September 7, 2021
This week we’re breaking down “Stress Relief”! To kick off this two-part episode, the ladies break down one of the most famous cold opens of “The Office”, featuring clips from Rainn Wilson, Oscar Nuñez, Brian Baumgartner and cinematographer, Randall Einhorn. When Dwight stages a fake fire, Stanley has a heart attack and Michael goes into overdrive to protect Stanley. The ladies reveal how much went into this episode that premiered right after SuperBowl XLIII, which includes Angela walking us through everything that went behind “Save Bandit!”. Jenna points out the use of a montage that was unusual for the show and we rock out to the Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive”, which giving CPR to its beat actually saves lives. So keep away from Michael so you can be stress free and relaxed while you listen to this very epic episode.
90 — Stress Relief Pt 1
OFFICE-090 – Stress Relief Pt 1
[00:00:04] Jenna I’m Jenna Fischer.
[00:00:05] Angela And I’m Angela Kinsey.
[00:00:06] Jenna We were on The Office together.
[00:00:07] Angela And we’re best friends.
[00:00:08] Jenna And now we’re doing the ultimate Office rewatch podcast just for you.
[00:00:12] Angela Each week we will break down an episode of The Office and give exclusive behind the scenes stories that only two people who were there can tell you.
[00:00:19] Jenna We’re the Office Ladies. Hi, everyone.
[00:00:24] Angela Good morning, you guys. It’s early here today for us.
[00:00:28] Jenna It’s early here and we have a lot to cover.
[00:00:30] Angela So much. We came in early.
[00:00:33] Jenna We have so much to say today. But I have to point out an observation before we get started.
[00:00:38] Angela Is it all my snacks and beverages on my side?
[00:00:40] Jenna You actually do have a ton of snacks and beverages. You have a hot tea, a cold tea, a water, a granola bar, a banana and some naughty oats cereal.
[00:00:50] Angela I do.
[00:00:51] Jenna It’s a lot. You knew this was going to be a big episode.
[00:00:55] Angela I came ready.
[00:00:55] Jenna Clearly. With an entire picnic.
[00:00:56] Angela I will always show up with iced tea and snacks. Just know that. That’s me rolling in to any any event.
[00:01:04] Jenna My observation was actually going to be about your document.
[00:01:08] Angela Oh.
[00:01:08] Jenna It’s so charming. It is printed words. It’s not note cards. It is a pile of paper. But what you have done is you have taken like regular lined- what’s that paper called?
[00:01:24] Angela It’s called notebook paper out of a spiral binder. Because clearly I ran out of printer paper.
[00:01:29] Jenna Is that what happened?
[00:01:31] Angela That’s what happened.
[00:01:32] Jenna That’s why your pages are on lined notebook. It’s printed, though.
[00:01:37] Angela Yes. Did you think that I just wanted to print on notebook paper?
[00:01:41] Jenna Lady, I didn’t know what you were doing.
[00:01:43] Angela And I have a Post-it note.
[00:01:45] Jenna I just found it interesting when we sat down.
[00:01:48] Angela No, this is me last night as I print my document out, you might have heard a few expletives because we’re out of printer paper. So then I was like damn it at nine o’clock at night.
[00:01:58] Jenna A good hack.
[00:01:59] Angela There you go, hack. Go into your kid’s room, get their notebook, rip out the pages, your printer will print on it.
[00:02:06] Jenna I feel like we might have helped some people today.
[00:02:08] Angela We might have.
[00:02:09] Jenna All right. Well, let’s talk about why we’re here today. It is Stress Relief part one, Season five, Episode fourteen, written by Paul Lieberstein and directed by Jeff Blitz.
[00:02:22] Angela Exactly. You might be thinking, ladies, it’s Stress Relief. That isn’t that big, except it had the cold open to end cold opens.
[00:02:30] Jenna Oh yeah.
[00:02:31] Angela Oh yeah.
[00:02:32] Jenna We’ll be breaking that down.
[00:02:33] Angela Oh yeah we will.
[00:02:34] Jenna It’s going to take a while. This episode originally aired as an hour long episode. We’re going to have to break it down in two parts. So today we’re covering the first half of Stress Relief. Would you like a summary?
[00:02:48] Angela I really would.
[00:02:49] Jenna All right. It starts with that cold open you were talking about, Angela. Dwight takes matters into his own hands when his coworkers fail to pay attention to his fire safety seminar.
[00:03:00] Angela He used PowerPoint. Big mistake.
[00:03:02] Jenna Big mistake. He’s going to give us a practical fire drill.
[00:03:05] Angela Hands on.
[00:03:06] Jenna How will we react on our feet?
[00:03:08] Angela That’s right.
[00:03:09] Jenna Well, Stanley has a heart attack. It doesn’t end well.
[00:03:13] Angela Doesn’t.
[00:03:14] Jenna And that lands Dwight in hot water with corporate.
[00:03:16] Angela I mean, he almost burned the building. Stanley had a heart attack. Dwight, how do you have a job?
[00:03:23] Jenna Michael hires a CPR expert to teach the office what we should do if Stanley has another heart attack. But Dwight has his own ideas of how to use the CPR dummy.
[00:03:34] Angela Hello, Clarice.
[00:03:36] Jenna Oh, dear. Finally, we learn that Pam’s mom and dad are having a rough patch in their marriage and that Pam’s dad has actually been bunking with Jim and Pam.
[00:03:46] Angela Sans robe.
[00:03:48] Jenna Yeah.
[00:03:49] Angela Was he walking around in his tighty whities?
[00:03:52] Jenna I don’t know, but she needs to get him a robe.
[00:03:54] Angela Aw.
[00:03:56] Jenna Fast fact number one. This episode aired after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 1st. Two thousand and nine.
[00:04:04] Angela I mean, if I had an air horn thing, I’d fire it off because this was huge for us.
[00:04:11] Jenna Sophia C. wrote in to say, Jenna, I have a fast fact for you.
[00:04:16] Angela Sophia.
[00:04:17] Jenna This was the most watched episode of the entire Office series.
[00:04:23] Angela What?
[00:04:24] Jenna Yeah, and she’s right. I looked it up. Angela, do you want to know how many people?
[00:04:30] Angela Oh, my gosh, I’m horrible at guessing, like, you know, guess the jelly bean in the jar. I’m so off.
[00:04:36] Jenna I know. Yeah, I can’t do that either.
[00:04:37] Angela OK, I’m going to guess the ten million people. That seems like a big number.
[00:04:44] Jenna That is a big number. But it was. Twenty two point nine million people.
[00:04:50] Angela No way! Holy smokes!
[00:04:51] Jenna yeah, so it is definitely the most watched episode of The Office and it’s also the only episode of The Office to ever reach over 20 million viewers.
[00:05:03] Angela Wow.
[00:05:04] Jenna But now I have another question for you.
[00:05:05] Angela Oh, no. Is it more guessing number stuff?
[00:05:07] Jenna It’s more guessing.
[00:05:07] Angela oh lord.
[00:05:07] Jenna It’s not numbers though.
[00:05:09] Angela Oh, good. Well, I have a shot.
[00:05:11] Jenna Can you guess what our second most watched episode was?
[00:05:19] Angela Oh no. Of the whole series?
[00:05:21] Jenna Of the whole series. This was number one, what do you think number two was?
[00:05:25] Angela The finale?
[00:05:26] Jenna The pilot.
[00:05:27] Angela What?
[00:05:28] Jenna The pilot.
[00:05:29] Angela Really.
[00:05:30] Jenna It had eleven point two million viewers.
[00:05:34] Angela The pilot that I wore my own clothes in.
[00:05:37] Jenna Yeah.
[00:05:37] Angela From Target.
[00:05:39] Jenna Mm hmm.
[00:05:39] Angela Wow.
[00:05:40] Jenna Eleven point two million people saw your outfit.
[00:05:43] Angela Well, you’re welcome, America.
[00:05:44] Jenna Interestingly enough, airing after the Super Bowl did not seem to get us a bump in viewership going forward.
[00:05:52] Angela Oh, it was like a one and done?
[00:05:54] Jenna Kind of. So the episode that aired before the Super Bowl was Prince Family Paper, and we had eight point seven million viewers. That was kind of our average range. After the Super Bowl is Lecture Circuit and we actually had a drop in the ratings to eight point four. So some regular viewers, I don’t know, they were like not after that Super Bowl stunt! Fast fact number two, Randy told me that there were rumors that we were going to get that two thousand nine Super Bowl slot from as early as the end of season four.
[00:06:35] Angela Jeez. They planned that that far out?
[00:06:35] Jenna I guess so. There had been some talk that maybe it would go to The Apprentice. The Apprentice was going to the slot, but our executive producers really fought for The Office to get it, and we did. Randy said it was part of our internal shooting records as of May 2008, which was well before we had ever started shooting Season five. So we’d known for a while this was coming. I also reached out to Greg Daniels.
[00:07:03] Angela Oh yeah. What did he have to say?
[00:07:06] Jenna He said this. Oh yeah. This was a big deal.
[00:07:10] Angela Yeah.
[00:07:11] Jenna Quote, We threw our biggest guns at it, which is why Paul Lieberstein wrote it. That makes sense.
[00:07:16] Angela It’s a fantastic script. I texted Paul yesterday just a few couplets of dialogue. I was like, this is perfection. I’ll tell you what I texted him later.
[00:07:26] Jenna Well, Paul had been with us since the very beginning. He is one of our best. It made total sense that he should write this episode.
[00:07:32] Angela Right.
[00:07:33] Jenna I got curious and I started doing a little digging. Angela, the script for this episode was ninety five pages long.
[00:07:42] Angela I know. I looked through it and I was like, what is this phone book I’m reading? Oh my God, it’s Stress Relief.
[00:07:49] Jenna The candy bag.
[00:07:50] Angela OK, the candy bag. Our alts. All of our alt dialogue.
[00:07:53] Jenna Yeah, all the extra jokes that they didn’t put in the script but that they want us to maybe shoot.
[00:07:58] Angela Oh my God. How long was it?
[00:08:01] Jenna Lady. It was two hundred and seven pages long.
[00:08:05] Angela They had two hundred and seven pages of extra jokes.
[00:08:08] Jenna Yeah.
[00:08:09] Angela On the ready to go.
[00:08:10] Jenna Yep.
[00:08:12] Angela Oh my god.
[00:08:12] Jenna So I thought we should tell everyone that this episode took us nine days to shoot. It was a very, very big deal. Greg also said that because we were running after the Super Bowl, it created a scrutiny from the network that was not normally present on our show.
[00:08:30] Angela Oh, yeah.
[00:08:30] Jenna Lots of notes. Lots of opinions.
[00:08:34] Angela Sure. This is a big piece of real estate.
[00:08:37] Jenna This will come up again later. Should I move us to fast fact number three?
[00:08:42] Angela Yes.
[00:08:43] Jenna All right. Fast fact number three. Greg told us that because there would be so many new eyes on this episode, new viewers, that they had to figure out a storyline that would appeal to both current office viewers and new ones. And they also had to find a way to kind of reintroduce everyone’s characters so that new viewers could follow along. They really tried to stay away from existing storylines. So, for example, there’s no movement or mention of the Angela, Andy, Dwight love triangle.
[00:09:18] Angela Right.
[00:09:19] Jenna There’s nothing about the company is struggling and there might be layoffs.
[00:09:23] Angela No, there’s nothing very complicated. This is a very simple idea that can hook everybody.
[00:09:29] Jenna Yes. But they especially had to figure out how do we start this episode? How do we hook these new viewers and make them stay for the whole hour?
[00:09:38] Angela Right.
[00:09:39] Jenna So Greg had this idea, what if an office weirdo who wanted people to listen to his safety ideas actually caused a fire emergency? He was like, you don’t have to know who’s who. It has a lot of energy and a lot of physical comedy.
[00:09:56] Angela There you go. I mean, that is brilliant. Greg is brilliant because instantly you’re hooked. Everyone has an office like idiot that is going to, like, take matters into their own hands or something. I thought it was amazing.
[00:10:10] Jenna Well, we will break down this epic cold open after the break, but I have one more thing to say.
[00:10:17] Angela OK?
[00:10:18] Jenna This is a bonus fast fact.
[00:10:19] Angela OK.
[00:10:20] Jenna Did you notice the main titles?
[00:10:22] Angela Of course I did.
[00:10:24] Jenna Everybody’s in them.
[00:10:25] Angela I know!
[00:10:26] Jenna This is the first time that our main titles featured the entire cast. It was so cool.
[00:10:33] Angela We were so excited. We all cheered when we watched it. Oh, my gosh. I remember my family, too, because like everyone in my family who had never seen the show saw it because it was after the Super Bowl and we were in the main titles. It was really exciting.
[00:10:48] Jenna It was special.
[00:10:49] Angela It was special.
[00:10:50] Jenna The whole thing was special. I mean, there are all these little milestones along the way as we’re doing this re watch and as we’re looking back at our journey, I’m realizing all of these firsts. And I would have never imagined I’d be on a TV show that would run after the Super Bowl.
[00:11:08] Angela The Super Bowl is such a big deal. I remember commercial auditioning and everyone wanted like a Super Bowl commercial spot. If we could just I still I still am like, oh, come on. Let me throw a Doritos at your head and you catch it in your mouth and it ricochets off the ceiling. Super Bowl ad! Like-.
[00:11:26] Jenna You heard it here, Doritos. Office Ladies throw Doritos and catch them. We’ll do it.
[00:11:32] Angela Jenna will do a cartwheel. She’s very athletic.
[00:11:35] Jenna What? Better start working on my cartwheels.
[00:11:39] Angela I guess so.
[00:11:41] Jenna Well, lady, should we take a break? And then when we come back, everyone get ready.
[00:11:46] Angela Buckle in because we have an epic cold open with an epic cold open breakdown.
[00:11:52] Jenna We do. It’s going to be good.
[00:11:57] Angela All right, you guys, let’s get right to it. First of all, you should know we reached out to a ton of people to share with us how they made this cold open happen.
[00:12:05] Jenna It was fascinating, actually, finding out.
[00:12:09] Angela So many moving parts, right? Right.
[00:12:09] Jenna We knew our part. Right. But we’re like, well, how did camera do it? How did they like so many things.
[00:12:15] Angela So many things to capture. So Randy Cordray, you guys know we love Randy. He told us they had several planning sessions, right. With all the department heads. We had our director, Jeff Blitz, cinematographer Randall Einhorn. They had to walk through this whole dance that we did with the camera stunts, animal trainers, script supervisor Veda like tracking the continuity. And then our rock star, first AD, Kelly Cantley, she then broke it down into smaller moments.
[00:12:45] Jenna Dean Holland, our editor, who edited this sequence, he told me he was also brought in on those planning sessions. He said he got so much footage, but that it was actually really, really well organized and pretty easy to edit because they planned so well.
[00:13:03] Angela Oh, way to go, guys. Randy told us that we spent an entire day shooting this. One whole day, to be exact. It was Thursday, December 11th.
[00:13:11] Jenna Oh, yeah.
[00:13:12] Angela And we had tons of safety meetings, all the safety stuff.
[00:13:16] Jenna I remember we did not shoot this in order.
[00:13:19] Angela Right.
[00:13:19] Jenna We shot it out of order. And some of that was for safety reasons. Let’s describe it and then we’ll go back and we’ll break it down piece by piece. Here’s your overview, everybody.
[00:13:29] Angela Here’s your overview of the cold open. The first shot is Dwight opening his desk and he sort of motions to the camera, all sneaky. And he’s got lighter fluid in what looks like to be a blowtorch. So, you know, something’s up.
[00:13:43] Jenna Something Dwight ish.
[00:13:45] Angela He goes in the hallway and he’s kind of hiding out and he’s whispering to camera and he starts like jamming the doors. He puts a key in, he hammers it shut. He put the wood wedges under and blowtorches the door handle and starts his speech.
[00:14:00] Jenna Yeah. He says that nobody paid attention to his fire safety seminar. He blames himself for using PowerPoint. And that experience is the best teacher. So he will teach his coworkers proper fire emergency procedure the hard way.
[00:14:16] Angela And you guys, today cigarettes are going to save lives. As he smokes cigarette and then tosses it into a trash can and immediately a fire starts.
[00:14:25] Jenna But no one notices at first.
[00:14:26] Angela No one notices.
[00:14:28] Jenna There’s just smoke piling in under the door.
[00:14:30] Angela And everybody is just quietly working. And it’s really frustrating Dwight so he’s like, do you guys smell something? And Angela’s so snarky and is like, did you bring your jerky in today?
[00:14:41] Jenna I know.
[00:14:42] Angela And then Pam notices it, but Jenna, Pam notices it the way I react in moments like this, you notice she didn’t say fire. She said (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
[00:14:51] Jenna There’s a oh my it’s a-. She freezes. Michael starts yelling for everyone to stay effing calm. Dwight is kind of shouting proper safety procedures, but people are panicking. It’s suddenly total chaos.
[00:15:05] Angela This is what it sounded like.
[00:15:08] Michael Scott Oh, my God, OK, it’s happening. Everybody stay calm.
[00:15:12] Dwight What’s the procedure, everyone? What’s the procedure?
[00:15:14] Michael Scott Stay (BLEEP) calm! Everybody just (BLEEP) calm down!
[00:15:16] Dwight No, no, Michael, no!
[00:15:18] Jenna Exactly. Well, amid all the chaos, Angela gets a cat out of a file cabinet.
[00:15:27] Angela Oh, yeah.
[00:15:28] Jenna Oscar escape’s up into the ceiling. I know you’re going to have a lot to tell us about that. And then Michael smashes a window in the conference room.
[00:15:38] Angela Kevin is going to make sure he’s getting snacks during the fire. He’s like busting up the vending machines and then Dwight lights a bunch of firecrackers, to which Ed Helms as Andy says my favorite line in this cold open which is, the fire is shooting at us,
[00:15:54] Jenna Jim is like ramming the copy machine into a door. Finally, Dwight pulls the fire alarm. Why?
[00:16:03] Angela Because Stanley’s having a heart attack.
[00:16:05] Jenna Exactly. Yes, it’s insane. The whole thing is insane. How did we do it?
[00:16:13] Angela Well, we had amazing people is how we did it. We spoke to our cinematographer, Randall Einhorn, about how exactly they captured all these moments. We reached out to him. Here’s what he had to say.
[00:16:25] Randall Einhorn Yeah, I worked really closely with Jeff Blitz and Red Kelly Cantley to coordinate how exactly we’re going to shoot that, because there was a lot of moving parts, a lot of moving pieces. It didn’t want to feel like it needed 50 cameras filming it. It always wants to feel like there’s just two cameras filming it and they’re struggling to film it. So it was a lot to work out because there was so much going on. But because we’re able to cut on some of the camera swishes, we’re able to piece it together so it looked like it was one piece because as a camera’s panning from one thing to another, if you’re doing it right, you can you can make it look like you can create an edit point where you’re you’re panning from one the end of one piece and you’re panning into another of the beginning of another piece is really kind of how it’s done. That’s how you all pull it all together and made it look like it was a one frantic take.
[00:17:20] Jenna I have learned doing this re watch how often we used that whip cut.
[00:17:27] Angela It was our friend.
[00:17:28] Jenna Clearly it’s why this cold open happened. Lady, we got a ton of fan questions about this cold open, so why don’t I go through them. We said at the top of the episode, Rainn is doing all his mischief with the locking of the doors and setting the fire. We had a fan question from Jaden C. Was Dwight using a real blowtorch on those handles?
[00:17:51] Angela It certainly looked like it.
[00:17:53] Jenna Why don’t we let Rainn Wilson tell us.
[00:17:55] Angela Rainn, what you got to say?
[00:17:57] Rainn WIlson Yes, it was a real live blow torch. It was not a CGI flame. They had a lot of safety officers there. You know, a fire marshal is there and a special effects coordinator. And the handles actually did get very hot. You know, nowadays they’d probably do CGI and maybe even make the door handle a little red with the CGI. But that was all completely real.
[00:18:21] Jenna I can’t believe they gave him a real blowtorch.
[00:18:24] Angela I mean, if you look back over the things they gave Rainn that were real in episodes…
[00:18:30] Jenna They should have known going back to The Dundees when they gave him that operating keyboard.
[00:18:36] Angela Like just what he did with the fart key.
[00:18:39] Jenna Don’t give that guy real things.
[00:18:41] Angela Don’t give that guy real things. Well, yeah. So real blowtorch. What else?
[00:18:44] Jenna Well, we had another fan question. People wanted to know if Rainn was really smoking and Rohit R wanted to know if it was real smoke in the trash can. Here’s what Rainn had to say.
[00:18:57] Rainn WIlson It was an actual cigaretet that I smoked and lit and I threw it in the garbage can with the paper, but I think they, like, ran in the second that camera panned away and tossed in some water and put it out. And the fire that you see in the trash can is expertly created due to the magic of special effects. There are so many amazing details throughout the episode that Paul Lieberstein I remember guiding me through. I mean, I think he wrote it, but Paul was very instrumental in a lot of the details about how I smoked and how I casually tossed the cigarette. And he had it kind of visualized in his mind how the wedges get hammered under the door and all the details, the hammer in my pocket and and stuff like that. So the great Paul Lieberstein, a.k.a. Toby, really played a great creative part throughout the entirety of The Office, and especially in this episode in this cold open.
[00:19:50] Angela Wow. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know Paul was behind all those beats, all the like staging of the fire moments.
[00:19:58] Jenna Yeah, me either.
[00:19:59] Angela Also Jenna just on a side note, I’ve never had to smoke a cigarette in a movie or TV show and it would be a disaster because I don’t know how to smoke a cigarette and it would be so clear. I wouldn’t know how to be like fakey smokey.
[00:20:13] Jenna Well, for all of our, like, kind of techie nerds out there, Randy broke down for me exactly how they did make that fire in the trash can, that smoke. So Rainn was right, right, they extinguished the fire that you saw, but then to create that smoke billowing in, that was created by a special effects team led by Ron Nary. And for the smoke, he used a water vapor generator with a minute concentration of glycol. And I guess the glycol is what keeps the water vapor hanging in the air a bit longer. Randy said it had no odor and it was approved safe by both SAG and NBC Universal Safety Department.
[00:20:55] Angela What is glycol?
[00:20:57] Jenna Oh, no.
[00:21:00] Angela Google it?
[00:21:00] Jenna You can Google it. What is it? Is it. Glycol. OK, there’s two glyols.
[00:21:10] Angela Oh.
[00:21:11] Jenna There’s propylene glycol, and then there’s ethylene glycol.
[00:21:17] Angela Is one a good guy and one’s not great?
[00:21:19] Jenna I guess kind of. I think the ethylene glycol is the stuff that’s in like antifreeze. And it has like a sweet taste. That’s what it’s poisonous, right? You don’t want your dog to lick it.
[00:21:30] Angela Right.
[00:21:30] Jenna They’re always saying don’t lick your antifreeze.
[00:21:33] Angela They’re always saying that.
[00:21:34] Jenna To dogs. But the dogs are like, we don’t understand you.
[00:21:38] Angela No, cats love it, too. You got to be careful.
[00:21:40] Jenna Now, propylene glycol is a substance that’s commonly used as a food additive. It’s in a lot of cosmetic and hygiene products, including, I think, some toothpaste.
[00:21:51] Angela Oh, so that’s the one we used.
[00:21:53] Jenna I mean, I guess so.
[00:21:55] Angela Well, I think.
[00:21:56] Jenna One of the glycols can also be used as some sort of a fiber. I don’t think we have time to in the moment deep dive glycol. But we were curious. So I’m assuming that since SAG and NBC Universal said it was safe then we used the safe one.
[00:22:13] Angela We use the safe one. Look at us. We’re fine.
[00:22:17] Jenna We’re here. Next fan question is from Mikey S. Did Steve improvise when he said stay effing calm? No, a little bit, though.
[00:22:30] Angela Well, that’s Steve, right? I mean, he got everything scripted, but sometimes he would szoosj in the moment.
[00:22:36] Jenna Here’s what it said in the script. Oh, God, it’s happening. Let me through. Let me through. Stay calm. Stay calm, stay effing calm. And then Michael violently pushes his way through to the front. I think we did it. I mean, very accurately. We have more fan questions. Angela, Jane C wants to know, how many times did Michael throw the projector into the window?
[00:23:03] Angela Well, he starts with the chair, right?
[00:23:05] Jenna That’s right. It does not break. And Randy said that for that we used a plane of Plexiglas
[00:23:13] Angela because they didn’t want it to break. They wanted his first attempt not to go well.
[00:23:16] Jenna Yes. Then they replaced the Plexiglas with breakaway glass. And it shatters very realistically, but it never shatters in a sharp or dangerous way. I have a little fun fact for you. In the olden days of Hollywood, this was known as Candy Glass.
[00:23:36] Angela I know that Jenna because I got a tour of an old Western set with my dad and they were like all those windows that guys get thrown out the bars in the saloon, that was candy.
[00:23:48] Jenna Candy, you could eat it. I guess nowadays they don’t make it out of candy. But Randy said old schoolers still call it candy glass, even though now it’s called Breakaway Glass. And Randy also told us, Jaden, in answer to your question, they got it in one take. One throw of the projector broke the breakaway glass. There you go. Jaden would also like to know, how many times did Kevin break the vending machine? I reached out to Brian Baumgartner. He said he thought it took about two to three takes. They use that same breakaway glass. He said it broke every time, but they had to do it a few extra times just to get a certain camera movement right. You know, they were doing the whip cuts.
[00:24:32] Angela Right. To make it look frantic.
[00:24:34] Jenna Right. Now next up, lady, I thought we should discuss this moment that no one wrote in about, but that was so epic.
[00:24:43] Angela I can’t believe no one wrote in about it. I know exactly the moment you’re talking about because it was such a big deal to all of us on set. And maybe people don’t realize that because of what a bad ass Chris Workman is.
[00:24:55] Jenna So what we’re talking about is the moment when led by Kevin, the Dunder Mifflin employees are running through the kitchen and take down our camera operator, Randall Einhorn. Guys, this was a total mistake.
[00:25:10] Angela Yeah. We were like, oh, my God, Randall’s down, but only for a few seconds.
[00:25:16] Jenna We reached out to Randall because we had to hear this story from his perspective.
[00:25:20] Angela When Brian mowed him down.
[00:25:23] Randall Einhorn I remember when I was running backwards through the break room and Brian Baumgartner, who plays Kevin, was running at me because he’s frantically trying to get out of there. And he he just kept running and running and gaining on me and gaining on me. And I’m running backwards with the camera. And he just got so close. And I think he hit me and I hit the ground. I went down. But my camera assist, Chris Workman, who’s really strong guy, just caught me with one arm, caught me and the camera with one arm and put me back on my feet. And I’m like a two hundred pound guy. The camera’s nearly 40 pounds and Chris jusr lifted me up. I didn’t even know if I hit the ground. It was. But that shot of me going down and getting back up actually made the show. So thank you, Chris Workmn for picking me up and thank you, Brian Baumgartner, for running into me and making such a cool shot.
[00:26:14] Jenna Well, Angela, I felt like we also needed to hear from Brian Baumgartner about this moment,
[00:26:19] Angela the mower and the mowed.
[00:26:21] Jenna Exactly. We needed a point counterpoint.
[00:26:24] Brian Baumgartner Well, thank you, Randall. You know, I wanted to make fun of you for getting the story wrong, but but you complimented me and got the story 100 percent right. I mean, look, I had people running behind me, OK? So I, I, I, I had to run over whatever was in front of me or I would have gotten run over myself. But actually, come to think of it, it’s the first time that anyone has ever told me that I’ve outrun anyone. I mean, you were running backwards carrying a camera. But yeah, I had to to put you down. And look, the thing I remember is, yes, you went all the way to your back, as I recall. And for me, out of the corner of my eye, it looked like Chris Workman, one hand picked you up, put you back on the feet and like the pro that you are, well, you just kept filming. I’m so happy that it made it into the cut. And it’s it’s one of my favorite episodes. It aired after the Super Bowl, obviously. And that was a big deal for me. And and, yeah, one of our funniest cold opens for sure.
[00:27:33] Jenna Well, lady, I just remember that moment so vividly because I do remember Randall is down, what do we do?
[00:27:39] Angela And then Randall is up.
[00:27:41] Jenna I guess we continue. But it was amazing to me and that’s the only time it happened. And that’s the take we used.
[00:27:49] Angela Chris Workman, man, he is a machine.
[00:27:53] Jenna All right. Now, I think we need to discuss the thing that we got the most mail about.
[00:27:59] Angela Oh, yeah.
[00:28:00] Jenna Save Bandit.
[00:28:02] Angela Save Bandit!
[00:28:05] Jenna Now, safe Bandit was the last thing on our call sheet for the day, all the rest of us had gone home. I know they did this because it was so complicated. They wanted you to have the set to yourself. I was not there. Angela, please tell us, how did you pull this off?
[00:28:23] Angela OK, so here’s the thing, guys. We had to have a lot of rehearsals, you should know on the day when there was a lot of the chaos and we were all running around, I was there. But the cat didn’t work those moments, OK? The cat did have to work one moment Jenna with all of us where I open the drawer and you reveal. You guys are all in the background for that moment. And I had to actually pick the cat up and walk over to where I would have tossed it and that was it. That’s all I had to do with the cat, with the group there. Jenna this cat was massive.
[00:28:59] Jenna It looks big.
[00:29:00] Angela I’m like, did you cast the biggest cat they had? Did you see the big one in the corner and say, we want that dude. Just taking it out of the drawer with the chaos, not even doing anything with it, just picking it up and taking it to my spot, the cat was like, oh, I’m out of here. So I was really glad when we actually filmed the stunt part that you guys were all gone.
[00:29:23] Jenna Right.
[00:29:24] Angela Oh, my gosh.
[00:29:25] Jenna Less activity for the cat to deal with.
[00:29:27] Angela The cat was already like, where am I? What’s going on? All right. So a lot of things went in to make this happen. And I’m going to share with you some stuff that Randy Cordray and Jeff Blitz shared with me. But then I’m going to tell you my personal memories. So I guess in the script there were a few alts about how the cat got in the ceiling. Jeff Blitz fought really hard to have the moment where the cat goes up in the ceiling and then out a different part of the ceiling. That was the thing he fought for. He said to do this, though, it would involve a pair of matching cats and two trainers in the ceiling, one to catch Bandit one and one to drop Bandit two through a different ceiling panel.
[00:30:08] Jenna So the idea originally was that you would go on a search for twin cats.
[00:30:13] Angela Twin cats.
[00:30:14] Jenna Identical looking cats.
[00:30:15] Angela Yes. And Randy said that we worked with an excellent animal training company out of Sylmar, California. Their name is Bob Dunn’s Animal Services and our specific cat trainer for this stunt and many more episodes was Denise Sanders. She was fantastic. I love Denise. And Randy would want you guys to know that we took the safety of not only the humans on set, but also the animals, took it very seriously.
[00:30:40] Jenna Well, that was Randy. Randy is a real animal lover and he advocated for all of us.
[00:30:47] Angela Fur babies and real people. OK, so Jenna, my memory is we had two rehearsal days for the stunt.
[00:30:54] Jenna Wow.
[00:30:54] Angela Yeah. One was just like a preliminary blocking, but then the second one was like, OK, we have to practice this as if we’re doing it. And our biggest rehearsal, it was me, Jeff Blitz, Randy Cordray, Greg Daniels, I think some of the writers were there. I think Dean might have been there, our editor. Everyone that was going to be involved in this moment, Oscar the trainer up in the ceiling. There was a lot of people actually for this rehearsal. And if I missed some of you guys, there was more people than you would imagine. I had a stunt woman named Katina Waters because they actually didn’t want me tossing the cat up in the ceiling. Right. They wanted a professional animal wrangler stunt person.
[00:31:35] Angela Yeah, because what if I-.
[00:31:36] Jenna That makes sense.
[00:31:37] Angela Right? What if I got it wrong?
[00:31:38] Jenna Right.
[00:31:39] Angela I’m not a professional animal wrangler stunt person.
[00:31:41] Jenna You’re not a national animal thrower?
[00:31:43] Angela I am not. But as we started blocking the moments of the scene, the cat wrangler Denise was like, you guys, we can’t toss a cat up in the ceiling. You know, we can’t toss it up. We can’t toss it out. There is no tossing of cats, guys, because not that it will harm the cat. This isn’t a very high distance or anything like that.
[00:32:04] Jenna It won’t physically harm them.
[00:32:05] Angela It won’t physically harm the cat. And then she used this phrase Jenna that was like a scratch on the record player, she said, because it will blow out the cat. And this is clearly a cat wrangler term. It will blow out the cat. We all all of us went, huh? Blow out the cat. And then Greg goes, because Greg’s such an inquisitive minded person. He’s like, I’m sorry. What does that mean to blow out the cat? And she said it will ruin its career.
[00:32:33] Jenna Now, is that because just the stress of performing that stunt would make it so that the cat wouldn’t be able to maybe go to work again, like the cat would be OK physically, but it would be stressful and they couldn’t be sure that it would be a trainable cat in the future. That’s what I’m hearing.
[00:32:52] Angela Right. Yeah, that’s exactly what we all heard, which is the cat will physically be fine, but you might make it so it’s afraid and we won’t be able to train it.
[00:33:00] Jenna Got it.
[00:33:01] Angela Right.
[00:33:01] Jenna OK.
[00:33:02] Angela Right?
[00:33:02] Jenna So it could live out its life as someone’s pet, but it’s not going to be a workin cat anymore.
[00:33:06] Angela Not a stunt cat anymore,
[00:33:08] Jenna OK, but this is her job, right? Like this cat working. This is her livelihood.
[00:33:13] Angela Right. And so, Greg, like is a problem solver. He was like, well, what would it cost to retire the cat? Could we pay you and retire the cat? And that way you don’t lose your income in this cat. She didn’t want to retire the cat. This is a very high earning cat. This is a very good cat.
[00:33:28] Jenna It’s the largest cat they have.
[00:33:30] Angela It’s the largest stunt cat.
[00:33:31] Jenna Clearly the largest physically and the largest monetary.
[00:33:35] Angela Stunt cat. So they came up with this idea. They made it work. This is what the animal trainer said that they could do. We would toss up into the ceiling a fake cat. OK?
[00:33:47] Jenna OK.
[00:33:48] Angela Yes, a fake cat. And then up in the rafters of the ceiling would be a trainer that would then gently be holding a real cat and release it onto my desk, which was just a few feet below.
[00:34:02] Jenna OK, I think I got it. Tossing cat up blows out cat.
[00:34:05] Angela Tossing cat up, blows out cat. Can’t throw a cat.
[00:34:09] Jenna Dropping cat.
[00:34:10] Angela Onto its feet. Just a few feet.
[00:34:12] Jenna Totally fine.
[00:34:12] Angela Totally fine.
[00:34:13] Jenna You know what I have to say? Sonny Cat actually enjoys a good toss. Sometimes I’m doing laundry on the bed and he’ll come up and he likes it when I give him a big hoist onto the pile of laundry and then he’ll jump down and I’ll do it again.
[00:34:29] Angela Sonny, you could have been Bandit.
[00:34:31] Jenna Sonny could have been Bandit! He’s like, I’ll do it. I’ll do the toss.
[00:34:36] Angela Yes, Sonny should have been Bandit. Well, here’s the deal. Randy even went to extra measures to make sure the cat would be fine when they were going to drop it on my desk. He and the animal trainers and our stunt guy, Eric Sulke, they came up with this huge inflatable safety airbag that would decelerate and gently catch the falling cat. It was described as like falling into feathers. And we did some practice runs and the trainer signed off on it. It was fine. The cat wasn’t traumatized at all. They hid this airbag in the corner of my accounting desk with like papers and stuff. But there was a cat airbag on my desk, OK? And the ceiling panel had breakaway foam rubber. All right. So it was all very cushy, cushy. But now.
[00:35:24] Jenna I just want to say they did all of this and then gave Rainn a real blowtorch.
[00:35:29] Angela I know. They had an inflatable airbag cushion for this enormous cat, but now Jenna enter in the people that make fake animals.
[00:35:40] Jenna I’m scared.
[00:35:41] Angela I found them fascinating. So, like, you know, if you have a show like CSI and there’s a dead body.
[00:35:47] Jenna Yeah.
[00:35:48] Angela These are your people. They make fake humans. They make fake animals. Jenna they had to meticulously match the exact cat that we were tossing in the ceiling and it was a rush job. Randy said this fake cat cost twelve thousand dollars.
[00:36:03] Jenna Oh, my God.
[00:36:04] Angela I know. And I want you to know that thing was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen, held or touched. First of all, it had these yellow eyes that would just look at you and then the fur felt real. But when you picked it up, it was gelatinous. So it went flop like as you held it. Like like imagine like flopping a towel over your arm, a big thick towel. It was like smushy. It was frightening. I we started kind of pranking with it, like I set it on Oscar’s desk and he walked up and he was like, oh God, I had to start covering its face with a piece of paper because the thing was so creepy to look at.
[00:36:41] Jenna Where is it now?
[00:36:42] Angela I don’t know.
[00:36:44] Jenna Who has it?
[00:36:44] Angela NBC owns it somewhere, right? They paid for it. By the way, this is just the cat stuff. We haven’t even gotten to the fact that Oscar has a whole bit he has to do.
[00:36:53] Jenna Oh, yeah.
[00:36:54] Angela Right. So when we actually got to the day to shoot the stunt, I go over to the drawer, I pull out the cat. Now, they said my dialog and everything. I still had to be yelling, OK, so I opened the door and you’ll hear in the take I say to the cat it’s okay, like I’m trying to like be like I’m not a bad person. I lift up this enormous cat and then I have to go to my spot where Oscar is going in the roof. And they wanted so they could do that swishy cut, they wanted me to take the cat, I’m holding it to my chest, they wanted me to swing the cat back behind me and then swing it up over my head and stop.
[00:37:33] Jenna This is the real cat.
[00:37:34] Angela The real cat.
[00:37:35] Jenna OK.
[00:37:36] Angela The real cat gets the swinging motion.
[00:37:39] Jenna Swinging ok.
[00:37:40] Angela Swinging ok.
[00:37:41] Jenna Swinging approved.
[00:37:41] Angela Swinging approved while I’m yelling, I only weigh 82 pounds! Right.
[00:37:48] Jenna I’m sure the cat loved that. You know what cats love? Screaming.
[00:37:51] Angela And swinging.
[00:37:52] Jenna Yeah.
[00:37:53] Angela This cat probably weighed twenty pounds. I’m not exaggerating at all. It was enormous. Just the swinging and getting it to my stopping point. It was like ahhhh. I was like oh god. And then I stop and I hold it in the air. Freeze. Then they yell, cut and in comes my stunt woman in the same outfit. She takes real cat, she holds it in the air. I step away because what she’s going to do with the cat Jenna is kind of do the second motion where it appears like she’s tossing, but she doesn’t toss the cat, but she kind of gives it a little air, but not a lot of air.
[00:38:27] Jenna And this was like they don’t want you to get all scratched up. She knows how to give, like, a little.
[00:38:33] Angela Yeah. They had to give the idea of the motion. Right. More than my swing.
[00:38:38] Jenna Got it.
[00:38:39] Angela OK. And then of course we had to get a take where I had to take fakey cat and do the same motion as the stunt woman. I had to watch her and toss fakey cat in the ceiling. Right. They pieced all of that together. So Jenna I had talked to Jeff Blitz about this moment a while back because I distinctly remember when we filmed it, two cats coming out of the ceiling instead of one.
[00:39:01] Jenna How, how, how, how did two cats come out?
[00:39:02] Angela I don’t know. That’s my memory. And I was like, wait, am I crazy? And I talked to Dean Holland, who edited it. I was like, Dean, did you have to CGI out one cat? Because I know two cats came down. I remember seeing two cats. He was like, no. And so I talked to Jeff Blitz and he goes, Yes, Angela. Two cats came down. I was like, what? He said on the take we used, the trainer that was supposed to catch the fakie cat missed. And so then on action, fakey cat came out the other side and real cat.
[00:39:34] Jenna Oh, my gosh.
[00:39:36] Angela Two cats. Two cats hit the desk and Jeff said luckily, the way the camera was positioned, it only caught one cat. And I think it’s the real cat when you watch because.
[00:39:47] Jenna It looks like a real cat comes down.
[00:39:49] Angela Yeah cuz it hits and it kind of runs off whereas fakey cat just would have gone plop.
[00:39:52] Jenna Yes.
[00:39:53] Angela Right.
[00:39:54] Jenna Yes.
[00:39:55] Angela So there you go. One cat went up, two cats came down. But we got the shot. It took all those people and all that maneuvering, but it made it in the episode.
[00:40:07] Jenna Angela, that is amazing. I did not know all the details of that story. I was on the edge of my seat. I absolutely loved that.
[00:40:15] Angela You guys. The crazy thing is it took me that long to tell that story, but it happened in five seconds. When we actually filmed it, it was so quick. So it was like me, drawer, cat, swing, step out, fakey cat, oh my god two cats. React to one. Ahhh.
[00:40:34] Jenna Well, you mentioned that there was something else going on during all of this, which was Oscar going in and out of the ceiling.
[00:40:41] Angela Yes.
[00:40:41] Jenna That was a whole other ordeal. Randy told us that that part of the stunt of getting Oscar up into the ceiling was the other most challenging part of the stunt because there was nothing to climb into in the way that our set was built, like the actual light weight drop ceiling it was suspended from.
[00:41:03] Angela Cables.
[00:41:04] Jenna Yeah, very thin rigging wires.
[00:41:07] Angela It was fakey ceiling guys, because our set was inside a humongous soundstage.
[00:41:13] Jenna Yeah.
[00:41:14] Angela So actually above the Dunder Mifflin offices was just air.
[00:41:18] Jenna If you walked outside you could look up and just see these wires holding fakey ceiling. So he said in the weeks prior to filming this, our production designer Michael Gallenberg and construction coordinator Tim James had to completely reengineer the ceiling.
[00:41:36] Angela They had to like build rafters basically that we didn’t have, right?
[00:41:40] Jenna Yeah. And it had to be enough to support not just Oscar, but all of the stunt personnel. He said on the day there were two stunt coordinators, the animal people, Oscar, Oscar’s stunt double, and an NBC Universal Safety Coordinator all up in the ceiling. Can you imagine that guy’s day at work?
[00:42:01] Angela I can’t.
[00:42:02] Jenna Like he’s not normally with us. He’s just up in our ceiling now.
[00:42:06] Angela I can tell you that I had to look up into the ceiling and it looked crowded. I get why someone might have missed a cat as it flew up there.
[00:42:16] Jenna Well, we got a fan question from Alex M. Did Oscar really fall through the ceiling? Yes.
[00:42:23] Angela Well, yes and no, right?
[00:42:25] Jenna We pulled it off using both Oscar and a stunt double, right Ange?
[00:42:29] Angela Yeah. So I reached out to Oscar and I was like, Oscar you got to tell us everything about the ceiling. I guess he gets asked this a lot and he sent in this audio clip.
[00:42:38] Oscar Nunez I had a stuntman. I had a Moroccan. He was he was I think it was from Morocco. He was a. He was a. He was from Cirque du Soleil. He was a little shorter than me and he was a stuntman and I think he was jumping out from the hole and doing wonderful tumbles when he hit the ground. I did half of it. He did the really hard part. It was a very funny scene, very complicated. I remember in one of the shots I made Steve laugh because one of the ways that I was coming down from the roof on one of them, they had a big a bar up there and it lowered me slowly through the hole. And that was a funny way to come down. And when I made eye contact with Steve, just hanging there with a straight face, of course, he laughed. And then they figured out another way to bring me down, which was the leap down. But first, I would just like one of the things we try to, which is like being lowered down from the thing which didn’t make sense, but was very funny.
[00:43:35] Angela Do you remember that?
[00:43:36] Jenna I remember it.
[00:43:37] Angela I do too.
[00:43:38] Jenna It was very weirdly matrixy.
[00:43:40] Angela It was and Oscar was slowly coming.
[00:43:44] Jenna Like very slowly.
[00:43:45] Angela What was that Tom Cruise movie where he slowly lowered himself down. Mission Impossible!
[00:43:48] Jenna Mission Impossible!
[00:43:49] Angela It was like that. Oscar was like slowly coming out of the ceiling. It looked crazy.
[00:43:55] Jenna And Oscar, of course, did not break because he never broke.
[00:43:59] Angela But we did.
[00:43:59] Jenna And all the rest of us were like, we can’t possibly continue as if that’s physically possible.
[00:44:04] Angela And if Steve broke, you know, it looked ridiculous.
[00:44:08] Jenna Well, let me break it down for you, for anyone who wants to follow along. At two minutes thirty eight seconds, the real Oscar is standing on his desk and he pushes up the ceiling tile. At two minutes forty three seconds for that beat of Oscar actually jumping up and pulling himself into the ceiling, that’s his stunt double. You’ll notice you don’t see his face. His double’s name was Alladine Namu. And to pull this off, I guess Alladine had to wear a safety harness underneath his Oscar wardrobe. And it had this cable that went up through his harness to a pulley that was manned by two guys in the ceiling. And after he would jump, these guys would like hoist him up using this pulley.
[00:44:51] Angela You got to trust the guys in the ceiling, don’t you?
[00:44:55] Jenna Then at two minutes forty eight seconds, we see the real Oscar again. He’s up there in the scaffold looking down. He was also secured by a harness and a cable just to make sure. Finally, at three minutes thirty three seconds, Oscar appears to break through another ceiling panel over by the kitchen near Creed’s desk. That’s his stunt doubles legs kicking.
[00:45:18] Angela Creed’s reaction is so hilarious to me. Sorry, go on.
[00:45:23] Jenna But at four minutes six seconds, that is when the stunt team dropped real Oscar onto the floor.
[00:45:30] Angela So many beats of the scene, so many.
[00:45:33] Jenna We haven’t even talked about Stanley’s heart attack.
[00:45:36] Angela Oh, my gosh.
[00:45:38] Jenna At the end of all of this, he’s on the ground and Michael is like telling him he can’t die. He can’t die. He’s shoving a wallet in his mouth.
[00:45:47] Angela Yeah, Michael’s yelling, Barack Obama’s president.
[00:45:49] Jenna You can’t die, Stanley. We got a fan question from Megan G. Leslie David Baker spoke at my college and said that the scene where Michael puts the wallet in his mouth was improvised. Is this true? Lady, I looked it up in the script. It is not there. It ended with him saying, you can’t die. Barack Obama is President. That wallet bit was on the day.
[00:46:14] Angela Oh, my gosh. Well, I have a fan question that made me chuckle, Jenna. Emma N wrote in and said, Meredith has these kind of dirty questionmark brown boots she’s carrying at around one minute forty nine seconds and throughout out some of the cold open. Was there any deleted scene or explanation about this?
[00:46:34] Jenna Oh.
[00:46:35] Angela Well Emma, you got me curious. I went to your time code. You are not wrong. I took a photo. Look Jenna I’ll put it in stories.
[00:46:43] Jenna What is it that?
[00:46:44] Angela I looked at this photo and I was like, Emma, I recognize these boots, I would bet money that those are Kate’s UGG boots that wardrobe gave us to keep under our desk when we were so cold. They’re not Meredith’s boots. So I texted Kate, I said Kate, in Stress Relief when Dwight almost burns down the building, did you grab your actual UGG boots from under your desk? Fans are asking. And I sent her the picture and she wrote back, ha ha ha, I did. So the direction we were given was clearly everyone’s panicking and they’re grabbing their things. They want to get out of the building. And she said, I grabbed my UGG boots. They are actually not dirty. They’re a dusty pink.
[00:47:27] Jenna Oh.
[00:47:28] Angela So there you go, Emma. Nice catch.
[00:47:29] Jenna Lady. I think we should take a break.
[00:47:33] Angela That’s the cold open.
[00:47:35] Jenna That’s just the cold open. We still have this whole episode to break down and there is so much more to talk about.
[00:47:41] Angela All right. We’ll be back. All right, we are back. Dwight and Michael are at a meeting in corporate because hi, Dwight almost burned the building down and Stanley had a heart attack. So they’re having to meet with David Wallace and Kendall from H.R..
[00:47:59] Jenna Yes, Kendall. Guest star alert. Kendall was played by John Hartman. Now, we’ve heard of Kendall before. He was mentioned in previous episodes and we heard his voice. Remember when he yelled at Holly?
[00:48:11] Angela Oh, yeah.
[00:48:12] Jenna So John Hartman did the voice. And now here he is. He’s at the table.
[00:48:17] Angela He was so good.
[00:48:18] Jenna You know, that bit where they do the little runner where like take heed. Heeded.
[00:48:23] Angela Did you look it up to see if it was scripted?
[00:48:25] Jenna I did, because Sonya Y wanted to know.
[00:48:28] Angela Sonya. So did I.
[00:48:30] Jenna It was scripted.
[00:48:31] Angela It was scripted until the very last Michael heeded again.
[00:48:36] Jenna Yes. Steve kind of added to the bit.
[00:48:39] Angela Steve added to the bit at the very end, but everything else was scripted. I actually texted that couplet of dialog to Paul Lieberstein. I said, this is perfection, you are so funny. And then Steve at the very end added one more. And I can see Rainn trying not to break. He actually has to look down at the table. There’s two things I have to point out also in the scene. First of all, in this dialog, Dwight’s like imagine my frustration as safety officer that they’re not listening. Excuse me? Angela Martin was the safety officer in Basketball. She couldn’t find the first aid kit because Dwight had moved it. And she said, how many times do I have to tell you I’m the safety officer? It was like their first little, like, spat.
[00:49:24] Jenna Yeah.
[00:49:24] Angela So I don’t know what’s happened. Dwight clearly has not let this go, and he thinks he’s the safety officer.
[00:49:30] Jenna Well, he’s not the safety officer anymore.
[00:49:32] Angela No, he’s not, because Michael is going to be the safety man. That’s what he calls it. He calls it the safety man. I have one other thing I have to point out, because it made me laugh so hard Jenna. I rewound this and watched this beat three times. When Michael gets up and walks out and looks out at the city, you know, and then he comes and sits down next to Kendall. He like scooch’s Kendall over and he says, Can you shove it down, please? Shove it down, please.
[00:49:58] Jenna I didn’t catch that.
[00:49:59] Angela It’s so funny. That is not in the script. Shove it down, please is not in the script. And the way that John and Andy Buckley just rolled with all of those little moments. Oh, they’re so good.
[00:50:13] Jenna Well, when they get back to Dunder Mifflin, Stanley is coming back into the office. Michael’s like, quiet, quiet, quiet. No loud noises. No surprises. Stanley has a talking head where he explains that in the past he has been very abrupt with people. But the doctor said he needs to find a more positive way to relate to people or he will die. Well, you noticed then that talking head there was a montage, a montage of moments of Stanley being abrupt with people.
[00:50:44] Angela Yeah. Of him losing his cool.
[00:50:46] Jenna A montage like this was very unusual for our show. It was added to help give more context to the character of Stanley for all of those post Super Bowl viewers.
[00:50:56] Angela I was going to say, because a documentary doesn’t do a montage.
[00:50:59] Jenna Not normally.
[00:51:00] Angela Not normally. But when you’re after the Super Bowl.
[00:51:03] Jenna You do.
[00:51:03] Angela You do. Another beat of the scene that didn’t make it in? It’s in the deleted scenes that really made me laugh, Jenna, is that Michael, you know, wants everyone to help Stanley. He’s urging them. So here is how that manifests. Andy makes Stanley a mix CD of Enya songs. Stanley’s like, thanks. Michael assigns Kevin to be his bathroom buddy, as Kevin says, in case you have a heart attack on the crapper. And Stanley’s like I can go to the bathroom by myself. Thank you. Phyllis just looks at hims and can’t stop smiling and she has a really sweet talking head where she says she’s known Stanley Hudson a long time. And the way he breathes to sort of loud breathing is soothing to her. It’s really cute. So you have that Phyllis moment. And then Michael says, don’t worry, Stanley, I got you a portable defibrillator. And then tries to go put it on him and everyone’s like, no, no, no, no, no.
[00:52:03] Jenna Oh, my gosh. I remember shooting that.
[00:52:04] Angela Yes. And then Michael, like, thinks it’s funny and wants to, like, hook everyone up to it and they’re like.
[00:52:11] Jenna He wants to defibrillate everybody.
[00:52:11] Angela Yes. And then Kevin gets the defibrillator and as a joke puts it on Meredith’s seat. Meredith sits on it and doesn’t even notice it. But all of her hair goes up in the air and that’s another stunt we had to do. They had to make Kate Flannery’s hair rise up with static.
[00:52:28] Jenna Wow.
[00:52:29] Angela Didn’t make it in, but it was pretty funny.
[00:52:31] Jenna Michael is determined to make sure that we all know what to do should Stanley ever have another heart attack. He’s asked us all to come into the conference room for a CPR class.
[00:52:42] Angela Yes.
[00:52:43] Jenna A class he wishes he was running, but apparently you have to have an actual CPR trainer or else you don’t get the dummy.
[00:52:53] Angela Yeah, the Red Cross won’t give you the dummy doll unless you have an actually trained CPR instructor.
[00:53:00] Jenna We got a fan question from Stephanie H. I love to this question. Who played Rose, the CPR instructor and why is she so perfect?
[00:53:10] Angela She is absolutely amazing.
[00:53:14] Jenna Her name is Robin Lynch. She is an actress. I believed she was a CPR trainer. I reached out to Allison Jones and she said she found Robin through just a general casting call and that Robin was by far the best person that they saw for the role.
[00:53:34] Angela She just plays it so perfectly straight. She’s there to teach CPR. This office goes off the rails and she just tries to stay the course. I did slide into her DMS on Insta.
[00:53:46] Jenna Yeah, Robin, we tried to get a hold of you.
[00:53:49] Angela We wanted to chat with you. Robin, if you ever see our message, let us know. We’ll chat you up in a revisited.
[00:53:54] Jenna Should we talk about all the things that go wrong in this CPR class? There are many.
[00:53:58] Angela There are many. First of all, it starts with Kevin. Kevin gives out at twenty seconds. He’s like, I’m calling it. And then Rose is like, does anyone else want a turn? And Dwight says, absolutely he would not. And as the camera is pulling back away from Dwight to reveal the room, Jenna, at nine minutes, 50 seconds, I am whispering to someone off camera.
[00:54:22] Jenna No, what are you talking about? What are you saying?
[00:54:25] Angela I’m not looking at Rose. I’m looking at someone off camera. I don’t know who I’m talking to.
[00:54:30] Jenna Wait, let me ask you this question.
[00:54:32] Angela What?
[00:54:33] Jenna Could you be saying no to the other camera?
[00:54:37] Angela I think so, maybe. But it looks really weird. And I filmed it and I’m going to show it to you and I’ll put this in stories. But first, I’m going to show my BFF guys. OK, ready hit play.
[00:54:54] Dwight (UNCLEAR EPISODE PLAYBACK)
[00:54:57] Angela Do you see that?
[00:54:57] Jenna Lady, what are you doing?
[00:54:58] Angela I don’t know, but I’m very pointedly saying no. And look, look at my face.
[00:55:04] Jenna No. I think I don’t know if that’s an improv you’re doing if you’re doing it to camera.
[00:55:10] Angela I think it’s an improv that I’m doing to Matt Sohn. B camera.
[00:55:13] Jenna Yeah.
[00:55:14] Angela Angela in deleted scenes, had a talking head where she’s like, I am not putting my mouth on that thing. Who knows whose mouth has been on it. So I think I was sort of improvising off that talking head. But it looks really random if you catch it.
[00:55:28] Jenna It’s a very, very good catch, lady. Well, Stanley is going to give it a go because for some reason, Michael thinks Stanley should learn how to resuscitate himself.
[00:55:37] Angela We might not always be there.
[00:55:38] Jenna Right.
[00:55:39] Angela And then, of course in true Michael fashion, he takes over the meeting. Right. He’s going to tell them how to do CPR now. And they’re doing it all wrong. Rose says, listen, guys, you need one hundred beats per minute. And she suggests they pump to the tune of Staying Alive by the Bee Gees.
[00:55:57] Jenna At first, Michael confuses this with I Will Survive. But then Rose starts singing Staying Alive, you know, uh uh uh uh, staying alive. Stayin alive. Then Andy starts singing Staying Alive. Kelly starts dancing. It turns into a dance party.
[00:56:18] Angela I actually have the clip if you want to hear it.
[00:56:20] Jenna Let’s hear it.
[00:56:22] Andy and cast Ah ah ah ah, stayin alive. Stayin alive. Ah ah ah ah stayin alive. Stayin alive. Oh, you can tell by the way I use my walk I’m a woman’s man no time to talk. I worked out where women warm been kicked around since I was born. Well it’s alrigth. It’s OK. You can look the other way. Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo… stayin alive. Stayin alive.
[00:56:52] Angela I mean, poor Rose.
[00:56:56] Jenna We had a fan question from Meghan D in Scotland. Was any of the scene with the Red Cross lady improvised, such as Kelly’s dancing or Andy singing? No, guys, this whole thing, all the singing, the dancing, it was all scripted. And we followed this scene pretty much as written.
[00:57:16] Angela Brilliantly written.
[00:57:17] Jenna I found out who pitched this idea.
[00:57:20] Angela Oh, I know. Tell them.
[00:57:22] Jenna It is Jen Celotta.
[00:57:25] Angela Yes.
[00:57:26] Jenna This whole Staying Alive CPR idea came from her. She said that she had heard it was true. She looked it up and cross checked it. She said she cross checked it again because she didn’t want to put it on TV unless it was true. And then she shared with me that before The Office she had been a writer’s assistant on Home Improvement and that the writers had done an episode where the Jonathan Taylor Thomas character found a lump on his throat. And it turned out that it was a thyroid issue in the episode. Right. And Jen said that she was later in charge of opening the mail. And they got letters from all of these families that said after watching that episode, it helped save their children’s lives because their children had had a thyroid lump. And because of the episode, they got it checked out. And guys, since this Stress Relief episode aired, people have used the CPR technique to save lives.
[00:58:25] Angela They have. Jen shared with us that she heard about a guy pulling a woman out of a car and doing CPR to the tune of Staying Alive because of this episode. I looked it up. It’s true. There’s many articles. I’m going to start with this one, OK? In January of 2019, Rolling Stones ran the story. A scene from The Office that dealt with first aid technique, is credited to helping save a life after an Arizona man, despite having no CPR training, managed to resuscitate a woman in medical distress. His name, interestingly enough, is Cross Scott.
[00:59:01] Jenna Whoa.
[00:59:01] Angela Yeah, his last name is Scott. So he found an unconscious woman behind the wheel of her car that was rolling down a dirt road.
[00:59:09] Jenna Wow.
[00:59:10] Angela He smashed the window, got her out. And then he’s quoted as saying, I’ve never prepared myself for CPR in my life. I had no idea what I was doing. Thankfully, Scott had seen the episode of The Office that dealt with CPR training and knew to do chest compressions to the cadence of Staying Alive. They reached out to Courtney Slanacre, executive director of the Red Cross Southern Arizona chapter, and she told the Daily Star that if you don’t do CPR, the victim will die. Don’t be afraid to act. Whatever you do will help that victim and hopefully prevent a death. And Courtney confirmed that Staying Alive is, in fact, the correct rhythm for chest compressions.
[00:59:49] Jenna Wow.
[00:59:50] Angela Jen Celotta, you got it right.
[00:59:53] Jenna Wow.
[00:59:54] Angela There’s so many, guys. Just recently, in January of this year, the Today Show shared a story about a four year old girl who collapsed while playing tag and her dad, Matt Ueber, found her and started chest compressions again to the tune of Staying Alive. And he’s quoted as saying, When I was trying to think about what to do about CPR, my mind literally went to that episode of The Office where they are doing CPR training and doing the compressions to the beat of Stayin Alive.
[01:00:23] Jenna I mean, that just got me choked up to imagine that father in that moment. And then he had something, anything he could do.
[01:00:30] Angela I know. I know. And there’s more I know there’s more stories, but those two were two that stood out to me.
[01:00:38] Jenna Amazing.
[01:00:38] Angela And one of the things that after reading some of these stories Jenna that people share is that how important knowing CPR is and that we should all learn CPR. Yes, we have the Staying Alive so, you know the beats, but that we should all learn our CPR safety because it really can save a life.
[01:00:56] Jenna I know that when we had our son, our first child, Lee and I both did an infant CPR training.
[01:01:05] Angela Same, same.
[01:01:05] Jenna But we should do a refresher.
[01:01:07] Angela Yeah, well, it’s not over for Rose. She’s not out of the woods yet. Things are about to get even crazier.
[01:01:12] Jenna Yeah. She announces that we failed to save the life of our CPR dummy. Dwight suggests that the next course of action would be to harvest the organs for organ donation.
[01:01:27] Angela And then he, of course, grabs the giant knife that is strapped to his calf.
[01:01:32] Jenna Ankle. Yeah. And he hacks into the dummy’s chest.
[01:01:35] Angela Yeah. And we all freak out.
[01:01:37] Jenna Yeah, we freak out because then he cuts off the dummy’s face and puts it.
[01:01:42] Angela Puts it on his face.
[01:01:42] Jenna Like Silence of the Lambs. We had some fanmail about it. People would like to know how many CPR dummies were used in this episode. Well, I asked Randy.
[01:01:54] Angela I know for sure Rainn really did cut into it because we watched him do it.
[01:01:59] Jenna Randy said we used three CPR mannequins in total. Now, in a minute, David Wallace is going to say that they cost thirty five hundred dollars each. But Randy said that was a little exaggerated. He said there are some top end dummies that come with very sophisticated features like articulating heads and heartbeat simulators. Those cost at the time around a thousand dollars each. But we used one that cost about seven hundred and fifty dollars each. But listen, Dwight is in trouble again. He has to go back to corporate and he has to discuss his mutilation of the CPR dummy.
[01:02:38] Angela I really can’t believe the guy is still employed.
[01:02:43] Jenna I know.
[01:02:44] Angela Now he has this huge task where he has to go make this very public apology to his coworkers and they have to sign that they received his apology.
[01:02:54] Jenna Yes, that’s going to be now Dwight’s task. Meanwhile, we’ve got this very interesting, somewhat odd other storyline that’s going to come up.
[01:03:05] Angela It really seems like it comes out of nowhere. It’s in the break room. Andy I guess is really good at pirating movies. So you can see them before they come out. And Jim and Pam are going to watch this movie with Andy on his laptop.
[01:03:20] Jenna Yes, we got a lot of fan mail about this pirated movie scene. Hannah E, Abby S, and Bette S said, I am absolutely obsessed with the strange mini movie Andy watches with Jack Black and several other big names. How did this subplot come about?
[01:03:37] Angela Does it rhyme with Super Bowl?
[01:03:39] Jenna It does. It does. Remember when I said there was that extra scrutiny? Well, one of the things that the network was very insistent about was that this episode have big name guest stars.
[01:03:52] Angela So they could flash it about.
[01:03:54] Jenna Yeah.
[01:03:54] Angela Jack Black. Jessica Alba.
[01:03:57] Jenna Yes. There was a lot of comparison to when other shows had run after the Super Bowl, like Friends who had featured big guest stars. But Greg and the rest of our writers were very against this. Especially against it was Allison Jones, our casting director. They all felt that to have like a big name guest star walk into the office pretending to play a character at a small paper company would just totally shatter the reality of the documentary premise of our show. We would get all these new eyes on the episode maybe, but the conceit of our show is that it’s a documentary.
[01:04:36] Angela That’s right.
[01:04:36] Jenna You can’t have Jack Black come in and pretend to be a salesman.
[01:04:39] Angela Exactly. But you can years later have James Spader play Robert California.
[01:04:44] Jenna And have Idris Elba come in. And all these other people.
[01:04:46] Angela And Timothy Olyphant and Kathy Bates. OK, but for now.
[01:04:53] Jenna For now, our integrity is intact. OK, and Greg came up with this idea, this fix that would not, infect the reality of the show. And that was where the idea for Pam, Jim and Andy to watch this pirated movie. And I guess Teri Weinberg, who was one of our original executive producers, was now working as the executive vice president of NBC Entertainment. And Greg said that she was really instrumental in fighting like the kind of top brass at NBC to agree to this fix. They did. Jack Black was the first person to commit. He was all in. He loved our show. Cloris Leachman,
[01:05:36] Angela amazing, by the way.
[01:05:38] Jenna Amazing. She heard a pitch on what the story would be. And she was like, yes, I am in. And then finally, we got Jessica Alba.
[01:05:48] Angela So the movie is called Mrs. Albert Hannaday. And Jack Black is playing Sam. Cloris Leachman is playing Lily, a.k.a. Nana and Jessica Alba plays Sophie. It’s sort of a romantic love triangle story.
[01:06:03] Jenna Yeah, Jack Black is dating or engaged to Jessica Alba’s character, and she’s introducing him to her grandmother and there’s an instant connection. I mean, they go to shake hands and music starts playing.
[01:06:17] Angela Yeah, there’s some electricity there. Well, I want you to know there were some alt ideas for this parody movie, Jenna, and I went back to the table, read draft, not the shooting draft, just to see what it said in the table read. In the table read draft the movie was going to be called Hang Glider Cop.
[01:06:37] Jenna What?
[01:06:38] Angela And Jack Black would be a cop named Tanner that’s kind of a rogue cop. And he gets as punishment sent over to the hang gliding division. And now he’s going to be a hang gliding cop.
[01:06:51] Jenna A wacky comedy.
[01:06:53] Angela Like a cop comedy.
[01:06:54] Jenna OK.
[01:06:55] Angela They didn’t go with that one. Probably getting a hang glider was too much of a project.
[01:07:01] Jenna Gosh, I’d love to see that movie.
[01:07:02] Angela Hang Glider Cop.
[01:07:04] Jenna Jack Black. Are you listening?
[01:07:06] Angela H.G. Division,
[01:07:08] Jenna we got more fan questions about this. Livyan G, Nurit F and Matty L said, did we get to meet Jack Black, Cloris Leachman or Jessica Alba? No.
[01:07:20] Angela We did not work the same days they worked,
[01:07:22] Jenna they filmed all of their stuff in one day at a private residence in West L.A. The rest of us all had the day off. They didn’t even come to our base camp.
[01:07:33] Angela No, they were at a house.
[01:07:35] Jenna I looked it up on the call sheet. They started really early that day on the call sheet. It said breakfast would be ready for the crew at four forty two a.m. in a nearby park.
[01:07:47] Angela They had to get everything in one day.
[01:07:49] Jenna Yeah, the actors all arrived really early. They did their hair, makeup and wardrobe fittings all in the morning. And then they were finally allowed to go into the neighborhood where the house was located at 7:00 a.m. So they had vans that took everyone from this park base camp over to the location, and that’s where they filmed it. So we never met.
[01:08:12] Angela So while they’re watching Mrs. Albert Hannaday, we start seeing Pam getting all these text messages and we learn the storyline that Pam’s parents are in a rough patch.
[01:08:24] Jenna Yes. And that Pam’s dad is bunking with Jim and Pam.
[01:08:29] Angela It is really funny, though, that Jim and Pam were having these little sidebar relationship conversations. And Andy thinks it’s about the movie. Andy thinks you guys are just like geniuses at relationships, that you can just figure all the stuff out.
[01:08:41] Jenna Well, something else I should mention, Angela, is that we were actually watching this movie.
[01:08:46] Angela That’s one of my questions for you. I was like ask Jenna were they actually watching the movie on the laptop?
[01:08:53] Jenna So we were.
[01:08:54] Angela How could you not react to Cloris coming out of the tub? You had to be distracted on your phone. I was like, holy crap.
[01:09:01] Jenna So they had shot this a long time ago. If you look at the call sheets for this episode, this bit of us in the conference room was not even on the schedule for these nine days. We shot this another week later so that they could put together this mini movie so that we could have some reactions. The first time they played them for us, we couldn’t speak. We were riveted. We were like, what are we watching?
[01:09:29] Angela That was what I thought. I was like, how can Jim and Pam, like, not just be falling out of their chairs right now? And Andy’s like guys, they’re making out. Like.
[01:09:40] Jenna So what they did was they showed it to us and then we watched a blank screen, but we knew what we were supposed to be reacting to.
[01:09:50] Angela You knew the beats of it.
[01:09:51] Jenna Yes. And then they inserted it into the screen. You know, if you notice, it’s all over the shoulder onto the thing.
[01:09:58] Angela Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was very curious about that.
[01:10:00] Jenna Yeah, it was bonkers.
[01:10:02] Angela Well, after all the texting with Pam’s mom and dad, Pam says Jim can you talk to my dad? You’re so good.
[01:10:09] Jenna Yeah maybe he’ll be open up to you. This is not going to go the way Pam planned. But that’s for next week.
[01:10:17] Angela Well, before we close out this episode, Michael has decided to do yoga in the conference room.
[01:10:22] Jenna For relaxation.
[01:10:24] Angela It did really make me laugh when he was like, om, if you have your legs open close them, no one needs to see that om or whatever whatever he said. Cracked me up.
[01:10:32] Jenna It also really made me laugh when Jim says to Pam, don’t open your eyes. And she says, why. Oh, God,
[01:10:40] Angela I don’t know if you noticed Dwight and Angela laying side by side.
[01:10:43] Jenna Oh.
[01:10:44] Angela Yeah. That’s because there was a deleted scene where Dwight whispers to her, I will make love to you the way I used to, if you will sign my apology letter. And she’s like, oh, no.
[01:10:57] Jenna Wow. Well, during all of this, Stanley has a little heart monitor on and it beeps whenever he gets stressed. Turns out every time Michael gets close to him, it starts beeping. And then when Michael walks away, it stops. So Michael has this very funny talking head where he says, it turns out that Dwight wasn’t the killer after all. The killer was Michael. And he says, quote, You never suspect you’re the killer. It’s a great twist.
[01:11:22] Angela Great twist. Oh, my gosh, you guys, I was Stress Relief part one. We did it. We did it.
[01:11:30] Jenna Next week is part two, boom roasted. That’s next week. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this episode. Thank you, Oscar, Randall, Rainn and Brian for sending in your audio clips. Guys, Rainn and Brian both have podcasts. They are great. Rainn is the host of Metaphysical Milkshake and Brian is the host of The Office Deep Dive.
[01:11:52] Angela Yes, and also a huge thank you to Randy Cordray, Greg Daniels, Jeff Blitz, Jen Celotta, Paul Lieberstein, Dean Holland, James Kerry. Oh my gosh, Kate Flannery. We reached out to so many people.
[01:12:06] Jenna We always say thank you, but it’s because we mean it. Really.
[01:12:09] Angela Yeah.
[01:12:10] Jenna Thank you.
[01:12:10] Angela Thank you guys so much.
[01:12:12] Jenna And thank you for listening. We’ll be back next week with part two.
[01:12:15] Angela Have a good one.
[01:12:21] Jenna Thank you for listening to Office Ladies. Office Ladies is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Our show is executive produced by Codi Fischer. Our producer is Cassi Jerkins. Our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer, and our associate producer is Aynsley Bubbico.
[01:12:37] Angela 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.