February 16, 2021
This week we’re breaking down Local Ad. Director Jason Reitman sends in clips about his experience directing this great episode. The ladies talk about Michael getting the entire office to shoot their own Dunder Mifflin commercial, as Dwight deals with his breakup with Angela by retreating further into his Second (Second) Life. Jenna does a deep dive on earworms, the ladies make crossover connections that all seem to lead to the TV show, Monk, and Angela shares why she had to be superimposed onto the rooftop scene. So if you don’t hate being titillated, break me off a piece of that Fancy Feast and enjoy this ep!
65 — Local Ad
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. Welcome to Office Ladies, everyone, hello.
Angela [00:00:27] Hi, good morning or good afternoon or maybe good evening.
Jenna [00:00:31] We don’t know when you listen.
Angela [00:00:33] No.
Jenna [00:00:33] So we’re going to cover all of it.
Angela [00:00:35] What if I was like, actually, we do. They would be like whaaa? What?
Jenna [00:00:36] We are here today to talk about Local Ad. Season four, episode nine, which I’m going to declare a hidden gem.
Angela [00:00:46] Whenever you say I’m going to declare, you know, where my brain goes, I can’t help it.
Jenna [00:00:51] Bankruptcy?
Angela [00:00:52] Yes! For the rest of my life, I’m just going to walk this earth and someone’s going to be like, I declare, and I’m going to think, bankruptcy.
Jenna [00:00:59] Yeah. Can’t help it.
Angela [00:01:01] It’s like that’s what she said. We can’t help it.
Jenna [00:01:04] That’s what she said.
Angela [00:01:06] I don’t know.
Jenna [00:01:07] It doesn’t work.
Angela [00:01:08] It is a gem. Let’s hear about it, Jenna.
Jenna [00:01:10] It was written by B.J. Novak and directed by Jason Reitman. Here is a summary. When the Scranton branch is asked to participate in a Dunder Mifflin television ad, Michael seizes his chance to exhibit his creativity and enlist the help and talents of his employees. I mean, has Michael ever had a more exciting day at work?
Angela [00:01:32] No, I can’t imagine the giddiness that he had, how he woke up to his bacon on his George Foreman grill by his bed, he ate it real fast, nudged Jan cuz she was passed out and went to work.
Jenna [00:01:47] He is on fire today. Also in this episode, Dwight explores the online world of Second Life as a means of escaping his real life pain about his breakup with Angela. And Andy will not stop asking Dwight’s advice in his pursuit of Angela. It’s just torturing poor Dwight.
Angela [00:02:07] It is. Have you ever had a crush where your friend was maybe liking the same guy but was doing better or something and they’d be like, hey, he said this, what should I say back? And you’re just like, ugh.
Jenna [00:02:18] It’s the worst.
Angela [00:02:21] It is. Poor, poor Dwight.
Jenna [00:02:23] Well, let’s get into some fast facts. Fast fact number one: Like I said, this episode is directed by Jason Reitman. Jason Reitman, Golden Globe nominated for his movie Thank You for Smoking. He also won the Independent Spirit Award for best screenplay for that, and Academy Award nominated director of Juno, among many other things. I mean, amazing.
Angela [00:02:44] Yeah.
Jenna [00:02:45] Now, when he came to direct The Office, he had finished Juno, but it had not come out yet. So all of those accolades were in his future. But one of the stars of Juno was Rainn Wilson.
Angela [00:02:58] Yes.
Jenna [00:02:59] A little connection.
Angela [00:03:00] Mm hmm. And Jenna, I’m gonna let you do your fast facts, but this whole episode for me is about crossover connections with people.
Jenna [00:03:08] Oh, Local Ad: Crossover Connections.
Angela [00:03:11] Local Ad: Hidden Gems/ Crossover Connections.
Jenna [00:03:16] There it is.
Angela [00:03:17] Hashtag. I’m kidding.
Jenna [00:03:18] That’s what she said.
Angela [00:03:21] That’s what she said. Jenna, I have been emailing with Jason over these last few months because Oscar and Brian and I were part of Jason’s remake of The Princess Bride for Quibi.
Jenna [00:03:32] It was so good.
Angela [00:03:34] It was so fun. And we all shot it separately, like at our homes. And then Jason edited together all the dialog. I played Vizzini, Oscar played Inigo, and Brian played Fezzik. It was so much fun. So we were trading emails and I was like, hey, by the way, Local Ad is coming up. Would you send in some audio clips? And he was so generous. These are so great. I’m excited for you guys to hear him.
Jenna [00:03:59] Of course, the first thing we asked him was how he came to direct on The Office. And here is what he had to say.
Jason Reitman [00:04:05] Like any human being who was alive at the time, I was an enormous fan of The Office. I just thought it was the greatest thing on television. It was this collection of the greatest talent, actors and writers, who were making a generation defining comedy, which was somehow sweet but always subversive. And the storytelling was great. You know, future directors that I really admired had already come and directed the show. Like Harold Ramis. I think I had already directed Rainn in Juno and I had these little connections to other people on the show. I feel like I knew a fair amount of the cast and some writers on the show already. I don’t even know why, but either my agent reached out and said, Hey, do you want to direct any television? And I think my response was, I would be up for directing The Office. And Rainn made it even sound like a better opportunity by saying, look, the worst you can do when you direct The Office is get a B+ and the best you can do is an A. Oh, well, all right. I mean, I always used to tell people that directing The Office was like someone asking you, do you want to drive my Lamborghini? And it’s like, okay. It’s just a- it was a show- and clearly truly when I came in, because I came in in season four, that it so clearly knew exactly who it was and how it was made that as a director, really, you are simply the first audience and you have the opportunity to maybe point a couple of people in the right direction, but otherwise, as a director on The Office, it’s a learning experience and a joyful one.
Jenna [00:05:42] How about a hidden gem of an audio clip. Jason. And crossover connections.
Angela [00:05:49] Yes.
Jenna [00:05:50] It’s all there. I love what he said about directing The Office was like, if your friend said, hey, do you want to drive my Lamborghini? Like, so nice.
Angela [00:06:01] We also asked Jason if he had any first impressions of being on the set and being with all of us.
Jason Reitman [00:06:08] I remember getting there and I was just blown away by the directing process that the camera operators were meant to be performers themselves. And unlike anything I’d ever direct in the past, I was given a floor plan and asked to draw out the performance of the camera operators, which direction they would go and which direction they would look, because the idea was that within a single take, you should be able to cover every camera angle that can be used in the editing of a scene. So this was a unique challenge as a director and kind of a thrilling one where you knew that there was eight shots you wanted to get off; a wide, a couple of mediums, close ups, and you want to be able to pan into reactions, and that somehow you had two cameras, you had two operators, and they were going to need to catch all these things without catching each other. And they would duck under desks as one would pan by the other. It was like doing Sudoku, you know, it was like this fun problem to solve and at the same time a thrill to watch the actual operators who knew how to do it. I remember, the set was freezing cold, which was Steve Carrell’s request, if I remember right. You know, this whole cold is comedy thing. I love that. I love cold. So that was fine by me.
Jenna [00:07:16] OK, here’s what I have to say about that audio clip.
Angela [00:07:20] What?
Jenna [00:07:20] The two things that he mentions are, one, just incredible, masterful choreography of the camerawork and that it was freezing cold. That should tell you how cold our set was.
Angela [00:07:34] I mean, I have pictures of people that weren’t in scenes, like hair and makeup, in full on parkas.
Jenna [00:07:40] With hoods up.
Angela [00:07:41] And gloves. But I am really glad that Jason described the sort of dance that our cameramen did. I mean, we’ve talked about it a little bit, but I thought he was very eloquent in how he described it, because it was a really just fascinating, beautiful thing to watch. If you weren’t in the scene and you could watch those guys. And I was like always so impressed.
Jenna [00:08:01] And I imagine especially weird to see the first time… walking on to our set and seeing all that they did to get the shots.
Angela [00:08:11] Yeah. One of the things I remember about Jason is him breaking and laughing when we did talking heads. I just remember him cracking up because I had one in this and there were also some in the deleted scenes that didn’t make it in. So he must have had a whole day of talking heads. And he talked about it in the DVD commentary that one of the things he wasn’t really prepared for as a director on this show is how the director is part of the cast because the director sits in the conference room when you do talking heads and we talk directly to the director.
Jenna [00:08:45] Yes.
Angela [00:08:46] As part of the mockumentary. And he said he kept laughing. And that is my memory too.
Jenna [00:08:51] Yes, you’re so right. We’ll talk about it when we get to it, but Pam has a talking head that we could not get through. Well we’re really grateful that Jason sent in these clips and we have even more. We’ll sprinkle them throughout the episode.
Angela [00:09:03] Yes.
Jenna [00:09:04] Next up is fast fact number two, which is all about Second Life.
Angela [00:09:09] Oh, Jenna. Let me tell you, when I watch this and saw the Second Life storyline, I was like, oh, I know m’lady, Jenna Fischer, is going to do a deep dive on this because you love these kind of games. You play these kind of games.
Jenna [00:09:23] Well, I played The Sims.
Angela [00:09:25] Yes.
Jenna [00:09:25] Which is very different from Second Life.
Angela [00:09:28] Oh.
Jenna [00:09:28] By the way, Second Life is real and it still exists today. And like Dwight says in the episode, it’s not a game. Sims is a game where you have a character and you have to eat food and go to the bathroom and have a job and try to build a mansion and things like that.
Angela [00:09:43] This is what I remember, Jenna. I remember you built a whole world. You were working on your world. Isn’t that like a second life?
Jenna [00:09:50] A little bit. You know, I stopped playing Sims when I had built myself a little house and I had a little cat that was just like my real cat, Andy. And in the game I was petting my fake cat and I looked over at my real cat who was like, meow. And I thought, yeah, I need to get out of this game and pet my real cat.
Angela [00:10:14] Oh, man.
Jenna [00:10:15] So Second Life, it predated Twitter and Instagram and social media and it was almost like a virtual online chat room. You created an avatar of yourself and then you could go in and interact with other people’s avatars.
Angela [00:10:31] Like Reddit? Like if I animated myself and then I could go in a Reddit chat room?
Jenna [00:10:35] Yes, very similar. But you can build things. You could build a little hotel and run it, and then other avatars could come to your hotel.
Angela [00:10:45] Oh, that’s kind of fun.
Jenna [00:10:47] You can go to a concert. There were college classes, press conferences that you could attend as your avatar, and you could even buy land, shop for clothes and gadgets, visit with friends. It was this online world. It was created by Linden Lab and it was just like a social experience. It wasn’t a game. You didn’t win anything, but you could earn money in the game that you would then spend on these different experiences.
Angela [00:11:16] I get it. I could see where that would be really fun. It kind of reminds me a little bit of this movie we just watched with the kids called Ready Player One. You sort of design your avatar and then you get to go explore and interact with other people.
Jenna [00:11:29] I have not seen that movie, but that sounds on point.
Angela [00:11:32] You should see it.
Jenna [00:11:33] OK.
Angela [00:11:33] I think you would like it.
Jenna [00:11:35] OK, I’ll watch the first twenty minutes of it.
Angela [00:11:37] Yeah. Tell me about the towel next to the coffee pot.
Jenna [00:11:40] You got it. Is there a charming random detail I can hone in on in the first twenty minutes of the film?
Angela [00:11:48] I’m sure you’ll find it. So much shade. OK, go on.
Jenna [00:11:54] It’s good you’re still not bitter about it though. We had a fan question about Second Life from Winston F., Olivia Lovell, Gianna Williams, and John Lescombe. They just said, can you please tell us everything about using Second and Second Second Life on The Office? It seems like such a big undertaking to program a whole massive multiplayer online game for a single episode. Who came up with it? How did you do it? Well, you know who I had to reach out to?
Angela [00:12:24] Kent-a-Kent-a-Kent-a-pedia.
Jenna [00:12:27] Kent-a-pedia. Kent reached out to the developers of Second Life, Clear Inc. and Linden Labs, and we entered into a license agreement with them. They ended up creating all of the avatars and animation for us. Kent had to send pictures of John and Rainn over to those guys and they drew out little avatars of them based on Jason and Greg’s direction. And that’s how they made it.
Angela [00:12:54] So cool and Kent is so awesome. We go to Kent every week.
Jenna [00:12:58] I know. Thanks, Kent. We got a letter, Angela from Cyn Skyberg. And listen to this. I worked at Second Life when this episode came out and we were so excited. I was the head of customer service at the time and I got all our team together virtually to watch the episode. Second Life was and is a crazy place and so much really nutzo stuff happened in there. This was a big highlight for all of us.
Angela [00:13:27] I bet Cyn has some good stories.
Jenna [00:13:28] No, I didn’t want to open up that Pandora’s box, cuz I thought, oh, no, I want to get anyone in trouble. But how cool?
Angela [00:13:37] I am now curious. That is so cool.
Jenna [00:13:39] Are you ready for fast fact number three?
Angela [00:13:42] Yah.
Jenna [00:13:42] I’m calling this one Kit Kat fun facts.
Angela [00:13:46] Oh, did you do a deep dive on Kit Kats?
Jenna [00:13:48] Lady, of course I did.
Angela [00:13:52] Oh my gah.
Jenna [00:13:53] As you know, in this episode, the character of Andy cannot remember the end of the famous jingle, “Gimme a break. Gimme a break. Break me off a piece of that-“.
Both [00:14:03] Kit Kat bar.
Jenna [00:14:04] Yeah. So I thought you all might like to know that the Kit Kat bar was brought to market in 1930 by Rowntree of York in the United Kingdom. It was advertised as the best companion to a cup of tea.
Angela [00:14:20] Rowntree of York, maker of chocolate, seventh of its name, best companion cup of tea. I don’t know. I’m sorry. I just make everything a Game of Thrones title.
Jenna [00:14:29] Even though I never finished Game of Thrones, like John Wick, I love your Game of Thrones names that you make, Angela.
Angela [00:14:38] Thank you. I feel seen. Somewhat.
Jenna [00:14:40] The jingle that Andy can’t remember debuted in the United States in nineteen eighty six and it is still the jingle today. The words are by Ken Schuldman and the music was written by Michael A. Levine. Versions of the original have been covered by Carrie Underwood, Shawn Colvin and countless actors who have been seen in the commercials. But here’s where it gets interesting.
Angela [00:15:08] OK.
Jenna [00:15:09] This song, The Kit Kat Jingle, was cited in a study by a researcher at the University of Cincinnati who declared it one of the top ten earworms. An earworm is a bit of a melody or bit of a song that becomes stuck in your head.
Angela [00:15:27] Oh, yes.
Jenna [00:15:29] The researchers name is James Kalaris and he studied this phenomenon. Why do bits of songs get stuck in our heads? He said that it happens to almost everyone at some point in their life, but he found that it did happen more to women and musicians. Hmm.
Angela [00:15:45] Huh. I have had “by Mennen” stuck in my head for years.
Jenna [00:15:50] Oh, OK. That was not on his list. But do you know what was on his list of wormiest songs?
Angela [00:15:56] Let’s hear it.
Jenna [00:15:57] The Chili’s jingle, Baby Back Ribs.
Angela [00:15:59] Oh yes.
Jenna [00:16:00] Which has also been featured on The Office. The other songs that made the top ten were We Will Rock You, Who Let the Dogs Out?, The Mission Impossible theme song, Woomp There It Is, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, It’s a Small World, After All, and YMCA. Those are the wormiest songs.
Angela [00:16:19] The wormiest songs. Well, I guess By Mennen isn’t really a song.
Jenna [00:16:24] No, but it’s a bit of melody. So you don’t get the whole song trapped in your head. You just get some little bit of the melody stuck in your head.
Angela [00:16:33] Mmhmm.
Jenna [00:16:33] Yeah. There you go.
Angela [00:16:35] I feel like everybody you could probably walk down the street and stick a microphone in someone’s face and say, “give me a break” and they’d immediately go into it.
Jenna [00:16:42] Yeah.
Angela [00:16:43] Everyone knows that.
Jenna [00:16:44] That’s all I got, lady.
Angela [00:16:46] I thought those were wonderful, fast facts. I’m excited to get into this episode. I’ve got some stuff coming up.
Jenna [00:16:52] Well, I hope it’s a ton of hidden gems and crossover connections. I just want to remind you, that’s the theme of this episode.
Angela [00:16:59] Thank you for the reminder. Let’s take a break and come back with some more hidden gems and Local Ad. All right, so this episode starts with a conference room scene. Michael is getting the gang to brainstorm ideas for their upcoming commercial. He’s super excited. Right at the top, Phyllis shouts out, dancing baby! Jenna, you know what she’s talking about, right?
Jenna [00:17:23] There were those commercials with dancing babies in them, right?
Angela [00:17:26] It was this phenomenon. OK, here’s my little mini deep dive, guys. It’s referred to as the oogacachaca baby. It was a 3D rendered animation of a baby dancing. It became a media phenomenon. It was one of the very first viral videos in the 90s. It was this dancing baby animation. It went all over these popular Web forums, Web sites. It got emailed to people, demo videos, commercials. Eventually it ended up in mainstream television. It was featured on CBS, CNN. And then what I remember it from is it ended up being part of these, like, fantasy kind of things that Ally McBeal would have on her show.
Jenna [00:18:05] Oh, yes.
Angela [00:18:06] Right?
Jenna [00:18:07] Yes. The dancing baby on Ally McBeal. I remember that.
Angela [00:18:10] So this was one of the very first viral videos and I went back and watched it. It’s so creepy. It’s so creepy. I have to put it in our stories. It is just the creepiest thing.
Jenna [00:18:22] America, what did we love about it? Sometimes you look back and you’re like, why did we go so crazy over that thing?
Angela [00:18:28] I think because we’d never seen anything like it. This was like sort of the beginning of what memes and gifs or jifs, what do you call those? This was the beginning of that. This was this 3D animated baby dancing awkwardly to this song. And people were like, oh my gah.
Jenna [00:18:42] Lady, also, at the very beginning of this episode, we had a fan catch from Linda K., Sadie K., and Jackie Hewitt. In the background of Michael’s talking head, Angela, you are way out of character. What is going on there? It’s it’s 16 seconds, everybody. 16 seconds.
Angela [00:19:04] I know. I have it. I took a screen grab of it. I am literally laughing and then I just start chatting away. You see my mouth going, I am so out of character. I clearly didn’t realize I was in the shot. Sometimes they would have Steve do talking heads right outside the conference room. And we were in the background, but it was like a little blurry, you know?
Jenna [00:19:25] Yeah.
Angela [00:19:26] And I didn’t realize, but I looked and it’s Rainn, Brian, me, you, and Ed. And I guess I’m telling a story.
Jenna [00:19:35] You are holding court. You are seated with your legs crossed and we’re all kind of standing around you and you are clearly telling a very fun story.
Angela [00:19:45] I know. I Caught it, too.
Jenna [00:19:46] It was amazing.
Angela [00:19:47] Also, it sets up in this scene the great runner of Andy not being able to remember the end of the Kit Kat jingle. And Jim immediately says, don’t help him. So no one helps him.
Jenna [00:19:57] I know that is the worst.
Angela [00:19:59] I know.
Jenna [00:20:00] It also sets up that Pam has volunteered to make a logo for Michael’s commercial. She’s going to design a logo. She’s very excited.
Angela [00:20:09] Well, she says she’s taking an animation class.
Jenna [00:20:12] I love that.
Angela [00:20:12] I know. I was like, go, Pam.
Jenna [00:20:14] Next, the ad guys arrive. Michael runs out of the conference room and he is immediately going to start pitching them his ideas. He says he wants this commercial to be like MTV on crack. He goes around, he introduces them to everyone in the office.
Angela [00:20:31] There’s even more in the deleted scenes. He literally goes up to like every single person and does like a horrible introduction of all of them.
Jenna [00:20:40] The way only Michael can.
Angela [00:20:41] If you want to see some more awkward, cringey, Michael, introductions, go to the deleted scenes.
Jenna [00:20:46] These two ad guys were played by Kyle Bornheimer and Tim Cang. You probably recognize these guys. Kyle has been on a ton of stuff. He was on Brooklyn Nine Nine. He’s done a bunch of commercials. Tim is the same way. He went on to be a regular on The Mentalist and the reboot of Magnum P.I..
Angela [00:21:08] Yes. Are you ready for some crossover connection?
Jenna [00:21:11] Lay them on me.
Angela [00:21:12] Tim who plays Tim, ready for this? His daughter and my daughter were on the same soccer team in 2019, The Falcons. I was the team parent. My ex-husband Warren was the coach. We make it work, y’all. We make it work. And the Falcons made it to the finals in our AYSO division. We went on to play in the regional playoffs you guys, and then we advanced to the area playoffs. The girls came in third and they were the runner up team to go to State.
Jenna [00:21:44] Lady, I will never forget your messages to me during this time of Isabel’s soccer team going so far.
Angela [00:21:53] It was the never ending year of soccer.
Jenna [00:21:56] It was. I would text you and I would say, what are you up to? And you’re like, Lady, we are still in this soccer tournament.
Angela [00:22:03] Yes.
Jenna [00:22:05] But it was so exciting. I remember how excited those girls were, and Tim is one of the other parents of another girl, I love that.
Angela [00:22:14] Yes. So Tim and I have sat on the sidelines together and cheered our girls on.
Jenna [00:22:19] Well, I have a connection to Kyle. It’s not as exciting as that. But we were both in the movie Blades of Glory. He played the rink P.A. announcer. And so I guess in a way, we also both sat in stands and cheered on a sporting event of ice skating, though, fictional.
Angela [00:22:37] Yes.
Jenna [00:22:37] Well, I have another crossover connection for you, Angela.
Angela [00:22:40] I think I know this one.
Jenna [00:22:42] This one’s really weird and it’s going to be a runner through this whole episode. Like every guest star in this episode, Local Ad, has also had a guest appearance on Monk.
Angela [00:22:54] It’s so wild, isn’t it?
Jenna [00:22:56] What is going on? Kyle played uniformed cop in Mr. Monk and the Kid and Tim played Mr. Brennaman in Mr. Monk Is Up All Night.
Angela [00:23:05] I know it’s so wild to me. We have more crossover connections coming up, but there’s your first two.
Jenna [00:23:11] Now we get into this episode and it opens with Dwight playing Second Life.
Angela [00:23:18] And Jenna at three minutes, thirty nine seconds, is it just me or does Dwight fly like mother in Raised By Wolves?
Jenna [00:23:27] I don’t know Raised By Wolves.
Angela [00:23:28] I know. I knew you wouldn’t know it.
Jenna [00:23:29] Is this- this sounds very similar to Game of Thrones.
Angela [00:23:33] OK, Raised By Wolves is nothing like Game of Thrones. It is just the weirdest show on HBO Max. Here’s the overview of Raised by Wolves: Two Androids are tasked with raising human children on a mysterious planet as the human colony threatens to be torn apart by religious differences. The androids learned that controlling the beliefs of humans is treacherous and a difficult task.
Jenna [00:23:58] Hmm.
Angela [00:23:59] Also, the androids mother is able to have babies. It’s very bizarre, Jenna. It’s so bizarre.
Jenna [00:24:06] It is not a surprise to me that I’m watching Last Tango in Halifax instead of Raised By Wolves.
Angela [00:24:12] Now, listen, Last Tango in Halifax is right up my alley. You know, I love any kind of like BBC programing, but I also love me some weird sci fi. OK, I’m going to show you. This is how Dwight flies in Simple Life. And this is how Mother flies.
Jenna [00:24:28] Mm hmm. I see it.
Angela [00:24:29] They both go upright with their arms out.
Jenna [00:24:32] It’s very creepy.
Angela [00:24:33] I know anyone else that watched Raised By Wolves, go to three minutes thirty nine seconds. Watch how Dwight does his lift off and it will remind you of mother.
Jenna [00:24:42] Angela will also put that on the pod.
Angela [00:24:44] I’m going to put it in our stories.
Jenna [00:24:46] I looked up Dwight’s profile on Second Life.
Angela [00:24:49] You did?
Jenna [00:24:49] I did. It’s still there. Here’s what he has down as his interests: muscle cars, pop culture and sci fi buff. In parentheses, Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, 24, Alias, Smallville, The Apprentice, Lost, and Battlestar Galactica. His talents are listed as avid cornhusk dollmaker, beet sculptor, and knot tieing champion. He had to list a goal for his Second Life, and he wrote, to calculate the exchange between Schrute Bucks and Linden dollars. Linden dollars are the currency in Second Life.
Angela [00:25:29] OK.
Jenna [00:25:30] So there you have it. When he’s not flying like mother, he is trying to calculate the exchange between Schrute Bucks and Linden dollars.
Angela [00:25:38] I love that. Up next, Michael is going to pitch his big idea to the ad guys. I want you guys to know a deleted scene would have come before this between Jim and Michael that is so delicious and fun. Basically, Michael wants to practice pitch to Jim. He brings Jim in the office, right, he has Jim sit behind his desk so he can practice pitch and he says- this is his pitch to Jim: we start on a blank piece of paper. We widen to reveal ancient Rome. Jim’s like, can’t do that. Michael is like, OK, we widen to reveal a spaceship blasting out of a woman’s womb.
Jenna [00:26:16] What?
Angela [00:26:17] Then they do this very funny role play where Jim’s like, get out of my office. It’s like becomes a whole thing. But for real, the pitch Michael settles on is this one, and I thought we had to hear it. Sam, can you play it?
Michael Scott [00:26:30] Little girl in a field holding a flower. We zoom back to find the she’s in the desert and the field is an oasis. Zoom back further. The desert is a sandbox in the world’s largest resort hotel. Zoom back further. The hotel is actually the playground of the world’s largest prison. But we zoom back further.
Ad guy [00:26:57] okay, I can tell you your time is valuable.
Jenna [00:26:58] Oh, well, I love what he says. When the guy is like, listen, I can tell your time is valuable. And Michael’s like, well, actually, I don’t get paid by the hour anymore. I get paid by the year, so basically I can waste as much time as I want. Not a problem.
Angela [00:27:13] Yes, but I love that this is the pitch that he led with and knowing that he had other ideas, but this is what he went with.
Jenna [00:27:21] The ad guys are great. They’re so real in how they react to Michael. They say, listen, we made something for the Nashua branch. Why don’t we show that to you? And it’ll give you an idea of what we can do. So he plays this commercial and then they explain the only part of the commercial they’re allowed to alter is the last five seconds.
Angela [00:27:41] Yeah, Michael’s like, what, we just wave at the end? He goes, or, you know, you could clap, you know, make it your own.
Jenna [00:27:46] Yeah. This is where you can really get creative. You can be inside. You can be outside. We had a fan question. Aaron Jassa, Harry Driscol, Molly Kotz and many others. They wanted to know who directed this commercial that plays in the middle of the episode. Was it Jason Reitman? Yes, it was Jason Reitman. I texted with B.J. about this commercial and he told me that Jason Reitman had directed real commercials before this and he remembers that it was so cool because Jason laid out this big circular track on the floor and had the camera going around in circles. And BJ was like, I had never seen anything like that before. It was so cool.
Angela [00:28:28] Well, we asked Jason about filming this fake commercial, and here’s what he had to say.
Jason Reitman [00:28:33] The episode, Local Ad, contained two commercials inside it. And I’d been a commercial director. I was a bad commercial director, I should say. The majority of the commercials that I directed were ones that if you saw you would revoke my Directors Guild card, you would just say you’re not allowed to direct again. Then I would, you know, name clients. But that would be rude. But, you know, typical fast food and beer and just like not good work. I was not Spike Jonze, but I learned that format. There’s certain things that you may not know how to do authentically, but you know how to satirize. Like, I know that I could never direct to David Fincher film, but I love him so much as a filmmaker that I could probably direct a satire of a David Fincher film. And so I don’t know how to direct a great commercial, but I think I know how to direct the satire of a good commercial. And that was the kind of the the great thing about doing the Dunder Mifflin ad was I felt my commercial brain trying to do the best worst version of what Dunder Mifflin would hand Michael Scott, which was this kind of cutesy commercial. It starred Jeff Witzke, who is an actor I’ve worked with since I was a kid. He literally was in my first short film and has been in everything I’ve ever made sense. And he was the star of it. And that was great.
Angela [00:29:39] I love that Jason just uses his friend Jeff in everything, I just think that’s wonderful. Jenna I want you to be in everything I do from here on out.
Jenna [00:29:48] Great. I love it.
Angela [00:29:50] OK, well, we have some crossover connections with Jeff. Are you ready? He was also in Mindy and Brenda, the TV short written by Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers.
Jenna [00:30:02] Oh.
Angela [00:30:02] Yeah, he played the salesclerk.
Jenna [00:30:05] Well, lady, guess what? He also did a guest spot on Monk. He played Human Cannonball in Mr. Monk Goes to the Circus. That one really got me. I might need to look that one up. Human cannonball. Very curious.
Angela [00:30:19] You might need to see what the human cannonball looks like.
Jenna [00:30:22] Yes.
Angela [00:30:22] So not only did Jason hire Jeff again, he also hired a friend that he had worked with before to compose that music, that sort of like, I don’t know, it’s like salsa Muzak that’s playing in the background. It was composed by the same composer that did all the music for Juno, Mateo Messina.
Jenna [00:30:41] I love that. Now things are going to get awkward. Andy pulls Dwight aside to get advice on how to get to first base with Angela. He says they’ve been necking a lot, but that means that they are literally rubbing their necks together. There’s no kissing involved.
Angela [00:30:59] Why don’t we have any footage of that?
Jenna [00:31:02] I don’t know. I don’t know. Angela, we had a fan question from Amy Noki. She’s dying to know what is your backstory for Angela and Andy and what is with the necking? Do you think this was standard for Angela or is it because she can’t stomach Andy and she’s just trying to get back at Dwight?
Angela [00:31:22] I love this question. I thought that Angela went out with Andy as sort of a revenge date. She was very mad at Dwight. She really thought she was done with Dwight. She was super, super angry with him. And as she started dating Andy, I think it became very clear to her that really Dwight had her heart, but she was too prideful to admit that. So she tried to date Andy, but it was a chore. And I think the necking thing is just something she was doing to put him off, like, how can I let him touch me but not really touch me? So, yeah, I think her heart wasn’t in it from the beginning.
Jenna [00:31:58] Yeah, I was thinking about it and, you know, Angela can be very fussy and very structured, but we saw her going at it in Jim’s little toy playhouse thing in Email Surveillance so when she’s into someone, it’s not like she puts people through these weird paces of like, OK, first we just rub our necks together. I think this was exclusive to Andy.
Angela [00:32:23] Oh, yeah.
Jenna [00:32:23] Yeah.
Angela [00:32:24] And maybe the senator, too.
Jenna [00:32:26] Perhaps.
Angela [00:32:26] I really think Dwight was the love of her life. And, you know, it just took them a while to get there.
Jenna [00:32:31] Poor Dwight. He’s having to listen to all this and he tries to put Andy off. He says, I don’t think we should talk about this. People might overhear us. But then Andy just takes that to mean that they should come up with code names. Dwight’s like, OK, well, Angela can stay the same, but let’s change Andy to Dwight. Hmm. OK.
Angela [00:32:52] Yeah. And Andy’s like, that’s not really that’s not how this works.
Jenna [00:32:56] Lady, this really reminded me of how you and I tried to come up with code names when we would have conversations and we were afraid other people could overhear us and our code names were about this good. They were so obvious. It would be like a person’s initials. So obvious.
Angela [00:33:18] I know. We’re not going to be spies, Jenna.
Jenna [00:33:21] We’re not going to be spies, but we’re going to be mom detectives solving small crimes.
Angela [00:33:26] I would love to be a mom detective with you.
Jenna [00:33:28] When the pandemic is over.
Angela [00:33:30] Mom detectives solving the small crimes no one cares about in your neighborhood.
Jenna [00:33:36] It’s a hit.
Angela [00:33:38] Who graffitied the construction cone at the intersection?
Jenna [00:33:42] Exactly. We’ll find out. We’ll tell you.
Angela [00:33:46] We’re on it. So coming up, we have a scene between Ryan and Michael that is so funny to me. When Michael calls him, you know, to gripe, first of all, he calls him Ry. And Ryan is like, don’t call me about small problems. What have I told you about that?
Jenna [00:34:02] Yeah. And he says, well, you don’t like it when I call you about big problems either. So what do you want from me?
Angela [00:34:07] What do you want? So Jason said on the DVD commentary that they shot this in real time. Now, Jenna, do you remember they had built a little office that was Ryan’s office at corporate, right?
Jenna [00:34:18] Yes.
Angela [00:34:18] So they had B.J. on the other side of the soundstage in this little room with a camera with him. And then they had a camera with Steve in his office is Michael. And that’s the room Jason sat in and they shot it simultaneously. And I think it really works because the chemistry is happening in real time.
Jenna [00:34:36] I always loved when we did that because it meant that you could improvise a little and the other person could react to you and you would get it on both cameras.
Angela [00:34:45] Yes, and B.J. said something I thought was so delightful because it’s one of my favorite lines in this whole episode. B.J. said he wrote the line, “I can’t cook and I’m starting a restaurant”.
Jenna [00:34:56] And the restaurant he says he’s going to start is Mike’s Cereal Shack. It’s going to have every cereal you can get in the store.
Angela [00:35:03] Yeah.
Jenna [00:35:04] I want you to know I did a little bit of a deep dive on Mike’s cereal shack. I had to know, has anyone opened a cereal shack? The answer is no. But a woman named Katherine has designed the most adorable vintage poster for Mike’s cereal shack. She has a company on Etsy called Cat Bone Design. It’s so, so cute. I’m going to put a picture of it in the pod. And then her profile really got me, Ange. Her profile says, “I’m a stay at home mom with a passion for creating colorful and happy homes. Good design keeps me balanced and brings me joy. And being a designer means I can share that joy with others.”.
Angela [00:35:48] Jenna shared it with me. It is adorable. We’re going to put it in our stories, you guys, so you can look at the rest of her art.
Jenna [00:35:54] There’s one more thing I want to say about this scene before we move on. Ryan’s assistant.
Angela [00:35:59] Yes.
Jenna [00:35:59] She pokes her head in the door at the beginning and she says Eddie Murphy is on the line for you.
Angela [00:36:04] Yes.
Jenna [00:36:04] Well, Ryan’s assistant was played by Virginia Newcome, and I’ll have you know, she has not been on an episode of Monk.
Angela [00:36:12] I know. I looked to see if she was on Monk, too.
Jenna [00:36:14] But she has been on The Walking Dead.
Angela [00:36:17] Oh.
Jenna [00:36:17] So no crossover connection, but perhaps you recognize her from The Walking Dead.
Angela [00:36:23] So Michael says, you know what, ad guys, go away. I’m going to do this on my own. He’s going to stake his whole reputation on it.
Jenna [00:36:30] Oh, yeah.
Angela [00:36:31] Yeah.
Jenna [00:36:31] He calls David Wallace.
Angela [00:36:33] Yeah.
Jenna [00:36:34] And he says, listen, I’m going to make it. If you don’t like it, fine. I’ll bring those guys back and I’ll pay for it on my own dime. I need to do this.
Angela [00:36:46] Well he leads off the whole call with- I don’t know who talks to their boss like this. I would never talk to a boss like this. He’s like, hey, yeah, Ryan’s being a little bitch again. And Ryan goes, I’m on the call, Michael. And he’s like, hey bro. It’s so awkward.
Jenna [00:37:02] I just love Ryan’s matter of factness. He is never rattled by Michael being Michael and he is so direct and honest with Michael. He is to Michael what Darryl is to Kelly.
Angela [00:37:16] Yes.
Jenna [00:37:16] Just the straight truth. And I feel like neither one of them knows how to handle that.
Angela [00:37:22] Not at all. This scene with B.J. as Ryan just being very direct, reminded me the most of who B.J. is in real life.
Jenna [00:37:31] It’s true.
Angela [00:37:32] And he’s very fair. But he’ll break it down for you. He’ll be like, I don’t think you should do that. And here’s why. You know?
Jenna [00:37:38] And it’s what I love about him.
Angela [00:37:39] Me too.
Jenna [00:37:40] Everybody needs that friend who doesn’t blow smoke up your ass, frankly. You need that person that you can call and you know which friends are which friends. You know, the friends you call when you want them to agree with you. And then you need that friend that you can call to get the straight truth.
Angela [00:37:57] Right.
Jenna [00:37:58] And BJ is that friend. You can call him, but you have to be prepared to hear the real answer, not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear.
Angela [00:38:06] Yes. It’s like having the friend that tells you the peace of broccolis in your teeth. You need that friend.
Jenna [00:38:12] Yes. I have a little bit of a fan catch from this phone call scene coming in from Ohm Patel and Mina Hoyt. When David Wallace and Michael are on the call the camera keep swishing down to the phone. At first the time on the phone shows that it is nine thirty eight, but at the end of the call the clock shows nine twenty two.
Angela [00:38:33] Oh, that’s a good catch.
Jenna [00:38:37] I want you to know that the date on the clock says October 3rd, two thousand and seven. That is when we shot this episode. I think that clock is the real time they were shooting this episode. They shot it in the morning around nine a.m. on October 3rd, 2007.
Angela [00:38:54] I’m positive of that.
Jenna [00:38:57] So Michael’s about to gather everyone in the conference room, but maybe we should take a break and then we’ll come back and get into his big ideas for his big commercial.
Angela [00:39:05] They have a huge shoot ahead of them. All hands on deck.
Jenna [00:39:09] I know! Sue Grafton.
Angela [00:39:11] Sue Grafton.
Jenna [00:39:11] We’ll be back. OK, we are back and everyone is in the conference room. Michael is giving a big pep talk about how everyone is creative. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not creative. And this leads into a series of talking heads.
Angela [00:39:31] And I want you guys to know there are even more in the deleted scenes. Pretty much every single person had a talking head in this episode, but not all of them made it in.
Jenna [00:39:40] So now Michael starts delegating jobs to people in preparation for this big commercial shoot.
Angela [00:39:45] Yes, he says, Kelly, makeup. Oscar, costume design. Guys go to 10 minutes, four seconds. Oscar shoots a look directly to camera right down the barrel that is so great. When Michael says costume design, look at that moment. And then he says, Phyllis, get a celebrity.
Jenna [00:40:03] Yes. As we move out into the bullpen, this is when Phyllis learns that Sue Grafton, the mystery novelist, is at the Steamtown Mall doing a book signing. And Michael says, go, Phyllis, go, you go get her. You convince her to be in our commercial and don’t take no for an answer.
Angela [00:40:21] He says, yeah, this will be a big coupe.
Jenna [00:40:24] Big coupe. This is when Andy is going to try to butter up Angela a little bit by asking if Sue Grafton is attractive, to which Creed says, oh, yeah, she’s super hot. And Andy says, maybe Angela should just pretend to be Sue Grafton in the commercial, since Angela is also super hot.
Angela [00:40:44] Yeah, Angela’s like, that’s not going to happen.
Jenna [00:40:46] It’s not going to happen because as you reveal in your talking head, you find the mystery genre disgusting and you hate being titillated. Angela, we had a fan question from Chloe M. She would like to know how many takes did it take for you to get out the line, “I hate being titillated” without laughing?
Angela [00:41:07] Chloe, I think they used the only one. I think I only did one where I didn’t laugh. We were cracking up. Angela Martin is just wired so tight. I laughed at just saying the mystery genre was disgusting.
Jenna [00:41:18] Disgusting.
Angela [00:41:20] Disgusting.
Jenna [00:41:21] I love every time Angela has very, very strong feelings on random subjects such as this.
Angela [00:41:28] I do too. Well you know, I had an alternate talking head that didn’t make it in. I guess they were deciding between which one. I definitely think they picked the best one. But I want to share with you what the alternate talking head is. It’s in the deleted scenes. In this deleted talking head, Angela Martin says, this is not my first commercial. When I was in high school, I played a six year old in a electronics store ad and it was humiliating. I mean, how small was I in high school that I could be passed for a six year old?
Jenna [00:41:57] I love it.
Angela [00:41:58] And who made her do this? Did she have a stage mom? Did Angela Martin have a stage mom?
Jenna [00:42:02] I don’t know. You did the pageants.
Angela [00:42:03] Right! I did pageants and now I did commercials. What was her childhood?
Jenna [00:42:08] We had a fan question from Jay Tickle. Can y’all talk about any commercials you’ve been in?
Angela [00:42:14] Oh, Jay, I was in so many. That’s how I, like, supported myself. I was an operator at 1-800-DENTIST and I did commercials.
Jenna [00:42:22] When I moved to Los Angeles, my one connection that I had was that my roommate had a commercial agent and I was convinced that all I had to do was give this commercial agent my headshot and this person would also become my commercial agent. That did not happen. It took me about two years to find a commercial agent, and then I never booked a single commercial- in a speaking role- ever. In my whole career as an actress, I have never been in a commercial. I’ve been in the background of many commercials. I did a lot of background work. And then finally, about a year ago, I was approached by Smirnoff Vodka to be in a commercial with Ted Danson. I flipped out. My mom was so excited. She said, Jenna, you’re finally going to be in a commercial. Twenty years later, finally booked a commercial.
Angela [00:43:19] Jenna, I love that commercial you did with Ted Danson. I thought it was so stinkin cute. I did a ton of commercials. I did a Buick spot. Oh, I did a Lay’s olestra. Remember the potato chips?
Jenna [00:43:31] Yeah. Did you get anal leakage?
Angela [00:43:34] No, but that was on the back. It said it caused anal leakage but I ate those chips all day guys and I was totes fine.
Jenna [00:43:41] Well, there you go. That’s the best commercial ever.
Angela [00:43:44] I did a Nordstrom’s commercial. I actually found my old sizzle reel. You guys, when you’re out here as a commercial actor, you would put all your commercials on one like video to send out to people like a visual resume. And I found it, Jenna.
Jenna [00:43:59] That’s amazing.
Angela [00:44:00] I might have to put it in Office Ladies we should put our early commercials in there.
Jenna [00:44:04] All I have is me blurry in the background of a telephone commercial, the Jurassic Park ride.
Angela [00:44:11] I’ll put my Lays Olestra spot and you put your Jurassic Park ride. We’ll put it in the stories.
Jenna [00:44:17] I don’t even know if I can find it anymore. I’ll look for it.
Angela [00:44:20] OK.
Jenna [00:44:21] I think they took it down off YouTube.
Angela [00:44:23] Oh, that’s too bad. Those would be two cute ones that we could put out.
Jenna [00:44:27] I know. I have another fan question, Angela, from Ashley Snell, who would like to know, has Sue Grafton ever held a book signing at the Steamtown Mall? Ashley, I looked it up. And from what I could find, no. She is a real author. She is a New York Times best selling author, actually. She is best known for writing a series of mystery novels starring a character named Kinsey.
Both [00:44:53] Kinsey Millhone.
Angela [00:44:55] Kinsey! And it’s spelled exactly like my last name. It’s K-I-N-S-E-Y.
Jenna [00:44:57] Isn’t that crazy?
Angela [00:45:01] Yeah, I couldn’t believe it. It’s the alphabet mystery series. Kinsey Millhone was a former police officer turned private investigator. Jenna should I play Kinsey Millhone?
Jenna [00:45:11] You should definitely look into this. I have a little bit of extra trivia. This is not the first time that there is a Sue Grafton reference on The Office. Back on The Fire, which was also written by B.J. Novak, Michael confuses Stanley Kaplan, who is the founder of a company that makes test prep materials, with Sue Grafton. Now, I texted B.J. about this because I was thinking, does B.J. have a connection to Sue Grafton? I mean, BJ’s father was a famous writer. I thought maybe his family knew Sue Grafton. But B.J. said no. He just thought it was a really funny reference.
Angela [00:45:50] There you go. All right. We have got to talk about this fantastic jingle that Darryl has written for the commercial.
Jenna [00:45:58] Yes. Back by the break room, we have Darryl on keyboard, surrounded by Andy, Kevin, Creed, and Kelly, all singing this song that’s meant to be in Michael’s commercial. Michael comes up, he doesn’t care for it. He was really hoping they were going to write a rap.
Angela [00:46:17] Yeah, Darryl is like, what’s ah, what’s a rap? And Michael’s like, oh, Darryl, I’m going to make you a mix. And Darryl’s like, yeah, I am-.
Jenna [00:46:24] Looking forward.
Angela [00:46:25] Yeah.
Jenna [00:46:25] We had a fan question from Kaily Adkins, Winston F, Rob Holland, Alyssa Patterson, and Matthew Cruel, and many others, who wanted to know who wrote this jingle.
Angela [00:46:37] We have some good trivia about that, don’t we?
Jenna [00:46:39] Yes. The jingle in this scene was written by B.J. Novak’s brother, Jesse Novak, who is a professional composer. He’s also done compositions for BoJack Horseman and The Mindy Project. He wrote this jingle. How fun is that? They kept it in the family.
Angela [00:46:57] It’s so great. Well, Jenna, now Jim, overhears Andy telling Dwight he has an update for him for Operation Fallen Angel. And Jim is worried about Dwight and goes over to Pam, you know, gonna share with her about his Second Life. Like, dude.
Jenna [00:47:14] Yes, Jim has created his own Second Life avatar because he’s worried about Dwight.
Angela [00:47:20] Yes.
Jenna [00:47:21] And he shows Pam, look at how bad it is. I’m going to take you into Second Life. Dwight has created Second Second Life so that he can disconnect even more from reality. And this is when we find out a lot of things about Jim.
Angela [00:47:37] About Jim, about Philly Jim.
Jenna [00:47:39] Yes. Jim’s avatar has a guitar slung on his back. Remember, the only indication we’ve ever seen of Jim and guitar is that lone guitar in his room during Email Surveillance. But we never see him play guitar. Clearly Jim wishes he had learned to play that guitar. It’s part of his Second Life avatar.
Angela [00:48:01] Yeah, I guess it just sits in the corner of his room and is collecting dust. And even Pam is like, what? I didn’t know you play guitar?
Jenna [00:48:08] Yeah, we had a lot of fan questions about this, Angela. Maria Sosa, Kiona Rahbar, Autumn Baker, Natalie H and Delisa Alanis, who said, We find out that Jim’s Second Life avatar is a sportswriter in Philly. Was his Avatar’s job the inspiration for Jim’s Season nine job? Was this planned?
Angela [00:48:30] I mean, no, right Jenna? Is it just by chance?
Jenna [00:48:34] Here’s what I think. I think this moment happened in this episode and it went into the show Bible, this little bit of business. Right? And then later, when it came time to write Season nine, you know, that’s when I got my copy of the show Bible and so did John.
Angela [00:48:49] That’s right. Because you guys were producers. And now I remember you were part of, like pitching like story ideas and stuff.
Jenna [00:48:55] Yes. And John pitched the idea that Jim would go off to Philly and have this sports job. So I didn’t check with him but I have to imagine that maybe- I’m speculating- there was that little moment in the show Bible and he ran with it. But that was his pitch. It was not connected in this moment when we shot it. But that’s how I think it might have happened.
Angela [00:49:18] Yeah, I think the seed had been planted for Philly Jim.
Jenna [00:49:21] Philly Jim. And here’s something crazy. We’ll get to it, but I’ll bring it up here. When he does move to Philly, there’s an electric guitar in his apartment.
Angela [00:49:32] Ah!
Jenna [00:49:32] I don’t know if he ever learns to play the guitar, but Philly Jim and his guitar, they do show up again.
Angela [00:49:38] I mean, it was all connected, you guys. I’m convinced. Now at 12 minutes, 52 seconds, you guys, Darryl and his team are continuing to rehearse. They’ve got a new theme song because, you know, Michael gave them notes. Right? So now they’ve written a new song. And guess who wrote this version?
Jenna [00:49:55] Tell us, Ange.
Angela [00:49:56] Craig Robinson.
Jenna [00:49:58] Yes. And of course, we knew that Craig was an amazing musician.
Angela [00:50:03] Oh, yeah. Craig is fantastic. He like tours and everything. He’s great. In the DVD commentary they shared that there was a heated debate in the writers room about which jingle they should use. And they ultimately were like the room was divided. They love them both. So they found a way to have them both in the episode, which I thought was great.
Jenna [00:50:23] So fun. Yeah. B.J. told me it was cool because it set up this idea that Michael was really obsessive and he kept making them write new versions of the song. There’s a line from the scene that I love from Michael.
Angela [00:50:34] He says, I hate it, I don’t hate it. I just don’t like it at all. It’s terrible.
Jenna [00:50:40] I love that line so much.
Angela [00:50:42] One other thing I want to share with you that Craig talks about on the commentary is that he only had an hour to rehearse with those guys and he said they got it right away. Right away it just fell into place.
Jenna [00:50:53] Except for maybe one moment. We had a fan catch. Rachel and Jeremy wrote in to say, at 13 minutes, 15 seconds, Ed starts to sing at the wrong time and then he almost breaks. It’s the best. Lady, let’s move to the parking lot. Michael is really losing his patience with people.
Angela [00:51:14] Yeah, well, he says, you know, this is a pivotal scene. If they don’t get it, the whole thing will fall apart.
Jenna [00:51:20] Yeah. Andy is dressed in some sort of running gear. They don’t get very far because Phyllis comes back from the mall. She is sobbing. She is so gutted.
Angela [00:51:32] She is gutted. She got kicked out of the mall in front of her friends. All of her friends, I guess, love Sue Grafton. They were all there for autographs, and Phyllis just wouldn’t take no for an answer because Michael told her don’t take no for an answer. Get Sue Grafton here. And she kept bugging her and they kicked her out.
Jenna [00:51:52] At the very end of the scene there is a great little tag where Kevin offers Phyllis a piece of tape in lieu of a tissue. We got some mail about it, Angela, from Winston F and Delina Delano. They wanted to know if this bit was improvised or scripted. I texted Brian about it because I don’t have the scripts for season four.
Angela [00:52:15] I’m going to guess it was improvised. That seems very much like something Brian would improvise.
Jenna [00:52:20] You are correct. He told me that originally the scene had ended with the camera just lingering on Phyllis crying, and he was actually placed a little further in the background with Kate. They were still kind of working on the little running scene. But he had the idea at the end to walk up and offer her a piece of tape as a tissue. Well, they loved it. So the next time they did the scene, they actually pulled him a little bit more into the foreground and they gave Steve the line, someone give her a tissue, and then he tore off the piece of tape and that became the button of the scene.
Angela [00:52:57] It’s so great. It’s perfect.
Jenna [00:52:59] That’s such a great example of how our improvizations would work into a scene. We would do them, and then if they liked them, they would say, OK, well, let’s draw you into this in a way that that creates a fun button or creates a fun moment.
Angela [00:53:14] I also want to point out, I think I can see Phyllis about to break. She looks like she is literally about to laugh.
Jenna [00:53:22] I don’t know how to say this without it sounding weird, but I love every time the character of Phyllis is crying. I- why? Why is it so funny?
Angela [00:53:33] She’s just so good at playing those like emotional beats and I just love her.
Jenna [00:53:39] I love it too. I really love it.
Angela [00:53:42] Jenna, Pam is working so hard at her desk. Fourteen minutes, forty nine seconds, this Dunder Mifflin logo, she is just really putting her heart and soul into it.
Jenna [00:53:53] I admire her. I think this is the key to success. It doesn’t matter how big or small the project, if you’re getting paid or not getting paid. When you’re a struggling artist, you have to give every project your all. She has to treat this as if it’s going in a Martin Scorsese film. And she is. And I think she’s right on.
Angela [00:54:11] Yes. And so much so that she doesn’t go home. Jim’s like, are you coming? And she’s like, no, I’m going to stay. I have a question, is this a little hint that they’re living together?
Jenna [00:54:21] Interesting. I never thought they were living together, but I think they’re in that phase of their relationship where they’re staying over at each other’s places a lot. Like they might as well be living together, but I don’t think they are yet.
Angela [00:54:34] OK, well, poor Jim has to ride home now with Meredith.
Jenna [00:54:37] He does. And then Pam, we reveal, has slept in the office overnight. And then the next morning opens with Pam waking up to a phone call from Jim. He got her breakfast.
Angela [00:54:54] He got her breakfast. And in the commentary, they said there was a big debate in the writers room about does he bring her orange juice or coffee?
Jenna [00:55:01] I don’t remember seeing either on the desk.
Angela [00:55:03] There’s a cup of orange juice and what looks like some kind of breakfast maybe sandwich.
Jenna [00:55:09] Yeah, I’m guessing it’s from McDonald’s because Jim says that Creed ate the hash browns.
Angela [00:55:14] Yes. But they felt like orange juice was just a sweeter token than coffee. That’s what they decided. But no detail went unturned. You guys, this is the point, that there was a whole conversation about should there be orange juice or coffee? That’s how much thought was put into all of these moments.
Jenna [00:55:32] Well, you know, Pam does not regularly drink coffee. You know, she drinks tea. So I think orange juice was the right choice. Well, Pam explains in a talking head that she worked until two forty five a.m. and then she had to decide between spending the night with Michael and Dwight in the office or risk driving home and falling asleep at the wheel and dying in a fiery car wreck. She passed out on her keyboard trying to decide. So this was the talking head with Jason that I could not get through. I could not get through that last line. I passed out on my keyboard trying to decide because there’s this little pause. And in that pause, the anticipation of that last line would make us laugh.
Angela [00:56:11] This is something you guys should all know. I have found over the years, and I think Jenna you’ll agree with me, it’s the pauses in comedy that get you almost more than the line. When Steve would pause before saying something ridiculous as Michael, it was that three second pause that would have us all on the floor. It was like this collective moment where we all knew what was coming and we couldn’t bear it.
Jenna [00:56:34] A hundred percent. I have a catch.
Angela [00:56:36] OK.
Jenna [00:56:37] In an upcoming episode, it is going to be revealed that Pam wears glasses, remember, because she’s going to have to wear her spare pair to work.
Angela [00:56:45] Right.
Jenna [00:56:45] Does that mean that Pam just slept in her contacts? Can you do that? I don’t wear contacts, but I think you’re not supposed to do that.
Angela [00:56:52] I think that’s a big no no. I think it dries your eyeballs out or something. I mean, also, like, does Pam keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in her desk?
Jenna [00:57:00] I thought the same thing. And finally, before we move on from this little moment, what has Dwight done to the couch? He turned it on its side and then he has taken all the cushions off and he is sleeping under the cushions. It’s so odd.
Angela [00:57:16] I think he got cold and he was trying to make a cushion blanket.
Jenna [00:57:20] I guess. It’s very strange.
Angela [00:57:24] I feel like he’s done it before. He has a system for that couch.
Jenna [00:57:28] What we know now, Angela, is probably that Dwight, Pam and Michael all have really bad breath because I can’t imagine any of them had toothbrushes.
Angela [00:57:38] No.
Jenna [00:57:39] Maybe Michael, though, I feel like maybe Michael keeps one in his cabinet. So he’s got fresh breath. But I mean.
Angela [00:57:45] My guess is Michael has a whole change of clothes in that cabinet and he’s got some boxer shorts, a pair of socks.
Jenna [00:57:51] Yeah. Yeah.
Angela [00:57:51] He’s prepared.
Jenna [00:57:53] Should we move into the break room? Because Andy has some news for Dwight.
Angela [00:57:57] Operation Fallen Angel turned a corner, I guess, while they were doing their form of necking, he’s kissing her ear lobe and she says, oh, D.
Jenna [00:58:08] Dwight’s face lights up.
Angela [00:58:11] Lights up.
Jenna [00:58:12] Andy thinks that this is because of his name, Andy, but we all know the truth.
Angela [00:58:18] Andy, what a stretch. Why would you single out one letter of your name. Oh A, oh N, oh D, oh Y.
Jenna [00:58:28] Yeah, but Dwight then has this very fun moment where he is rejoicing with Andy over Angela calling out Oh D.
Angela [00:58:39] There’s hope Dwight. I love the next scene. Michael sends the commercial to corporate. He is like, they’ll probably watch it right away, I know I would.
Jenna [00:58:47] Yeah.
Angela [00:58:48] And he’s like I’m not going to call ’em, I’m not going to bug ’em. And then he calls ’em ten seconds later.
Jenna [00:58:52] I know it’s perfect. We’ve all been there.
Angela [00:58:55] Yeah.
Jenna [00:58:55] We’ve all like sent somebody something we’ve written, something you’ve worked on, ugh and then you just wait and wait and then you do that thing in your head where you’re like, oh my gosh, what if my email was down.
Angela [00:59:06] Yeah.
Jenna [00:59:07] What if they never got it. Oh I should call them. I should text them and just nudge ’em.
Angela [00:59:11] Yeah. Ten days later, and this was a big deal, this kind of time jump we hadn’t done in the show before.
Jenna [00:59:17] It’s very strange they had that little bit of an unwritten rule that the ideal episode happened over one day.
Angela [00:59:24] Yeah.
Jenna [00:59:24] We didn’t always keep to it, but for the most part, our episodes happened in one day.
Angela [00:59:28] So this is 10 days later. It didn’t bump me Jenna.
Jenna [00:59:31] No.
Angela [00:59:32] I was fine with it. And Michael is saying, well, welcome to the world premiere of the Corporate Crap Fest.
Jenna [00:59:40] Yeah, they did not pick his commercial.
Angela [00:59:42] They did not. The whole gang has gathered at Poor Richard’s pub to watch the corporate crap fest.
Jenna [00:59:48] Yeah.
Angela [00:59:48] Yeah.
Jenna [00:59:49] They watch it. They’re delighted. They are in the last five seconds, it’s the same commercial as the Nashua branch. But this time it ends with everyone at Dunder Mifflin Scranton waving.
Angela [01:00:02] On the roof.
Jenna [01:00:03] On the roof. I guess that was Michael’s big creative contribution is we’ll wave from the roof.
Angela [01:00:09] Yeah, we won’t be in the parking lot. We’re going to go on the rooftop. Jenna do you remember I wasn’t there that day?
Jenna [01:00:16] No.
Angela [01:00:17] I know Mindy and I both were not there that day. We had to be superimposed in. We never went up on the roof. We just did a wave. They sort of cheated it in the parking lot and then they did a little fancy editing and put us in the shot.
Jenna [01:00:33] That is crazy because I did look specifically to see if everyone was in there and you’re there.
Angela [01:00:40] But if you look closely and I screen grabbed it, Mindy and I are kind of awkwardly off to the side. Do you see the gap?
Jenna [01:00:47] That is crazy. That’s like that crazy thing they do when someone has to play their own twin.
Angela [01:00:52] Exactly. Well, you can see it at eighteen minutes, ten seconds. And I know why I couldn’t be there that day. I can’t remember why Mindy couldn’t be there. But I had one of my first obgyn appointments because I was pregnant.
Jenna [01:01:08] Lady, I was wondering if you were going to share that in this episode, because I just want you to know I can see- I’m getting goosebumps, I can see your glow.
Angela [01:01:22] Really?
Jenna [01:01:23] In this whole episode. Yes. I clocked it the minute I put this episode on. I was like, oh, my gosh, this is the episode where Angela was pregnant.
Angela [01:01:34] Yes. And I had this appointment and I guess I couldn’t move it. And, you know, Kent was really sweet. He was like, oh, it’s fine, Angela. We’ll, don’t worry about it. Go to your appointment. Yeah, that’s why I wasn’t in it.
Jenna [01:01:44] Well, I’ll never forget, Angela, because you told me you were pregnant in my trailer at work.
Angela [01:01:50] Yeah. This is one of my favorite moments of our whole friendship. We were in Jenna’s trailer having lunch, as we often did. And you were telling me a whole story. I think it was about your cat. Was it about your cat?
Jenna [01:02:00] Lady. I remember I was done with lunch. You were still eating. And I was doing these little five pound weights. Little bicep curls.
Angela [01:02:10] Yes. You were telling me a whole story while lifting weights. You were very passionate.
Jenna [01:02:14] I’ll never forget it because I go on and on and on and on. I’m pumping my arms and then I get finished and you say, well, I have some news, I’m pregnant. And I just dropped the weights and I screamed and our AD came over to the trailer because I think they thought someone had had an accident. There was this huge thud followed by a scream.
Angela [01:02:39] And then you said to me, Ange, why did you interrupt me? I’m just . I’m just rambling on about nothing, and you’re sitting on this big piece of information. Why did you let me go on and on? And I said, well, I wanted to hear your story.
Jenna [01:02:53] My God, it’s so funny. I was just so happy for you. I knew how much you wanted to be a mother. And I could just, I’m tearing up right now thinking about it because you are such a good mother. You are a born nurturer. And I was just so happy for you. I knew how much you wanted that. But yes, when I watched this episode, I knew right away, ooh, this is the one. And I didn’t know if you were going to share it or not. So I waited.
Angela [01:03:21] Yes. I was never up on the roof. Never, never in the whole series.
Jenna [01:03:26] Wow.
Angela [01:03:27] I know you’re old hat at being up on the roof.
Jenna [01:03:29] Oh, man.
Angela [01:03:30] So Jim does a very sweet thing. He asked the bartender if he will play their commercial, the one that they all made together. He hands him the disc. And Michael is so moved by this.
Jenna [01:03:42] Yeah, well, you know, the bartender slash waiter guy was played by Drew Powell. You guys might recognize him from Gotham. He’s a regular on Gotham. He also played Eddie Murdock from the Monk episode, Mr. Monk Can’t See a Thing.
Angela [01:03:56] And here’s my crossover connection with Drew. Drew and I played husband and wife in a Lifetime movie called Terror in the Woods.
Jenna [01:04:04] Oh, I remember this.
Angela [01:04:06] Yes, we filmed it in Atlanta. And so we hung out and spent some time together. And when I got back to L.A., we realized our kids were at the same elementary school.
Jenna [01:04:16] You’re kidding me?
Angela [01:04:17] No. Our sons went to elementary school together and then I started seeing him at morning assembly meetings and all kinds of stuff.
Jenna [01:04:24] That’s so crazy.
Angela [01:04:25] I know.
Jenna [01:04:26] What a small world. So everybody watches Michael’s version of the commercial and it’s so charming. Everyone reacts really well to it. And there was a decision to be made as to whether or not when we watch Michael’s commercial, we were going to be kind of embarrassed and like, oh, Michael. Or if we were all going to love it and Jason talked about this, it was really important to him that they pick the sweeter ending. Here’s what he had to say.
Jason Reitman [01:04:54] There was an opportunity for a tender ending. And I got the sense that the writing staff of The Office was hesitant to do too many of those, that there’s this kind of traditional television episode where it’s funny throughout, is has opportunity for satire, and then towards the end, you have some sort of tender denoument, and that they didn’t want to be doing this every time. But I really wanted that for this spot. I really wanted the episode to end in a bar where the cast is watching the commercial together and they bond over it. And there’s something really lovely about people who come together to make something. That was really important to me, because that’s an idea I know really well. Anyone who’s ever done a high school play or made a high school video or done anything creative knows what it feels like when outsiders come together to make something. And no matter how it turns out, the collective process of creating something is just wonderful and bonds you and erases fights because you can’t help it but come together and make something. And that’s what the end of that episode felt like. I remember everyone just standing in the bar watching the episode and we aired the actual, you know, we played back the actual thing. It was just so lovely. And I remember seeing a cut of the episode for the first time. And again, watching an edit of the episode was much like directing it. These guys knew what they were doing. You know, I don’t think I had any notes. I just kind of watched an Office episode that I happened to have a directing credit on. And it has a slightly emotional ending. And I’m really proud and I’m really grateful that the writing staff was up for that at the end of the day, because it makes me cherish the episode even more.
Jenna [01:06:23] I love it, too.
Angela [01:06:25] Oh, my gosh. Yeah, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I mean, this was such a big collective project that everyone came together for. I feel like everyone in the office would have had some kind of personal interest in it. And I’m so glad we were happy and reacted that way.
Jenna [01:06:40] I have a confession.
Angela [01:06:42] What?
Jenna [01:06:42] The very beginning of the commercial, it starts with a woman’s hand taking a piece of paper off of the copier.
Angela [01:06:49] Yeah.
Jenna [01:06:49] That is supposed to be me. That’s supposed to be Pam. But I wasn’t there that day. I don’t know why. I was not pregnant, everybody. For whatever reason, they put Pam’s watch and Pam’s sweater on someone else. I don’t know. I kind of feel like it was one of our AD’s or one of our PA’s. So that is not my hand at the top.
Angela [01:07:10] I did not know that. I am not in this either. One of the things Jason said in the commentary about it that I loved is that he said filming this really reminded him of home movies he would make with his dad. His dad is Ivan Reitman, an amazing director. Jason said when he was a kid, he had a little handheld camera, you know, and he would make these videos like the paper airplane like that, all of that with his dad. And it really reminded him of that. And that’s, in fact, how they shot. They shot with just a little handheld.
Jenna [01:07:39] It’s funny you mentioned the paper airplane because we had a fan question from Grant Pickle, who said, How did you get the shot of the paper airplane? Well, guys, they just taped it to the front of this little handheld camera and Jason talked about the inspiration behind that shot. Sam, will you play that clip?
Jason Reitman [01:07:57] There was a shot that really became popular in the 90s and you saw it in like Sam Raimi films and John Woo films. I associate it with Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness, but also would have been popular in, like, literally any John Woo film where you follow a bullet you know where it looks like the camera’s riding on the back of a bullet or an arrow or something like that. And I could just imagine, you know, Michael Scott seeing any one of these films, you know, Mission Impossible 2 or like Broken Arrow or, you know, I don’t know I don’t know if Michael Scott watches the old Hong Kong films, but maybe he just saw, like Van Damme in Hard Target and was like, we need to do a camera attached to the paper airplane shot. And again, this is my favorite kind of thing. It would be kind of great to make an entire movie that way.
Jenna [01:08:42] I love how much thought went into this commercial, it’s so perfect.
Angela [01:08:45] Yeah, we end this episode with a little tag. It’s Andy’s talking head. He’s still trying to figure out the end of the Kit Kat jingle.
Jenna [01:08:56] He cannot figure it out.
Angela [01:08:58] And he struggles with it throughout the whole episode. Jenna, I wrote down every single guess that Andy made. Ed also mentions in the commentary that he must have improvised like 20 of these. And he didn’t know until he watched the episode which ones made it in. Here’s all of the wrong guesses Andy makes throughout this episode. Break me off a piece of that applesauce. Chrysler car, football cream, lumber tar, snickers bar, Grey Poupon, Claude Van Damme, hair for men, poison gas, NutraSweet, and finally, Fancy Feast.
Jenna [01:09:41] And he’s convinced that’s it. I did it.
Angela [01:09:43] Nailed it.
Jenna [01:09:44] It’s a cat food. Break me off a piece of that Fancy Feast. So good. Before we go, we have a final message from Jason.
Jason Reitman [01:09:55] You know, my daughter Josie is fourteen, and she was a baby when I directed The Office. And to this day, she has only seen one movie I’ve directed. In fact, up until recently, hadn’t seen any film I’d ever directed. And the only thing she had ever seen that I had directed was The Office, of which she is a superfan. And that made her overwhelmingly proud of me. And it made me very grateful that I had directed The Office because it put me in such high esteem of my child. But just to say thank you, it really is a privilege to be part of the history of that show. Every once in a while it’ll pop up in a way. Certainly when I’m doing interviews, it’s one of the questions that always comes up, what was it like to direct The Office? Because it’s kind of like, you know, there’s only so many people who have walked on the moon and there’s only so many people who’ve directed The Office. And I get to be one of those people. I’ve directed two episodes, in fact. And it’s something that I carry really proudly because, you know, I didn’t create that thing. I just got to be a guest. You know, there’s this presumption that you need to be angry to do comedy, and being at The Office proves that concept wrong because it was a group of some of the loveliest and funniest human beings I’ve ever met.
Jenna [01:11:05] So sweet.
Angela [01:11:06] So sweet. And Josie, we’re so glad we helped make your dad cool.
Jenna [01:11:10] Yeah. There you go. Guys, thank you so much again for sending in your questions. And Jason, thanks for sending in all those clips.
Angela [01:11:18] And we will be here next week talking about Branch Wars.
Jenna [01:11:22] It’s another hidden gem. I think we’re going to have a few hidden gems in a row, I’m predicting.
Angela [01:11:28] See you next week, everybody.
Jenna [01:11:33] 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 [01:11:48] Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton.
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