October 3, 2023
This week is “Test the Store”. Dwight continues to try to impress Nellie and must depend on Jim for an epic Sabre store opening. Meanwhile Andy and Pam get harassed in the parking lot by some kids. The ladies tell some baby shoe stories, Angela has an update to Jenna’s coconut water share and Jenna wonders how quickly a bruise appears if you get punched in the face. This is a fun episode so enjoy it while you practice your sign spinning skills!
This American Life Tig Notaro Interview: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/476/transcript
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180 — Test the Store
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 [00:00:08] 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, everyone.
Angela [00:00:26] Good morning.
Jenna [00:00:28] Or afternoon.
Angela [00:00:28] Or evening.
Jenna [00:00:30] Or evening. Whenever you listen.
Angela [00:00:31] When will I stop saying good morning?
Jenna [00:00:34] I like it. I think you should never stop.
Angela [00:00:36] Okay.
Jenna [00:00:37] Today’s episode is Test the Store. It was season eight, episode 17, written by Mindy Kaling and directed by Brent Forrester.
Angela [00:00:46] I love it every time I see directed by Brent Forrester, because I know we’re going to get some fun nugget.
Jenna [00:00:52] Oh, and we have some.
Angela [00:00:54] Yeah.
Jenna [00:00:55] It’s very exciting. Here’s your summary for today: The Tallahassee team host the test launch of the new Sabre store, and it does not quite go as planned.
Angela [00:01:07] Hm mm.
Jenna [00:01:07] That’s an understatement.
Angela [00:01:08] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:01:09] Meanwhile, Andy saves Pam from being attacked in the parking lot, resulting in a self-defense class taught by Toby.
Angela [00:01:16] How excited was Toby?
Jenna [00:01:18] Any time we need him for anything.
Angela [00:01:21] Anything. But, I mean, he was like, Let me go change my clothes!
Jenna [00:01:25] Let me go get my cup!
Angela [00:01:26] Yeah. Oh, my God. That’s right.
Jenna [00:01:29] All right. Fast fact number one. Guest star, Tig Notaro.
Angela [00:01:35] Yeah.
Jenna [00:01:35] We got fan mail. Alexis K from California said, Tig Notaro is so incredible. This episode was the first thing I ever saw her in. And then my husband and I stumbled on one of her Netflix specials and we have been big fans ever since. I’d love to know everything about her casting for this role. I know she and Ed Helms were friends, but was there any other story about her casting? I wish she’d had a bigger guest role because she’s so funny and her deadpan humor is perfect for The Office.
Angela [00:02:02] I did too. I really thought maybe her character was going to come back.
Jenna [00:02:06] Me too. Maybe in the parking lot at the end of the day.
Angela [00:02:09] Yeah. I so thought that because just the way she’s like, You guys do great work.
Jenna [00:02:14] Yeah. I love your paper.
Angela [00:02:16] Love your paper. I was like, I wonder if she’s going to come back?
Jenna [00:02:19] Well, everyone, Tig is a standup comedian who had been on the Sarah Silverman Program before being on The Office, and Mindy was a huge fan of hers. You know, Mindy wrote this episode and she requested Tig for the role of the mom. And that’s how we got Tig on the show.
Angela [00:02:36] We were so lucky.
Jenna [00:02:37] Now, I’m not sure if everyone knows, but about a year after Tig worked on the show, she was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer. And she did this standup show at Largo just days after getting her cancer diagnosis. Ed Helms, who had known her from the stand up world, had the set right before her. And, you know, the comedian who goes before introduces the next comedian. So Ed Helms introduced her, introduced this now legendary comedy set where she just immediately starts talking about having cancer.
Angela [00:03:12] So earnestly.
Jenna [00:03:14] Yes.
Angela [00:03:15] Like, no, I have cancer. It takes you aback at first and then you’re on this ride with her. I don’t even know how to describe it.
Jenna [00:03:20] Ed told me that he was standing backstage with the other comedians, and no one knew that this was going to be her set.
Angela [00:03:27] Wow.
Jenna [00:03:27] And he said, you just watched something historic happen. I actually have a clip of the beginning.
Angela [00:03:34] Oh, okay.
Ed Helms [00:03:37] I am now very thrilled and it is my great privilege to bring to the stage someone who is extremely nice, extremely funny, extremely warm hearted and wonderful, and also was on The Office once, and is a very, very dear friend who I love and cherish. And you do too. Of course, I’m talking about Tig Notaro.
Tig Notaro [00:04:08] Hello. Good evening. Hello. I have cancer. How are you? Hi. How are you? Is everybody having a good time? I have cancer. How are you? It’s a good time. Diagnosed with cancer. Feels good. Just diagnosed with cancer. Oh, God. Oh, my God. It’s weird because with…. humor, the equation is tragedy plus time equals comedy. I am just at tragedy right now. That’s just where I am in the equation.
Jenna [00:05:14] So guys, I was trading texts with Ed Helms about this and he reminded me that This American Life did a podcast where they interviewed Tig about this comedy set. They play a big portion of the comedy set, and I started listening to it while I was driving home from physical therapy the other day, and I ended up sitting in my driveway in my parked car, just laughing and sobbing. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. It is an absolute revelation because not only did she just find out that she had stage two cancer, she had also just gotten out of the hospital after having this horrible bacterial infection. Her mother had just died in a terrible accident, and she had just broken up with her girlfriend, like all in the past few months. And she does a comedy set about all of that. And you’re just like, I don’t even know how I’m laughing, but I’m also crying. I highly recommend it. You should definitely check it out.
Angela [00:06:10] I want to hear her on This American Life, because I, I heard that set a long time ago. But I’d be curious to hear her now talk about doing it and what that process was like for her. Like, was it healing? What was her motivation? So I really want to hear that.
Jenna [00:06:30] Yeah, she does talk about that. I won’t ruin it for anyone.
Angela [00:06:32] Okay.
Jenna [00:06:33] Best to hear it in her words.
Angela [00:06:34] Okay, well, we’ll put a link in our stories.
Jenna [00:06:37] Definitely. You know, the recording of that set, It’s called Tig Notaro Live was nominated for a Grammy Award as well. Now, Tig has been in so many things. I mean, her resume is very, very, very long. But I did want to give a shout out for our Trekkie fans because she has a recurring role on Star Trek Discovery. She plays Jet Reno over several seasons of the show.
Angela [00:07:00] This is the one sci fi series I don’t know. I don’t know Star Trek. Don’t come for me, Trekkies. But I will have to check out Tig as Jet Reno.
Jenna [00:07:09] And, you know, just to throw even a little bit more love Tig’s way, she has a podcast. It’s called Don’t Ask Tig. It is an advice podcast. Angela, you know I love advice podcasts.
Angela [00:07:21] I know you do.
Jenna [00:07:21] You know, Chelsea Handler does the segment as part of her podcast that’s an advice podcast. And we were on Chelsea’s podcast and got to give advice! It was so much fun.
Angela [00:07:31] Yeah. And then we got to ask Chelsea, like, one thing we need advice on. You asked her about clothes to ski in or boots?
Jenna [00:07:39] Both.
Angela [00:07:40] Oh, okay. I knew it was like ski gear. And I asked her how she makes her margaritas because I heard she makes a killer margarita.
Jenna [00:07:48] Yeah. Well, Tig’s advice podcast is also amazing. Again, it’s called Don’t Ask Tig. It’s very, very funny. And Tig is also very genuine.
Angela [00:07:57] She is. I want to read one thing from her website that just tickled me. So she has a lot of live tour dates. If you want to see her, you can go to Tignation.com. But on her bio page, she has an entry where she shares secret facts about herself and she lists her past jobs.
Jenna [00:08:17] Oh, my gosh. Tig fast facts!
Angela [00:08:19] Tig fast facts. Here are some of her past jobs. Pizza delivery. Childcare. Music Promotion. Barista. Natural food store stocker. Assistant at Xena Warrior Princess.
Jenna [00:08:32] Wow.
Angela [00:08:33] I know.
Jenna [00:08:34] Well, Tig. You are amazing. Just all around amazing. You were amazing on The Office. We love you. And now I’m going to move us on to fast fact number two, guest star, Georgia Engel! We have two powerhouse women guesting in this episode.
Angela [00:08:51] I have to tell you, last night when I was prepping, like the final things for today, I went back and watched a few Mary Tyler Moore episodes.
Jenna [00:09:00] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:09:00] She’s so good. First of all, that show is so good. It makes me want to rewatch it, like, start to finish. But she plays Georgette. She’s so good.
Jenna [00:09:09] She won an Emmy for that role.
Angela [00:09:10] She should have.
Jenna [00:09:11] Yes. She also had a recurring role on Everybody Loves Raymond, and I love her on that. And she was nominated for an Emmy for that because she’s amazing. But here’s a fun fact I have to share about her, because it’s also about my hometown.
Angela [00:09:24] Okay.
Jenna [00:09:25] So I think we’ve talked about this on the podcast before. There’s this big outdoor amphitheater in Saint Louis called the MUNY, and they do big musicals there every summer.
Angela [00:09:33] You have talked about the MUNY because Phyllis did the show with the nuns there.
Jenna [00:09:37] Yes. Nunsense!
Angela [00:09:38] Yes.
Jenna [00:09:39] Yes. Well, St. Louis is very proud to brag that she has done five different seasons at the MUNY in St. Louis doing musicals. We like to brag about that.
Angela [00:09:49] You love a little St. Louis shout out.
Jenna [00:09:51] I do. And now we have a fan question from Karen C in Newark, Delaware. How did Georgia Engel get on the show? And would love to hear Ellie’s thoughts on working with her.
Angela [00:10:02] I was so jealous that Ellie got to work with her.
Jenna [00:10:05] I know. We didn’t.
Angela [00:10:06] I mean, there’s more scenes of them, you know? It was really cut down. But in deleted scenes, they get to sit on a park bench and eat a pretzel like dipped in it looks like mustard. And they both have mustard, like all over their faces. They have this like heart to heart while eating these giant pretzels. I mean, Ellie was so lucky!
Jenna [00:10:26] Well, I reached out to Brent Forrester, who directed this episode, and he said that it was Greg Daniels’ idea to bring Georgia on the show because he was a huge fan of her character on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. And he actually kind of felt like the character of Erin was of the same comedic tradition. And so it was kind of like, you know, the passing of like a generational comedy torch, so to speak.
Angela [00:10:49] How cool.
Jenna [00:10:50] But I also texted with Ellie Kemper, and she said that Georgia was the absolute sweetest lady ever and a total pro. And she was totally in awe of how funny she was. She just loved her time working with her. And Georgia is going to be on another episode. So this is not our last time seeing her. Now, moving on to fast fact three, we have an Office Ladies announcement. Speaking of advice podcasts…
Angela [00:11:16] I wish we had music or something.
[00:11:18] I know!
[00:11:18] I was like, I was thinking, we’re going to announce this today. And I’m like, I wish we had, like, a little jingle.
Jenna [00:11:23] I know it feels like it needs one, right?
Angela [00:11:25] All right. I’m going to do one underneath it. Ready?
[00:11:28] This is me typing, guys.
Jenna [00:11:30] Okay.
Angela [00:11:30] You start talking.
Jenna [00:11:31] Well, I’m at the announcement part already.
Angela [00:11:33] Okay. Click, click, click, click, click, click, click. Ting!
Jenna [00:11:36] Next week, we have a special episode of Office Ladies. It is Dear Office Ladies!
Angela [00:11:42] Dear Office Ladies!
Jenna [00:11:44] Remember a while back when we asked you to write in with your workplace dilemmas and we said we would do our best to give you advice? Well, next week you’re going to hear how it all turned out!
Angela [00:11:53] And thank you guys so much for writing in. So many people wrote in hilarious stuff.
Jenna [00:11:58] It was so much fun reading the letters.
Angela [00:12:00] I can’t wait for people to hear it.
Jenna [00:12:01] Me either! So be on the lookout for that next week.
Angela [00:12:05] Dear Office Ladies!
Jenna [00:12:07] Woohoo!
Both [00:12:09] Click, click, click, click, click, click.
Angela [00:12:11] Cling!
Jenna [00:12:11] Well, that’s all I got, lady.
Angela [00:12:13] I loved it all. Well, let’s take a break, because when we come back, you guys, the Sabre store is opening.
Jenna [00:12:19] It is.
Angela [00:12:20] It’s opening day. We are back with a Dwight talking head. He’s going to share with us that today is the test launch of the inaugural Sabre store. And he’s in charge. And if all goes well, he’s going to get that VP position. As Dwight is giving this talking head, you get to see a little bit of the store behind him. So I was curious what it said in the shooting draft about this store. Here’s what it said: This store is new and shiny. Inside, we see Pyramids, the tablet of tomorrow, Arrowheads, the phone of the future, Sabre printers and fax machines, a promotional cutout of NBC’s Chuck using a Pyramid. So this got me curious. I was wondering if there are other big tech companies that had big store openings like this kind of back in the day when we would have been writing this. And I found something. I’m so curious if this was inspiration for the writers. I read this article on ink.com about Apple’s first ever retail store. And Jenna-
Jenna [00:13:34] Where was it?
Angela [00:13:35] Oh, that’s such a great question. I was just going to ask you if you could guess. The first store was at Tysons Corner Shopping Center in McLean, Virginia.
Jenna [00:13:45] That is not what I was expecting you to say.
Angela [00:13:47] I know. And this is what the article said, quote, If you had asked anyone who didn’t work for Apple whether it was a good idea for the company to open its own retail stores, most people would have told you no. Retail is expensive and risky. And Apple in 2001, when it launched its first retail store, wasn’t nearly as successful a company as it is today. Opening physical retail stores seemed foolish.
Jenna [00:14:15] Especially because you’re only selling one brand.
Angela [00:14:18] Yeah.
Jenna [00:14:19] You know, it’s like you used to go to, where? Like Best Buy or somewhere like that to get your-
Angela [00:14:26] Wal-Mart.
Jenna [00:14:27] Yeah, you get your computer and there be like all the different brands.
Angela [00:14:31] The article went on to say, Steve Jobs knew that Apple had always been both a tech company but also a lifestyle brand. And that means giving you an experience. And lady, there is a video, a really old video of Steve Jobs giving a tour of this first ever Apple store. And I want you to hear the first minute of the clip.
Steve Jobs [00:14:55] This is our store. And the store is divided into four parts. The first quarter of the store has our home section with great home and education products and our pro section with all our great pro products. And every product we make is in this first 25% of the store. You can see the whole product line. And as you see up on the ceiling, we’ve even labeled the sections home, music, kids, genius on this side, and pro, movie photos, and etc. on this side. Now there’s 36 computers on display in the store. Every single one of them is connected to the Internet, so you can go up to any computer and start surfing, go to your personal website, or do whatever you want to do on the Internet. The center half of the store, literally half the store, is devoted to solutions. Because people don’t just want to buy personal computers anymore. They want to know what they can do with them. And we’re going to show people exactly that.
Angela [00:15:54] Okay. As he’s showing the store and he gets to the part where he’s like, here’s what people want. They want solutions. I couldn’t help but think of this store opening and how Dwight wanted to create this, like, hunger for learning and solutions and Jim’s big presentation, and, I don’t know, it just made me think of this episode.
Jenna [00:16:16] I have to imagine that somehow they researched this same thing.
Angela [00:16:21] I found it fascinating. The video is much, much longer. He gives a full tour of the store. But you really felt that sense of how new this was.
Jenna [00:16:30] Well, that was amazing. I love that.
Angela [00:16:32] I was fascinated by it.
Jenna [00:16:34] Well, you mentioned the lifesize cutout of Chuck.
Angela [00:16:37] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:16:38] And we got a lot of mail about it, Angela. We had a fan question from Saundra C in Georgia and many others who said, In this episode, we see a life size cutout of Chuck, played by Zachary Levi, displaying his love of the Pyramid phone. This is not addressed in the episode and is never explained. Was Zachary Levi in on this? Did he have to give permission? Well, first of all, just for anyone who doesn’t know, Chuck was a very popular television show running during this time. It was created by Josh Schwartz.
Angela [00:17:11] It was also on NBC.
Jenna [00:17:12] It was. The plot was, Computer geek Chuck Bartowski opens an email that has been encoded subliminally with vital government secrets, triggering a massive download of critical information into his brain, prompting both the CIA and NSA to assign an agent to protect him so that no one can exploit this downloaded information in his brain.
Angela [00:17:38] Yeah, like his old college roommate emailed it to him and somehow he got all this information in his brain.
Jenna [00:17:45] Kind of a la The Matrix.
Angela [00:17:47] Kind of.
Jenna [00:17:48] Without the spigot thing, you know, without going without the poky thing that goes in the back of his- you have to plug in.
Angela [00:17:53] Oh, yeah, yeah. Not plugged in. Yeah.
Jenna [00:17:56] Right. To download it. This was a wireless download.
Angela [00:17:58] Yeah.
Jenna [00:17:59] Well, when this episode aired, the series finale of Chuck had just aired. It was a big event.
Angela [00:18:05] The whole series?
Jenna [00:18:06] The whole series had just ended.
Angela [00:18:08] Oh.
Jenna [00:18:08] But in order to get and use this cut out of Zachary Levi, Steve Burgess said we had to ask Warner Brothers because they own the character of Chuck. And they said yes, but we had to pay them in order to use their character. And then we contacted Zachary Levi to see if we could take some photos of him for our cut out, but he wasn’t available. So Warner Brothers let us use like a publicity photo that they had for the TV show. And Warner Brothers said that their only stipulation was that we had to give them credit and we could not use Chuck in any derogatory way, which we did not.
Angela [00:18:46] We did not. There was an extended scene when everyone is arriving for the day to come work in the new Sabre store.
Jenna [00:18:53] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:18:54] Each Dunder-Mifflin Sabre employee walks past the Chuck poster, and they all do, like, you know, the two fingers where you kiss the two fingers, and then you pat it on something.
Jenna [00:19:04] Like a good luck thing?
Angela [00:19:05] Yeah. They all go (KISS NOISE) and they, like, kind of pat his forehead. Everyone does it except Erin, who hugs him, and Stanley just walks by him indifferently.
Jenna [00:19:15] Brent shared that Mindy was very fond of this cardboard cutout.
Angela [00:19:19] She was. I remember it.
Jenna [00:19:21] Yes. Because after the episode was over, do you remember she put it in her office?
Angela [00:19:25] Yeah. In the corner.
Jenna [00:19:26] Yes. And she would hang things on it, like she’d put her hat on it or a hoodie.
Angela [00:19:31] Her coat. Yeah.
Jenna [00:19:33] Yeah. So you could go in there and it would be sort of like a dress up cut out.
Angela [00:19:37] Yeah. And if her door was open, if you were walking down the hallway, you always saw it. It’s really funny.
Jenna [00:19:42] Yes! And sometimes you’d forget and think a person was in there. Or that Zachary Levi was in there.
Angela [00:19:48] Yeah. Before we move on, I really need to talk about Erin’s storyline. Apparently, Dwight has given everyone a character for this episode. As they try to get sales. And Erin’s character is Tabitha, and she’s there to create hype, you know? And she said it’s working. She’s camping outside. I want to talk to you about her outfit.
Jenna [00:20:08] Yeah, she’s a hipster.
Angela [00:20:09] This is how Tabitha the hipster dresses: black felt hat, big black glasses, nose ring, black cuff bracelet, purple feather clip in her hair, trendy necklace? Question mark. Is it a gold bear? I couldn’t tell.
Jenna [00:20:22] I didn’t look that closely.
Angela [00:20:24] Black tank top. Fringe vest jacket thingy. Black and red plaid mini skirt. Gray tights and gold, sparkly high tops. And all I could think about was, you’re in those gray tights in Florida?
Jenna [00:20:37] Yeah.
Angela [00:20:37] Yeah. Well, anyway, this outfit was a lot of effort. It takes a lot of effort, I think, to look hip.
Jenna [00:20:43] Well, that is for sure. Our costume department had a big job this week because in addition to Tabitha’s hipster outfit, all of the matching Sabree attire, those blue shirts stitched with the word Sabre, they’ve got these whatever triangle front facing backpacks? What are those?
Angela [00:21:04] I don’t know.
Jenna [00:21:05] Yeah, and just like, very elaborate thing that we’ve pulled together here. Sabre spent some money on these outfits, but this was like a satire of the Apple store where everybody wears a uniform.
Angela [00:21:17] Yeah.
Jenna [00:21:17] And, you know, they look sharp. They’re ready to help you.
Angela [00:21:20] Yes. They committed to this. They definitely spent a lot of money. I have to think, oh, my gosh, I just have to think this company is so poorly run.
Jenna [00:21:29] I mean, for sure. I also think it’s a little unbelievable that Jo isn’t there for the opening of this store. I noticed her absence. I have to say.
Angela [00:21:40] Oh, that she didn’t pop by. Yeah.
Jenna [00:21:41] Yeah. Or pop up on a zoom.
Angela [00:21:43] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:21:44] I think she was probably busy being Kathy Bates.
Angela [00:21:49] Living her best life. Because she does. Well, Nellie is going to gather everyone in for some motivating words before the doors open. Did you notice at the top of the scene that Cathy and Jim are standing side by side like nothing’s ever happened?
Jenna [00:22:04] It was so annoying to me that in this whole episode, we in no way address everything that happened last week between Jim and Cathy. There’s a moment where she tries to make a joke with him and it falls flat. He won’t give her eye contact. But that’s it. That’s all we get.
Angela [00:22:21] Well, guys, there was more in the shooting draft.
Jenna [00:22:23] Oh, thank goodness!
Angela [00:22:25] Yes. And in deleted scenes, there’s some talking heads. Right after this moment where they’re standing side by side, Cathy would have had a deleted talking head. Here’s what she said: So Jim and I had an experience in his hotel room. So awkward. We just need to have a conversation to clear the air, figure out what it is we both want from this.
Jenna [00:22:49] What?
Angela [00:22:49] Yeah.
Jenna [00:22:50] She’s still thinking something can happen?
Angela [00:22:54] Yeah. That’s why if you watch the episode, she gives him little glances here and there.
Jenna [00:22:59] Trying to connect.
Angela [00:23:00] Yeah. And then Jim has a few deleted talking heads, and there are also a ton in the candy bag alts, where he’s just basically, like, he’s steering clear. He’s like, No, no, no. But, yeah.
Jenna [00:23:11] But still nothing about Pam. We still don’t know if Jim told Pam or anything about that part of the storyline.
Angela [00:23:19] No, no, no. Nope. All Jim says in his deleted talking heads is that he thinks Cathy is like whack a doodle, and he’s steering clear.
Jenna [00:23:25] Here’s what I would have appreciated. I would have appreciated a Jim talking head that was something like, All right, Pam and I talked about this and we have a strategy. Pam said when Cathy blank, here’s what I should do. Or something. So I just like this idea of of knowing that they’re in it together. That Pam is aware and she’s strategizing with Jim how to handle this uncomfortable situation.
Angela [00:23:48] I agree. Or Jim kind of just called Pam and been like, Okay, it’s a little awkward today, but, you know, I’m just getting through it. Or something.
Jenna [00:23:55] Yeah. Something.
Angela [00:23:56] Nellie is going to go on to share that she is from a working class town named Basildon. I looked it up. It’s about 26 miles from central London. Do you know anything about Basildon?
Jenna [00:24:08] I don’t.
Angela [00:24:09] In 1949, it was officially declared to be one of the new towns built by the government to rehouse Londoners whose homes were destroyed in the Blitz.
Jenna [00:24:19] Oh, wow.
Angela [00:24:19] Yeah. Since then, it has developed into an iconic part of South Essex and earned itself quite the reputation. It has lots of transport connections to London as well as a whole host of amenities. You know what I found very interesting?
Jenna [00:24:33] What?
Angela [00:24:34] Claim to fame for Basildon. It is the home of the band Depeche Mode.
Jenna [00:24:39] Whoa.
Angela [00:24:39] Yeah. They were formed in Basildon in 1980. I mean, come on. I just started listening to Depeche Mode last night after I read that. Do you know any Depeche Mode? I loved them.
Jenna [00:24:49] I mean, I’m sure I do, but I can’t think- nothings jumping to the front of my mind.
Angela [00:24:53] Let me give you just a few bars here.
Jenna [00:24:55] Okay.
Angela [00:24:55] Just a few bars.
Jenna [00:24:57] When I think of Depeche Mode, I think moody. Am I remembering them correctly? Oh, no, that’s not moody.
Angela [00:25:04] That’s not moody.
Jenna [00:25:05] That’s a good time. Got some synthesizer.
Angela [00:25:12] Yeah!
Jenna [00:25:12] Oh, yeah. Hello, 80s.
Angela [00:25:14] I mean, I’ve got my scrunchie. I’ve crimped my hair.
Jenna [00:25:18] Please tell me there’s a saxophone break in the song.
Angela [00:25:21] Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. No saxophone.
Jenna [00:25:23] Darn it.
Both [00:25:26] I just can’t get it enough. I just can’t get enough.
Jenna [00:25:30] Oh, yeah.
Angela [00:25:31] Yeah! I mean.
Jenna [00:25:34] Oh, and they’re cuties, too.
Angela [00:25:35] I know.
Jenna [00:25:36] Okay.
Angela [00:25:38] Took me back, guys. It took me back to some neon outfits. My white high tops.
Jenna [00:25:44] All of which are coming back.
Angela [00:25:46] I know.
Jenna [00:25:47] Well, when Nellie is done, she’s going to introduce Dwight, who’s going to start handing out dossiers on our bloggers who are coming to the store. He, like you said, starts handing out different roles people are supposed to play. And we got a fan question from Melissa B in Michigan who said, While Dwight is giving instructions for the opening day, Ryan is eating. This has been driving me crazy. No one else is eating. And it doesn’t look like proper food, like a donut or a bagel or something you might have on hand for the store employees. But it’s also not takeout. What is it? Was this a scripted snack? And if so, why is he the only one eating? Well, Melissa, I looked. There is nothing in the script that says Ryan is eating. And I zoomed in on it and it honestly looks like B.J. stopped by craft services…
Angela [00:26:45] And grabbed something.
Jenna [00:26:46] And brought his plate onto the set. It looks like crafty to me.
Angela [00:26:49] Yeah. I mean, sometimes the fellas would do this.
Jenna [00:26:53] Yes, this is true. We also had a fan catch from Grace L in British Columbia who said, Did you notice at 2 minutes and 29 seconds, Erin slaps Cathy’s hand?
Angela [00:27:05] No!
Jenna [00:27:07] Yeah.
Angela [00:27:07] I did not notice that.
Jenna [00:27:08] I had to go back and look at it. There’s nothing in the script about it, but yeah. Erin swats Cathy’s hand during this Dwight speech at one point.
Angela [00:27:19] Oh, wait. Oh, I did see that. And also in deleted scenes, she does it. I thought she was giving her props like a high five, like lean over, like, slap the hand.
Jenna [00:27:29] But Cathy doesn’t reciprocate or notice.
Angela [00:27:32] Yeah, I know, but I think Erin’s just excited cuz it’s like towards the end of the speech, and she’s like, Heck yeah.
Jenna [00:27:38] Right.
Angela [00:27:39] Yeah.
Jenna [00:27:40] It’s very low and to the side.
Angela [00:27:41] Yeah, it’s a little low slide yeah, girl.
Jenna [00:27:44] Okay.
Angela [00:27:45] I don’t know why I felt the need to act it out with my own hands for you guys who can’t see me doing it.
Jenna [00:27:52] Well, it wasn’t in the script, so I guess it was just a choice made on the day.
Angela [00:27:56] Yeah, I think Ellie just improvised that moment because, you know, Nellie’s like, she wants to create a sense of wonder, enthusiasm! She wants goose pimples! And now everyone let in the bloggers.
Jenna [00:28:07] I just realized I haven’t given y’all a location breakdown for this store.
Angela [00:28:13] Jenna, what’s going on? No location breakdown?
Jenna [00:28:15] I mean, I have one. That’s the thing. Of course, I emailed Steve Burgess and asked him, Where did we shoot this store? I wondered if the back of the store was a set. Obviously, the front of the store is a real location.
Angela [00:28:29] The break room.
Jenna [00:28:30] Mm hmm. You know, because we built the hotel conference room on our stages.
Angela [00:28:34] Oh, yeah.
Jenna [00:28:34] So I thought maybe to control light and sound, did we build the back room? We didn’t. The answer’s no. We didn’t.
Angela [00:28:42] We didn’t? We didn’t.
Jenna [00:28:43] No, no, we shot the whole thing, the back room, the front room, in an abandoned mini mall. Steve said there were only a couple of stores still open in this small, but it was mostly empty, so we really had to dress more than one storefront. And then we used the other empty storefronts, like, to store our equipment. Stuff like that.
Angela [00:29:03] So we sort of took over an old, abandoned, mini mall.
Jenna [00:29:06] Yes. And it was in Valencia.
Angela [00:29:08] Okay. I love a location breakdown. I like to know all the details.
Jenna [00:29:14] Before we move out of this break room, we got a fan mail flurry about the most interesting detail. I don’t know if you noticed it.
Angela [00:29:24] Is that a green monkey that sits on the couch?
Jenna [00:29:27] Yes! Yes! The green monkey!
Angela [00:29:29] What the heck? Also, Isabel has this monkey.
Jenna [00:29:33] She does?
Angela [00:29:34] Yes.
Jenna [00:29:35] I can tell you where this monkey is from. Thanks to Erin M from New Jersey.
Angela [00:29:40] Okay.
Jenna [00:29:41] Erin, M wrote in and said, I have been waiting for this episode to ask you because I have this exact same monkey. Erin says, You know how everyone has that one special stuffed animal that they latched on to as a kid and they took everywhere, and then it gets kind of beat up and falling apart but you will never get rid of it?
Angela [00:29:59] Yes, I still have my bear, Henry.
Jenna [00:30:01] I still have my dog, Prancey. Well, Erin said, Mine is this monkey, who I named Steve, and I got him at Pier 1 Imports store when I was a kid.
Angela [00:30:14] Oh, my gosh, Erin, it is all flooding back to me. There was a Pier 1 by my house when I was filming The Office. I got my daughter this monkey at Pier 1! I forgot!
Jenna [00:30:26] Erin said that her parents were furniture shopping, and Steve was her reward for being patient while they looked at furniture.
Angela [00:30:33] Awww.
Jenna [00:30:33] Erin slept with Steve every night, brought him on vacations, and I even used to buy baby clothes and put them on him. He was my best buddy. Erin goes on to say, Years later, as a teenager, I worked at the same Pier 1, but no more green monkey. They had been discontinued. So I have no idea how or why this green monkey ended up on this couch. But it is the Pier 1 green monkey. His name was Max. That’s what Pier 1 called him. And it is not for sale anymore. But there are tons like tons of them posted on places like eBay or Mercari, like used monkeys, because clearly this monkey was a big hit.
Angela [00:31:14] Yeah.
Jenna [00:31:14] So you can go on and get one for like 50 bucks, 35 bucks.
Angela [00:31:18] It’s really funny. There’s one moment where Jim is sitting on the couch and the monkey is just sitting next to him, like, perfectly positioned as if they’re both just hanging out. And I’m like, What? What were we doing? What was Phil Shea up to? Were they just having some fun? I looked back at the shooting draft.
Jenna [00:31:35] Same!
Angela [00:31:35] I looked at all of the alts. I couldn’t find anything.
Jenna [00:31:39] We never used the monkey.
Angela [00:31:40] Nope.
Jenna [00:31:40] Yeah, there it is. I wish I could get down to it. I asked Brent about it, but he didn’t have anything to say about the monkey either. We don’t know how it got there.
Angela [00:31:48] We don’t know.
Jenna [00:31:49] But we know what it is.
Angela [00:31:51] Well, let’s take a break, because when we get back, Andy’s got a big old black eye.
Jenna [00:31:55] He does. And a story to go with it. We are back and Andy has arrived to work. He’s walking in with Pam. He’s kind of hiding his face, trying to get into his office quickly. But people need his attention. So he’s going to have to reveal.
Angela [00:32:19] I mean, Kevin in particular needs everyone to know that, guess what? The paper boy isn’t a paper boy.
Jenna [00:32:25] No.
Angela [00:32:25] No, it’s a man in a car.
Jenna [00:32:28] Yeah. Not a kid on a bike.
Angela [00:32:30] Not a kid on a bike. This news is not hitting everyone the way Kevin hoped it would, because Andy turns around and we see his black eye. It’s not just his eye. It’s like his whole cheek.
Jenna [00:32:42] I had to Google something when I saw it.
Angela [00:32:44] Oh, no. Is it about getting hit in the face and what happens to your eye or something?
Jenna [00:32:49] Yeah, everyone is shocked and they’re like, What happened? What happened? And it turns out that there was a gang who was harassing Pam in the parking lot with weapons.
Angela [00:33:02] Yeah.
Jenna [00:33:03] And Andy stepped in to confront them and punches were thrown.
Angela [00:33:07] Yeah.
Jenna [00:33:07] And one landed right on Andy’s face.
Angela [00:33:10] Yep.
Jenna [00:33:10] Of course, during this whole speech, we see what really happened. We see some documentary footage.
Angela [00:33:17] Yeah, of, like, a group of kids on bicycles. They throw a bunch of looks like pine cones. They have pinecones in their basket. And then Andy steps in because they’re throwing pine cones at Pam. And then this young girl punches Andy in the face, and then they all ride away on their bicycles.
Jenna [00:33:33] Yes. Does your eye get that bruised immediately after getting punched in the eye? I know we had to have it because we needed this visual, you know.
Angela [00:33:45] I don’t know. Look at this big bruise I have on my elbow. That’s like five days old.
Jenna [00:33:49] I know. That’s what I mean. I. I actually looked it up. It says it takes 1 to 2 days to get a black and blue bruise after an injury. It bruises up time.
Angela [00:34:00] Well, well, that’s some TV magic for you.
Jenna [00:34:02] Yeah. A wound check. I did a little wound check.
Angela [00:34:06] Wound check. Oscar thinks they should call the police. Everyone’s in agreement with them. Phyllis wants to feel safe, and Andy’s like, No, no, no. I don’t want to put a stain on the neighborhood. Andy has neighborhood pride. 18505. Looked it up. That is the Scranton zip code.
Jenna [00:34:24] I hope so. I mean, that seems like an easy detail to get right.
Angela [00:34:29] I know that would be really bad if we just threw out some numbers.
Jenna [00:34:32] I have two catches in this scene.
Angela [00:34:34] Okay?
Jenna [00:34:35] Number one, when Pam is standing by her desk, we have a proof of cold. My heater is on. You can see it. And I’d also like to point out that Angela is at reception.
Angela [00:34:45] Yes, I am.
Jenna [00:34:45] During this scene. And I said that I would track who is answering the phone after our episode of realizing that no one was answering the phone. And then we kick Andy off of the reception desk. I was wondering who is going to answer the phone for the next few weeks? Maybe we’re rotating and that’s why Angela is at reception?
Angela [00:35:06] At reception and extra grumpy. I also noticed Dwight’s ant farm is still going strong.
Jenna [00:35:12] Wonderful.
Angela [00:35:13] Hope someone’s taking care of it while he’s in Florida.
Jenna [00:35:15] Doesn’t it self-regulate, or do you have to feed them?
Angela [00:35:18] Let’s hope. I don’t know.
Jenna [00:35:19] I can’t remember. I did that deep dive on the ant farm and I’ve already forgotten. I get so excited about my deep dives and then I, like, bring them out at, like, different dinner parties, but then I forget them. I have to go back and re-listen to my own podcast so I can remember all my interesting side tidbits, like how to feed an ant farm.
Angela [00:35:39] I think we should have our deep dives the book.
Jenna [00:35:42] I love this idea, lady!
Angela [00:35:44] I know. Well all of the anything we’ve ever shared or googled, we’ve put in a book called Office Lady Deep Dives.
Jenna [00:35:50] I would buy it. I would buy that book for myself.
Angela [00:35:53] That way you could dog ear a few pages, put some Post-it notes that before your cocktail party, you’ve got some tidbits.
Jenna [00:35:59] It’s the deep dive Bible, like how we have the show Bible on the show. This is our deep dive Bible. I could have opened it up right now to Ant Farm.
Angela [00:36:06] Yeah.
Jenna [00:36:07] And I’d have the answer.
Angela [00:36:08] And we’d have the answer.
Jenna [00:36:08] I could also just Google it quickly, but I like our idea better.
Angela [00:36:12] So Andy is trying to get out of calling the cops, right?
Jenna [00:36:14] Yes. Yes.
Angela [00:36:15] And actually reporting what really did happen. So he said, you know what? Toby’s going to teach us self-defense. Well, oh, my gosh, did he make Toby’s day.
Jenna [00:36:24] So excited.
Angela [00:36:26] He keeps his cup, I guess, in his office bag?
Jenna [00:36:29] I don’t know. But he had it on the ready. Well, back at the Sabre store, Dwight opens the doors to a line of bloggers who are waiting to enter. I think it was a very good sign that they had so many people actually outside. At first I wondered, Oh, are they going to open the doors and no one comes? But no, there’s quite a crowd.
Angela [00:36:48] Nellie has a delighted talking head where she’s like, I mean, maybe there’ll be a stampede. Oh, could you imagine that making the news? She’s so tickled by this idea. Which is why then Dwight starts throwing people to the ground and even throwing himself to the ground. And he looks over at Nellie and she’s like, Yeah.
Jenna [00:37:07] Oh, that’s great. Yeah, because he is kind of staging a stampede.
Angela [00:37:11] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:37:12] We’re going to see Cathy turn on the charm with one of the bloggers. She takes her hair down. She just, what is that? Shakes her hair.
Angela [00:37:20] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:37:22] And then Tabitha is going to also try to speak to a customer. Meanwhile, Jim gets a call from Pam on his cell phone. His regular cell phone, not his Arrowhead. And he’s going to take the call.
Angela [00:37:36] Yeah, and a couple of bloggers notice he’s not even using the Sabre Arrowhead. And they take a picture. They’re like, Oh, man, going to post this. Going to be a fail.
Jenna [00:37:44] Well, those bloggers, the fail bloggers, were played by Matt Selman and Matt Warburton, and they were writers on The Simpsons and they were friends of Mindy’s and she wanted them for the roles.
Angela [00:37:53] Oh, fun! Dwight is ticked off that Jim has now had his photo taken, not using the Sabre Arrowhead. He’s like, You know what? Give me your tri-pack. You’re going to go spin the sign outside. You’re going to be a sign spinner.
Jenna [00:38:09] Well, during this scene, I absolutely loved it when Nellie is like, How hard is it to pick up your Arrowhead, like this? We had a fan question from Lydia in Poland. At 15 minutes and 34 seconds, did Nellie almost drop her Pyramid? And then a fan question from Melissa P in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, who said, Was it scripted or an accident that Catherine Tate almost drops her Arrowhead phone as she’s about to pretend to answer it and explain that it has ergonomic shape? I’ve always thought this was such a super ironic moment. Lydia, Melissa. It was not scripted. It was just awesome. It was such a wonderful little fumble.
Angela [00:38:51] I mean, I wonder if Catherine did it on purpose.
Jenna [00:38:54] That’s what I would love to ask her.
Angela [00:38:56] Yeah, because she’s so quick like that. And it was awkward holding them. Because they’re clearly they were awkward to hold. It is awkward to hold a triangle.
Jenna [00:39:06] It is.
Angela [00:39:07] Now a group of elderly people are going to enter the Sabre store, and Dwight’s like, Oh, my God, no, get them out. Get them out! He’s worried they’re going to, like, suck the energy out of the room. He’s telling Erin, Get them out. Well, there was more to this scene, and the elderly man had a few lines. Jenna, they cracked me up. This is the scene in the shooting draft. Just says Old Man. Old man says to Dwight, We heard there’s a new store. We always like to check out the new spots. This used to be a Stride Rite.
Jenna [00:39:38] My God, this sounds like us. This is something we would do and say.
Angela [00:39:43] Yes. And Dwight’s like, out, out, out! Stride Rite. Remember the little kids shoes, Stride Rite?
Jenna [00:39:50] Of course. Yes. My daughter, her first pair of shoes were some Stride Rite shoes. We were living in London, and she started walking so early, before she was one year old. And she was one of those kids who just like, you know, she went from crawling to running. And we took her into this store and we ended up buying what they told us was the smallest shoe available. Like proper shoe, not a booty shoe. But they were like, they don’t come any smaller than this, and I saved them. I want to have them bronzed. Remember that?
Angela [00:40:21] My parents did that. Yeah.
Jenna [00:40:23] Do they still bronze baby shoes?
Angela [00:40:26] Maybe. I saved a pair of Isabel’s, her very first pair of little red Mary Janes. But they were little little.
Jenna [00:40:34] Little baby ones.
Angela [00:40:34] Little baby ones. But they were little red Mary Janes, and they had padded feet. And I still have those. But my. My grandmother had my dad’s first pair of boots bronzed, and I still have those.
Jenna [00:40:45] I think my mom had my first pair of shoes bronzed because I feel like I have a memory of them being on my dad’s dresser or something.
Angela [00:40:54] This was like a thing.
Jenna [00:40:55] It was a thing. And I want to know, like, can you still do it? Because I’ve held on to these little.
Angela [00:40:59] Shoes.
Jenna [00:41:00] Little running shoes for all this time.
Angela [00:41:03] All right. This is super off topic, but I have the cutest memory of Isabel trying to say the word shoe, but I didn’t know. So we’re leaving the park, and she was so tiny and I was carrying her, and she kept going, Choo. And I said, Oh choo. She goes, Choo. And I go, Yes, Choo. She said it the whole walk to the car. Choo. Choo. Choo. And I was like, yes, choo choo choo choo. We get to the car and she’s only wearing one shoe.
Jenna [00:41:36] Oh!
Angela [00:41:40] The other one was all the way back at the play structure. I was like, Oh, baby, you were trying to say shoe. And she said, Choo!
Jenna [00:41:50] Aww. Well, we went to London this past summer and we got to walk with my daughter, who is now nine, on the same streets where she wore that first pair of shoes and where she was walking for the first time.
Angela [00:42:06] See, this is what happened. You can’t put a sentence in the shooting draft that says, was this a Stride Rite because we’re going to talk about our kids and shoes.
Jenna [00:42:16] We sure are.
Angela [00:42:17] There is a delicious conference room scene coming up. When I watched it, I had so many memories coming back to me.
Jenna [00:42:24] Same.
Angela [00:42:25] Toby is teaching self-defense. On the whiteboard behind him are the words Strike, scream, run. And Creed is going to go first, and he swats the back of Meredith’s head, screams and runs out, and Meredith’s like, What the hell, Toby?
Jenna [00:42:43] We had a fan mail flurry about that moment.
Angela [00:42:45] Oh, yeah?
Jenna [00:42:46] Yes. First of all, Mary B from Phenix said, My favorite scene in the entire series is Strike, Scream, Run. The fan mail flurry asked if it was scripted for Creed to act that out. And Jason D from North Kingstown, Rhode Island, said, Did Creed really smack Kate? Everyone, I will tell you, it was scripted. And yes, Creed really did hit Kate, but they added that super loud smack sound and post. He did not really hit her that hard.
Angela [00:43:15] Yeah, he didn’t hit her that hard, but the reaction, if anyone just even barely thumps your head, you’re kind of like, hey!
Jenna [00:43:20] Well, also from behind because you can’t anticipate the moment at all.
Angela [00:43:23] Yeah. Yeah.
Jenna [00:43:25] But yes, that was very funny. And his scream is amazing.
Angela [00:43:28] Well, I had such a hard time coming back from that moment. I had really gotten the giggles and starting at 8 minutes, 8 seconds, you can see me trying not to laugh. I’m in the front row and I have to sit right next to Andy as he’s talking to Toby. I couldn’t keep it together. Right after 8 minutes, 8 seconds you can see they keep cropping me out.
Jenna [00:43:50] But then you have a line. You have to say can you be excused, you have a rape flute..
Angela [00:43:52] I know. I know. And I had to put it together all at the same time.
Jenna [00:43:57] Was it just a recorder? It looks like a child’s recorder.
Angela [00:44:00] No, it was like a flute. It was like a whistle thing.
Jenna [00:44:04] It seems like not a great choice. Like a rape whistle, maybe, that just hangs around your neck. Or you can keep it in your pocket. But this has to be assembled. It’s large.
Angela [00:44:13] Yes. There’s two pieces to put together and do all that while under distress.
Jenna [00:44:19] I feel like it does have the advantage of being used as like a weapon.
Angela [00:44:23] Like a baton.
Jenna [00:44:24] Yes. So I guess in that way, maybe it’s better than just a whistle, but seemed cumbersome. Meanwhile, back in the store, we’re in the break room and Ryan is trying to rehearse his big speech. He’s going to give one of those a la Steve Jobs presentations.
Angela [00:44:41] Yeah. And oh, my God, B.J. is so good.
Jenna [00:44:46] He’s so good in this scene.
Angela [00:44:48] He’s so good. Ryan is so nervous. He’s starting to lose it. And BJ’s portrayal as someone spiraling down like that, I thought was brilliant.
Jenna [00:44:56] But Ryan’s also fishing for compliments. So Dwight’s going to start pretending to be like Kelly, and then Jim is going to pretend to be his mother.
Angela [00:45:06] Well, Ryan says, My mom’s who gave me the best advice. All right. There was a deleted scene that really helped build out this Ryan tension. After Dwight tries to be Kelly and Jim tries to be his mom, Ryan is out in the crowd of the store, and he thinks he sees his mom. And he gets this look of like, Oh, my gosh. And he smiles and he runs up and he taps her on the shoulder. And a woman turns around and he goes, Mom, you ca- And it’s not his mom. And then all the energy just is gone from him and he’s so defeated.
Jenna [00:45:40] I am so heartbroken for him.
Angela [00:45:42] I know, but did he invite his mom?
Jenna [00:45:45] It sounds like it. Mom, you came.
Angela [00:45:47] Yeah.
Jenna [00:45:50] Well, he’s going to totally spiral, and he’s going to decide that the reason he’s having a hard time is because he needs a beverage. He needs something, but he doesn’t want a dumb red sports drink. He wants a yellow or green. We got a fan question from Destiny C in Sacramento, California, who said this: When Ryan is referring to sports drink flavors, he demands something yellow or green. When you want a sports drink, do you ask for it by its flavor or its color? And I thought that was such a fascinating question. I have a total answer to this. Do you?
Angela [00:46:24] I mean, I had never thought about it, but I just now I’m having memories of like when you volunteer as the soccer parent to bring the snack and we would go buy a whole bunch of Gatorade and the kids would be like, I want the yellow one. I want the orange one. Like, because some of the names are all different.
Jenna [00:46:38] Yeah, I totally go buy color.
Angela [00:46:41] Yeah, I think I like the yellow one.
Jenna [00:46:43] Oh, lady, I hate the yellow one.
Angela [00:46:44] You hate the yellow one?
Jenna [00:46:45] Yes, I like the red one.
Angela [00:46:47] I don’t mind the red one.
Jenna [00:46:49] Well, I have this story where Lee and I were both really, really sick with a stomach flu. Like super sick.
Angela [00:46:58] Like getting dehydrated.
Jenna [00:46:59] We were vomiting. It was like. And the two of us were down. We just couldn’t get out of bed. And Lee was like, I’m going to I’m going to go to the store. I’m gonna get us some Gatorade. Okay? And some saltines. And I’m like, okay, baby. Okay. So this man drags himself out of bed. He drives the store to get us some Gatorade, and he comes home and he gives me a yellow Gatorade. And I go, Ugh, I hate yellow. And he goes, Just drink it! And I was like, You’re right. You’re right. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. But like, I truly hate the yellow flavor. To me, it tastes like drinking, I don’t know, warm… I don’t- even if you make it cold, it still tastes- I don’t know what the taste is. But I knew in that moment he was right. I should have never said anything. I should have just been grateful that any Gatorade showed up on my nightstand at all, because he barely made it to the store and back. But I really hate yellow.
Angela [00:48:04] When you start to go down the road of it tastes like warm, I, I tensed up because I was worried this was going to be your warm coconut water moment again.
Jenna [00:48:13] No, coconut water is the only thing that tastes like coconut water.
Angela [00:48:16] But.
Jenna [00:48:17] But what?
Angela [00:48:17] I thought of you this summer, because, you know, we had this tropical vacation. It was so amazing. And there was this awesome guy that would climb up into the palm tree and get a coconut and take a machete and chop the top of it off. And we would drink this fresh coconut juice. And when he did it, all I could think of was like, Jenna says- And I’m here in front of my kids. I really want this experience. And all had my brain was you be like, It’s going to taste like warm (BLEEP). And and this sweet man who had just climbed a tree and took a machete to the top of a coconut, handed it to me.
Jenna [00:48:52] You got to drink it.
Angela [00:48:53] I had to take a sip. It was so delicious. It tastes nothing like the coconut water you get in the store. Nothing. I’m calling bull (BLEEP) on that coconut water. Out of the coconut, almost tasted like fizzy, like it was carbonated.
Jenna [00:49:08] Whoa.
Angela [00:49:09] It is so good, Jenna. So then I started taking the coconuts. He would offer them every day. I’d be like, Yes, please, Freddy. His name was Freddy. We had a little mini fridge. I took everything out of the fridge and I would just put giant coconuts in it. I took the shelf out so I could fit these coconuts in, because it was this delicious, like fizzy drink. It didn’t even taste like what’s in the store.
Jenna [00:49:33] I guess this is good information for me if I’m ever handed an actual coconut full of coconut juice? Water?
Angela [00:49:39] I need you to see someone machete the top of it off.
Jenna [00:49:42] And drink it.
Angela [00:49:43] Yeah.
Jenna [00:49:44] I’ll try it.
Angela [00:49:45] Okay.
Jenna [00:49:46] It better not taste bad.
Angela [00:49:48] I am telling you it doesn’t. It doesn’t.
Jenna [00:49:50] I believe you. I believe you..
Angela [00:49:51] I was surprised. And I think it was so clear that I was surprised. And Josh listens to our podcast. He loves our podcast. It’s so sweet. Josh just looked at me and was like, I know what you’re thinking. And I was like, Not at all. Not at all.
Jenna [00:50:06] Ah. Well, back at Dunder Mifflin, oh, this scene is so good. We’re in the conference room. Toby is still giving his speech, his self-defense speech. And Toby is assuming that the attacker is a large male.
Angela [00:50:21] And Andy is trying to shift the conversation to, like, What if I was a smaller man? Like a very small, like a tiny, very short man that came at you to attack you?
Jenna [00:50:32] Right. And everyone’s kind of confused, like, Andy, why are you obsessed with this one particular scenario?
Angela [00:50:40] This tiny attacker?
Jenna [00:50:41] Yes.
Angela [00:50:42] Tig’s character, is going to walk into the conference room and say, Forgive me for interrupting. I believe my daughter had an altercation with somebody here, some fancy gentleman with a squeaky voice. And Andy lowers his voice and says, I think you guys might have the wrong office. And the little girl says, That’s him. That’s the guy I hit. Now everyone’s like, What?
Jenna [00:51:03] Yes. This does not match the story that was told earlier.
Angela [00:51:06] No. The little girl’s mom is going to be like, apologize. And the little girl says, Sorry I kicked your ass in front of your chubby girlfriend. And Pam’s like, Hey, I just had a baby. And the little girl goes, When? Yesterday? Pam’s like, Wow. And the mom’s, like, Apologize. This girl, I am telling you, she is trouble.
Jenna [00:51:25] Yeah. Pam has a sassy comeback.
Angela [00:51:28] Oh, she really does. She- this little girl really ticked off Pam. Pam goes, How about we wait till next year after you have your kid? And that’s when her mom goes, Hey, you know what? Tiffany’s going to college.
Jenna [00:51:41] So I remember doing that scene and it was really hard for me to like, insult a child, even though it was like this totally phony scenario or whatever. It was just like all the insides of me couldn’t bring myself to say this, like, snarky comment.
Angela [00:51:57] To this sweet kid.
Jenna [00:51:59] So I hope I pulled it off because I was like, Oh my gosh, you’re such a sweet little girl. I’m so sorry.
Angela [00:52:05] Well, she did fantastic in the scene.
Jenna [00:52:07] So good. Well, the little girl was played by Kaitlin Williams, and she was just the sweetest and so good in the scene.
Angela [00:52:15] So good. She had really great timing.
Jenna [00:52:18] Yes. Well, Brent Forrester sent in an audio clip about directing Tig in this scene. And it’s so great. You have to hear it.
Brent Forrester [00:52:30] For the part of the little girl’s mom, Mindy always pictured Tig Notaro. We didn’t audition anybody. We just offered it to Tig, and she was great. But at the time, I was concerned about the pacing of the scene. And after the first take, I walked up to Tig and I said, Hey, Tig, I have a thought. And she said, You want me to talk faster? And I said, Yeah, how do you know? And she said, Every time they put me on camera, they tell me to talk faster. And I said, Can you talk faster? And she said, No, I can’t.
Jenna [00:53:15] Brent said it was such a great example of an actor just knowing who they are.
Angela [00:53:20] Right.
Jenna [00:53:21] And kind of standing up for like, this is my authentic performance. This is you hired me and this is what you get.
Angela [00:53:28] Right. This is what I’ll do.
Jenna [00:53:30] Angela, I have a fan question and it’s for you. It’s from McKenzie U in South Carolina. Mackenzie, says, Angela, it looks like you’re breaking when Darryl says he thinks he can see an imprint of a Ring Pop on the back of Andy’s neck. Was that line an improv?
Angela [00:53:47] McKenzie, great question. That line was actually scripted. Here’s what it said in the shooting draft: Darryl, coming closer to Andy, leans in and says, Oh my God, is that? I think I see the imprint of a Ring Pop. And then it has this note: People laugh. Andy looks very uncomfortable.
Jenna [00:54:07] Oh, so you were just doing what you were told?
Angela [00:54:09] Yes. Although, McKenzie, pretty much the whole entire scene leading up to it, I had been laughing.
Jenna [00:54:17] Back at the Sabre store, Dwight is looking for Erin. He’s asking Stanley a question, but Stanley is going to eat a slice of pizza that he takes out of his Sabre pyramid pouch. Brent Forrester said that in season eight, he and Mindy had talked a lot about the power of visual comedy versus verbal comedy. And in this episode, they tried to place a few visual comedy gags. He says, There’s five that you can look for. The first one is the visual button to Erin camping outside the store and then the other people in the tents. And he said Stanley’s pizza coming out of his triangular pouch is another one. Another one coming up is when Jim’s going to be giving his presentation and he can’t seem to find the spotlight.
Angela [00:55:07] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:55:08] Then when Dwight is dangling the pyramid from a fishing pole, when the lights come on. And finally, Jim’s sign spinning.
Angela [00:55:17] I would add one to that, Brent.
Jenna [00:55:19] Yes?
Angela [00:55:19] When Dwight and Nellie are giving Jim a stern talking to about talking on a regular phone and not his Arrowhead, he is sitting very casually next to a green monkey on the sofa.
Jenna [00:55:33] Yes, the green monkey features into visual comedy gags. But I thought it was really interesting that Brent said that. And I think now as I go through the episodes, I might look for more of that because we really did lean into character based comedy. And I wonder if now that it’s been pointed out to me, if I’m going to notice more visual comedy bits.
Angela [00:55:50] Mm hmm. And also, there are some characters that could sell a visual comedy bit more than others that wouldn’t have entertained it. It wouldn’t have rang true for some characters.
Jenna [00:56:00] Yes.
Angela [00:56:01] Ryan is really starting to spiral. He’s called his uncle to ask for Ritalin and gets very mad when I guess he won’t prescribe it to him. Then Nellie comes to check on him and he tells her, Look, I know you’re my boss, but I need you to get the hell out of my face right now. And she turns to Dwight and says, Your little man is unraveling. Fix it. Meanwhile, Erin is outside talking to an elderly lady. One of the people that Dwight made her kick out. Erin’s apologizing. She’s saying, I’m sorry we had to kick you out. And the elderly lady says, It’s okay. I’m going to go to Costco and search for handsome men.
Jenna [00:56:36] Oh. Oh yeah. I forgot that line. It’s so good.
Angela [00:56:36] And Erin says, You’re not married? She goes, Oh, I was. My husband was my best friend, and he passed away. And Erin says, Well, my best friend was my boss. Andy. We dated for a while, but since then, he rejected me. And the older lady is like, He rejected you? Forget him! And she’s like, Yeah, I’ll forget him. You should forget your husband. And the older lady is like, Well…
Jenna [00:57:02] We had a fan question from Alex B in Canada who said, I am so curious about this character of the older woman because the actress George Engel just doesn’t look old enough to need the kind of support that Erin is providing. Do you have any info on this? Well, I asked Steve Burgess about this and he said that Georgia was only 63 years old when we shot this and we had to use makeup and wardrobe to try to make her look more fragile than she was in real life. She was a very vibrant woman.
Angela [00:57:33] Yeah.
Jenna [00:57:34] And yeah, we kind of tried to work to make her look like she needed Erin to walk her down the street. We gave her the little cane.
Angela [00:57:42] Right. She still looks youthful to me though.
Jenna [00:57:44] No, I don’t think we fooled anyone. Clearly, we didn’t fool Alex.
Angela [00:57:49] Well, Ryan has been in the bathroom a long time. Jim gets a text from him and Ryan basically said, Look, I have to go home. I can’t do the presentation. I need to see my mom.
Jenna [00:57:59] So Dwight says, Jim, you have to do the presentation. You have to take over.
Angela [00:58:04] And he’s like, No. And Dwight grabs Jim by the face and, like, squishes his cheeks together and is like, You have to do this.
Jenna [00:58:12] So it was scripted that Dwight is supposed to take off his glasses in that one moment and get really face to face with Jim. And it was also scripted that he hold Jim’s face in his hands. But Brent said that Rainn seemed determined to make John Krasinski laugh while they were shooting this scene, and he said he did it by like caressing John’s face in different takes. And Brent said, In my experience, almost every time one actor has to touch another actor’s face, like in a tense scene, they almost always burst out laughing. He said he’s surprised they got even one usable take when they were shooting the scene.
Angela [00:58:52] I would even say that if you put these two guys in close proximity.
Jenna [00:58:56] Yes.
Angela [00:58:57] Like just standing that close to one another, being ridiculous, like they’re going to start laughing. Jim is now having to put on Ryan’s suit and it’s too short for him.
Jenna [00:59:09] Yes.
Angela [00:59:09] And eyeliner. And now he starts doing the presentation that’s clearly written from Ryan’s life and point of view. I thought John did such a great job.
Jenna [00:59:19] Such a good job. So, you know, he’s doing the speech, and then the spotlight goes out and it goes up in a new place and you see him walk over, and in doing so, he sort of accidentally steps off the stage.
Angela [00:59:32] Yeah.
Jenna [00:59:32] The spotlight thing was scripted, but it was not scripted that he kind of fell off the riser. That was on the day. I just loved that. It was very funny. John did it so well. But, you know, in his speech, he says a couple of things about pyramids.
Angela [00:59:46] Yeah.
Jenna [00:59:46] And I did a fact check. So he says, The pyramids, the strongest shape ever constructed, a shape that fits all the other shapes inside of it. And he goes, I don’t think that’s- And Dwight goes, It’s true. Well, I looked it up. First of all, it is true that triangles are the strongest shape. I watched a whole video on it by a guy named It’s Tricky. And it’s because they don’t have any rotational forces. All of their forces are axial.
Angela [01:00:19] Wow.
Jenna [01:00:20] Strongest shape. And it is also true that a pyramid is a shape that can fit all other shapes inside of it. And I watched a lot of videos and looked at a lot of graphs of how this is true. And it’s true.
Angela [01:00:34] Okay.
Jenna [01:00:36] Every shape fits inside of a pyramid.
Angela [01:00:38] Once again, Dwight had it right.
Jenna [01:00:40] He did.
Angela [01:00:41] Well, Jim finishes the presentation and the crowd is loving it.
Jenna [01:00:46] It went great!
Angela [01:00:47] Success!
Jenna [01:00:47] Yes!
Angela [01:00:49] There was a deleted talking head that cuts to kind of backstage right after.
Jenna [01:00:53] Oh, really?
Angela [01:00:54] Jim’s by himself, and he’s so enjoying the moment, but he’s trying to be coy and he’s like, yeah, not I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m a performer. Like, he has this whole moment. It was really cute.
Jenna [01:01:05] Back in the conference room. Toby is still teaching the self-defense course, and Kelly is going to start attacking Toby. Andy tries to separate them and gets hit in his other eye. He ends this episode with two black eyes.
Angela [01:01:22] But he says, You know what? It was a tough day, but I feel good. He was coming to other people’s defense both times. He was there to protect other people. Plus, he took some painkillers, drank some wine, took his pants off. He feels really good.
Jenna [01:01:35] He feels good about the day, ultimately. And back at the Sabre store, Nellie is going to tell Dwight he did a great job and he is going to get the VP position.
Angela [01:01:46] They celebrate with sort of this routine they do with one another where Dwight starts punching the air, kicking the fridge. Then he fake punches Nelly’s torso. She’s delighted. That was all scripted. But the scene was bigger, and I want to read it to you. Here’s how it was in the shooting draft: Interior Sabre Store, back room. Moments later. Dwight and Nellie enter. Spy shot through the door crack. Dwight: I’ll be the first to admit we could have integrated more Chuck into it. Nellie: Dwight, Look at this. She pulls the top of her blouse down to show her upper chest. Nellie: What do you see? Dwight: Goose pimples. Nellie grabs Dwight and gives him a deep, long kiss. He then fishes around in his mouth after the kiss and finds a fortune cookie style message. He reads it. You’re the vice president. Yes, yes, yes! Dwight starts punching the air, kicking the fridge. Then he fake punches Nellie’s torso. She’s delighted. Nellie talking head: I also had one that said, You’re not the vice president.
Jenna [01:02:55] She would have kissed that into his mouth, too?
Angela [01:02:58] Yes. Then Nellie finds Packer. And this is what it says: Interior Sabre store back room. Moments later. Nellie and Packer are there. Nellie gives Packer a long, deep kiss and walks away. Todd smiles. He then notices something’s in his mouth. He fishes out a piece of paper and reads it and says, Damn it!
Jenna [01:03:22] Well, it’s very interesting, this scene, because I felt like what was left, you know, we deleted so much of that, what was left did have a weird kind of sexual tension to it. And I just kept wondering, like, where is this going? Like, and I was actually really happy that it was just that good news. You’re the VP. And that we’re kind of like getting rid of the whole like, are they going to hook up thing?
Angela [01:03:48] Yeah, it’s pretty funny though the that they both find something like what’s in my mouth? And it’s like a fortune cookie message.
Jenna [01:03:55] This episode is going to end with a tag of Jim spinning the Sabre sign outside the store, and then he looks down a couple of storefronts and he sees an amazing sign spinner. Just like, incredible spinning.
Angela [01:04:07] Oh, it’s an art form. A legit art form.
Jenna [01:04:10] And so Jim is going to try to do some fancy moves and ends up just kind of hitting himself in the head.
Angela [01:04:15] He really hit himself in the head.
Jenna [01:04:17] He really did.
Angela [01:04:17] Did John really hit himself in the head with that.
Jenna [01:04:20] Adele from Manchester, United Kingdom wanted to know, How many takes was it for Jim to so perfectly hit himself in the head? And Adele, I don’t know. But the hit in the head was not scripted. It was scripted that he tried to do the leg thing.
Angela [01:04:36] Yeah.
Jenna [01:04:37] And then the sign falls on the ground, so he starts dancing around it. That’s what was scripted. But clearly, John just did this weird thing. It was so funny.
Angela [01:04:47] It was so funny. It looked like it was by accident. It looked like he hit himself in the head. And then he was like, I’m out, I’m done.
Jenna [01:04:53] So this scene was actually scripted to go earlier, but they saved it and turned it into a tag. We had a fan question from Tyler G in Indiana who said, Who was the really good sign spinner at the end? He’s so talented. How did you find him for the show? Well, Steve Burgess said that the spinner was hired as a background performer through Central Casting. Steve said that Allison Jones originally looked for an actor who could spin a sign, but there were no actors who could spin a sign, in case we wanted this person to speak dialog. And then they looked for a stunt person who could spin a sign. Nothing. Finally, our ADs, our assistant directors, went to Central Casting. That’s where you cast all your background performers. We’ve talked about that. And they said we need a sign spinner.
Angela [01:05:40] And that’s something you would have put in your special skills.
Jenna [01:05:43] Yes. And they found one. His name was Mike. Steve wasn’t sure of his last name, but he said, who knew? Who knew that someone would have signed spinning on his resume. But he did.
Angela [01:05:57] I believe it.
Jenna [01:05:58] And I guess Phil Shea had both the signs made, but they did have to make some adjustments to the handle for Mike, because Mike was like, if you change the handle a little bit, it’s going to spin better. I think he really knew.
Angela [01:06:09] Yeah, I can give you some tips. I can actually give you some tips. Yeah.
Jenna [01:06:14] Yes. Well, guys, that was Test the Store.
Sam [01:06:17] Before we wrap up, I just want to let you know that a black eye can come in between 1 to 2 days. You do need to feed ants in an ant farm unless it’s gel based. And you can still have baby shoes bronzed. It runs between $100 to $185.
Both [01:06:32] Thank you, Sam!
Jenna [01:06:33] That’s wonderful. That’s all wonderful news.
Angela [01:06:35] Oh, my gosh. That was awesome.
Jenna [01:06:37] Well, a big thank you to Sam and also to Ellie Kemper, Ed Helms and Mindy Kaling for helping to jog my memory on this episode and of course, to Steve Burgess and also to director Brent Forrester. Remember, everyone, Brent teaches writing classes. He’s a great teacher and you can find out about them on Brent Forrester dot com.
Angela [01:06:56] Thank you guys all so much for listening and sending in your questions and comments. And to quote Nellie, We hope you have a sense of wonder enthusiasm, as if at the end of ET candy poured out of the screen. Take that with you for the rest of the week.
Jenna [01:07:11] See you next time.
Angela [01:07:12] See ya.
Jenna [01:07:17] Thank you for listening to Office Ladies.
Angela [01:07:19] Office Ladies is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey.
Jenna [01:07:23] Our senior producer is Cassi Jerkins. Our in-studio engineer is Sam Kieffer. Our editing and mixing engineer is Jordan Duffy. And our associate producer is Aynsley Bubbico.
Angela [01:07:32] Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton.