July 12, 2022
EP. 128 — Secretary’s Day with Ellie Kemper
This week we’re breaking down “Secretary’s Day” and the ladies chat with the wonderful Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Bridesmaids) who played Kelly Erin Hannon! It’s Secretary’s Day and Andy convinces Michael to take Erin out to lunch to celebrate her being the office receptionist. Michael begrudgingly does so while also letting slip out to Erin that Andy was previously engaged to Angela Martin. Ellie Kemper shares what it was like to become a regular cast member and shows the ladies an iconic poster she took from the set. Then the ladies break down the episode which includes sharing a special deal “The Office” made with “Sesame Street” to use Cookie Monster and pointing out a pair of earrings that two characters each wore in different episodes! Aaron Schur also sends in clips on what it was like to play the waiter that gets Michael too many pickles. This is a jam packed episode, so enjoy!
128 — Secretary’s Day with Ellie Kemper
Jenna [00:00:03] I’m Jenna Fischer.
Angela [00:00:04] And I’m Angela Kinsey.
Jenna [00:00:06] We were on the office together.
Angela [00:00:07] And we’re best friends.
Jenna [00:00:08] And now we’re doing the ultimate Office rewatch podcast just for you.
Angela [00:00:12] Each week, we will break down an episode of The Office and give exclusive behind the scenes stories that only two people who were there can tell you.
Jenna [00:00:19] We’re the Office Ladies. Hello, everybody.
Angela [00:00:24] Hi there.
Jenna [00:00:25] We are back from our vacations and so excited to be back.
Angela [00:00:28] So excited.
Jenna [00:00:30] The irony is that we recorded this before our vacations. So we have not actually vacationed yet. But, in terms of it being released in your feed, here we are. Back from vacation.
Angela [00:00:43] Yes. I don’t know why that tickles me. We’re time traveling right now.
Jenna [00:00:48] We are.
Angela [00:00:49] In truth, we are recording on a Saturday because I got food poisoning last week.
Jenna [00:00:54] Yeah.
Angela [00:00:55] But everyone came in. Hi, guys. Hi. Happy Saturday.
Jenna [00:00:59] Thanks for coming in on a Saturday, everyone.
Sam [00:00:59] Happy Saturday to you as well.
Jenna [00:01:01] Today we are talking about Secretary’s Day. It is Season six, episode 22, written by Mindy Kaling and directed by Steve Carell. So exciting.
Angela [00:01:13] That’s a great duo.
Jenna [00:01:14] Would you like a summary?
Angela [00:01:16] More than anything.
Jenna [00:01:17] All right. Here it is. Andy tries to make Secretary’s Day special for Erin. He encourages Michael to take Erin to lunch, during which Michael accidentally reveals Andy’s past engagement to Angela, something Erin did not know about. Meanwhile, a spoof video circulates likening Kevin to Cookie Monster, which Gabe finds offensive, and he flexes his authority to squash it.
Angela [00:01:44] I love that you called it a spoof video.
Jenna [00:01:48] What would it be?
Angela [00:01:50] Maybe like a parody video?
Jenna [00:01:53] Are they not the same?
Angela [00:01:55] I think they are. It’s just funny to me. Spoof video sounds funny to me.
Jenna [00:02:01] Well, I want to tell you all, we do not have fast facts today. None. No fast facts.
Angela [00:02:07] You want to know why?
Jenna [00:02:08] Why?
[00:02:08] I’ll tell you.
[00:02:09] What is it?
Angela [00:02:09] Ellie Kemper is our fast fact!
Jenna [00:02:12] That’s right.
Angela [00:02:12] Yes. You guys, we spoke to Ellie earlier in the week.
Jenna [00:02:15] While Angela had food poisoning, by the way. You’ll hear it in her voice.
Angela [00:02:20] Ellie knew right away. Here’s the thing. We had to do it over Zoom because I was- I had to be by a bathroom. Sorry. TMI. And Ellie looked at me right away. I hadn’t even said a word and she goes, Are you okay?
Jenna [00:02:31] Yeah.
Angela [00:02:32] But you guys, we were so excited to talk to Ellie, and I didn’t want to miss it. So here is our interview with Ellie. She’s the best.
Jenna [00:02:43] Hi, Ellie.
Angela [00:02:44] Hello, Ellie.
Ellie Kemper [00:02:45] Hi, Jenna and Angela. How are you?
Jenna [00:02:48] Good. Welcome to Office Ladies.
Angela [00:02:50] Welcome. Welcome. Hello.
Ellie Kemper [00:02:53] I am so happy to be here. I am a huge fan of your show. I’m a huge fan of the two of you and it is always delightful chatting with you. So thank you for having me.
Angela [00:03:04] Ellie, you are a ray of sunshine that I could really use right now. As Jenna knows, I have a little bit of food poisoning, and I am this- you’re my first thing back from food poisoning. So congratulations.
Ellie Kemper [00:03:15] I hope I don’t send you back, you know, back into illness, but I, I’m sorry that you’re- I hope that you are feeling better. Angela, you are a trooper. I know you’re not. You’re not asking for compliments, but I’m here to tell you you’re a trooper, so I’m glad that you’re feeling a little better.
Angela [00:03:30] I’ll take them today. I’ll take it. Well, Ellie, we always start our interviews with asking each person how they got their job on The Office.
Ellie Kemper [00:03:38] I got my job on The Office in sort of a roundabout way. I met with Greg Daniels and Mike Schur, like, you know, at the beginning of 2008, maybe, when they were developing Parks and Recreation. And I believe, although I was never explicitly told that I was auditioning for Parks and Recreation, there was an untitled script that I read from in a room with Greg and Alison Jones. Nothing ever came of it. The characters didn’t have any names that matched the ones on what was to become Parks and Recreation. So I really don’t know what I was doing in that room with them. But that’s how I met them. Then later that, you know, like a few months later there was an audition when Pam went to go work at the Michael Scott Paper Company. There was an opening for a temporary secretary. And so since I had already met some of those big guys from The Office- it was two guysm that’s why I said big guys. I was, I guess, on their in their world, in their orbit. So I came in to read for that part. I read with Ed Helms. And then I got the call the next week that I had booked the part. So that’s how I got on The Office, you guys.
Jenna [00:04:50] Wow.
Angela [00:04:51] That is so wild. You know what, though? I remember, like, showrunners would do that if they had a project they didn’t want it leaked out in any way. You would go in sometimes and read and not really know much about what you were reading for.
Ellie Kemper [00:05:03] Right. Right.
Angela [00:05:04] And that’s kind of how you met Greg. You wer-e I’m sure that was Parks and Rec. You know, it sounds like it.
Ellie Kemper [00:05:09] It had to have been. I don’t know what part it was. Like I never- they wanted to keep everything a little tight lipped. But but yeah, I mean, you guys, it goes without saying. So that was that was the end of season five, I think that I came on. I was such a fan of The Office. So it’s like I mean, I watched it with my family. I watched it by myself. It was surreal actually meeting you guys for the first time because I was so familiar with the show and felt like I already knew you.
Jenna [00:05:38] You played it so cool, though, Ellie.
Angela [00:05:40] No, I would have never known. You were super like, Hey, what’s up? You weren’t. You didn’t go crazy.
Ellie Kemper [00:05:45] Oh, well, that is my finest performance because I was like, my heart inside was just, like beating a million miles a minute. With a sitcom they’re in your living room every week. You feel like you know them. I’m sure this happens to you all the time where people feel like they know you very well, even though you’ve never met them. And so I felt like I knew all of you, and yet you had never seen my face before. So it’s a surreal experience of suddenly working alongside these people who you sort of consider to be your friends, but also icons. And so it was all of that at once, and it was it was a lot. So I’m really glad you thought I played it cool because I didn’t feel cool.
Jenna [00:06:22] Originally, it was just supposed to be a few episodes, right? And then Pam was going to come back from Michael Scott Paper Company. And I remember discussions about whether or not Pam would return to the receptionist desk or do something else. And I had sat down with Greg and he asked me my opinion. He said, What do you think Pam would want? And I said, Well, I don’t know. After art school and this big move with Michael, I feel like it might be a little depressing if she’s just back at reception again. I would love some movement for this woman. And he agreed. And he said, all right, I think we’re going to make Pam part of the sales team and we’re going to move her to the dust clump with Dwight and Jim. And then that kind of opened the door for we need someone to sit at reception. And Ellie, you were so beloved by everyone. I mean, listen, there is a chance that Greg was making me feel like I had a part of that decision but the real story was, listen, we’re not letting Ellie Kemper go, so we’re gonna make you feel good by telling you we want Pam to move to sales. But because everyone was so excited for you to come on in a more permanent position, what was that part like from your end?
Ellie Kemper [00:07:42] Okay, Jenna, first of all, I have to say, first and foremost, thank you for your input that Pam should be promoted to sales person because you gave me in real life a job with a paycheck on one of the most iconic shows in television history. So thank you.
Jenna [00:07:58] I did not give- you gave yourself a job by kicking ass in that role. That’s what got you that job.
Angela [00:08:03] You won over in the room, Ellie. You really did. And then you showed up and you crushed it. So you’re the reason you were there. 100%?
Ellie Kemper [00:08:13] Guys, everyone is I just more. I need you. I need to listen to when I wake up every morning and you need to be in my bathroom mirror saying, God, you can do it. You can do it. So thank you for those very, very encouraging words.
Jenna [00:08:24] What was that moment when they called you and they said, we’re going to make this character a regular character?
Ellie Kemper [00:08:31] That was insane. So, yes, I think the arc was at first four episodes and maybe, maybe six, but then it you know, Erin stayed for the rest of the season. And then it wasn’t until June, so the show had stopped. I guess the show and that season ended in May. And in June is when they called my agents and then my agents called me to say that we want to offer her a regular spot on the show. And that that is like you have won the lottery, of course, because and which I do feel that I did, because not only creatively is the show just so spectacular, but I just felt so lucky to be working with normal people who didn’t have there were no egos. There was I mean, you were there longer than I was, but I there was no, like, fighting or like drama. It felt like a very, very nice group of people to work with. And it was. So I felt, again, like, okay, this is wow, this is my big break. And so that was an exhilarating moment when I got that call.
Angela [00:09:36] Our writer Gene told us that for your first episode- and this is so crazy, Ellie- that you were asked to perform the role of Erin two ways in every scene, because they were still trying to figure out exactly what they needed from your character. And so the one way we know her as, right, is just so adorable. And she just desperately wants Michael to love her and like her. And it’s so cute. But I guess the other way was like a sarcastic version. Do you remember this?
Ellie Kemper [00:10:06] I do remember that. And I’m glad you brought that up, because I do remember that specific direction, which was we haven’t really figured this character out yet. And so there were I don’t know if it was ever a take, but there were moments where it was- they were just sort of, I think, adjusting and like modulating the character in terms of what she would be. And so there were a lot of takes where it was just more straightforward and a little bit, you know, I guess I don’t want to say cynical, but just a little bit more serious, I think. But that’s not the direction Erin ended up going. But that’s very interesting to be there at the introduction of a new character and to see how the writers, the director and actors sort of figure out this new person in the office.
Jenna [00:10:56] Do you remember when they told you, okay, we figured it out. We’ve picked an Erin?
Ellie Kemper [00:11:02] Yeah. No, I think it was more I think it was more gradual. And honestly, it’s like I don’t know if it was just from talking with them in real life because I do. I did. Did you guys have experiences where you’d be like talking with a writer, with Mindy or B.J. at crafty and then all of a sudden you’re like, wait a second. It’s not exactly something you said, but something sort of related to what you said made its way into a script. I’m not taking credit for writing. I’m just saying that I think certain parts of my personality may have been incorporated into the aspects of Erin where you’re like ummm.
Angela [00:11:31] Oh, Ellie, we talk about this all the time. We totally say that one of the things we became aware of is having writers on the set, which is pretty unique, and having them as cast members that they were sort of always paying attention. And little moments of our real lives or things would end up in scripts. Very subtly, but they’d be there.
Ellie Kemper [00:11:50] Right. Right. And so. So then I’m like, oh to be a fly on the wall of that writers room. Like, what are they picking up? But also like checking what I say. I think I learned the less- not that it’s a lesson, but I think I picked up on that too late where I was like, Oh, right. They’re- everything’s material or everything’s copy, whatever, that probe is. But anyway, yeah.
Angela [00:12:08] And I love, love how different her relationship with Michael is than than Pam’s relationship. And I thought that was really important. She brought out this whole other side of him, and I loved it.
Ellie Kemper [00:12:20] I always thought of it as a father daughter relationship. And Erin didn’t have a dad, a stable father paternal figure growing up. And, you know, Michael, they have quirks that are similar, I think. And so they meshed. But yeah. Pam Like, I don’t know if it’s a wisdom or just like a ability to perceive that’s a little sharper than Erin’s. But that was not the relationship you had with Michael. I mean, Pam had with Michael.
Jenna [00:12:50] I think maybe Pam had a kind of mother son relationship with Michael.
Angela [00:12:54] Yes.
Ellie Kemper [00:12:55] Yes.
Jenna [00:12:56] Pam was a bit of like a surrogate caretaker. More of a nurturer. Tried to.
Angela [00:13:03] Steer him.
Jenna [00:13:05] Yeah, steer him. Exactly.
Ellie Kemper [00:13:07] That’s exactly right.
Jenna [00:13:08] That’s the word I was looking for.
Ellie Kemper [00:13:09] Yep, that’s exactly right.
Jenna [00:13:12] Well, I love your romance with Andy. I have been really enjoying that part of this rewatch, and I feel like that was one of the first things that really brought your character more to the forefront. And now here, Secretary’s Day. Big A story.
Ellie Kemper [00:13:31] Yes! Yes.
Jenna [00:13:32] I mean, what was that like? Angela and I know what it’s like to have a little bit more of a supporting role on the show, and then all of a sudden you get thrust into one of these big storylines and you suddenly have all these scenes with Steve Carell.
Ellie Kemper [00:13:47] Who is also directing. Like it was, that was crazy. And I didn’t have any warning or anything like it wasn’t until sitting down.
Angela [00:13:57] At the table read, right?
Jenna [00:13:59] What?!
Ellie Kemper [00:13:59] Yes!
Jenna [00:13:59] You just. You sat down at the table, read, opened your script and you’re reading it cold and you’re like, Oh my gosh. Or maybe you read it in your trailer 30 minutes before. But still.
Angela [00:14:09] That is my experience of like every script we got. Like, that’s how I found out Angela was going to hook up with Dwight. I was like, What?
Ellie Kemper [00:14:16] Right. Like 30 minutes. I maybe because Mindy wrote that episode as, as we all know, and maybe there had been maybe she has been saying it. I can’t remember. I remember having a discussion with her. She was like, Oh, it’d be it’d be fun. I can’t remember if it was about Secretary’s Day, but it was something she was writing and she had some idea for Erin. So maybe there was an inkling of that, but certainly not the A story. Which is such a thrill. And like you said, it was probably 30 minutes before the table read in your trailer and you’re like, Oh my gosh. And then and then like certain and like very seriously for Erin, who did have a very supportive role, that’s to say like a few lines in every episode, that suddenly you’re saying all these things and you’re in all these important scenes. And it feels it felt really, really cool. And not that there was anyone who wasn’t a great writer or director on the show, but I really love that Mindy had written it and that Steve was going to direct it because, like, you know, it’s he’s he he he’s so beloved. And then to know that he was going to be directing this episode, it just all felt very special to me.
Angela [00:15:23] Yeah. And you and Mindy were, you know, you guys were friends on set, you would hang out. And so all of a sudden, she’s there, too. And that must have been a great feeling that you had two people that you knew and trusted and worked with a lot up until this point.
Ellie Kemper [00:15:36] That’s exactly right. So it felt very like I use the word safe. It felt just like there was a lot of security there because I did know both of them.
Angela [00:15:45] I loved your driving scenes. I loved that Erin looked up conversation topics and she was just going to throw them all out, everything she had. And there’s even more in the deleted scenes. You know, I’m going to share them in the episode, but you look like you were having a lot of fun.
Ellie Kemper [00:16:02] Lady. That was like, again, fit eels like something that you offer as a prize at an auction. You’re like, oh, you can I mean, I know that I do this professionally, but it still felt like something that, oh, you get to um so the prize is you get to ride in a car with Steve Carell. You’re acting. He’s also directing it. And then you get to say these, like really crazy, absurd and funny things to him and like, you know, and there were just as I recall, there were a lot of just like alts and, you know, and just we kept doing those in the restaurant and in the car and like… I think I’d been in one driving scene with Michael Scott before that on for Scott’s Tots, and that was I think that was the other time I had been driving with him. But yeah, they’re such a funny pair. It’s fun to see those two characters together.
Angela [00:16:51] There were a few moments where Steve as Michael just is exasperated on how to connect with Erin. It’s so painful for him and it was so funny to watch him do those scenes because we don’t really see Michael like that. Michael just constantly wants everyone else’s attention and approval. So to see him not wanting someone’s attention is really funny.
Ellie Kemper [00:17:14] It’s so it’s like I was thinking the exact same thing. I just rewatched it and seeing him be exasperate, you never see that. He’s always the one exasperating others. And so for him to be out, you know, annoyed.
Angela [00:17:26] Yeah.
Ellie Kemper [00:17:26] I’m not sure that’s the right word, but is really rare and hilarious.
Jenna [00:17:30] Ellie, we got this fan question. It’s not even really a question. More of a comment. Reagan H from Boston, Massachusetts, wrote in to say, Shout out to Ellie Kemper for this episode because every single line that she delivers in the restaurant scene is Emmy worthy. Emmy worthy. She loves your performance. I have to agree.
Angela [00:17:53] I agree.
Ellie Kemper [00:17:54] Excuse me again. Bring Reagan into the bathroom mirror. I don’t know how I’m going to set this up, guys. I want to look in the bathroom mirror and have your faces coming out and saying encouraging things to me.
Angela [00:18:05] I think you’re on to, like, some kind of app.
Ellie Kemper [00:18:07] I think I am.
Jenna [00:18:08] I think you are, too.
Angela [00:18:09] I think you should sell this.
Ellie Kemper [00:18:11] It’s going to be something that projects up there and they’re just holograms coming. I’m doing I’m working on it. I’m working on it. That’s incredible. Those lines were written by Mindy, and it’s easy to deliver lines that, as we all know, that are written so brilliantly. And there were just like… I think there were a couple of times when Steve was like, okay, and then, you know, because we all know there was room for improv. I found that to be so scary. Like doing a run or whatever, because I think there’s so much pressure on it. And there were there were a few. I don’t think any made it into the show. But I remember I was like, I don’t want to have I don’t want to do that during the table scene. But it’s like it’s like it was such an opportunity for, for Erin. And then it was just like every line that was written was, was so pitch perfect. So. So thanks for sharing that, Jenna. But half of the work was in the in the writing.
Jenna [00:19:09] Well, my other favorite scene is in the conference room after you throw cake in Andy’s face, and it hits him with, like, a thwap. Like it is such a-
Angela [00:19:18] And it couldn’t have hit him better. Like his eyes are completely covered.
Jenna [00:19:22] Terrific aim.
Ellie Kemper [00:19:24] Thank you. Thank you.
Jenna [00:19:26] Really well done. But then you have this breakdown. You just and the emotion underneath it. And what’s so great about it is just how you really grounded it and some real emotion and real hurt. It was never just like, sort of like an over-the-top comedic take on it. It was it was so- it just really broke my heart for your character. I love that scene.
Ellie Kemper [00:19:51] Yeah, well, thank you for saying that. I, I remember I do have vivid memories of that day and episode because it is the first time Aaron really has an emotional moment and a full on, like you said, break down. And I was very nervous about that because not only from an acting point of view, which was just, okay, you need to find these feelings in there and you need to dig deep on this day. But also, I was really intimidated to do it in front of all of you guys. Because I did, again, there’s always that element of like, I joined halfway and like everyone is, I just did not want to derail any train. So I was like, okay, this is going to be the first time doing this in front of this group of people, something more serious. And so I just was very, very anxious that day. But I do remember making the target of his face and feeling like, okay, good, we’re not going to have to clean up the cake and do it again. That would have been I would have been stressed about that.
Jenna [00:20:49] Did you only hit him with cake one time?
Ellie Kemper [00:20:52] I feel like yes, I want to say yes.
Jenna [00:20:55] Amazing.
Ellie Kemper [00:20:55] I don’t want to brag and I don’t want to rewrite history. That may not have been the case, but I just remember feeling happy that it didn’t go on the wall. There wasn’t a massive cleanup. And I remember there wasn’t.
Angela [00:21:06] When I watched that scene, everyone’s reaction seemed so genuine that I feel like it was the first take. Because we’re all like, Oh, I feel like there’s two things happening. One, as actors were reacting to this moment, but then as just humans were like, Ellie nailed him.
Jenna [00:21:19] I agree with Angela. That is definitely our real reaction to the cake hitting his face in that scene. I could not have faked that reaction. That was-.
Ellie Kemper [00:21:29] You’re phenomenal actresses. You could have. You could have.
Angela [00:21:31] Rewatch the scene for the reactions. It’s just us.
Ellie Kemper [00:21:34] I’m going to rewatch.
Angela [00:21:35] I was going to say I was so excited because Angela and Erin got to have a scene together which rarely happened.
Ellie Kemper [00:21:41] I know.
Angela [00:21:42] And I mean at front reception, sitting over there in these hushed tones. And I remember that we had that scene, but I had forgotten the dialogue. You know, like I knew I was basically saying to you, don’t, you don’t need to be worried. Right? And then when I watched it and I was like, You’re throwing up for the wrong reasons. And our dialogue was so ridiculous, but the sentiment was so real.
Ellie Kemper [00:22:06] That’s exactly right.
Angela [00:22:07] And then to see that Toby had been there the whole time, it’s just like.
Ellie Kemper [00:22:11] It’s so funny. And it’s also and in my memory of it, before rewatching it, I thought it was longer and had more substance. Like not that it is, is, is inconsequential, but-.
Angela [00:22:22] It’s quick.
Ellie Kemper [00:22:22] That it is like it is quick and it’s mostly about throw up.
Angela [00:22:26] Yeah.
Ellie Kemper [00:22:27] So, yeah, so, so it’s like I thought for some reason it was more of a heart to heart, but it wasn’t. That’s really a funny line. You’re throwing up for the wrong reason.
Angela [00:22:37] Yeah.
Jenna [00:22:38] Well, Pam tries to have a heart to heart with Erin.
Angela [00:22:41] And it was really good. I thought what Pam said was so good. And I thought, Oh, maybe this is sinking in.
Ellie Kemper [00:22:46] I thought so too.
Jenna [00:22:49] No. Well, Ellie, another question we always ask our guests is if they took anything from set when the show was over.
Angela [00:22:55] Yeah. What did you take?
Ellie Kemper [00:22:57] I took something that I feel confident I was not supposed to take. It’s in my closet, so I’m not going to show. Okay. It’s that I don’t I mean, not that anyone can see it, but you’ll know immediately what I’m talking about. it’s in Michael Scott’s office. It’s “Music is the friendship of life.”.
Jenna [00:23:17] Wow.
Ellie Kemper [00:23:18] Or Friendship is the music of life. It’s that bulletin board, you guys, with all of the photos in a music note.
Angela [00:23:22] Stop it!
Ellie Kemper [00:23:23] Yeah, I have that.
Angela [00:23:24] Oh, my gosh.
Jenna [00:23:25] You got to hold it up. You got to hold it up. That is so amazing.
Angela [00:23:29] That is so cool.
Ellie Kemper [00:23:30] I mean, how did I get this?
Jenna [00:23:32] Did you just grab it off the wall and, like, leave after we wrapped?
Ellie Kemper [00:23:35] I must have.
Angela [00:23:37] And how cool is it? It’s got all the pictures of the cast and everything.
Jenna [00:23:41] Ellie, did you take anything else?
Ellie Kemper [00:23:43] I took Erin’s, it was like a ski- I really hope this wasn’t-
Angela [00:23:46] Oh, the boot?
Jenna [00:23:47] The ski boot?
Angela [00:23:48] The ski boot. Coffee mug.
Jenna [00:23:49] We love that you took the ski boot.
Ellie Kemper [00:23:51] Yes. Okay, good. I took it, but you’re gonna be mad.
Angela [00:23:53] That was Erin’s. That wasn’t Pam’s. That was never on Pam’s desk.
Jenna [00:23:56] Yes. We noted that. There was also a little bear.
Angela [00:24:01] Yeah.
Jenna [00:24:01] And we were like, is Erin a ski enthusiast and we didn’t know it?
Ellie Kemper [00:24:06] I never- was that question ever answered? I don’t think it was ever brought up.
Jenna [00:24:09] We’re going to we’re going to continue to rewatch. And we were curious if you ever were revealed as a skier.
Ellie Kemper [00:24:15] I don’t, I want to say no, but I mean, maybe we’ll uncover something that none of us remembers.
Angela [00:24:21] I’m glad we all have a little piece of the show. It was such a big part of our lives. Well, let’s see. Is there anything else? Like Ellie, is there any sort of favorite memory you have from this episode or anything that you wanted to share? A behind the scenes moment or anything like that?
Ellie Kemper [00:24:36] I was just going to say my favorite part of this episode is the end. I felt like that when Michael is trying to cheer Erin up on the bench outside, and it’s a really, really tender moment. I thought where it is this dad saying like, you can do better. And I mean, I’ve had those moments in real life where my dad is, like, I’m getting over a breakup or whatever and my dad who’s, you know, not normally emotional like that, would try to help me feel better. And that’s what this felt like with Michael and Erin. And it was just a great moment because, you know, we were shooting it and it was a scene between the two of us. And it just felt like Steve Carell is also saying, it’s going to be okay. It felt like a part of the cast in real life and it felt like I’m in the fabric of the show now and it just felt very special. So to be able to do that, of course, is something that I’ll remember forever. And it was I just, I, I remember that as being my favorite moment from that episode, to answer the question.
Angela [00:25:36] I love that, you know, it was such a sweet way to end the episode.
Ellie Kemper [00:25:41] I know.
Jenna [00:25:42] Yeah. I love those moments when Michael gets the opportunity to rise to the occasion. And. And he does.
Ellie Kemper [00:25:49] I know.
Jenna [00:25:50] And that was one of those moments.
Ellie Kemper [00:25:52] Yeah.
Jenna [00:25:52] I loved that scene between the two of you.
Ellie Kemper [00:25:55] I loved it. And I remember talking to Greg at the end of the series and and just talking about the show as a whole. And the thing is that, like, it’s such a funny, funny show. Like, that’s why I started watching it with my family. Like, it’s immediately relatable and really funny show, but it’s so rare because it has such heart, you know, at the center of it. I know it’s all been said before, but it really does. And in a way that’s so different from shows both then and now, which makes it, I think, stand apart. And I’m saying this as a fan, like before being on the show, I just, whether I consciously noticed that or not, it had to resonate in some way. So yeah, that’s that’s my that’s my take on it.
Jenna [00:26:37] Ellie, what are you up to now? Can you share about what you’re up to?
Ellie Kemper [00:26:41] The last thing I worked on was a movie for Netflix, which is a date TBD. It’s called Happiness for Beginners, and it’s honestly about a woman who finds love. So talk about heart. There you got it. But it’s a hiking movie. It’s based on a book by the same name, Happiness for Beginners. And we’ll wait and see when it is released. But they haven’t they haven’t named a release date yet. So that’s mostly what I’m working on and figuring out what’s going to be next. So that’s that’s it from these parts.
Jenna [00:27:11] Well, we will let people know when that movie comes out.
Angela [00:27:14] Mm hmm.
Ellie Kemper [00:27:15] Thank you, Jenna and Angela.
Jenna [00:27:16] So much for coming on the show today, Ellie.
Ellie Kemper [00:27:18] Ladies.
Angela [00:27:21] You’re so fun. Yes.
Ellie Kemper [00:27:21] You guys. This has been- I was looking forward to this on so many levels. It was such a pleasure chatting with you. I really want to I mean, obviously congratulate you on your book, which is like number one. Like, congratulations! That’s huge.
Jenna [00:27:37] Thank you!
Angela [00:27:37] Thank you so much!
Ellie Kemper [00:27:37] So, I mean, you make it look easy. So hats off. I mean, that’s really incredible. But thank you very much for having me, you guys. I, I, I adore you, so I was very much looking forward to this.
Angela [00:27:48] You made my day, Ellie. You made my day. You brought me back.
Ellie Kemper [00:27:50] Oh, Angela. I mean, listen. Angela. Trooper. That’s a lot.
Angela [00:27:56] Oh, my Lord. Thank you so much, Ellie.
Ellie Kemper [00:27:59] My Lord. My lanta. Isn’t that what they used to say?
Angela [00:28:01] My Lord, my lanta. (UNCLEAR) my lanta. Love you so much.
Ellie Kemper [00:28:07] Thank you, ladies.
Jenna [00:28:08] I hope we’ll see you soon again in person.
Ellie Kemper [00:28:11] I hope we see. I hope I get to see you soon in person, too.
Angela [00:28:15] Well, we are back. That was delightful.
Jenna [00:28:18] I love her.
Angela [00:28:19] Love her. Jenna, let’s get into this episode.
Jenna [00:28:22] Let’s do it.
Angela [00:28:23] I have some stuff about the cold open.
Jenna [00:28:24] I do as well.
Angela [00:28:26] Who’s going first?
Jenna [00:28:27] You go first.
Angela [00:28:27] Oh, okay.
Jenna [00:28:29] Well, maybe we should describe the cold open.
Angela [00:28:31] Nah.
Jenna [00:28:32] Skip it.
Angela [00:28:34] You describe it.
Jenna [00:28:36] All right. Everybody is gathered around Oscar’s desk. Whenever the writers wanted us to watch something at someone’s desk, it was always Oscar’s desk.
Angela [00:28:45] Facts.
Jenna [00:28:46] And what they are watching is a Cookie Monster video. But Cookie Monster has Kevin’s voice.
Angela [00:28:54] Yes. So, per Randy Cordray, this was actually scene number 15 in the shooting draft. It was not the cold open, but in editing, they did some rearranging. Well, I went to the shooting draft, Jenna. And guess what was the cold open in the shooting draft?
Jenna [00:29:10] What?
Angela [00:29:11] I love that I’m saying guess because you’re going to be like, I have no idea. You can tell I’m feeling better because everything tickles me. Everything is like, wonderful.
Jenna [00:29:18] Every little thing about life is making you happy right now.
Angela [00:29:21] Yes, it is. Okay, here’s what the cold open was. Interior conference room. Morning. Toby is running a meeting. He is energized and excited in a way we’ve not seen. He holds up a small booklet. Toby says, A Citizen’s Guide to Radon. This book could save your life.
Jenna [00:29:40] Yes! Toby’s obsession with radon.
Angela [00:29:42] Yes. That was the original cold open. It will eventually end up in the episode The Chump. But the one we went with, as Jenna shared, was when Oscar dubs Kevin’s voice. Jenna, there were many, many alts for the scene. First of all, it started with an Oscar talking head that did not make it to air. This was the Oscar talking head. Oscar: I was listening to a message Kevin left me and I thought for a second it was Cookie Monster. So I edited this together at home. And then that would have led in to the scene with everyone gathered around his computer.
Jenna [00:30:16] Oh, okay.
Angela [00:30:17] I know. Fascinating. I think it is. Oh, Lord. Here were some of the alts they gave to Brian. Oh, my gosh, Jenna. Oscar, I’m going to be late today. I’m stuck in a drive thru behind a bus. Bye. Hey, Oscar, I’m at the dentist. Turns out I have a cavity. Can you save me some cake? Bye. Oscar, I’m pushing the volume on my phone. Do I sound louder? Oscar, do my hands feel sweaty to you?
Jenna [00:30:41] Wow.
Angela [00:30:41] Those are all in the shooting draft. That means Brian as Kevin read all of those.
Jenna [00:30:46] Yeah. So I wonder how they decided which one was going to win. I bet they just dubbed them all and then sat around and watched them and decided.
Angela [00:30:54] Well, the two that made it in did crack me up. The first one is, Oscar, Toby said he loved my Girl Scout cookies on my chair. Have you seen them? Wait. I’m sitting on them. Bye.
Jenna [00:31:02] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:31:02] And then the second one is, Oscar, what’s the difference between a chimichanga, a chalupa and a tostada? Call me back A.S.A.P.
Jenna [00:31:09] Amazing. It’s funny. All of that is happening in the scene, but the thing I wrote down in my document.
Angela [00:31:16] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:31:17] Is this. I need to talk about Ryan’s outfit.
Angela [00:31:21] I know.
Jenna [00:31:22] That’s what I wrote down. He has on an untied bow tie. Here’s the crazy thing. I found an interview that Mindy Kaling did for OfficeTally.com right after this episode aired, and she talked about the untied bow tie.
Angela [00:31:37] Oh, mom detective. Do it!
Jenna [00:31:40] I felt so validated.
Angela [00:31:40] Do it, mom detective, do it.
Jenna [00:31:42] She said, quote, I take a lot of pride in the choice of Ryan’s undone bow tie, which is the infuriating style of some hipsters and hipster musicians. It has such annoying connotations of, I partied so hard. I am this unkempt. Or I don’t even care what anyone thinks of me. I am an iconoclast. Both of which are perfect for the smug Ryan. Because, by the way, it was in the script that he’s wearing an untied bow tie. Like, this was a Mindy Kaling detail, and I totally noticed it, Mindy.
Angela [00:32:18] I want to know where Mindy was when she saw someone that looked like that, and she was instantly, like, ticked off, like, how dare you?
Jenna [00:32:26] Yeah, she was like, Ryan. Well, Randy Cordray told me that getting permission to use the Sesame Street characters was not easy. It was a very long process.
Angela [00:32:38] I remember this, Jenna. I remember there was like scuttlebutt, like, what if we can’t get it? They’re like being kind of sticklers.
Jenna [00:32:46] Yeah, he said that it started off really easy, and Mindy confirmed this as well, that they had a conference call with the Children’s Television Network, which is now called Sesame Street Workshop, asking if they could use Cookie Monster. And they had kind of shown them the outline of the script and they were like, Yes, you can. But Randy said it was with the caveat that we had to show them the final cut for final approval. But they said, go ahead and shoot it. We think it’s going to be okay. Well, I guess after we shot it and showed it to them, they said no.
Angela [00:33:21] Yeah, that’s what I remember.
Jenna [00:33:23] Mm hmm. So they set up another conference call with Greg Daniels, Paul Lieberstein, Steve Carell, and Randy Cordray with the senior executives at the New York headquarters of Sesame Workshop.
Angela [00:33:36] Uh-oh.
Jenna [00:33:37] Greg and Paul said, Listen, this parody is really innocent. We are not making fun of Cookie Monster. We’re making fun of Kevin’s voice. So Randy was on the call. He said he could feel the executives softening to the idea. They’re coming around. Not quite there yet. Until.
Angela [00:33:57] Dun dun dun.
Jenna [00:33:58] Steve Carell volunteered to appear on Sesame Street in the scene of their choosing.
Angela [00:34:06] (CLAPS)
Jenna [00:34:07] Mm hmm. He said he would be in New York City soon, and he would do a cameo.
Angela [00:34:13] Steve knows how to work it.
Jenna [00:34:15] And they were like, Yes. I found his cameo so we can play it.
Angela [00:34:19] Oh, cute.
Jenna [00:34:20] Yes.
Steve [00:34:22] Hi, I’m Steve.
Abby [00:34:23] And I’m Abby.
Elmo [00:34:24] And Elmo’s Elmo.
Steve [00:34:25] And we are here to tell you all about the word “vote”.
Elmo [00:34:28] Yes. Vote.
Abby [00:34:30] Yes. Let’s tell ’em what vote means.
Steve [00:34:32] Well, the word vote means to make a choice between two or more things. And right now, we are going to show a vote.
Elmo [00:34:40] What is Elmo going to vote about, Mr. Steve?
Steve [00:34:42] Well, we’re going to vote to decide what we’re going to have for snack time.
Abby [00:34:49] This is exciting!
Elmo [00:34:50] Elmo can’t wait to vote!
Angela [00:34:50] That’s adorable.
Jenna [00:34:52] It was so cute. I watched the whole thing. So they’re going to vote on whether to have cheese or peanut butter and jelly as a snack.
Angela [00:35:00] Okay.
Jenna [00:35:01] But then very dramatically, there is a late breaking third candidate for snack. And it’s pizza. And pizza runs away with it. Ppizza wins. But it is really cute. But that is why we were able to use Cookie Monster and the Count in our episode. Because of Steve.
Angela [00:35:19] Well, that is stinkin cute. I love that Elmo calls him Mr. Steve.
Jenna [00:35:24] I know.
Angela [00:35:26] Kevin is very upset by all of this.
Jenna [00:35:28] Yeah.
Angela [00:35:29] Yeah, everyone else is tickled. Dwight says, send me a link to that. And everyone’s like, Yeah, send me a link, send me a link. Kevin appeals to Angela who is beside herself happy. She says, This is my favorite day.
Jenna [00:35:42] Ange, we got a fan question about it from Selena R in Long Island, New York. In these later episodes, it seems like Angela becomes more emotional and humanized. Do you agree? If so, Angela, how did you interpret this? How did you feel about it, both now as a viewer and as an actor? In this episode especially, I felt like I saw so much growth in her character. I couldn’t imagine Angela doing some of these scenes in the earlier episodes.
Angela [00:36:11] Selena, I love this question because, as a performer, my back story for showing more emotion as Angela as the years went on is that she was very guarded in the beginning around the camera crew. She is a distrusting person. She doesn’t like strangers. This would have been very awkward for her to have these people there every day. She, I’m sure, was very reluctant to participate. And so as the years grew and she became more comfortable, she just let her guard down a little bit more and showed more of her emotions.
Jenna [00:36:44] Right. So it’s not like Angela is changing, it’s just she’s changing how much of herself she’s revealing to this crew.
Angela [00:36:52] Exactly.
Jenna [00:36:53] It’s so funny because we never really talked about it, it just kind of happened.
Angela [00:36:59] Yeah. Naturally.
Jenna [00:37:00] Yeah. For all the characters.
Angela [00:37:02] Thank you for that question. I thought that was great. Andy has a very exuberant talking head. He’s super excited. It’s Secretary’s Day. He’s made a banner. He’s decorated. He said he’s so excited for everyone to celebrate Erin. He really wanted everyone to know to celebrate her. Listen to what he did. He sent an e-mail blast, a text blast, a good old fashioned talk blast, and a snail mail blast.
Jenna [00:37:28] Yeah. Also in his talking head, he says if it weren’t for secretaries, he wouldn’t have a step mom.
Angela [00:37:34] Again with Andy sharing random stuff from his past.
Jenna [00:37:38] We got a fan question slash catch from Ann O in Norway. Hi, Ann. Andy says he has a stepmum, but later his parents are still married. What’s going on?
Angela [00:37:49] Welcome, Ann. Welcome to the mystery of Andy’s back story.
Jenna [00:37:54] It’s true. I had to say Ann’s catch because I think we were all thinking it.
Angela [00:37:59] Yeah.
Jenna [00:38:00] Well, another thing is happening today. Pam is back. She’s back from her maternity leave. She is going to put a photo on her desk of Cece. At 2 minutes, that was a photo of my real niece, Cece.
Angela [00:38:12] Oh, cute.
Jenna [00:38:13] She’s also going to notice that her plant died.
Angela [00:38:16] Jim said he didn’t even know it existed. That made me laugh because I feel like my husband would do that. I have all of these plants. Whenever I travel for work, I’m like, okay, two things: change out my hummingbird feeders. And my plants. I always am not sure what I’m going to get when I come home.
Jenna [00:38:32] Well, Dwight said he chose to let it die.
Angela [00:38:34] Welcome back, Pam.
Jenna [00:38:37] Fan question from Caitlin C in Iowa, Is this proof that Pam was buying all the plants for the front desk?
Angela [00:38:44] Oh, I like to think that.
Jenna [00:38:45] I do, too.
Angela [00:38:46] Well, there was more to the scene. At 25 seconds, what would have happened, it was a deleted scene, is that Pam would find a very old box of cupcakes. That was a gift. Like a baby gift that was left on her desk for weeks. It was covered in fruit flies, and she had one of her drawers that was full of maggots.
Jenna [00:39:08] My gosh.
Angela [00:39:09] Mm hmm. Pam’s dialogue would have been, Ugh, who left cupcakes on my desk for six weeks? My drawer is filled with maggots. To which Dwight jumps up, runs over to the drawer, protectively, and says, Those are mine. I was breeding maggots for personal use. I have nothing to do with the fruit flies, though.
Jenna [00:39:27] Did we shoot that?
Angela [00:39:28] Yes.
Jenna [00:39:29] I have no memory of that.
Angela [00:39:30] It’s in deleted scenes.
Jenna [00:39:31] That’s crazy to me.
Angela [00:39:32] Crazy. But this is what was happening on Pam’s desk while she was away. Her plants were dying. There were fruit flies and maggots in her drawer. Randy did share, for this deleted scene, we used Bob Dunn’s animal rentals for flies and maggots. Trainers were Megan Frazier and Kevin Kinzer.
Jenna [00:39:49] So now Andy is really going to do everything he can to have Erin have this great secretary’s day. And that starts with going to Michael and asking Michael, what do you have planned? What are you going to do for her? And Michael says he’s going to give her $15. To which Andy says, I think maybe step it up. Like, why don’t you take her to lunch? Ugh, Michael does not want to spend a lunch with Erin.
Angela [00:40:14] Oh, no. It’s like Andy said, I think you should get a root canal.
Jenna [00:40:18] So true.
Angela [00:40:19] Michael’s expression. Well, the scene was bigger and it explained the whole $15 thing.
Jenna [00:40:24] Yeah, that was a very specific amount of money.
Angela [00:40:27] Well, it’s in deleted scenes. Michael explains the $15, and it leads into a Pam talking head. I think we should hear it.
Andy [00:40:35] I was just wondering what you had planned for Secretary’s Day.
Michael Scott [00:40:38] Oh, I’m going to give Erin $15.
Andy [00:40:40] Wow. Why?
Michael Scott [00:40:43] Because that’s what I always used to do with Pam. See, Pam decided that she would rather have the cash value of her half of lunch were I to take her out. So she promises every year to take that money, go to Cooper’s, and buy herself a sundae.
Pam [00:40:56] Yeah. I can’t believe that worked.
Jenna [00:41:03] That’s pretty great.
Angela [00:41:04] I know. I loved it.
Jenna [00:41:06] Well, I have a background catch for this scene. You know, earlier at reception, one of the gifts that Erin got for Secretary’s Day was like a little stuffed dog. Did you notice?
Angela [00:41:17] Oh, yeah.
Jenna [00:41:18] Well, at 2 minutes and 33 seconds in the background, through the window, I think Erin is like pretending to give her stuffed dog a drink of water.
Angela [00:41:28] Oh, no way.
Jenna [00:41:28] From a cup. And then it’s talking on the phone. She’s doing all this business with her little stuffed dog.
Angela [00:41:34] Well, Andy taped the phone to its head.
Jenna [00:41:37] Earlier, yes.
Angela [00:41:38] Earlier. And then she waves the dog’s paw at Michael.
Jenna [00:41:41] Mm hmm. Yeah.
Angela [00:41:43] She really is loving that stuffed animal.
Jenna [00:41:45] Well, on a rewatch, you can watch the stuffed dog show through the window during this scene.
Angela [00:41:51] I need to see it. Michael is persuaded by Andy, and he’s going to invite Erin to lunch. She suggests Hayworth’s and Michael is like, ehh, he’s not feeling it. But ultimately that’s where they go. I could not find a real Hayworth’s in Scranton.
Jenna [00:42:06] Same.
Angela [00:42:06] Looked it up. Couldn’t find it. I did find a great article on Mental Floss that gives you a Dunder-Mifflin tour of Scranton, of all the places that actually exist and that you can go.
Jenna [00:42:15] I found that same thing, too. And Hayworth’s is not on the list.
Angela [00:42:19] Two ladies that Google.
Jenna [00:42:21] Look at us go.
Angela [00:42:22] Googling the same things.
Jenna [00:42:25] I have a few catches in this scene.
Angela [00:42:27] Ooh, let’s hear it.
Jenna [00:42:28] At 3 minutes and one second, when Michael is approaching Erin’s desk, the front door is closed. But at 3 minutes and 9 seconds, the front door is open. Continuity catch, folks.
Angela [00:42:40] Ding, ding, ding.
Jenna [00:42:42] Also through that door, there is a picture on the wall that I have personally never noticed before. It’s some sort of I don’t know what. Mountainy or something. It’s hazy in the background. Did we always have a picture there? Why is this the first time I’m seeing it?
Angela [00:42:58] I don’t know.
Jenna [00:42:59] But here is the major catch from the scene. And this is truly major. And it is, in fact, also a fan mail flurry.
Sting [00:43:12] Brrrr. It’s a fan mail flurry.
Jenna [00:43:16] I love my new sting. At 3 minutes and 4 seconds, Anna H from Columbus, Ohio, Rudy D from Utah, and Amanda H from Boston and many more all said, Erin is wearing purple flower earrings in this episode. Are they the same earrings that Pam wore in New York for art school?
Angela [00:43:40] What?
Jenna [00:43:41] Yes, they are, folks. They recycled Pam’s art school earrings and they put them on Erin for Secretary’s Day. I took a side by side screenshot. These are the earrings that Pam was wearing in the hallway in Weight Loss Part Two.
Angela [00:43:56] What a fantastic catch. I’m applauding it.
Jenna [00:44:01] Super well done. I’m going to show you the pic.
Angela [00:44:03] I want to see the pic. Oh, my gosh. Exactly the same.
Jenna [00:44:08] Yep.
Angela [00:44:09] What’s going to happen next? She’s going to wear Meredith’s vest? What’s happening?
Jenna [00:44:13] Oh my gosh. I would love for Erin to wear Meredith’s vest. That would be incredible.
Angela [00:44:19] In the kitchen, there’s some people enjoying Kevin’s Cookie Monster bit. It would be Meredith and Darryl. They have cookies out. They tempt him to have one. So then Darryl can just go yum yum yum yum yum.
Jenna [00:44:32] Yes.
Angela [00:44:33] Kevin is starting to clue in that maybe they’re not making fun of Cookie Monster. Maybe they’re making fun of him.
Jenna [00:44:40] At first, he doesn’t want to eat the cookie. He is suspicious. He says, You just brought those cookies so that I’ll eat one and you can make fun of me. And Darryl’s like, I brought these cookies because it’s my birthday. Fan question from Timber B in Tennessee. Hold on. It’s Secretary’s Day, but it’s also Darryl’s birthday? Why didn’t the PPC throw him a birthday party? Poor Darryl. No birthday cake for him? He needs a Fudgie the Whale.
Angela [00:45:07] I don’t think it was his birthday.
Jenna [00:45:09] Same. I think he was just making it up to make Kevin eat the cookie. Kevin is going to go to Gabe. He’s going to show Gabe the video. I think he wants to know, are they making fun of me? Is this appropriate? And Gabe is not having it.
Angela [00:45:26] Oh, Gabe lights up. He’s finally got his cause. Something that will demand respect from the coworkers. His talking head is hilarious to me. He said that his beginning there has been a little bit of a fiasco. I loved it when he said, Some of them still think I’m the IT guy. That just cracked me up.
Jenna [00:45:44] I mean, some of them- probably Creed and Meredith- have not paid attention.
Angela [00:45:49] But the Cookie Monster thing is Gabe’s opportunity. He’s really going to show them that he’s the authority figure. And this starts a whole storyline.
Jenna [00:45:58] Well, lady, we got a fan question from Casey A in Canada. Am I the only one who thinks everybody is being too mean to Kevin? Maybe I’m just too sensitive and I’ve seen the episode too many times, but rewatching it now, it feels genuinely kind of mean. Thoughts? Casey. I’m glad you wrote in because I also kind of thought like, Gabe is right. He should shut this down. This is, like, not cool to do to your coworker. I’m with you.
Angela [00:46:30] I’m with you, too. I think it went across the line. But I will say this. I imagine everyone in that office hits their breaking point with Kevin. I mean, he did walk up to Pam and pretend to be a baby crying to see if her boobs would produce milk.
Jenna [00:46:45] Yes.
Angela [00:46:45] So probably there is part of them that just delighted in it for a little bit. But I think they went too far.
Jenna [00:46:51] Yeah, well, I totally get why the characters at Dunder Mifflin would delight in this parody video, but at the same time, Casey, I’m with you.
Angela [00:47:00] Yeah, I see it. Well, Gabe is going to address the bullpen. He’s going to tell them that he forbids anyone from discussing or sharing the parody video, and that is coming from corporate. So they better listen to it.
Jenna [00:47:12] Mm hmm. It doesn’t seem like anyone’s going to listen to it.
Angela [00:47:16] It really doesn’t.
Jenna [00:47:17] Well, now we are in the car on the way to Erin’s Secretary’s Day lunch. Michael is driving. He would rather not talk. He’s hoping that he could listen to his audiobook, which is a novelization of the movie Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire. Per Randy Cordray, all of these driving scenes were filmed on Burbank Boulevard near Balboa Park, which was our go to street. There’s no palm trees on this street. I love that it was someone’s job to drive around the vicinity of where we shoot, looking for stretches of road with no palm trees. Like that was their job. They’re like, Go find me a street with no palm trees.
Angela [00:47:57] This was the main one. As I watched the scene, I looked for palm trees. There weren’t any. But I did see the mountains in the background.
Jenna [00:48:05] Hmm. Yeah. I mean, you’re not going to find no mountains and no palm trees.
Angela [00:48:09] I know.
Jenna [00:48:10] We just went with no palm trees. Steve was not actually driving in the scene. The car was being towed behind one of those camera insert cars. And Randy shared that we used lipstick cameras that were suction cupped to the windshield. That’s how we shot it. Randy also shared that lipstick cameras were often problematic, and whenever we could have a camera operator in a vehicle with us, that was preferred. But if you wanted to get people from the front, you had to use these lipstick cameras. But he said we had a special camera technician named Tim Arasheben, I hope I’m saying your last name right, who was an absolute master of these lipstick cameras. And we actually rarely had problems, thanks to Tim. So thank you, Tim.
Angela [00:48:53] Thank you, Tim. We used those lipstick cameras a lot.
Jenna [00:48:56] We did.
Angela [00:48:57] So there is a lot of this scene in the deleted scenes on the DVD. Guess who narrates the book?
Jenna [00:49:04] Oh, I know this. I know this.
Angela [00:49:07] In the script they had a suggestion of someone, but that is not who narrated it when we filmed.
Jenna [00:49:12] Okay, I know who they put in the script. It was David Hyde Pierce.
Angela [00:49:16] Exactly.
Jenna [00:49:17] Who ended up doing it?
Angela [00:49:19] Our editor, Dave Rogers.
Jenna [00:49:21] Oh, my gosh. That’s perfect. I love it.
Angela [00:49:24] It was fun to hear his voice. The other thing I loved about the deleted scenes for this is that Erin has a talking head where she explains how she is coming up with conversation topics so she has things to talk about. Let’s hear it.
Erin [00:49:38] I really want to impress Michael and I don’t want to take any chances. So I went to a website that listed hundreds of interesting conversation starters, and I’ll just break them out whenever there’s a pause or even maybe if there’s not. Because bosses like women who can talk at length on things.
Angela [00:50:00] So that would have played before the car scene. And while she’s searching on this website for these talking points, all of these advertisements keep popping up, these pop up ads, and she’s having a hard time clicking on her article. It’s just a funny background detail. It’s at 2 minutes, 25 seconds. Randy shared with us that all of the motion graphics were created by Henry Saine.
Jenna [00:50:24] Wow.
Angela [00:50:25] Well, you’re going to see a few of these conversation starters coming up in the car. Erin says, So what decade would you have chosen to be a teenager? And then we’re going to get to the restaurant for a very awkward lunch and Erin is going to hit them with this. Do you have a favorite age or month? Michael does not know what to do with this. She goes on to say, How many pillows do you sleep on at night?
Jenna [00:50:47] Well, you know, in the script, Michael had a response to that that got cut out in editing.
Angela [00:50:52] Oh, what did he say?
Jenna [00:50:53] Michael says None, just my body pillow. And then he changes the subject to Andy. But that line did not make it in the final cut. But I think that’s very funny. I just imagine Michael always sleeping on that little bench at the end of his bed.
Angela [00:51:08] It’s hard to picture him in the actual bed after that scene from Dinner Party.
Jenna [00:51:11] I know.
Angela [00:51:13] Well, Erin is going to continue to overshare, if you will, at this lunch. She’s just talking and talking. She can’t stop.
Jenna [00:51:19] Yeah. She says she used to work at a Taco Bell Express, but she couldn’t hack it when it became a full Taco Bell. It was just too stressful. We had a fan question from Beth W in New York City, who loves that line, wants to know who wrote that amazing joke. Mindy Kaling said that Danny Chun wrote the Taco Bell Express line, and it’s one of her favorites in the episode. I looked it up, the difference between a Taco Bell Express and a Taco Bell, and I see why it might be more stressful for Erin.
Angela [00:51:50] Taco Bell Express, if my memory is correct, is there’s no seating area.
Jenna [00:51:54] No. It is to serve, “hungry customers on the go”. It’s a grab and go. And it also has a smaller menu. It’s just the tacos and burritos. And so, yeah, if you went from grab and go to a seated restaurant… When I worked in fast food, I have to say like 50% of it is just cleaning up that dining room.
Angela [00:52:15] I bet.
Jenna [00:52:16] You know?
Angela [00:52:17] People are messy.
Jenna [00:52:18] People are messy. You know, the trash cans say thank you. And I used to say, you know, that’s for you, the guest. They’re not thanking me, the employee, for throwing your stuff away. They’re thanking you. That’s- we- carry your stuff over and throw it out on your way out.
Angela [00:52:34] Maybe trash cans should have a longer message, like, thank you for not being a total a-hole and putting your trash where you’re supposed to put it.
Jenna [00:52:42] It’s literally on your way out of the restaurant. You have to pass by it anyway.
Angela [00:52:47] Clean up after yourselves.
Jenna [00:52:48] If you make the mess, clean it up. My gosh. How hard is that?
Angela [00:52:53] Yeah.
Jenna [00:52:56] (SIGH) I don’t even know where we are now.
Angela [00:52:57] I do. I do. Okay, so this scene, Jenna, was even bigger of Erin just talking and talking. There was part of it that just really cracked me up. It’s in deleted scenes. It’s about what’s in her purse. You have to hear it.
Speaker 4 [00:53:16] In my foster home, I never had a desk. So it’s like a- I don’t mean that I didn’t like my foster home. I did like it. I just didn’t have a desk there. So, sorry. I know. I feel weird. I think I’m nervous and you’re looking at me like I’m weird, but my blood sugar is really low. You know, I didn’t have my Luna Bar this morning. I thought I’d put my Luna Bar in my purse, but it turns out I put my TV remote instead. You ever see? There’s no there’s no woman nutrition.
Angela [00:53:43] You want me to take that or?
Erin [00:53:45] Oh, I just wanted you to know it was real.
Michael Scott [00:53:47] Okay.
Erin [00:53:49] No folic acid in that. Can you imagine eating your TV remote for breakfast? I don’t know if it would kill you, but it wouldn’t- Wouldn’t even taste good to begin with. But I don’t know. There’s so many things that are nice about being a receptionist that I can’t just pick one and say that it’s my favorite. But you probably feel the same way about being a boss. You can’t pick one. Did you have a favorite age? Or month?
Michael Scott [00:54:11] An age or month?
Erin [00:54:12] Yeah, like a favorite month. Like I liked April when I was seven. I don’t have a favorite month now. It’s sort of like every month is different.
Jenna [00:54:21] I could listen to it forever. It’s so delightful. It’s such a wonderful free association.
Angela [00:54:27] She holds up the remote control. She fishes it out of her bag. And the look on Steve’s face as Michael when he’s like, What do you want me to do with it? What do I do with all of this?
Jenna [00:54:40] We got a fan question from Jenna R in Los Angeles, California. Hi, Jenna. Where did they film Michael and Erin’s lunch scene? It was filmed at a restaurant in Encino called Boca, which has since closed. It is now called Monaco Encino. And Randy even sent us a photo from their location scout. So what they would have done a week prior to an episode where we have to shoot something on location, everybody would get in a little van, the director, the writer, the producers, the camera operators, and they would go around to like three or four restaurants that are options to shoot at that our locations manager Kyle Alexander would have found. And they would sit in them and they would talk about, like, we could put the camera here, this is what you would see if you put the camera here in this location. And then after that they’d pick the one they like. Randy sent us a picture from the location scout. You can see Steve in it. You can see our first A.D., Rusty talking about how they might shoot the scene in the background. And then Randy is sitting at a table pretending to be Michael. And our second A.D., Jenny O’Keefe, is sitting, pretending to be Erin.
Angela [00:55:48] Oh, I love that.
Jenna [00:55:49] It just warmed my heart.
Angela [00:55:51] Oh, we’ll have to put it in stories.
Jenna [00:55:52] Definitely.
Angela [00:55:54] Well, I think we should take a break, because when we come back, Michael is going to put his foot in his mouth.
Jenna [00:56:00] Oh, my gosh. He sure is.
Angela [00:56:03] And Erin is going to have quite the reaction. We’re back. Erin says, Tell me about Andy before I met him.
Jenna [00:56:13] Oh, no.
Angela [00:56:14] She’s got, like, those dreamy eyes. Michael’s like, Let’s see. Andy plays the banjo. She’s like, Yeah, I love that. Other than the fact that he dated Angela, I don’t think he’s a snappy dresser. Erin’s like, What? And then Michael has, what is my favorite line of the whole episode.
Jenna [00:56:31] Same.
Angela [00:56:31] He says, I don’t think he is the best dresser. Reminds me of Easter. I can’t unsee this now. All of his outfits are like pastel and like beige and pinks and light blues. He does dress like Easter.
Jenna [00:56:43] He does. But Erin is like, that’s not what I meant. Yeah, I meant the thing about Angela. At the same time, the waiter has come by to drop off their food.
Angela [00:56:54] Yeah. He’s like, Here we go. Hot plate. And all of this chaos is starting to happen.
Jenna [00:56:59] Michael is not picking up on it. Instead, he is frustrated that he asks for pickles, but there’s only like five or six on this plate. To which the waiter says, I will bring you a bowl of pickles.
Angela [00:57:10] Yeah.
Jenna [00:57:12] And then Erin is going to hide inside of her hair.
Angela [00:57:16] Yes. And that was in the shooting draft. It specifically said that Erin covers her face with her hair.
Jenna [00:57:21] Yes. I have a fun catch. The waiter in the scene was played by our writer Aaron Shure. You guys know him as the master of the cold opens.
Angela [00:57:31] Yeah, he was the go to guy for cold opens and gave us some of our most famous cold opens.
Jenna [00:57:36] Yes. The Kevin spilling the chili. He wrote that. He wrote the speed meter.
Angela [00:57:41] Where everyone’s trying to run in front to see how fast they can run.
Jenna [00:57:45] So Mindy said that Aaron getting cast as the waiter happened the day before we were set to shoot these restaurant scenes. She said at first they were going to cast like a young actor, but everybody just looked to Hollywood. This was supposed to be a restaurant in Scranton. And so then in the writers room they pitched maybe it would be really funny if the waiter in the restaurant were like, really, really, really, really old. She said, quote, like the knight at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Super old.
Angela [00:58:18] Oh, my gosh. That’s crazy old.
Jenna [00:58:21] But Steve Carell thought that might be distracting to the scene. So they decided to cast someone who was not too young and not too old. And right at that moment of making that decision, Mindy said that our writer Aaron Shure got up, walked across the room, and went to the bathroom. And everyone was like, How about Aaron?
Angela [00:58:42] Oh, my gosh.
Jenna [00:58:43] He is neither too old or too young.
Angela [00:58:46] This is a great origin story of how did you get cast on The Office? I had to pee and I walked by the writer’s room.
Jenna [00:58:53] So Mindy said that he read for it. He got the part. She also pointed out that he is a trained actor. Well, I reached out to Aaron Shure to ask him about this story, and he confirms it. But he thinks that there might be something else at play, which was that in the weeks before this moment, he decided to grow a beard. He thinks maybe the beard had something to do with it. And he’s going to explain why.
Aaron Shure [00:59:21] Hello, Office Ladies, it’s Aaron Shure. I’m going to tell you the exciting story about how I became a waiter on The Office. I had done a little bit of acting, but mostly as a stand up and improviser, street performer, even a circus clown. And the audiences all said pretty much the same thing to me, which is, you should be a writer. So that’s what I did, because I’m more of a back office sort of guy. But as you know, Dunder Mifflin has the annex, which is there just so that people like Mindy, Paul, and B.J., who are all writer-actors, they had somewhere to be, behind a door, so there was a reason why we didn’t wonder where they were when they were actually in the writers room making the show. So when you’re on the show, it’s easy to start to think maybe there’s room in the annex for me too. Maybe I could also be a star. Obviously, that was not going to happen. And so at a certain point, I grew a beard, which is a daring thing to do in Hollywood, where you’re supposed to always look as young as possible. And that’s when Mindy came in with her script and was like, Hey, Aaron, could you read this restaurant scene? And I’m like, You want me to criticize your scene? And she’s like, No, I want you to audition. And so she pulled me into the other room. And there’s Steve Carell, who’s going to be directing this episode. And I read the scene with him. And I’m terrified, so I do a terrible job, and yet they cast me. So the next week I’m on set and they send me to hair and makeup, the hair and makeup trailer, and when I walk in, they go, Oh, it’s our old waiter. So the beard, it turns out, actually got me the job. And then he started to trim the beard and kept trimming it. I was in there for like 3 hours and I got a little paranoid, like, is this all because my beard was annoying Steve and he just cast me in an evil plot to get my beard to not look so scraggly? Of course, that wasn’t it.
Jenna [01:01:12] Okay. But I want to say… Aaron. I hear you. Because remember when Ryan went blonde?
Angela [01:01:21] Yeah.
Jenna [01:01:22] That was because Mindy thought it would be funny for B.J. to have to dye his hair blonde. So they created this whole plot for why the character would do it.
Angela [01:01:30] So maybe Mindy was like, that beard needs a trim and a tidy.
Jenna [01:01:34] Exactly. How can I do that? You know what? I’m going to write him into an episode. I also asked Erin what it was like to shoot the scene. I wanted to know, like, did you get much direction? And he said they pretty much let him do his own thing. But that actually led to some problems. But I’ll let him explain.
Aaron Shure [01:01:54] Once I get on the actual set, I’m determined to do a good job for obvious reasons, but also because there’s a lot of hard working actors out there who could have used this opportunity, and I owe it to them to at least do a decent job. And also, as a writer, I know how easy it is for an actor who has only a few lines to ruin his scene because they’re nervous or because they think it’s their star vehicle. So I’m going to do a good job and Steve is directing it, but he assumes I know enough to do my own blocking. So I come up with my own, which is- blocking is how you move around the set, right? And I come up with my own blocking and I did the dumbest thing, which is I started way back in the kitchen. I’m not even in the room. So all I can hear back there is Steve yell, Action! And then I got to walk in and I can’t hear what’s being said at the table. And I got to find a way to land right on my cue. But this is my plan. I realized, okay, here’s what I’m going to do. So my plan was I’m going to hide behind B camera. There’s usually we had two cameras shooting simultaneously. And so if I’m behind B camera, I won’t be in the shot because camera A isn’t going to film camera B, that’s not how the pros do it. But I of course, couldn’t be in front of camera B but you got to be behind. Anyway, when I come out, camera B has been moved to the further side of the restaurant. So now there’s no way for me not to be on camera and to hear the scene. So I come up with this what I hope seems like a human behavior of circling the table slowly, trying to hear what’s being said. And in this scene, you can see Steve looks over his shoulder like trying to find this weird, lurking waiter. And this is proof that I was never an actual waiter because a real waiter knows how to show up at the table at the most awkward moment when somebody’s heard terrible news and is about to start crying. But at the end of it all, I think it went fine. And Steve was very kind and told me I did a good job, and that meant so much to me. I mean, what an opportunity, to perform a script written by Mindy, directed by Steve. And to be on the greatest show ever. And now I’m on the greatest podcast ever. So thank you.
Jenna [01:03:54] Awe!
Angela [01:03:55] Awe!
Jenna [01:03:54] Thank you, Aaron.
Angela [01:03:55] Aaron, that is so fun. And we just love you.
Jenna [01:03:58] Also, Aaron said for the record, he actually likes pickles. But not by the bowl.
Angela [01:04:05] Mmm. One of his lines that cracked me up because, like he was saying, when you have only a few lines, it’s really hard not to make them like the most important things you ever say.
Jenna [01:04:15] Yes.
Angela [01:04:16] And he had this line when Michael says, Could I get more pickles? And his first response is, of course. And that, of course, to me was so perfect. Like anyone who’s worked in food service knows that moment where you’re like, Absolutely. Sure. I would love to do that. I would love to get you a bowl of pickles. Well, Erin is really starting to spiral. You know, she’s got her face covered with her hair. She’s making really heavy groaning sounds (MAKES NOISE) like that.
Jenna [01:04:47] Yeah.
Angela [01:04:48] Michael delivers a famous line. It’s from When Harry Met Sally. He looks around the restaurant and says, I’ll have what she’s having. I went back and watched the scene after that. It’s so brilliant and makes me want to rewatch When Harry Met Sally.
Jenna [01:05:01] Oh, I rewatched it recently. It’s a flawless movie. It’s terrific.
Angela [01:05:05] Office Ladies breaks down movies?
Jenna [01:05:07] Yeah.
Angela [01:05:08] We have to do a series of rom coms.
Jenna [01:05:10] Well, I also just rewatched Dirty Dancing. Yeah. I want to break down Dirty Dancing.
Both [01:05:15] Nobody puts baby in a corner.
Jenna [01:05:17] Come on. It’s really incredible.
Angela [01:05:19] We really need to watch it.
Jenna [01:05:21] Well, it’s a very awkward car ride back to the office.
Angela [01:05:25] Oh, is it. And, lady, there was more in deleted scenes. In the shooting draft, Michael is trying to console Erin in the car. Right? He knows he’s messed up. He says, you know, I think it’s probably best to not say anything about this. And Erin is just, like, stewing. He goes on to say, you know, take a beat. Calm down. Talk to him privately about it next week or a month, maybe never. It would probably make things awkward at work if you bring it up. Heck, you might even forget about it. And then, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, Jenna, in the car scenes, there’s a little patch on Michael’s seatbelt that’s frayed. It’s right at his shoulder. And when I watched it, I did notice the sort of, like, fuzzy thing on his seatbelt. And I thought, why would they let that be in the shot? Why wouldn’t they get him a seatbelt that wasn’t damaged? Well in deleted scenes, Michael says, Sometimes I chew on my seatbelt when I’m upset. You can feel free to do that. Erin does not respond. And then Michael shows her and starts to chew on his seatbelt.
Jenna [01:06:29] So they actually had to put chew marks on the seatbelt on purpose.
Angela [01:06:32] Yes.
Jenna [01:06:34] Wow.
Angela [01:06:34] And it’s in deleted scenes. Michael puts a seatbelt in his mouth. Anyway, that seatbelt was damaged on purpose.
Jenna [01:06:43] Well, when they get back to the office, Pam’s milk is coming in. She’s uncomfortable. She wants to pump, but her pump is missing.
Angela [01:06:50] Yeah.
Jenna [01:06:50] Guess who has it?
Angela [01:06:52] This was crazy. I forgot about this scene. I forgot that Meredith took Pam’s breast pump.
Jenna [01:07:00] Because it feels good.
Angela [01:07:02] She likes how it feels. Oh, my gosh. Once again, Kate is fearless.
Jenna [01:07:06] Yeah. So Pam is like, it’s not sterile. She’s very upset. And then Dwight is going to offer to hand express the milk.
Angela [01:07:15] Mm hmm.
Jenna [01:07:16] He’s going to get it out for her.
Angela [01:07:17] Yeah.
Jenna [01:07:18] She’s like, No, thank you.
Angela [01:07:19] No, thank you. Jenna, when I watched this scene, all I could think about was the time when I was back on set after having Isabel and I was breastfeeding and we were taking breaks so I could breastfeed. Kelly Cantley helped make that happen. And we were in the conference room, we were in there all day, and someone said, Hey, what time is it? And I touched the side of my boobs and I said, About 11 a.m.. And and then they were like, Yeah, it’s 10:59. Do you remember that?
Jenna [01:07:47] Yes.
Angela [01:07:48] We all started cracking up and like doing this bit that I could tell time by.
Jenna [01:07:52] Yeah, we would be like, Angela, what time is it?
Angela [01:07:55] Yeah.
Jenna [01:07:56] We started testing you, and you were very accurate.
Angela [01:07:59] Because I had my whole pump schedule.
Jenna [01:08:01] Yeah, and your milk really does come in on a schedule.
Angela [01:08:04] Yeah.
Jenna [01:08:05] Well, incidentally, you know, my mom told me that when I was born back in 1974, not as many women nursed their babies back then. But it was something that she was open to and she had done some research on. And she said when I was about two months old, her and my dad wanted to go out to dinner for the first time. She said they hired their very first babysitter, and in order to leave for that period of time for dinner, it took her an entire week of self expressing, using her hand, one bottle of milk. She kept it in the freezer so that the babysitter could defrost it and give it to me.
Angela [01:08:41] Oh, my gosh.
Jenna [01:08:43] Yeah.
Angela [01:08:44] The things our moms did for us.
Jenna [01:08:45] I know. Oh, incidentally, I will say, Mindy also said that the idea that Meredith would steal Pam’s breast pump was a pitch from Charlie Grandy.
Angela [01:08:58] Andy is going to ask Erin how lunch went, and she is very cold to him. She then completely bites Oscar’s head off. Oscar says, I think we’re out of fax cover sheets. And she says, God, Oscar, will you keep your pants on? It’s easy. At 9 minutes, 48 seconds, you guys, Oscar looks right to camera. Like, what the hell? But Oscar never looked right to camera, so this was really fun to spot. And I just loved him in that moment.
Jenna [01:09:25] I love that. Well, now we’re going to go to the conference room because there is a Secretary’s Day party underway in Erin’s honor, her face is on a cake.
Angela [01:09:35] Yeah.
Jenna [01:09:36] And I think also it’s on the plates.
Angela [01:09:39] Oh, no way.
Jenna [01:09:40] I mean, it’s a very elaborate party all thrown by Angela.
Angela [01:09:46] Yes.
Jenna [01:09:47] Wait.
Angela [01:09:48] Is she the head of the PPC again?
Jenna [01:09:51] That’s what I’m wondering.
Angela [01:09:53] Oh, wow. They slid that right in there. There was a couplet of dialogue between Ryan and Kelly in this scene, and as I watched it, I was like, That’s just B.J. and Mindy.
Jenna [01:10:06] Which one was it?
Angela [01:10:07] They’re talking about the Cookie Monster parody. And Kelly does her version of it. And Ryan goes, That’s a little derivative. And Kelly says, But parody is always derivative. And Ryan says, It’s not organic. Do you know what I mean? That just sounded like a conversation between the two of them.
Jenna [01:10:25] That could have been a conversation that we would hear them having on set.
Angela [01:10:28] Yes.
Jenna [01:10:29] 100%. So, you know, in this scene, Andy is going to put on his guitar. He’s going to put on his harmonica. And he’s going to sing Erin a song called Secretary of Love.
Angela [01:10:41] I had a question about the harmonica bit of it all.
Jenna [01:10:43] Uh huh.
Angela [01:10:44] He never straps on a harmonica. I think it was a little scheme to make sure the cake stayed up around his face.
Jenna [01:10:52] Well, it was in the script. I looked it up. It says Andy gets his guitar and one of those harmonicas attached to headgear. And Andy begins to sing an original song called Secretary of Love. It has a feel of Ricky Nelson’s Travelin Man. In the interview on Office Tally, Mindy mentioned that she wrote lyrics for the song Secretary of Love, and they were in the table read draft. And Ed does play the harmonica. And they had intended for him to play it.
Angela [01:11:21] Okay.
Jenna [01:11:22] Here are the lyrics.
Angela [01:11:23] Oh, my gosh.
Jenna [01:11:25] There’s the secretary of labor. Secretary of Health. Health and Human Resources, just asked me on a date. Secretary of Energy keeps on a winkin at me. But I can’t keep my hands off of Homeland Security. But all the different secretaries that I’ve taken to my bed, there’s only one secretary I can’t get out of my head. The red haired secretary is the one I sing of. She’s my Dunder-Mifflin secretary, my secretary of love.
Angela [01:11:57] Oh, my gosh. I mean, in some ways, it’s good that he didn’t sing it because Erin already thinks he’s slept with everyone in the office. She’s like Phyllis? Kelly? Pam? Jenna, in the shooting draft after Erin says, Who else did you sleep with, huh? Phyllis, Kelly, Pam. This was the direction for us in the shooting draft. Angela hides her face in her hands. Phyllis, Kelly and Pam adlib, Oh, God no. Are you kidding me? Barf me to death. Erin then lets out a weird sound from deep within her chest.
Jenna [01:12:34] Well, I know we talked about this moment when Erin hits Andy in the face with the cake during our interview with Ellie. But I also found a little tidbit from Mindy on Office Tally about it. She said that the cake was really dense. And that the first time Ellie threw it at Ed, it made a really loud sound. It sounded like thwhack!
Angela [01:12:57] That’s why we reacted like that!
Jenna [01:13:01] Yes. We had a fan question from Mary K in Portland, Oregon. I think the real question we all want to know the answer to is, how good was that cake? Because it looks delicious.
Angela [01:13:10] I really ate that cake.
Jenna [01:13:11] Me, too. It was delicious.
Angela [01:13:12] It was so good.
Jenna [01:13:13] Mary, good call. It was great.
Angela [01:13:15] Well, people are going to start trying to make Erin feel better. Kevin tries to console her slash hit on her. And while that is happening, Gabe overhears Pam doing an impression of Kevin. I want to point out when Jim laughs, that was John’s laugh.
Jenna [01:13:30] Yeah.
Angela [01:13:31] That is exactly how he starts to laugh.
Jenna [01:13:33] It’s true.
Angela [01:13:35] Gabe is going to suspend them.
Jenna [01:13:37] Mm hmm. He suspends Pam. He suspends Jim. And then he even is going to suspend Dwight for slow clapping the suspension.
Angela [01:13:45] Kevin is so happy. He says C is for suspension.
Jenna [01:13:48] Oh, Kevin.
Angela [01:13:48] Kevin.
Jenna [01:13:50] Meanwhile, in Michael’s office, Andy has a great line where he’s like, I don’t understand how my past engagement came up in your restaurant talk.
Angela [01:14:01] Yeah, it’s secretary’s day. How did this come up?
Jenna [01:14:04] But I’m with Michael. Like, why did you keep this a secret from her? How is Michael supposed to know that she doesn’t know? This is not, I think, an example of Michael revealing a secret.
Angela [01:14:15] Right.
Jenna [01:14:15] Like he has been known to do in the past.
Angela [01:14:17] Right. Exactly. Michael didn’t even know this was an off topic subject.
Jenna [01:14:21] Yeah.
Angela [01:14:22] Well, Andy is now going to have a very agonizing talking head. He’s like, Who cares? It’ll blow over. Maybe I should’ve told her. Everybody does stupid things. He’s like, all over the map.
Jenna [01:14:30] Well, it’s actually like a series of talking heads sort of intercut into one talking head, which I’m not sure we’ve ever seen before.
Angela [01:14:38] Yeah. I just wanted to point out that at the top of the episode, at one minute, 20 seconds, Andy says that it’s not only Secretary’s Day, but it’s also he and Erin’s three week anniversary. And I just want to put this out there. I think maybe if you’ve just been dating someone for three weeks, and they go to such effort to celebrate you on Secretary’s Day, maybe you can say, Hey, why didn’t you tell me about this previous relationship? That really upset me. It’s only been three weeks, you guys. I think there’s still some discovery. Am I wrong?
Jenna [01:15:21] Well, it’s interesting you asked this question because we got mail from both Liza A in North Carolina and Paul W in Chicago asking, If you were Andy, would you have told Erin that you were once engaged? Or would you have waited? And do you agree with Erin’s decision to break up with him because of this?
Angela [01:15:41] Well, listen, I think it would have been a big flipping conversation. I would have been upset. But at three weeks, I might have understood that maybe he was waiting for the right moment to tell me.
Jenna [01:15:53] I have to say, I 100% understand Erin’s reaction. It’s not just that he didn’t tell her that he’s been engaged before, but this is a coworker that she sees every day. So I think that that makes it different. I think that’s something that you need to say right away. You know, I agree. Like, if you’ve just started dating someone, may be around, I don’t know, around this time, three weeks, a month, you might say, oh, you know, I was engaged before.
Angela [01:16:23] Yeah, here’s all my business because we’ve lasted three weeks. Maybe we’re going to make a real go of it. Here’s everything.
Jenna [01:16:31] Right. But not if the situation is like, Oh, hey, you should know I actually used to be engaged to my roommate.
Angela [01:16:39] Yeah.
Jenna [01:16:39] You know, like, that’s like that. Like, oh, I used to be engaged to this person right next to you.
Angela [01:16:43] Right. And everyone in this room knows. But you.
Jenna [01:16:46] Yeah. That’s the difference.
Angela [01:16:47] Yeah, I see that. But do you think it’s breakup worthy?
Jenna [01:16:50] Yes.
Angela [01:16:51] Okay.
Jenna [01:16:51] I would feel very embarrassed.
Angela [01:16:54] Embarrassed.
Jenna [01:16:55] And humiliated and distrustful.
Angela [01:16:58] Yeah. Right.
Jenna [01:16:59] Of, like, I don’t know. It would make me think twice about the person, frankly.
Angela [01:17:04] I get that. Yeah. It’s because they’re in the same office. Well, now Angela is going to try to console Erin as best as she can. She’s like, pssst, hey, Erin. And I love this line. Erin’s like, You want to talk to me? Come to my desk.
Jenna [01:17:20] Yeah.
Angela [01:17:20] She’s ready to throw down. They have this hilarious dialogue. We talked about it with Ellie, where they go back and forth about wanting to throw up just thinking about it.
Jenna [01:17:31] Yeah. And then at the end of the scene, the camera pulls back and Toby is standing there. He can’t seem to work the fax machine. Suddenly, everybody has to fax things today and it’s not working well.
Angela [01:17:43] Yeah, everyone’s real busy at reception.
Jenna [01:17:45] Mindy said that that reveal of Toby having been there for this whole exchange was Steve’s idea.
Angela [01:17:52] It was really funny. Well, now Pam is going to try to console Erin. And I thought she was so, like, eloquent in this moment.
Jenna [01:18:00] I know we talked about this with Ellie, too. It doesn’t work again. It’s too bad. But then Pam is going to walk over and give Jim a kiss. And we haven’t seen any, like, kissy kiss between Jim and Pam in a while. So I thought this was a really nice kind of romantic moment.
Angela [01:18:17] Kind of took us back.
Jenna [01:18:19] Yeah. Gabe is going to get some news now. At 15 minutes and 48 seconds, he is standing in a hallway. He’s talking to corporate. Randy told me that this was filmed in the stairway directly opposite the door to his office in the writers area. He said that Steve Carell chose the stairwell because it was rarely used, and Steve thought that it would be good to see Gabe in a setting that was more unfamiliar to viewers. I love how so much thought goes into every moment.
Angela [01:18:50] Yeah, yeah. When I think of the stairwell, I always think of Dwight.
Jenna [01:18:54] Pumping himself up. Exactly.
Angela [01:18:55] Yeah moaning and wailing.
Jenna [01:18:58] Yes. Well, on this phone call, Gabe is going to learn that he actually cannot reprimand or suspend anyone. And then Toby is going to call Pam and tell her the same thing.
Angela [01:19:11] He also says to her, I found out some of the other things they’re doing out there and she hangs up on him.
Jenna [01:19:16] Yeah, I know.
Angela [01:19:18] She’s like, I got all the information I need. She passes a note to Jim, and now they know exactly what they’re going to do.
Jenna [01:19:24] Yeah, they’re going to take their suspension.
Angela [01:19:26] Yeah.
Jenna [01:19:27] Paid. They’re going to go home and think about their behavior.
Angela [01:19:30] Yeah, well, Dwight is going to apologize, but Gabe is running after Pam and Jim. He does not want them to leave because now he’s got egg on his face. When he comes back in the bullpen, Oscar’s like, Is it me or did they just get a paid day off? To which Gabe now tries to do his Cookie Monster impression.
Jenna [01:19:51] Right.
Angela [01:19:51] This leads us to what I’m calling Jedi Kevin.
Jenna [01:19:54] All right.
Angela [01:19:56] At 18 minutes, 23 seconds, Kevin is at his desk when Gabe starts his Cookie Monster impression. And then at 18 minutes, 28 seconds, Kevin is now standing at Angela’s desk as he starts doing his impression of Gabe. And then at 18 minutes, 37 seconds, Kevin is now standing next to Gabe by front reception as he continues his impression.
Jenna [01:20:19] Those are amazing catches. He’s just, what? He’s teleporting.
Angela [01:20:23] Yes.
Jenna [01:20:24] Around.
Angela [01:20:24] Second by second, he’s moving around.
Jenna [01:20:27] Well, I don’t know what was going on while we were shooting this scene. I went to the script because a lot of the impressions that everyone starts doing of Gabe were not in the script. Like Dwight’s impression of Gabe was not in the script. So I don’t know what happened. I wasn’t there. Were they just throwing out, like, I think this scene changed a lot, and that’s why maybe Kevin is all over the room.
Angela [01:20:47] Yes, I made note of this as well. I think we just started riffing. And some of the reactions you see are so honest. I want to show you. At 18 minutes, 43 seconds, Creed and I are just hysterically laughing. We’re not in character at all. Look at the screengrab.
Jenna [01:21:03] Oh, yeah, for sure. I love that.
Angela [01:21:06] I’ll put it in stories.
Jenna [01:21:08] Well, this whole plot of the dubbing of the voice on the characters is going to end with Kevin playing a video of Oscar as the count. But nobody is getting it.
Angela [01:21:19] Except Michael. Michael thinks he nailed it. And at the very end of the episode, Michael says, Good work, Cookie Monster.
Jenna [01:21:28] It’s kind of sweet. But then of course, the episode also ends with that wonderful scene on the bench with Michael and Erin. We talked about it with Ellie, where Michael is being really sweet with her. He is being the father she never had. And Andy’s kind of watching from his car from across the street.
Angela [01:21:47] Yeah. Andy says, At least someone made her happy on Secretary’s Day.
Jenna [01:21:52] Did you notice that it was like night time in Andy’s car, but it’s daytime on the bench. Did you notice that? Is it just me?
Angela [01:22:00] I didn’t notice that. I’ll have to go back and look.
Jenna [01:22:03] Yeah. Well, guys, that Secretary’s Day.
Angela [01:22:07] This Andy Erin breakup is going to start a whole new series of storylines. We’re going to see more of Gabe, and I’m very excited for that, because one of the things I loved about this episode was just seeing Zach Woods do his thing. He’s so flippin’ funny. So we’ll see you next week. We’ve got Body Language.
Jenna [01:22:25] Body Language. And I’ve got a Pam hair catch. But you’re going to have to wait for it.
Angela [01:22:29] Ohhh, well, stay tuned for that. We’d love to say thank you to Aaron Shure for sending in those audio clips. Aaron, you’re the best. And Randy Cordray for giving us those behind the scenes details.
Jenna [01:22:41] We’ll see you next week. 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 [01:23:03] 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 at Stitcher Premium, use code: office.
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