February 8, 2022
This week we’re breaking down “Niagara”. To kick off this two-part episode, the ladies are joined again by showrunner Greg Daniels! (“The Office”, “The Simpsons”, “King of the Hill”, “Upload”, “Space Force”) Together they talk about everything that went behind creating the much anticipated Jim and Pam wedding, which includes finding that special balance between funny and heartwarming. Anna Camp (“Pitch Perfect”, “True Blood”) also sends in clips to share what it was like to play Pam’s sister. Angela breaks down Dwight’s iconic “Howling at the Moon” t-shirt, Jenna shares a story about one of her first movie scenes with Christopher Walken and the ladies point out a purposeful mistake made by the hotel. This episode will make you want to get up and dance! Just make sure you take your keys out of your pocket first.
109 — Niagara, Pt 1 with Greg Daniels
Niagara Pt 1.mp3
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. Boy, it’s a big one today.
Angela [00:00:28] That’s what she said.
Jenna [00:00:30] I mean, I didn’t even say hello. Hello!
Angela [00:00:35] Say hello first.
Jenna [00:00:37] I mean, I’m just thinking about everything we have to share about Niagara. The wedding episode!
Angela [00:00:45] The enormous two parter. We’re doing it in two parts. This is so big.
Jenna [00:00:51] Oh yeah. Today is Niagara part one. It was season six, episode four. It was written by Greg Daniels and Mindy Kaling and directed by Paul Feig. I mean, we brought out the heavy hitters for this one.
Angela [00:01:06] We sure did. And we have a heavy hitter today on Office Ladies.
Jenna [00:01:11] We sure do, guys. Co-writer of this episode and showrunner of The Office, Greg Daniels, has come on Office Ladies to discuss this epic milestone episode. We could not be more excited.
Angela [00:01:24] We are thrilled. Let’s talk to Greg.
Jenna [00:01:31] Greg Daniels!
Angela [00:01:33] hello!
Greg Daniels [00:01:34] Hey!
Angela [00:01:35] Welcome.
Jenna [00:01:36] This is a huge treat.
Angela [00:01:37] We are so excited to have you on Office Ladies.
Greg Daniels [00:01:40] Oh yeah, for me too, it’s so nice to see you guys.
Jenna [00:01:42] And this is a milestone episode.
Greg Daniels [00:01:45] Big one. Very big one.
Angela [00:01:47] Jenna and I were saying just prepping our document for this week’s record, we felt like we were building like a small airplane because there was like so many different stories and articles and DVD commentaries. And we’re just so glad you’re here and we get to break it down with you.
Greg Daniels [00:02:02] I went back into the archives, you know, and looked at some of our notes from the writers room. And, you know, I realized that we had gamed this one so thoroughly from the beginning. This was like my my special point of the season. Obviously, this was like the biggest moment that we had, so we had really put a lot of effort and thought into it.
Jenna [00:02:23] Randy Cordray told us that before season six even started, you told him Pam and Jim are going to get married on the Maid of the Mist. Figure that out.
Greg Daniels [00:02:33] Yeah, yeah. So this was a crazy year for me personally, because this was the first year that I had an official co-showrunner in Paul Lieberstein and I was also running season two of Parks and Rec at the same time as season six of The Office with Mike Schur. And there was we had like the biggest, juiciest writing staff possible. Like this was one of our classic years writing staff. Everybody was it was great. So there was a lot of help. But but I think I did 50 episodes this year.
Angela [00:03:07] Oh my gosh.
Greg Daniels [00:03:08] Between the two shows, which is like 50 table readings, 50 script blocks, 50 production meetings, 50 cuts, having to be locked. So I was like super crazed for this year. And the things that I really wanted to concentrate on for The Office was Jim and Pam’s wedding because I felt like this was the culmination of a six year story that was so important to the show. And so we put a lot of a lot of brain work into it. And with the Niagara part, that was like what I had sort of figured out for the wedding because the wedding had to be filled with comedy for all of the side characters. But it also had to be very romantic for Jim and Pam, and the show always had this slight anomaly that was Jim and Pam because it was so fairytale inside their relationship, but then everything else in the show was up for grabs for jokes and, you know, was very realistic. And Niagara Falls is within a drive like a conceivable four and a half hour drive of Scranton. So it made sense that you could invite people from work and they would drive up, you know, and it was a doable thing. And so I did a lot of research on Niagara Falls way early. And what’s amazing about Niagara Falls, it’s like the most classic wedding location for people, you know, in the Northeast. And it’s been that way since the 1800s or whenever it was discovered. And it’s it’s incredibly naturally beautiful and and like take your breath away majestic. But because everybody used it as their wedding thing, there was this really kind of commercialized, like kitschy industry that had developed around it. So it was like a great location because you could have, you know, for the one sort of thing we had going into it was this idea that- I don’t know if you were ever told this on your guys’s weddings, but you know, they always say like the wedding is for your family and the marriage is what you get. And there’s this sense of like the wedding’s this public event and you have to invite your family and all these different people. And it’s not always exactly what you wanted, but at least you get the marriage, right? So I think there was this going into the episode there is going to be this sort of two things happening where Pam and Jim wanted to have something that was beautiful and romantic for the two of them, but they also had to, you know, they had all these obligations with their family and their people from work and that that was going to have all these people there. So there was this contrast between like the comedy of having all their relatives and, you know, Pam’s mother was upset at the, you know, and her their parents had gotten divorced. And, you know, and the fact that Pam was pregnant and kind of hiding it like there were all these different storylines happening for comedy.
Angela [00:06:11] And Greg, I loved that it was the destination wedding because on the commentary you were saying a lot of different elements of this episode were based on real life things in the writers room, like the destination wedding that you think no one will come to, but then a lot of people show up.
Greg Daniels [00:06:27] Yeah. And then there was like, there is a moment that I pulled from a friend of mine’s wedding story where I guess his sister by mistake broke one of the wedding gifts, which was like a set of plates or something like that that they had registered for. And she was super upset about it. And my friend couldn’t really calm her down until he took one of the other plates and smashed it in front of her and said, Look, this is not about the plates. This is- I want you to, you know, enjoy my wedding. And so that that kind of translated into Jim cutting his tie to make Pam feel better.
Jenna [00:07:08] That is such a cool moment.
Greg Daniels [00:07:10] Yeah, I love that moment. Yeah.
Angela [00:07:13] I teared up. I, you know, there were so many wonderful moments that I had just forgotten about about this episode. I think when I think of this episode too, I always think about the big wedding moment. I completely forgot about the cold open.
Greg Daniels [00:07:26] Yeah.
Jenna [00:07:26] Oh yeah.
Angela [00:07:27] I think the cold open, I was like, What is happening?
Jenna [00:07:31] It’s a dozen people puking to open up the romantic wedding episode.
Greg Daniels [00:07:38] Yeah, well, I mean, that was the thing, right? It’s like we had so many cards on the board for ideas, you know, for the season and for this important, you know, episode. And this was also a two part episode which meant that there had to be like six acts of of story, right? So and a lot of different people did- they didn’t have their own subplot. It wasn’t like, Oh, well, don’t worry. Andy and Michael are having a subplot where they’re selling to some, you know, they’re there at the wedding, so they all have to have their own comedy stories. So we generated in the writers room, you know, just hundreds of cards of funny things that could happen. And then we had to kind of jam them all, you know, into the the overall feeling of a destination wedding in Niagara. That was the whole thing about the episode was balancing how much comedy to put in and how much romance and good feeling to put in.
Jenna [00:08:38] Well, one of my favorite things is this agreement that everyone’s going to keep Pam’s pregnancy a secret from Meemaw. We’re not going to tell Meemaw.
Angela [00:08:47] Like what a disaster already, right? Like Michael’s not going to be able to keep the secret. We all think Michael’s going to spill the beans.
Jenna [00:08:56] Well, first of all, I have a question about the name Meemaw. Is that was that based on someone’s real life? I had never heard that. I’ve heard like Grammy, GG as names for grandmas, but Meemaw was new to me, is that an East Coast thing?
Greg Daniels [00:09:12] I don’t think so. I think that’s like a pioneer thing. Personally, I kind of feel like that’s an old west thing.
Angela [00:09:17] I’ve heard of Meemaw.
Jenna [00:09:18] Is it southern?
Angela [00:09:19] I think it might be southern or I think like what Greg’s saying, kind of like ye olde pioneer days. But my dad was called papaw. So I’ve heard-.
Greg Daniels [00:09:28] Yeah. So we might have gotten it from you, did you have a meemaw?
Angela [00:09:31] Oh, I didn’t have a meemaw but it’s certainly like when I read it, I was like, Sure, your Meemaw. Yeah, like, it’s in my brain somewhere.
Greg Daniels [00:09:40] Well, I mean, the idea was that she was pretty old fashioned person who was going to be, you know, pretty judgmental. And the actress was kind of amazing. Like she started in Westerns in the nineteen thirties that actress Peggy Stewart. And so she she, I think, was a was a Meemaw.
Jenna [00:10:01] Well, it ends up being Jim in just a brilliant piece of writing and performance, then by John Krasinski, who ends up spilling the beans. I loved it. Just brilliant.
Greg Daniels [00:10:15] Yeah, that was great, I don’t think we started with that. I feel like we got to that eventually that it was going to be Jim that that blew it. I can’t remember exactly how that started, but yeah, no, it was great because you were expecting Michael to do it the whole time. And I just rewatched it this morning and god, John was so funny, blowing it in the in his toast.
Angela [00:10:42] So good.
Greg Daniels [00:10:43] Because he was doing so well up to there too. He was really killing it.
Jenna [00:10:48] Well, and then they have that great exchange where where Michael says, this really takes the pressure off of me. Like, this is great.
Angela [00:10:54] Yeah, Jim’s like, I can’t believe it was me. And Michael’s like, I can’t believe it either.
Greg Daniels [00:11:00] Yeah. Yeah, that was great. I mean, there is some there are some great act breaks, right? So we needed to have like six, six act breaks or something. And another huge, huge thing was the act break of Jim and Pam running away because that was that was pretty big, too.
Angela [00:11:20] That felt like a romantic comedy to me. That moment, you know, it really did it. It was so it just everything, the lighting and they ran away. And then I love that you then see Meredith smoking the cigar. It’s just this beautiful moment. And then there’s Meredith, you know?
Jenna [00:11:38] Well, speaking of romantic comedy, you wrote this episode with Mindy Kaling. You guys were nominated for an Emmy for this episode. How did it come about that you guys wrote this together?
Greg Daniels [00:11:50] Well, you know, it’s interesting. Mindy is such a lover of romantic comedy, and I’m not 100 percent sure. I kind of feel like I had identified that she ought to write it. And then I was giving so many specific suggestions that there was this feeling of, well, you got a really strong feeling of how you want it to go. Maybe you should co-write it. So I feel like I came into it that way. And of course, you know, so many of the beats were coming from these cards that we had generated as a team. I mean, in rereading the table draft, I was loving the first half so much. I feel like that must have probably been her, her stuff because I have to take responsibility for Roy and the horse.
Angela [00:12:37] OK, please. OK. How do we even set it up? Roy in the horse and the falls? Greg, you have to tell the whole story.
Greg Daniels [00:12:44] Right? Well, like I said, you know, so much of it was balancing how much comedy to put in and how much joy to put in. And definitely, I wanted to have that theme of there’s all these things going wrong in the wedding, but Pam and Jim managed to carve out this beautiful private moment anyway. Right? So the table draft had an act break where, to top off all these things that had been going wrong, like finding out about the pregnancy and-.
Jenna [00:13:17] Andy’s scrotum?
Angela [00:13:18] Michael and Pam’s mom?
Greg Daniels [00:13:20] Yeah, that was positive, though. To top it all off, like Roy shows up on a horse to try and make a grand gesture of Take me back and it just goes terribly. And, you know, this was a card that we had on the board, you know, early on about, you know, like those things, when those things happen in romantic comedy movies, they usually work. And how awkward is it when that doesn’t work and nobody wanted it and nobody was rooting for it? And you know, you have to just ride your horse away.
Angela [00:13:52] And in the table draft, Greg, Roy rides in the church. Jim is saying, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, and there’s like an audible like, (gasp) and there’s Roy on a horse.
Greg Daniels [00:14:03] Yeah. So.
Jenna [00:14:04] And Pam really is like, I don’t I don’t want this.
Greg Daniels [00:14:08] No, she had no interest.
Jenna [00:14:09] I’m picking the man I love, and I guess thank you.
Angela [00:14:12] But can you turn your horse around?
Greg Daniels [00:14:15] Yeah. So but I think what what it was in that script was, it was ordered differently. It was like everything goes wrong at the wedding and then and Michael’s having the worst day, and then Jim gets the idea, I’m going to take Pam away and do it right. And he leaves Michael in charge. And then and then there was in the script there were like sort of two montages. There was the montage of Jim and Pam getting married on the Maid of the Mist. And then there was the montage of Michael kind of killing it as being put in charge of the party.
Jenna [00:14:50] Oh right, because they got married in the church first in the table draft and then they have a second wedding while everybody else is at the reception.
Greg Daniels [00:15:02] Yeah, yeah. I have to mention the other part about the horse, which was there was a runner in that version where Dwight was fascinated, being at Niagara Falls, about the the 1800s and the history of people going over the falls in a barrel and animals surviving going over the falls in a way that that people couldn’t. And so after after Roy does this whole thing, Dwight sees a free horse and decides he’s going to test this out and he takes the horse into the river and then he starts getting swept towards the falls and he panics and he has to be rescued. But the horse goes over the falls, you know, and then at the end, the horse is OK. He’s swimming away from the falls because he survived like some animals do.
Jenna [00:15:51] But you would have seen him as Jim and Pam are doing their second romantic wedding on Maid of the Mist.
Angela [00:15:58] In the background.
Jenna [00:15:58] You were supposed to see it like a tiny horse going over over the falls behind them.
Greg Daniels [00:16:04] Yeah, yeah, that was the concept. So anyway, so we read it at the table. There was an awful lot of comedy in the script, and I think we had just sort of over stacked the comedy and under stacked the joy and the, you know, because there was just too much bad things happening to poor Pam and Jim. And they had their great moment on the Maid of the Mist still, but everything that was public was kind of a disaster. And I think there was this very smart feeling from, you know, everybody- especially cast- that that was not cool. Like, you got to give them more joy. The amount of- the emotional balance in the episode was off. And also, like, I think the cast was all, you know, they were all friends. And we had done so many episodes of them sort of turning into a family that it was you just didn’t want to be that negative and play them all as problems for Pam and Jim, right? So that was sort of the message after the table read. But I was still producing, and I remember going to scout the tank at Universal, where the horse was going to be filmed in the water, because that was like a big, big deal. And like, I knew that we had to fix this, but I was still having to produce, you know, the version until until it got changed. And and I came back from that and Paul luckily had had pulled this other card that we had had about, you know, the the YouTube sensation forever song and figured out a way to put that in at the end. And the key of it was sort of intercutting so that they could have- they went to the they went to got married before the church scene, right? So I have I found like our our beat sheet, our new beat sheet after the table for how to reorder the end. And it had that intercutting thing, and that was the key to getting rid of the horse. So I could finally release the horse because we had an ending.
Jenna [00:18:18] Well, I just wept when I watched that dance scene down the aisle.
Greg Daniels [00:18:24] Yeah, it was so good.
Jenna [00:18:25] In my rewatch. It was emotional. And I think, Greg, it’s because of what you said, which is that we were friends in real life and we had all grown to love this fictional romance, and we wanted to celebrate this milestone together as a group. And so I saw like this mixture of, I mean, I it’s like I saw Dwight dancing down the aisle, but I also saw Rainn dancing down the aisle. So for me, it was like even more impactful and emotional. It was so joyous. I mean, it really was. Shooting it was joyous. Watching it.
Greg Daniels [00:19:04] Yeah, but I mean, that’s kind of how the show was made, right? I mean, it wasn’t like we went into it with one version of what it was supposed to be. Like the show really changed so much from everybody’s creative input, from whatever happened on set and then in the editing room. And like, it wasn’t completely unusual for the table draft to not resemble the final cut very much. I mean, that was part of the process.
Jenna [00:19:30] It’s true.
Angela [00:19:31] It is, you know, something we we say a lot here is that it all started with you, Greg. Truly, like you just opened up this creative community on our show and you always cared about what people thought and and listened to us. And but but everybody. It didn’t matter who it was. You, you were there in the moment with them, hearing them. And I just feel like our show always, always was better for it because you made us feel welcome to be part of the process.
Greg Daniels [00:20:05] Well by that- but I think felt like by that time, by season six, we all knew what the show was. Do you know what I mean? So everybody was participating and hitting great things. And when I look at that episode, I just think about like so many different contributions. You know what I mean, like from the performances and various ad libs and the dancing was awesome. And you know, that was, that one was edited by Claire Scanlon, who went on to be a great romantic comedy director, now at Netflix. And, you know, to the choice of that ending image of, like that was her. She figured out where to put that in. And the intercutting was so valuable. And even that talking head from Jim about he was going to ask her like the Plan B thing, like, I remember, Oh, that was Danny Chun. He wrote that. And you know, there’s like different pieces came in from so many different people. It’s it’s fun to see everybody’s contributions.
Angela [00:21:06] It was. I laughed and then also cried, and I watched it with Isabelle. She loved it so much.
Greg Daniels [00:21:14] Speaking of that, I don’t know if you remember this, but I had my daughter was the was the the flower girl?
Angela [00:21:22] Yes.
Greg Daniels [00:21:22] So that was super fun, and I had the home movie somewhere because I brought my, you know, my camcorder to to tape stuff. And I don’t know if you remember this moment, but I have it on a home movie somewhere, where Ed took out his banjo and Creed was playing the guitar and everybody was sitting around waiting for it to be relit. And everybody was just sort of- it just it was the best vibe it during the shooting.
Angela [00:21:50] It was so great. We were all on this- the church had this sort of side outdoor patio, if you will, and we had chairs out there and there was a little field like a courtyard. And and your daughter was running around, Charlotte. And Isabel had come and she was on my shoulders and we were playing. And Ed was singing and Creed, and it was just so great. I took a beautiful picture of Jenna that day, too. She looked over her shoulder at me in her pregnant wedding dress. And I was like, I have to capture this.
Greg Daniels [00:22:20] Yeah.
Jenna [00:22:21] All right. So Greg, at the end of this very romantic episode, it becomes very clear that Michael is going to hook up with Pam’s mom. And we know where that’s going to go. It’s going to go toward the slap heard round the world. But I mean, what- tell us about how you guys conceived of this story.
Greg Daniels [00:22:44] The way things worked, right, is every season would begin with a vague idea of the big milestones. Like we would know Pam and Jim ought to get married this season because they’re at that stage. And, you know, you know, all these different things where you know, you have a vague idea of where you’re going. And then there is this this enormous amount of generating. And then you’d have all these funny things on the cards and you can see them and you’d be like, Yeah, well, Michael dating Pam’s mom has potential for like a lot of weird conflict and, you know, funny awkwardness and everything. And so that was the card, you know, and it just felt like a good throw forward at the end of this big episode that we knew a lot of people would be watching. And it gave Michael a little bit of success at the end of the episode in a funny way because he struck out so much during the episode, and…
Angela [00:23:38] I thought it was so perfect because, you know, at every wedding you’ve ever been to, there’s that rando hookup that you hear about after the fact. Some hookups make sense, but then there’s that random one, and I was like, Oh my God, Michael and Pam’s mom!
Jenna [00:23:54] But also Pam’s friend and Dwight. What happened to Pam on her wedding day? Why are all of her friends and family hooking up with her coworkers?
Greg Daniels [00:24:03] Yeah. Well, that was the whole like Dwight/ Michael story that became the whole Dwight/Michael story was the idea that they, you know, Michael especially is somebody who really thinks Pam is a special person. So for him to get to go to her wedding, like, there must be all these special people there. Like, I had a Seinfeld episode once that never got produced, but I was hired to write it. The episode was George startles a very beautiful woman who’s making a phone call at a public payphone, and she runs off. He’s wearing a ski mask because it’s freezing, and he freaks her out and she runs off and she leaves behind her, her Filofax. And he has this idea that he’s going to call everybody in the Filofax and try and find out who this woman is so he can get her, her Filofax back. But all of her friends are very beautiful, too, and he he starts to say, This is this is like the holy grail. I have the Filofax, you know, the black book of a of a beautiful woman. They’re all beautiful in here. I got to use it to try and set up dates with everybody. But so I think that was Michael’s idea was like, Oh, at Pam’s wedding, they’re all going to be great. They’re all going to be Pam’s, the various versions of Pam. So this is where we’re going to really score for the whole year.
Angela [00:25:29] Yeah, jackpot.
Greg Daniels [00:25:29] Yeah. And so then he ends up with Pam’s mom.
Angela [00:25:31] And I know it’s like, I mean, when you say Michael’s going to date Pam’s mom you’re like, Oh my God, but then they’re scenes together, the two of them and the writing and the performance, like, I was like, Oh, they’re kind of sweet. Like I had the moment where I was rooting for them.
Greg Daniels [00:25:47] I couldn’t believe the thing with the apricot fruit leather. That was hilarious. I had forgotten that.
Jenna [00:25:52] Oh, Greg, this has been so fun. Is there anything we missed? Anything else you want to tell us about this episode?
Greg Daniels [00:25:59] Gosh, I don’t know. I was just enjoying some of the moments- the comedy moments- like Kevin’s hair, and just when he comes in with his toupee on, I was just like, Oh God, it’s like Oliver Hardy. And he just comes in and sits down. And that whole subplot with Oscar. I don’t know. There were so many fun things in that episode.
Jenna [00:26:22] Yes, Oscar’s so horrified that Pam’s sister thinks that they’re a couple.
Angela [00:26:27] Yeah, he wants an apology. He’s like, Are you kidding me?
Greg Daniels [00:26:32] Yeah, that was great. I love the guy… I forgot about the guy- do you remember the the guy who plays the hotel manager who’s sort of like a human version of Droopy Dog?
Angela [00:26:44] Yes!
Greg Daniels [00:26:46] I forgot about him. He’s terrific. But there are so many good memories of that shoot. I don’t know that was like, I feel like we were really in our prime as a show, and it was just so fun and and it was so romantic and I didn’t get to go to Niagara. That, that sounded like a great shoot. You know, I loved seeing all the footage from that. But that must have been fun, Jenna.
Jenna [00:27:09] That was the first time I- and only time- that I left Los Angeles to shoot The Office. And it was really fun. It was just like- it was such a small group of us, you know, and… and it was really cool to be out in the world because we always filmed in such a bubble and the town was so excited we were there. And people would just follow us. They would wait outside the hotel and they would like, in a group, follow us to all the different places we were shooting. Completely respectful. But it was- it was a spectacle that we were there and it was just such a trip to feel that, you know, because you really- especially our show, but any show- you really make it in a bubble. You don’t get that kind of immediate audience response. And people were just so excited. John and I, I remember we like waved at people on our way getting into a car to go to a location. And then that picture ended up on like the front page of their local newspaper the next day. It was so crazy. I got it delivered to my hotel room and I was like, Oh my gosh, that happened yesterday. I remember that.
Greg Daniels [00:28:23] Yeah, that’s cool.
Angela [00:28:25] What’s wild to me is that Jenna said when they were on the boat, she was telling me that they had to make an announcement, Jenna and John. They were like, Hey, you guys, please don’t share any of this- because she’s in a wedding dress, you know? And can you- can we just all collectively- because you were on the boat with other people.
Greg Daniels [00:28:43] Right that wasn’t all extras right? Or were they?
Jenna [00:28:46] No. We were only allowed to rent out the front of the boat. And the rest of the boat was filled with paying customers. And so every trip that we took, we would make an announcement and pose for a photo, but ask people to please keep it private until the episode aired and keep our collective secret. And they did. It did not get out. Even the newspaper printed that we were there, but didn’t say why. They didn’t say we were shooting a wedding episode. They just said The Office is in town to shoot something for an upcoming episode.
Angela [00:29:23] We could not have done this in the world of Instagram. Like this? I mean. It’s amazing.
Jenna [00:29:27] No. No. We would have been TikTocked like crazy. It was really cool. I mean, it felt special. It was really cool.
Greg Daniels [00:29:35] I was so jealous when you guys came back and heard all the stories. But with the 50 episodes, I was like, There’s no way I can go to do that part.
Jenna [00:29:43] We were only there for like 36 hours. I mean, it was like we landed. We fell asleep. We shot for a day. We fell asleep. We got up and got on a plane.
Greg Daniels [00:29:52] Yeah, I like the footage of of the various kitschy things in Niagara Falls. That was that was also there. That was cool.
Angela [00:30:00] Oh yeah, I really like that because I’ve never been. And I, you know, Jim has that talking head about Niagara Falls. And I was so glad that was in there because I didn’t have a point of reference, you know?
Greg Daniels [00:30:12] Yeah. Well, that was the root of all the research that I had been doing about Niagara Falls. And after, you know, I finally got to see it like a couple of years later. But it was after the episode. I’d never been before.
Jenna [00:30:24] You know, for me, it was like it was breathtakingly beautiful to see the falls. And I was like, Oh, wait, I have to say lines, wait, what are my lines?
Greg Daniels [00:30:36] Yeah, I don’t we’re- I think- that’s funny that you’re mentioning lines, cause I don’t feel like we ended up using any lines. It was all sort of B-roll in the way it got cut together, right?
Jenna [00:30:47] That’s right. That’s right. But we did have vows that we were saying, but you don’t end up hearing them.
Greg Daniels [00:30:54] It was all under the song.
Jenna [00:30:55] It was probably a good choice because the falls are very, very loud. So I imagined that my microphone was like (makes noise).
Greg Daniels [00:31:04] Well also, like, you got weddings each time, right? Each take you had to redo your hair and stuff. Yeah.
Jenna [00:31:13] We had to dry off in between. Oh my god, it was like-
Angela [00:31:14] I so want to go. Like, I really want to go.
Jenna [00:31:17] I’ll go with you.
Angela [00:31:18] Will you really?
Jenna [00:31:19] Of course. It was so cool. I’ll go. (OVER TALKING) Then I can concentrate. Greg, come with us.
Angela [00:31:26] Let’s go to the falls.
Greg Daniels [00:31:26] Yeah, I went. Actually, I was shooting something in Toronto and I took a trip. Like, if you’re ever in Toronto, it’s super easy to get there.
Angela [00:31:35] Oh, from the Canadian side?
Greg Daniels [00:31:37] Yeah. Yeah. Well, you guys should be a special Office Lady roadtrip.
Angela [00:31:40] Office Ladies road trip. We have so many places we want to go. All right, Greg. Greg’s in. Writing him down. Greg, this was so wonderful. Thank you so much.
Greg Daniels [00:31:51] Yeah, thanks for inviting me. It was so fun to get a chance to watch it all again and remember it again with you guys.
Angela [00:31:58] Well, please come on any time. We would love to have you.
Greg Daniels [00:32:02] Oh, it’s my pleasure.
Jenna [00:32:03] Do you have anything that is coming out or anything you want to give a plug to?
Greg Daniels [00:32:07] Well, actually, this is a big couple of months for me. I have a reality show that I did with my daughter Hayley that’s coming out on HBO Max called My Mom Your Dad. You guys should check that out. It’s a reality show.
Jenna [00:32:21] I saw a clip of it and it it- tell us a little bit of. Because it looks really, really cool.
Greg Daniels [00:32:26] OK, yeah, so the idea is that people in their 50s who are single parents are nominated by their kids, who are in their 20s, to all go and live in a house together, like eight or 10 of them, so that they can have a second chance at finding love. And then the kids, what they don’t know is that the kids are living in a house down the street and watching everything. All the feed on like a bunch of TVs. And the kids are competing for the ability to influence what’s happening in the parents’ house so they can, like, put- match people up and make the dates go better if they sacrifice things, or they can screw up dates if they don’t like who the parent is dating.
Angela [00:33:08] Oh my gosh. How many episodes are there?
Greg Daniels [00:33:13] Eight.
Angela [00:33:13] Oh my gosh, so you can binge that so fast?
Greg Daniels [00:33:16] Yeah, yeah. And then Space Force season two is going to come out in like a week or so. So that’s something that’s pretty cool. So that’s Steve and a bunch of fun, you know, let’s see who else was on The Office. Tim Meadows is guest starring this year.
Angela [00:33:33] Oh my gosh, I love Tim Meadows.
Greg Daniels [00:33:33] Yeah. And then in March, the second season of Upload comes out, which is that show that I do for for Amazon.
Jenna [00:33:41] My gosh, Greg, once again, you were like double show running two different shows again.
Angela [00:33:46] Triple show running.
Jenna [00:33:48] This is your specialty.
Greg Daniels [00:33:49] This was- the last time was season six in The Office and Parks. And then it broke me for several years now this time was was during the pandemic. Yeah, I had another double up.
Angela [00:34:05] Triple up.
Greg Daniels [00:34:05] Triple up. Yeah.
Jenna [00:34:06] So like when when you go to pitch a show and then they’re like, We want to buy it, you’re like, Great, but hold on. I have to sell a second show first because I only like to do two to three at a time in a bundle.
Greg Daniels [00:34:18] You know what happens? It’s like you never know what’s going to get picked up, right? When you’re, I’m like an independent producer, so I’m out there flogging my wares and everything and trying to make things happen. And then, you know, you’ll go for a period of time with nothing happening, and then suddenly everything will hit at the same time and you can’t really control it. But that’s what happened.
Angela [00:34:37] Well, it’s all good stuff, Greg. We’re so excited. So you guys be sure to check out My Mom, Your Dad on HBO Max, Space Force on Netflix and Upload on Amazon. You guys, Greg Daniels. Amazing. We love you so much, Greg.
Greg Daniels [00:34:52] Well, thanks so much. This is so fun. And all the other Office Ladies episodes are all so great. Thank you.
Angela [00:34:57] And we’re going to Niagara!
Jenna [00:34:57] Yeah, we’ll see you in Niagara, Greg!
Greg Daniels [00:35:02] Yup, I’m there.
Jenna [00:35:03] Aw, love you.
Greg Daniels [00:35:04] OK, love you, too. See you later.
Angela [00:35:06] Love you. Bye.
Greg Daniels [00:35:06] Bye.
Angela [00:35:09] Love him.
Jenna [00:35:09] Love Greg. We could not be more grateful that he came on our podcast to talk to us about this episode.
Angela [00:35:16] I know. What a great way to kick it off. Well, we have tons to cover, Jenna. I think you need to hit us with a summary.
Jenna [00:35:23] I will give you a summary of what we’re breaking down today, which is Niagara Part One. The staff of Dunder Mifflin head to Niagara Falls for Jim and Pam’s wedding with strict instructions not to mention Pam’s pregnancy to her conservative Meemaw. Dwight and Michael endeavor to pick up a women and Andy injures his scrotum. That’s what we’ll be discussing today.
Angela [00:35:47] Not a sentence I thought you’d say this morning.
Jenna [00:35:50] I know.
Angela [00:35:50] Injured scrotum.
Jenna [00:35:52] Injured scrotum features heavily in this episode.
Angela [00:35:55] Well, a lot has been said about this episode. Jenna, we’re going to share as much of it as we can. There’s also two DVD commentaries for this. One is with Paul Feig and Greg Daniels. The other features our producer Randy Cordray, our first assistant director Kelly Cantley, Mary Wahl from our production staff, Claire Scanlan, our editor, Michael Gallenberg, our production designer. And Veda Semarne, our script supervisor. These are fantastic commentaries. If you’re a fan of the commentary, this DVD’s for you.
Jenna [00:36:27] Wow.
Angela [00:36:28] I know we’ve said this was a big episode. We’re going to keep saying it, you guys, but it really was. Claire Scanlon, our editor, said her original cut came in at sixty four minutes and she had to cut it down to 42 minutes and 30 seconds. She said it was actually painful to cut that much. And there are so many awesome deleted storylines. I’m going to share some of those with you.
Jenna [00:36:52] Well I can’t wait. You know, this episode opens with a lot of puking.
Angela [00:36:58] So much.
Jenna [00:36:59] So much fucking. We talked a little bit about it with Greg. We have more to say. Basically, we see Pam. She’s standing next to Jim, and she is asking her fellow office mates if they could just help her out. Her stomach is really sensitive because she’s pregnant and like, maybe Phyllis could use like a less perfumey soap. Maybe they could eat less stinky lunches. This does not go over well.
Angela [00:37:27] Oh no. People are not happy about it. They want to live their life at their office and not worry about Pam’s pregnancy.
Jenna [00:37:33] Exactly. They actually revolt, and Dwight purposely starts eating a hard boiled egg at his desk pod with Pam.
Angela [00:37:42] Stinky, stinky.
Jenna [00:37:43] Yeah, she looks him right in the eye and pukes in her trash can.
Angela [00:37:48] That was disgusting. Andy, then as a talking head and he says, watching people get sick always makes him sick. And frankly, so does talking about it. And then he starts to gag. This sets off the whole bullpen.
Jenna [00:38:01] Well, I have some fun behind the scenes info about this cold open. First off, Greg and Mindy supposedly wrote this cold open together on a Sunday morning in a diner. I just find it interesting that they were having a delicious Sunday brunch while they wrote about vomiting. I guess Greg is the one who came up with Dwight’s three ounce fetus line. And then Mindy said in an interview with Office Tally.com that we spent a very long time shooting this cold open because they kept stopping to have discussions about like, how much vomit should each person vomit? Should Ellie vomit on the floor? Should she vomit in a cup? How can we best show Angela’s vomit coming through her fingers? There was so much vomit detail work.
Angela [00:38:50] I want you to know Paul Feig was delighted that I was going to puke through my hand. He was like, We, we had to make sure we got it through my fingers.
Jenna [00:39:01] Well, it was in the script that way.
Angela [00:39:02] I know.
Jenna [00:39:03] It says that you try to cover your mouth and the vomit spews through your fingers. Craziness. Well, I also got a fan question from Faith B in Barryville, Virginia, who said, I was wondering what was used for the vomit in the cold open of Niagara part one. Well, Randy Cordray, our line producer, shared that our prop department actually had to create several different types of vomit custom-made for each character. You know, you need a different thing to spew through the fingers than you do to go in the trash can.
Angela [00:39:37] Also, in theory, all of these different people had had different meals that day. So no one’s puke would look the same.
Jenna [00:39:44] Yes. So I guess it was mostly soup. Different kinds of soup. But sometimes they put soggy bits of bread in it if they needed it to be a little chunkier.
Angela [00:39:58] I can tell you it was disgusting. And pretending to puke wasn’t that hard. Veda shared that there was extra vomit footage that didn’t make it in. It’s not in the deleted scenes on the DVD, but apparently Jim vomited too. But one thing they all could agree on in the editing room was that they wanted to end on Creed eating noodles in the midst of everyone being sick around him.
Jenna [00:40:29] Well, if you can believe it, the creation of this cold open didn’t end there. They then had to send it to post-production, where they added and enhanced our puking sounds.
Angela [00:40:44] To capture all of that, plus everything they were going to need for Niagara Part One. Greg shared that they used the shorter opening title sequence because it saved us nine seconds and we needed every single one of those.
Jenna [00:40:58] Well, I think we should get into this episode.
Angela [00:41:01] Let’s do it. Well, let’s start off right away with a deleted scene, Jenna.
Jenna [00:41:07] Oh!
Angela [00:41:08] This episode would have started with him doing a wedding vlog at home as her and Jim got ready. It’s so adorable. We have to hear it.
Pam [00:41:20] Hello, world. This is Pam Beasley, and this is the latest installment of my wedding video diary. This afternoon, my fiancee, Jim and I are going to Niagara Falls to get married after a half day of work. Woo-hoo! I’m get my marriage on! Sorry, I’m just really excited. OK, so let’s see, last time I talked about the difficulties of throwing a wedding on a budget, specifically flower arrangements. My solution? Paper flowers. I made these using a regular card stock that I found in the warehouse. Can you believe they were going to just throw that away? Hey babe.
Jim [00:42:02] Hey babe. You gotta let me know when you’re doing that.
Jenna [00:42:06] OK, so I totally remember shooting these. What is happening in the background there is that at the end of her vlog, Jim walks out of the bathroom in his underwear, brushing his teeth. And then he has to turn around and go back to the bathroom.
Angela [00:42:21] Yeah. He didn’t know she was vlogging.
Jenna [00:42:25] They built a little like bedroom for Jim and Pam, back behind where we would usually have lunch a little bit off of our set. And we filmed these little vlogs in that little room.
Angela [00:42:36] Well, they’re super cute. I loved them.
Jenna [00:42:39] Aw, well, this episode actually gets started with Pam and Jim arriving to work in their cute little casual clothes. And Michael is showing them how he has decorated his car for their wedding. His car.
Angela [00:42:53] His car.
Jenna [00:42:54] His car is decorated and has cans behind it.
Angela [00:42:58] Yes, instead of saying “just married” on the back windshield, he wrote, Going to a wedding.
Jenna [00:43:06] Oh well, Jim and Pam are going to ask everyone to come in the conference room because they want to give them a list of do’s and don’t’s for the wedding.
Angela [00:43:14] Already on the dry erase board under the don’t’s is make a big scene, cry, talk to our family- very busy. Under the do’s it’s have a good time, dance when it is appropriate-
Jenna [00:43:30] I liked that one.
Angela [00:43:30] And eat dinner. Right away there’s a heated debate because Kevin, I guess, really wanted to bring firecrackers?
Jenna [00:43:37] Yeah.
Angela [00:43:38] So Jim has to put that under the don’t column. And now here comes the big secret they really need everyone to not say with them.
Jenna [00:43:47] Do not say Pam is pregnant. Don’t do it. Don’t say it. Pam’s Meemaw doesn’t know. Don’t say it.
Angela [00:43:55] Angela tells Pam she’s lucky to have a grandmother. Jenna, this is one of my lines from the whole run of the show that gets quoted to me. I’ll be at Target and someone will say it to me. Well, you’re lucky you have a grandmother. Some of us have to be our own grandmothers.
Jenna [00:44:10] Hmm. Yeah.
Angela [00:44:12] I think Angela Martin and Meemaw would have hit it off.
Jenna [00:44:15] Oh, I so wish we could have had Angela/ Meemaw scene.
Angela [00:44:18] I know. Why weren’t they seated side by side at the rehearsal dinner?
Jenna [00:44:23] No kidding. Oh my gosh.
Angela [00:44:25] Well, Pam sort of retorts to Angela, you know, you don’t have to come to the wedding. And Michael’s like, Yes, she does. And he leans forward and pinches Angela. Jenna, Steve really pinched me. And that reaction is real. I really went, Ow!
Jenna [00:44:40] What was that in the script? Or was that just like a little thing he did?
Angela [00:44:43] No, it was scripted that Michael pinches Angela under her arm. But you guys, when was the last time someone pinched you like under your arm? You have an honest reaction when it happens.
Jenna [00:44:56] Sure. Well, Michael and Dwight are hoping a lot happens at this wedding.
Angela [00:45:01] Oh yeah, they are. You know, in traditional Dwight and Michael style, there was a deleted scene Jenna, where Dwight helps Michael pack. He goes over the list. You know how he does. Jenna, Michael shares that he’s going to bring 78 items. You need to hear what these 78 items are.
Jenna [00:45:20] Oh my gosh.
Dwight [00:45:22] Deodorant, toothpaste? Check.
Michael [00:45:24] Did you bring condoms?
Dwight [00:45:26] Yes. Extra large.
Michael [00:45:27] I brought 78 condoms.
Dwight [00:45:29] Aw man.
Angela [00:45:31] Seventy eight, Jenna.
Jenna [00:45:33] Wow.
Angela [00:45:34] Yeah. Hmm.
Jenna [00:45:36] Dwight has made a list of every one of Jim and Pam’s female family members and is going to break down their eligibility. Sort of.
Angela [00:45:45] Well, if you count whether or not they’ve sold their bicycle online as a dating status?
Jenna [00:45:52] Yeah, exactly. You know, we got a fan question from Lauren K. in Canada that I really appreciated. She said, I’ve never understood why everyone is always at the office before they go to leave somewhere. Similar to like when Holly moved. Or before Pam went off to New York City. Why are Jim and Pam at the office the day before their wedding? Why is anyone there if they’re just going to all leave in their casual clothes anyway? You know, Lauren, I don’t know. I don’t know what work they got done today. Perhaps Jim and Pam needed to come in to give everyone this speech. They saw the value in that one last speech to the group about Meemaw. But I agree. I think it’s very funny.
Angela [00:46:37] I’m just glad that Pam isn’t driving to her wedding in a pencil skirt with pantyhose.
Jenna [00:46:42] Finally. Well, now everybody’s going to kind of get in their little carpools. Michael and Dwight drive off in his decorated car. The cans are exploding. We got a fan question about that as well. John D. from Lakewood, Colorado, said, How did they do that? Was it real? Was it special effects?
Angela [00:47:02] I mean, the cans were real. I guess this gag drove the crew crazy. Randy, Kelly, and Veda shared that it was just a very difficult thing to get. It seems like a small little moment, right, in the script. But it was very hard to capture.
Jenna [00:47:16] Yeah, Randy told me that the writers were so tickled by this idea that these cans would explode,
Angela [00:47:24] that Michael would put full cans. You guys, you’re supposed to put empty cans. But Michael wouldn’t think that through.
Jenna [00:47:31] Yes. They started by just dragging some full cans behind the car, hoping they would explode. They didn’t. So they actually had to rig each can with a teeny tiny timed explosive charge to make them burst open. That happened. They burst open, but it wasn’t all that exciting. So then they also had to add like a sound effect to make it sort of louder. It was a very difficult little bit to pull off. But listen, this is a tradition, the thing of putting cans on the back of your car. Of course, I looked it up. I guess that this goes all the way back to a French tradition, Angela. It’s called- I’m going to pronounce this wrong- chivary. And you’re supposed to, like, create a bunch of noise after a couple is newly married. It was originally done where as the couple drove away people would clang pots and pans and other noisemakers. But then it eventually evolved into the can thing. But I thought you’d like this one, Angela. I guess in the Tudor period in England,
Angela [00:48:42] I was going to say, how far back does this go?
Jenna [00:48:45] Yeah, there was this crazy tradition where as the couple would ride away in their carriage, guests would take off their shoes and throw them at the carriage. And if you hit the carriage, it meant good luck. So there have always been these little traditions of things to do as a couple is driving away.
Angela [00:49:06] Throwing things at them, making noise.
Jenna [00:49:08] Clanking things. Yeah, but that stunt was a nightmare.
Angela [00:49:15] I have a driving stunt coming up.
Jenna [00:49:17] Yes, you do. You’re going to run into Kevin.
Angela [00:49:20] I fully nudged Brian Baumgartner with that car, you guys. And it was a lot of fun. Listen, I was going zero point zero zero zero miles an hour. It’s just a little tap, just a little tap. And we actually had a lot of fun doing that. I got really tickled. Everyone’s on their way to Niagara now. You have all these different pairings and cars. It’s really fun to see. You have Andy, Erin and Kelly, and you have Jim and Pam and Michael and Dwight.
Jenna [00:49:45] Yes, there’s that super sweet scene with Pam and Jim, and this is where we get, Oh my gosh, I just loved it… Pam tells Jim that her aunt told her to take mental pictures of the high points of their wedding day because everything’s going to go by so fast and they should try to remember it. And that’s when Jim uses his fingers and pretends like he’s taking a picture of Pam. This idea that Jim and Pam should take mental pictures was a pitch from Steve Carell. He had told Greg the story that he had a friend who would do this. And so Greg put it into the script for Jim and Pam. But when we read it, John and I, we didn’t get it like when we read the script. So Greg did that thing where he was like, Steve, come here, come here. Show these guys what you meant, the thing with the taking the mental pictures. So Steve kind of showed us and then we were like, Oh, we get it.
Angela [00:50:38] I just love that so much. And it goes to what Greg mentioned in the commentary, you guys, and also in our interview about how a lot of this episode was based off real life moments in people’s lives, and this is one of them.
Jenna [00:50:51] You know, I also improvised a line in this scene, Angela.
Angela [00:50:54] Which line?
Jenna [00:50:56] When Jim says, Oh, you blinked. That was supposed to be the end. And I improvised the line, We should have hired a professional to take our mental pictures.
Angela [00:51:07] Aw.
Jenna [00:51:07] I’m very proud of it.
Angela [00:51:09] It’s very good.
Jenna [00:51:11] So Angela, you mentioned that Dwight and Michael are in the car together, and I laughed out loud so hard at the beginning of this scene when you find out that Michael is asleep and driving.
Angela [00:51:24] Yeah.
Jenna [00:51:25] It was so funny. I also laughed out loud when Dwight says he made Michael a mix CD, something he can play if he brings a woman back to his room.
Angela [00:51:36] I mean, Dwight is a wingman, guys.
Jenna [00:51:39] I loved it so much. I felt like we needed to hear it.
Dwight [00:51:44] Hello, my name is Dwight Schrute. If you are listening to this, you are a lucky woman Michael has seduced. Ah, to be in your shoes. What’s next, you’re probably wondering? Don’t be scared of your night in heaven.
Jenna [00:52:01] I mean.
Angela [00:52:02] It’s so creepy.
Jenna [00:52:04] Maximum creep factor.
Angela [00:52:06] This scene made me laugh for something I was not expecting, Jenna.
Jenna [00:52:10] What?
Angela [00:52:13] I couldn’t stop cracking up. I don’t know why. Maybe I was just in a loopy mood. I don’t know if it was intentional or not. But did you notice that Michael is dressed just like his car seat?
Jenna [00:52:24] What?
Angela [00:52:24] He’s dressed exactly like the upholstery in his car. So he’s in all beige and the seat is all beige, and he’s just like a beige blob going down the road and it just cracked me up.
Jenna [00:52:37] I did not, but I want to go back and look at it.
Angela [00:52:40] Well, you guys, the gang finally makes it to Niagara. They’re pulling in to the city. For that driving sequence as everyone arrives to Niagara, Kelly Cantley shared that was filmed, Jenna, while you guys were drying off from Maid of the Mist.
Jenna [00:52:54] Oh wow. Yeah. For the most part, we shot this episode in Los Angeles, and all of the scenes at the hotel were shot at Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City. For the lobby area, we used an area that was under renovation that was kind of in the back of the hotel. Our production designer Michael Gallenberg and our set decorator Steve Rothstein, they basically turned this unused lobby into this fictitious Statler Falls hotel.
Angela [00:53:27] What an amazing job. I mean, everything from like the fireplace, all of it that you see, they put in there.
Jenna [00:53:33] Everything. All the hotel rooms, they were upstairs on the second floor. It was an unused wing of the hotel that was undergoing a renovation at the time. They were empty, so literally everything you see was added by our design crews, which I just think is amazing. And lady, do you remember when we talked to Ed Helms about when he started on The Office, he stayed at Sportsman’s Lodge?
Angela [00:54:00] Yeah, that’s where they put him up.
Jenna [00:54:01] Yes! Incidentally, when Lee and I got married, Sportsman’s Lodge was down the street from our house and we found out that you could buy a day pass for their swimming pool. They have a huge swimming pool like an Olympic sized swimming pool. And so whenever my family would come to town, we would get day passes for the Sportsman’s Lodge swimming pool Jenna.
Angela [00:54:25] My dad loved the Sportsman’s Lodge. We would go there and swim and hang out. And you and I often met there for breakfast because they had a fantastic breakfast.
Jenna [00:54:35] They had an amazing little breakfast diner restaurant thing. Well, Randy also shared with me that we had to do a table read for one of our upcoming episodes while we were shooting at Sportsman’s Lodge, and they put us in this conference room, but it had a huge window right onto the swimming pool. He said we got a lot of looky loos. A lot of people like in their bathing suits and towels, just like walking by watching us read an episode of The Office.
Angela [00:55:02] Also, try concentrating on reading and delivering a line as like some guy is chasing after a beach ball. In his swim trunks. Well, now Jim and Pam are going to check in to their hotel room. And I want you guys to look at eight minutes, 41 seconds. There is a beautiful photo, a huge picture in the lobby of Niagara Falls. Of the actual falls. Well, that was taken by our very own Michael Gallenberg. Randy and Michael had gone there to scout, and on their scouting trip, Michael took that picture and blew it up really big and made it part of the lobby decoration.
Jenna [00:55:38] Oh, I love that detail. During this scene, Jim and Pam make it clear that they’re going to get individual rooms tonight, and then the next night they’re going to check into the Honeymoon Suite. But they’re wondering, like, can we just take a peek at it? We just want to look at it. And the hotel desk clerk is like, Oh, I’m sorry. Someone has that room tonight. And that someone is Andy. Andy is staying in the honeymoon suite!
Angela [00:56:02] The night before. And he’s like, I’ll break it in for you, guys.
Jenna [00:56:04] John delivers this line. It was in the script. I had to look it up because the way he did it was so funny, I thought maybe he made it up on the fly. He just says, I do not like that. I do not like that. It’s so great. Well, listen, I have a guest star alert that is near and dear to my heart. The woman who plays the front desk clerk throughout this episode is my friend Michelle Gunn. Now I have known Michel for so long, and she auditioned for The Office six times for six different roles before landing this one.
Angela [00:56:41] I didn’t know that.
Jenna [00:56:43] Yes, and she would get to the final callbacks and then they’d give the role to someone else. But Allison Jones kept bringing her back. We would always be so bummed when she didn’t get a role, but then she got this huge role where she got to interact with almost every cast member. She got to be directed by Paul Feig, and she got paid for two different episodes. So we were so excited. We were like, Oh my gosh, this is that story where like every job you didn’t get leads to the job you absolutely were meant to have.
Angela [00:57:16] How fun.
Jenna [00:57:18] And she’s so good in it. She’s so good.
Angela [00:57:20] Oh, she crushed it.
Jenna [00:57:22] I want you to know I noticed a background catch in this scene, Angela. It’s really quick.
Angela [00:57:28] What you got?
Jenna [00:57:29] OK. There is like a little announcement board that sort of says all the other things that are happening at the hotel on this night.
Angela [00:57:39] Oh, what’s it say?
Jenna [00:57:40] All right.
Angela [00:57:41] I live for this, by the way, and I’m sad I missed it, so I cannot wait to hear.
Jenna [00:57:46] Well, in addition to Jim and Pam’s rehearsal dinner, you could also attend the Moose Lodge meeting at seven p.m. in the Elk Room. Or Senior Poker Friday at five p.m. in the River Room. Or perhaps you’d like to go to the O’Brien Retirement Party at eight p.m. in the reception hall. I also noticed this tidbit. I know exactly when Jim and Pam’s wedding reception is because it’s on the board. It’s two p.m. the next day in the falls room. So they had like, I guess, like a noonish wedding. Well, someone’s going to get some bad news when they try to check into the hotel. And that person is Michael, because I guess he thought you could just show up and say you want a room with the Beasley Halpert block.
Angela [00:58:35] And you would have a room.
Jenna [00:58:36] That’s not how it works.
Angela [00:58:37] Oh, Michael.
Jenna [00:58:39] So Michael is going to try to weasel himself into other people’s rooms.
Angela [00:58:44] Of course no one wants Michael in their room. The only person who’s nice enough to say, Michael, you could have the other bed is Toby and Michael’s like, Hell, no, Toby.
Jenna [00:58:53] I know. You know, Stanley is going to arrive to check in with not his wife.
Angela [00:59:00] Cynthia.
Jenna [00:59:01] Cynthia. Played by Algerita Wynn Lewis. This is a bit scandalous. I’m surprised Angela didn’t have something to say about this.
Angela [00:59:12] Angela was consumed with the fact that Pam was getting married while pregnant. She could barely focus on anything else.
Jenna [00:59:18] That’s right. She was focusing all her shame in that one direction.
Angela [00:59:23] I love that Michael goes up to Jim and Pam and asks, When is he making his speech? And says because he’d like to go third to bat clean up.
Jenna [00:59:32] Yeah. This is where we are going to meet Jim’s parents for the first time. We have Betsy Halpert, played by Perry Smith and Gerald Halpert, played by Robert Pine, who is the father of actor Chris Pine.
Angela [00:59:46] People were so excited.
Jenna [00:59:48] We were a little bit excited.
Angela [00:59:50] First of all, he’s a lovely, lovely person and was so nice to everyone. But there are a few folks excited that Chris Pine’s dad was there.
Jenna [00:59:56] It’s true, even though Robert Pine is like an incredibly successful actor in his own right.
Angela [01:00:01] I know.
Jenna [01:00:04] Well, listen, Pam and Jim are pointing out Meemaw to Jim’s parents, and she says, Meemaw is the woman in teal talking to my mom. Now, that was confusing to some viewers because, you know, we met Pam’s mom in the Sexual Harassment episode in season two. And the woman that we met as Pam’s mom was not standing over by the woman in teal because in this episode, Pam has a new mom. We had to cast a new actress as Pam’s mom. The original actress who played Pam’s mom was Shannon Cochran. She was on tour doing a play. She was doing August Osage County, and we could not get her for this episode. Randy actually talked about this. He said this was a really difficult episode to schedule because we had so many different guest stars, many of whom we had established in previous episodes. We had to get the same people. We even had to shoot on two Saturdays. I don’t know if you remember that, Angela, but in order to get everybody in the same room together for the wedding part, we actually shot on Saturdays. The one person we couldn’t get was Shannon. The writers talked about this. They felt that we had to have Pam’s mom at the wedding. They did not-
Angela [01:01:25] Of course. Pam can’t get married without her mom.
Jenna [01:01:27] No, they did not want to manufacture some kind of drama like that Pam’s mom didn’t come.
Angela [01:01:33] Right.
Jenna [01:01:34] Plus, they really wanted to introduce that storyline between Michael and Pam’s mom. And that was an important storyline for this season. And it looked like Shannon’s tour schedule was going to bump into that as well, so they made the decision to recast the role. Pam’s new mom was played by Linda Pearl. When I met her, I was really struck with how alike we look. It’s funny because the original actress Shannon kind of looks like my real mom, but I thought Linda looked kind of like me. I actually thought she looked like she could be my big sister. And we were doing the math and we were like, Wait, actually, like, we’re not that far apart in age. Like, she would have been 19 when she had me.
Angela [01:02:21] Little bit of Hollywood magic there, a little fudging.
Jenna [01:02:23] They tried to play it up with, like her hair, makeup, wardrobe. But here’s something crazy. She’s been acting for forever. She had been on Happy Days.
Angela [01:02:32] How cool is that?
Jenna [01:02:33] Isn’t that crazy? Well, Linda was delightful. I loved getting to work with her.
Angela [01:02:39] At 11 minutes, three seconds, people are making their way into where the rehearsal dinner is. There is a sign that says Beasley/ Halpret. Now, Halpret is spelled wrong. And some people on the internet at the time were like, Oh my gosh, they spelled Jim’s last name wrong. Veda shared on the commentary that was intentional. That was like a little joke, a little hidden gem, a little nugget, you know, that the hotel staff had spelled his name wrong. So that was meant to be, you guys.
Jenna [01:03:08] Yes, Angela. On that little sign that I mentioned earlier, every time it’s supposed to say Halpert, it says Halpret. It’s like a running joke. You can find many Halprets.
Angela [01:03:19] The other information on the sign reads like this: wedding rehearsal dinner 7 to 8:40 p.m.
Jenna [01:03:27] Yeah, guys, you’ve got to get out at 8:40.
Angela [01:03:29] Got to get out. 8:40, you’re out. You have an hour and 40 minutes. Eat up, make your toast, get out the door. And it is taking place in the Passion Package room.
Jenna [01:03:39] Wow. I can tell you that we filmed all of these rehearsal dinner scenes at the famous Smokehouse restaurant in Burbank. I don’t know if you remember Angela, but at the time I lived in walking distance from The Smokehouse.
Angela [01:03:55] Oh, you were so excited when we were filming there.
Jenna [01:03:58] I would walk home for lunch and I’d have lunch with Lee. It was so great. And guys, listen, the Smokehouse is a very famous restaurant. It is right across the street from Warner Brothers Studios. So a lot of like movie executives and actors eat there. I guess George Clooney even named his production company after the Smokehouse restaurant.
Angela [01:04:21] Yeah, because he filmed on the Warner Brothers lot and he would walk over there. That’s the Hollywood lore, anyway.
Jenna [01:04:27] Well, the original Smokehouse only seated 46 people. I found a whole little video documentary about it. And I thought we should listen to a little audio clip about its history.
Angela [01:04:38] Great.
Unidentified [01:04:40] The original Smokehouse was started here at Riverside and Pass in Burbank in 1946 by two Lockheed engineers, Jim Stockton and Jack Monroe. Jim was the promoter and frontman and Jack was the cook. Opening night was attended by such neighborhood luminaries as Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Soon after, all 46 seats were regularly filled to capacity and it was time to look for larger quarters. As fate would have it, the Red Coach Inn, built by Danny Kaye but never opened, was available and in 1948 became the permanent home of The Smokehouse. By 1952, Jim’s younger brother, Stan, was running the restaurant, and chef John L. Sullivan’s unique recipe for garlic bread made The Smokehouse the largest purveyor of French bread west of the Mississippi.
Jenna [01:05:24] Yeah, like their garlic bread was like the thing. It’s still the thing. It brought in all the celebs. I guess the new location could seat like 500 people. Here is a list of the people that would go to The Smokehouse for this bread. Errol Flynn, Judy Garland, Robert Redford. But The Smokehouse was known for respecting the privacy of celebrities. They would never sell a story to the tabloids. And when I first moved to Los Angeles, Angela, I had a friend who told me that once a week they would go eat lunch at The Smokehouse to try to get discovered by executives who were coming there for lunch. It never happened. They never they never got discovered.
Angela [01:06:12] I just want that guy in the ad to do something for Office Ladies. Two gals, Angela Kinsey, Jenna Fischer, Sam Keiffer, Cassi Jerkins, sitting around talking about TV.
Jenna [01:06:28] You get a sense of like the mood of The Smokehouse when you listen to that.
Angela [01:06:32] For sure. Well, I think we should take a break. And when we come back, Dwight is going to hold court at the kids table and we’re going to meet Pam’s sister?
Jenna [01:06:41] Oh yeah.
Angela [01:06:41] What? Pam has had a sister this whole time?
Jenna [01:06:46] Yeah, and she’s like a famous actress.
Angela [01:06:50] We’ll be back. We are back and I can’t wait because we’re about to talk to Meemaw.
Jenna [01:06:58] Oh yes, Meemaw, played by the amazing Peggy Stewart. First of all, I just want to say that I loved the detail that Meemaw had her napkin tucked into her blouse like a bib. Did you notice this?
Angela [01:07:17] I did. She wasn’t going to mess up her outfit.
Jenna [01:07:19] No, she was not.
Angela [01:07:20] I bet she also has a little rain bonnet for her hair.
Jenna [01:07:25] My grandma had one of those because, you know, she would go get her hair done once a week with the salon. And they tease it all up.
Angela [01:07:32] Angela Martin had one.
Jenna [01:07:35] Meemaw says that Pam marrying Jim might just be restoring her faith in that side of the family. And Pam’s kind of like, Oh, thanks, Meemaw. I mean, nobody’s perfect, but you know. And then Mama says she wouldn’t care to live if she thought that was true. Pam’s Meemaw is Angela.
Angela [01:07:56] I know.
Jenna [01:08:00] You know, when we were talking to Greg, Greg mentioned that Peggy Stewart, who played Meemaw, was in a whole bunch of westerns. But I mean, like, I can’t even tell you how many she was then, just from 1944 to 1951, just for that seven years, she was in thirty five westerns.
Angela [01:08:20] Oh my gosh.
Jenna [01:08:22] In seven years. Yeah. She also has a ton of television credits, like she was on Gunsmoke for five years. She’s been on The A-Team, Days of Our Lives, Seinfeld, Frazier. She died recently in 2019. She was 95 years old. She was a delight.
Angela [01:08:43] She was amazing, everyone loved her on set, she completely held her own with her scenes with Steve.
Jenna [01:08:49] Oh, don’t even get me started. I can’t wait to get to those.
Angela [01:08:51] I know, I know. How lucky were we?
Jenna [01:08:55] Next, Pam’s going to run into her dad and his much younger new girlfriend, Kristy Kelly. Pam’s dad was played by Rick Overton. Remember the last time we saw him? He was just down in the parking lot with just some off camera dialogue. Here he is. He’s back. He was so fun.
Angela [01:09:13] He’s back.
Jenna [01:09:14] And then Dwight is at the kids table.
Angela [01:09:17] He is, and Dwight is just crushing it with the kids.
Jenna [01:09:21] Well, he’s doing that fun thing where he’s not talking down to them, which makes an adult fascinating to children.
Angela [01:09:28] Right. And we see at 11 minutes, 52 seconds, Charlotte Daniels, Greg’s daughter, who I thought did fantastic.
Jenna [01:09:37] Oh my gosh, yes. And later she’s going to dance down the aisle. She’s got a whole other big moment.
Angela [01:09:43] And then Jenna, up next we’re going to meet Pam’s sister. I know we have a lot to share about this. I could not believe in sort of the canon of the show up to this point that Pam would have such a cute, fun sister and it’s never come up, and none of the guys- Michael would be constantly like, Pam, is your sister going to stop by? When’s your sister stopping by? Like, I feel like Pam- has Pam hidden the fact that she has such a cute sister because she knows all the fellas will be like just bugging her?
Jenna [01:10:18] Angela, 100 percent. I am convinced that everyone at this wedding from Dunder Mifflin is shocked that Pam has a sister. Shocked. I love it that she mistakes Kevin for Oscar’s boyfriend Gil, and Oscar is like, what? What?
Angela [01:10:35] He is so offended.
Jenna [01:10:38] He is so angry.
Angela [01:10:40] During the scene I have two background catches. One is behind Kevin and Oscar, did you see the enormous picture of Jim and Pam in a golden frame on an easel?
Jenna [01:10:49] Yes, I remember taking that.
Angela [01:10:52] I just remember that from going to weddings. Everyone has that one picture like their engagement picture in a big frame. I love that little detail. That’s hanging somewhere, Jenna. Someone has that.
Jenna [01:11:02] Yeah, someone has that giant- it’s probably in a warehouse.
Angela [01:11:07] Also in the background, Kelly pointed out that the fire that’s in the fireplace making it feel so cozy? Fakey fire.
Jenna [01:11:15] What do you mean fakey fire?
Angela [01:11:17] It’s special effects because there was no fire in the fireplace at The Smokehouse when we filmed.
Jenna [01:11:22] What? That is blowing my mind.
Angela [01:11:24] I know it looks really good.
Jenna [01:11:26] I should probably give you a little guest star breakdown on Pam’s sister, who was played by the lovely Anna Camp. You guys know Anna, she’s been on Mad Men, she’s been on The Mindy Project. She was the star of the Pitch Perfect movies.
Angela [01:11:42] I was so excited when she came to set because I had been watching True Blood and she had a great story arc on True Blood.
Jenna [01:11:49] Oh yeah. I reached out to her and she sent in some audio clips about her time on the show. Of course, we started by asking her how she got the role of Penny.
Anna Camp [01:12:01] Hi, there. This is Anna Camp, and I’m super excited to be on the Office Ladies podcast. I had the pleasure of playing Pam’s sister Penny in the wedding episodes in Niagara, and I had the best time. It was truly an honor to get to be a part of those episodes. So yeah, how I got the job. I had auditioned for Allison Jones, who’s incredible casting director multiple times for lots of different things, and she was always very supportive of me and always remained a fan, and I could tell that she was trying to find me something. I was actually doing a play in New York at the time, so I got an audition for Penny and I had to go all the way up to 30 Rockefeller Plaza and this super iconic feeling when you go up to audition at NBC in New York City. And I remember there were like two, two scenes that I did for the casting director up there on top of 30 Rock. And at the time, the character Penny was also the character who hooks up with Dwight at the wedding. So at the time, it wasn’t two characters because my friend Kellen Coleman, who I actually met on that Office episode, she played the character, the other bridesmaid who hooks up with Dwight. So they kind of split my role in two. I’m not really sure why they did that because I was like, Oh man, that would have been super fun. I love Rainn Wilson. He’s so funny. But anyway, I made a really great friend out of Kelen, and we’re still friends today.
Jenna [01:13:48] That was a news flash to me.
Angela [01:13:51] Yeah, I didn’t know that.
Jenna [01:13:53] So originally they were going to have Pam’s mom hook up with Michael and Pam’s sister hook up with Dwight? What?
Angela [01:14:02] That was too much of a one two punch.
Jenna [01:14:04] You cannot do that to Pam. I’m so glad that instead had Pam’s friend hook up with Dwight, I guess. But wow. Crazy crazy, that her audition sides were different. You know, we also asked her how she felt about getting the job, what it was like to be part of this episode. And here’s what she had to say.
Anna Camp [01:14:29] I just remember being so excited to be on the episode and wearing bridesmaids dresses and all of that and being directed by Paul Feig was just super exciting and I was originally a fan of the show. So of course, I was like already up to date with everything that had been going on, and I was a huge fan of the cast and just thought the writing was so superb. And I just remember seeing like these characters, you know that I had been watching, there like, I mean, obviously I’m an actor, but there’s something like a little- I was very starstruck seeing everybody hanging out and doing their thing. And just like these iconic characters, just people, you know, being people and being funny and improving and, you know, hanging out on their phones, talking. And it was just such a fun thing for me to be a part of, you know, pretty early on in my career. And I still, you know, see those wedding photos and I’m like in them. Like, how did I get to be in the wedding episode of The Office? And like, I’m a bridesmaid. Pretty, pretty surreal.
Jenna [01:15:37] OK, I have to say that when she was talking about like seeing all these people that she had seen on TV, just kind of like walking around, being on the phone, just being themselves like how surreal that could be. That totally took me back to the fact that Angela, one of my very first acting jobs, was in the movie Gigli. Do you remember this movie?
Angela [01:15:57] Was that Ben Affleck?
Jenna [01:16:00] And Jennifer Lopez. And I had a scene with Christopher Walken.
Angela [01:16:05] Get out.
Jenna [01:16:07] Yes, where he’s in an elevator. And then I enter the elevator and it has a funny smell, and I have to comment to my friend about the smell. And like, it was just like a little like three line scene.
Angela [01:16:19] Are you in that movie? If I go watch that movie, I’ve never seen it.
Jenna [01:16:23] I think I made the cut. I think I’m in the movie. It was just crazy because I was like, it’s Christopher Walken. I’m doing a scene with Christopher Walken.
Angela [01:16:33] Oh my God, Christopher Walken.
Jenna [01:16:34] How is this happening? And then, like, I didn’t have any scenes with Ben Affleck or Jennifer Lopez, but like, you know, you just see them like walk by in the far distance from their trailer. And you know, it was one of my very first jobs in Hollywood. And I just was like, I was in a dream state. It was so weird. I do want to say shout out to Christopher Walken. They shot his coverage first, which is pretty standard. You shoot the stars. And then they said to him, Mr. Walken, you can go ahead and go to lunch while we get these ladies. We can have someone else read your line off camera. And he said, No, no, I stay for all my work.
Angela [01:17:15] Oh my gosh, I love that.
Jenna [01:17:18] Yeah. And he stayed and he did the lines for us, even though he wasn’t on camera. And I was like, OK. That was classy. I’m going to remember that. That was super cool.
Angela [01:17:29] I have a Christopher Walken impression.
Jenna [01:17:32] What?
Angela [01:17:32] From the movie True Romance. I love that movie.
Jenna [01:17:35] What? What? You have a Christopher Walken impression?
Angela [01:17:36] From True Romance.
Jenna [01:17:39] OK. I did not know this about you. You’re my best friend, and you can do a Christopher Walken impression.
Angela [01:17:45] I really can’t. I just love this movie.
Jenna [01:17:47] OK?
Angela [01:17:48] Here’s Christopher Walken in True Romance.
Jenna [01:17:50] OK.
Angela [01:17:51] Your son, the (BLEEP) head that he is.
Jenna [01:17:55] Oh!
Angela [01:17:57] That’s it, that’s it.
Jenna [01:17:57] That’s as far as it goes? I mean, it’s good, it’s respectable.
Angela [01:18:01] Thank you. Thank you.
Jenna [01:18:02] Wow.
Angela [01:18:02] Your son. Come on, that movie is so good.
Jenna [01:18:07] We have gotten on a tangent here.
Angela [01:18:09] How did that happen?
Jenna [01:18:11] I don’t know.
Angela [01:18:12] Me and you on a tangent?
Jenna [01:18:13] What? So listen, Anna Camp also mentioned how doing this role was one of her earliest jobs because after this she would get her role on Glee, and then she was going to have a regular role on The Mindy Project. She said that when she was auditioning for The Mindy Project, Mindy remembered her from meeting her doing Niagara and that Mindy, like, really fought for her to get the role in a really meaningful way. So she felt like, you know, she was able to plant a lot of seeds by doing this small role on our show. And guys, she’s just the loveliest. She also has the cutest dogs on the planet. You can check them out and her on her Instagram at the real Anna camp.
Angela [01:18:56] Anna, thank you so much for sharing your memories. And you were just wonderful and that was so great just to hear your voice.
Jenna [01:19:03] Well, now Ryan is hitting on a lady, and Meredith is actively sabotaging him in just the best way. I loved it.
Angela [01:19:13] I know she’s like, You want to tell when you worked at the bowling alley? Kelly Cantley shared that for our props department, the continuity of this rehearsal dinner scene was such a challenge because we shot out of order. So in one scene, Meemaw might have her salad and the next scene entrees, and we were bouncing all around. And our props department had to keep track of all of it.
Jenna [01:19:37] You know what? I remember that. And they also have to keep track of which plate goes to which person. It is like a massive, massive undertaking to fake feed all of those people with a passage of time.
Angela [01:19:54] With a three course meal.
Jenna [01:19:56] Yeah. Oh, Angela, I have a fan question. It’s from Rachel B. in Austin, Texas. She says around 12 minutes, 30 seconds, why is Creed lurking over Andy’s shoulder for his whole conversation?
Angela [01:20:14] This is great, Rachel. I can tell you why. So this is really funny to me for many reasons. One is in the DVD commentary. Greg said in editing that he saw Creed creeping into the shot, and he was like, Why is Creed here? He has no lines in the script. What is he doing? Why has Paul placed him here? Because Greg wasn’t there the day that we shot that. Paul Feig said the only thing he can think of is that they kept trying to place Creed in all these random places in the background because there was a deleted runner that didn’t make it in that Creed I guess I remembered being at this one restaurant because he used to smuggle back in the day and this was one of his meet up places. And there’s a really funny clip, Sam, can you play it?
Creed [01:21:07] I know this place. It was home base when I ran cigarets over the border.
Phyllis ? [01:21:12] For who, mobsters?
Creed [01:21:13] I never knew. Balloon went in, the balloon came out. I didn’t think to ask.
Jenna [01:21:19] He smuggled cigarettes in a balloon in his body? Full cigarettes? In a balloon? What?
Angela [01:21:25] I don’t know, apparently. And then there were more scenes Jenna where Creed was in the background looking for his stash. And in one, he finds it. There’s a spy shot that got deleted where Creed is taking off the cushion in one of the like the little banquette seating booths and digs his hand way back in the booth and pulls out a bunch of cash and cigarettes. And he looks around and he puts them in his pocket and he sneaks off.
Jenna [01:21:52] I had no idea.
Angela [01:21:54] And so if you see Creed lurking about in these rehearsal dinner scenes, that was this deleted runner of him looking for his stash.
Jenna [01:22:03] Lady, are you ready for some speeches?
Angela [01:22:07] Oh, there’s going to be so many.
Jenna [01:22:09] They’re kicked off by Pam’s friend Isabel, and I got this fan question, by the way. Sophia B from Massachusetts, says Angela, you mentioned your daughter Isabel on the podcast before, and Sophia is wondering if they named Pam’s friend Isabel after your daughter, Isabel. Do you know?
Angela [01:22:29] They sure did. We filmed this episode in 2009. My daughter was around a year old. And the character Isabelle Poreba, who was Pam’s friend. Her name was a combination of my daughter’s first name and Paul Lieberstein wife’s maiden name, Isabelle Poreba.
Jenna [01:22:47] Hey. Well, the real Isabel was played by Kelen Coleman. She has been on The Newsroom, Big Little Lies, The Mindy Project. We love her, and she’s going to come back. She did four episodes of The Office.
Angela [01:23:01] She was fantastic.
Jenna [01:23:02] Well, now Jim’s brothers are going to give a speech. You might remember we’ve met them before. They’re played by Tug Coker and Blake Robbins. Tug told me that he improvised the line, a little mo cardio. And he said that they were a little more confident improvising this time around since they’d been on the show before. And he said that that little line is the thing that people text and DM him more than anything else in reference to him being on the show.
Angela [01:23:34] It’s like the thing that stood out in their toast to me.
Jenna [01:23:37] For sure.
Angela [01:23:39] Well, Michael thinks their speech is inappropriate and he’s going to save the day. He’s going to jump in. And you guys at 14 minutes, 28 seconds, did you notice that Michael delivers his joke about the smart car with his eyes closed?
Jenna [01:23:54] Yes. I loved that choice so much.
Angela [01:23:57] His eyes are closed for about 20 seconds. Paul Feig shared in the commentary that this was a choice that Steve made, and Paul was like, OK, and Steve just committed to it and did it.
Jenna [01:24:07] Did you notice that Meemaw puts her hand up to her ear to try to hear better?
Angela [01:24:13] I did.
Jenna [01:24:14] And also, I would like to point out that Meemaw is not at the head table.
Angela [01:24:19] Oh, oh.
Jenna [01:24:21] She is not sitting next to Pam, Pam’s mother and Pam’s sister. They have not allowed her at the head table for some odd reason.
Angela [01:24:30] Odd reason? I think we all know what reason.
Jenna [01:24:33] Listen, there are so many fun background catches in this rehearsal dinner. I mean, little things, like I notice when Jim starts giving his speech, Pam’s mom hugs Pam’s sister and they share a little loving look. Like everybody is in their character, and they are contributing these real, amazing reactions to this scene. It is so rich. I love it.
Angela [01:25:00] So layered. Michael’s whole smart car thing. It’s going to bomb. Pam looks over at Jim like, step in. And Jim does. And he does such a great job up until the end.
Jenna [01:25:14] He doesn’t. Yeah. Yeah, it’s really sweet. He’s saying really sweet things, and Pam’s going to take a little mental picture.
Angela [01:25:25] Jenna, Veda shared that that whole bit about teaching you how to drive a stick was improvised.
Jenna [01:25:32] Oh wow. Way to go, John Krasinski.
Angela [01:25:35] I know. But then you, you responded right in the moment too. So you’re right there with him. And Andy crying. Talk about just one of the things in the background, Andy crying in Jim’s speech I absolutely love.
Jenna [01:25:47] I know. That was just- that’s Ed making the choice for his character and our cameras picking these up. Well, listen, Jim is going to like end his toast by asking everyone to raise their glasses, except Pam, of course. And Meemaw is like, Why of course?
Angela [01:26:07] By the way, Meemaw’s hearing at that point was spot on.
Jenna [01:26:10] Yeah, exactly. She’s hearing all of this. And you know, Jim is like, Oh, you know, for- she can do whatever she wants, you know, but she shouldn’t drink because she’s an alcoholic. Wait, what? No, she’s not. She’s just, I don’t know. Pam’s dying. And Jim is like, she is pregnant. So then Michael’s going to try to help.
Angela [01:26:35] Of course he is.
Jenna [01:26:37] And lady, I watched this three times because it was so funny to me, and I think we have to hear it. This is Michael trying to help Jim and Pam.
Michael [01:26:48] OK, OK, OK. OK. What I think Jim is trying to say is that they had an accident and, you know what? These two people, they’re living together, they are having lots of consensual sex.
Meemaw [01:27:05] They were living together?
Michael [01:27:06] Yes. Yes, they were living toge- yes. And you know what? You can’t expect them to be careful every time because, frankly, it’s just a different sensation.
Jim [01:27:17] Michael.
Michael [01:27:17] When you come- well, am I wrong? They say it’s not different, but it’s a different sensation.
Jim [01:27:22] Oh my God, no, please.
Michael [01:27:23] When you use something to block- I think everybody knows what I’m talking about. It’s not necessarily different for the woman, but it is different. OK, OK, OK.
Pam [01:27:34] Michael, stop.
Michael [01:27:35] All right. My point is, I said what I wanted to say, and Meemaw, I hope you heard every word.
Jenna [01:27:44] OK, so I just want to say that Steve, definitely embellished some of that. Like in the script, they had that whole thing about, you know, they’re living together and having regular sex and Meemaw’s like they’re living together? And then Michael was just supposed to say, yes, and they can’t be expected to be careful every single time. You know, it’s a different sensation. But then it was going to kind of end there. So all that stuff about like, I mean, maybe not for the woman, but I think you know what I’m talking about, like all of that, just like awkward innuendo and extra was us playing in the moment.
Angela [01:28:28] Well, I remember how hard it was not to laugh during this moment. And Kelly Cantley talked about it on the commentary. She was like, we had to make announcements to the room, not just our regular cast, but all of our background performers. You guys, you can’t laugh. You guys can’t laugh. Because we all kept cracking up and we were all supposed to be horrified, right? Like, Oh my gosh, Michael.
Jenna [01:28:55] Michael’s speech here did not help, but he is going to save the day. Pam tells them, Guys, Meemaw’s leaving. She’s not coming to the wedding. But Michael is going to go to Meemaw’s hotel room. And what I love about the scene so much is that you are you’re predisposed to be like, Oh my god, Michael, stop making it worse. But then he’s like the Meemaw whisperer.
Angela [01:29:24] When he starts off, I was a little worried because he was like, Look, Meemaw, women have sex all the time now. You got to just, you know what? You got to let that go. And you’re like, where’s this going? But then they end up finding some common ground. And he helps her turn off her television, which was making her crazy.
Jenna [01:29:44] So my grandma in real life was a little persnickety and opinionated, and she ran a little negative. And the family, we would just be like, Oh my gosh, you know, here she goes, I had this one boyfriend and I don’t know what it was, but he would do what Michael did. He would be like, Grandma, you got to let that go. Now that’s just nonsense. And she would giggle. She’d be like, Oh, well, OK, OK. And we were like, What? This is the- what? How are you unlocking grandma right now? This is incredible. We were in awe. And that when I watched the scene, it reminded me of that.
Angela [01:30:26] Well, my grandmother, who I loved so much, but you know, she did not watch The Office.
Jenna [01:30:32] She didn’t care for it.
Angela [01:30:33] Didn’t care for it. Thought Michael Scott was vulgar. So proud for you. Will not watch it. At 19 minutes, 16 seconds, there is a Michael talking head out in the hallway after he’s left Meemaw’s room. Paul Feig shared that they shot that at the end of the day, and then the next morning when they got to set, Steve was like, Guys, we need to reshoot it.
Jenna [01:30:58] Why?
Angela [01:30:59] Well, I guess there was a line that just kept bumping Steve, and he was like, Guys, I just think it’s a little too much. When they first filmed it, Michael refers to Grandma’s friend as Myrtle. The scripted line was this: I’m actually great with old women. In fact, for the longest time, my best friend was my grandma. And then she met Myrtle, and now she thinks she’s better than everybody. And for whatever reason, the name Myrtle, Steve was like, It’s just too much. And they changed it to Harriet. And that’s the line that made it in.
Jenna [01:31:34] Oh my gosh. I love that Steve was so committed to just getting the nuance of that joke right. Now we’re going to head on down to the bar where everyone is kind of looking to have a good time the night before the wedding. We shot all these bar scenes in the bar of the Sportsman’s Lodge. Incidentally, we did a table read in the bar as well one day. We were just table reading all over this place.
Angela [01:32:01] This was two weeks of wonky, crazy table reads.
Jenna [01:32:03] It really was.
Angela [01:32:04] But they were really fun.
Jenna [01:32:06] And Pam wants to get in on this. She wants to go down to the bar maybe. She’s going to leave her room wearing her very giant necklace and big hoop earrings and her bangle bracelets. But she’s going to run into Angela.
Angela [01:32:20] Oh yeah. Meemaw is not the only fun stopper in town. Angela’s here too. At twenty one minutes, 12 seconds, the hallway where this scene takes place was not a real hallway.
Jenna [01:32:34] I remember shooting this, Angela.
Angela [01:32:37] Yes, it was a fakey hallway. It was a tiny nook. And we had to cheat it to look like a hallway. And they told you and I to hug the wall. So, if you watch the scene, we’re standing super close to the wall the whole time.
Jenna [01:32:50] And there wasn’t a lot of wiggle room like we couldn’t walk far in either direction because we ran out of wall.
Angela [01:32:57] Yeah. Well, Angela is going to talk Pam out of going to the bar.
Jenna [01:33:01] By offering to go with her to the bar.
Angela [01:33:04] And basically just chaperone her for the night with like a judgey sneer the whole time. So Pam’s like, I’m out.
Jenna [01:33:09] Yeah.
Angela [01:33:10] At 21 minutes, 34 seconds, we see the famous howling at the moon T-shirt that Dwight is going to wear to pick up the ladies.
Jenna [01:33:21] (HOWLS) Yeah.
Angela [01:33:21] Paul and Greg talked about Dwight’s T-shirt in the commentary. I guess our wardrobe department just bought it online and you can still buy this exact T-shirt. It’s on Amazon.
Jenna [01:33:38] What?
Angela [01:33:39] Yes. But guess what else? In May of 2009, someone wrote a customer review that went viral. Bryan Govern gave the T-shirt five out of five stars. His pros were: fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women. Cons: Only three wolves, could probably use a few more on the guns. Cannot see wolves when sitting when arms crossed. Wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark. And forty one thousand two hundred and seventy four people found this review helpful.
Jenna [01:34:13] That is fascinating, Angela. I am particularly fascinated by the fact that this review came out before this t shirt ever appeared on our episode.
Angela [01:34:21] I know.
Jenna [01:34:22] Wow.
Angela [01:34:22] Pretty amazing.
Jenna [01:34:24] Guys. You can have the wolf shirt. I kind of want one.
Angela [01:34:29] I know I was thinking that too. I was like, Do I need the wolf shirt but on a mug?
Jenna [01:34:34] Maybe I do.
Angela [01:34:36] Well, you know who doesn’t seem to mind Dwight’s howling at the moon shirt?
Jenna [01:34:41] Who?
Angela [01:34:42] Pam’s friend Isabel. And she finds all of Dwight’s chatter about his horses and farm so interesting.
Jenna [01:34:49] Yeah, the fact that he has nine and three quarter horses. How is that possible? He explains.
Dwight [01:34:59] I invented a device called Burger on the Go. It allows you to obtain six regular sized hamburgers or 12 sliders from a horse without killing the animal. George Foreman is still considering it. Sharper Image is still considering it. Sky Mall’s still considering it. Hammacher Schlemer is still considering it. Sears said no.
Angela [01:35:19] Well, when Greg saw this scene in editing, he was like, Wait, that was a list of alternates. Greg meant for only one of these to be used. Instead, because he wasn’t there, they thought it was a list. So Dwight ends up saying all of them. But then they actually ended up liking it, so they left them all in. But then they actually ended up liking it, so they left them all in.
Jenna [01:35:42] We’re going to go to Andy’s room next because the party is in full swing. I want to remind you, this is the honeymoon suite that Andy has for one night. And Randy Cordray shared with us that our set designers had originally designed this huge, heart shaped kind of like hot tub bathtub that was going to be in the room as kind of like an homage to the honeymoon suite. Well, they had design meetings. They made it. They even had pitched the idea that that’s where Michael sleeps because he doesn’t have a room. He sleeps in the heart tub. It was in the room. You never see it. It never made it on camera.
Angela [01:36:27] It was huge, and they built it in the corner. And you never see it.
Jenna [01:36:31] No. So there’s this huge dance off happening in this room. Andy and Meredith are kind of doing like a robot challenge.
Angela [01:36:40] Kelly’s like, what else you got? Because, you know, Kelly and Andy have a history of a dance off.
Jenna [01:36:44] Well, guess what? Andy’s going to do the splits, and he’s going to hurt himself.
Angela [01:36:51] He can’t get back up, y’all.
Jenna [01:36:52] Because…
Angela [01:36:54] He hurt his tt.
Jenna [01:36:55] Yeah. His scrote got hurt.
Angela [01:36:58] He did. You know, Paul shared that Ed pitched that he thought just the splits wouldn’t do that much damage, that Andy should have something in his pocket that he lands on.
Jenna [01:37:10] Oh, that was a good idea.
Angela [01:37:12] Yeah.
Jenna [01:37:13] Erin and Kevin are going to carry Andy to Pam’s door. Pam, the bride.
Angela [01:37:20] She’s the sober one. Everyone else has been partying. I get that. I mean, it’s- listen, it’s horrible timing for Pam, no doubt about it.
Jenna [01:37:28] Well, she’s gotta drive Andy to the hospital. And that’s how this episode ends. With that news on Pam’s doorstep. Listen, we had one fan question that I wanted to address. Amy C. from Charlotte, North Carolina said, My kids, who are nine and 11, noticed that Darryl wasn’t at the wedding in Niagara. Where was he?
Angela [01:37:53] Great catch.
Jenna [01:37:55] Amy, tell your kids we’re very proud of them over here on Office Ladies.
Angela [01:37:59] Yeah.
Jenna [01:38:00] So here’s what it was. It was decided that since Darryl was a close friend of Pam’s ex-fiancee, Roy, Pam and Jim would not have invited anyone from the warehouse, including Darryl, to the wedding. But I’m pretty sure the reason they had to come up with that idea is because Craig was in New Orleans filming a movie at this time.
Angela [01:38:25] Well, that’s 100 percent why he’s not there.
Jenna [01:38:28] Yeah. You know, Jim and Darryl are going to become good friends and they’re going to be part of an upstart business together, you know, in later seasons. But right now, that hasn’t happened yet. You know, right now, that’s sort of like Pam’s ex world.
Angela [01:38:45] Yeah, well, that is Niagara Part One, you guys. We’re ending with an injured scrotum. We’ll be back next week.
Jenna [01:38:53] We have so much to talk about next week. I mean, we haven’t gotten to the ceremony. We haven’t gotten to the actual falls. There’s more to say.
Angela [01:39:03] We hope you guys have a great week. Thanks for listening and sending in your questions and your comments. Huge thank you to Greg Daniels for being our guest today.
Jenna [01:39:11] And another big thank you to Randy Cordray, who really helped us dissect the ins and outs and background of this episode. Randy, we thank you so much.
Angela [01:39:21] Thank you, Randy. He’s also going to be helping us next week. He is the best. And thank you to Anna Camp for sending in audio clips.
Jenna [01:39:29] We love you guys.
Angela [01:39:31] Bye, love ya.
Jenna [01:39:37] 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 [01:39:53] Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton. 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.