February 21, 2023
EP. 156 — Goodbye Michael with Greg Daniels, Pt 1
This week we break down the first part of “Goodbye Michael” and we are joined by the writer of this episode, Greg Daniels! The office thinks tomorrow is Michael’s last day, but Michael has decided to secretly leave a day early. Greg shares his joy of writing this episode, including the easter egg of Michael pushing his Dundie on his desk to match the opening credits shot. Jenna points out how Michael has grown since the first Party Planning Committee meeting in Season One, but maybe the PPC hasn’t changed so much. Angela shares how even though Angela Martin couldn’t care less about Michael leaving, there are shots in this episode where Angela’s eyes are red from crying. It’s hard to let Michael leave to be with Holly and Toby’s brother, Rory, in Colorado, but this episode is still a total treat like vanilla ice cream with hot fudge so let’s fudge it up!
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156 — Goodbye Michael with Greg Daniels, Pt 1
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. Hello!
Angela [00:00:24] Hi there.
Jenna [00:00:26] Okay. Are you emotionally prepared? Because we’re about to start breaking down Goodbye, Michael.
Angela [00:00:33] I can’t lie to you. I am not ready. I am not ready.
Jenna [00:00:37] I don’t think I’m ready either. This is season seven, episode 22. It was written by Greg Daniels, directed by Paul Feig. And you know what, Ange, I thought for this one no summary.
Angela [00:00:50] No summary?
Jenna [00:00:51] No summary.
Angela [00:00:52] You know what? No summary needed. It’s Goodbye, Michael.
Jenna [00:00:55] It says it all in the title.
Angela [00:00:56] Yeah.
Jenna [00:00:57] Listen, we’re very excited because we have a very special guest to break down this episode with us. It is writer of this episode, Greg Daniels!
Angela [00:01:06] Greg was with us in the studio for the whole episode, and he had so many amazing things to say that we decided we needed to make this a two parter.
Jenna [00:01:14] Yes. Today, we will break down the first part of Goodbye Michael with Greg Daniels, who, by the way, received Emmy and Writers Guild nominations for outstanding writing in a comedy series for this episode.
Angela [00:01:27] So well-deserved.
Jenna [00:01:28] Oh, yeah. And maybe even more prestigious, Myles McNutt gave this episode an A.
Angela [00:01:34] Come on.
Jenna [00:01:34] Yep. It’s true.
Angela [00:01:36] Well, Myles, I agree.
Jenna [00:01:39] Why don’t we take a break and when we come back, we’ll start breaking down this episode.
Angela [00:01:43] With Greg.
Jenna [00:01:47] We are back and we are with Greg Daniels.
Angela [00:01:51] Greg is here!
Greg Daniels [00:01:52] Heyy!
Jenna [00:01:54] Yayyy!
Greg Daniels [00:01:54] Thanks for having me.
Angela [00:01:55] Heyyy.
Jenna [00:01:57] So let’s just hop right in. Greg, this episode was written by you. It was directed by Paul Feig. Can you talk a little bit about how we got Paul back to direct this episode and why it was important to you to have him?
Greg Daniels [00:02:10] Sure. Okay. So you to just to set the scene, like I was very happy that Paul Lieberstein, who was running the show then, invited me back to write this because this was a big key episode. And, you know, I had a lot of opinions. I really wanted to get into it. And so I’ll just thank Paul for letting me do that. A lot of other folks would have been like, Get rid of that old guy.
Angela [00:02:40] I don’t think so.
Jenna [00:02:40] I find that hard to believe.
Angela [00:02:40] Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:02:42] Yeah. So, all right, Well, anyway, I. I was very excited to write it. And the thing about Paul Feig which was so great, you know, obviously, you all know, but, you know, Paul was the at that point, probably the most trusted director since he had spent the whole year with everybody in season five. And, you know, there was a lot of emotional stuff happening with this. And I think it made people feel very safe to have Paul there. And and of course, he’s also a brilliant director. You know, you bring out your your big guns for a big episode.
Angela [00:03:18] I do remember when we found out Paul was going to direct it, that we were all just like, Oh, thank goodness. That we knew that he knew the show so well and us so well. I do remember feeling safe with that.
Greg Daniels [00:03:29] Yeah. You know, there were some interesting things. I was rewatching the show and remembering stuff, and there was a strategy which I thought was really smart that Paul had of taking the most emotional scenes and putting it at the end of the of the shoot, figuring that people would be pretty emotional by the time they got there and it overlapped well. But I remember how difficult it was to shoot the most emotional scenes because it was getting way too emotional. You know what I mean? It’s like I always I always find that interesting with actors and they’re when they audition because they’re really comfortable doing something in front of thousands of people or in front of millions of people on TV. And then they get into an audition and sometimes they get all like, seized up, you know?
Angela [00:04:17] Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:04:18] And I think it’s because they have actual personal stakes on this. It’s not they’re not pretending. It’s like they want to get a job or whatever.
Angela [00:04:24] Right.
Greg Daniels [00:04:25] And that’s what happened here is like everybody had an actual personal relationship with Steve that was, you know, and it was so hard. And I just remember, oh, my God, was it hard in the editing room sometimes to not have so much tears.
Jenna [00:04:39] Paul in an interview where he said one of the hardest parts about directing this episode was that people kept crying.
Greg Daniels [00:04:45] Yeah.
Angela [00:04:46] Yeah.
Jenna [00:04:46] In their scenes with Steve. And he said he had to remind us, okay, you guys, you love Steve Carell, but the workers at Dunder Mifflin don’t really like Michael, so you don’t care if he leaves. Except for Jim, because Jim has a personal connection with him, and obviously Dwight, who has affection for Michael. But Paul said, Everybody, you need to act completely disinterested in this exit. And he said it was really hard. He had to keep telling us we had to separate reality.
Angela [00:05:14] He had to give me a minute. He was like, Angela, do you need to take a minute? Because I kept crying and, you know, I’m just showing Michael photos of me and the senator and the senator’s aide, Thomas, you know, as we’re going like to all these different things, antiquing and rollerblading and stuff, but I kept crying.
Greg Daniels [00:05:32] Well, you were the most unlike your character probably of anybody on the show, so you were probably the most out of character at that moment.
Angela [00:05:41] Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:05:41] You were really upset about him leaving.
Angela [00:05:42] Yeah, I was like, I’m gonna miss you! And they’re like, Okay, Angela Martin, rein it in. Well, before we get into the cold open of this episode, I dug into my digital clutter, Greg.
Greg Daniels [00:05:53] Ah, TM.
Angela [00:05:55] You know I’m a digital hoarder.
Greg Daniels [00:05:57] Trademark. Digital clutter.
Angela [00:05:59] TM. Yeah exactly. Where’s my t-shirt?
Greg Daniels [00:06:01] You should have your own theme song for Angela’s Digital Clutter.
Angela [00:06:04] I do!
Jenna [00:06:04] We do. We have a sting.
Angela [00:06:06] Oh my gosh, Sam, do we have it?
Sting [00:06:09] Angela’s Digital Clutter.
Angela [00:06:12] There it is!
Jenna [00:06:12] There it is!
Angela [00:06:14] So I found two really fun things. I always like to see what we were emailing about. Like what Jenna and I were talking about the week of an episode. And one I’m going to share now, but the other I’m going to save to the very end of the episode. So. It’s real special. So stay with us. Here’s the first one. It’s called Our Hip Jackets! And yeah, I emailed Jenna and Lee and I said, Look at us in our hip jackets. We had gone to the table read and we had made a real effort, the table read for this episode. And Greg, there were a lot of guests at the table read, and your wife Suzanne, was one of them, and she’s sitting behind us.
Greg Daniels [00:06:54] Cool.
Angela [00:06:54] I’m going to show you a picture. And of course, you need to note our hip jackets.
Greg Daniels [00:07:00] Was that a reference to Paul Feig’s jacket wearing? Is that why?
Jenna [00:07:04] I don’t think so. They look like green Army jackets.
Greg Daniels [00:07:08] Oh no, these are great. Yeah. Look at that.
Jenna [00:07:10] And then Suzanne is there.
Greg Daniels [00:07:12] Yeah. Look at that. There’s our trailer. Oh my goodness.
Angela [00:07:15] I know.
Greg Daniels [00:07:17] With our rack for a TV set. Our big bulky.
Angela [00:07:19] Our big giant TV that we had to, like, scooch around. So that was my first item from my digital clutter. We read this episode. You and I wore hip jackets, Jenna. And we were real excited about it.
Jenna [00:07:32] I love it.
Angela [00:07:36] Greg, is this everything you ever hoped for?
Greg Daniels [00:07:38] I don’t remember what I was wearing.
Jenna [00:07:41] Well, let’s get into this cold open. This episode opens with Michael on the roof of the building in anticipation of his move to Colorado. Greg, this is how you described this scene in the script. You said, Close up. Michael is in the sky, surrounded by clouds. Reveal he is sitting on a folding chair on top of an air conditioning housing on the highest point of the roof. He is wearing cowboy boots. There was an interview that Brent Forrester did where he shared that this was meant to symbolize death, that Michael was in heaven, since this episode had the energy of a funeral.
Angela [00:08:16] Wow.
Jenna [00:08:17] Do you remember sharing that with the writers?
Greg Daniels [00:08:19] Sure. Actually, I mean, I don’t know if it was it was so much like dark about it, but it was also you could say you go to heaven and it’s a beautiful ending to your time on earth. And he’s going off with Holly to.
Angela [00:08:35] Paradise, his happiness.
Greg Daniels [00:08:37] To the top of a mountain in Colorado or something. Yeah. So I would put it a little put a little bit more positive spin on it, but.
Jenna [00:08:43] Death! Funeral!
Greg Daniels [00:08:46] Yeah.
Jenna [00:08:47] Goodbye, Michael.
Greg Daniels [00:08:48] There is a lot of, I don’t know what the term is, but like, there’s a lot of resonances in the script for different things to kind of get you in an emotional mood. Obviously we did too much because we had to pull it back. But yeah, little things like that that are just visual reminders of, you know, sort of it’s like a little bit of TV poetry.
Angela [00:09:13] Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:09:14] Yeah. Put him up in there with the clouds.
Angela [00:09:16] Dave Rogers shared that he loved that beautiful blue sky, but pretty quickly, the sun was too bright in Rainn’s eyes so you had to put a white sort of like, like shield behind Steve. And so in this scene, if you see blue sky, that’s because that’s before Rainn’s eyes started hurting. And then then after that, you’re going to just see white.
Greg Daniels [00:09:40] What a baby Rainn was.
Jenna [00:09:43] He refused to burn his eyeballs for this shot.
Greg Daniels [00:09:45] Yes. He wouldn’t look directly into the sun to say goodbye to Steve.
Angela [00:09:49] Way to go. I have my first ever sound blanket catch.
Jenna [00:09:54] What?
Greg Daniels [00:09:54] Does it have its own theme song too?
Angela [00:09:56] No, it doesn’t. It’s at 12 seconds. On the roof floor next to Steve as he sits in the chair is a blue sound blanket.
Greg Daniels [00:10:05] Good Lord.
Angela [00:10:07] Oh, and my favorite line in the cold open is when Dwight says, Where’d you hear that? Obvious XM Radio. It’s like such a great line. It cracks me up.
Jenna [00:10:18] Yeah. So in this scene, Dwight appears and he offers Michael some Rocky Mountain oysters. It is a Colorado delicacy. Guys, I did a deep dive on the Rocky Mountain oyster.
Angela [00:10:29] Woo hoo!
Jenna [00:10:30] Are you ready?
Angela [00:10:31] I am so ready.
Jenna [00:10:33] Rocky Mountain oysters are skinned bull testicles that are coated in flour, pepper and salt and then fried. They are sometimes pounded flat before breading and frying.
Angela [00:10:45] Flat balls?
Jenna [00:10:46] Flat balls.
Angela [00:10:47] Do they have a different name?
Jenna [00:10:48] No.
Angela [00:10:49] Oh.
Jenna [00:10:49] But in Canada they have different names. In Canada, they are referred to as prairie oysters.
Angela [00:10:54] That sounds smaller to me.
Jenna [00:10:56] Than a Rocky Mountain oyster.
Angela [00:10:58] I don’t know, I think of like a prairie dog.
Jenna [00:11:00] Oh, I- like a giant prairie.
Angela [00:11:02] Oh, yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:11:03] I thought it was going to have the word Moose in there.
Jenna [00:11:03] Or you get them from the prairie.
Angela [00:11:05] Do what?
Greg Daniels [00:11:06] I thought they were going to have moose, moose oysters or something like that.
Jenna [00:11:11] I think they’re almost exclusively a bull testicle.
Angela [00:11:15] Okay.
Jenna [00:11:16] But in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, they are sometimes called calf fries. They’ve also been called cowboy caviar, Montana tender groins, dusted nuts or swinging beef.
Angela [00:11:30] Swinging beef! Where do they call it that?
Jenna [00:11:34] Around.
Angela [00:11:35] Oh, my goodness.
Greg Daniels [00:11:36] Nobody goes with the actual definition, I notice. It’s all euphemisms.
Jenna [00:11:39] Yes, No one just calls them bull testicles.
Greg Daniels [00:11:42] Yeah.
Jenna [00:11:43] They are mostly served at festivals. But they are available at Coors Field during Colorado Rockies games.
Greg Daniels [00:11:52] Hmm.
Jenna [00:11:53] They are considered an aphrodisiac.
Angela [00:11:55] Really?
Jenna [00:11:56] Mm hmm. Yes, that’s right. Now, eating animal genitalia dates back to ancient Rome.
Angela [00:12:01] Here we go, Greg. Here we go.
Greg Daniels [00:12:03] Wait, where am I?
Angela [00:12:03] Buckle in. We went from swinging beef to ancient Rome.
Greg Daniels [00:12:08] This turning into hardcore history here on this podcast.
Angela [00:12:11] Yeah.
Jenna [00:12:12] Well, back in ancient Rome, it was believed that if you had, like, a problem with an organ in your body, if you ate the healthy version of that organ from an animal, then it would cure you.
Angela [00:12:25] That sounds very Roman.
Jenna [00:12:26] So if you had a bad liver, you could eat a healthy animal liver. If you were having, you know, impotence.
Angela [00:12:34] You ate a penis?!
Jenna [00:12:36] I don’t know. Maybe that’s when you eat the balls.
Greg Daniels [00:12:38] I don’t even know if I should be here at this point. But Michael does say that he wants to put a salami in his pocket right afterwards. So maybe this is-.
Jenna [00:12:49] This is all in line with what’s happening.
Greg Daniels [00:12:52] Poetry. TV poetry.
Jenna [00:12:52] I hear you trying to move us along here, Greg, but I am determined to tell you this recipe that I found on What’s Cooking America dot com.
Greg Daniels [00:13:00] Shouldn’t that be on like the website? Shouldn’t you just sort of throw to the website? If you’re for people who are really interested they can get the whole thing.
Jenna [00:13:06] I want people to have some of these tips for making Rocky Mountain oysters at home.
Angela [00:13:12] Okay.
Jenna [00:13:12] Number one.
Greg Daniels [00:13:14] Where do you get the ingredients, first of all?
Jenna [00:13:15] That’s a good one. I don’t know where you get the testicles.
Angela [00:13:19] You go to your bull guy.
Greg Daniels [00:13:20] Yeah.
Jenna [00:13:22] Well, it is suggested- number one tip. You’re going to want to freeze the testicles first, because then you can more easily peel the skin off while they’re thawing.
Greg Daniels [00:13:31] Very uncomfortable. This whole discussion is killing me.
Jenna [00:13:34] Number two, marinate them in beer for 2 hours. And then after you cook them up, serve them warm with a hot pepper sauce. And in case you were curious, a single raw bull testicle contains about 26 grams of protein, very little fat. And they are rich in zinc.
Greg Daniels [00:13:53] So they’re very good for you.
Jenna [00:13:54] Very good for you.
Angela [00:13:55] Right.
Greg Daniels [00:13:56] Well, I thought one of the funny jokes in this was- that we didn’t really put a lot of weight on, I hope people caught it- was just Dwight munching away on them as he’s giving his answers.
Angela [00:14:05] Yes!
Jenna [00:14:06] I did notice. I looked at what he was eating and it looked like chicken to me.
Greg Daniels [00:14:12] A chicken nugget? Everything does though.
Jenna [00:14:13] It looked like a giant chicken nugget.
Greg Daniels [00:14:15] I think the actual Rocky Mountain Oysters do look like chicken nuggets.
Jenna [00:14:18] I can’t imagine that Phil Shea fried up some Rocky Mountain oysters for Rainn.
Greg Daniels [00:14:22] He was very into authenticity.
Angela [00:14:23] He was very thorough.
Jenna [00:14:25] We may never know. I didn’t check into that.
Greg Daniels [00:14:27] Rainn looks like a guy who’s had a lot of protein and zinc. He looks very healthy.
Angela [00:14:31] He does.
Jenna [00:14:31] He would eat it, too.
Angela [00:14:32] He would eat it. Rainn loved to eat food in scenes. He loved it. So whenever like he had a chance to just, like, completely chow down on something, I’m sure he was like, so tickled that he got to do that.
Greg Daniels [00:14:43] As actors have you guys ever heard the sort of criticism of actors that like to much an apple during during the scene?
Jenna [00:14:51] No. What is the criticism of eating an apple?
Greg Daniels [00:14:53] Oh, well, I don’t know if it’s.
Jenna [00:14:55] Is it the sound department?
Angela [00:14:57] Is it specific to an apple?
Greg Daniels [00:14:57] No, it’s just like it’s a little bit of a like a crutch for an actor to be able to-
Angela [00:15:01] Brad Pitt does it all the time.
Greg Daniels [00:15:03] Does he really?
Angela [00:15:03] Yes!
Jenna [00:15:04] He eats apples in movies?
Angela [00:15:05] No, no, no food. Watch the Ocean’s 12 movies. He’s always eating something.
Greg Daniels [00:15:09] Yeah, kind of. It’s like a way to appear very casual as you’re giving your lines, you’re munching away on stuff.
Angela [00:15:13] Oh.
Jenna [00:15:15] Oh.
Angela [00:15:16] Huh.
Jenna [00:15:16] Angela just threw Brad Pitt under the bus.
Angela [00:15:17] I didn’t mean to throw shade. He brought up actors eating, and I just was thinking…
Greg Daniels [00:15:23] I don’t know if it’s bad. It’s just a thing.
Jenna [00:15:24] One of my favorite parts of like all of The Godfather movies and Goodfellas movies is how much people eat. The Sopranos eat all the time. They’re always eating.
Angela [00:15:34] Yeah.
Jenna [00:15:34] On The Sopranos.
Greg Daniels [00:15:36] Sure they have very good catering.
Angela [00:15:38] Well, now we’re in Michael’s office, and Deangelo really wants one of Michael’s toys. He wants the little 18 wheeler Dunder Mifflin paper delivery truck. Michael is clearly annoyed and he says, Sure, take my favorite truck. Deangelo says, You know what? I’m going to give you space. I’m going to post up in the break room. And then he has a talking head where he says, Ugh, dead man walking. And Greg, I had to know if there was a candy bag alt for this talking head. And Greg just told me something outside, Jenna, that you didn’t hear. And I can’t wait for him to tell you. Will you tell us that you came up with…?
Greg Daniels [00:16:16] Oh, well, Candy bag is is my term.
Angela [00:16:19] He made it up!
Jenna [00:16:20] You made up candy bag!?
Greg Daniels [00:16:21] Yes. Yes, I did. I was trying to make it sound fun and exciting to the crew that they have to shoot extra material because we couldn’t decide what the lines should be. So, yeah.
Angela [00:16:34] Well, it’s one of my absolute favorite things. And I didn’t know you made up that term, and it makes me so happy. And there were candy bag alts for this Deangelo talking head. I’m going to read you three of my favorites. “Blech, be professional, for God’s sake. Share your toys.”
Greg Daniels [00:16:50] That’s good. Like that.
Angela [00:16:53] Next one. “I’ve been here three weeks and he hasn’t touched the truck.” And lastly, “I don’t even want the truck. I just want it because he has it. I’m a helicopter guy. I like helicopters.”
Greg Daniels [00:17:06] I kind of like them all better than what we used.
Angela [00:17:11] My favorite is “I’ve been here three weeks. He hasn’t even touched the truck.”
Greg Daniels [00:17:15] Yeah, well, you know what’s interesting is this- I was looking over this, and, and this is, you know, one of the reasons I really wanted to come in is I was a very I was very proud of this script. And it was an Emmy nominated script. And, I feel like I was sort of, you know, running on all cylinders at this point. And there’s a lot of times in the script where there is little bits of information that are sort of snuck in that are setting up all these different storylines. And I’m sure the reason why we picked Dead Man Walking was because it led into Michael’s next talking head where he says, I’m not sad, I don’t have to leave till tomorrow and tomorrow I’ll be a wreck. And that is setting up this whole notion of when is he actually leaving?
Angela [00:17:55] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:17:57] Mm hmm.
Greg Daniels [00:17:57] Which was Steve’s idea. And it’s like this wonderful way to disguise a lot of the emotional stuff so that people aren’t having to talk to him directly as if it’s his last day. They’re just trying to, you know, have it be normal.
Angela [00:18:10] Get through a normal day. Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:18:12] Yeah. But he knows it’s his last day. So that’s probably why we picked dead man walking instead of those other ones, which are sound pretty hilarious.
Angela [00:18:21] You’re so right, though. And I, I mean, Jenna and I were talking about this as we prepped this episode about how thoughtful you were, Greg, in writing this, because there are so many wonderful moments that point back to earlier episodes. And if you watch it with that in mind, I just got so much more emotional watching it.
Jenna [00:18:41] Yeah. I mean, I was so delighted to see that party planning committee scene.
Angela [00:18:46] Yeah.
Jenna [00:18:46] And to see how differently Michael regarded the party planning committee in this episode compared to the first one. So much so that I pulled audio clips of both the first party planning and this one, and I thought we could listen to them back to back?
Greg Daniels [00:19:00] Yeah. Let’s do it.
Angela [00:19:01] Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s great.
Jenna [00:19:01] Okay, great.
Phyllis [00:19:04] Blue, yellow, red.
Pam [00:19:08] How about green?
Angela Martin [00:19:10] I think green is kind of whore-ish.
Michael [00:19:12] These are my party planning biatches. Pulled off an amazing eighties party last year. Off the hook! So I was thinking, if you haven’t already gotten a cake, maybe going for one of those ice cream cakes from Baskin-Robbins that are very good, very delicious.
Angela Martin [00:19:27] Meredith’s allergic to dairy, so.
Michael [00:19:30] She’s not the only one that’s going to be eating it, right? I think everybody likes ice cream cake. It’s not just about her. So.
Pam [00:19:37] It is her birthday.
Michael [00:19:39] Chocolate chip would be good. How about (UNCLEAR)
Jenna [00:19:44] So that’s the first one.
Angela [00:19:46] Yeah.
Jenna [00:19:46] And now here is the final party planning committee scene with Michael.
Angela [00:19:51] Right.
Phyllis [00:19:54] How about cupcakes?
Angela Martin [00:19:56] Please.
Pam [00:19:56] What’s wrong with cupcakes?
Angela Martin [00:19:58] Everything.
Michael [00:19:59] There they are. Party planning committee together again.
Pam [00:20:02] Well, we all wanted to plan your goodbye party. We thought this would be easier. We thought.
Meredith [00:20:08] We decided on the ice cream. Mint chocolate chip, Your favorite.
Michael [00:20:13] Mmm.
Phyllis [00:20:13] Yeah, that was a surprise.
Michael [00:20:14] You know what? I’m thinking maybe we should get ice cream that everybody will like. How about vanilla? Let’s get vanilla.
Pam [00:20:21] Okay.
Michael [00:20:22] Tomorrow, I want everybody to have a good time. No drama. And as for today, just a typical day. All right?
Pam [00:20:32] Should we get toppings?
Michael [00:20:33] What do you like, Pam?
Pam [00:20:35] What?
Michael [00:20:35] What kind of topping would you like?
Pam [00:20:38] Hot fudge?
Michael [00:20:40] Sounds good. Fudge it up.
Jenna [00:20:43] But what I love about them is that the dynamic of the party planning committee has not changed.
Angela [00:20:49] No, no.
Greg Daniels [00:20:50] Yeah.
Jenna [00:20:51] We have grown not at all in our ability to work with one another.
Angela [00:20:56] Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:20:56] I love how surprised you were at being asked your opinion. That was such a good read.
Angela [00:21:02] What?
Jenna [00:21:04] It’s one of those things sometimes where you’re afraid it’s a trap. Like where is this going? I’m sort of scared.
Greg Daniels [00:21:11] Well, I mean, there’s, there’s another example of slipping in some, some good exposition there, because he says, like, I don’t want any drama today. Just a typical day. And that’s like, sets up his whole expectation for the for the episode. And then, you know, that lets us have an act break out of a very slender thing of like, Oh no, I’m not leaving tomorrow. I’m leaving today at four or whatever.
Angela [00:21:34] Yeah, yeah.
Jenna [00:21:35] I have a slightly cynical question.
Greg Daniels [00:21:37] Yeah.
Jenna [00:21:37] Do you think Michael would have been more attached to the ice cream flavor if he knew he was going to be at the party?
Greg Daniels [00:21:43] Yeah. I think so!
Jenna [00:21:45] Is he able to be so generous because he’s like, I’m not even gonna be there, so whatever you want.
Greg Daniels [00:21:49] I don’t have to control it if I’m not eating it.
Jenna [00:21:51] Yeah.
Angela [00:21:51] Exactly.
Greg Daniels [00:21:52] Yeah, that’s hilarious. A certain amount of growth, but not a ton of growth.
Angela [00:21:57] Right.
Jenna [00:21:58] Exactly. Well, after this scene, Michael’s going to have a talking head where he talks about how he bought himself his world’s best boss mug. But yesterday, the whole office gave him a world’s best boss Dundie. So he throws his mug in the trash and then he sets his Dundie on the desk. And it 100% mirrors that opening shot. How did you guys do that?
Angela [00:22:21] It’s so perfect, you wouldn’t even know. It looks like it’s like just copy and pasted in.
Greg Daniels [00:22:26] Yeah.
Jenna [00:22:26] I actually paused to see if you tricked us and you actually cut away to the original shot. But you didn’t.
Greg Daniels [00:22:32] It’s a new shot. Yeah.
Jenna [00:22:34] It’s a new shot.
Greg Daniels [00:22:34] Yeah. Well, that was something that I added to the pilot was that mug, the fact that he bought himself his world’s best boss mug. And, you know, when you’re doing a pilot, you’re always looking for, like, what is the what is the one thing you can do that will encapsulate somebody’s.
Angela [00:22:50] Existence.
Greg Daniels [00:22:50] Complete- yeah, his complete psychology is one in one visual thing, you know? And so I always thought that that prop was like a really good example of somebody who who was very- had very little self-knowledge and, you know, and so it was good that he kind of outgrew that that thing. And then it was a great episode, that Dundie episode, the previous one was great. And I can’t remember when- I think I think it was just during the writing of it that I realized like, Oh, why don’t we see that? Like the use of documentary little conventions was very sparingly doled out for big moments, right? So like in this one, we pulled out some stops and we, we did that and we were like, cool, This is, you know, this is how that that first shot came in. And again, like, I think that that has a lot of emotional resonance because you realize, oh my God, I’ve been watching that, you know, every week for the whole run of the show. And this is where it came in the last episode. So like, I thought that was cool. But then there’s other stuff like when he, at the end, when he takes his mic off and stuff like that. I feel like the taking the mic off was a big moment in the English show. I think.
Jenna [00:24:04] It was. There’s a moment when Tim takes his microphone off, when he’s going to tell his feelings to Dawn.
Angela [00:24:09] Talk to Dawn. Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:24:10] Yeah, yeah.
Jenna [00:24:11] And I think it’s even in the Christmas special if I am correct.
Greg Daniels [00:24:14] Yeah. So that was obviously that’s like a silver bullet that you get to use once. And we saved it for this.
Angela [00:24:21] Well, Michael is going to take out a list of employees names and you can see the list at 5 minutes and 32 seconds. And Greg, did that list sort of shape the episode for you? Did you have an outline with that?
Greg Daniels [00:24:34] Well, let me just remember this little story, because I used to work on a show called the Wilton North Report. And Conan and I both worked there. It was a weird brief experience of a late night variety show, and they did have a cool documentary collective that was part of that show. And one thing I did once was take this documentary crew and go to this guy’s retirement party who is retiring from the gas company. SoCal Gas. And we just shot it and kind of looked for something that would be touching or humorous about just sort of this average guy retiring from the gas company. And, and anyway, the mood of that informs this script for me, because that guy was being toasted by people he’d worked with for a really long time. He was leaving. They gave him little gifts. You know, like, here’s a golf ball. You can use it on your golf, whatever, you know. But it was almost sad. I was very sad because he was- they were almost packing him on a Viking ship and lighting him on fire and sending him off. It was like I don’t think he was going to see any of these people again. You know, and it was very bittersweet. And so, I mean, I had that mood in the back of my head.
Angela [00:25:53] And then when Michael got the list, he was gonna go and-
Greg Daniels [00:25:55] So. Well, the thing about the list was it was kind of like the structure of the episode is he’s going to say his goodbyes. And so the list was a good roadmap for where we were going to go. And so once you saw the list, you were like, okay, I know how this episode is going to go. I have a general feeling that he’s going to have to cross off everybody on the list. And considering that the big sort of dilemma that he has at the end is he hasn’t gotten to Pam.
Jenna [00:26:22] Mm hmm.
Greg Daniels [00:26:22] You know, to visually see the list and see everybody get crossed off except Pam is going to be our structure. So that was very useful to have the list.
Angela [00:26:32] It definitely reminded me of The Wizard of Oz a little bit.
Greg Daniels [00:26:35] Yeah, there’s a lot of Wizard of Oz in this.
Angela [00:26:38] Yeah, like, you know, it’s like that final scene when they meet with the Great Oz, and he’s like, You get a diploma and you get a medal. It’s like Phyllis is shy and doesn’t, you know, speak up for herself. She gets the clattering teeth and-.
Greg Daniels [00:26:51] Yeah. Totally. And I think he watched The Wizard of Oz and saw himself as like the-
Jenna [00:26:57] As the Wizard.
Greg Daniels [00:26:58] As The Wizard of Oz, maybe on some level, yeah.
Angela [00:27:01] I did catch a moment where I saw some real Michael growth because when he gives Stanley like the novelty pool table, Stanley says, It’s got no balls. And Michael doesn’t say anything.
Jenna [00:27:12] Yes, I noticed that.
Angela [00:27:13] He would have said, That’s what she said.
Greg Daniels [00:27:14] Yeah, well, also I think the funny that- that’s also setting up this subplot in this episode is that Stanley got this little broken toy and then Andy gets the ten biggest clients right afterwards.
Jenna [00:27:29] And he’s like, I’m gonna lose ’em. I’m gonna lose ’em.
Angela [00:27:31] And then Michael’s like, I have faith in you.
Jenna [00:27:33] And then later he shouts out in the middle of a scene, I just lost one. I just lost-
Greg Daniels [00:27:38] Border Hardware. I just lost Border Hardware, Michael! Yes. Yeah. No, I love that.
Jenna [00:27:44] It’s so good.
Greg Daniels [00:27:44] That was really like I was confident that was going to be a big laugh in writing it. I was like, have him yell from across, you know? I also I love that on the show, when there were stuff coming off mic. You know what I mean? It was just felt so real, but you’re just like, Oh, we’re over here in accounting. Oh, no. He’s going to lob this joke in from his B-plot.
Angela [00:28:04] All right, I think we should take a break. And when we come back, keep breaking down the episode.
Jenna [00:28:09] Like it. We are back and we are still in accounting. Michael presents Kevin with a drawing of Kevin as a pig eating pizza. But then he tears up the picture and he says, Don’t be a caricature, Kevin. That’s his gift to Kevin, I guess. Is this… What? This lesson?
Angela [00:28:32] Well, Kevin says, I kind of am like good with myself. I like who I am. And Michael says, Never settle for who you are.
Greg Daniels [00:28:40] Yeah. So that’s maybe more old fashioned Michael giving some bad, some bad lessons out. But I mean, I always did, I mean, Kevin was a a kind of a a pet peeve of mine a little bit with the writing staff because I was always trying to keep him three dimensional. Do you know what I mean? And like, I love that he was good at basketball in the basketball episode and.
Angela [00:29:04] Good at poker.
Greg Daniels [00:29:05] Yeah, he’s good at certain things. And, you know, he was sort of musical and, you know, like there were other aspects to his character other than slow and fat. And I mean, I think this was maybe something where I was enacting a conversation I had with the writing staff a lot through Michael’s twisted, you know, vision of it.
Angela [00:29:24] Right, Right.
Greg Daniels [00:29:25] Like he’s trying to do something nice for Kevin. Phil Shea, by the way, really stepped up. There’s a lot of really funny props in this episode.
Angela [00:29:33] Like the scarecrow.
Greg Daniels [00:29:34] Yes, I love the Scarecrow.
Jenna [00:29:36] How many different scarecrows did Phil present as options?
Angela [00:29:39] On a silver tray.
Greg Daniels [00:29:40] I think it was just this.
Jenna [00:29:41] He nailed it.
Greg Daniels [00:29:42] He nailed it. Yeah, he completely nailed it. I loved doing props with him. Like there’s some- I can’t remember which episode- but there is like a little Venus of Willendorf statue, do you know?
Jenna [00:29:55] Oh, yes.
Greg Daniels [00:29:56] That sort of like Neanderthal pregnant carving that.
Jenna [00:29:59] Yes.
Greg Daniels [00:30:00] That I think Mose has or Dwight has something in his farm. I love like things where you’re like, well, yeah, I’ve sort of I can agree that that is art, and so it must be allowed on screen. But it’s also, like, so weird and, you know, sexualized and strange.
Angela [00:30:20] I was at Bed Bath and Beyond this week, and all of a sudden I hear “Angela” and I turn around and it’s Phil Shea, and he has three different types of woven gray blankets that he’s holding.
Greg Daniels [00:30:30] He was giving you a choice?
Angela [00:30:31] No. Exactly.
Greg Daniels [00:30:32] Which blanket?
Angela [00:30:32] I know. I was like, Phil, what are you doing? He’s like, I’m shopping for gray blankets for American Auto.
Greg Daniels [00:30:38] Oh, that makes sense. Yeah, yeah.
Angela [00:30:39] I was like, Oh my gosh. And then we ended up chatting for a bit, and it was so great to see him.
Jenna [00:30:45] We got a fan question from Betsy Y in Westminster, Colorado, who said, I have been waiting since the beginning of the podcast to ask a question about this episode.
Angela [00:30:54] Oh, wow.
Jenna [00:30:55] My favorite scene from the entire show is when Michael gives Oscar the Scarecrow and then Michael’s talking head afterwards where he is laughing. I need to know everything about this scene. How did Oscar not laugh? Was Steve laughing for real? Was this improvised? Well, I went to the script. That talking head with Michael is completely scripted and Steve is just just laughing so hard. And he’s laughing like how Steve laughs, too, when Steve thinks things are really funny. It’s so good.
Angela [00:31:24] No one is better at fake laughing than Steve Carell. Like he is the best.
Greg Daniels [00:31:30] I got to tell you about my dad. So my dad is very, very foundational in my comedy writing career. And like, my biggest break was writing a Seinfeld episode, and it was all basically the story of something that happened to my dad in New York where he was trying to park his car.
Angela [00:31:47] Yes!
Greg Daniels [00:31:48] The parking space episode where he pulls he backs into a space and somebody fronts into it.
Angela [00:31:51] And someone’s pulling in. Ah! Greg, I didn’t know that!
Greg Daniels [00:31:54] Yeah, that happened to my dad. And he was so stubborn because he’d been trying to find a parking space for like 45 minutes. And he just sat in his car and the other guy wouldn’t budge either. And then my dad saw a friend of his walking down the street and he shouted out to him, Get my wife! Have her bring me dinner. And, you know, it was like this really funny sort of New York-y conflict. Anyway, so I wrote that up, and there’s a lot of little references to my dad over the series. So for instance, in I guess the first Dundies when Michael puts on a Carnac turban and does a joke about health, health care, who has better health care, (UNCLEAR) or, you know, that was a joke I wrote for my dad’s comedy routine that he used to do in his company. He used to put on his turban and do do Carnac routine.
Angela [00:32:39] Like Johnny Carson bits?
Greg Daniels [00:32:39] Yeah. He would do the Johnny Carson thing and he had a sidekick and I would write for him. And he used to do this every year at the management meeting of his company.
Angela [00:32:47] How old were you when you first wrote like a bit for him?
Greg Daniels [00:32:51] Like 14 or something. And so I used- but that was the exact joke. The one that’s in The Dundies was the exact joke that I used for my first joke for my dad that went over really well in his company. And there’s other things in here. For instance, in the company my dad was was a salesman in this company at one point and he had a friend and they used to go on sales calls and they would and the friend would pretend he had a metal plate in his head. So I put that in in the sales call.
Angela [00:33:20] When Deangelo is like trying to figure out what their bit is?
Greg Daniels [00:33:22] Yeah. And they would sort of double team these guys and, you know, try and get sympathy for the guy with the metal plate and yeah, so there’s a lot in there. But one of the things that my dad does that to me is the most likable thing that he does is he gets on these runs where he’s making himself crack up and his voice gets really high and he can barely speak through through the laughter, you know what I mean? And Steve’s always, on some level, reminded me of my dad. So this was like a total moment of of overlap for me is seeing this thing that, you know, my dad would do coming out of Steve so brilliantly who, you know, knew my dad. I don’t know. That’s that’s some in-depth backstory for your, for your fan.
Angela [00:34:07] I love it.
Greg Daniels [00:34:08] And the coolest thing to me about this moment with Oscar is Oscar is always so superior to Steve. Like, the essence of their relationship is Oscar’s always right and he’s always much more mature.
Angela [00:34:21] Actually.
Jenna [00:34:22] Actually, Michael.
Angela [00:34:24] Actually, Michael.
Greg Daniels [00:34:24] Yeah, And he corrects it, corrects everybody. He’s like, Brava! You know, he’s a little irritatingly correcting here. And, and in this instance, Michael was smarter than Oscar Martinez. Between Steve and Oscar Nunez? I don’t know. We have to have some kind of a contest.
Angela [00:34:40] Yeah, I loved it. I loved it so much. And it just any time I hear stories like that, were it’s something that you write or any of our writers write and how it relates back to their life is just my favorite thing to hear.
Greg Daniels [00:34:52] That’s like our on set stories. Like you guys have all the cool on set stories about, you know, the time that the heater fell over and started a fire and, you know, whatever it is. We don’t have any of those cool stories. So it all has to be like, Where do you come up with that?
Angela [00:35:05] I love it. Well, now Michael is going to approach Angela Martin and I talked about this a little bit earlier. If you go to 9 minutes and 51 seconds, you can see that my eyes are bright red. Like they’re all red.
Jenna [00:35:17] Angela, Paul Feig said he had to call for makeup to give you eye drops to take the red out because you wouldn’t stop crying. And your eyes were so red.
Angela [00:35:25] I know.
Jenna [00:35:26] Well, during the scene, you’re going to show the pictures of your time with the senator and his super hot aide, Thomas.
Greg Daniels [00:35:33] Is the first part? Is this the first hint that we have of the aide and the senator or is that earlier?
Jenna [00:35:39] I feel like you had one comment about his aide earlier.
Angela [00:35:44] Yes, no, well I.
Jenna [00:35:44] Didn’t he join you for Valentine’s Day or something?
Angela [00:35:47] Yes. Yes. Actually, it might have been in deleted scenes, but I shared it that everyone talks about how they’re going to spend their Valentine’s Day, and Angela has a talking head where she was like, the senator’s taking me out somewhere, but then he has to leave early to meet his aide, Thomas.
Greg Daniels [00:36:02] To do a little work.
Jenna [00:36:02] They they do a lot of late night work sessions.
Angela [00:36:04] Uh huh.
Jenna [00:36:05] Yes. Well, Randy shared with us that these pictures were not shot on a green screen. You actually went to an antique shop and you went to a nearby street to go rollerblading to shoot those photos. Do you remember that, Ange?
Angela [00:36:17] I do. We sort of did it all in one day and we drove to a few different places. And I was most excited about rollerblading because I love to roller skate. And so I was very excited that my character got to do anything other than just sit in a corner and scowl.
Jenna [00:36:29] But rollerblading is very different than roller skating.
Angela [00:36:32] It is.
Jenna [00:36:32] Can you do both?
Angela [00:36:32] I can do both. I prefer roller skating.
Jenna [00:36:35] Right.
Angela [00:36:35] But I was just excited to be outside and skate. I got to wear shorts. And I got a day where I got to, like, travel around the valley.
Jenna [00:36:44] Antiquing and roller blading.
Angela [00:36:46] Antiquing and roller blading. It was really fun.
Greg Daniels [00:36:48] Nice.
Jenna [00:36:49] So we have failed to mention Deangelo’s struggle in this episode, which is that, you know, he is being very tempted by all the snacks in the vending machine. We’re going to see him in the break room now. And he is making a s’more on the heating pad of the coffee maker. And Andy is going to come in and say he needs some help with a client.
Angela [00:37:10] Greg, have you done this? Have you made a s’more like in a microwave or something? I feel like this is something you would do because I have been in the kitchen with you where you’re like, we only had a few ingredients of something and maybe we didn’t have all the right utensils. You’re like, Let’s try it.
Greg Daniels [00:37:23] Well, I went to boarding school, and so a lot of times, you know, if you you couldn’t cook, you had no access to the kitchen. And so sometimes you have to like, make up stuff that you could do with one of those little coils that heats up. And you know, so if there was any-.
Jenna [00:37:40] Grilled cheese with an iron. That sort of thing.
Greg Daniels [00:37:43] Yeah. That kind of thing.
Jenna [00:37:44] Well, we had a fan catch from Madison M in Denver, Colorado, in this episode, and I’m going to just say ahead of time, Madison is correct. Madison said, I noticed a continuity error in this episode. At 10 minutes and 40 seconds, Deangelo is cooking the marshmallow chocolate treat with the coffee pot. Andy walks in. And at 10 minutes and 51 seconds, he throws it in the garbage with his left hand. But at 11 minutes, when he slaps the top of the doorway and leaves chocolate fingerprints, it’s with his right hand.
Greg Daniels [00:38:15] That’s a nice catch.
Angela [00:38:17] Good catch!
Greg Daniels [00:38:17] Yeah. I mean, it’s possible he had chocolate all over himself, but that’s that’s a good catch.
Jenna [00:38:21] I remember that chocolate fingerprint hand being up there for a very long time. I’m eager now to watch it and try to spot it every time.
Greg Daniels [00:38:31] When was it ever cleaned off?
Jenna [00:38:33] I don’t know if it ever was. I mean, it might be there till the end. I don’t know. But I feel like it’s definitely above my head when I’m doing the fake juggling in the break room in Deangelo’s last episode.
Greg Daniels [00:38:45] Can I tell a quick story about The Simpsons?
Angela [00:38:47] Yeah!
Jenna [00:38:47] Yes, please.
Greg Daniels [00:38:48] So once-.
Jenna [00:38:48] No nobody wants stories about The Simpsons.
Angela [00:38:49] Yeah, blah blah.
Greg Daniels [00:38:52] When I joined the writing staff on The Simpsons, which was the end of season four, in the writers room, there was this weird brown object stuck to the ceiling. And it turned out it turned out that somebody had had chewed up a bunch of caramels, stuck it on a doll of Bart on his spiky hair and stuck him to the ceiling. And then and then that was like a little room bit for a while. And then the doll fell off and the caramels were there. And this was like two years old by the time I got there. And they were like, Oh, yes, I’ll tell you the story about the caramel on the ceiling.
Angela [00:39:28] It’s just hardened.
Greg Daniels [00:39:29] And I was like, Yeah, why doesn’t anybody clean it up? But yeah, those kind of things will last sometimes in an office. Like the the chocolate fingerprints could be there two years later. People are like, Oh yeah, that was the time that….
Angela [00:39:40] Yeah. That’s it just lives there now. I feel like I have those things in my house. I feel like I’m like, Oh, yeah, that was a kid’s…
Greg Daniels [00:39:45] You become blind to the stuff in your house.
Jenna [00:39:47] I hope you don’t!
Angela [00:39:48] No, I mean, like, I feel like we have, like- here’s a perfect example. One year for Halloween, we put, like, handprints and footprints on the the gate, you know, the side gate of our house.
Jenna [00:39:58] Okay.
Angela [00:39:58] They were like, like a path, you know, like a scary path. And when we peeled them off, part of them remained. They didn’t peel off exactly. And like part of the sticky is there.
Jenna [00:40:06] Oh, I see.
Angela [00:40:07] And now they just live there.
Greg Daniels [00:40:08] Yeah. You can get you get completely blind to the stuff in your environment. Like I am, I’m sure that somewhere in my house there’s a list of things that a dog who died like six years ago can’t eat or whatever. It’s just still in the kitchen.
Angela [00:40:22] It’s taped up. Do not feed this dog who no longer is with us.
Greg Daniels [00:40:27] No chicken.
Jenna [00:40:28] The worst thing you can do is get out a magic eraser and start like eraser-ing part of some hand prints on your wall. Because then all you see is like, how smudgy your walls are.
Angela [00:40:39] Yeah. That’s life with kids.
Jenna [00:40:41] Yeah, that’s a hole I went down recently.
Angela [00:40:44] Well, Oscar is going to ask Michael where he should send his last paycheck. And everything hits Michael. He doesn’t even know his address.
Greg Daniels [00:40:53] It’s real.
Angela [00:40:54] Yeah, he said, I don’t know. I live in Mountainton, you know? And he starts to freak out, and then he goes into the break room and everyone is just hanging out and just eating and having a normal day. And he’s sitting in the corner and he’s just becoming more and more emotional.
Jenna [00:41:09] Yeah. Pam’s talking about how she’s going to have to buy a new shredder because the last one broke. I love it that Kevin’s, like, buy one that shreds magazines.
Angela [00:41:18] Yeah. Why is he so fixated on shredding magazines?
Greg Daniels [00:41:21] He clearly broke the shredder.
Jenna [00:41:22] I know. She’s like Kevin, none of them shred magazines. And then Jim is like, Kevin, did you break the last shredder? These are such like, real fly on the wall office conversations I feel like. I love them.
Greg Daniels [00:41:35] Well, that’s what I loved also about this episode is he’s leaving and there’s so much opportunity for really mundane moments to hit him emotionally, like at the very, very end when he looks back and it’s just, you know, the typical sounds of the office as he’s about to leave and he’s the only one who knows he’s leaving. But this is another one of those moments where he’s just overhearing this chitter chatter. And yet it’s also setting up Pam’s lie that’s going to get her out of the office later.
Jenna [00:42:03] Yeah.
Angela [00:42:03] Yeah. But it’s so true. When you have to say goodbye to something that means a lot to you, I even remember, you know, when we were writing our book, and I went back and I rewatched the finale and kind of reliving that last week and everything became big. I’m like, This is the last hot snack. Last time I’m going to have, you know, hot dogs at 10:30.
Jenna [00:42:24] This is the last time I’m going to be freezing on this set.
Greg Daniels [00:42:27] Do you remember the gift that I made for Steve when he left? So basically I went and I saw three places that he did a lot of work from, and I took very high quality photos of what he would see.
Angela [00:42:41] His view,.
Greg Daniels [00:42:42] His view of the crew and the other cast. So I, I had one from him behind his desk.
Jenna [00:42:49] P.O.V..
Greg Daniels [00:42:50] His P.O.V., and I put like, all of the, you know, I put Veda sitting there with her notebook and the cameras and, you know, so that it was like a reminder of what he used to see when he looked up from his filming. And then I did one of all you guys in the conference room, what he saw when he was standing in front of the conference room. And I think there was one other one in the bigger room that had a lot of the crew in.
Angela [00:43:10] In the bullpen.
Greg Daniels [00:43:11] In it. Yeah. So he could remember what his point of view was of those things. But it’s sort of the same thing a little bit emotionally here. It’s like here he is sitting and he’s just looking out at, you know, an average scene from that job.
Angela [00:43:24] Yeah. And those are the ones that hit you so hard. Well he’s going to go into his office now and he’s like, I can’t do this. I can’t do this. And he’s starting to freak out about moving and he’s going to call Holly. Before he does, he has my favorite line in the episode, which is, I’m not going to start improv at level one. I don’t think my credits are going to transfer. If you’ve taken improv class, you guys, there are so many levels. And if you have to repeat a level for whatever reason, there’s like eight levels sometimes. And that just got me.
Greg Daniels [00:43:59] I’ve said it many times. So the thing I think is so brilliant about Steve is his ability to play multiple things going on in his head at the same time. And I love this speech. It’s so funny. Everything is really funny in the speech. It’s just so unexpected that he’s worrying about his improv credits at this moment. You know, I don’t think we’ve thought about it being an improv class in years, you know?
Angela [00:44:22] I love to think that he’s been in it all along.
Greg Daniels [00:44:25] Yeah. Yeah. This is like a greatest hits episode to me. It’s like this is, you know, that was one of the reasons why I was so happy to be able to write it, because I have memories of every episode going up to here with him from the pilot to this episode and making little references to it. Like that was such a brilliant Jen Celotta written episode, the one where he’s doing improv and he invents Michael Scarn.
Jenna [00:44:48] Yes.
Angela [00:44:48] Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:44:49] So that’s our little reference to that. But there’s the references to like the whole history up to this point I think in a lot of these little scenes.
Jenna [00:44:57] Randy Cordray sent me the call sheets for this episode and I was able to look at the call sheet for Steve’s final shooting day. That scene in the break room, that was first up. We shot that at 7 a.m.. That was one of the scenes on his last day. And then this scene where he’s freaking out and he calls Holly. This was also on his last day. You mentioned that Paul Feig sort of stacked his day with the most sentimental, most emotional moments.
Angela [00:45:24] He had to cry all day.
Jenna [00:45:25] Basically. Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:45:26] Yeah. Well, he was, I mean, by the time we got to the Jim/ Michael scene, that was the biggest difficult one to edit. I mean, they were both just complete messes in that scene.
Angela [00:45:37] Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:45:38] I mean, I kept running in to Paul Feig saying, Tell them to dry it up somehow. It’s too much.
Angela [00:45:44] Well, when Steve as Michael’s voice, you know, it cracks when he goes, You came here as a young man- I was like ahhhh I was like crying.
Greg Daniels [00:45:52] Yeah.
Jenna [00:45:53] Coming up is one of my favorite scenes because Michael is going to have to say goodbye to Toby and he has to do his best to not say something awful to Toby. And he does it! It is amazing. Even when Toby tells him that he has a brother in Colorado. I mean, Michael cannot get away from this family of wet blankets.
Angela [00:46:16] The look on Michael’s face when he’s like, what?
Greg Daniels [00:46:19] And you know, like that gif that that have him just going, Noooo! You know, that’s what what’s going on inside of his head.
Jenna [00:46:26] But he does it. And then he- Kelly just wants him to walk away.
Angela [00:46:31] Yeah.
Jenna [00:46:32] But then I guess is this another greatest hits when he gives Ryan his St Pauli girl neon sign in his tiny closet?
Greg Daniels [00:46:37] Yeah. It’s a reminder of the Dinner Party episode. Sure. Yeah.
Angela [00:46:40] His whole closet is blue.
Greg Daniels [00:46:42] Yeah. It’s funny that one with- we didn’t mention it going by with Phyllis and her and her mitten.
Angela [00:46:48] Oh yes.
Greg Daniels [00:46:48] But that’s a reference to the first Christmas episode.
Angela [00:46:51] Yes.
Greg Daniels [00:46:51] And he hated that stupid oven mitt that she made for him. And I love that she’s she’s really testing his maturity here because the description that she has of this mitten and how you’re supposed to clean it, it’s like the worst gift. Just gets like worse and worse.
Angela [00:47:06] You can’t wash it. It has to be air dried. It’s like all these- you can’t wear them outside. Like all these things.
Jenna [00:47:08] You can’t get it wet.
Greg Daniels [00:47:11] Yeah. It’s just this horrible, useless mitten. And he’s so nice to her. But you know exactly what he wants to say.
Angela [00:47:20] Yeah. So there are a few really great deleted scenes, Greg. They’re on the DVD. And I wanted to ask you about one of them. When Michael is having this moment in the break room where he’s getting emotional, kind of I’m toggling back here for a second. There is this beat that didn’t make it to the air episode where he takes off his boots and throws them in the trash.
Greg Daniels [00:47:39] Yeah.
Angela [00:47:40] Those boots that he had on the roof, his like boots. I’m going to Colorado. And then ultimately Creed ends up wearing them. He finds them in the trash.
Greg Daniels [00:47:48] Yeah.
Angela [00:47:49] But was that from a personal story for you?
Greg Daniels [00:47:50] Yeah, that was a personal story. I, I kind of think that the boots were a bigger deal in my first draft of the script because I think you barely see them on the rooftop.
Jenna [00:47:59] I noticed them very clearly.
Angela [00:48:01] Oh right away.
Jenna [00:48:02] I clocked that Michael was wearing.
Greg Daniels [00:48:03] Well your eagle eye…
Jenna [00:48:04] Cowboy boots.
Greg Daniels [00:48:05] A-student brains saw them.
Jenna [00:48:06] I did not deep dive cowboy boots though.
Greg Daniels [00:48:08] Yeah, but that happened to me. I went to visit Austin, Texas, and I got very inspired to buy a pair of cowboy boots while I was there, because everybody had cowboy boots. And I brought them back and was wearing them in New York. I decided I was walking from my apartment to my job at Saturday Night Live wearing these cowboy boots.
Angela [00:48:29] How big of a walk was that?
Greg Daniels [00:48:30] It was like two miles, you know, on the concrete of New York in the cowboy boots. By the time I got there, I was like, you know, I’ve got, like, flat feet and just really, really should not be wearing cowboy boots. And anyway, they were so painful that I took them off and threw them out and got a pair of sneakers. And A. Whitney Brown who was this, this writer on Saturday Night Live who who had a much more authentic country background, he had his grandmother’s recipe for vittles, which is like-
Jenna [00:49:02] That’s pretty authentic.
Greg Daniels [00:49:03] Cooked squirrel or something on his wall.
Angela [00:49:05] And maybe not flat feet.
Greg Daniels [00:49:06] Yeah, probably not. He fished him out and I swear he wore them every day for the rest of the time that I was on that show.
Angela [00:49:12] He was your Creed.
Greg Daniels [00:49:14] Yeah, he was the Creed. So anyway, I cribbed that joke, that little bit, but it was a deleted scene because it was probably more meaningful to me than anybody else. But I do think it was good because Creed, I can’t remember what the blow to that scene was, but I feel like Creed says something like, You think it really was the boots? And then they’re like, No, we don’t think it- we think it was something emotional. He’s like, Good. He grabs the boots out and wears them.
Angela [00:49:38] He wanted to make sure it was okay to take the boots.
Greg Daniels [00:49:40] He just cared about-.
Jenna [00:49:40] Oh, is Michael, like, kind of teary when he throws the boots away?
Angela [00:49:44] Yeah. I mean, he’s emotional the whole time.
Jenna [00:49:47] And he says that his feet hurt or something, that’s why he throws the boots away?
Greg Daniels [00:49:49] Yeah, but the boots are also supposed to be-
Jenna [00:49:51] I didn’t see the deleted scene, so I didn’t know what happens in it.
Greg Daniels [00:49:53] The boots are supposed to be sort of symbolic of his move to Colorado, and at this point he’s questioning if he’s going to go to Colorado. So he gets rid of his boots.
Jenna [00:50:01] Okay.
Angela [00:50:01] Right.
Jenna [00:50:02] So now we’re in the conference room. A party planning committee is still planning this party. They’re so slow. Meredith would like to get an erotic cake.
Angela [00:50:12] Uh huh.
Jenna [00:50:13] And she said they’re really great because they have real women depicted on the cakes.
Angela [00:50:18] Yeah. And Phyllis is like, As someone who buys a lot of erotic cakes…
Jenna [00:50:22] It just feels good to be represented.
Angela [00:50:24] Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:50:24] I love this scene. I don’t think this was in my, my writer’s draft. I feel echoes of B.J. in here. I feel like this is a room written scene. It’s very funny, though.
Jenna [00:50:34] It’s interesting you say that. This was an extra scene, I guess, when you guys got permission to supersize this episode, we got that news a little late and we did shoot a couple of things that did not involve Steve. They couldn’t because he was gone. We shot this a week later. This was one of them.
Angela [00:50:52] I do have a continuity catch at 14 minutes, 51 seconds. Did anyone notice that Angela Martin now has her hair down?
Jenna [00:50:59] No!
Angela [00:50:59] The whole entire episode she has her hair pulled back in a clip. And then all of a sudden, in this extra party planning committee scene, her hair is down.
Jenna [00:51:07] I noticed that my hair is much prettier. Somehow, the way we did my hair, it turned out prettier than the original week of shooting. So clearly there were some continuity photo issues because someone did not notice that your hair had been up.
Angela [00:51:22] And why didn’t I notice? I had just filmed this episode. When they didn’t put the clip in, I didn’t even register it.
Greg Daniels [00:51:29] Do you remember that kind of stuff? You got to, I guess, as an actor.
Angela [00:51:32] Sometimes, yeah. I mean, there are many times where I’d be like, Oh no, no, no. I had my hair in a braid for that. But for whatever reason, I didn’t catch it on this day.
Greg Daniels [00:51:39] Well, maybe the topic of erotic cakes made you relax.
Jenna [00:51:42] Take your hair down.
Angela [00:51:44] Take my hair clip out.
Greg Daniels [00:51:44] Shake your hair out.
Angela [00:51:45] Yeah, exactly. Well, Michael is going to approach Pam, but she’s rushing out.
Jenna [00:51:50] Yeah, that was shot on the last day, that scene of me in the bullpen with Steve.
Angela [00:51:55] The other storyline that’s going on that we haven’t talked about is that Gabe is really just kind of aggressively trying to get Erin back. And he keeps going in the restroom to look for her. He’s kind of getting aggressive with Andy. But at 16 minutes, 15 seconds, we have a great callback to Women’s Appreciation because Creed is going to come out of the women’s restroom.
Jenna [00:52:15] Mm hmm. That’s where he does his number twos. He’s made that clear. It’s much nicer in there.
Greg Daniels [00:52:20] I don’t know if we’ve been in the restroom since Women’s Appreciation.
Angela [00:52:24] The women’s? I don’t know if we have.
Greg Daniels [00:52:26] I mean, then men’s.
Jenna [00:52:27] We’ve been in the men’s quite a bit with Michael, but I think you’re right. I’m not sure we’ve been back into the women’s restroom.
Greg Daniels [00:52:34] I love the Jim line at the beginning of this. It’s like, so you’re filming in the restroom? You’re filming us going to the bathroom now? That was really well done. Zach Woods is hilarious in this thing where he’s just threatening Andy.
Angela [00:52:48] He’s the type of actor for me that anything he says is just hilarious to me. Like, I would always laugh if I was in a scene with him.
Jenna [00:52:56] Well, coming up, we’re going to meet Toby’s brother, Rory, on a video call. Toby is going to let Rory know about Michael coming to Colorado. Rory would like to know if Michael likes jam because he could give him a basket of jams.
Angela [00:53:10] He has lots of jams.
Jenna [00:53:12] We had a fan question from Hannah L in California. Is Toby’s Colorado brother played by Paul Lieberstein’s real brother Warren? If so, how did this come about? Was it planned for a while? Was this a card on the writer’s wall?
Angela [00:53:27] So now I remember Warren and Paul talking about this, and I remember them kicking around names for what Toby’s brother’s name would be. And at the time, I had been going through old photos of, like, my theater days. And there was this guy that was very nice, but kind of drove us all crazy, named Rory. There’s always one person in a theater group, you know? And I was like, the name Rory! You’ve got to use the name Rory. Put that name on the list.
Greg Daniels [00:53:56] Yeah.
Angela [00:53:57] I always wonder, like, I don’t know who ended up voting, but I made sure Rory got on the list.
Greg Daniels [00:54:03] Rory’s a great name for that character, too. It’s sort of like the Rural Juror on 30 Rock.
Jenna [00:54:09] Yes.
Greg Daniels [00:54:10] Like just a really weak, soft, sort of sound.
Jenna [00:54:14] It’s a hard name to say.
Greg Daniels [00:54:15] It’s hard. It’s hard to say, and combined with Flenderson it just sounds very-.
Jenna [00:54:18] Rory Flenderson. You really get a sense of their parents in the name choice for their sons.
Angela [00:54:24] Toby and Rory.
Jenna [00:54:24] Toby and Rory.
Greg Daniels [00:54:25] And Rory’s got some kind of bizarre fascination with jams. You just that’s the, you know, that’s a, that’s one of the possible spin offs.
Angela [00:54:32] Yes, exactly. Exactly.
Jenna [00:54:34] Jamming with Rory.
Greg Daniels [00:54:35] It’s Michael and Rory in Colorado.
Angela [00:54:38] Well, I reached out to Warren about this and he told me- I’m going to quote him- he said, “It came down between me and Steve Buscemi to play Toby’s brother, but Steve was considered too handsome. Ha, ha.” And then he said, “This little scene was a ton of fun to be in. They shot it maybe six times. And after the second take, Paul Feig came up and said, It’s great, but could I please mumble a little bit more like Toby? Then after the next, take again, same note. Could I please mumble more? So the next take, I really went for it and mumbled so hard that I could barely understand the words coming out of my own mouth. After that shot, I apologized because I thought it was ridiculous probably and just a bunch of gibberish. And Paul Feig said, No, it was perfect. And if I could try to mumble even a bit more, you know, like Toby.” And Warren said, “I think it wasn’t really until that point that I truly appreciated my brother was a mumbling genius.”
Jenna [00:55:36] We had a fan catch from Nevada D in Boulder, Colorado, who said, Background catch! I’ve been holding on to this one for a while now and I am so excited to share. In this episode we see Toby video chatting with his brother Rory, who lives in Boulder, Colorado. The view through Rory’s window is of the Chautauqua National Historical Landmark, or the Flatirons. Based on this view, Rory Flenderson lives on Baseline Road in Boulder. And that would mean that he’s rather wealthy for living in that part of town. Well, Randy Cordray said that he called a very good friend of his named Todd Pasil of Broomfield, Colorado, asked Todd to go to Boulder and shoot an image of the iconic Flatirons. The house seen in the image is the actual ranger station at the park. And Randy said, Todd and Randy have climbed several of the Flatiron formations seen in the background.
Angela [00:56:33] Wow!
Greg Daniels [00:56:34] It’s interesting when people get to be characters. I mean, obviously at this point, Rory was not going to have a giant impact on the show, probably unless we went to see Michael in Colorado. But some of them are so random because, like, you know, the Toby character was just Paul reading a line at the table.
Angela [00:56:55] Right.
Greg Daniels [00:56:56] And Kevin Reilly being, More of him. He’s funny. And just you know what I mean?
Angela [00:57:00] Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:57:01] And yet and yet when I played the yarn salesman that lives next to Michael.
Angela [00:57:05] In the condo.
Greg Daniels [00:57:06] In the condo, it just didn’t go anywhere.
Jenna [00:57:08] No, no notes from the execs? Nobody was like, more yarn salesman?
Greg Daniels [00:57:12] No. Well, I cut him. He never appeared.
Jenna [00:57:14] Oh, that’s right. That was a deleted scene.
Greg Daniels [00:57:16] It’s a deleted scene.
Jenna [00:57:17] Well, that was your mistake.
Greg Daniels [00:57:18] Yeah, exactly.
Jenna [00:57:20] So Michael’s about halfway through his goodbyes. I think we take a break now and we finish up next week.
Angela [00:57:26] I think so, too, because otherwise, this would be like a two hour episode.
Jenna [00:57:29] Yes.
Angela [00:57:30] But you guys, thank you so much for sending in your questions. We’re going to get to the rest of them next week.
Jenna [00:57:35] See you then.
Angela [00:57:36] At the time, I had been going through old photos of like my theater days.
Jenna [00:57:40] 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 [00:57:56] Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton. For Ad free versions of Office Ladies, go to StitcherPremium.com. For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium, use code “Office”.
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