February 28, 2023
This week we finish breaking down “Goodbye Michael” and we are joined again with the writer of the episode, Greg Daniels! The ladies and Greg get into what filming the last scenes with Steve Carell were like. Greg shares how he believed the show could survive after Steve’s exit because of how strong the ensemble cast was. Jenna gets into how they shot the airport scene and Angela shares an interview she did with Steve Carell during his last week on “The Office” set. They also talk about the Goodbye party the cast and crew threw for Steve in the warehouse. This is another great ep and we know you won’t want to sneak away to catch a Colin Firth film instead. Enjoy!
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157 — Goodbye Michael with Greg Daniels, Pt 2
Jenna [00:00:04] I’m Jenna Fischer.
Angela [00:00:05] 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. Hi, everyone.
Angela [00:00:25] Good morning.
Jenna [00:00:26] All right. We’re still saying goodbye to Michael.
Angela [00:00:28] I know.
Jenna [00:00:29] It’s Goodbye, Michael, Part Two.
Angela [00:00:31] This is the real deal goodbye. This is it.
Jenna [00:00:34] This is the tear jerker.
Angela [00:00:35] Yeah.
Jenna [00:00:36] We had the funny last week, and now we’re going to get into a lot of crying.
Angela [00:00:40] Oh, man.
Jenna [00:00:41] Once again, season seven, episode 22, written by Greg Daniels and directed by Paul Feig.
Angela [00:00:48] You know, last week we didn’t do a summary. No summary needed.
Jenna [00:00:51] No.
Angela [00:00:52] It’s Goodbye, Michael.
Jenna [00:00:53] I’m not summing anything up again.
Angela [00:00:55] That’s right.
Jenna [00:00:55] I’m sticking with this.
Angela [00:00:57] And this week, we are back again with Greg for the second part. But Jenna, did you have any fast facts?
Jenna [00:01:03] I don’t have any fast facts, but I have a fun fact.
Angela [00:01:06] I’ll take a fun fact.
Jenna [00:01:08] All right. Here’s the fun fact. This episode aired on April 28th, 2011, and its broadcast in the United States, was interrupted in several places because of William and Kate’s royal wedding. They were married on-
Angela [00:01:26] Kate Middleton and Prince William?
Jenna [00:01:27] Yes! Yes.
Angela [00:01:29] Like like you’re like some other William and Kate.
Jenna [00:01:32] Yeah.
Angela [00:01:32] Like, who else is having a royal wedding?
Jenna [00:01:35] That’s preempting television? Yes.
Angela [00:01:36] Okay. Yes. Okay.
Jenna [00:01:37] So they were married on April 29th, but with the time change, it was a conflict. And so, for example, in Chicago, the NBC affiliate posted a notice on their website that said this: Due to live coverage of the royal wedding, tonight’s regularly scheduled lineup of Community, The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock and Outsourced will be seen on Sunday, starting at 7 p.m..
Angela [00:02:04] Oh, no way. So you still got the episode? You just got it a few days later.
Jenna [00:02:09] Yeah. I feel like I would be so mad if I was in Chicago. It’s Goodbye, Michael.
Angela [00:02:14] Yeah, that’s a big one.
Jenna [00:02:15] One of your like favorite shows. And then everybody else got to see it on Thursday and you have to wait till Sunday.
Angela [00:02:21] Yeah. And this was also before you could just go online and see, like, little clips of the wedding.
Jenna [00:02:26] I know.
Angela [00:02:27] Like, maybe you don’t have to watch the whole shebang.
Jenna [00:02:30] Well, we learned that now. Now we just watch the clips.
Angela [00:02:33] Yeah. Although I did watch their wedding.
Jenna [00:02:36] You watched the wedding instead of our show?
Angela [00:02:39] No, I got to watch both.
Jenna [00:02:41] Did you have a little side by side set up watching William and Kate? Watching Michael check names off his list?
Angela [00:02:47] No, no, no. I got to watch both. I got to sit and have my moment with both. But, you know, I mean, I love a wedding. I’ll watch any wedding. Invite me to your wedding. I love weddings.
Jenna [00:02:56] People do invite us to their weddings.
Angela [00:02:57] I know.
Jenna [00:02:58] I know this is going to be our retirement, Angela, is popping up at people’s weddings.
Angela [00:03:03] Well, I have a fun fact.
Jenna [00:03:06] What’s your fun fact?
Angela [00:03:08] I’ve got some awesome Office Ladies news.
Jenna [00:03:11] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:03:12] Are you ready for it?
Jenna [00:03:13] I know it. Tell them.
Angela [00:03:14] Next week on Office Ladies, we have Steve Carell!
Jenna [00:03:18] Yes!
Angela [00:03:19] He’s going to be in the studio with us. It is such an amazing interview. We had so much fun talking to him. I can’t wait for you guys to hear it.
Jenna [00:03:28] We’ve had a really exciting 2023 so far. Big episodes, big guests, new studio.
Angela [00:03:35] Very spicy stuff, guys.
Jenna [00:03:37] Spicy?
Angela [00:03:38] I don’t know. We’re shaking it up!
Jenna [00:03:41] Shaking it up.
Angela [00:03:41] Shaking it up.
Jenna [00:03:42] Do you remember shake and bake? Did you ever shake and bake?
Angela [00:03:45] Are you kidding?
Jenna [00:03:46] Is that still around? Could I shake and bake today if I wanted?
Angela [00:03:48] I’d be so excited. I love a shake and bake.
Jenna [00:03:51] I’m going to look for it in the store. All right. Listen, let’s take a quick break and then we’ll be back to break down the rest of Goodbye, Michael, with Greg Daniels.
Angela [00:03:59] Get your tissues.
Jenna [00:04:03] Well, here we all are back for part two. Greg, we left off with Michael going into Darryl’s office to give Darryl the only copy of his book, Somehow I Manage.
Angela [00:04:14] Mmhmm.
Jenna [00:04:15] Here’s my question for you. Will you please write the book, Somehow I Manage, by Michael Scott and publish it? I want to read this book. The- just the chapter on gum alone was amazing.
Greg Daniels [00:04:28] I’m trying to remember what the whole story was about that book, because that was another one of those things that was floating around on our corkboard, you know, for forever in the writers room.
Angela [00:04:39] It was mentioned in Date Night. Right? To Donna.
Jenna [00:04:43] He’s trying to impress Donna.
Greg Daniels [00:04:44] Yeah, but it also had a I actually think it had an existence as a book project.
Angela [00:04:49] Really?
Greg Daniels [00:04:50] Yeah. I’m kind of thinking maybe B.J. was going to write it or something like that at one point.
Jenna [00:04:54] I just need it to be written. I don’t know. It’s I mean it’s just unclaimed money sitting on a shelf.
Greg Daniels [00:04:56] I know. Right? That would be a terrific piece of-
Angela [00:05:03] I was really curious if there was any version of a book with that name out there. And when I Googled it, I did find a book on Amazon, and it’s got a photo of Michael Scott on the cover, and he’s in like a suit. It’s got like a little gold sticker that says Scranton Times Bestseller. And then when you go to see what the book is about, it says this. It’s made me laugh. “This is a blank ruled notebook. It offers a hundred pages of created space for all the brilliant ideas and doodles that you will likely create during your business meetings.”
Greg Daniels [00:05:37] Yeah. So obviously, B.J. never turned in his manuscript.
Jenna [00:05:39] I guess not.
Angela [00:05:41] You can buy a blank one.
Jenna [00:05:42] Michael’s final wish is to get to operate the baler.
Greg Daniels [00:05:46] Another callback.
Both [00:05:47] Yep.
Angela [00:05:48] And I love that Darryl is like, no. And then right away, it cuts to Michael in the warehouse. And he’s like, So Darryl said I could use the baler. And they’re like, Nope.
Jenna [00:05:54] Exactly. And then another callback to Basketball. He’s going to catch them all on the flippity flip, and he’s trying to toss the basketball into the hoop over his shoulder from behind. Kelsey H, from Olympia, Washington, loves this multiple attempts to catch people on the flippity flip, wanted to know if that was scripted, that he would have to do it over and over and over again. It was scripted. I went to the script. You said, He tries to do this over and over and over again and you explain how it should be put together.
Greg Daniels [00:06:25] Well, it makes sense. I mean, there’s no way he would have he would have sunk it on one attempt.
Angela [00:06:29] On the first one. Right.
Greg Daniels [00:06:30] I mean, the thing that I-.
Jenna [00:06:30] What if he had?
Angela [00:06:31] That would have been amazing.
Greg Daniels [00:06:32] In rewatching it, the thing I like best was the lighting change. It’s like the sun is setting. He’s been at it for 4 hours.
Angela [00:06:42] Well, we have another callback within this scene because flippity flip was first said in the episode Murder.
Jenna [00:06:48] Oh, yes.
Angela [00:06:49] He says to David Wallace’s secretary, All right, catch on the flippity flip.
Greg Daniels [00:06:54] Was that in the script too? Flippity flip?
Jenna [00:06:55] Yes.
Angela [00:06:56] Yeah. Yeah.
Jenna [00:06:57] It was.
Greg Daniels [00:06:58] Nice.
Angela [00:06:58] Andy and Deangelo are out on their sales call now. Deangelo is like wondering what their bit’s going to be. And Deangelo is trying to pump Andy up. He’s trying to pump himself up. And he goes, You know what we need to do is we need to go to an animal shelter.
Jenna [00:07:09] Ani ani shelto is what he says.
Angela [00:07:12] Yes.
Greg Daniels [00:07:13] And that can’t have been in the script. That sounds like a complete Will Ferrell.
Jenna [00:07:15] That sounds like a Will Ferrell adlib. I didn’t check. Randy said that Will was really driving the car during this whole car scene. That that was freestyle driving and that Matt Sohn and Paul Feig were in the backseat.
Greg Daniels [00:07:28] We shot a lot of stuff in cars like that. And it’s funny now whenever I bring that up as a possibility on anything I’m working on, people look at me like that’s the most dangerous and unprofessional thing anybody could ever do. So I don’t know. Apparently that’s that’s not cool to make an actor drive and talk and think at the same time.
Jenna [00:07:53] Well, we will get to it, but do you remember when the character of Nellie is learning how to drive?
Angela [00:08:00] I know this story.
Jenna [00:08:01] And Pam is going to help her with her driving lessons?
Greg Daniels [00:08:05] Were you in the car together?
Jenna [00:08:06] We were in the car together. And they let Catherine Tate drive.
Greg Daniels [00:08:09] That’s an extra layer because she’s on the wrong side of the road for her.
Jenna [00:08:12] Catherine Tate didn’t know how to drive. She didn’t drive. I’ll tell that story more in-depth when we get there.
Greg Daniels [00:08:20] Nice.
Angela [00:08:20] Well I think back to the fact that my character ran Mose off the road. We really did do this crazy driving stunt where then I got out of the car and ran up and slapped him. But I pull into this like cul de sac and he’d go sideways and I was driving my car.
Greg Daniels [00:08:38] Yeah, well, you know, it’s weird. It’s like for the documentary part of the show, I don’t think it’s unusual for a documentary to, you know, to interview somebody driving a car.
Angela [00:08:48] Yeah.
Jenna [00:08:48] True.
Greg Daniels [00:08:49] But, you know, there’s a lot of sort of Hollywood rules. So, like, nowadays it seems like they would tow that car or have a drone hovering outside of…
Jenna [00:09:04] Well, they find their ani ani shelto.
Greg Daniels [00:09:06] By the way, this is such a weird scene.
Jenna [00:09:08] So bizarre.
Greg Daniels [00:09:09] And I. I don’t, like at this distance from the show, unfortunately, I don’t remember exactly everything that, you know, I put in. But my feeling is that I really like this scene, but it doesn’t feel like I wrote it to myself. I don’t know where where it came from. It feels like a weird kind of a room room build out.
Jenna [00:09:29] I wonder if this was another add.
Greg Daniels [00:09:31] Yeah. Was this shot afterwards?
Jenna [00:09:33] I think that it was. I asked Randy Cordray if we went to a real animal shelter to shoot this, and he said no, it was a fakey animal shelter. He said the exterior was just a building. And our graphics designer, Michael Bayouth, made the sign. I have some fun info on the dog that they’re passing back and forth in this scene.
Angela [00:09:53] Okay.
Jenna [00:09:53] This is an animal actor named Wally who was provided by Bob Dunn’s Animal Services. Randy sent me the invoice for Wally’s work on the show. Wally submitted an invoice for his time.
Angela [00:10:07] What did Wally make this day?
Jenna [00:10:08] The total was $1,713. I found this invoice fascinating.
Greg Daniels [00:10:15] Does it say it was like stunt work?
Jenna [00:10:17] Yes.
Angela [00:10:18] Does he have a per diem?
Jenna [00:10:20] Here’s the thing. He gets a prep day. So he charged us the dog cost $225 for the prep day, and the trainer was $344. And then he charged us for a shoot day and a trainer for a shoot day. Charged us for transportation. Cost us $200 to transport him. Took a car.
Greg Daniels [00:10:41] Sounds justified.
Jenna [00:10:41] Took a very nice, nice car. But my favorite was this little tidbit. We also had to pay for a backup dog. His name was Amos.
Angela [00:10:51] Ohhh.
Jenna [00:10:51] So Amos came along, didn’t get to work. And that’s how you got to that total.
Greg Daniels [00:10:56] That’s another spin off I want to see is the jealous Amos Wally relationship.
Angela [00:11:03] That’s playing out behind the scenes. Well, there’s a very important piece of information that comes out of the scene, which is we find out how Deangelo was hired.
Greg Daniels [00:11:12] Yeah.
Angela [00:11:13] He basically was hired because he stopped someone from taking Jo’s dog.
Jenna [00:11:17] Wow.
Angela [00:11:18] That’s how he became manager of a paper company.
Greg Daniels [00:11:22] Well, the arc with Will Ferrell was so terrific and, you know, so useful and and everything for the show to have this exciting guest star come in. But I think that people knew it wasn’t forever. And some of the fun jokes in this episode are just these little hints that we’re getting that he’s really not going to be a good manager or a long term choice.
Angela [00:11:50] Next up, we have a scene between Michael and Erin. And this is a wonderful callback to Secretary’s Day. In fact, this whole scene takes place on the bench where they sat in Secretary’s Day. I thought it was really sweet.
Greg Daniels [00:12:02] Yeah.
Jenna [00:12:03] Yeah. Michael says, You don’t need a mom because you have me.
Angela [00:12:06] Yeah.
Jenna [00:12:06] You have my number. You can call me any time. I’ll be your dad.
Greg Daniels [00:12:10] That’s one of the relationships- people always used to say about workplace ensembles that they turn into family shows. Even though the people aren’t related. But they have variations on family relationships.
Angela [00:12:21] Sure.
Greg Daniels [00:12:22] Yeah. And this was a good opportunity for Michael to be a dad to somebody. I don’t know who else he has more of a dad relationship with.
Angela [00:12:30] Yeah, it’s definitely Erin.
Jenna [00:12:32] I think that’s right. Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:12:33] And it’s good advice. The other thing is, if you want to make somebody likable, if they give good advice to somebody, that was one of the tricks that we used in season two. I wrote that into Booze Cruise to try and- if you remember the season two fall was all about giving Michael little things that people would root him, would like him for.
Angela [00:12:54] Right.
Jenna [00:12:55] And he gives that advice to Jim.
Greg Daniels [00:12:56] Yeah. He gives good advice to Jim. So that’s another callback in a way.
Angela [00:13:00] Yeah.
Jenna [00:13:01] This next scene, we’re back in the bullpen. The camera starts on Erin on the phone at reception. It pulls back to reveal Phyllis on a sales call. Michael hangs up Phyllis’ sales call and tells her, Just work on the mittens. I need the mittens by 4 p.m..
Greg Daniels [00:13:17] Yeah, he’s kind of laying waste to the company, isn’t he, on his way out. Right? He’s interrupting her sales call. Andy’s blowing all their biggest clients. Yeah.
Angela [00:13:26] Yeah.
Jenna [00:13:26] Well, at 21 minutes and 21 seconds, I noticed, Greg, that Erin and Phyllis are holding their phones the exact same way.
Angela [00:13:34] Yes. And we have found out in this episode that Phyllis gave up a child.
Greg Daniels [00:13:40] Yes.
Angela [00:13:40] Right? That was in a talking head. And this comes right after Michael and Erin have this moment where, you know, Michael says you don’t need a mom. And now we cut to Phyllis and Erin holding the phone the same way. Are you teasing out that Phyllis might be Erin’s mom?
Greg Daniels [00:13:55] I think so. I think so, because something like that would have been a card on the board, you know, a long time before we were writing, we would have been assessing all of the different possible storylines. And and when does that start to really come into play?
Jenna [00:14:12] I’m not sure exactly when it gets introduced, but there is that storyline of Erin, who is being encouraged by Andy to kind of look for her birth parents.
Angela [00:14:22] Yeah, well, this is the first we learn, you know, that Phyllis had a child. That’s the secret she thinks Michael is going to tell the bullpen.
Jenna [00:14:29] That’s right.
Greg Daniels [00:14:30] Yeah, That’s a big drop of a piece of information there.
Angela [00:14:33] Yeah, it’s very Phyllis, though. Phyllis really drops some interesting info in her talking heads, I’ve noticed. like you learn a lot about her and Bob Vance.
Jenna [00:14:41] Oh, my God. Speaking of talking heads, can we talk about Rainn Wilson’s performance in this talking head where he reads the letter of recommendation from Michael?
Angela [00:14:49] Oh, it’s so good.
Jenna [00:14:50] Just perfectly played.
Greg Daniels [00:14:51] I made myself cry writing this. I was in a Coffee Bean, and I identify a little bit too much with Dwight, probably. But yeah, I thought this was a great talking head and he was so good at it. He was so good at it.
Jenna [00:15:06] I love that last line. Well, I love the pause that he takes, the turn when he’s mocking it, he realizes how good it is, then there’s the pause and then the, you know, blah, blah, blah. Just a bunch more stuff.
Greg Daniels [00:15:19] Yeah.
Angela [00:15:20] Yeah. When he says.
Jenna [00:15:21] Very repetitive.
Angela [00:15:22] Yeah, but then after that he’s like, when he gets to the point, As a sales executive, as a leader, as a man, and as a friend, he is of the highest kind, quality and order supreme. And then you see all the emotion. I was like, Oh, gosh.
Jenna [00:15:37] Yes. It gives me goosebumps just when you read it.
Greg Daniels [00:15:39] Yeah.
Angela [00:15:40] And then I loved the button about paintball. It was perfect.
Jenna [00:15:44] They really shot paintballs at each other.
Greg Daniels [00:15:46] Yes. I was looking at the DVD notes. Another instance of the show, perhaps not following the most stringent.
Angela [00:15:55] If you go to 23 minutes and 9 seconds when they’re shooting paintballs at each other, there’s a moment where Rainn as Dwight is running away from Steve. And Steve shoots a paintball. And I think it hits him kind of like on his butt, and you hear Rainn go, Ow! And it’s so honest.
Jenna [00:16:13] I heard it.
Greg Daniels [00:16:14] Yeah, I might be making this up, but I think they maybe under cranked the pressure just a little bit on the paintball guns so it wasn’t as painful.
Jenna [00:16:22] To make it a little safer.
Angela [00:16:22] And they had all the padded suits on too, which helped.
Jenna [00:16:25] But they’re very close to one another.
Angela [00:16:27] I know.
Jenna [00:16:28] I, I sort of always imagined- I’ve never played, but that paintball has more distance.
Angela [00:16:32] You’re supposed to be further away. This was also a callback to Dwight’s Secret Santa gift from season two.
Jenna [00:16:39] That’s right.
Greg Daniels [00:16:40] But he also shot paintball earlier in the show, right?
Jenna [00:16:45] He has. Many times.
Angela [00:16:46] Yeah, it’s been established. Well, Michael is going to smile. He can cross another name off his list. And Greg, I thought it was really interesting how Michael the whole episode has to keep looking at the time. He’s checking the time. You know, we’ve established this-
Greg Daniels [00:17:00] He’s got to make his plane.
Angela [00:17:01] Yeah. This 4:00 time. And it made me anxious a little bit as I watched it because I was so aware that we were coming to a close and was that just you being brilliant?
Greg Daniels [00:17:12] No, that’s intentional. But I mean, there’s also a writing principle called the ticking clock, which often you you need to add to a story because there’s not enough tension. That’s not always cutting to a ticking clock, so sometimes it’s, you know, disguised a little better.
Angela [00:17:30] Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:17:31] But, you know, the Michael Dwight relationship was such a big part of the show. So Dwight actually has, I think, a bunch of moments with Michael to say goodbye on this episode. And this was the big one that kind of extends to maybe a multi arc thing of him wanting to take over the, you know, the office and not getting it. But the paintball is more of like their relationship was always to me like Dwight was always like 15 years old and Michael was nine years old in terms of what their personalities were like. And just if you think about how two boys, at 15 and nine, would have dealt with an emotional goodbye, like a last paintball game would be the perfect thing.
Angela [00:18:15] Yeah.
Jenna [00:18:16] You mentioned that tension of, like, not knowing who’s going to be the next boss and Dwight wanting to be the next boss. And I remember that happening in real life, in real time to all of us on the set. There was no new person cast at this time. Like when we were shooting this episode, it wasn’t like you had made an announcement and you’re like, Okay, so here’s the thing. We are going to bring in this person to be the next boss, or this character is going to be promoted. So I felt like even in real life, there was this little bit of a sense of like, No, really, what happens when Steve leaves? Like, what happens?
Greg Daniels [00:18:50] Yeah, well, you know, I’m trying to remember back in that timeframe and again, Paul was running the show, so there’s conversations I probably didn’t hear, but, you know, there are a lot of people with opinions on it because at the time, I think we were NBC’s number one show. And, you know, and that’s a big move when you decide to keep going without the number one on the call sheet. That’s a big decision. But I mean, there was a, you know, a debate about it and and it wasn’t 100% clear.
Jenna [00:19:24] Well, I feel like when we were reading scripts as a cast, we were like looking for clues, just like Dwight was.
Greg Daniels [00:19:30] Yeah. So so Steve was a producer this year, obviously. And I remember discussing discussing it with him. And because there was a moment where we were like, Should we just end the show? And he didn’t want to, you know, pull the plug on the party early. And every week we cut really funny stuff from our ensemble. And if you look at our ensemble, you know, they’re all at that time just between Ed and Craig Robinson, and, you know, there’s an awful lot of people on that show who went on to have their own shows as stars of successful TV shows. And, you know, so I think there was a definitely I had this feeling of it’ll be very difficult without Steve, but we have this amazing ensemble and they’ll get more screen time and they will develop new dynamics and new stories because of their excess, you know, their extra screen time. So I don’t know if we had a real feeling like we had to know.
Angela [00:20:32] Yeah. Well, you did. I mean, this is a basketball term, obviously, but you had a deep bench as they say. So I remember not being worried. Maybe I was just really naive about how things work. But when we found out that Will Ferrell was going to be there for a few episodes, I was like, Oh, they’re they’re smart. They’re really smart. We’re going to have this great bridge. And they’ve they’ve got it all figured out. I think I was just like really trusting and like, Oh, look at them. This is so smart.
Greg Daniels [00:21:02] Well, the sort of the sort of the cliffhanger at the end of the season was who’s it going to be? And there was this job hunt thing. And I think partly that was because we maybe suddenly found that there was some pressure to to name something and but we didn’t have it because we were assuming we were just going to lean on the deep bench. But I will say that from a playwriting standpoint it’s harder to replace the central character, partly because of the dynamics of how the show is written. So, for instance, Dwight was not conceived to be a central character. And I think he grew into it a lot more, especially through his relationship with Angela. And just as he matured. And I think by the time we ended the series, he was very three dimensional, but it didn’t start that way. And I always also felt like, you know, Andy started as the Connecticut Dwight in season three for Jim when he was in Stamford. So he had certain, you know, like his anger management problems, like there were certain things that were built into Andy that also were a little bit made it a little bit difficult. Like we weren’t starting fresh with a person who was conceived to be the boss of the ensemble. But there’s talent for days in our cast.
Angela [00:22:17] You’re so right, though. I hadn’t thought of it from that point of view. But it’s it’s so clear when you say it that all these characters were exactly where they were supposed to be in sort of the placement of a story. Kate Flannery said this thing one time when we’d gone to some red carpet thing and we were being interviewed and we were walking the carpet together. It was early in the show. And the interviewer said, the question was sort of like, What’s it like to be a supporting character on the show? You know, is there a storyline that you’ve been excited about? Something like that. And Kate said, Well, first of all, she said, I love being a supporting character on the show. And she said, you know, Meredith is not the entree. She’s a little bit of seasoning. She’s some spice. And I love being the seasoning and the spice, but I’m not the entree. And it always stuck with me because I was standing right next to her and I was like, she had such a clear view of her character and her role on the show. I just thought it was just so smart of Kate, of how she answered that. Those questions can be tricky sometimes. They’re thrown to you and you’re like, What do I say? And I never forgot it. And I carried it with me the whole entire rest of the show.
Jenna [00:23:24] I think Angela is the bitter greens. On the plate.
Angela [00:23:30] Yeah.
Jenna [00:23:30] I’m not sure what Pam is. Maybe like a mushroom sauce or something.
Angela [00:23:35] No.
Jenna [00:23:37] Yes.
Greg Daniels [00:23:37] Potatoes.
Angela [00:23:37] No, she’s mashed potatoes.
Greg Daniels [00:23:38] Potatoes, yeah.
Angela [00:23:39] Yeah we both thought potatoes.
Jenna [00:23:40] You think she’s potatoes?
Angela [00:23:40] Yes. I thought- my first thing before you said potato was mashed potatoes.
Jenna [00:23:44] I thought that, you know, if Michael is the steak then Pam is the mushroom sauce that makes the steak go down even smoother, even better.
Greg Daniels [00:23:52] But you can have steak without mushroom sauce. But you can’t have steak without potatoes.
Jenna [00:23:56] Okay, I’ll take it.
Angela [00:23:57] Yeah.
Jenna [00:23:59] Well, we are on the sales call with Deangelo and Andy. The client was played by Alfred Rubin Thompson. I don’t know if you noticed, but at 23 minutes and 45 seconds, he has a CD on his desk that says currency converter. I love this detail. Way to go, Steve Rothstein and our set dressing department.
Angela [00:24:16] Oh that’s a great detail.
Jenna [00:24:19] So this guy does something where he needs to convert currency.
Greg Daniels [00:24:24] This is a great two hander storyline for Ed and Will. And I think in this moment, Will is being very funny, saying this horribly undermining speech about about, you know, how Andy is as a as a flawed salesperson. But Ed is being equally funny, reacting to it. And it’s just it’s really a fun on scene to see the two of them together.
Angela [00:24:51] They’re very funny together. I needed Andy to have a win. Like, as I was watching this I was like, Please, please don’t let this sale, like, get lost. And then when he goes back in and he is able to make the sale and they get the call, I was so happy.
Greg Daniels [00:25:06] Yeah. Well, it’s interesting. One of the when I referred back to the episodes in the beginning of season two where we kind of rebuilt Michael, one of the big ones was The Client, that Paul wrote, where he reveals that he may not be a great manager, but he was really good as a salesperson.
Both [00:25:25] Mm hmm.
Greg Daniels [00:25:25] And I think maybe we were doing a little bit here with Ed to try to build him up for the long term for season eight.
Angela [00:25:33] So apparently, part of Pam’s process for pricing shredders is going to the movies, and she’s going to sneak off and see The King’s Speech.
Jenna [00:25:42] It’s a really great movie, you guys.
Angela [00:25:43] It is a good movie.
Jenna [00:25:43] I enjoyed it when I saw it.
Angela [00:25:44] I really did too.
Greg Daniels [00:25:45] I find also to me, the fact that Pam would pick a Colin Firth movie to speak to is very telling.
Jenna [00:25:52] It’s very Pam.
Greg Daniels [00:25:53] Yeah.
Jenna [00:25:54] We shot that in Pomona. It was the morning that we did the airport scene. So while they were sort of setting up the airport and building out that set, we sneaked away and we shot on the street. You can see they did their best to frame out the word Pomona on the big sign above the movie theater. But you can, if you know that’s what it says, that you can still kind of see it. But I thought that the coolest thing they did was if you look for it, you can see it’s not a marquee. What is it, you know, in the glass box next to the movie theater, we put a poster for Bridesmaids.
Greg Daniels [00:26:28] Yeah.
Jenna [00:26:30] As a nod to Ellie and Paul.
Angela [00:26:31] Yes. I’m curious, do you guys think that Jim knew that Pam was going to see a movie?
Greg Daniels [00:26:37] I don’t think he knew.
Angela [00:26:38] I don’t either.
Jenna [00:26:39] I don’t either. This is her. This is her thing.
Angela [00:26:42] This is her time.
Greg Daniels [00:26:43] Because it’s Colin Firth.
Jenna [00:26:46] Yeah, I used to do this at a job that I had as a media buyer.
Angela [00:26:51] You would sneak off and watch movies?
Jenna [00:26:53] Well, part of our job, because we bought time to advertise movies, part of our job was that we got to leave to go see screenings of movies. It was really cool. But we would, after the movie, my girlfriend and who both worked there, around the corner from the screening area was a place where you get a manicure pedicure, and we would just tack one on to the end of our day out. It was kind of fun.
Greg Daniels [00:27:20] That’s the best is when you have a job where there’s an excuse for you to be out of the office.
Jenna [00:27:25] Right?
Greg Daniels [00:27:25] Where it’s slightly fuzzy about when you’re going to get back.
Jenna [00:27:29] Yeah, exactly.
Angela [00:27:31] I did do this when I when I interned on Conan. If they would send us on a run, you would just like, go sit for a little bit in a coffee shop.
Jenna [00:27:38] Take your time.
Angela [00:27:38] Have a snack.
Jenna [00:27:40] Enjoy a tea in Central Park.
Greg Daniels [00:27:42] I was a proofreader in one job, and it was in a very small publishing house, it was in a guy’s house, and he had a three story house. And there were two- I had two bosses. One of them was on the first floor and one of them was on the third floor. And sometimes I would just go to the second floor, just hang out. And they always they were like, oh, he must be down on the first floor working on that guy’s project.
Angela [00:28:09] Well, Michael is going to have his very last conference room meeting, Greg. Did you think a lot about how you wanted him to have a conference room meeting in this episode?
Greg Daniels [00:28:17] Well, I think he’s getting panicked because his time’s running out. And I think that he enjoyed conference room meetings. Because he was able to use them as, like, tryouts for stand up and have a captive audience.
Angela [00:28:30] Exactly.
Greg Daniels [00:28:31] So, yeah. So he calls one without really knowing what he’s going to say, I think.
Angela [00:28:35] Which is very on brand because I feel like Michael called a lot of meetings like that.
Greg Daniels [00:28:39] Yeah.
Jenna [00:28:40] I was very sad that I was not in the last conference room meeting. This was a bummer for me. These are some of my happiest times on set.
Angela [00:28:49] Yeah.
Jenna [00:28:50] That was rough.
Angela [00:28:51] Well, if you go to 28 minutes and 3 seconds, I know this is what everyone’s looking for in this scene. My hair is back in the clip again!
Jenna [00:28:58] Oh, good! The continuity has returned.
Greg Daniels [00:29:00] That’s what struck me the first time when we saw this, I was like.
Angela [00:29:03] What’s up with Angela’s hair clip?
Greg Daniels [00:29:04] Angela’s hair’s back. All will be right with the world.
Jenna [00:29:09] Well, in this conference room meeting, Jim is going to figure out that something is going on. And he asks Michael if he can speak to him in his office.
Greg Daniels [00:29:19] I mean, Michael’s getting a little unhinged. And Jim is the most perceptive. So he is the one is going to figure this out.
Jenna [00:29:27] When did you decide that Jim was going to be the person who figures it out?
Greg Daniels [00:29:31] Well, you know, everybody has their moment with Michael, and Jim, it just seems like Michael’s sort of graduating psychologically into being the wiser character here. And, you know, as he’s going to float above the office into the clouds. And there is like this little ruse going in the middle of the show. And for Jim to have a moment and not be in on it, it seemed like it was good for his character that he figures it out and they can have a they can have the only sincere conversation. But again, we started to roll on the last day and it was the only sincere conversation and it got very emotional.
Jenna [00:30:13] Yeah, this was the second to last scene that we shot that day was the scene between Michael and Jim in Michael’s office.
Angela [00:30:20] Well, if you guys have the DVD box set, it’s definitely worth watching this scene because it’s a bigger scene. There is this great beat in the middle of it, Greg, which I understand why it was probably deleted just because the flow of the scene is so perfect, but it’s such a great detail. So Michael is going to share with Jim that he has a job interview already set up in Colorado. It’s for a paper company that makes the ticket stubs for all the movie theaters. And he says, you know, it’s perfect. It combines both my loves; movies and paper. And I just thought that was such a great detail. I like to know in my brain like, you know, where Michael is, where he’s living, what he’s up to. And I just sort of see him working for the ticket stub paper company.
Greg Daniels [00:31:06] Yeah, well, you know, my dad had two great friends growing up, Dick Towne and Tom Hazen, and I can’t remember which one, one of them had a family paper company, and they transitioned into into tickets. And that saved a lot of small or at least it really helped.
Angela [00:31:23] Small paper companies?
Greg Daniels [00:31:24] Small paper company, because it was a very high tech form of paper. It had all these embossed, you know, things in it and everything. It’s probably on somebody’s phone now, so it’s probably was only a temporary reprieve. But I remember being told that around that time, and it did seem like a great job for Michael because it was paper, but it was a little show bizzy form of paper, you know. But the thing about that scene is when it got so sort of real and John was saying stuff to the actor Steve Carell, about how he felt about working with him for seven years, it it started to really spread. And you could you were like, God, this this can’t be an eight minute scene. So we we were throwing lines out, you know, in the editing room. It was just it was just down to the sort of the nub version of it. But it was it came out well, I think, and it was emotional to watch them.
Angela [00:32:18] It was emotional to rewatch when, you know, Jim says- but we clearly just saw John in the moment saying when he said, You’re the best boss I’ve ever had. I was just like, forget it. I’m I’m a mess.
Greg Daniels [00:32:30] Like George Clooney in Leatherheads didn’t compare.
Jenna [00:32:35] We had a fan catch from Julianna R in Atlanta, Georgia, who said, I have a fan catch. Michael forgot his voice recorder in his desk on the last day. You know, in that scene, he gets out his voice recorder because he has a t shirt idea, Goodbyes Stink.
Greg Daniels [00:32:52] Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Jenna [00:32:53] And he puts it back in the drawer.
Greg Daniels [00:32:54] And he left without it?
Jenna [00:32:55] It. Yes, just an A from Buffalo, New York noticed this as well and wanted to know was this an intentional joke? Because they both really enjoyed it.
Greg Daniels [00:33:02] They both enjoyed the fact that he forgot to bring it?
Jenna [00:33:03] Yes. Yes. That he walks out without his voice recorder with all his good ideas on it!
Greg Daniels [00:33:09] Yeah. Oh, goodness. I don’t think that was intentional, but I’m glad that they’re perceiving it as a as a joke.
Jenna [00:33:15] Own it.
Greg Daniels [00:33:15] Yeah.
Angela [00:33:16] I like the idea that it’s a wonderful leave behind for the next boss.
Greg Daniels [00:33:21] Right.
Angela [00:33:21] A drawer full of amazing ideas.
Greg Daniels [00:33:25] Like that t shirt. Yeah, I love that. I mean, that was a running thing for Michael as the character, is that he would sometimes interrupt himself to, to have a great idea that were always terrible.
Jenna [00:33:38] Do you do that as a writer? Are you ever somewhere or at dinner? Do you have a place where you put observations or ideas? Do you have a writer’s notebook?
Greg Daniels [00:33:46] I have scraps because I don’t ever have the special writer’s notebook with me, but I do have a box in my house and I’ll, I’ll throw in the napkin or the back of the envelope. I’ll throw it into the box.
Jenna [00:34:02] And then so then you sit down, you have to write a new script or come up with a new character, do you open the box and it’s like you look for the magical scrap that’s going to be the seed?
Greg Daniels [00:34:11] Pawed over scraps. They’re down to, like, really useless scraps at this point. I’ve used everything I possibly can.
Angela [00:34:19] Well, why don’t we take a break? Because when we come back, it’s Michael’s last bullpen scene ever. We’ll be back.
Jenna [00:34:33] Well, we are back and here it is. This is Michael’s last bullpen scene. This is the last thing we filmed with Steve Carell on The Office. He just walks out into the bullpen, he takes his unfinished mittens from Phyllis and he just stands there and looks at this ordinary work day.
Greg Daniels [00:34:52] I remember going to the mix for this and cranking the sounds, the ordinary sounds of the office.
Jenna [00:35:00] The phones ringing and the things.
Angela [00:35:02] Fax machines.
Greg Daniels [00:35:03] Yeah, and we had tons of those. We had tracks for every type of like that matrix printer, you know, over the years. And we just like threw it all in like, you know, jack it up. And there was this I thought it was, it was something where it was like an opportunity to just remind people of the sound of what it was. So to me, the sound was as important as the picture on that.
Jenna [00:35:28] You know, in the finale, you gave Pam that line about the beauty of ordinary things. But I feel like that is the story of this episode as well.
Greg Daniels [00:35:37] Yeah, it’s in here for sure.
Jenna [00:35:38] That theme. It’s here.
Greg Daniels [00:35:40] Yeah, well, it’s, it’s inherent in a documentary. That you’re looking at real people. But that goes back to that poor guy who retired from so Cal Gas.
Jenna [00:35:50] Yeah, exactly.
Angela [00:35:52] Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:35:53] Yeah.
Jenna [00:35:53] Do you remember, because I, so I was not in the scene, but I was there. Because after we shot this day, we had a big goodbye party for Steve. So I had come up to the set and I wanted to see his last scene in the bullpen. So I was at Video Village and I was watching this. And I remember that we did do a version where Michael turns out all the lights on everybody as he’s leaving.
Greg Daniels [00:36:15] Yeah.
Jenna [00:36:15] Do you remember that?
Angela [00:36:16] We, like, yell at him like, Michael!
Greg Daniels [00:36:18] Yes. Yeah. That was going to be the big joke. That he assumed that when he left, there, the whole thing was that nobody needed to have light.
Jenna [00:36:26] Exactly.
Greg Daniels [00:36:26] Yeah. I think that was hard too, because there are windows. I don’t think it was as like I know we shot it.
Jenna [00:36:34] Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:36:35] And I remember it. I think we had some problems with it from an emotional standpoint is like it was kind of negative when it was otherwise a very positive sort of beat. And but I also think it didn’t execute enormously well because of the windows. So it’s like it didn’t get really that dark. So, you know. Yeah.
Angela [00:36:56] So there’s a great moment at the end when Michael’s watching everyone work and Jim clocks Michael. And Greg, you shared on the commentary that it wasn’t scripted, but that the camera guys just caught the moment and that you loved it. And it was so perfect.
Greg Daniels [00:37:11] Is that where Jim kind of gives him a little like, you can go.
Angela [00:37:14] Yeah, you got this.
Jenna [00:37:15] Yeah. Like, a little like, get out of here.
Greg Daniels [00:37:18] Yeah.
Jenna [00:37:18] Kind of head nod.
Angela [00:37:20] And Michael smiles and nods, and then he walks out.
Greg Daniels [00:37:22] Yeah. And we know he’s going to heaven paradise with Holly. But there’s also a little bit of, like, Michael’s at the deathbed of his dad. I guess that’s where Brent’s getting this from, because he’s like, I release you. Do you know what I mean?
Angela [00:37:37] Yeah. Yeah. And he maybe needed that last little look from Jim. That last little nudge of, like, assurance.
Greg Daniels [00:37:43] It’s gonna be okay. Yeah.
Angela [00:37:44] Yeah.
Jenna [00:37:45] Well, I remember Nancy Carell had come up and was watching this last scene as well. On the monitors. And that was really special. And from a personal standpoint, I remember standing in the conference room.
Greg Daniels [00:37:59] Michael’s realtor? Why would she be there?
Angela [00:38:02] Carol? Why’d Carol come back?
Jenna [00:38:04] Wanted to be there. But I remember being in the conference room and I was pregnant when we shot this episode, and I had not told anyone except for Angela. And I remember just wrestling with whether or not I should tell Nancy or if I should get Steve aside, because I did not know when I would see them again. And all Steve ever wanted was for me to have the family that I always wanted, you know? So I just knew how excited he would be for me. I did not tell them. I stayed quiet.
Greg Daniels [00:38:33] I remember urging you to have a baby.
Jenna [00:38:35] Greg, you were urging me to have a baby from the pilot. Like, all you did was go around and encourage cast members to start families.
Angela [00:38:44] Because you were such a family guy and you love family. And you. I do remember this, though. You were like, where are you guys going to start having babies?
Greg Daniels [00:38:52] Well, I also felt really because it was counter the interests as a producer. And I always felt like I just want to make sure I’m completely on record as supporting anybody having a baby. The last thing I want for somebody to come back and go, I missed having a baby because I felt pressure not to have a baby or something. But yeah.
Jenna [00:39:09] Yeah, but I just remember holding on to that little secret while I was standing there watching this last scene and wondering, when am I ever going to see Steve again?
Angela [00:39:17] Well, you probably did the right thing. This is a big moment in their lives, so it’s probably, you know.
Jenna [00:39:22] Maybe I shouldn’t have made it about me?
Jenna [00:39:26] Goodbye, Steve! And guess what?
Angela [00:39:28] I’m having a baby!
Greg Daniels [00:39:29] Hey everybody!
Jenna [00:39:30] I’m pregnant!
Angela [00:39:32] You guys come to my I’m having a baby party right after we wrap.
Jenna [00:39:35] Yeah, it’s down in the warehouse.
Angela [00:39:38] In the corner. There’s a going away party for Steve, but the real party… Michael, is going to have a talking head that he got to say goodbye to almost everyone and that Holly is his family now. But right before this talking head, there would have been a deleted scene between Michael and Hank, and Michael’s waiting for his taxi, but he decides to buy one last cup of coffee from Hank and tries to give Hank a big tip. And then Hank, you know, gives him a lot of sass, and then it just all backfires. It was just like, perfect Hank Michael scenario.
Greg Daniels [00:40:12] Hugh was a great actor, and they had a relationship. And that should have been in the show, but it was awkwardly placed because we were racing towards the ending now and we didn’t really have time to slow it down again and have this interaction. But it is a deleted scene and it’s nice to see.
Angela [00:40:28] Because it works so well that the taxi pulls up when Michael’s with Jim.
Greg Daniels [00:40:32] Yeah.
Angela [00:40:33] You know, and it’s so abrupt he’s leaving. And so to then have this extra beat where then he’s waiting for his taxi.
Greg Daniels [00:40:39] I think it was also sort of conceived of as his really is lingering because he wants to see Pam. But it was that was sort of implied elsewhere.
Jenna [00:40:49] Well, he is going to get to see Pam. We don’t know it yet.
Greg Daniels [00:40:52] Yes.
Jenna [00:40:52] But we follow Michael to the airport. He’s going through a security check.
Greg Daniels [00:40:57] But he also made a choice to go to the airport, even if he had to miss Pam.
Jenna [00:41:03] Yes. He doesn’t know he’s going to see Pam.
Angela [00:41:05] Which is important.
Greg Daniels [00:41:06] I think so, too. I think it’s kind of like because he started off everybody at this office is my family. And then he gets to have this talking head where he kind of recalibrates it. It’s still super important, but he knows who his family is going to be.
Jenna [00:41:19] Now, you guys know that there’s nothing I love more than a location report, but I’m going to let Amanda S from Rancho Santa Margarita, California, take this one. Amanda said, I know a bit about this location breakdown. The airport scene was filmed at the Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California. I grew up in the neighboring city of Rancho Cucamonga and recognized it right away. I don’t know if they chose this airport because LAX wouldn’t let you go back. But I do know that Ontario had lost a lot of traffic around this time due to the 2008 recession and ownership issues, so maybe it was just an easier option because it was so quiet. Well, I reached out to Randy Cordray. He said, Amanda is right.
Angela [00:42:00] Way to go, Amanda!
Jenna [00:42:01] Yes. We shot this at the Ontario airport in a closed terminal that was not open to the public. Everyone you see is a hired extra. The TSA check in was set dressing brought in by us. But in order to shoot there, there were a lot of rules. Any cast or crew member who was shooting there that day got this memo, this very detailed memo outlining the strict rules for being there. I have my memo.
Greg Daniels [00:42:26] Hmm.
Jenna [00:42:27] It says, Hi all.
Angela [00:42:29] I love a memo with rules.
Jenna [00:42:30] You know I love a memo.
Angela [00:42:31] I love a memo.
Jenna [00:42:32] Hi, all. As we get ready to shoot at the Ontario airport, there are a few things you need to know. It says, You will be working in a closed terminal, but within the control of the TSA. So just because it was closed, don’t think there’s no rules. Okay? You had to have your government issued ID in order to enter. You had to wear an Office I.D. badge at all times. All crewmembers entering the airport were screened by TSA agents with dogs.
Angela [00:42:59] What?
Jenna [00:42:59] Yeah. Wanted you to know that all explosives, firearms and narcotics are prohibited. That was bolded. All caps and underlined. If you have handled pyrotechnics or firearms in the last 30 days, you need to let them know. Because that residue can live on your clothing for 30 days. And if a dog alerts that you have any of these residues on you, you will be made to leave.
Greg Daniels [00:43:26] Is that all?
Jenna [00:43:27] There’s more.
Greg Daniels [00:43:28] That will happen to you?
Jenna [00:43:29] Oh, it doesn’t sound like you’ll be arrested, but you’re not going to get to be in the shoot day.
Greg Daniels [00:43:34] In the deserted terminal of Ontario airport?
Jenna [00:43:36] That’s right. Once you’re in the airport, bold, all caps and underlined, do not open any doors. If you open a door, you could be fined $11,000.
Angela [00:43:46] What if you have to pee?
Jenna [00:43:47] Don’t open the door. I don’t know. You cannot open a door.
Greg Daniels [00:43:51] I don’t think stall doors are part of that.
Angela [00:43:53] I meant like exterior doors. Like a door to a bathroom.
Jenna [00:43:57] No, that would go into a bathroom.
Greg Daniels [00:43:59] Do you pee out in the world? Don’t you go into an interior bathroom?
Angela [00:44:02] I’m saying the door to go into the bathroom.
Jenna [00:44:05] That’s not included.
Greg Daniels [00:44:07] I don’t think they meant that.
Jenna [00:44:07] Any doors. You can’t just open a door and, like, walk around outside and have a cigarette.
Greg Daniels [00:44:12] Can’t go down on the tarmac.
Jenna [00:44:13] Once you’re inside, do not open a door.
Angela [00:44:16] Now, your line makes sense to me. Do you just pee out in the world? I was like, what is Greg saying? Doesn’t everyone pee out in the world somewhere?
Greg Daniels [00:44:22] As opposed to just at your home.
Jenna [00:44:26] Bold and in italics, this memo would like you to know that the $11,000 fine is a personal fine to you, and NBC will not be paying it. So if you open that door, that’s on you. And the final note is that because of the nature of work for the grip, electric and props department, knives will be allowed. Because they did have to use a knife. However, it must be kept in your pocket when not in use. Do not set down your knife. Do not turn away. It must go into your pocket. If it does not go back in your pocket, that’s another $11,000.
Angela [00:45:02] Wow.
Jenna [00:45:03] Thank you for your cooperation. Please call if you have any questions.
Greg Daniels [00:45:06] Who was that signed by?
Jenna [00:45:07] Steve Burgess.
Greg Daniels [00:45:09] Typical.
Angela [00:45:11] I wonder. I wonder how the airport settled on $11,000. It’s like it’s such.
Jenna [00:45:16] Such a specific number. It’s probably like 10,000 to 1 thing. And then, like, someone gets a $1,000 cut. Why is that where my brain goes?
Angela [00:45:24] I don’t know. Someone’s on a side hustle.
Greg Daniels [00:45:26] Agency fee.
Jenna [00:45:27] Yeah, someone’s like, Add 1,000 for the wraps.
Angela [00:45:31] Well, Michael has now gone through security, and he’s going to say, Hey, will you guys let me know if this thing ever airs? And then he takes off his mic pack and he says, Feels good to get this off my chest. And that’s where you see him mouth the words, That’s what she said.
Greg Daniels [00:45:47] Yes.
Angela [00:45:48] Greg, you got one in the episode.
Greg Daniels [00:45:50] Yeah, but it was a silent.
Angela [00:45:53] Yeah. I loved it, though. You couldn’t have Michael’s last episode without that.
Greg Daniels [00:45:57] Yeah, but it’s almost like an a concert where the performer goes to their chorus and then just points the mic at the crowd and they all.
Angela [00:46:05] They all sing it.
Greg Daniels [00:46:06] Sing, you know, the chorus. It’s like everybody knew what he was going to say, so he didn’t have to say it. People just shout it at the TV.
Angela [00:46:14] Jenna, how was the scene for you? You go running up as Pam. I loved that I could see your pantyhose, your commitment to wearing pantyhose all these years on the show. We finally get to see it.
Greg Daniels [00:46:23] Finally pays off.
Angela [00:46:25] I refused to wear them. I never wore them. And you have your shoes in your hand. It’s such a sweet moment.
Greg Daniels [00:46:32] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:46:33] Yeah, well, a lot of people always mention, how did Pam get through TSA without a ticket? How did she get through? And I remember having that discussion on set. And we did actually shoot me- I remember there was this shot of me, like, running up and, like, pointing and, like, convincing them. And then somehow they were like, letting me through and then we were like, that would never happen. So then we just had me sort of arrive there with my shoes in my hand and everything.
Greg Daniels [00:47:02] There’s a bunch of things that are a little like, fudged there, I would say. And I think Paul did a great job shooting it. I think it looks very real, you know, and he had all this big time movie experience and he really used the extras well. And it looks like a complete functioning airport.
Jenna [00:47:17] Totally.
Greg Daniels [00:47:18] When you think about it, the security, I mean, you walk right through security into a gate, practically. I mean, it was I don’t know, I don’t see a lot of security there are that close. But I mean, maybe, you know, maybe the Wilkes-Barre Airport or whatever is like that. But I would just believe there was another security thing off to the left and Pam didn’t know until she got through security that it was ahead of her and so close. That’s what I’m going to say. She doesn’t have her shoes. She’s like holding her shoes.
Jenna [00:47:47] She’s gone through security, clearly.
Angela [00:47:50] I just chose to be okay with it.
Jenna [00:47:52] Yeah.
Angela [00:47:53] I just needed this goodbye so desperately. It didn’t matter to me.
Greg Daniels [00:47:56] And it’s so beautifully framed, it’s so visual and everything. So yeah.
Jenna [00:47:59] And it’s silent, which is interesting, because presumably Pam would have had her microphone on. Even though Michael has taken his off.
Greg Daniels [00:48:07] In the movie theater? You think she came- she was in King’s Speech?
Jenna [00:48:11] Ohh, she must’ve clicked off her mic cuz she didn’t want anybody to know.
Angela [00:48:14] Oh, that’s a good call.
Jenna [00:48:16] I like that. Yeah. We often talk about, did our characters ever turn our mics off? Like when we went to the bathroom, would we turn off our mic like we would as actors? As actors, if you went to the bathroom or you went to your trailer, you’d like, click your mic off. Well, in answer to your question about doing this scene, I’ve told this story before. This was not scripted. There was nothing for us to say. And so Paul Feig just told me to run up and tell Steve Carell goodbye. Jenna to Steve.
Greg Daniels [00:48:43] Have you ever said what you actually said or is that a mystery that you will…
Jenna [00:48:46] No, I’ve never really revealed exactly what I said to Steve. But, you know, the gist of it was just what it had meant to me to work with him over these seven years. And I thanked him for a few personal things that he had done for me along the way. And we both cried and we hugged each other. And I’ve said this before, after that first take, we went back to Paul and he was like, Okay, okay, that was amazing. That was so good. Could you do it a little faster? Cuz it was like 4 minutes. I was just like sobbing.
Angela [00:49:15] Jenna told Steve every thought she’d ever had.
Greg Daniels [00:49:21] Because there’s no other camera.
Jenna [00:49:23] That’s a one-er.
Greg Daniels [00:49:24] That’s a one-er. Yeah.
Jenna [00:49:24] He’s like we’re just need to tighten it up a little. So then it got easier. We didn’t do it very many times. It got easier. I needed the first one for me.
Greg Daniels [00:49:33] Yeah. Yeah.
Jenna [00:49:34] You know, that was mine.
Greg Daniels [00:49:35] Well, so often you’re trying to get emotion in a take. In the first ones, people are working out the, you know, the eye line or whatever.
Angela [00:49:45] Mechanics.
Greg Daniels [00:49:45] Yeah. And then like two or three is where you really find your sweet spot. And then it starts to get kind of mannered and fake afterwards. But it’s interesting that it was like, on this episode, everything was like at an 11 on take one. And then you bring it down a bit. Yeah.
Jenna [00:50:01] Well, then Pam has this talking head. And I remember we did a lot of versions of this talking head, but I love the one that we picked. It was really, really sweet. Although I never felt like I nailed it. I never I was so emotional from having shot the scene that I, I just couldn’t, I don’t know, I just it was hard for me. This talking head.
Angela [00:50:23] Well I disagree. I think you totally nailed it.
Greg Daniels [00:50:26] Connected to the plane taking off that thing, right? Or is that just- is there a cut?
Jenna [00:50:29] That’s after.
Greg Daniels [00:50:30] Oh, thank goodness. Yeah. Can you imagine if we had to wait for the plane every time you got a take?
Jenna [00:50:35] No, but we did have to wait for that plane to take off so that we could do that. And a plane never took off. We waited like an hour to get a shot of me watching a plane take off. Randy reminded me that a plane did eventually take off, but it was like a little private plane, which obviously Michael would not be on.
Greg Daniels [00:50:54] So how did we do that shot?
Jenna [00:50:54] We added it in post. I- fakey plane. I just looked off at nothing.
Greg Daniels [00:51:01] Another metaphor for him going up into the sky.
Jenna [00:51:04] See? Yes, it was an important shot.
Greg Daniels [00:51:06] Had to get that plane.
Jenna [00:51:06] He starts in the sky and ends in the sky in this episode.
Angela [00:51:11] One of the things I always love about our show is right after a big emotional moment, there is then usually this great comedic bit. Sometimes dark. And this one, this one is a definite foreshadowing of how Deangelo is going to be. There is the party, it’s Michael’s party. It’s the next day. He hasn’t shown up. And there’s a big cake. And Deangelo is like, Well, we should just have a piece, right? He’s, you know, might as well. But he digs in with this hand.
Jenna [00:51:38] Yeah.
Angela [00:51:38] And he starts eating the cake and then he throws it in the trash. He’s like, No! And then he goes back in and then he does it again. And people are like, Oh my goodness. Dwight turns to Jim and goes, Oh, no.
Jenna [00:51:50] I love that moment between Dwight and Jim at the end. It’s like the devil you know. Right? You’re like, Why did we ever wish we would want anyone other than Michael? Well, I guess Dwight never did, but.
Greg Daniels [00:52:01] But also, I love when, when Dwight and Jim team up. And just to see, like, okay, it’s going to be those two against this guy.
Both [00:52:09] Yeah.
Greg Daniels [00:52:09] Is an interesting thing. When you think about it, when you watch the show now on Peacock and there are no ads and you’re just kind of watching it, that does feel like, Oh, that’s a weird place to end. But you have to remember that, you know, the show kind of ended and then there was 3 minutes of commercials and this is like a little, a little bitty tag on the end. Yeah.
Jenna [00:52:28] That’s true, because you used to have to write for those act breaks. And now it can be viewed without them. That’s interesting.
Greg Daniels [00:52:35] Right. It does change the experience a little bit.
Angela [00:52:37] It changes the pow a little bit. Cuz you’re like, oh we’re doing this now?
Greg Daniels [00:52:41] You’re like, huh. They chose to end on the cake gag. That’s strange.
Angela [00:52:46] One thing I wanted to share was a lot of people in the cast who didn’t have scenes on particular days, they all would just come back, even on their day off, to watch Steve’s final scenes. And a lot of people obviously came back for this last day, crew and producers and writers and the cast, all there to watch these final moments. And then we had a party in the warehouse to say goodbye to Steve.
Jenna [00:53:08] It was so perfect. Do you remember Nancy made that cake or had a cake made? And it was a giant cake in the shape of a world’s best boss mug.
Angela [00:53:17] Yeah, it was a huge, huge coffee mug.
Jenna [00:53:19] Yes. And John had made a tribute video. He had had a bunch of different people send in goodbye messages like you would have at a retirement party. Rainn gave a speech on behalf of the cast.
Greg Daniels [00:53:31] I gave a speech, I remember. If I’d known you guys were talking I would have brought it.
Both [00:53:34] Awwwww!
Greg Daniels [00:53:34] I think it’s on my computer somewhere.
Angela [00:53:37] Oh, that’s so great.
Greg Daniels [00:53:39] Yeah, I remember there were a lot of jokes about how he could have been a dick, but he wasn’t. And because he, you know, he had all of the, you know, he was so important to the show. And I think I compared him to other leads who were in the news for bad behavior or something. I can’t remember the whole gist of it.
Jenna [00:53:59] Oh, that’s so sweet. A big thing that happened- and this was Randy Cordray’s idea- was that we retired his number on the call sheet. He was our number one. And moving forward, the call sheet started with number two. Forever. So it didn’t matter whoever we were going to hire to ever be maybe the boss in the future, they were not going to get to be number one. That belonged to Steve. And we made him a Dunder Mifflin hockey jersey with his number one on it, and the cast signed it. I remember Randy brought it around to all of us in our trailers, and we all signed this. And when Nancy was on the podcast, she shared that they had framed that in Steve’s office.
Greg Daniels [00:54:38] Yeah.
Jenna [00:54:39] It was really sweet.
Angela [00:54:41] Well, we are at the end of this episode, and before we wrap it up, I thought I would bring out my last bit of digital clutter.
Jenna [00:54:49] Woo hoo!
Angela [00:54:49] Woo hoo.
Jenna [00:54:49] Digital clutter.
Angela [00:54:50] Yes. At this time I would do a little vignette videos for NBC.com, Adventures with Angela, you guys, around the set. And a lot of fans had written in and asked if I would do a goodbye video with Steve. And NBC.com gave me a flip camera. Do you remember those?
Greg Daniels [00:55:09] Yeah.
Angela [00:55:09] And I went and filmed it, and I found it in my digital clutter. And I thought we should hear a little bit of this final goodbye with Steve.
Angela [00:55:17] Hi, Office fans. It’s Angela Kinsey. I’m in my trailer. And this is Steve’s last week on our show. And we’ve all been pretty emotional this week as Michael Scott leaves Dunder Mifflin. And I have to say, there were some tears at our table read, and there were tears on set. And it’s just been just sort of a very, you know, great week. And we’re happy and we’re sad and we’re all of it. And I just thought I would walk over to Steve’s trailer now and maybe we could all say goodbye. Here we are at Steve’s trailer. Steve? It’s Angela. Hey, don’t be afraid. Can I come in? Can we say goodbye?
Steve Carell [00:56:05] Okay.
Angela [00:56:06] Not me personally, but, you know, your fans.
Steve Carell [00:56:08] Okay. Come on in.
Angela [00:56:09] Okay. So I just wanted to come here on behalf of all the fans of Michael Scott and of yours. And is there anything you want to say to the fans as you as your character departs the show?
Steve Carell [00:56:19] I do, actually. I’ve I’ve made an enormous mistake.
Angela [00:56:24] Oh, no.
Steve Carell [00:56:26] And I think that I probably shouldn’t be going. And uh.
Angela [00:56:33] You’re going to have like zero jobs.
Steve Carell [00:56:37] I’m just I’m really thankful. I think we’re all very thankful to have had the jobs. This is more than a job, really. And I think everybody here feels that way. It’s been not only fun, but I was talking to my wife about it, and I’ve been pretty emotional the last couple of weeks, too. And one of the things she pointed out-.
P.A. [00:56:55] Steve?
Steve Carell [00:56:56] Yeah?
P.A. [00:56:57] They’re inviting you to set.
Steve Carell [00:56:57] Okay. I’ll be right out. I’m filming my farewell.
Angela [00:57:00] We’ll be right there!
Steve Carell [00:57:02] I think one of the things she said that I thought really hit the nail on the head was that it’s a part that has kind of defined me professionally. But on top of that, she said, these are your friends. So that to me is, that to me is is why this show has been so important to me. And the fact that people have watched it and enjoyed it over these years that I’ve been on it. And will continue to enjoy it because it remains and will continue to be a fantastic show.
Angela [00:57:33] Look, Steve has to scrunch down. (STEVE KISSING SOUNDS) Okay. From Adventures with Angela. Goodbye, Steve. We love you. We love you, Steve.
Jenna [00:57:43] Aww. My favorite part is when Kelly Cantley knocks on the door.
Greg Daniels [00:57:47] Yeah, it takes you back, right?
Jenna [00:57:50] It’s so real, yeah. Like you’d be having, like, this heart to heart with someone and there would be, like, this (KNOCK) need you in 5 minutes.
Angela [00:57:56] Okay!
Jenna [00:57:58] I’m just crying my heart out in here.
Greg Daniels [00:58:00] It does take you back. And it was such a- he’s so right about how unique that show is in terms of the relationships of being, you know, seven years, nine years on the same lot with the same crew and the same actors. And and I think also just the fact that it was a mockumentary and we had so much time on set with each other as opposed to, you know, waiting for lighting and stuff. It was just a very unusual experience.
Angela [00:58:32] Well, I love that Steve said, you know, I guess it’s what Nancy and him had talked about, that the show was about friendship. And I think that’s the beauty of it and that we still have that to this day. I mean, this week, Jenna, we’re on a text thread with the whole cast and we were texting back and forth.
Greg Daniels [00:58:49] I’m not on that thread.
Jenna [00:58:50] You’re not in the cast. Yarn man was cut.
Greg Daniels [00:58:53] Yeah.
Jenna [00:58:54] If yarn man stayed in…
Angela [00:58:55] If yarn man had lived.
Jenna [00:58:57] You would have been on that thread.
Greg Daniels [00:59:00] Exactly.
Jenna [00:59:00] Well, Greg, thank you so much for joining us today. This was such a treat.
Greg Daniels [00:59:04] It’s my pleasure. I love coming to do your show just to see you two guys and have a fun chat. And if they didn’t record it, that’d be fine with me.
Both [00:59:14] Awww.
Angela [00:59:15] Greg, you’re just the best. And you guys, thank you again for sending in your awesome questions. We loved them. And next week, we’ll be back with Steve Carell!
Jenna [00:59:24] Steve Carell! See you then! 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 [00:59:47] Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton. For Ad Ad free versions of Office Ladies, go to StitcherPremium.com. For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium, use code “office”.