We need to send him some Office Ladies like merch.
[00:45:25] Jenna We have to.
[00:45:26] Angela Yeah.
[00:45:27] Jenna OK. All right. Well, should we break down this episode?
[00:45:30] Angela Yes, let’s get to it.
[00:45:31] Jenna This episode opens with a very funny cold open. Dwight bursts into Michael’s office to congratulate him on his engagement. Congratulations, Michael.
[00:45:41] Angela And like punches him hard.
[00:45:43] Jenna I know.
[00:45:43] Angela I feel like this is how my kids would congratulate you. Like you aced your test. Pow! Like Dwight is such a kid.
[00:45:52] Jenna Yeah, no it’s true. Darryl has a talking head. He just wants to make sure we all know that what we saw last week was true. That Michael is definitely not engaged.
[00:46:01] Angela Yeah. No. In fact he would help support his therapy.
[00:46:04] Jenna Might need a little help. Michael.
[00:46:05] Angela Yeah. He’s a little worried about him. Well there is a deleted scene where the gang asked Michael to tell him about the proposal moment.
[00:46:14] Jenna Oh.
[00:46:15] Angela And Michael just starts doing that thing Jenna where he just gets deeper and deeper into, like a ridiculous lie. And it’s so funny. Sam, can you play it?
[00:46:26] Michael Scott How did I propose? Let me see. Well, I drove her up to Nashua and I had the ring. Big ten carat diamond. Beautiful. I got down on my hands and knees and a shooting star crossed overhead and it just lit up the diamond like a shooting star. And we were in a restaurant and I put the diamond into a cheeseburger and he took a bite, started to choke. So what do I do? I have CPR training, go ground, start doing the Heimlich. The ring, ten carat diamond, pops out of her mouth, hits her shrimp cocktail right onto her finger. Million to one shot. All of the Greek people in the restaurant start screaming, opa! Which means congratulations. So.
[00:47:22] Jenna What is this restaurant where they have ordered a cheeseburger and shrimp cocktail?
[00:47:27] Angela And .they’re outside with the shooting star
[00:47:30] Jenna And it’s Greek.
[00:47:31] Angela And it’s Greek. And-.
[00:47:32] Jenna You know, that famous Greek shrimp cocktail-
[00:47:35] Angela Out under the shooting stars with a great cheeseburger? I mean, I just you could just if you get a chance, watch this deleted scene because you see him being like, yeah, and then this happened and, you know-.
[00:47:50] Jenna Ten carat diamond.
[00:47:51] Angela Yeah, I know.
[00:47:51] Jenna Wow.
[00:47:52] Angela Wowsers.
[00:47:53] Jenna What was left in the episode is that everyone makes him call his mom and tell her the news.
[00:47:59] Angela And she’s like she thinks he’s lying again and he’s like, mom, come on.
[00:48:04] Jenna A couple of things. I don’t know if you noticed the entire time he’s on the phone with his mom, Mindy is hiding behind Phyllis’ shoulder. You can only see her forehead. This is totally because Mindy was laughing.
[00:48:16] Angela Yeah, she’s laughing.
[00:48:17] Jenna Exactly. We also had some fan questions from Sabrina, Hannah, and Paul, who would like to know who voiced Michael’s mom in the cold open. This was June Squibb, who is an amazing character actress. She was actually nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2014 for her role in the movie Nebraska.
[00:48:39] Angela Oh, my Gosh.
[00:48:40] Jenna She also played Jack Nicholson’s wife in the movie About Schmidt.
[00:48:44] Angela She’s so good.
[00:48:45] Jenna So good.
[00:48:45] Angela She’s so good.
[00:48:47] Jenna Yeah.
[00:48:47] Angela Oh, we were so lucky.
[00:48:48] Jenna Yeah, that’s Michael’s mom.
[00:48:50] Angela Well, now we’re getting into the episode. It’s customer survey time.
[00:48:53] Jenna Yeah.
[00:48:54] Angela Kelly brings Michael all the customer survey files and also a receipt to her bridesmaids dress that she had bought. That whole bit made me laugh.
[00:49:02] Jenna Well he’ll take care of it.
[00:49:03] Angela Oh, yeah.
[00:49:03] Jenna He’s got it. He just crumple it up and throws it in the trash.
[00:49:07] Angela So the whole premise of the story is that Dwight, Jim, all the salespeople, they have these customer surveys and if they do well, then they get bonuses and things like that. Right?
[00:49:15] Jenna Right.
[00:49:15] Angela So stakes are high. Jenna, I have a question for you.
[00:49:18] Jenna OK.
[00:49:19] Angela Do you do the customer surveys, like if you get a prompt on an app or an email or a receipt or if someone calls you because you’ve purchased something, do you do the customer surveys?
[00:49:29] Jenna Very rarely, but occasionally if I have a really great interaction with a salesperson, I want to give them like a kudos. So I will actually go home with my receipt. You know, they usually circle it. And then I go take the survey and I say how great they were.
[00:49:46] Angela This is totally why we’re BFFs. Because I do that. I do the surveys, you guys. It affects-.
[00:49:51] Jenna Every time?
[00:49:52] Angela I try to. It’s very time consuming.
[00:49:55] Jenna It really is.
[00:49:56] Angela I was once on the phone with this guy, we had gotten an appliance delivery and then they do the setup and then they called to see how you liked their service. Right. I was on the phone with the guy for 45 minutes.
[00:50:08] Jenna Saying what?
[00:50:09] Angela Well, I did his survey and then we just had a heart to heart. Josh came in and was like, are you still on the phone with the dishwasher guy? I said, I am. I did the survey. And he told me a lot of people don’t do them. Sometimes they hang up on him or sometimes they yell at him or sometimes they get very offended by the questions he asks. And they’re just sort of standard questions. And I said he was really nice guy. I talked to him, you know, he’d had a tough few months. And like-
[00:50:35] Jenna This is so you. Let me say, I do the customer surveys that are online.
[00:50:40] Angela Oh, yeah.
[00:50:41] Jenna So I don’t do like a phone call customer survey.
[00:50:44] Angela Oh, I love a phone call customer survey.
[00:50:45] Jenna Yeah, that’s you.
[00:50:47] Angela I want to get to know you. And anyway, this whole episode made me think about that. And I was like, I wonder if Jenna does them too.
[00:50:55] Jenna I do because I worked in that line of work and I know how like a good review boosts you up the ladder.
[00:51:03] Angela It does. And I did as well. And so I think about that.
[00:51:06] Jenna Well, the other storyline going on here, Jim’s going to have a talking head where it is revealed that he and Pam are wearing teeny tiny Bluetooth earpieces.
[00:51:17] Angela Yeah. And this technology did not exist.
[00:51:19] Jenna No. The Mitsuashi B-400 is not a real thing.
[00:51:23] Angela This is a fakey tech alert.
[00:51:25] Jenna Fakey high tech alert. Yeah. We talked a little bit about this with Stephen, how they were totally fake. So the way we did this was we shot John’s side of these conversations first and I would be off camera reading my lines. And then at the end of the week, we went to the corporate set and we shot my side of it. And then John was off camera. And Veda, our script supervisor, would have to take diligent notes because if there was an improvization that we did, she would have to write it down so that we could remember to shoot my half of it when we moved over to corporate.
[00:52:01] Angela Oh, man.
[00:52:01] Jenna So it was really complicated. It wasn’t like there was a camera on him and a camera on me.
[00:52:05] Angela Right.
[00:52:06] Jenna So that’s how we did it. And by the way, I found out that this whole Bluetooth storyline was pitched by B.J. Novak.
[00:52:13] Angela I, of course, had to Google what is actually the smallest headphone ever made.
[00:52:19] Jenna Oh.
[00:52:19] Angela Yeah. According to the Internet, you guys, I don’t know why I find this stuff interesting. This is like what’s happened with us with Office Ladies. We talk about it. We see something and we’re like, I want to know. What is the smallest headphone? According to the Internet, Swedish headphone maker EarIn kicked off its consumer electronics show in twenty twenty one by revealing the A3 true wireless earbuds. And according to EarIn, they are the smallest and lightest headphones ever made. Sorry, Apple.
[00:52:50] Jenna Are they expensive? Do you know?
[00:52:51] Angela I looked it up it’s like one hundred ninety bucks.
[00:52:54] Jenna What? For the smallest?
[00:52:55] Angela For the smallest.
[00:52:56] Jenna But are they the best?
[00:52:58] Angela Don’t know that. Don’t know that guys. I’m just telling you, EarIn claims to have the smallest.
[00:53:04] Jenna Now it’s time for Dwight to find out how he did on his survey.
[00:53:07] Angela And I have what I’d like to call a new catch phrase alert.
[00:53:11] Jenna What is it?
[00:53:12] Angela Sam, can you play it?
[00:53:15] Michael Scott Alrighty, Dwighty.
[00:53:17] Angela Alrighty, Dwighty is my new catchphrase. I love it. I’m going to say it. Alrighty, Dwighty, what you got, Jenna?
[00:53:25] Jenna Well, I’ll tell you, Dwight doesn’t do well on his survey.
[00:53:29] Angela No.
[00:53:30] Jenna And Michael’s not joking.
[00:53:33] Angela Even though Dwight has that queasy feeling that he gets when he sometimes is hearing a joke.
[00:53:36] Jenna Yeah, but he’s not laughing. He can’t be sure because he can’t see himself. But yeah, it’s very upsetting. But guess who else doesn’t get a good review?
[00:53:45] Angela Jim.
[00:53:46] Jenna That’s right.
[00:53:47] Angela Yeah.
[00:53:48] Jenna He is arrogant and smudge.
[00:53:50] Angela A lot of smugness.
[00:53:51] Jenna Yeah. Now Jim turns off his little Bluetooth.
[00:53:54] Angela Yeah. Pam’s like what. What’s happening.
[00:53:56] Jenna Yeah. And then he has a talking head where he reveals some pretty big news; that he was counting on this bonus because he’s going to buy his parents’ house. Pam doesn’t know this. And also clearly it’s going to put him in debt because he says, you know, he’s going to buy something he can’t really afford.
[00:54:14] Angela But he’s also retiring his parents.
[00:54:17] Jenna Yeah, I guess they need the money from the house sale to retire. Then he gets on the phone with Pam. He tells her about the bad review.
[00:54:25] Angela But not about the house.
[00:54:27] Jenna How do we feel about that? Am I opening a can of worms?
[00:54:30] Angela I mean, you have that look on your face where you know exactly how you feel about it. I don’t know why you’re asking me. You just turned red.
[00:54:39] Jenna I know. I know. Because this is going to play out and.
[00:54:44] Angela Well, you feel like a home purchase is a two hander, not a one hander. It’s a big life moment.
[00:54:49] Jenna And not just because they’re going to live in it together. And I think that people should pick out their living space if they’re going to live in it, but also because it’s a financial burden. Jim has just revealed this is going to burden him. And then also, Pam. And I think that something of that gravity you should speak about with your partner before you do it, I personally don’t find large financial purchases that I then have to live in to be a romantic gesture.
[00:55:22] Angela I probably shouldn’t have bought you that RV.
[00:55:24] Jenna I do love the RV, Angela. It’s I wouldn’t have had the table be exactly where it is, but I can live with it. I loved it. Thank you.
[00:55:33] Angela I put the title in your name. How are those payments? We’re kidding. I did buy her an RV. I didn’t buy her an RV. But yeah, I think this kind of moment is what we call the two hander, guys. It’s a two hander life moment.
[00:55:46] Jenna Yeah. And I think this sort of speaks a little bit to where, you know, Pam was so heavily criticized for Alex’s attention on her that she never reciprocated. Right. In this art school story. But there’s not a lot of criticism of, like, how Jim is partnering. And that’s sort of where, I don’t know, he gets a pass maybe because he’s so, like, charming and it’s seen as, like, romantic.
[00:56:18] Angela Well, some people might see it as romantic that he’s going to provide a home, but I think.
[00:56:22] Jenna But he’s not really because it’s a financial burden.
[00:56:24] Angela I said but. I had a but coming. Which is also that, you know, when you’re partnering with someone in life, the word is partner, right?
[00:56:34] Jenna Yeah.
[00:56:35] Angela It’s not solo-ing. I’m not soloing with you. I’m partnering with you. And Pam might have said, you know what? Why don’t we live in one of our apartments and save money for a bit?
[00:56:45] Jenna Or she might have said, listen, I get it. I love your parents. I want your parents to be able to retire. I agree to take on this financial burden to provide your parents with a great retirement. I’m in.
[00:56:58] Angela That’s right. But she never got the chance.
[00:57:02] Jenna She wasn’t given that opportunity.
[00:57:02] Angela She never got the chance. Because there was some solo-ing and not some partnering.
[00:57:06] Jenna Yeah.
[00:57:07] Angela Yeah.
[00:57:08] Jenna Let’s talk about what Andy’s up to. He goes to get some coffee. But he can’t find his mug because Jim’s using it.
[00:57:15] Angela It’s his face.
[00:57:16] Jenna But is it I mean, smile, smile like the mug.
[00:57:19] Angela That was so funny, but that made me laugh so hard. Jenna what do I have here in my hand?
[00:57:24] Jenna You guys, Angela has her mug with the star and her little severe face.
[00:57:30] Angela I took it at the end of the week. Am I like The Office klepto. I full on took it. It has sat on my desk at home for fifteen years and I keep my pencils and stuff in it and I washed it out and brought it here today so I could drink out of it.
[00:57:45] Jenna So cool.
[00:57:46] Angela In honor of the episode. Sam, do you see it? You’re head of the PPC, you need to clock things like this.
[00:57:51] Sam It’s wonderful.
[00:57:52] Angela OK, thank you.
[00:57:53] Jenna I don’t have one.
[00:57:54] Angela You don’t have one.
[00:57:55] Sam That is not wonderful.
[00:57:56] Jenna Thank you.
[00:57:57] Angela You do have a mug though with The Edge on it.
[00:57:59] Jenna I do have that. Thanks to you, Angela. I don’t think we talked about that on the pod.
[00:58:05] Angela We haven’t.
[00:58:06] Jenna All right, I’ll share. Angela got me a mug from The Edge, my favorite movie.
[00:58:12] Angela I made it, guys. I went on a website and I made it.
[00:58:15] Jenna It took you months. It has a picture of Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin and then it has a picture of the bear. And then it has the quote, what one man can do, another can do.
[00:58:27] Angela And I gave it to her as a birthday gift.
[00:58:29] Jenna Yes. And that is the actual quote from the movie. Even though I say what one man has done, another can do.
[00:58:36] Angela I looked it up. I got it right.
[00:58:37] Jenna No, you got it right. You got it right.
[00:58:39] Angela And now Jenna can drink her mug with either the bear facing her or Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin.
[00:58:46] Jenna Alec Baldwin. And I use it on days when I need to get fired up, you know, when I like when we’re writing our book. And I know, like, I have a tough day of writing ahead. And I maybe I just I’m not ughh, I just can’t get into it. I’ll get that mug, Angela, and I’ll pour coffee in it and I’ll look at that bear and I’ll be like, I’m going to slay this bear today. You know, the quote from the movie is, We’re going to kill a motherf*cking bear today.
[00:59:08] Angela The Bear is the book.
[00:59:10] Jenna The bear is the book. The bear is whatever you need to conquer in the day.
[00:59:13] Angela Not today.
[00:59:14] Jenna And it stares at me. Not today, Bear.
[00:59:16] Angela Not today, bear.
[00:59:17] Jenna I love my mug.
[00:59:18] Angela Or not today, Anthony.
[00:59:20] Jenna Who’s Anthony?
[00:59:21] Angela Anthony Hopkins.
[00:59:22] Jenna Charles.
[00:59:23] Angela Charles.
[00:59:24] Jenna You mean Charles.
[00:59:25] Angela Charles? Well, Jim says, why don’t you use the Snoopy mug? And Pam’s like, no, that’s my mug.
[00:59:30] Jenna But it’s not even her mug. Her mug is the pink mug.
[00:59:33] Angela I know. So I wrote here in my notes, wait, did Pam bring her pink mug to art school?
[00:59:38] Jenna Maybe Pam brought her pink mug to art school.
[00:59:42] Angela Snoopy is her backup mug.
[00:59:43] Jenna Yeah, I buy that.
[00:59:45] Angela This is more mug talk than you ever thought you might hear.
[00:59:47] Jenna There’s going to be more too. So just buckle in for that later. Also Andy would like you to know about landing the greatest tentist for the wedding,
[00:59:58] Angela Do you mean the Shangrila tent to celebrate your wedding with excellence? I screengrabbed it. That’s what the website says. And let me just tell you a little bit about this tent, you guys. It’s two stories and heated and it has a bridal suite for his bridal sweet. It’s really simple and tasteful, a two story tent.
[01:00:18] Jenna You know, it’s the same tentist that Giuliani used for his first and third weddings.
[01:00:23] Angela But Nana Mimi can’t be in canvas that long. Angela is not having it.
[01:00:26] Jenna No, no, no, no, no.
[01:00:28] Angela Well, I have to share with you guys the scene between Angela and Andy. I couldn’t do it. I literally couldn’t do it. It’s at ten minutes, ten seconds. Angela Martin has to say to Andy, you can have your tent, but only if it’s in a field. A hand tealed field.
[01:00:41] Jenna You still can’t say it.
[01:00:45] Angela I tried my hardest.
[01:00:47] Jenna Just now you said, hand tealed field.
[01:00:49] Angela No, I didn’t. I was trying so hard.
[01:00:50] Jenna You said tealed.Like teal like the color.
[01:00:50] Angela Okay well.
[01:00:50] Jenna It’s supposed to be tilled. Hand tilled field.
[01:00:52] Angela OK, so here’s-
[01:00:57] Jenna This is what Angela could not do on the day.
[01:00:59] Angela Here’s the thing. What I just read to you guys was what was exactly in the script.Right?
[01:01:03] Jenna Right.
[01:01:04] Angela And if you watch the show, you know, that’s not what I say because I think we did like 13 takes. My Southern Kryptonite is a vowel in front of an L, you might remember filthy emails. Couldn’t say those. So I kept saying hand tealed field. Hand tealed field… so many times that Lester came over to me. He was so sweet. And he said, Angela, it’s hand telled field? Tilled?
[01:01:27] Jenna Tilled.
[01:01:29] Angela Hand tilled.
[01:01:30] Jenna Tilled like until.
[01:01:30] Angela Hun tilled. I can’t say it. What happens to me. I cannot say this word. And I said and I looked at him and I like looked at his lips as he said it. I was trying so hard. Stephen Merchant is the director. I’m sweating bullets here. So I was like, OK, ok, I got it. I got it. Hand tulled feld. And so I said, you can have your tent but only if it’s in a field. (Nonsense) And it was like a disaster. Lester came over. I’ll never forget. He sort of crouched down by my desk and whispered to me, Angela, why don’t you just say a hand plowed field? And I said, Oh, Lester, thank you. Thank you so much. And that’s what made it in the episode, because I can’t say hand tealed field.
[01:02:19] Jenna You can’t do it.
[01:02:20] Angela I can’t do it.
[01:02:21] Jenna Can you say hand until field?
[01:02:26] Angela Hand unteal field. Anyway, that is how Lester rescued me in this scene.
[01:02:35] Jenna That’s beautiful.
[01:02:37] Angela I know. He saved me with hand plowed. Bless his heart.
[01:02:40] Jenna He did. We need to talk about this scene, which we did talk about with Stephen, the role play scene.
[01:02:46] Angela William Buttlicker.
[01:02:48] Jenna Yes. We basically covered this with Stephen, but we did have a fan question from Danielle, Alice, and Stella and Allison, who wanted to know how much of the scene was improv and how much was scripted. So I went and looked in the script.
[01:03:03] Angela Thank you, James-a-Pedia.
[01:03:04] Jenna Yes, thank you. James-a-Pedia. The scene is entirely scripted.
[01:03:09] Angela It’s amazing.
[01:03:10] Jenna That is such good writing.
[01:03:11] Angela It is such good writing.
[01:03:13] Jenna I was sure that Steve’s little asides were improvised. His delivery is so spontaneous, like when he says, it’s up to you to change his mind.
[01:03:23] Angela Yes, I thought that was an improv, too.
[01:03:25] Jenna Scripted.
[01:03:26] Angela Beautiful.
[01:03:27] Jenna So, so good. What wasn’t in the script was, I am irate right now. That was not in the script. And there were a couple of other little lines, but they were always just like a play on what was already there. But yeah, that scene is just beautiful. Next is a scene that we didn’t talk about with Stephen and I wish we had. It’s that moment when Dwight peels his car out and tells Jim to get in.
[01:03:53] Angela Jenna. .I know I meant to ask him about it. So he talked about it in the DVD commentary that he loved how absurd it was that Dwight was like, get in and then peels out. And you really think they’re going to just tear out of the parking lot and go somewhere.
[01:04:07] Jenna And then they go nowhere.
[01:04:08] Angela And then he wanted him to make like a hard left and just go into his parking spot. And Jim’s like, what? And Stephen said he wanted it to be even bigger. He was like, can we do an even bigger peel out? But there just wasn’t the space.
[01:04:19] Jenna Well, I found this interview with Lester where he said that originally they were just going to have them meet, that Dwight was just going to have a meet down in the parking lot and they were going to have this conversation and that Stephen pitched, oh, guys, let’s make it more interesting and do this crazy car maneuver.
[01:04:35] Angela It’s so funny.
[01:04:37] Jenna So, so, so funny. I did get a fan catch from Madelin R. She is pretty sure that Pam’s car is in the parking lot.
[01:04:46] Angela Oh, that’s a good catch.
[01:04:47] Jenna In this scene. So I looked for it and it’s so fast I couldn’t register it, but I bet, you know, they just would leave our cars there. So I think there’s a good chance it’s there.
[01:04:58] Angela Oh, for sure. I bet. Well, you know, one of the things I loved about the scene was Dwight is, you know, convinced someone might be listening in to their conversation. So he plays J. Geils Band, the song Centerfold like really loud. It just took me back. I’m like, where are my roller skates?Like, I went and listened to the album last night. And you guys, if you haven’t watched music videos from this time, go back.
[01:05:22] Jenna They’re pretty special.
[01:05:23] Angela They’re real special. They’re delightful. My kids were like, what are they doing? I’m like, you guys this is a music video.
[01:05:29] Jenna Oh my gosh. I remember watching music videos on MTV. And then do you remember the VH1 pop up thing? Where they would pop up little facts on the screen.
[01:05:40] Angela Yeah, I love those.
[01:05:41] Jenna Me too.
[01:05:41] Angela Our whole generation grew up watching music videos.It’s wild.
[01:05:46] Jenna So now we’re back in the office and Dwight is on a sales call that he becomes increasingly convinced that someone is listening to him. He’s talking to a guy on the phone who, by the way, I found out, was played by actor Steve Zissis, who if you don’t know who he is, he is amazing. He is one of the stars of the movie Baghead, which he made with the Duplass brothers. Then he went on to create the TV comedy Togetherness with them. And he has a story by credit on the new film Cruella. I mean, he’s part of that whole, like, mumblecore movement.
[01:06:24] Angela We got the best actors just to be voices on the phone.
[01:06:27] Jenna What the hell?
[01:06:28] Angela What the heck. Dwight is positive it’s Kelly and he charges back there, right?
[01:06:33] Jenna Yes.
[01:06:34] Angela And he finds her on the phone and she’s like, you can’t just come into my nook and call me stupid, get out of my nook.
[01:06:39] Jenna And then Pam over at the corporate offices goes, That’s what she said! That’s what she said! OK, that was an improvised pitch by John Krasinski.
[01:06:49] Angela Oh cute.
[01:06:50] Jenna So I’m there and John is like, oh my gosh, it should be a that’s what she said. That’s what she said. And so we did it, we saved it. And then when I went to the corporate offices, we shot my side of it.
[01:07:01] Angela That is so cute. I love that. Well, they’re about to really uncover some details here in this little mystery because Jim has a conversation with Kelly and she doesn’t have anything to say. He literally asked her about Darryl, like normally she’d be chatty. And Pam is like, wait a second. Why isn’t she talking your ear off?
[01:07:20] Jenna Yeah. You know, it’s a good thing that Pam was in Jim’s ear this day because he may have never figured this out without her, truly. You know what I mean?
[01:07:28] Angela Well, the next scene really cracked me up because Jim goes to Ryan. Ryan’s got to know what’s up with Kelly. Right. And Ryan- I fell in love with Ryan in this episode, Jenna.
[01:07:38] Jenna Yeah, you’re with me now.
[01:07:40] Angela I’m with you because Ryan said- this made me laugh- he says, I don’t play the politics game anymore. Jim, can I tell you something? I played it full on in New York. I played it high stakes. For keeps. Made it to the top. Who is this guy?
[01:07:56] Jenna And my favorite thing is he’s like, can I tell you what I learned? As he takes a sip of coffee so we never end up finding out what he learned. I’m so sad. I would love to know his lessons.
[01:08:07] Angela But Jim sees the coffee mug.
[01:08:08] Jenna Yes.
[01:08:09] Angela This is the Columbo starting to piece it together, like Stephen talked about.
[01:08:13] Jenna Yes. He also has a coffee mug with his face and the little star. And that’s when it becomes clear that Jim and Dwight did not attend Kelly’s America’s Got Talent viewing party. These were the party favors.
[01:08:26] Angela These were the party favors. And somewhere in her house, Kelly has a mug with Dwight’s face on it. And Jim’s, she probably smashed them.
[01:08:35] Jenna I didn’t even think about that.
[01:08:37] Angela Oh yeah, she bought everyone mugs.
[01:08:38] Jenna And so these leftover mugs are sitting there just making her so angry every day. And she’s finally, oh, revenge is a dish best served cold. Kelly, well done.
[01:08:49] Angela I know.
[01:08:50] Jenna Well, I want you to know Jim figures it out. He rushes over to Dwight and says, Dwight, you were right. And I loved this scene so much. Dwight is finally right about a conspiracy.
[01:09:01] Angela And then like a ten year old boy, he’s like, let’s go get her! And Jim’s like, wait!
[01:09:05] Jenna But first he does that crazy air kick at Phyllis.
[01:09:08] Angela I know.
[01:09:09] Jenna Well, also in that interview with Lester, he said that Rainn improvised that air kick. He only did it one time, but it was so brilliant that’s the take they used.
[01:09:18] Angela Of course he did. Because if you guys watch the show, Dwight, does that kick whenever he gets real excited, he’s done it in the stairwell before a big sales call.
[01:09:27] Jenna It’s the happy air kick.
[01:09:29] Angela Yeah.
[01:09:29] Jenna I’m going to start using it.
[01:09:30] Angela Pump it up air kick.
[01:09:32] Jenna Also in that interview with Lester, he said he was really proud of this mug idea and he said that ultimately the writers knew that Kelly was going to sabotage the customer surveys because Dwight and Jim skipped her viewing party, but they couldn’t figure out how the guys would realize this fact. They had originally talked about maybe having Dwight tap Kelly’s phone and overhear something, or maybe they would find like a secret recording device or something, but that’s when Lester got the party favor mug idea and it’s really so genius. And then paired with the way Stephen directed it is just so great. Two great people working together, making a great moment. We also got a fan question about this scene from Evan L: Did the cast do a photo shoot for the mugs and if so, did they ask you guys to make weird faces because Oscar looks really bored on his.
[01:10:29] Angela I don’t remember a special photo shoot. We had done a publicity photo shoot, so maybe they used those images. But I’m looking at my face on the mug right now and it’s also possible that Phil just walked around and snapped pictures of us.
[01:10:42] Jenna It kind of looks like one of your publicity photos that maybe they color enhanced.
[01:10:46] Angela I still have my publicity photo. Do you want me to do a side by side in stories?
[01:10:50] Jenna Yes.
[01:10:50] Angela We’ll, vote, guys. Do you think it’s the same picture or do you think Phil just took my picture at my desk one day because they did do that sometimes.
[01:10:56] Jenna Oh they would.
[01:10:57] Angela They would walk around and you’d just be sitting there and they’d snap a picture of you for something.
[01:11:01] Jenna We’ll get to the bottom of it.
[01:11:02] Angela Well, Jenna, Kelly is going to get called into Michael’s office and she’s busted now.
[01:11:07] Jenna She is.
[01:11:08] Angela Dwight wants her fired.
[01:11:10] Jenna Yeah.
[01:11:10] Angela And Michael asked them to leave the office. You know, he’s like, this is serious. I need you to leave the office. And then Michael says this. And I loved it so much. Michael says, I have an enormous amount of trouble trying to get people to come to my place and I hate it. I can’t tell you how much leftover guacamole I’ve ended up eating over the years. I don’t even know why I make it in such great quantities. And then he says, listen, just sit there and pretend to cry, right? Can you do that? And then they both end up laughing. And it’s a really sweet moment.
[01:11:41] Jenna It really is. And we got a bunch of people writing in to ask if that laugh after Kelly fake cries if that was like a fake laugh or if Mindy broke. No, that was scripted. It’s scripted that her fake crying made them laugh.
[01:11:57] Angela Well, all say this: in re-watching this episode like three times right before today, I could hear Mindy’s fake laugh and then her real laugh.
[01:12:06] Jenna Yeah.
[01:12:07] Angela So if you watch it, she fake cries. She fake laughs. Then Steve laughs as Michael and then Mindy laughs as herself.
[01:12:15] Jenna Yeah. Her real laugh definitely comes out. So now we’re at this scene at Corporate, which we talked about a lot with Stephen, this scene where Alex comes to Pam’s work. He’s going to kidnap her, wants to see this art-
[01:12:29] Angela He said, wine and cheese. OK, that’s all you got to hear. If someone says-.
[01:12:33] Jenna Midday.
[01:12:33] Angela Midday, there’s an exhibit with wine and cheese, that’s not being friends.
[01:12:38] Jenna Yeah, well, thanks to James-a-pedia, I saw all of the candy bag for this.
[01:12:45] Angela How many were there?
[01:12:46] Jenna Ten.
[01:12:47] Angela Ten alts for this scene.
[01:12:49] Jenna Yes.
[01:12:50] Angela Oh, my word.
[01:12:51] Jenna Yeah, I wanted to count because we kind of talked about it and it was ten, ten alternate scenes. And I swear, we shot so many, so many versions of it. And I remember doing these scenes with Rich. It was so grueling and we really bonded. Like Rich and I are great friends today, I think because we went through this moment together.
[01:13:13] Angela Yeah. You were in the trenches of trying to find the scene.
[01:13:15] Jenna Yes.
[01:13:16] Angela Well, we should have Rich on and talk about it.
[01:13:18] Jenna We need to hear his side of things of shooting this crazy scene.
[01:13:21] Angela Let’s call him. Rich, come on.
[01:13:23] Jenna So I feel like we really covered this, but we did have a fan write in. And I’m so sorry I didn’t write down your name because I thought this was a really good observation. They were saying wasn’t Pam’s art program three months long? And she went at the beginning of the summer. How was she there for Halloween and how is she still there? Isn’t it November now?
[01:13:45] Angela Art school is a mystery. It’s a mystery. Yeah.
[01:13:49] Jenna Yeah, that’s a good catch.
[01:13:51] Angela I still want to know if she has parking. You know, these are things we’re going to wonder about art school.
[01:13:55] Jenna Well, she’s having to go into Manhattan for her corporate job because Pratt’s out in Brooklyn.
[01:14:00] Angela Yeah, well, we end this episode with Andy, Angela and Dwight. Because Andy has found the perfect place for them to get married. And it’s Schrute Farms.
[01:14:10] Jenna It ticks all of the boxes. Angela gave him a list of what the wedding location had to include.
[01:14:15] Angela Yeah. And Dwight tells them he thinks they should have the Excalibur package. It’s going to have everything they need. Angela is clearly delighted. Andy is relieved. And Jenna, all I could think of when I watched the scene was Jim and Pam planned Pam’s wedding to Roy and now Angela and Dwight are going to plan her wedding to Andy. Right?
[01:14:38] Jenna Oh, yeah. Yeah.
[01:14:41] Angela It’s sort of a call back.
[01:14:43] Jenna It is. You know, there’s another little weird callback in the scene. A lot of people wrote in with this fan catch that the funeral homes director in Job Fair-
[01:14:55] Angela Yes, he’s in the album.
[01:14:57] Jenna He’s in the album. He got married at Schrute Farms.
[01:15:00] Angela Yes.
[01:15:00] Jenna Well, Lester said in his interview that they loved this guy and they used him twice. And they also thought it worked because the Schrutes get married in their own graves. So he felt that he would know about Schrute Farms.
[01:15:13] Angela Yeah, that’s a great catch. Well, alrighty, Dwighty.
[01:15:18] Jenna That was customer survey. Thank you so much, James Kerry, for sending me those scripts. I also got in touch with Randy Cordray on this one because I couldn’t remember if the BlueTooth’s were real. I was so convinced. So I wrote Randy and I was like, they weren’t real, right?
[01:15:36] Angela No, they weren’t real. They talked about it quite a bit on the DVD commentary. And, of course, a humongous thank you to
[01:15:42] Both Stephen Merchant.
[01:15:44] Jenna We love you.
[01:15:45] Angela We love you. Please come back.
[01:15:47] Jenna Yes. And next week we have Business Trip. Michael’s going to Canada, y’all
[01:15:52] Angela And Rich, we’re going to call you.
[01:15:54] Jenna Yes, Rich, you will be in Business Trip, an episode that your character does not appear.
[01:16:00] Angela But we have questions for you.
[01:16:01] Jenna We do. And this is our podcast. So we can do that.
[01:16:04] Angela That’s right. Alright, Dwighty. You guys have a good week.
[01:16:07] Jenna You are really loving that phrase.
[01:16:09] Angela I said it one time too many, didn’t I?
[01:16:11] Jenna Maybe. But I like that when you attach to something, you go for it.
[01:16:15] Angela Thank you.
[01:16:16] Jenna All right.
[01:16:16] Angela We’ll see you next week.
[01:16:18] Jenna That was your extra long goodbye.
[01:16:20] J Guiles Band (Centerfold Plays)
[01:16:27] Jenna Thank you for listening to Office Ladies. Office Ladies is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer, and Angela Kinsey. Our show is executive produced by Codi Fischer. Our producer is Cassi Jerkins. Our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer, and our associate producer is Aynsley Bubbico.
[01:16:43] Angela Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton.
[01:16:45] Jenna For Ad free versions of Office Ladies, go to Stitcher premium dotcom. For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium, use Code: Office.