Did I Stutter?
Office Ladies #72 April 13, 2021
This week we’re breaking down Did I Stutter? When Stanley snaps at Michael, Michael must stand up for himself as Stanley’s manager. Meanwhile Dwight buys Andy’s car, and Pam has to forgo contact lenses and wear her backup glasses to work. Angela rocks her original Did I Stutter? shooting draft, Jenna does a deep dive on Mad Libs and the ladies reveal The Office writing staff’s mantra: “small, real, relatable”. This is a wonderful episode that definitely doesn’t sound like noise coming out of an ugly scientist.
Hear the Episode
Jenna [00:00:03] I'm Jenna Fischer.
Angela [00:00:04] And I'm Angela Kinsey.
Jenna [00:00:06] We were on The Office together.
Angela [00:00:07] And we're best friends.
Jenna [00:00:08] And now we're doing the ultimate Office rewatch podcast just for you.
Angela [00:00:12] Each week we will break down an episode of The Office and give exclusive behind the scenes stories that only two people who were there can tell you.
Jenna [00:00:19] We're the Office Ladies.
Jenna [00:00:24] Ooh, Angela, we have a good episode today.
Angela [00:00:28] It is so good.
Jenna [00:00:30] It's so simple, so wonderful.
Angela [00:00:34] So much tension, conflict, little bit of drama. It's all there. And some laughs.
Jenna [00:00:40] It is called Did I Stutter? It is Season four, Episode 16, written by Brent Forrester and Justin Spitzer and directed by Randall Einhorn.
Angela [00:00:52] We've got a lot to cover. I say get into that summary, lady.
Jenna [00:00:55] Here it is. Stanley challenges Michael's authority during a conference room meeting, leaving Michael speechless.
Angela [00:01:03] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:01:04] Later, Michael responds to Stanley's insubordination by attempting to scare him into an attitude adjustment with a fake firing. What is with Michael and the fake firings?
Angela [00:01:15] I don't know. He thinks it's like a go to. I mean, it did not go well with Pam.
Jenna [00:01:20] No, he should have abandoned this whole idea back then.
Angela [00:01:24] Yeah.
Jenna [00:01:24] But he's still doing it. Meanwhile, Dwight decides to buy Andy's car at a discount only to immediately flip it for more money. So shrewd.
Angela [00:01:34] Did he Schrute it?
Jenna [00:01:34] He Schruted it. Pam has to deal with the unexpected inconvenience of wearing her backup glasses to work after spending the night at a friend's house.
Angela [00:01:48] Her backup glasses from junior high?
Jenna [00:01:51] Perhaps. I'll have a lot to share about that.
Angela [00:01:56] I bet. I bet.
Jenna [00:01:57] All right. Fast fact number one, we're going to talk a little bit about the inspiration for this episode. We had a fan question from Bianca O. And Katie W. They wanted to know who came up with the idea for Stanley to sass Michael.
Angela [00:02:13] It was me. No, I'm kidding.
Jenna [00:02:15] Well, Angela, you do love a sass.
Angela [00:02:17] I love the sass.
Jenna [00:02:20] Well, we traded messages with writer Brent Forrester about this episode, and he told us he remembered being very excited when Greg assigned them the script because it was the biggest Stanley story he had ever done at that point. It was really the first time that Stanley had ever been the sole antagonist in a Michael story.
Angela [00:02:41] I remember we were all so excited for Leslie, just as actors, to be able to have that big moment with Michael and go head to head with Steve. That was like you hoped for that, right?
Jenna [00:02:52] Oh, yeah.
Angela [00:02:53] This was huge.
Jenna [00:02:54] Brent remembers. Greg told him with great delight what the game of this episode was. It should be this. Michael is an overpowering boss to everyone in the office, but is totally unable to stand up to one person. Stanley. No one ever dares to challenge Michael this blatantly. So when Stanley snaps at him, Michael just has no playbook for dealing with it. He said that Mindy referred to this as reversal of status comedy, and it was the first time Brent had ever heard that term.
Angela [00:03:27] Mindy, you're so smart.
Jenna [00:03:29] I know, right? I remember doing Commedia Dell'arte in theater school, Angela.
Angela [00:03:35] Oh, here we go.
Jenna [00:03:36] Did you ever do commedia?
Angela [00:03:38] No. Jenna I did my improv and my standup, and my sketch comedy. So just let's hear it.
Jenna [00:03:44] Well, it's really very interesting because Commedia dates back to long, long ago and it is really all about status and you're constantly switching status between these archetypal characters. And this has some real commedia elements for all you theater nerds out there, this reversal of status comedy.
Angela [00:04:03] No, it's fantastic. I mean, even in improv, we would make someone when you walk on stage choose status, high or low. And if you constantly played high status because some people it's their go to in comedy, our teacher would make you reverse it and play low status. It was always a really cool exercise. OK, getting a little nerdy. OK, we can move on.
Jenna [00:04:23] No, I love that we're nerding out on status comedy. Guys, watch comedy shows and look for status and reversal of status. That's your homework. We're making your television viewing homework now. You're welcome.
Angela [00:04:35] We're giving you homework.
Jenna [00:04:36] Fast fact number two. Brent told us that this episode produced a mantra for the writers room and a standard for which all episodes would now be held.
Angela [00:04:48] What?
Jenna [00:04:50] Here were the three words that applied to this episode that they believed make a great Office episode. Small, real, relatable. Brent said by normal TV standards, almost nothing happens in this episode. Stanly insults Michael. Michael doesn't know how to respond. He said on any other show this would have been considered a totally insufficient plot for 30 minutes of TV. But he said at this point in the series, they were so confident in the characters and their dynamics that they fully committed to this very subtle interpersonal story, and they wrote this slogan in the writers room: small, real, relatable. And he said that he believes that this is the signature of The Office at its best.
Angela [00:05:36] I agree. I always love those types of episodes. I mean, I know it comes before this one, but I felt like Health Care was in that vein, you know?
Jenna [00:05:44] Yes.
Angela [00:05:44] But yeah, I love small, real relatable.
Jenna [00:05:47] I love that kind of comedy. All right. Fast fact number three, Angela. Pam's glasses.
Angela [00:05:54] Oh, yeah.
Jenna [00:05:55] We got a lot of mail. Abby S and Amy G want to know Jenna is your eyesight as bad as Pam's? And then Kat F, Jessica M and Rachel G want to know how many pairs of glasses were given as options for this episode?
Angela [00:06:10] I remember when we were filming this. At that time, you didn't need glasses. You had great eyesight.
Jenna [00:06:16] Yes, that's right. I did not wear glasses. I do now, but I didn't then. Those are totally fake glasses. Phil Shea came on over with his tray of frames. Greg was there and we went through and I had to put them on. And we just talked about which ones did we like. We did discuss, Angela, that these were frames that dated back to maybe like years for Pam, like you said, are these her junior high glasses.
Angela [00:06:46] Well, you said something interesting on the DVD commentary for this episode. You said you gave yourself your own little actor back story, right, that didn't exist on the page, hadn't been discussed with the writers. And for you, these glasses were the pair that Pam leaves in the glove box of her car for just in case.
Jenna [00:07:04] Yes. Here's the crazy thing about these glasses. Greg really, really wanted for my eyes to look super giant when I put on the glasses. But in order for that to be true, they would have had to put a true prescription in the lenses to magnify my eyes. And I said, but then I wouldn't be able to see all day.
Angela [00:07:25] Right.
Jenna [00:07:26] But listen to what Greg said. Greg said, well, here's what we'll do. We'll give you contact lenses to degrade your vision and then correct your vision with the glasses.
Angela [00:07:38] Greg, what?
Jenna [00:07:42] And I said that sounds like a lot of effort for these few scenes where Pam wears her glasses, I've never worn contacts before. This sounds like it has the potential to be a real disaster.
Angela [00:07:55] And possibly damaging to my future eyesight.
Jenna [00:07:59] So I told this to Lee as we were watching the episode, I said, can you believe that Greg wanted me to wear like contact lenses and then glasses? And Lee said, oh, that would have been funny. Greg was right. You should have done it. And I was like, oh, Greg will be so happy to hear that, because everybody pooh poohed this idea. Like props, hair and makeup, production. Everybody was like, Greg, the potential for mishap with this idea is too great. We can't have it. So Greg was very reluctant to let it go. But he did. He was like, all right, fine, fine. So I think Greg would be really happy to know that my husband backs up his idea. Well, I have a few more tidbits about Pam's glasses, but I will sprinkle them into the episode, as we say. And that finalizes my fast facts, lady.
Angela [00:08:48] Well, I have two things to share. First of all, little tidbit from the DVD commentary. Randall Einhorn, who directed this episode, said that the editors assembly cut came in at forty one minutes. And then he took that 41 minutes and he got it down to thirty one minutes for his director's cut. Thirty one, he didn't want to lose any more. And they had to get it down to twenty two minutes to air it on NBC. So there are a ton of deleted scenes. But in addition to that there's all these other scenes that they didn't even get to put in the deleted scenes. There's more.
Jenna [00:09:26] Wow.
Angela [00:09:27] Yes. And Jenna, here's my big thing I wanted to share with you. As I was prepping for the podcast, I found my shooting draft of Did I Stutter.
Jenna [00:09:38] What?
Angela [00:09:39] I found the script!
Jenna [00:09:41] With all of those lost scenes?
Angela [00:09:43] Yes! And some we actually shot. They're not even in the deleted scenes. They're out there somewhere. But I found my shooting draft and there are some really hilarious discrepancies that I am going to share with you. There is a Jim Pam moment that is going to make your mouth drop, but I am going to sprinkle these in. I'm so excited. I had my shooting draft.
Jenna [00:10:06] I am so jealous.
Angela [00:10:09] I couldn't believe it.
Jenna [00:10:10] I can't wait.
Angela [00:10:12] So now with that knowledge, I want you to know that we filmed this episode starting March thirty first of two thousand and eight. We got an email from Kent Zbornak that said, Hey, you guys, just so you know, while we're filming, Did I Stutter? Canadian Entertainment Tonight is coming by the set to do interviews in the warehouse and they're going to get B roll in the main bullpen. So we had Canadian ET here the week of Did I Stutter?
Jenna [00:10:39] Amazing. I love how you save every frickin email, Angela. It is so cool and really paying off.
Angela [00:10:48] I'm just a packrat. I'm a digital packrat and a real life packrat.
Jenna [00:10:53] Well, let's take a break, because when we come back, we've got a lot of stuff.
Angela [00:11:01] All right, well, we are back, Michael burst into the bullpen with all of this excitement because you guys there is wet cement in the parking lot and this is a lifelong dream of his. He's got to do something, write something. What is he going to do? And Jenna, when I rewatched this, I started laughing because I remembered how hard Phyllis kept breaking.
Jenna [00:11:23] How hard we all kept breaking at Phyllis-.
Angela [00:11:26] Breaking.
Jenna [00:11:27] Yes, because she has an idea for Michael of what he could write in the cement. Oh. But she can't remember it. What was it again.
Angela [00:11:36] And Michael's going come on, come on, come on, go, go it's drying. And watching Phyllis trying not to laugh like fighting it so hard we were all cracking up and if you go to thirty seven seconds you can see Rainn and John smiling really big because we had all just been laughing.
Jenna [00:11:54] Well I just think it's very funny that last week Michael got gum in his hair because he found something in the parking lot and now I mean the cement, the parking lot has been a real source of excitement for him lately.
Angela [00:12:08] And trouble. I kind of just want to say, Michael, get out of your car and go straight inside.
Jenna [00:12:13] Exactly. Somehow, Kelly suggests via Pam that Michael put his handprint.
Angela [00:12:20] Pam translates Kelly.
Jenna [00:12:22] Yes.
Angela [00:12:22] Pam speaks Kelly for Michael.
Jenna [00:12:24] But Jim one ups i t and says you should put your face in the cement. Oh, ding, ding, ding. Michael is so excited. This is what's going to happen.
Angela [00:12:34] And so much went into this one gag.
Jenna [00:12:37] Oh, yes.
Angela [00:12:38] This simple sentence in the script was like a whole production.
Jenna [00:12:43] We got some fan questions from Anna B, Abby M, Sonia C. and Gabby C, please give us all the details about this hilarious cold open. Did Steve really put his face in cement? How many times did he have to do it? Well, it was not actual cement. Kent Zbornak told me that they had an outside prop house make an organic mixture to look like cement. It was made out of water and some ground oatmeal and a few other ingredients to create a wet cement look.
Angela [00:13:18] Jenna, I remember touching it and it kind of felt like a putty. Squishy.
Jenna [00:13:23] Yeah. Kent said that we put that Vaseline all over Steve's face partially so that we would have quick cleanup and we could do multiple takes.
Angela [00:13:33] And guess what? It wasn't Vaseline. The container he's holding says Vaseline, but Vaseline is too thick. So it was actually KY Jelly.
Jenna [00:13:42] I remember that. Yes.
Angela [00:13:46] And then they saran wrapped Steve's head and put this like really big rubber band around it and then stuck a straw in there.
Jenna [00:13:53] Yeah, guys, Steve is a trooper.
Angela [00:13:56] Oh, yeah. Thankfully, Randall Einhorn shares that we got this in one take so he only had to do that one time. And when Dwight says force it in as deep as you can, Steve improvised, that's what she said.
Jenna [00:14:10] I remember that.
Angela [00:14:11] And none of us laughed. Thank God.
Jenna [00:14:13] We couldn't. There was no way we were going to ruin that.
Angela [00:14:17] No.
Jenna [00:14:18] Steve had been, like, prepped forever with Saran Wrap on his head. We were not going to ruin that take for him. We all wanted it to be done in one take for him.
Angela [00:14:26] Oh yeah. Well Jenna at one minute thirty five seconds we all help Michael up from the ground and there was absolutely no way they could crop out my belly and I am full pregnant in the shot. It is hilarious to me. I couldn't believe it. I laughed out loud what I saw it. There was just no way. It's a split second but my big old belly is right there.
Jenna [00:14:50] Also Angela, we have a fan catch from Yanina L. At one minute twenty six seconds. She would like to know are you covering your mouth to stop from laughing? She caught you.
Angela [00:15:01] Probably. I knew I couldn't ruin this take.
Jenna [00:15:04] We got a laugh catch and a belly catch in one scene.
Angela [00:15:07] Oh yeah. In one scene.
Jenna [00:15:10] Well after he has placed his face in the cement, Michael has a wonderful talking head and he just wants you to know that today wasn't just about him. It's about his grandkids, his great grandkids. They can come back in one hundred years and he can say, look, kids, your daddy left that face hole.
Angela [00:15:30] And that's really the gift you want to give your kids and grandkids, right? It's a face hole.
Jenna [00:15:35] Yeah.
Angela [00:15:35] Look, kids at my face hole.
Jenna [00:15:37] All I could think about was the number of people who were going to trip in that face hole as they left the building.
Angela [00:15:42] It's just going to become like a rain puddle.
Jenna [00:15:45] Yeah.
Angela [00:15:46] Oh, Michael. Well, now we're into the episode. Angela and Andy are doing Mad Libs.
Jenna [00:15:54] In the kitchen.
Angela [00:15:55] Yeah.
Jenna [00:15:55] Angela is delighted to be spending this time with Andy. She's having the best time.
Angela [00:16:00] Well, I think what we learn in the scene is that Angela loves a Madlib. Who would have thought? I don't know if it necessarily is Andy that she's delighted by or just the idea of a Madlib.
Jenna [00:16:12] Maybe a little of both.
Angela [00:16:13] Maybe. So I went to the script Jenna. I went to my shooting draft to see if this scene was written the way we did it. It is up until one point and then there was an extra couplet that I remember us filming because Ed was so funny and I'm so bummed it's not even in the deleted scenes on the DVD commentary and I'm going to share it with you. So in the episode, Andy reads the Madlib and it reads, The tall man entered the nice building to visit a very nice man. Sit down, Mr. Smith, could I interest you in any good cat food? And Angela says, a man eating cat food and Andy says, a cat eating man food. And they giggle, right?
Jenna [00:16:53] Yeah.
Angela [00:16:54] Well, the scene would have continued. Andy starts pantomiming being a cat, eating a hamburger and he goes meow, a burger. Ed was so funny doing this Jenna. And then I would have responded a cat eating a hamburger sandwich. That's impossible. And then Andy goes, I know. And I say, where do you think of these things? And we laugh.
Jenna [00:17:19] Amazing.
Angela [00:17:20] A cat eating a hamburger sandwich. I'm really sad that you didn't get to hear that or see Ed pretending to be a cat eating a hamburger.
Jenna [00:17:30] Well Angela, Justin told me that Gene and Lee actually wrote this Mad Lib scene for Angela and Andy. So all of that was Gene and Lee.
Angela [00:17:40] Well, it was so fun to do.
Jenna [00:17:43] I became inspired by the scene, Angela, to do a deep dive on Mad Libs.
Angela [00:17:49] Oh, no. What'd you find?
Jenna [00:17:51] Oh my God. It is fascinating.
Angela [00:17:54] Well, our kids love Mad Libs. I mean, Jenna, I did them growing up. We still do them.
Jenna [00:17:58] Same. Let me tell you the history of Mad Libs.
Angela [00:18:01] OK?
Jenna [00:18:02] Mad Libs was invented in nineteen fifty three by two men, Leonard Stern and Roger Price. Roger Price had worked as a writer on the Bob Hope Show. Leonard Stern was his friend who worked as a writer on The Honeymooners. They were comedy writers.
Angela [00:18:19] Yeah.
Jenna [00:18:19] One day Roger went to visit Leonard at work and Leonard was working on a script for The Honeymooners. He was trying to figure out the right word to describe the nose of Ralph Cramdon's new boss. Before he could explain the whole thing he just said to his friend, I need an adjective. And Price jumped in and started throwing out words like clumsy, naked. He just start throwing out adjectives. So they thought this was so funny, right? Like, oh, a clumsy nose, a naked nose. So this gave them the idea to write a bunch of stories with missing words. They took them to a cocktail party with their friends. They had people fill in the blanks without knowing the context. And it was a huge hit. People thought this was a hoot. They tried to get these stories published, but publishers passed. Nobody wanted them. They said, we don't get it, maybe sell it to a game company or something. It sounds like a party game. So they sat on the idea for five years and then they decided to self publish. But now they needed a name for it, right? They had all their stories, their self publishing. Get this, these two guys, they're out having breakfast in New York and they overheard an agent arguing with his client at another table. And the agent was trying to tell this actor that he had to recite a certain script for an upcoming interview. And the actor was saying, no, I want to ad lib my interview. I want to ad lib it. And the agent said that would be mad to ad lib an interview. And that's where the name Madlib came from. And now they have sold over one hundred and ten million copies of Mad Libs books.
Angela [00:20:01] That was amazing. I loved every single moment of that. I also find it really inspiring that you can have this once in a lifetime idea and, you know, don't let go of it even if it takes you six years to see it come to fruition.
Jenna [00:20:18] Yeah, they were on to something and they knew it and they made it happen.
Angela [00:20:22] I love that. Great deep dive.
Jenna [00:20:24] Thanks.
Angela [00:20:25] All right. Well, now, Michael going to come out of his office and immediately he's going to clock Pam and her glasses and he says to her, you know what? In order to get hotter, you've got to take off those glasses. She's just going in the wrong direction.
Jenna [00:20:39] Yes. And Pam tries to explain to Michael what happened, why she's wearing these glasses. And he has this line that people quote to me all the time. He's like, up ba ba ba ba ba, it's noise coming out of an ugly scientist.
Angela [00:20:54] Michael.
Jenna [00:20:55] I love it. That was really hard. For me to get through every time Steve said that.
Angela [00:21:00] I bet. I feel like I've seen that on a t shirt Jenna.
Jenna [00:21:04] Oh yeah. Oh, you have.
Angela [00:21:07] Imagine for someone who's never seen the office, like see someone in these T-shirts like Dwight, you ignorant slut. It's just noise coming out of an ugly scientist. I feel like The Office is given some really random clothing choices for people.
Jenna [00:21:22] Well, when I got my glasses in real life and I posted my first picture on Instagram of myself in my new glasses, people started putting all of these comments. They were like, you're going in the wrong direction. You have to take off your glasses to get hotter. And then other people were like, it's noise coming out of- I was so offended. I forgot about the scene. And I was like, why is everybody coming down on me? I thought my glasses were cute.
Angela [00:21:48] I know. I so relate. One time I posted a photo early in my Instagram days in a green sweater and someone was like looking a little whoreish, aren't we? And I was like, wow, how rude. And then I was like, Oh, right. Green is Horsh. OK, ok. Got it. Got it. Got it.
Jenna [00:22:04] I know sometimes I forget I'm actually grateful that we're doing this rewatch because I feel like I'm less likely to be offended by comments now because they're actually quotes. Well after all the insult, Michael tells everyone to go into the conference room for a brainstorming session.
Angela [00:22:21] Oh lady. There is a scene between Jim and Pam that is not in this episode and it's not in the deleted scenes. So you have to tell me if you guys filmed this, it's kinda racy. You want to hear it?
Jenna [00:22:34] What?
Angela [00:22:35] So I'm reading the shooting draft last night and this is in there. As people head to the conference room, Jim smiles at Pam. Jim says the price you pay for a night in heaven. Oh, wait. Pam glances at the camera. Stilted. Yes. The movies were good, Jim. Jim says, you mean the movies that we made of us making love? Pam, panicking, glances to camera. Shut up. We didn't film ourselves. Jim to camera. Hi, Pam's grandma. Sorry you had to find out like this. And then Pam hits Jim and they go into the conference room.
Jenna [00:23:16] Well, I don't remember if we filmed that. If it's in the shooting draft, we must have people would have lost their minds if we'd left that in the show.
Angela [00:23:27] I know. Like, what the heck? I read it last night and it was like like I did a spit take. I was like, what's happening with Jim and Pam?
Jenna [00:23:35] Just hearing that it makes me feel like I've just walked in on my parents.
Angela [00:23:40] I know.
Jenna [00:23:41] Having an intimate moment, like I just like, no, no, no, I don't want to see it, don't want to see it.
Angela [00:23:46] Which is probably why it was edited out, but it cracked me up reading it.
Jenna [00:23:52] Wow. Oh, well, there you go, guys.
Angela [00:23:56] There you go. Now we're in the conference room and the actual scene they leave in between the two of you guys is Jim proposing to Pam, which is also in the script. So I guess if they had to choose one, that one is a little bit more in character for you guys.
Jenna [00:24:09] Well, proposing that I go get him some more coffee.
Angela [00:24:13] Right. Right, right. But you doing the face, you know, he's now doing this bit with you, right?
Jenna [00:24:18] Yeah. Well, Michael has written the words energized in block letters on a piece of paper up front. And he wants to know how can we energize the office? A few people are throwing out ideas. Andy suggests that we have a new outgoing message, something with a zing and pep. Jim suggests we have an even better message with more zing and more pep. Michael wants to get Stanley's opinion.
Angela [00:24:48] Stanley is not having it. He's like, not me.
Jenna [00:24:51] He's not interested. He's not even answering him.
Angela [00:24:53] I know. And Michael keeps pushing and pushing and pushing.
Jenna [00:24:58] And that is when he says the line, did I stutter? And everyone is stunned.
Angela [00:25:05] We're like, whoa, this just took a turn,
Jenna [00:25:09] Michael excuses himself for a glass of water.
Angela [00:25:13] Oof. Now, Jenna per Justin Spitzer, this is the only episode title that was an actual line in the script.
Jenna [00:25:23] Yes, Justin said he had originally thought they should call it Insubordination.
Angela [00:25:28] Oh.
Jenna [00:25:29] But they settled on Did I Stutter?
Angela [00:25:31] Well I like did I stutter better.
Jenna [00:25:33] Me too. Next up, were in Michael's office and Toby is sitting with him and he's trying to tell Michael that he needs to talk with Stanley about his insubordination.
Angela [00:25:43] And once again, Toby is in Michael's corner and Michael just refuses to see Toby as someone who could be there for him.
Jenna [00:25:51] Yeah, he tries to tell Toby that he misinterpreted what he saw, that they were actually a couple of pals kind of joshing around. Toby wouldn't know because Toby doesn't have friends, Michael says.
Angela [00:26:04] Yeah.
Jenna [00:26:04] If you had a friend, you would say something like this, hey, you're poor. Well, hey, your mom is dead.
Angela [00:26:12] That's what friends do.
Jenna [00:26:13] Yeah.
Angela [00:26:13] So there you go, Toby, get some friends.
Jenna [00:26:17] But it's clear at the end of this meeting that Michael is going to be expected to do something about what happened.
Angela [00:26:23] It's also clear that Michael's really anxious about it. He says he has a stomachache.
Jenna [00:26:27] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:26:28] And Jenna, there's a deleted scene. It's so great. First of all, it shows the geography of Dunder Mifflin in a whole new way that we've never seen before. So in this deleted scene, there's a talking head and it's over the action, you know what I mean? And Michael is talking about how him and Stanley are friends. In fact, Stanley is one of his oldest friends. But while he's saying all this, he's walking out of his office and he clearly has to go pee. And he sees Stanley and he pivots hard right, he goes out the front door of Dunder Mifflin, past the elevators to the stairwell door next to Vance Refrigeration. He goes down the stairs out the front door of Dunder Mifflin through the parking lot to a back door that's another stairwell up those stairs and he comes out by the breakroom, by the vending machines. And then he walks through the annex, into the kitchen, into the men's room. That's what he did, because he had to go pee and he did not want to walk past Stanley's desk.
Jenna [00:27:30] Wow.
Angela [00:27:30] And we've never seen anyone in the run of the show come up the back stairwell into the area where the break room is.
Jenna [00:27:38] That's right.
Angela [00:27:39] I loved it just visually. And that shows you the extremes he was going to to avoid Stanley.
Jenna [00:27:45] Well, now we're going to get into the B storyline of this episode, which is that Andy is selling his car, his Xterra, and Dwight is going to buy it.
Angela [00:27:55] His Xterra when he was driving a Prius. So I don't know what's happening here.
Jenna [00:27:59] I know. What's that about?
Angela [00:28:03] You know what? In my mind, it was like his old car from college.
Jenna [00:28:06] Hmm. Maybe so.
Angela [00:28:08] From his Cornell days.
Jenna [00:28:10] Well, we had a fan question from Barbara G and Rebecca H. At six minutes forty five seconds. Dwight points out that there's a scratch on Andy's Xterra. In a deleted scene from safety training. Angela, you might remember Angela keys Andy's car. Did Angela also key his Xterra?
Angela [00:28:30] I don't think so. I think she just keyed the Prius. But in the script, you guys, Angela, is watching all of this interaction between Dwight and Andy. She is perhaps titillated by it, fascinated, curious. But there are several scenes where she's peering through the window, the camera busts her at one point and she gets agitated. So she is sort of watching all of this all day long.
Jenna [00:28:56] Well, Dwight ends up bullying Andy into selling him the car at a very low rate. Way under asking. He does that thing where he's like, do it, sell it, give it to me. Say yes now, say yes now.
Angela [00:29:09] Three, two, one, five, four, three.
Jenna [00:29:13] Say yes. And it works. He says, OK. Now here's an interesting tidbit. This car, this Xterra actually belonged to our hairdresser, Kim Ferry,
Angela [00:29:25] And she was actually selling it.
Jenna [00:29:27] She was. It was so crazy. She let us borrow her car for this episode and then she sold it just like these guys. Well, I guess Michael is going to finally baby step up to Stanley's desk and he's basically going to forgive Stanley before Stanley has even apologized.
Angela [00:29:47] But the way he approaches Stanley really reminds me of, like, when my kids want something, but they don't want to ask me and they just come and stand by you and kind of hover.
Jenna [00:29:57] Yeah.
Angela [00:29:57] He's just standing next to Stanley's desk and Stanley is like, Yeah, what do you want?
Jenna [00:30:03] Yeah. And he's like, you know, nothing. I think I just want to say, like we're cool, right. Like I forgive you and we've forgotten about what happened. Right?
Angela [00:30:14] Yeah.
Jenna [00:30:15] Now, Stanley could just say, yes,
Angela [00:30:18] I know.
Jenna [00:30:19] But he does not.
Angela [00:30:21] I think Stanley has had years of putting up with Michael and he's just had it.
Jenna [00:30:26] Yeah. Since that didn't work. Michael is going to sit with Dwight and try to figure out is there a way that someone else might be able to discipline Stanley? Does Stanley report to anyone else besides Michael? And this is when Dwight gets out his very extensive, very hilarious employee org chart.
Angela [00:30:48] It's so elaborate. It was really well made. He has a like tripod he sets it on. There's like an overlay. I mean, Jenna, this thing was not cheap.
Jenna [00:31:01] Well, Brent told us that the entire writing staff put a huge amount of time and effort into that org chart and that they had the idea that after this episode, NBC could sell the org chart as posters. So they filled it with all these little jokes that you can't even really spot in the episode itself. And unfortunately, though, the poster did not become the runaway best seller they had hoped it would be. However, Kent Zbornak sent me a picture of it and we will put it in the pod so you can really unpack it if you'd like.
Angela [00:31:36] Yeah, I looked at that last night and the detail of the menstruation cycles of the women, you know, Dwight has shared that he clocks all of that. Well, he wasn't kidding.
Jenna [00:31:46] Angela, we got a fan question about this scene. At nine minutes thirty four seconds did Rainn improvise touching Michael's face with his pointer?
Angela [00:31:55] Yes. Yes, he did. And they could not get through it. They were cracking up something so sort of delicate and intimate about Dwight touching Michael's face with that metal pointer. And those two fellows were just disintegrating into laughter. It's in the bloopers. It's so fun to watch.
Jenna [00:32:15] Justin said before they started the scene, they had to decide whether or not Rainn would have that metal pointer or a laser pointer. And he's so glad.
Angela [00:32:24] I'm so glad they gave him-
Jenna [00:32:26] the metal pointer.
Angela [00:32:27] Yeah.
Jenna [00:32:28] Brent said that after Rainn improvised at once, they loved it and they had him do it again. And it took over seven takes before they got even three seconds of usable footage. And that's what you see in the episode, was like take number eight.
Angela [00:32:43] Well, back at reception, Kevin is complimenting Pam's glasses. I mean, they're kind of a turn on for him. Jenna there's a lot more in the script. In fact, Kevin says you're basically in his league now. So I think there were a few alts for this scene.
Jenna [00:32:59] I remember shooting it. We were laughing so hard. There's also that famous line where he says, can you say these are due back Thursday? And Pam's like, no.
Angela [00:33:09] No.
Jenna [00:33:10] At nine minutes fifty eight seconds at the very top of this interaction between Pam and Kevin, I want you to know that John is actively playing Free Cell on his computer.
Angela [00:33:20] Oh, I saw it.
Jenna [00:33:21] It's not just on his computer. You can see him moving the car.
Angela [00:33:25] Oh, no, he's full on playing.
Jenna [00:33:27] But this interaction between Kevin and Pam is going to cause Pam to take her glasses off now for the rest of the day. She's done. She's sick of the comments. She's just going to not see.
Angela [00:33:38] But how bad is this woman's vision? Because she takes her glasses off and then Jenna the phone rings and she has a hard time finding the handle of the phone.
Jenna [00:33:48] There is a talking head that did not make it in the episode.
Angela [00:33:52] Oh, yeah.
Jenna [00:33:52] Where Pam says that her vision is twenty/ four hundred. I'll have you know, Angela, legal blindness is anything that's twenty/ two hundred or worse. So Pam would be considered legally blind without her glasses or contacts. And basically what it means is that Pam can see things twenty feet away, but normal people could see that same thing four hundred feet away. So it doesn't really track that Pam can't see the phone.
Angela [00:34:23] OK.
Jenna [00:34:24] What it should mean is that she can't see Stanley anymore.
Angela [00:34:28] OK.
Jenna [00:34:29] Yeah. So maybe we didn't research her eyesight properly. But in general though, all of her vision would be fairly blurry. I do remember researching that.
Angela [00:34:41] Well, I thought you played it so well, Jenna, because that's not an easy thing to play. And the physicality of your comedy in this episode is fantastic.
Jenna [00:34:51] Well, thank you very much.
Angela [00:34:53] Yas.
Jenna [00:34:54] Well, guys, Michael going to go down to the warehouse and try to get maybe some advice on how to deal with Stanley. But before we go there, let's take a break and then we'll come back to learn a little bit about fluffy fingers. OK, guys, we're back, and as promised, we're going to break down the scene between Michael and Darryl, it's amazing.
Angela [00:35:19] Everything about it is amazing, even just from a technical standpoint. This was such a tiny, tiny room and Randall had to shoot through the door in a window and capture this moment. It's so beautifully done.
Jenna [00:35:32] Michael's going to ask Darryl, Hey, man, have you ever been in a gang? And Darryl needs to know what Michael needs to say.
Angela [00:35:43] Yeah.
Jenna [00:35:43] So he says he has been in not just one gang, but several. Yeah, he has been in the Crips and the Bloods and the Warriors and the Newsies.
Angela [00:35:55] And the Newsies on Broadway.
Jenna [00:35:58] And Michael is just like, oh my God.
Angela [00:36:01] Yeah.
Jenna [00:36:02] Oh my God. And Michael can't believe that Darryl is now about to share with him his, like, deep gang knowledge.
Angela [00:36:11] Yeah. What do you do if you're disrespected in the gang?
Jenna [00:36:16] Darryl is going to tell him they do something called fluffy fingers. And that is where you surprise the person by tickling them.
Angela [00:36:24] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:36:25] And you keep tickling them until they start to tickle you and then you're just tickling each other.
Angela [00:36:32] Yeah.
Jenna [00:36:32] And then you're over it. It's really effective, he says.
Angela [00:36:36] And Michael's like, wow, I, I didn't think that's it went in the gangs, but ok, ok. Michael's like, all right. I guess I should try this. It's so great. And both Steve and Craig play it perfectly.
Jenna [00:36:53] Oh yeah.
Angela [00:36:54] Well you know, Jenna, there was a deleted scene where Michael tries to get up the courage to tickle Stanley to do the fluffy fingers.
Jenna [00:37:03] It's insane.
Angela [00:37:04] Stanley is at the supply cabinet. He's kind of reaching up to grab something. And Michael sneaks up behind him and he holds his hands up like he's going to tickle him. But then he just can't quite figure out how to do it. And Stanley doesn't even notice and Michael backs away. And then Michael has deleted talking head where says it's not Darryl's fault. It was a great idea. I just couldn't quite figure out how to do it. I don't know. I've tried everything. I'm running out of options.
Jenna [00:37:32] Yeah.
Angela [00:37:33] And when you run out of options, you decide to fake fire someone. That's what Michael does.
Jenna [00:37:41] Oh, Michael. So now Ryan has arrived. He pulls up in his convertible, his shirt is open. He winks at himself in the rearview mirror.
Angela [00:37:52] Oh, yeah, he's feeling real good. And there was a deleted scene Jenna that was so good. He comes in the office, he's got bagels, but Pam doesn't have her glasses on. He tosses a bagel at her. She can't see it. It hits her in the face. And then he goes on Jenna to show Pam how to eat a bagel. He just, with his own hands, starts digging out all the good part of the bagel, all the middle part. And he says, yeah, you just eat that outer part, you know, so you don't gain weight. And he kind of points to Pam's belly.
Jenna [00:38:23] Yeah.
Angela [00:38:24] And I felt like that whole scene showed his state of mind how manic he is, throwing the bagels, digging them apart, like, oh, my gosh,
Jenna [00:38:32] I remember shooting that. I was sad it didn't make it in because that was really fun.
Angela [00:38:36] You were so good in it. I mean, he thought, like, he tosses a bagel at you and Jenna I really believed you didn't see it. That's how good you are in the scene. Anyway so Ryan is here. He's actually got some big business. He goes in the conference room and he calls Jim in. Toby's there, and he's going to give him a formal warning about his job performance.
Jenna [00:38:58] But the way he calls him in is so amazing. He's like, hey, Jim. Jim, I got to ask you a question as a true Eagles fan.
Angela [00:39:06] So slimy.
Jenna [00:39:07] I thought BJ was so good in this scene. He was like every douchebag I've ever had a meeting with. I actually recorded it off my computer and I texted it to him and I said, BJ, we're watching. Did I Stutter? and you are so brilliant and amazing in this scene. I just needed you to watch it so you can see how good you are. And he wrote me back and he was like, Jenna, oh, my God, I forgot about that scene. Thank you for sending this to me. That was so fun to watch. But that happens when we are re-watching the show. Sometimes I will see one of our friends perform just like madness level amazing and I just send it to 'em. I'm like, you need to be reminded of what an amazing comedic actor you are. You're welcome.
Angela [00:39:54] Oh, for sure. I had a whole text thread with Phyllis because I was like, Phyllis. You are so amazing. Back in Yankee Swap. She's so good.
Jenna [00:40:02] I know.
Angela [00:40:03] Oh yes. BJ is so good in these moments. And Jim is like, is this because I talked to David Wallace? And Ryan's like, no, no, no, I appreciate, you know, constructive criticism. I thrive on it.
Jenna [00:40:16] Yeah.
Angela [00:40:16] So douchey. And he says you can get more details from Toby. This leads to a Toby talking head. And dare I say that Toby seems smug.
Jenna [00:40:25] Oh, for sure.
Angela [00:40:27] Yeah. Toby says I'd say all the goofing around at Pam's desk and hanging out with Pam is finally caught up with him. Fans were furious Jenna. When this episode came out they hated Toby so much. I mean, in the episode before he put his hand on Pam's knee.
Jenna [00:40:44] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:40:44] And now it seems like he's going behind Jim's back to try to get him fired.
Jenna [00:40:49] Oh, yeah.
Angela [00:40:50] And Jenna, if you thought you hated Toby with that talking head, had you seen the deleted scene between Jim and Toby and then Ryan, you would have been like Oh my God people would have- Toby would not have been able to come back from it. Sam, can you play that deleted scene?
Jim [00:41:06] A formal warning, seriously?
Toby [00:41:08] Well, as you know, Dwight has filed a lot of complaints against you over the years.
Jim [00:41:12] And no one cared.
Toby [00:41:12] But now it's being looked at as more of a productivity issue.
Jim [00:41:17] Productivity? My numbers are good.
Toby [00:41:19] I know. Um but Ryan thinks that they're not good enough.
Ryan [00:41:25] Wallace likes Jim. So going after him, that's a risky move for me. But in business, you've got to take risks. Sometimes you've got to get out on the open highway with the top down.
Jenna [00:41:40] Oh, my God.
Angela [00:41:43] And Ryan is trying to put the top down to his car and it won't go down.
Jenna [00:41:48] Wow.
Angela [00:41:49] But yeah, can you imagine if those scenes have been left in?
Jenna [00:41:52] Ooh, well, Angela, speaking of treachery, Dwight has washed the Xterra and he's now reselling it for over nine thousand dollars. He's selling it for a profit.
Angela [00:42:05] Oh. And Andy is like, what the hell, man?
Jenna [00:42:08] Angela's impressed. Angela is like, Oh yeah, you got him. You're smarter.
Angela [00:42:14] She loves two men dueling over her.
Jenna [00:42:17] She really does.
Angela [00:42:18] I know. You guys remember Michael has run out of options. Fluffy Fingers isn't going to work for him, so he's going to have to do the thing he didn't want to do. He's going to have to fake fire Stanley to teach him a lesson.
Jenna [00:42:31] And he comes out of his office and he announces it to everyone. He says, guys, guys, guys, listen, I'm going to fake fire Stanley, but I just want you to react as if I'm really firing Stanley. And everybody's like, if you hadn't told us what you were doing, we would have reacted correctly. And he's like, oh, my gosh, why aren't you understanding this?
Angela [00:42:51] The person that says it, the person that's the voice of reason is Kevin.
Jenna [00:42:56] I know.
Angela [00:42:57] You know you're in trouble when Kevin is the voice of reason.
Jenna [00:43:01] Stanley walks into the bullpen and Michael fake fires him and it does not go well. Stanley unleashes on him just a tirade of insults.
Angela [00:43:14] I remember when we filmed this Jenna, and you could have heard a pin drop.
Jenna [00:43:18] Yes.
Angela [00:43:19] It was such a beautifully dramatic moment. Leslie crushed it.
Jenna [00:43:26] Yeah. You guys, we reached out to Leslie because we really, really wanted him to come on the pod today because this is just a tour de force storyline and performance by him in this episode. And he is filming this week. He is filming something and he couldn't come on. But he did want us to share with you that this monologue was completely scripted. This was not improvised. You know, and I remember, Angela, that he worked on this and he delivered it like- it was just an amazing performance. And he nailed it every take.
Angela [00:43:59] Every take. He was one hundred percent off book. He showed up ready to throw it down. And we were just all so happy for him. This moment was amazing. And I remember us all applauding at the end of the scene.
Jenna [00:44:13] Yeah, well, Michael throws everybody out. He yells and says, everybody get out. Everybody except Stanley, everybody out.
Angela [00:44:21] And everyone gets the hell out. And Jenna, in the script, which isn't in the deleted scenes, but in the script, Michael turns to the cameras and says, you too. Cameras out of here. Everybody.
Jenna [00:44:34] Wow.
Angela [00:44:35] And that's why at 18 minutes, 17 seconds, you see the cameras sneak back in. It's because in the script, Michael told them to get out.
Jenna [00:44:45] I loved that move. I loved it because when Michael is alone with Stanley or thinks he's alone with Stanley, he gets really vulnerable. There's tears in his eyes and he says, why do you pick on me? Like, why do you pick on me like this? And it's really vulnerable. And Stanley very matter of factly says, I don't respect you.
Angela [00:45:08] And then I felt like Michael had such an honest moment that could not have happened if the cameras were there, where he says, fine, I accept that. You don't respect me, I accept it, but you can't talk to me like that here. I am your boss, and it just cannot be done.
Jenna [00:45:27] And I agree with you, Angela. Any time Michael knows the cameras are there, he can't help but perform in some way for them. And so I feel like we're seeing a side of Michael Scott that can only be seen when he doesn't know the cameras are there.
Angela [00:45:44] Yeah.
Jenna [00:45:45] And that was such a fun part of our show, playing with who are our characters when we know the cameras are there and when we don't. And I loved that we got to reveal these little different parts of ourselves in these different ways.
Angela [00:45:58] Oh, me too. It made the show so rich. Right.
Jenna [00:46:01] It's cool.
Angela [00:46:02] And you know what? They have this moment of resolution. They're like, fine. We now know our rules of engagement, right?
Jenna [00:46:08] Yeah. They shake hands. Done. This leads to Michael having a talking head. He's really stuck on the idea of respect, getting no respect, and this just sends his brain into Rodney Dangerfield land. So he's going to do some real kind of like off the cuff Rodney Dangerfield impressions, which morphs into a Jeff Foxworthy impression, and then Borat and then Jerry Seinfeld and then back to Rodney Dangerfield again. It's a pretty epic talking head.
Angela [00:46:39] It is. Well, you know, Jenna, that talking head, that whole Rodney Dangerfield comic riff is not in the shooting draft. It's a whole other talking head.
Jenna [00:46:49] Huh.
Angela [00:46:50] So I have to imagine they handed Steve a whole bunch of alts. They would do that to us, right. And this is the one that they picked because that is not the one in the script.
Jenna [00:46:59] Interesting. Well, I liked this one.
Angela [00:47:01] I did, too. And I have to think Steve improvised a little. I think it was on the page, but I can sort of see Steve doing his thing.
Jenna [00:47:08] I'm sure.
Angela [00:47:09] While that talking head was happening, everyone else is in the parking lot. You know, they're heading home. There is a wrap up scene of the Dwight and Angela love triangle. It's in the shooting draft and it didn't make it to the deleted scenes. But Andy and Angela walk to the car. They pass by Dwight, who is scraping off a Cornell sticker from the back window of the Xterra. And Andy says, Goodbye, old friend. May all your roads be downhill and the wind be on your back windshield. And Angela is like, Andy. And Andy says, I can't believe Dwight would do me like that. He took advantage of my kindness. And Angela says, he didn't take advantage of you. He bested you. You were bested. And then he tries to put his arm around her and she shoves it away and she looks at Dwight like he's super hot.
Jenna [00:48:02] Wow.
Angela [00:48:03] Yeah.
Jenna [00:48:04] Well, Angela, we should just call these deleted scenes feisty in the parking lot, because I know that over by Pam and Jim's car there is a scene that we shot that I believe is in the deleted scenes where Jim tells Pam the truth about Ryan and what Ryan said to him, that he's gunning for him to maybe get fired or put him on notice. And Pam is not having it.
Angela [00:48:29] Oh, I titled it Pam's Pissed.
Jenna [00:48:31] Yeah.
Angela [00:48:32] And Sam, you got to play that clip.
Pam [00:48:36] Hey, what really happened today?
Jim [00:48:38] What do you mean?
Pam [00:48:39] I mean I don't need my glasses to know when something's stressing you out. What happened today?
Jim [00:48:44] Ryan is trying to get rid of me. He came in today to give me an official warning about my job performance.
Pam [00:48:51] What? God, he's such a creep. It really pisses me off. I'm going to bash his face in. I'm gonna bash his face in with a stale bagel. Then I'm gonna throw a rock at his car. Come on, we're going to New York right now. I'm driving. If I hit him without my glasses, I don't think it's a crime.
Jim [00:49:07] Great. I should have told you all about this sooner.
Pam [00:49:12] What a jerk.
Jim [00:49:13] What a jerk.
Jenna [00:49:15] Can you imagine if they had left in the sex talk between Jim and Pam up at the top and then this scene of Pam saying she's going to throw a rock at Ryan or maybe hit him with her car? Oh, my gosh.
Angela [00:49:30] And in the shooting dropped, it was much shorter. You just said I'm a smash his face, and that was it, you know, but in this deleted scene, Pam is going off. You do not mess with her man.
Jenna [00:49:42] I guess not. Not after the night they had last night.
Angela [00:49:46] The one night in heaven.
Jenna [00:49:48] Yeah.
Angela [00:49:50] Wowsers.
Jenna [00:49:52] Well, the tag for this episode brings us all the resolution we need. We're back in the conference room. Michael is proposing some more great ideas, like a summer Christmas caroling sales event. He throws to Stanley. Stanley, what do you think? Stanley says, I think it might be your best idea yet.
Angela [00:50:14] Yeah. And then Phyllis kind of laughs and says, that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
Jenna [00:50:20] Michael says, everybody out except Phyllis. And that's the episode.
Angela [00:50:27] It's such a great tag.
Jenna [00:50:29] Guys, that was Did I Stutter? I can't believe I'm about to say this, Angela. We are coming up on the end of season four. We've just got a few more episodes.
Angela [00:50:38] I know. Last night I had to put a whole new disc in my DVD player.
Jenna [00:50:43] Wow. You know, it's serious when she's got to put a new disc in, guys.
Angela [00:50:47] Yeah, I'm on my last disc for season four.
Jenna [00:50:51] It's going by so fast.
Angela [00:50:53] It's flying by.
Jenna [00:50:55] We'll be back next week with Job Fair. Thank you to Brent Forrester and to Leslie David Baker. Thanks for texting us back about this episode.
Angela [00:51:03] And thanks to me for being a digital hoarder and having my shooting draft.
Jenna [00:51:08] Yeah, thank you, Angela.
Angela [00:51:10] All right you guys, have a great week. We'll see you next week.
Jenna [00:51:16] Thank you for listening to Office Ladies. Office Ladies is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer, and Angela Kinsey. Our show is executive produced by Codi Fischer. Our producer is Cassi Jerkins. Our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer, and our associate producer is Aynsley Bubbico.
Angela [00:51:31] Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton.
Jenna [00:51:34] For Ad free versions of Office Ladies go to Stitcher premium dotcom. For a free one month trial of Stitcher premium use code: office.