August 10, 2021
This week we’re breaking down Moroccan Christmas! When Meredith gets too drunk at Phyllis’ Moroccan themed Christmas party and lights her own hair on fire, Michael forces an intervention. Phyllis also reveals to the entire office that Angela is having an affair with Dwight. Well, everyone in the office except Andy… The ladies talk about how this was a big prop week for prop master, Phil Shea, Jenna finds something special while cleaning out her desk and Angela shares one of the best Michael Scott alts that didn’t make it into the show. We also hear clips from Stephen Saux on what it was like to test out the fakey Dwight desk used in the cold open, and Jen Celotta shares a very funny Paul Liberstein story. So get ready for a big shot of Michael Scott and enjoy this episode!
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87 — Moroccan Christmas
OFFICE LADIES 087 – Moroccan Christmas
[00:00:03] Jenna I’m Jenna Fischer.
[00:00:04] Angela And I’m Angela Kinsey.
[00:00:06] Jenna We were on The Office together.
[00:00:07] Angela And we’re best friends.
[00:00:08] Jenna And now we’re doing the ultimate Office rewatch podcast just for you.
[00:00:12] Angela Each week we will break down an episode of The Office and give exclusive behind the scenes stories that only two people who were there can tell you.
[00:00:19] Jenna We’re the Office Ladies… I hope you’re in a festive mood today because we’re talking about Moroccan Christmas.
[00:00:29] Angela So get out your Christmas plaid, but put away that nativity scene because Phyllis is going to throw you the party of a lifetime.
[00:00:36] Jenna She sure is. It’s Season five, Episode 11, written by Justin Spitzer and directed by Paul Feig. Here is your summary. As you said, Phyllis throws a Moroccan themed Christmas party which receives compliments from the majority of the group, but some serious contempt from Angela.
[00:00:57] Angela Oh, she is not happy.
[00:00:59] Jenna Dwight runs a black market doll trade out of the office and Meredith gets wasted and sets herself on fire. That’s a doozy of a sentence.
[00:01:10] Angela It’s quite a work party.
[00:01:12] Jenna Michael decides to hold an intervention demanding Meredith get help for her alcoholism and then talk about a doozy of a work party.
[00:01:21] Angela Ugh.
[00:01:22] Jenna Phyllis spills the beans about Angela and Dwight in front of everyone.
[00:01:26] Angela Everyone. She announces it to the whole bullpen.
[00:01:29] Jenna Except Andy.
[00:01:31] Angela Oh, Andy.
[00:01:32] Jenna Yeah.
[00:01:32] Angela Andy and his Sittar.
[00:01:34] Jenna His goodbye as he’s leaving broke my heart.
[00:01:39] Angela We’re getting ahead. We’re getting ahead. We’re getting ahead.
[00:01:41] Jenna We’re getting ahead. Alright. Fast fact number one, this was the third Christmas themed episode of the office.
[00:01:48] Angela Yes, it was.
[00:01:49] Jenna Season five, but only three Christmas episodes. Why? Well, the first season we didn’t have one. And then in season four, it was the writers’ strike.
[00:02:00] Angela I know we missed a Christmas party.
[00:02:03] Jenna It has been two years since we had a Christmas party on The Office.
[00:02:07] Angela They were always some of my favorite episodes so I was excited.
[00:02:10] Jenna Me too. I liked ’em because they were majority group scenes.
[00:02:14] Angela Yes.
[00:02:15] Jenna We were all together all the time. It was like a whole episode of conference room. So lots of bits, lots of laughing.
[00:02:23] Angela Lots of bits. We would just have the best time. We would get loopy.
[00:02:26] Jenna We would.
[00:02:26] Angela But in the best way.
[00:02:28] Jenna Fast fact number two, the inspiration for this episode, I was able to get in touch with writer Justin Spitzer.
[00:02:36] Angela What’d Justin have to say?
[00:02:38] Jenna He told me that they had had these two ideas rolling around for a really long time. The first one was the idea of a Moroccan Christmas. They just loved the idea that Phyllis had thrown that amazing goodbye party for Toby and that maybe the success had gone to her head a little bit.
[00:02:57] Angela And she’s going to go big, big theme.
[00:02:59] Jenna Yes, they loved that this would piss Angela off. So this was like one card, right?
[00:03:07] Angela Right. You know what the card probably said?
[00:03:08] Jenna What?
[00:03:08] Angela Phyllis happy, Angela pissed. Christmas questionmark.
[00:03:13] Jenna Why is your character always so angry on Christmas?
[00:03:16] Angela She’s angry all the time.
[00:03:17] Jenna But it really comes out at the holidays.
[00:03:19] Angela I tell you. She has levels of anger. Sometimes she’s like suspicious bitch. Sometimes she’s happy bitch. Sometimes she’s sad bitch. And then Christmas bitch is a whole different bitch.
[00:03:31] Jenna Oh boy. Buckle in for Christmas bitch. OK, so the other card that they had on the wall for a really long time said Meredith Intervention.
[00:03:40] Angela Oh, OK.
[00:03:41] Jenna So they decided to marry these two ideas. Remember when they did like Michael has to fire someone on Halloween while we’re all dressed up?
[00:03:49] Angela Yeah, it’s the same thing.
[00:03:50] Jenna Yes, exactly. Justin said that a holiday party also seemed like a really good place for Meredith to drink too much and set her hair on fire, like there could be this sort of rock bottom moment.
[00:04:03] Angela Right. And it’s an event. It’s like a big event and everyone’s there to witness it.
[00:04:07] Jenna Yes. Fast fact number three, I have a talking head observation for this episode.
[00:04:13] Angela Oh, I’m so curious.
[00:04:15] Jenna So as you re-watch this episode, take a note of the talking heads. Almost all of them are filmed from different angles than we normally would. I believe there’s only one where someone’s seated in the traditional chair with the kind of party through the blinds.
[00:04:34] Angela Right, right We’re all over the office.
[00:04:36] Jenna All over the office. So this was not just because there was a party happening behind us. Justin said this was because they wanted to wait until they were in the editing room to place the talking heads throughout the episode. And they didn’t want anything in the background to like in some way mess up their ability to move these talking heads around.
[00:05:00] Angela Well, they had probably learned their lesson from that episode Weight Loss.
[00:05:03] Jenna Yeah.
[00:05:04] Angela Where they had to digitally- that’s a hard word to say- they had to digitally change Ed’s tie and shirt because they kept moving the talking heads and what was happening behind him didn’t match.
[00:05:15] Jenna Yeah. So you’ll notice even Michael’s talking heads, he is not seated at his desk. He’s standing in front of his desk and they purposely framed out the window behind him because timing wise, they didn’t know if it would be like still daytime or if it would be evening. So they really tried to make all the talking heads as totally neutral as possible.
[00:05:37] Angela Smart.
[00:05:38] Jenna Yeah. And it was kind of fun. After Justin told me that I went back and re-watched the episode and it was totally true.
[00:05:44] Angela Yeah, I read the shooting draft and definitely things are moved all around.
[00:05:50] Jenna So it’s good they did it.
[00:05:52] Angela Yeah.
[00:05:52] Jenna That’s all I got.
[00:05:54] Angela Well, before we get into this episode, I went digging in my digital clutter.
[00:05:58] Jenna OK?
[00:05:59] Angela And I found an email from Paul Feig that on December 11th, 2008, he emailed the group, Jenna, and invited us all to a Christmas taco party to watch the Moroccan Christmas episode at his house.
[00:06:13] Jenna Oh!
[00:06:14] Angela And he said, I know, I know Morocco and tacos make no sense, except they do kind of rhyme and we have a really great taco cart that we want to use. And we all went over to his house December 11th, 2008, and watched Moroccan Christmas together.
[00:06:30] Jenna Oh, I love that you brought that up because Paul and Laurie Feig used to host so many viewing parties at their house and they were just the most wonderful hosts. And I’ll never forget he had that screen that could come down from the ceiling. So he had like a very normal looking living room.
[00:06:46] Angela Yeah.
[00:06:47] Jenna Cozy. Like a place you’d read books. I believe there was like a green leather chair.
[00:06:52] Angela Oh, yeah. There was like cozy chairs with, like a blanket draped over it.
[00:06:55] Jenna So cozy. And then all of a sudden when it was time to watch the show, the screen would come down out of the ceiling and it would turn into this amazing viewing experience. I thought, these guys are doing it right.
[00:07:06] Angela They know what they’re doing.
[00:07:07] Jenna Yeah.
[00:07:08] Angela And they have a great taco cart.
[00:07:10] Jenna Aw, that’s so cool.
[00:07:12] Angela Well, there you go. Just a little something from my digital clutter and now we should break down this episode.
[00:07:17] Jenna Well, I think we should take a break first.
[00:07:19] Angela And now we should take a break.
[00:07:21] Jenna Let’s do it and we’ll be back to talk all things Moroccan Christmas.
[00:07:28] Angela Well, we are back and wow, is Dwight’s desk festive or what?
[00:07:33] Jenna Oh my, this is an epic prank by Jim.
[00:07:36] Angela Every single thing on Dwight’s desk is wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper.
[00:07:40] Jenna Including his chair.
[00:07:41] Angela Yeah. When did Jim do this? How long did it take? What the heck?
[00:07:45] Jenna I have so much to share about this.
[00:07:47] Angela Oh, go.
[00:07:48] Jenna All right. First of all, Justin Spitzer told me this was his idea. This was his pitch. He said that he was always talking to his friends who worked in the corporate world and he would ask them what sort of pranks go on in your office? Because I think at a certain point it started to stress out the writers that they had to come up with these Jim Dwight pranks. So they were always fishing. Tell me a prank. I need an office prank. He said that the single most mentioned prank was this idea of wrapping someone’s desk and paper or aluminum foil. So Justin pitched this idea. We got so much mail from people asking, how did we pull this off? I reached out to Randy Cordray.
[00:08:30] Angela Oh, Randy.
[00:08:31] Jenna He shared all the details.
[00:08:33] Angela Of course he did. And then he probably did a deep dive for you on something random.
[00:08:37] Jenna He did all those things.
[00:08:37] Angela OK.
[00:08:38] Jenna So first of all, he said there was a note in the script that did not make it into the episode and it was a Jim talking head. And here’s how it went. Jim says, Actually, it took me about a week to recreate the desk and chair in chicken wire. I had to come in about four hours early and set it all up. And I think I pulled something in my back dragging Dwight’s real desk all the way up to the roof, all for a three second payoff. Totally worth it.
[00:09:10] Angela I read that, too, and I was like, why, why do you have to take the desk up to the roof? Why couldn’t he just stash it in the warehouse?
[00:09:17] Jenna I swear I remember us filming a tag of Dwight working up on the roof.
[00:09:23] Angela Oh, my gosh.
[00:09:24] Jenna I swear we did. I can’t confirm it, but I feel like I remember what- you know you’re walking from your trailer to hair and makeup and you’re like, why are they putting a desk on the roof? I have a hazy memory of this.
[00:09:36] Angela What else did Randy say?
[00:09:38] Jenna All right. So Randy also said that Greg Daniels was pretty insistent that the gag desk be made out of chicken wire because that’s what it said in the script.
[00:09:49] Angela Oh, and he wanted it exactly like that.
[00:09:51] Jenna Yeah, because we sort of Jim has this whole speech is like it needs to reflect what Jim said.
[00:09:55] Angela But chicken wire is stronger than you think.
[00:09:58] Jenna Oh, yes, it is.
[00:09:59] Angela Right. It wouldn’t have collapsed.
[00:10:01] Jenna Nope. It wouldn’t have, Ange.
[00:10:04] Angela Did they make one with chicken wire and it didn’t work?
[00:10:06] Jenna Yes.
[00:10:07] Angela Oh my gosh.
[00:10:08] Jenna So Randy said that he and Paul Feig and our set designer, Michael Gallenberg and our first AD, Kelly Cantlay, all tried to talk Greg out of this. They were very skeptical it would work, but Greg really needed to see it for himself.
[00:10:23] Angela OK.
[00:10:23] Jenna So here’s what they did. They built four different desks out of four different materials.
[00:10:29] Angela Oh my gosh, what were the materials?
[00:10:32] Jenna One of them was chicken wire.
[00:10:34] Angela OK?
[00:10:34] Jenna One was Styrofoam.
[00:10:36] Angela Uhhh.
[00:10:37] Jenna One was balsa wood.
[00:10:40] Angela What?
[00:10:40] Jenna And one was corrugated cardboard. And then they meticulously gift wrapped all of them.
[00:10:45] Angela Ooh ooh, can I guess? Can I guess which one worked the best?
[00:10:48] Jenna Yeah.
[00:10:49] Angela What do you guys think? I wish we could hear what you think out there. I think the cardboard.
[00:10:55] Jenna The corrugated cardboard.
[00:10:56] Angela That’s what I would bet on.
[00:10:57] Jenna All right. At the end, I’ll tell you which one it was.
[00:11:00] Angela OK.
[00:11:01] Jenna OK, so they set up one of the desks.
[00:11:04] Angela Yeah.
[00:11:05] Jenna And then they asked our stand in, Stephen Saux, to come in and do Dwight’s motion of walking in, setting the briefcase down and sitting down to see what would happen.
[00:11:15] Angela Now there’s four different types of desks and four different types of chairs.
[00:11:19] Jenna Yes.
[00:11:19] Angela Wow.
[00:11:20] Jenna And Stephen is going to try each one while all these people watch him.
[00:11:25] Angela Oh, my gosh. What’d you do at work today, hun? Well, I sat on a fakie desk made out of Christmas wrapping.
[00:11:32] Jenna I have to say, I was fascinated by the back story of this because as actors, we just showed up, there was a wrapped desk. We did the scene.
[00:11:41] Angela Yeah.
[00:11:41] Jenna Wow.
[00:11:42] Angela Yeah.
[00:11:42] Jenna This was like, look at all the prep that went into this one little bit.
[00:11:46] Angela Oh, my gosh.
[00:11:47] Jenna Also, I was so fascinated by this idea of being a tester that I reached out to Steven Saux to ask him what was this day like for you? And lady, he sent in an audio clip.
[00:11:58] Angela Oh my god. Amazing. We have to hear it.
[00:12:00] Jenna OK, play it.
[00:12:01] Stephen Saux I vividly remember this test. I didn’t do a lot of tests like this, so it really stands out. I think we were all excited to see this cold open come to be because it read so funny in the script. But I think we have to remember the pressure that that you have trying to make something like this a reality. You know, the whole idea probably seemed kind of easy on paper, but it was really up to the set designer, Michael Gallenberg, and his team to make it reality. Like I said, I would do I would do tests, but they were mainly hair and makeup tests or, you know, a lot of camera tests. But I don’t remember one quite like this. So I walk into the bullpen and there’s a lot of people there. Greg Daniels was there, the director, Paul Feig, Randy Cordray, our first assistant director, Kelley Cantlay, of course, Michael Gallenberg, and then Phil Shea and the prop department as well. And what I saw was just like what you see in the episode, it just looked like a desk wrapped in wrapping paper. But as soon as I walked in, it was made clear to me that I should not touch the desk. Like, don’t really go near the desk until we’re going to do the test. I mean, specific instructions. And it was told to everybody that to just keep clear the desk, don’t touch this thing. It was their like their only prototype. And so I kind of imagined underneath the wrapping paper like it was some kind of house of cards or something just ready to- ready to fall. So I didn’t even want to, like, breathe on it because I just was thinking in my mind, what if I knocked this thing over in front of everybody before we even do the test? I mean, that would be like a total nightmare. But then they were ready to do it. And Props Department gave me the briefcase, which had something inside of it, you know, to give it some weight. And so they said, go. So I threw the briefcase on the desk, sat in the chair, and I totally expected that I would fall like right to the ground. But to be honest, the the chair felt kind of like a like a regular office chair, maybe like an old office chair that kind of semi reclined and collapsed a little. But it still was fully supporting me. And the desk just kind of bent a little bit. It looked like a saggy like rope bridge or something with the briefcase on top of it, but obviously there was major disappointment in the room. I mean, just everyone looked at it with just such disappointment and the air, just kind of like left the room. And being the only one there that didn’t really know what was- everything that was going on, I kind of felt like I had messed up or something. So it was a very awkward moment. So I got up off the chair and I remember standing next to Michael Gallenberg and kind of put my hand to my chin and looking at the props that didn’t work and just kind of, oh that didn’t work. Oh, that’s too bad. You know, like, can I try to fit in? And so it was a very memorable moment. But then they brought another desk out like a few minutes later. They had everyone leave so they could reset. And this one is the one that worked. It’s the prototype that ended up making it as the final one. And it just collapsed. I mean, I hit the ground pretty hard and it kind of surprised me because of the first one and how it was made. But it was pretty memorable.
[00:15:15] Jenna Isn’t that such a fascinating look into behind the scenes of making a show?
[00:15:22] Angela Yeah, I mean, we obviously weren’t there that day. Right.
[00:15:27] Jenna Right.
[00:15:27] Angela So we had no idea all of these desks being made and all of these like test runs. And Stephen. Oh, my gosh.
[00:15:37] Jenna So Randy said that the desk that worked was made out of Styrofoam.
[00:15:41] Angela Oh, dang it.
[00:15:43] Jenna But here’s the thing. It sounds like they only did two tests. They did chicken wire. Didn’t work. They did Styrofoam. It worked.
[00:15:51] Angela So they stopped.
[00:15:52] Jenna Yeah. So, lady, maybe the corrugated cardboard would have worked. We don’t know.
[00:15:56] Angela OK.
[00:15:57] Jenna OK, you could be right.
[00:15:59] Angela I could be right. But boy, the Styrofoam, man, it went down.
[00:16:02] Jenna And then finally Randy told me when it was time to shoot, they made three desks out of the Styrofoam that they had ready to go but that Rainn nailed it on the first take so we didn’t even need any of the other backups. It was a one taker.
[00:16:17] Angela It’s amazing. Well Phil Shea was really busy this episode. He had to make so many props. The desk obviously was the biggest one.
[00:16:25] Jenna Oh, yeah.
[00:16:25] Angela But we have more to share.
[00:16:27] Jenna Princess Unicorn.
[00:16:28] Angela Princess Unicorn. But there’s more.
[00:16:31] Jenna Oh, what else? Oh, you’ve got a whole thing.
[00:16:34] Angela I’ve got some stuff.
[00:16:35] Jenna Oh, good stuff. All right, let’s get into the episode. All that was just the cold open.
[00:16:39] Angela I know. Well, the episode starts with you really are getting a view of the bullpen and how it’s decorated. Phyllis is going around and sort of doing last touches, right?
[00:16:49] Jenna Yes.
[00:16:50] Angela Where did the budget for this come from? I say she dug into some Bob Vance cash because this is an over-the-top party.
[00:16:59] Jenna Oh, that is such a good point, Angela.
[00:17:02] Angela Well, she has a talking head that she says the theme for her Christmas party is called Nights in Morocco. I love a party with a theme.
[00:17:09] Jenna I know.
[00:17:09] Angela I get really excited. I mean, my 50th birthday, my theme was hummingbirds and we all painted hummingbirds and I had little pink hummingbirds like garland hanging in the bushes.
[00:17:20] Jenna It was amazing.
[00:17:21] Angela I love a theme. Well, Phyllis does, too. And did you notice that Phyllis has on brand new glasses for this episode?
[00:17:29] Jenna No.
[00:17:30] Angela Yes. And we talked about it in the DVD commentary and Kate said, Ange, do you remember they were called her power glasses?
[00:17:38] Jenna What?
[00:17:38] Angela I know! And because Phyllis is like the head of the PPC, she’s like a boss lady. They wanted her look to reflect that.
[00:17:46] Jenna Oh, I love this detail.
[00:17:48] Angela Yes. And Phil Shea brought a bunch of glasses to Phyllis. They picked out this particular pair and they even put her prescription in them. So Phyllis and her power glasses are going to take Angela to task.
[00:18:01] Jenna Well her stand off with Angela starts right away. She marches over to Angela’s desk and she just zeroes right in on that nativity scene. She like just sweeps half of it into the drawer.
[00:18:13] Angela Baby Jesus went into the drawer.
[00:18:15] Jenna Sure did.
[00:18:15] Angela Angela is not happy. I have a background catch at one minute, 50 seconds. Did you see what was on the dry erase board?
[00:18:24] Jenna It was fuzzy.
[00:18:25] Angela OK, well, I zoomed in on it and this was so fascinating to me. On the calendar it says December 10th, copier maintenance.
[00:18:35] Jenna Oh!
[00:18:36] Angela It just made me laugh so hard because the office got new chairs, but that same old copier’s still there. And then it said on December twenty third, the warehouse is closed. And at noon on December twenty fourth, Dunder Mifflin closes and the party starts at 1:00.
[00:18:54] Jenna So we’re having a party on Christmas Eve at one o’clock?
[00:18:58] Angela That’s what it said on the dry erase board. So I was like, what the heck, everyone’s there on Christmas Eve.
[00:19:04] Jenna So later in the episode, when Michael is dragging Meredith into a rehab center, it’s Christmas Eve.
[00:19:12] Angela According to the dry erase board. I don’t I don’t know if that’s what the writers intended, but that really got me tickled. And I have a bone to pick with Phyllis.
[00:19:22] Jenna Oh!
[00:19:22] Angela Because Phyllis says that Angela’s nativity scene is not on theme. It’s not Nights of Morocco, right?
[00:19:28] Jenna Okay.
[00:19:29] Angela Well, what about the fact that Michael has on his Christmas tie that he has worn every single Christmas. Right? Pam has on a pin on her sweater of Santa.
[00:19:40] Jenna Oh.
[00:19:41] Angela Phyllis has a little wreath on her jacket. So I feel like Phyllis is singling Angela out.
[00:19:47] Jenna I think all that evidence is really good. I also think it’s really obvious that she’s singling Angela out. I think the entire party was thrown to piss off Angela.
[00:20:01] Angela I know. I know.
[00:20:02] Jenna And then these little details, I guess, are just little jabs.
[00:20:05] Angela Little digs.
[00:20:07] Jenna I mean, she makes Angela get rid of the Christmas tree.
[00:20:09] Angela Oh, lady. All right. I have to share about this, because in the episode, it’s like three seconds, right?
[00:20:14] Jenna Yeah.
[00:20:16] Angela This was a huge scene, this was like multiple location scenes, you guys, it took like a half of a day.
[00:20:23] Jenna What?
[00:20:24] Angela Yes, in the script- and we actually did film this, and it’s in deleted scenes- Angela Martin goes over to the tree, it’s double her size, and she has to drag it through the bullpen. Lady, I tripped over those pillows on the floor and the tree fell on my head. I fell to the ground, the tree fell on top of me. Then I had to drag it down the stairwell. This Christmas tree. Out the building, through the parking lot, all the way to the street. We filmed all of that. It legitimately was a physical workout. I actually, like, messed up my hair. I had, like, scratches on my hands from the tree trying to grip it. None of it’s in the episode. It’s in the deleted scenes. And what was great is over all of this action were two talking heads, one Angela and one Phyllis. Can you play those?
[00:21:17] Angela Martin I do not mind doing hard labor. Ronald Reagan got his start as a stock boy, lugging heavy boxes ten hours a day.
[00:21:24] Phyllis Don’t mess the pillows up.
[00:21:25] Angela Martin And he went on to become the president of a party planning committee I like to call the United States of America. Most people call it that.
[00:21:39] Phyllis Did you know that an ant can carry five times its own weight? All it needs is a strong queen to tell it what to do. And there is nothing that little creature can’t accomplish.
[00:21:52] Jenna Phyllis sass.
[00:21:55] Angela I know! Phyllis in her power glasses and some serious sass. Yes. That muffled sound in between was me like falling down the staircase with the Christmas tree.
[00:22:05] Jenna Were you so bummed when you watched the episode and it was cut out?
[00:22:09] Angela I was so bummed because I thought it was hilarious. And that talking head I do about Ronald Reagan, my hair is all messed up. All right. So Phil Shea has tackled a Styrofoam desk, chair, all objects wrapped in Christmas wrapping. He’s also found Phyllis a pair of power glasses. Phil Shea’s next project would have been Princess Unicorn.
[00:22:33] Jenna Yes, Dwight enters with a stack of boxes and he explains that each year he researches the most popular toy of the holiday season. He buys as much of it as he can. And then as parents become more desperate, he sells them at a profit. It’s a little bit genius. We got a lot of mail asking about this Princess Unicorn storyline.
[00:22:58] Angela OK.
[00:22:58] Jenna Where to begin? First of all, this was a collaboration of several writers. Justin said that they had originally written a different story for Dwight and at the last minute they wanted to change it. And they had a new writer who had just started on the show that week named Halstead Sullivan. This was his pitch.
[00:23:19] Angela Halstead. Amazing.
[00:23:21] Jenna Crushing it in his first week on the job. We were able to get in touch with Halstead. He confirmed, yes, that he pitched this idea of Dwight having a side hustle of buying up these holiday toys and selling them at a profit. Halstead said that he and writer Aaron Shure were sent into a room to figure out what this toy should be. Aaron said, Well, kids love princesses and unicorns. How about a Princess Unicorn doll?
[00:23:48] Angela I love this kind of collaboration. So you have Halsted saying we need this story of the toy and he sells the toys. And then Aaron is like, what about if a unicorn and a doll collide?
[00:23:59] Jenna Yes. Then Halstead came up with the catch phrase, My horn can pierce the sky.
[00:24:04] Angela Halstead, are you kidding me?
[00:24:06] Jenna Right?
[00:24:06] Angela That was you? That stuck in our heads forever.
[00:24:11] Jenna Forever.
[00:24:12] Angela Do you remember that Jenna? Like we sang it all week, we have to hear Michael sing it.
[00:24:17] Michael My horn can pierce the sky.
[00:24:21] Angela And then Jenna when I listen to the DVD commentary immediately, Kate and I sang it.
[00:24:25] Jenna What?
[00:24:26] Kate and Angela My horn can pierce the sky.
[00:24:27] Angela Thank you, Halsted.
[00:24:32] Jenna Well, you know, they made a whole commercial for this doll.
[00:24:35] Angela I know.
[00:24:36] Jenna With a little girl and a jingle at the end. It was crazy.
[00:24:40] Angela What else did they say about it?
[00:24:42] Jenna They said actually before settling on this idea there was an alternate idea called Hank Grenade. This was a doll that when you threw it his arms blew off.
[00:24:54] Angela Oh my gosh.
[00:24:55] Jenna That was Hank Grenade, but they settled on Princess Unicorn. So once that was settled, there was a lot of discussion over what she should look like. Was she a human princess with unicorn features? Was she more of a horse with a human face? I guess they went around and around. And in the end, Phil Shea had to make this Princess Unicorn doll. Randy told me that Phil actually used a team of designers and toy makers.
[00:25:26] Angela Oh, my gosh.
[00:25:27] Jenna And they had to come up with a design that would not infringe on anyone else’s design, because I guess toys in general and dolls specifically are very tightly controlled by the manufacturers for their intellectual property rights.
[00:25:41] Angela Right. Yeah, it can’t look like anything else.
[00:25:43] Jenna Yes. And they actually had to go through the NBC Universal legal team to make sure that they had met all the requirements of a specifically unique doll toy. That is how we came to have a princess unicorn.
[00:25:59] Angela Amazing.
[00:25:59] Jenna Yeah.
[00:26:01] Angela Wow, Phil Shea was so busy this episode.
[00:26:03] Jenna So busy.
[00:26:04] Angela Oh, my gosh, when we would see him running through the parking lot, this is why.
[00:26:08] Jenna I don’t know how he did it.
[00:26:09] Angela I know. Well, the party’s under way now. It’s getting going. There’s cocktails. Jim and Pam have this flirty moment with like he’s rubbing the lamp for wishes. Well, this scene made me curious. And I had also been watching the bloopers. And there is this moment between Ed and John in the bloopers that never made it into the episode that’s kind of weird where Jim is looking at this coffee mug that Andy made. I was like, what is the thing? What are they what are Jim and Pam doing? So I was very curious about these scenes. And I went to the script. And in the shooting draft, there is a Jim and Pam side by side talking head where they share that they are in a real financial bind.
[00:26:49] Jenna Oh.
[00:26:50] Angela Yeah. And they have agreed not to buy each other anything for Christmas, but instead will be taking items from the Dunder Mifflin office to give to each other.
[00:27:00] Jenna Whoa.
[00:27:00] Angela So, yeah, there were all these little scenes of you guys like showing each other different items around the office. And then there was a whole scene where you ultimately decided on something and gave each other gifts.
[00:27:10] Jenna What did I get? I don’t remember any of this.
[00:27:13] Angela Wait, before I tell you what you got can I just tell you some of the moments in the side-by-side talking head that I couldn’t believe?
[00:27:20] Jenna Yes!
[00:27:20] Angela All right, Jim shares that money’s tight because of the closing fees on the house that he bought.
[00:27:25] Jenna OK.
[00:27:26] Angela Pam shares, get ready, Pam says my credit’s so bad I’m hoping someone steals my identity. They couldn’t handle my finances worse than me.
[00:27:36] Jenna Oh no. OK. Oops.
[00:27:38] Angela Yeah. And Jim says it’s OK. We’ve decided not to spend any money on presents this year. The rule is the gift has to be something from inside the office.
[00:27:47] Jenna OK.
[00:27:47] Angela And Pam says, so in addition to the party, we’re going to spend the day shopping. And if anyone’s interested, my Social Security number is seven nine three four seven six eight eight two. Isn’t that hilarious?
[00:28:00] Jenna Yes. What is Pam running up her credit on? I don’t know.
[00:28:04] Angela I know. What is Pam buying? Maybe she charged all of art school. Just put it all on her card.
[00:28:09] Jenna Maybe she did.
[00:28:11] Angela Well, do you want to hear what they gave each other?
[00:28:13] Jenna Yeah. What did I get?
[00:28:14] Angela After a whole party of them looking at items in the office?
[00:28:17] Jenna OK.
[00:28:18] Angela To I guess steal? I don’t know. What is their life of crime together? All right. At the end of the day, Pam hands Jim a gift wrapped in copier paper and he opens it up and it’s a pair of sunglasses that she has made out of paperclips and brown plastic from a folder.
[00:28:37] Jenna Wow. So wait, Phil, she had to make that, too.
[00:28:40] Angela Yes, he had to make sunglasses made out of paper clips and brown plastic. And Jim’s like sunglasses! And they even have little pads for my nose. They had little erasers where the nose would go.
[00:28:54] Jenna I have to stop you. Is this in the deleted scenes? Can you screen grab these sunglasses and put them on the pod?
[00:29:01] Angela No, it’s not.
[00:29:02] Jenna Ugh, that’s a tragedy.
[00:29:05] Angela I know. I know. Because, you know, they exist somewhere. Pam says, it took me hours to make them.
[00:29:12] Jenna Wow.
[00:29:13] Angela But don’t use them outside because there’s no UV protection.
[00:29:15] Jenna OK.
[00:29:16] Angela And then Jim hands her a box and she opens it to reveal a beautiful, dainty watch. And she’s like, wait, you didn’t make this. You bought it. No fair. And Jim says, OK, here’s the thing. Technically, I had this in the office. I bought it for you three years ago, but it was way too big and I chickened out. And Pam says, yeah, it kind of screams, I love you. And Jim’s like, do you like it? And she says, I love it. Wait, was that the year you gave me rocks? And Jim says, wishing rocks. Also romantic.
[00:29:53] Jenna Oh, my gosh, I love this.
[00:29:56] Angela So you and John had this whole storyline that was playing out in the background that ended in this scene and it didn’t make it in.
[00:30:03] Jenna Do you want to hear something crazy? While I was prepping Moroccan Christmas, I was cleaning out my desk.
[00:30:09] Angela At home?
[00:30:11] Jenna At home. And I found the Teapot Note.
[00:30:15] Angela Oh, good Lord. Are you kidding?
[00:30:17] Jenna I found it.
[00:30:18] Angela The actual note.
[00:30:20] Jenna The note that John gave me at the end.
[00:30:23] Angela Oh my gosh.
[00:30:24] Jenna And the envelope says Pam. And it’s a little Christmas card. It was in with like all of my, like, stationery and stuff. Right. I’m like going through my stationery and I’m like, what’s this? What’s this card that says Pam. I opened it up and I was like, Oh! It’s the Teapot Note.
[00:30:41] Angela I love that that’s what you found.
[00:30:43] Jenna Isn’t that crazy?
[00:30:44] Angela Yeah, it is crazy. But you know, what’s so perfect is when I cleaned out my desk, if you remember Jenna, I found- this was like years ago- I found Dwight and Angela’s like sex contract punch card.
[00:30:58] Jenna Oh, boy. Our characters had different stories, didn’t they?
[00:31:02] Angela Very different journeys. OK. All right, so I had to share that because I thought that was a wonderful Jim Pam thing that didn’t get to be in the episode. But now we really need to talk about these drinks that Michael is making for Meredith. The first drink Michael makes Meredith, he calls it a one of everything. It’s equal parts scotch, absinth, rum, gin, vermouth, triple sec and two packs of Splenda.
[00:31:25] Jenna Now, isn’t some of this drink a Long Island iced tea minus the Splenda?
[00:31:29] Angela I don’t know.
[00:31:30] Jenna Am I wrong? I don’t know what’s in Long Island iced tea. I just know it’s like seven liquors.
[00:31:34] Angela Yeah, well, yeah. Well, Meredith thinks this is the best thing she’s ever had in her life.
[00:31:40] Jenna Oh, yeah.
[00:31:41] Angela Then Michael makes Jim a drink with vodka and orange juice. Not a screwdriver, guys. It’s called a orange-vod-juice-ka.
[00:31:49] Jenna Yeah. Rolls off the tongue.
[00:31:51] Angela It does. There was an alt in the script.
[00:31:54] Jenna OK.
[00:31:55] Angela In the script, Michael makes Jim a drink with Jack Daniels and just regular Coca-Cola, and he calls it a Coke Daniels. Kate shared that in one scene with Steve, they were improvising, OK, Steve was making up all these drinks, and Steve improvised sangria with peppermint schnapps and Kate improvised, let’s call it sex on the couch. And Steve, as Michael was like, ew. But that didn’t make it in. And then Kate also shared- are you ready for this? He hands her a drink in one take. She takes a big swig and goes, Oh, my God, you guys, there’s real booze in that. They had forgotten to empty out one of the bottles because they would empty out the liquor bottles and put just water or ice tea.
[00:32:44] Jenna Yeah.
[00:32:44] Angela And they had missed one. And they gave Kate a drink with actual booze in it. And she was like, guys, that’s booze.
[00:32:52] Jenna Oh, no. Oh.
[00:32:55] Angela I mean she only took one swig, you know what I mean?
[00:32:57] Jenna But still.
[00:32:57] Angela But still.
[00:32:58] Jenna What a shocker.
[00:32:59] Angela I know.
[00:33:00] Jenna Oh, also during this setup of the party, I want to point out this episode had a lot of shots that were just like little moments, right. It really reminded me of some of our early episodes where we had these- what did we used to call those?
[00:33:16] Angela Just these little vignettes in the background.
[00:33:18] Jenna Yeah.
[00:33:18] Angela Little moments that the B camera would get that really filled in the whole picture. It really reminds me of the first two seasons.
[00:33:25] Jenna Same. Well during this kind of montage of filling out the party and what’s going on, you know, Ed, as Andy is playing the sitar.
[00:33:34] Angela Yes.
[00:33:35] Jenna We got a lot of mail about it. Izzy T, Liam D, and Grant S all wrote in to ask, does Ed Helms really play the sitar? No, not before this episode he didn’t.
[00:33:47] Angela But he’s such a badass that he just picked it right up.
[00:33:50] Jenna Yeah. So you guys probably know that Ed plays guitar. He plays banjo. Randy told me that previously in his career he had produced a different show where they needed an actor to play a song on the sitar. And this actor was also a guitar player. But he was told that the sitar is a very difficult instrument to play. It’s very difficult to tune properly and that in that instance, on that other show, he had to hire a tutor and allow about four weeks of practice so that this actor could credibly pull off the bit. So because the script had Ed playing all these different songs with only a couple weeks notice, he asked Phil Shae to rent a sitar. He went to Ed. He said, I’ll get you a tutor.
[00:34:39] Angela Yeah.
[00:34:39] Jenna But Ed said, I’ll figure it out. And Randy was like, OK,
[00:34:45] Angela Ed’s like, I play the banjo, I’m going to flex a little bit.
[00:34:48] Jenna A little bit!
[00:34:49] Angela I got this.
[00:34:50] Jenna And Ed totally, totally did it.
[00:34:53] Angela He just picked it up and played it.
[00:34:54] Jenna Yes.
[00:34:55] Angela I have a little catch where Ed slipped up.
[00:34:59] Jenna What?
[00:34:59] Angela So you guys listening, my family and my close friends, they call me Ange. It’s my nickname in my family and it’s like what my husband calls me and my mom, you know, everyone calls me Ange. Well Ed called me Ange, right, in real life.
[00:35:15] Jenna Yeah.
[00:35:15] Angela He never called me Angela. And right when he starts playing the sitar at four minutes twenty one seconds, tell me what you hear.
[00:35:24] Andy Hey, hey, Ange, check it out. There’s a place in France where the naked ladies dance.
[00:35:27] Jenna Oh, wow.
[00:35:36] Angela Called me Ange. Not Angela. And Angela Martin would have never let Andy call her Ange.
[00:35:43] Jenna Anyone call her Ange.
[00:35:44] Angela No!
[00:35:45] Jenna She’s using the formal version of her name only.
[00:35:48] Angela Only.
[00:35:49] Jenna For sure.
[00:35:50] Angela Only Dwight can call her monkey. Everyone else calls her Angela. In that moment, to me, Ed just sort of slipped and just was like, hey Ange.
[00:36:00] Jenna He was probably like concentrating on his playing. Right? He was in musician mode.
[00:36:06] Angela Yeah. That just warmed my heart when I heard it. I just had to share.
[00:36:10] Jenna Well, next up is quite a scene. Meredith is dancing up a storm in the conference room and she sets her hair on fire.
[00:36:19] Angela Yes.
[00:36:20] Jenna Dwight has to rush in and put it out with a fire extinguisher. Oh, lady, talk about mail. People need to know how did they pull off this stunt where her hair catches on fire? Was it Kate? Was it a stunt double?
[00:36:34] Angela We have a lot to share with you because this is one of the biggest stunts I think we ever did in the bullpen.
[00:36:38] Jenna For sure.
[00:36:39] Angela For sure.
[00:36:39] Jenna A person was on fire.
[00:36:41] Angela Yeah.
[00:36:41] Jenna All right. Well, I got some of the info from Randy.
[00:36:45] Angela And I got info from Kate. So let’s break it down.
[00:36:48] Jenna First of all, we did use a stunt double for Kate. Her name was Marie Fink. Our stunt coordinator that day was Scott Oliva. And he had to, like, do a bunch of prep for this. He had to send a whole plan in to NBC Universal Safety Department explaining how exactly we would do this safely. We had safety officers on set. We had a special effects crew on set, and we had the L.A. Fire Department on set.
[00:37:14] Angela Kate said there were so many people from the fire department there that they like took up a whole wall.
[00:37:19] Jenna I believe it.
[00:37:20] Angela Yeah.
[00:37:20] Jenna What a crazy day of work for them.
[00:37:23] Angela I know.
[00:37:25] Jenna Now, Paul Feig specifically staged this scene so that Meredith was dancing alone in the conference room and this was done to make it safer.
[00:37:34] Angela Yes.
[00:37:35] Jenna And they dressed the stunt double, Marie, in this full fireproof body suit. It’s called like a Nomex. And she wore like a head stocking that was flameproof and then she put on Kate’s wardrobe. I guess these Nomex suits are what race car drivers wear when they’re racing, you know, in case their car burst into flames.
[00:37:56] Angela Yeah.
[00:37:56] Jenna Then Kim Ferry had to create a bunch of wigs.
[00:38:01] Angela Yes. And Kate shared about these wigs, you guys. Kate said, Ange, they were natural hair. And then they actually burned the wigs with fire. And she said, I had to wear the stinkiest wig the whole rest of the week because, you know, when you burn hair, you know the smell.
[00:38:21] Jenna Oh, I know it well. I mean, it’s once you’ve smelled that, it’s like burned into your brain.
[00:38:25] Angela Yes. So Kate had to wear the stinky wig the rest of the week.
[00:38:30] Jenna Well, I guess to pull off this stunt, they put this flammable gel all over Marie’s body and her hair. And then she used one of the actual real candles in the conference room to set her hair on fire. I guess they did have a stunt double dressed as Dwight. His name was Shawn Crowder. But in the end, it was actually Rainn. Rainn ran in and put out the stunt double with an actual fire extinguisher.
[00:39:02] Angela I know. No pressure Rainn. Right. But Kate said he did it. And then Kate said for continuity they had to take Marie out. And Kate stepped back in with the burnt wig, right?
[00:39:12] Jenna The smelly burnt wig.
[00:39:13] Angela The smelly burnt wig, kind of assumed the same position Marie was in, and then Rainn had to spray Kate with the real fire extinguisher. So Kate got hosed as well.
[00:39:25] Jenna Justin told me that we did it all in one take.
[00:39:29] Angela I’m so glad for everyone’s sake.
[00:39:31] Jenna Yeah.
[00:39:31] Angela I’m so glad. Also, look at Kate’s dancing. This is like lunging forward and back and forward and back. And I’m, like, Kate, were you sore? My gosh, that’s like a physical day.
[00:39:44] Jenna Randy told me that Kate and Marie got together and planned out the dance moves.
[00:39:50] Angela So that Marie could look exactly like Kate in her movements. Yes.
[00:39:53] Jenna Which is amazing to me because it looks like completely spontaneous dancing, but they really planned it so that it would coordinate. So they were doing the same thing.
[00:40:02] Angela Yes. And if you watch the episode, it’s very rare that only one person is in the conference room at a party. But that was for everyone’s safety, like you said. So Kate said it was kind of odd to be in there alone for all those takes like a fishbowl, but I really related because there’s a whole scene coming up where you guys are all together on the floor and I’m in the kitchen. For the whole episode.
[00:40:23] Jenna I know. I know. Lady, I think we should take a little break and then we’ll come back and make you go to the kitchen.
[00:40:31] Angela Make me go to the kitchen, and Michael is going to share with us about a responsibilitini.
[00:40:37] Jenna Oh, I can’t wait.
[00:40:38] Angela It’s a deleted scene I can’t wait to share.
[00:40:44] Jenna So we are back. Oscar-.
[00:40:47] Angela You have a little bit of granola on your boob.
[00:40:49] Jenna Oh, thanks for telling me.
[00:40:51] Angela We ate a granola bar during the break. You’re eating it off your shirt?
[00:40:56] Jenna What else would I do? If I pick it off I have to, what, throw it on the floor?
[00:41:00] Angela No, put it in the trash!
[00:41:02] Jenna Well, I was still hungry.
[00:41:03] Angela You’d fit in very well with my boys.
[00:41:06] Jenna Listen, we’re friends here.
[00:41:08] Angela I’ve seen them eat things off their clothing, too.
[00:41:11] Jenna Oh my God listen, every once in a while-
[00:41:15] Angela You’re going to lick a piece of granola bar off your shirt.
[00:41:17] Jenna You know what else I’m gonna do sometimes? Sometimes the salad dressing is so good I lick the plate.
[00:41:22] Angela OK, I’m here for licking the plate, but you just eat a piece of granola off your T-shirt. You lifted your shirt up towards you so you could eat that tiny piece of granola.
[00:41:34] Jenna Because I’m a classy lady.
[00:41:36] Angela You are classy. And you know what? You do not waste and that I respect.
[00:41:40] Jenna Thank you.
[00:41:40] Angela OK.
[00:41:41] Jenna As I was saying, Oscar, Jim, Michael, and Stanley try to set a date for something. We don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re trying to agree on a time to do something. Nothing’s working.
[00:41:56] Angela We do learn that Michael goes to the dentist every month.
[00:42:00] Jenna Well, because of his soft teeth.
[00:42:02] Angela Every month!
[00:42:03] Jenna We established that in Dinner Party.
[00:42:05] Angela I feel like he talks their ear off. I feel like there’s like a dental hygienist, that he just talks their ear off.
[00:42:12] Jenna What do you do for soft teeth? You know what? I’m going to ask my dentist the next time I’m there. He’s a fan of the show. He’s also a bread maker. And he gave me his sourdough discard and it is fantastic sourdough discard.
[00:42:26] Angela Wow.
[00:42:27] Jenna Great dentist.
[00:42:27] Angela OK.
[00:42:28] Jenna Great baker. I’m going to ask him about soft teeth. Stay tuned.
[00:42:31] Angela Baker and a dentist.
[00:42:33] Jenna Listen, they also can’t do it on Groundhog Day because Michael, he celebrates privately. Some fans asked Justin in an interview once, what is it that Michael’s doing? And he said, I imagine he just watches Groundhog Day all day, the movie.
[00:42:50] Angela He watches the movie. And I also think he watches to see if Punxsutawney- is it Punxsutawney?
[00:42:55] Jenna Phil?
[00:42:56] Angela Yeah, I think he watches to see if Phil sees his shadow. I think he watches the whole broadcast.
[00:43:01] Jenna It’s a big event.
[00:43:01] Angela Maybe he goes!
[00:43:03] Jenna He’s busy. That’s what we know. In the end, they decide today is the day and what they’re planning is an intervention.
[00:43:11] Angela Christmas Eve office party intervention.
[00:43:15] Jenna Listen, if I had to explain what an intervention is, it’s like a surprise party for people who have addictions. And what you do is you make them feel badly about themselves so they stop.
[00:43:28] Angela Michael Scott right there, guys.
[00:43:29] Jenna Per Michael Scott.
[00:43:30] Angela That was the talking head that made it into the show. Here is an alt that got deleted and it cracked me up. We’re going to call this responsibilitini, guys.
[00:43:42] Michael It takes a lot of courage to admit you are right. And talking about my strengths has always been one of my strengths. And I am right. Meredith needs help. She needs help like an alcoholic needs a drink. And she’s about to get a big shot of Michael Scott straight up on the rocks with ice. No chaser. I call it a responsibilitini. Shaken with lemon. Twist of lime.
[00:44:14] Jenna OK, OK, we’ve played a lot of talking heads that didn’t make it. A lot of scenes that didn’t make it in the show. This is the biggest tragedy.
[00:44:25] Angela A responsibilitini.
[00:44:27] Jenna Everything about that was gold. I could listen to it five times.
[00:44:30] Angela I know. I was like, I have to play it. This is gold.
[00:44:34] Jenna That was like on the level of Dwight’s whole speech about stealing the ball from Tiffany’s and going to all the countries and all that. Oh, my God, it was so good.
[00:44:46] Angela You’re going to get a big shot of Michael Scott. Shaken, not stirred. Responsibilitini.
[00:44:52] Jenna That’s incredible. Well, we’re all going to circle up on the floor now. Not Angela, though. Phyllis has other plans for you.
[00:45:00] Angela It involves a hairnet. Lots of Fanning. Got a fan some pitas. Gotta toast em on both sides. Gotta fan napkins.
[00:45:08] Jenna Yeah.
[00:45:09] Angela And off to the kitchen I go.
[00:45:11] Jenna Meanwhile, the rest of us sit on the floor and engage in a real uncomfortable intervention of Meredith.
[00:45:18] Angela I don’t know how you guys got through the scene without laughing. I remember two things happening during this week. One, I was bummed because I was in the kitchen by myself. And I had to enter in during the scene, so it’s not like- I had to be there.
[00:45:31] Jenna Do you remember this? Because Justin reminded me of this and I had forgotten it, which was that Paul Feig insisted on shooting the entire intervention scene from top to bottom without cutting. And every take was about eight minutes long.
[00:45:47] Angela Yes. So I would be in the kitchen like with a magazine. I actually on the DVD commentary, I said I brought a magazine back there eventually because I was back there so long and then they would cuel me and then I would walk in. Then I’d have to go back.
[00:46:03] Jenna So crazy.
[00:46:03] Angela So crazy.
[00:46:04] Jenna I remember my legs fell asleep. It’s very hard to sit on the floor in a pencil skirt and panty hose.
[00:46:12] Angela Well, you had to do an odd cross. You had to do that one foot under the other. And at nine minutes, forty six seconds, there’s a real good Pam pantyhose catch.
[00:46:21] Jenna Oh yeah.
[00:46:22] Angela I can see your pantyhose.
[00:46:23] Jenna I don’t doubt it.
[00:46:24] Angela You have pantyhose toes.
[00:46:26] Jenna I remember trying to figure out because, you know, once you pick the way you’re sitting, you have to sit like that. You can’t shift and move or change your position so like-
[00:46:35] Angela Because it has to match you, guys. So however you sit, that’s it. So Mindy, laying on her stomach like that-
[00:46:42] Jenna I was so jealous.
[00:46:43] Angela Which I took a picture of- I was jealous at first, but then, you know, her back started to ache. It had to because that’s like doing a- what is that, the cow? No, it’s not a cow. It’s the snake. It’s a yoga thing.
[00:46:53] Jenna Oh, yeah. What’s that yoga pose called?
[00:46:55] Angela Where you arched your back up.
[00:46:57] Jenna Cobra. Cobra!
[00:46:58] Angela Cobra! I knew it. Not the cow.
[00:46:59] Jenna I don’t know why that was so exciting, but I just recalling any information at my age just gets me really amped up.
[00:47:06] Angela So she had to do a mini cobra all day. You had to sit with the one foot under your butt, one foot extended.
[00:47:12] Jenna Yep. I know. And I do remember that we went around and you know, I was mostly reactions. I don’t think I had any lines in the scene. It was very hard not to laugh. It was very hard not to laugh when Creed says that he can get a fire permit in a couple hours, it was pretty amazing.
[00:47:32] Angela We talked on the DVD commentary about Creed’s outfit and what he’s wearing in this scene. He actually wore something similar to an award show. Do you remember he wore the long white.
[00:47:43] Jenna I don’t remember this.
[00:47:44] Angela This is very much sort of his outfit is something Crede would actually wear, and he looks fantastic. There is a delicious Andy talking head. I feel like we all knew this guy in college. The guy that would chug a fifth SoCo.
[00:47:55] Jenna Uh huh.
[00:47:57] Angela Boot. Rally. How many nicknames does he have, by the way? He’s puke. He’s Ace and he’s Buzz.
[00:48:03] Jenna Did he get straight A’s or straight B’s? We’re not sure.
[00:48:07] Angela He got straight B’s.
[00:48:08] Jenna Yeah, but he aced everything.
[00:48:10] Angela Yeah.
[00:48:10] Jenna Well, surprise, surprise. This intervention does not result in Meredith deciding to go to rehab.
[00:48:18] Angela Michael is clearly not qualified to do this. And Toby’s going to call it. He’s like, you know what, we’re going to stop this.
[00:48:24] Jenna I do have to point out one of my favorite moments when Kevin offers his way that her drinking affected him.
[00:48:32] Angela He got to go to the movies.
[00:48:33] Jenna By the way, thank you, he says.
[00:48:35] Angela Yeah.
[00:48:35] Jenna Michael’s like, you’re not getting it. But you’re right. Michael is not trained to do this. You know, a trained interventionist. This is a job in real life. People train for this.
[00:48:47] Angela Yeah. Kate had a whole speech that was in the script as Meredith, where she just addresses the group and she’s like, listen, I’m bored. You’re boring, she said to Michael. And he goes, Hey. And she was like, you know what, I drink because I’m bored. Try to be more interesting. And she’s like, who else is bored here? Like, everyone raises their hand. She, like, hijacks the meeting from Michael, right? And then she’s like, we all do things to cope. So I drink when I’m bored. And then she goes around the room. She goes, you all have coping mechanisms. You eat, you eat, you eat, you shop, you confuse Dwight. And then she’s like-.
[00:49:24] Jenna Who confuses Dwight, Jim?
[00:49:25] Angela No, me.
[00:49:26] Jenna Oh, okay.
[00:49:27] Angela And then she points at Stanley and she’s like, You eat. And then Stanley has a talking head where he’s like, I do eat when I’m bored, but I also drink and I drink a lot more than Meredith. I just don’t do it at work and I keep my clothes on.
[00:49:40] Jenna Oh, my goodness.
[00:49:42] Angela Yes, this scene was way bigger.
[00:49:45] Jenna Oh, wow.
[00:49:46] Angela Michael is going to take Meredith into his office where they’re going to talk for 45 minutes.
[00:49:53] Jenna 45 minutes. And in the meantime, Angela is going to plead with Phyllis. Please, can I stop cutting the pita? Do I really have to wear the hairnet?
[00:50:04] Angela Have mercy. It’s the season of mercy.
[00:50:08] Jenna Phyllis says no.
[00:50:09] Angela No. I have a thing I want to point out at 13 minutes thirty five seconds. Phyllis is telling Stanley about the Moroccan food they’re eating, and Angela’s eating this cookie. She spits it out.
[00:50:22] Jenna Yeah.
[00:50:23] Angela We did a lot of takes of this. I’m not sure why.
[00:50:25] Jenna OK.
[00:50:26] Angela But the cookie started to turn on me because I took a big bite.
[00:50:30] Jenna OK.
[00:50:31] Angela Mistake.
[00:50:32] Jenna OK.
[00:50:32] Angela Take a small bite, guys.
[00:50:33] Jenna Always.
[00:50:34] Angela Always. Because by the eighth take the thought of that cookie makes you want to barf.
[00:50:39] Jenna Right. And it doesn’t matter what it is. Doesn’t matter if it’s your favorite dessert.
[00:50:45] Angela And it started to turn on me. And so I took some peanuts and I stuck them in my hand. And when they would cut to me eating, I would like just put a bunch of the peanuts in my mouth and hold the cookie. I was I was trying to do a fakey eat.
[00:51:00] Jenna Fakey eat.
[00:51:01] Angela Fakey eat, and then I would spit out peanuts instead of the cookie.
[00:51:04] Jenna OK, so what we see on camera that is chewed up peanuts?
[00:51:07] Angela We don’t know.
[00:51:09] Jenna We don’t know which take they used.
[00:51:10] Angela We don’t know which take they used.
[00:51:11] Jenna Was it early, was it late?
[00:51:12] Angela I don’t know. These are the things you try to do at work. How do I not eat that cookie.
[00:51:18] Jenna Well when Michael leaves his office with Meredith, they’re going somewhere. He says, I’ll meet you in the parking lot. And then he asks Toby for the number of that rehabilitation center. And everyone’s like, wow, he did it. And then, you know, he finishes writing the number down and he throws the pen at Toby’s head.
[00:51:39] Angela And hits him in the forehead.
[00:51:41] Jenna We got a fan question about that.
[00:51:43] Angela Well, we have stories about it too.
[00:51:47] Jenna Kelsey B would like to know, was the pen throwing scripted or improvised? It was scripted. And Justin said that Steve had a special rubber pen, and I remember it because it was in the pen cup on Pam’s desk. There were real pens and then one fakey pen. And I was sitting there and I kept, like, positioning the pen so that Steve could pick up the fakey pen.
[00:52:17] Angela This would have been another thing Phil Shea would have had to have gotten for the episode.
[00:52:21] Jenna Fakey rubber pen so that he could throw it at Toby’s head. They inserted that little thump sound later. We did about four or five takes of it I guess.
[00:52:30] Angela You guys, if you watch this, you will notice behind Michael, there are no people. We’re all standing way off to the right.
[00:52:38] Jenna Yeah.
[00:52:39] Angela You want to know why? Because we couldn’t stop laughing. So when they would cut to Michael after throwing it, we’d be behind him giggling.
[00:52:47] Jenna Yeah.
[00:52:47] Angela So they pushed us all to the right and they had to get our reaction take like a whole beat later, when we had gotten our composure.
[00:52:54] Jenna Paul also couldn’t stop laughing.
[00:52:56] Angela I know.
[00:52:57] Jenna Every time that little rubber pen thumped him in the forehead, he would break.
[00:53:01] Angela I know. And there is such a fun blooper where Paul decided to prank Steve during the scene. We have to listen to it.
[00:53:12] Angela Martin Could you write down the name of that rehabilitation clinic you mentioned?
[00:53:17] Toby Wow. Yeah. (UNCLEAR) (LAUGHTER)
[00:53:36] Jenna What did he do?
[00:53:38] Angela Instead of writing down a fake phone number he wrote (BLEEP) you. And so Steve in the scene glances down and it says (BLEEP) you and he started laughing and he couldn’t even throw the pen because he was laughing too hard.
[00:53:52] Jenna That is so funny. Well, I’ll have you know, fakey pen lived in the pen cup for weeks after we shot the scene and people were always coming over trying to grab a pen to use and they would get fakey rubber pen. And I never got rid of it because it just was funny to me. It’s funny to me that people would grab fakey pen.
[00:54:15] Angela Yeah. So now Meredith and Michael are in the car. This is going to start such a fantastic sequence between Meredith and Michael. Both Steve and Kate just knock it out of the park. They’re driving. Meredith thinks they’re going to a bar. She’s listing off all these bars. And Kate Flannery said in real life, she kept trying to slip her family’s bar in there because, you know, her family owned a bar in Philadelphia called Flannery’s.
[00:54:39] Jenna Yep.
[00:54:39] Angela But it didn’t make it in.
[00:54:41] Jenna But all the other bars she says are local Scranton bars. They’re real places.
[00:54:46] Angela Yeah, well, that was part of the reasons why Flannery’s wouldn’t have checked out. Right. But she also wanted you guys to know that Steve did his own driving. They’re not being pulled. They’re-
[00:54:55] Jenna Yeah. You can kind of tell.
[00:54:56] Angela Yeah, he’s driving and doing all the dialogue because there were those little lipstick cameras.
[00:55:00] Jenna And then they had, I think, a truck in front of them with a camera rigged on the back to get them through the windshield. Well, when they finally arrive at their destination, it is revealed that they are at Sunrise Rehab. Meredith gets super pissed.
[00:55:15] Angela So pissed, so pissed. Now, Kate told me they had stunt people there for her and Steve, should it get too physical, that they could have this choreographed thing with the stunt people. And her and Steve were like, no, we’re going to go for it. Kate was like, Steve, let’s do it. And they did not use the stunt people. Everything you see is actually Kate and Steve just frickin going for it.
[00:55:38] Jenna I think I noticed one moment- we cut out of it really quickly- when Meredith throws the trash can down and it looks like Michael trips and falls. I feel like I see Kate start to check on Steve.
[00:55:51] Angela Oh, yeah.
[00:55:52] Jenna Like maybe like, oh, are you OK? Like, just the littlest moment. And we cut out of it and then they, you know, they have a bigger chase around the parking lot.
[00:56:00] Angela Well, Kate said that’s fakey trash.
[00:56:02] Jenna Fakey trash!
[00:56:03] Angela That was fakey trash, so whatever Steve fell on wasn’t real trash.
[00:56:07] Jenna So Phil Shea also had to make fakey trash.
[00:56:09] Angela Yes.
[00:56:10] Jenna Oh my gosh. This man’s week was insane.
[00:56:12] Angela Yes. This scene was scripted at the top where she doesn’t want to get out of the car, but they immediately then just went off, you know, because Paul Feig just wanted them to really go for it, not worry about the lines. And that whole sequence where Meredith is saying, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute.
[00:56:31] Jenna I love that.
[00:56:31] Angela That’s not in the script.
[00:56:32] Jenna I loved it. It was so real.
[00:56:34] Angela It was so real. I thought Kate did such a great job.
[00:56:37] Jenna Well, this whole thing ends with Michael dragging Meredith into the rehab center. And we should tell you, the intake nurse was played by our very own first assistant director, Kelly Cantley.
[00:56:50] Angela Yes. She also helps escort them out.
[00:56:53] Jenna Yeah. At the end, when Michael discovers that you can’t force people to go to rehab.
[00:56:59] Angela Yep. And now awkward car ride back.
[00:57:03] Jenna But you know what Michael’s going to do? Michael’s had a realization. He realizes that, you know, in order to get help, a person has to hit their rock bottom. So he’s going to make it his mission to help Meredith reach her rock bottom.
[00:57:18] Angela Oh, my gosh.
[00:57:19] Jenna And he thinks he can do it because he did it with Jan.
[00:57:22] Angela Oh, my gosh.
[00:57:23] Jenna That’s like an amazing line.
[00:57:25] Angela There’s still going to be quite a bit of drama back at the office.
[00:57:28] Jenna Oh, yes.
[00:57:29] Angela We start with Toby. Oh, Toby, man. He thinks he’s going to get to be the hero to his little girl.
[00:57:36] Jenna He is going to score one of the Princess Unicorn dolls from Dwight for his daughter.
[00:57:42] Angela But Dwight has sold them all out. He just sold his last one to Darryl.
[00:57:46] Jenna Yes. All right. I just unsolicited get this email from Jen Celotta.
[00:57:53] Angela About this scene?
[00:57:54] Jenna About this scene in this episode. I guess the writers like Justin and Halstead and Aaron, they were all texting each other about this storyline and somehow Jen got involved. This email pops in my inbox yesterday. She’s like Jenna, we’ve all been texting about the Princess Unicorn storyline.
[00:58:13] Angela Because you asked Justin about it.
[00:58:14] Jenna Yeah.
[00:58:14] Angela OK.
[00:58:15] Jenna And she was like, I have a story and I asked Paul if I could share it, and I was like, Oh I’m so intrigued. She made an audio clip. Here it is.
[00:58:24] Angela Oh, my gosh.
[00:58:26] Jennifer Celotta There was a moment that happened behind the scenes of Moroccan Christmas where Paul and I were working on a script together. I’m not sure if it was the fifth season finale or what, but we were kind of under the gun. I remember when we were writing and he had to go down on set and shoot a scene as Toby. And then we came back up we needed to push forward on the script, and I remember that he was sitting on the couch and he was like, oh, I think I just screwed up that scene that I shot. And I was like, I’m sure you didn’t, you’re being hard on yourself. He’s like, No, no, I really think I screwed it up. And he’s kind of stuck on it. And it was very typical of him. So I was like, tell me what happened? And he said, well, I was supposed to be upset and sad because I wanted this Princess Unicorn doll for my daughter and Darryl wanted the doll for his daughter. And I needed to be really sad. And so I thought of what Steve might do or what I thought Jenna might do, which is think of something sad that happened in in real life to them and something that triggered these sad feelings and sad emotions and kind of be in that place and use it for the scene. And I said, well, it sounds smart, like how’d it go? And he said, well, I didn’t do that. And I asked him why. And he said, well, I thought about getting sad, but it didn’t seem worth it. And I remember laughing at that being like, I’m pretty sure you just made the decision not to act. I think that’s what just happened in that moment. But I remember watching that scene later and thinking it was such a perfectly Toby choice. It was a great scene. And I feel like when you’re Toby and you’re going about the world and Michael’s always making you feel put upon and all this stuff, you can’t constantly keep getting sad. So it ended up being a very, very wonderful choice that I think he made. But in the moment, I think he pretty much decided he wasn’t going to act because he didn’t want to be sad that day. And I’ll never forget that. I loved it.
[01:00:31] Jenna Jen was so excited to tell me that story. She was like, I I have to give him grief. And I guess they talked together and they were laughing about it. And Paul was like, yeah, you can share, you can share that. It’s true.
[01:00:44] Angela I don’t want to be sad.
[01:00:45] Jenna I don’t want to dig too deep and actually cry in this scene because then I’m going to be sad all day. I’m going to be thinking about my whatever precipitated it.
[01:00:54] Angela I love that Jen just wanted to give Paul (BLEEP) on our podcast.
[01:00:58] Jenna I know. She was just like, email hit’s my inbox. Oh, so funny. I agree though, when I watched this scene, like I didn’t think anything of it, I was like, oh that’s perfect.
[01:01:09] Angela Yeah.
[01:01:10] Jenna Oh so funny. And I guess she would like give him shitaki about that for years to come. Gosh, speaking of sad, should we talk about the saddest scene ever?
[01:01:21] Angela Saddest scene ever. It all starts because Angela is done. She is done with Phyllis.
[01:01:28] Jenna Well Phyllis tells her to go get the tree and bring it back.
[01:01:31] Angela I know. Phyllis and I absolutely loved this episode. We got to do so much together, even more than you even see in the actual episode. I can’t tell you how amazing it felt as Angela Martin to turn to her and say, shut up. It felt so good. And I was really proud of this scene. I thought Phyllis and I really had this perfect chemistry in this moment. And then she tells everyone and she shames Angela Martin in front of the whole bullpen. And when she did, I was so in the moment with her, I felt the heat of my skin, like my face started to flush.
[01:02:15] Jenna Yeah, you can see it.
[01:02:16] Angela Everyone is looking at you. Everyone, you know, and we’ve talked about whenever you had a scene where the whole bullpen focused on you, you were already heightened a little bit like your nerves. And I really just, oh, man. I was- as the character, I felt like I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. And then Andy walks in.
[01:02:41] Jenna I know. And the way Ed just, you know, Ed Helms, the person, his inherent goodness and sweet heart just carries through the character of Andy.
[01:02:54] Angela I know. Well, here’s the thing. Is Andy, like, completely annoying? Sure. But he’s also got this boyish charm.
[01:03:03] Jenna Yeah. A boyish enthusiasm, right? For singing this song to you.
[01:03:09] Angela Yes. And in the script, the song he sings is Silent Night.
[01:03:14] Jenna Oh, yes. Randy said the morning of the shoot they told Ed. He was so scared to say it. He said they’ve changed their mind. Can you do Deck the Halls?
[01:03:27] Angela Ed had to learn a whole new song to play on the sitar. He had just learned Silent Night.
[01:03:33] Jenna Yes, he’d had that thing for a couple of weeks and he’d been fiddling around on it. And then they were like, can you do Deck the Halls? Randy told me it took him about a minute and a half to figure it out cuz he’s amazing.
[01:03:42] Angela He’s he’s he’s a musical genius. They thought it would be funny, the juxtaposition of this sort of very cringey moment for Andy to be playing this upbeat song.
[01:03:54] Jenna And, you know, he improvised the riddidditdidoo at the end.
[01:03:57] Angela I know.
[01:03:58] Jenna So good.
[01:03:59] Angela We’re all just staring at him. And Ed played the moment so perfectly. My heart completely broke for Andy. I felt so bad for him. And I started to cry.
[01:04:10] Jenna Like actually crying.
[01:04:12] Angela Yeah, I actually cry. If you look at this, it pushes it on my face and I’m completely tearing up.
[01:04:20] Jenna Those are those moments as an actor where you have so inhabited your character’s story and the story of the people around you, where your body, like you didn’t even have to make yourself cry or think of something sad. You were just so in the moment that the emotions just flood.
[01:04:39] Angela No, really. Really. And everyone was playing it so real.
[01:04:44] Jenna Mm hmm. Paul Feig told us to, like he said, when we come around with that B camera, and this was similar to his direction in Office Olympics, he said, I don’t want you to comment on it with, you know, no kind of funny looks or anything, like this is like truly a human moment. And just stand there. Just be in it. It was great direction.
[01:05:06] Angela And you felt it.
[01:05:07] Jenna Yeah. It felt heavy.
[01:05:09] Angela It felt really heavy. And I felt horrible. And I started to cry, you know, in re-watching it all. I just thought this episode was written and directed and acted so, so well. I was really proud of us as a show.
[01:05:26] Jenna You know what, Angela? This was what Paul Feig could do for us. You know, like he was really good at directing us to allow these moments to breathe. And you’re so good in this.
[01:05:39] Angela Oh, thanks, lady.
[01:05:40] Jenna You’re so good in this whole episode. And this moment at the end is more powerful because it’s real.
[01:05:48] Angela Yeah.
[01:05:48] Jenna You really nailed it.
[01:05:50] Angela Thanks so much, lady. Thank you. And I thought Kate Flannery crushed this episode too.
[01:05:56] Jenna Same.
[01:05:57] Angela And, you know, guys, the supporting cast, these moments were fewer and far between for us. And so when they happened, we just treasured it. And it was so fun to re-watch it.
[01:06:07] Jenna And you guys would get these scripts with no notice and you’d have to just step up to the plate and suddenly carry an episode. And you always did it, because we had a really great bench on our show.
[01:06:20] Angela We had a deep bench y’all.
[01:06:21] Jenna We did.
[01:06:22] Angela Well, that is Moroccan Christmas.
[01:06:25] Jenna We did it.
[01:06:26] Angela We did it. We all hope you’ll have a little responsibilitini in your life.
[01:06:31] Jenna Yeah. And just want to give a few thank you’s to Justin Spitzer, Aaron Shure, Halstead Sullivan, Jen Celotta, Randy Cordray and Steven Saux. Remember, you can find Steven and his wife Lori on their podcast, If We Knew Then. And I know you traded a bunch of messages with Kate as well, Angela.
[01:06:49] Angela Yes. Kate Flannery and James Kerry, because the script having the shooting draft was just amazing for this one.
[01:06:55] Jenna And before we go, one little tidbit we’re so excited to finally get to share with you.
[01:07:02] Angela Yes. We’re so excited to tell you guys that we have partnered with Comedy Central and Cartoona Radio to bring you animated clips of our podcast.
[01:07:11] Jenna Yes. You know, we’re constantly getting mail from people saying they wish they could watch us on video and for many reasons we won’t get into now, we do not videotape our podcasts, but Cartoona Radio has taken some of the audio and they have animated it, which in my opinion is even better than watching a video.
[01:07:31] Angela It is you guys, they are so creative. Jenna and I are now a cartoon. I love it.
[01:07:37] Jenna I love it.
[01:07:38] Angela And they have picked these funny moments to animate. It’s going to debut on Comedy Central’s YouTube. We’ll put it in our socials so you can find it. We can’t wait for you to see it.
[01:07:47] Jenna It starts tomorrow. All right, guys, we will see you next week.
[01:07:53] Both Your horn can pierce the sky.
[01:08:01] Jenna Thank you for listening to Office Ladies. Office Ladies is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer, and Angela Kinsey. Our show is executive produced by Codi Fischer. Our producer is Cassi Jerkins. Our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer, and our associate producer is Aynsley Bubbico.
[01:08:16] Angela Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton.
[01:08:19] Jenna For Ad free versions of Office Ladies, go to Stitcher premium dot com. For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium, use code: Office.