July 28, 2020
This week we’re breaking down The Convict. We reached out to this episode’s director, Jeffrey Blitz, and actor Wayne Wilderson, to get their memories and insights of this episode. We start with a haunted hotel story, the ladies discuss Pig Latin and Jenna explains the language of Ab. Then we get the origins of Prison Mike, and the scoop on how hard it was to get through those conference room scenes without breaking or sweating. To wrap it up, we discuss the scene with Andy singing Rainbow Connection and get some final insights from Jeffrey Blitz. Tanks for listening! It’s been a good life!
38 — The Convict
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:04] I’m Jenna Fischer.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:05] I’m Angela Kinsey.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:06] We were on “The Office” together.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:07] And we’re best friends.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:08] And now we’re doing the ultimate “Office” rewatch podcast just for you.
ANGELA KINSEY [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 FISCHER [00:00:19] We’re the “Office Ladies”. Hey, everybody.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:26] Hi, you guys.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:27] This week we are talking about “The Convict”. Season 3, Episode 9. Written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. And directed by Jeffrey Blitz.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:37] There some powerhouse there.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:39] Oh, yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:40] Oh, yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:40] Oh, yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:41] Oh yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:42] Well, I’m wasting no time. I’m going to hit you with a summary.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:45] Hit me, baby, one more time.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:48] Oh baby, baby. Just give me a summary.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:52] Oh my God. Oh. Britney, we love you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:56] All right. In this episode, Michael learns that one of the new Stamford transfers, Martin Nash, is a reformed convict. When Martin tells the other employees about his time in prison, the staff says it sounds like it’s better than working at Dunder Mifflin. Well, Michael is heartbroken to hear that people would rather be in prison than at Dunder Mifflin. So he responds by turning into Prison Mike to scare them all straight. And then also, Andy asks Jim for advice on how to woo Pam. And we get a little bit of a prank.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:32] He’s going to woo Pam. There’s going to be some banjo playing. It’s real special. Jenna, I know you’re about to hit me with some Fast Facts, but I bet I can guess two of them.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:42] Hit you with some Fast Facts.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:45] Oh baby, baby.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:47] Oh, no. Oh, no. This is bad.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:49] People right now or hitting fast forward. They’re like, people can I skip past them doing Britney Spears. Is your first Fast Fact that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant created “The Office” for the BBC? They’re the OG of the OG.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:04] Yes, Angela. It is. Yes. And also, this is the only episode of the American “Office” that was written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:13] I didn’t know that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:15] Well, our pilot was sort of technically written by them because-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:19] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:19] We really, we used so much of it. But it was also adapted by Greg Daniels. But this is the only original American “Office” that they wrote. Now, Stephen did direct an episode. He directed “Customer Survey” in Season 5, and Ricky did a cameo in Season 7. And they were around.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:40] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:40] They come visit us.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:41] They would pop in.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:42] I remember Stephen Merchant being in the writers’ room a lot.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:45] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:45] He would come by whenever he was in America. And, you know, Angela, I did a movie with Stephen Merchant.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:50] You did a movie with the tall man from England?
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:53] Yes. It was called “Hall Pass”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:55] Oh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:56] And it was a Farrelly Brothers movie. It shot in Atlanta. And I was so happy that Stephen Merchant was on this movie because this movie had like these huge powerhouse comedic stars. OK. It was Owen Wilson. There was Jason Sudeikis, J.B. Smoove, Christina Applegate. And then like me.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:17] I remember. I remember you going off to do this. And you’re like, oh, my God, I’m so nervous. I’m so nervous.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:22] I was so happy that I knew someone.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:24] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:24] So I kind of glommed on to Stephen Merchant when we were on that set because I like someone I know because otherwise, when you go to those movies, I always feel like the new kid in school. Where it’s like, where do I fit in? I don’t know anyone.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:39] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:40] I was so nervous. But there was another reason why I was very nervous on this movie, and it was because I was staying in a haunted hotel.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:46] What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:48] Yes. You remember this.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:50] No.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:51] Lady. Yes. I got to Atlanta and they put me up in this hotel. I would get woken up in the middle of the night at like 2:30 in the morning by the sound of clumpy footsteps on my ceiling.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:04] Well, that happens in hotels, lady.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:06] Does it happen when your hotel room is on the top floor and there’s nothing above you?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:11] What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:11] Does it?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:13] What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:13] No, I was on the top floor. So I called down to the front desk and I was like, excuse me, do you guys do maintenance on the roof at like 2:30 in the morning? Are people walking on the roof?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:25] What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:25] And the-. Well, the person on the phone was like, no. And also, just because you’re on the top floor, they’re like, that doesn’t mean that, like, your ceiling is literally the roof of the building. Like there’s stuff in between.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:36] What stuff?
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:36] Like the ceiling of your hotel.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:38] Like? Like a secret floor?
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:40] That’s what I said.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:42] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:42] I said, w what’s happening there?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:43] Like when you get to an elevator and there’s no button for it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:46] Yes. That’s what I wanted to know. What is happening in this space? Something is happening. People are walking. They insisted that I was not hearing these noises. They insisted. Angela, I wouldn’t let it go.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:59] Well.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:59] So I went to a travel website and I, I Googled this hotel.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:03] You did a deep dive on the hotel.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:05] It’s a haunted hotel.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:07] No.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:07] There were tons of stories of people who had stayed on the top floor who had heard the footsteps.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:13] Shut the front door.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:15] OK, so now I can’t sleep. Right?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:18] Because you have a full on ghost.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:19] I’m in a ghost hotel. I have to go to work tomorrow with Owen Wilson. I’m sleepless. I’m nervous. I called Lee crying in the middle of the night. Lee, who was my boyfriend at the time, who’s back in Los Angeles writing a script. I was like, you need to fly here and you have to come keep me safe from the ghosts. You have to stay with me during this movie.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:41] And he’s like, what am I? A Ghostbuster? What the heck? Jenna, just move hotels.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:46] That’s what Lee said. But I was like, I am not about to call this production company and insist that you move me from this hotel because it’s haunted.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:55] They would think you were Looney Tunes. They would be like, oh, this actress is convinced her hotel room is haunted and she wants to move. I get it. I get it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:05] So Lee flew out. He stayed with me while I shot that movie and protected me from the ghost. And by the way, when he got there, he heard it. He heard it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:14] I would be so freaked out.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:15] Well.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:16] Oh, my gosh, that Fast Fact took a turn. But I like it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:19] That. It really did.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:20] I’m here for it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:21] I’m going to steer us back onto the episode with Fast Fact Number Two. This was the first episode directed by Jeff Blitz. We love Jeff Blitz. He directed 11 episodes of “The Office”. This was his first.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:35] He is a wonderful, delightful human being. I adore him. We reached out to Jeff and he sent in audio clips about this episode. We’re so excited. I also told him I really need him to come back on because we need to discuss “Save Bandit”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:52] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:52] And when I, when I threw that cat in the ceiling. That has to be talked about.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:56] Because he directed that episode, too, right?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:58] Yes. But, you guys, I want to give a shout out to a movie that Jeff had done. I had watched this movie. It’s a documentary. I was a huge fan of it and a fan of his. So I kind of geeked out when he finally got to direct an episode. But he directed a documentary called “Spellbound”. It is a fantastic documentary about the Scripps National Spelling Bee. And it follows eight of the young competitors. It is wonderful.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:26] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:26] So if you’re looking for things to watch, watch “Spellbound”. It is so good.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:30] It was nominated for an Academy Award.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:32] Yes. Oh, my God. I forgot that. Yes. It’s so good.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:37] Well, we asked Jeff, how’d you get this job? And I loved his answer, so Sam, will you play that clip?
JEFFREY BLITZ [00:07:45] When Greg was meeting people to talk about directing on the pilot, I got called in to meet with him. He was flirting with the great and probably crazy idea to bring a true doc filmmaker on from the start to kind of overlay a more authentic doc style onto the show. I’d just done my first feature doc, “Spellbound”, about kids in the National Spelling Bee. And Greg thought the idea to have me on was an interesting one that he’d explore with NBC, who immediately said, not a chance. I think it was almost two years later. I hadn’t seen Greg at all. And I got a call out of the blue. Greg wanted to know, now, would I like to work on the show at this point. He thought that he could talk NBC into it. So “The Office”, Season 3, I had my first gig in the world of TV with the episode “The Convict”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:51] Yeah. So this was his first scripted television show that he ever directed. He was just coming out of the world of documentary, which I love. I love that Greg did that. Right? That he wanted a cinematographer who had shot documentaries and now he wanted to hire a documentary film director. He was really interested in preserving the integrity of this documentary style for the show.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:18] I also love that Greg is such a champion of people. You know, he doesn’t give up on you. NBC said no. He was like, I’m going to get you in there, Jeff. You know?
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:26] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:27] And then he did. I just love that. We also asked Jeff what it was like to shoot his first scripted television show. And here’s what he had to say.
JEFFREY BLITZ [00:09:35] The thing that stood out to me is that I had done all this prep work, figuring out all these shots. And, you know, I just had a ton of thoughts about the way each line might be. And then when the shooting actually started, I realized that all the prep work I had done, it just didn’t fit for the kind of show that this was. The first or second set up, I think had me standing right by Pam’s desk. And I realized that by then all of the prep work I had done, it just didn’t make any sense. And I think that I just, I just dropped all, all of it into the trashcan right there.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:24] Well, Angela, I remember Jeff standing at reception for that scene.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:29] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:30] And we’ve really bonded. I felt so fortunate that I got to have him up at reception with me because I just loved him instantly.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:38] I feel like reception, you got that sometimes. Like just sitting where you were sitting. A lot of times that directors and writers would be sort of perched up there either on that sofa, you know, they would sit on the sofa.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:48] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:49] Right there. And watch the scene. And I was a little jealous that you got to have all that time with them.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:53] Well, the other thing that used to happen at reception, though, Angela, is that people would stand like a wall in front of reception with their back to me. And they would also steal my pens and they would also leave their water bottles on the reception desk. So.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:04] So there’s an upside down.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:06] There was. There was. All right. Are you ready for Fast Fact Number Three?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:11] I am.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:12] Fast Fact Number Three. Wayne Wilderson, amazing comic actor played Martin Nash. We also reached out to Wayne and he sent in some audio clips about his time on the show.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:25] He did. Jenna, this time I was sliding into someone’s DMs.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:29] Oh, I loved it. I loved it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:31] I loved that now, you and I are just these two ladies in their 40s sliding into people’s DMs.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:37] I know, right?
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:38] Wayne is fantastic. And we started by asking him how he came to be on “The Office”. And here’s what he had to say.
WAYNE WILDERSON [00:11:44] Hey, guys, it’s Wayne here. How you doing? Thank you so much for lettin’ me come to the party. This is great. I dig the podcast. OK, jumping right into Question one, can you share how you came to be on “The Office”? Yeah, I got to be on “The Office”. It was just a regular audition call. They had this role. It was two episodes, working two different weeks. And I already loved the show. And I was a big fan of the British “Office”. So I was very excited for this audition. I knew Steve and I knew Ed. I just worked with those guys in “Evan Almighty”. Nancy, Steve’s wife is one of my oldest friends. But they swore they had nothing to do with getting me the audition. So that’s what they said. But I got the job and was super excited. And that particular episode. I’m not sure if I knew when I got the part that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant had written it, and I think those two episodes were the first ones that they ever did for the US “Office”. So that was a, that was a bit of an honor.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:05] I did not know that he knew Nancy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:08] I didn’t either. But it makes sense, right? I mean, they’re both really funny, talented people. They were in Boston. I don’t know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:14] I know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:15] I see them crossing paths.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:16] No, they have the comedy connection and the Boston connection. So.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:20] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:20] I guess that makes sense. Well, you know, when we were trading e-mails with Wayne, too, we asked him if he still gets recognized for being on “The Office” and he said, yes all the time, especially now with the resurgence on Netflix. And he’s so tickled by it. But he said it’s all young people now.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:36] Oh, yeah. I mean, we’re crushing it with middle schoolers, guys.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:40] Because we talked about this on “The Merger”. He had a big recurring on “Veep” as well. But I think he gets recognized more for “The Office”, even though it was only two episodes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:49] “Veep” is so good.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:50] So good.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:52] You know, we exchanged a lot of e-mails with Wayne about this episode and we were talking about what it was like to rewatch this episode in light of everything that’s happening in our country with the Black Lives Matter movement. And here’s what he had to say.
WAYNE WILDERSON [00:14:05] Wow. I just watched it again. I watched it, you know, maybe every year or so. It’s such a good episode with everything that’s going on in the world now, you know, it feels a little even edgier at some points, but it’s super poignant, I guess, for all of the issues that we’re dealing with now with race and how we deal with it and what’s funny and what’s not funny and who can say what when. And, you know, this put-, puts a magnifying glass on where we’ve been and how far we’ve come along, what comedy we can do. So it was very interesting. I probably hadn’t watched it in a year or so. And to watch it during these times was, was very interesting. With that, the comedy and its commentary, I think it holds up very well. I think it’s kind of a classic “Office” episode. I’m going to say it’s a classic “Office” episode. Boom.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:18] Well, Angela, I have not watched this episode since it aired. And I definitely found a new poignancy when I was watching it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:26] Oh, yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:27] And there are definitely lines and moments that stood out to me. And I’ll bring it up as we go through the episode.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:34] Same.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:34] Well, why don’t we take a break and when we come back, we will break down “The Convict”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:39] We’ll see ya.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:49] Okay, so we are back. This episode starts with Hannah bringing her baby into “The Office”. She is setting up for the-, her baby’s staying all day. Clearly, she’s got a pack and play.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:02] Yeah, there’s a pack and play. I mean, she’s, she’s moving in. What’s happening?
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:08] Yeah. We had a fan question from Ellis Freedman, Victoria Leyva and Megan Keel. Why did Hannah bring her baby into “The Office”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:16] Yes, ladies. Why? Why? We don’t know. I watched the deleted scenes. I have a lot to bring to this episode that is explained in deleted scenes. We’ll get to that. This is not. There’s, there’s a whole runner in the deleted scenes with the baby. There’s no explanation.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:32] People holding the baby.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:34] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:16:35] I saw that in the script because I have the script for this one. And there are all these scenes of people with the baby, but never is it explained why the baby is there. I would like to point out that this is a very progressive choice by Michael to allow a new mother to bring their baby into “The Office” for the day. So I appreciate that. Although what we didn’t need him to do was get under the table and do an impression of “Look Who’s Talking”. Do you remember those movies with Kirstie Alley and John Travolta? They were huge hits.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:05] Wait. Is Bruce Willis the talking baby?
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:07] Yeah. Bruce Willis. So Kirstie Alley has like a one night stand with this cab driver played by John Travolta. And they have a baby and now they have to figure out how to, I guess co-parent this baby when they’re not a couple, of course, spoiler alert, they’re going to fall in love.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:24] Yay!
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:25] But all the while, you’re getting commentary on their parenting and their romance through the voice of the baby. Voiced by Bruce Willis.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:36] As a grown man. So. Because he’s not doing a baby voice, he’s a grown man voice, then a baby voice.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:41] No, no. He’s doing his own regular man voice.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:43] I want to be in that pitch meeting. I want to be in that pitch meeting. I want to see the person that’s like, here’s the thing. The baby talks and it’s Bruce Willis, the same guy that said, yippie-ki-yay, mother F-er, is going to be the baby. It’s gonna be great. Here we go. OK. Well, in the deleted scenes, there is a baby runner. I mean, Karen holds the baby and flirts with Jim and Pam watches it all.
JENNA FISCHER [00:18:09] I read that in the script.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:11] Mmhmm. Kelly holds the baby and just jiggles it in front of Ryan. And Ryan finally is like, what, Kelly? What? Are you holding a baby because you want me to want to have a baby with you? And she’s like, no. What are you talking about? Whatever. And then three seconds later, she’s like, oh, my God, I want a baby right now. It’s actually really funny. And then there’s a very funny deleted scene where Andy and Dwight have like a baby off. Like, they’re so ridiculous. These two are so ridiculous. Like Andy’s like I was a baby model. Not going to apologize for it. I was beautiful baby. And I modeled.
JENNA FISCHER [00:18:41] This is like their whole competition in the last episode about who has seen more movies.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:46] Exactly. So they’re arguing about themselves as babies. Andy was a, I guess, a gorgeous baby and modeled. And Dwight was like, well, I weighed 13 pounds and my mom couldn’t walk for three months. So take that. It’s so weird.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:01] All right. Well, this scene with Pam having to watch Jim and Karen fuss over this baby was deleted. But the next scene in the episode is Pam watching Jim and Karen kind of flirt at the copy machine.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:13] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:14] And at 1 minute, 47 seconds, you can still see my zit from the week before.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:20] Stop it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:21] From, from “The Merger”. It’s a little smaller, but it’s still there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:26] You have got to stop pointing it out. None of us noticed. Or maybe Hadley did, because I know she, you know, she noticed Dwight’s zit. But Jenna, you’d like to track things. Stop tracking your acne.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:38] Well, I think my zit is gonna be gone next week. But I mean, we’ll see.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:19:42] We’ll see. It’ll make your list, I’m sure. All right. So then we have this, you know, Jim talking head and he says that he, he is seeing Karen. He is. He admits it, but he isn’t ready to talk about it openly because he doesn’t want some people, you know, treating them differently. I have a beef with Jim. I just wrote, “Not cool. Not cool”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:03] Yeah. This goes back to my Wishy Washy Jim.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:08] Yeah. Wishy Washy Jim.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:09] There it is again. All right. So now we move into the conference room. We’ve got Angela, Kevin, Michael and Pam. They are all on the speaker phone to Jan and they are discussing this mysterious check that has arrived.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:22] Yeah. I have a question, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:23] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:23] I get why Michael’s on the phone. I get why the accountants are. Why is Pam there? Is it just ’cause Michael just likes to have Pam around? She’s like keeper of the minutes or something?
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:33] Yeah. He sees Pam as his personal assistant. She is not his personal assistant. She is the receptionist. But he doesn’t have a personal assistant. And so he sort of, you know, makes her play that role.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:47] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:47] She’s always in these meetings she shouldn’t be in.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:50] That’s right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:51] Always. There’s many episodes of meetings of Pam in conversations between Michael and Jan. And I love it because the camera will just like pan mid scene and then it reveals Pam has been sitting there with a notebook the whole time. I mean, she’s always in these scenes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:06] So awkward.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:06] I loved it. As an actress, I loved it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:09] I bet.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:10] Jan eventually explains that this check is something that they’re getting in exchange for hiring an ex-convict, which Michael is like, I didn’t hire an ex-convict. They come to realize that one of the Stamford transfers must be part of this program. Meaning that there is someone from Stamford who has a criminal record.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:32] All right. So Jenna, when Jan said, oh, they’re probably getting the tax break because they hired an ex-con, I was like, hold up. I know this program. Why did she just jump to ex-con? Because several people qualify for this program because I worked at a company that had employees that qualified for this federal work program. And guess what I did?
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:55] I’m, well, I’m sensing a deep dive here.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:58] Then you sensed right, lady.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:00] All right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:00] I went on the U.S. Department of Labor and the IRS websites for like three hours. Real fun stuff there, guys. Real fun.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:07] I love you.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:09] And.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:09] I deeply love you for that. I really do, Angela. I love that you did that.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:14] I know, because this is coming from someone who spent, I think, probably five hours of her life researching an alpha womb. So.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:21] Go on.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:23] Anyway. So it is called the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. It’s a federal tax credit available to employees for hiring individuals from certain targeted groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. And there are several types of people that qualify for this program. There are veterans. All right? They’re recipients of SNAP benefits, which is food stamps, people with Supplemental Security Income, people that have long term unemployment. So a lot of people qualify for this, not just ex-cons, and the companies that hire this group, depending on the hours they work. There’s like a, certain categories they have to check off the list. But your company can get a tax credit anywhere from 2400 to 9600 dollars per employee you hire through this program.
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:10] Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:12] Yeah. Oh, am I getting applause for my deep dive?
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:18] That was a really well done deep dive, lady.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:20] You deep and you dive, and you deep and a dive. What was your song? Your son made up.
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:25] “You get a deep. You get a dive. Put them together. Get a deep dive”! Well, Angela, I have a beef with Jan, right? Because all of us ask like, oh, who is it? Who’s the ex-convict? And she’s like, hold on a second. I’ll find out. You’ll find out? What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:41] Jan. What are you doing?
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:43] You’re going to tell this conference room full of people? This like private, personal-. This feels like an H.R. violation to me. Toby, where are you?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:52] Toby, where are you? Jan, you would have to go to a special H.R. meeting because you just cross the line, lady.
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:58] I feel like she crosses the line by giving out this information. But while we are on hold, everyone starts trying to guess who is it?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:05] Michael guesses, basically, they’re, they’re just looking out the bullpen and who they can see. Hanna, Andy. Then Kevin says, Martin, and Michael’s like, how dare you?
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:13] He goes, You just said that because you think Martin is black. And Kevin is like, well, no, he, he is black. So they’re kind of bickering about it. And then Jan comes on the phone and she’s like, it’s Martin Nash.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:25] They’re all wondering, well, what did Martin do?
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:28] Yeah. Why did he, why was he in jail?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:30] And now, Jenna, we are coming up to this line that Michael has. You and I talked about it. It really stood out to us in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:39] Yes. This is when Michael says to us, a black man can be arrested for just about anything in this country.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:24:50] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:24:50] Yeah. I mean, we were rewatching this episode in the middle of a civil rights movement in our country. People are literally in the streets protesting this very fact of black people being arrested for just about anything, but not just that, being killed. So. Yeah. This, this line hit me hard and, and I have to say, I expected Michael to make a joke here, but he doesn’t.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:16] No, he doesn’t.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:18] And I’m so glad that he doesn’t.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:19] I know. Me, too. Well, you know, I think Jenna as the viewer, we’re always expecting Michael to play it up for the cameras. Right? He thinks he’s like an entertainer and, anyway, but he doesn’t in this moment. He’s just truthful and sincere. And I think it made the line that much more powerful.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:38] Yeah, I agree. I agree. And, you know, also, Ang, while we were prepping this episode, I was reading the book “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson. And it’s, it’s an amazing book. It’s a memoir. It’s about. It’s the story of this lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, and how he helps to overturn the sentence of a man who’s on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. But it also goes into ways that our criminal justice system is in need of reform. And it’s just, it’s a really powerful book. And I feel like I learned so much. We can actually, we can link to it in our show notes. But just to rewatch this episode right now and hear that line. I mean, it just, yeah, it had a lot, it had a lot of added poignancy for me.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:26] Yeah, for me, too. I know “Just Mercy” is also a movie that’s out now.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:31] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:31] But Jenna you love the book so much and you’re sending it my way. So thank you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:35] I am. Yes. I’m giving you my copy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:37] Thanks.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:38] OK, so getting back to the scene. What happens next?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:43] OK, so next Michael tells them, you know what? Do not share this information. No one needs to know about this.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:48] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:49] I mean, he is oddly the voice of reason in this moment. He’s like, it’s no one’s business. It’s, it’s not a good thing to share. Right? Kevin says cool, Pams like OK. Angela? Having a hard time with that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:01] Angela needs to know what was the crime.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:04] Right. And she’s also very, you know, she’s not a very trusting person. She’s a very fear-based person. And she starts to spiral out.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:11] Well, she’s also not a very forgiving person. I mean.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:14] Oh no.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:15] Don’t make a mistake around Angela. She’ll remember it forever.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:18] And it’s no surprise to me that Dwight has a similar reaction because the two of them are, you know, they’re soulmates and so they both spiral out. But we’ll get to that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:26] All right. So next, we’re out in the bullpen and Andy calls Jim.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:30] And this is what I wrote on my card, Jenna. “Why does Jim even entertain this conversation”?
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:35] He calls him on the phone because he wants to know which woman in “The Office” he should hit on. And he like starts naming all the women. And I agree. Why does Jim not just hang up?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:45] I think Jim sort of sees a way to prank Pam. I don’t think he wants to be part of Andy’s grossness, but he suggests Pam.
JENNA FISCHER [00:27:53] Yes. So next up, Michael takes Dwight aside to tell him about Martin’s past. And Dwight has this talking head where he explains that he is upset simply because he does not like criminals. He doesn’t like criminals. And we had a fan question from Mary Coors, Nicole Bridges and Jet Fenton, “After Michael tells Dwight about Martin being a convict. He has this talking head in front of a window. But normally his talking heads are facing into the office. Why the change now”? OK, people have really been tracking the, where the talking heads are and the whole window thing ever since we shared about it. So I just want to put this one to rest. This is because this is one of those on the fly talking heads. This is next to the window, that’s next to our Dunder Mifflin sign in the little lobby as you walk into the office. This is not, this was not done in the conference room. This was not a formal talking head. If it was, I’m sure they would have sat Dwight down in that same chair with the bullpen behind him. But since this was on the fly. That’s what that window is. It is not significant of our previous talking head theme.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:02] So the symbolism happens in the conference room. Not so much talking head on the fly.
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:06] Right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:07] So Dwight, like Angela, starts to spiral out with this information. He’s going to try to get to the bottom of things.
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:13] Yes. Both Dwight and Angela are preoccupied with the fact that they don’t know why Martin was in prison. They can’t let it go like Michael suggested.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:20] And meanwhile, Andy is quizzing Jim about what are Pam’s interests.
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:27] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:27] And Jim lists off all of these crazy things. One of them, Andy really jumps on, which is Frolf. Frisbee golf.
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:34] Yes. It becomes very clear that Jim is actually listing all of the things that Pam hates, but presenting them as the things that Pam loves. And he says any Frisbee based competition. To which Andy says, oh, my gosh. I guess he invented some sort of combination of Frisbee and golf while he was in college.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:57] No, he didn’t invent it. He was on the team. He played frolf at Cornell. Andy doesn’t say he invented frolf. Frisbee golf.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:04] I think he did. I think he says he was one of the founders of the frolf team at Cornell.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:09] Cornell’s team, but not of the sport. It’s an actual sport.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:13] No, no, no. Angela, wait, wait.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:16] Yes, it is. Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:17] I thought that was made up.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:18] No.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:18] Frolfing?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:19] No.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:20] No. There is not something where you play frisbee and golf at the same time. That cannot be true.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:25] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:25] Stop it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:26] Yes, there is, Jenna. So, Andy, Andy is just saying that he founded the team at Cornell. He is a founding member. I did a deep dive on frolf. Also, my husband was like, yeah, Frisbee golf, I love Frisbee golf. I was like, Wait, what? He was like, yeah, you play in the park.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:43] I did not Google frolf because I thought there is no possible way that is a real thing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:49] It’s a real thing, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:50] Oh my gosh. Ok.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:50] It’s a real thing. You can go on. Go. Go on YouTube.
JENNA FISCHER [00:30:54] Oh my gosh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:55] And I went on the E-How YouTube channel. And basically, you have a Frisbee and you have to throw it in a basket. There’s courses all across the country. You can actually go to the Professional Disc Golf Association website. That’s the PDGA. And you can find out where there are Frisbee golf courses in your area, in your city. And it’s a whole thing, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:21] Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:22] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:23] Well, I just Googled frolf and I’m reading on frolf.com. This is my favorite thing I’ve read so far. “Everyone and everything in the world is part of a frolfing game. Every tree, street, sign, building, car, person, animal, everything is a part of the game. Everything must be taken into consideration when playing a hole”. Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:47] I have played Frisbee golf, and I played it like out of college in New York, in Central Park and I’d be like, OK, now we weren’t on a course like the PDGA, where there’s like a park with the baskets. But we were just like, OK, the first, the first hole that you have to get is like between those two trees and then you’ve got to get it onto that fountain and then you’ve got to get it onto that park bench. You can play frolf anywhere, Jenna. Anywhere. You play frolf in your backyard. Make your own course, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:17] I still, it’s still so insane to me that I, like there’s a part, there’s a very, very tiny part of me that is convinced that you have planted all of the frolfing websites on the Internet just to like prank me right now.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:32] Well, that’s, that is absolutely something I would do not. What are you saying?
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:38] All right. Wow. Honestly, my mind is blown at that frolfing is a real thing. OK. Here are more of the things that we learned that Pam hates, that Jim presents as things she loves. Hunting, ads for Six Flags with the old man. Do you remember those?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:32:53] I do. I do.
JENNA FISCHER [00:32:56] It was a guy in like, really creepy old age makeup. He wasn’t actually old, right? He was covered in this latex makeup. And he did this like intense dancing.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:06] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:07] He would like break dance.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:08] It was creepy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:09] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:10] Yeah. It was creepy. And then also pig Latin.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:13] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:14] I got in a conversation with my husband about pig Latin. This is, when you talk about like bringing your work home.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:20] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:20] This is like, I’m like, babe, do you play Frisbee golf? Babe, do speak pig Latin? Apparently I’ve been doing it wrong. Shocker. Not a shocker.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:28] Wait. We had a fan question about this, Angela. Demetria wants to know, “Can you speak pig Latin in real life”? Angela, you thought you could.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:37] Well, my friends and I, we did our version of Pig Latin. But then when I looked it up online, online, it says it’s the first to consonants.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:44] OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:45] And we just did the first letter of each word. That’s how we did it. We did the first letter. Add it to the end and add a Y. But when I looked it up online, it said it’s the first two consonants. Is that how you guys do it?
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:56] Well, what is an example of a word with two consonants?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:00] Thought.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:01] Ought they. How would you say “ought they”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:03] OK. So my friends and I would say “hotay”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:06] Oh, that’s so wrong. Did you guys know what you were saying? Did you guys understand each other? Did you struggle a lot?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:12] Hotay. No. We had a fine time and we were fine.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:18] It was even more secretive for you because other people could not understand your pig Latin.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:23] So how would you say there?
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:25] Ere they.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:26] So we would say heretay.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:28] Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:31] Oway.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:32] Well, my friends and I, we actually.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:34] Oday oyay.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:35] We spoke something called the Ob language. It’s called the Ob language, my friend Sarah O’Halloran s mother taught her the Ob language. So Sarah’s name and OB would be Sabaraba Obahabalabarobin.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:54] Stop it, stop it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:54] That was always my favorite thing to say.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:55] Stop it. That’s ridiculous.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:57] So you put an “ob” sound before every vowel sound that you hear. So a word like really is spelled r-e-a. But you don’t put ob before the E and before the A. You just put it before the vowel sound. So the word really would be robalobby [Ob language].
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:15] Wait a second.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:15] [Ob language].
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:30] Ok. This is ridiculous, and could your friend understand you and speak it back? And would you guys walk around talking like that?
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:35] Yes. We were so cool. We were so cool.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:38] Oh my god. So would my name be obangobaloba?
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:42] No, your name would be Obala-. Angela. Abbala-. Oh my gosh. How do you say Angela?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:50] Ob-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:50] Angela. Obangabalaba Cobansabi.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:58] Cobinsabi? Is that Kinsey?
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:59] Yeah. My name is Jabanaba Fabsahber.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:03] Oh my God. That is insane.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:06] This podcast is produced by Cabodoabi Fobaschaber. And engineered by Saban Cobafarber. All right. All right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:17] OK. OK. Where are we in this episode?
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:20] All right. So I have a couple of fan questions from this scene with Jim and Andy. Are you ready?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:24] OK.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:25] Fan question from Sarah Hodges, Liz Franco, Rachel Hayes and Donna Miller. “Are any of the things that Pam hates, things that Jenna hates too”? They want to know did I get to collaborate on what items Jim chose? No, I did not give any consultation on that list.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:42] Clearly, because you had no idea.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:45] I had no idea. I don’t even know what frolfing is.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:46] Yeah, that Frisbee golf was a real thing.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:47] So I didn’t know that I hated it because I didn’t know. And then also, we have a mystery. Many people wrote in about this mystery, at 6 minutes and 50 seconds. Christopher Jake, Donna Miller, again, Amy Cruz and Chelsea K. all wrote in to say, “It looks like there is a mini fireplace heater in the background on a desk over Jim’s shoulder. What is it”? OK. There really does-. I don’t know what it is, but I was mesmerized by it. mesmerized. Guys, go to 6 minutes and 50 seconds. What is it?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:30] I’m writing this down on a note card because I want to go check it out.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:34] It looks like there is a little heater that has a light, you know, where, and then it blows the little, you know, thing to look like a flame. Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:47] Weird.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:47] It looks like it’s sitting on that desk where Lou Ann always used to sit.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:51] Oh, my God.
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:52] Right in front of Toby’s desk.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:53] One of the things that used to sit on Lou Ann’s desk was a little Zen garden. Do you remember?
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:59] And I wondered if that’s what it was. I wondered if there was some light reflecting off of her Zen garden. It could be.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:07] She had like a little sand and a rake.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:09] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:10] Okay. So at 7 minutes, 17 seconds, Michael does the thing that he does, you guys. He can not hold onto information. You can’t tell him anything. He won’t be able to hold onto it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:23] No.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:23] Much like how Michael had to announce to everyone that Oscar was gay. Michael now feels like he’s helping. He thinks he’s hoping. He’s just going to say, hey, let’s just come clean. And, you know, he lets everyone know of Martin’s past.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:37] It’s an amazing scene because he walks over Martin’s desk and he’s like, hey, I just wanted to come over and say, like, how are you settling in? And Martin’s like, Oh, yeah, thanks for coming over. I’m settling in fine. And then he immediately says, Attention, everyone. I just want you to know that Martin is an ex-convict, but I trust him. And you’re not allowed to judge him. And the look on Wayne’s face is so amazing because he’s, he’s clearly like, I’m so sorry. I. I thought we were making small talk. And now apparently we’re making a grand announcement about my past.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:13] I mean, Wayne’s reaction is so good. It’s what sells it. And we asked him what it was like to do these scenes with Steve and do this big sort of bullpen scenes. And here’s what he had to say.
WAYNE WILDERSON [00:39:23] The show at that time was getting hugely popular. Steve was a huge star, which was just wild because he was just Steve. You know, you’re the guy from the FedEx commercials, aren’t you? But, yeah, I watched the show and I watched the British version as well. I was a big fan of the show. It was really quality work by all people in front and behind the camera. You could tell that. You had this feeling it was going to be a historic show. It was gonna be around for a long time. So it felt really good to be, to be a part of it. But walking on set, everybody was so nice, so welcoming. Everybody knew what a great thing they had on their hands. That, that kind of improv is my favorite improv that, that subtle, understated thing that’s, you know, best done on camera. And everybody there was so good at it and they were already becoming this well oiled machine. It was nice to sort of, to jump in and play. So, yeah, it’s pretty great.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:36] I think that’s true. You know, I really feel like at this time on the show, we were just this machine like the cast and the crew and the writers. We, we’d really gelled. And as I read watch it, I can, I can feel that and I can see it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:51] You know what I didn’t know, Angela? Was that Steve was in those FedEx commercials.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:54] Oh, yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:56] And I went and I Googled them and there’s like a ton. He was like, how there’s like a Verizon guy. And then there’s Flo from Progressive. Like Steve was the FedEx guy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:07] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:08] I did not know this.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:09] Are you serious?
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:10] And I asked Sam to pull a clip.
FEDEX COMMERCIAL [00:41:13] So the bundt cake was bad. The bundt cake was abysmal. But you’re missing the point of the story. The entire staff has food poisoning, leaving packages to be shipped, deadlines to be met. And one sales manager to do it all. Just one? One. I’ll had the bundt cake. You ate the Danish. Stay with me. He jumps on FedEx.com. He’s shipping. He’s tracking, getting confirmations on his cell phones, his pagers, PDA. He’s got a PDA? Everybody’s got a PDA. Nevertheless, the packages arrive. He triumphs over adversity. I don’t have a PDA.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:41] There you go.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:43] Well, wait. I have a piece of trivia about that specific FedEx ad that Sam just played.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:48] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:48] I want you guys to know, Steve, is saying that everyone in “The Office” got food poisoning. The first person that runs to the bathroom to puke in this commercial is Eric Stonestreet.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:00] What? That’s crazy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:03] He’s an extra in this commercial and he’s running to the bathroom to puke. Eric Stonestreet, who is on “Modern Family”, is in this commercial as a puking employee.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:12] I love that. Oh, my gosh. That’s amazing. All right. So also in the scene, after Michael announces to the entire office that Martin is an ex-convict, he then challenges everyone to name a white man they trust and he will name a black man he trusts even more. So he’s like Pam, name a white man you trust. And she says, My dad. And he says, Danny Glover. In the script, there is a Martin talking head. And I don’t know if this is in the deleted scenes, Angela, but it made me laugh out loud. It was so funny. Martin says, “Michael’s an all right guy. He told me he trusts me more than Kirsten Dunst. And no one’s ever told me that before”. I love that talking head so much. It is three sentences, but it is so rich with information. And was that in the deleted scenes? Can I see that talking head or no?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:08] No, it’s not in the deleted scenes and I’m really sad. There is a Martin talking head in the deleted scenes and it’s this one. He says, “Usually when people find out about the prison thing. Yeah. They get pretty weird”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:21] That’s a good one.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:22] All right. Jenna. Now we’re in the break room and we find out why Martin went to prison.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:27] Yes. Martin says, do you guys want to know what I was in for? And he explains that he went to prison for insider trading. Now we move into a Kevin talking head that I love. I laughed out loud. He says, “I asked Martin to explain why he went to jail three times because it sounds a lot like what I do every day here at the office”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:52] Yes. Jenna, there is a whole theory online that Dunder Mifflin is a front, like a money laundering front.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:59] Oh no.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:00] Yes, there is. There is. And that like maybe like Kevin and I and the accountants are in on it. So here’s a fan question from Thomas O’Brien. He, he says that he knows about this theory. And the main reason for this is that Scranton consistently outperforms all the other branches despite the rapidly decreasing paper market. And Thomas wants to know, what do we think about this theory? Do we think it has any merit? That Dunder Mifflin is actually a front for money laundering?
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:31] I would say no. I don’t think it really is a front for money laundering. I mean, if that was part of the story, I believe Greg Daniels would have revealed that to us in the finale or somewhere in the last season. So, no, but I am curious. It does sound like Kevin is participating in some sort of-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:53] Something shady.
JENNA FISCHER [00:44:54] Yeah, right, because that’s what it is. It’s insider trading. It’s not money laundering. Martin didn’t go to prison for money laundering. He went to prison for insider trading.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:02] I know, but this is the theory online that Dunder Mifflin is a front for money laundering. And I’m going to say I could see it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:10] Oh no.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:10] I could see it. I could see it because if you were going to have a money laundering front, by the way, I’ve also been watching a lot of “Ozark”. And that’s all he does.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:19] Ok.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:19] If you watch “Ozark”, he’s has to launder money for the drug cartel. So I’m like, oh, my gosh, yes. A paper company. And you have to, you have, like, all this inventory. And then you have sort of like a boss who’s kind of incompetent, who might not catch everything. Right? I think I, I can see it, Thomas. I can see it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:39] All right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:39] But I’m also watching “Ozark”, so maybe that’s informing me.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:42] All right. Well, in this scene, Martin fields a lot of questions from all of us about what prison was like. And he gives a rather sort of rosy view of prison. He’s like, oh, yeah, we had outside time. We got to watch TV. I got to take some classes. Pam’s like-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:00] Art classes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:01] They had watercolor classes in prison?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:03] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:04] And then we’re like, wow, Michael, it sounds like prison is better than Dunder Mifflin. We’re kind of teasing Michael. Right? And then Michael is just very upset at this implication that Dunder Mifflin is worse than prison.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:16] Well, you have to remember is that everyone at Dunder Mifflin is Michael’s family and Dunder Mifflin is like his home away from home. So basically, his family has just told him that prison is better than home.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:28] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:29] Prison is better than, than this world that that they’ve made together. And so Michael is really hurt. Michael had no issue with Martin until right now. And it’s because, you know, somehow his, his employees, which are like his family, think that there’s some other cooler place to be.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:46] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:47] And he’s like, no, this is the best place to be. You guys, we have it amazing here. And he can’t believe that they can’t see Dunder Mifflin the way he can.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:55] Well, I asked Wayne what it was like to shoot that break room scene, because here he was. He was a guest star and he had to really drive that scene, you know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:05] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:06] And I mean, I remember what it was like to be a guest actor on shows and how intimidating something like that could be. And so I just wanted to hear what was it like to do this scene from his perspective? Here’s what he had to say.
WAYNE WILDERSON [00:47:17] Coming to work and your guys’ awesome show. Well, it wasn’t even, even though the show was so huge, it wasn’t intimidating just because everybody was having, like, Christmas morning fun. They couldn’t believe their good fortune. They couldn’t believe the, the people they get to work with, both in front and behind the camera. And they couldn’t believe how funny the, the writing was. So. That scene was, I loved that scene. I love sort of being the, the fish out of water, getting into the water, so everybody can get out of the pool, if that makes any sense. I don’t really know what I’m talking about. But, yeah, it was, it was an easy environment to do your best work. So, yeah, that’s, I knew that day like, oh, I got to redo my reel ’cause that’s the schissel.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:25] I thought that was the sweetest response.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:27] All right. Jenna, I have something to say to you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:30] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:30] Pam-alama ding dong.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:32] Oh, boy. Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:34] So it’s 10 minutes, 38 seconds. And Andy is hitting on Pam in all the wrong ways.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:40] No. And the look on Jim’s face, it says it all. This is a great prank. It’s going great. And then we have that talking head from Pam where she’s like, that was, wow. So she loves this prank. She’s into it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:56] Well, she’s impressed at, at Jim’s ability to prank her in this way.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:01] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:01] I think she’s like, wow. I see where you’re going. Now, Jenna. There is a deleted scene where Pam gets him back.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:07] Yes. That is in the script. This is a portion of this story that got cut out. There’s a bit of a prank war that happens, right?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:16] Yeah. Yeah. So Pam gives Andy all this information about all these things that would just be a horrible night out for Jim. Like drinking white Russians. Like just going out.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:28] Yeah. Going to this German restaurant.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:31] She basically is like, you know what, Andy? I’m not available. But Jim would love to hang out. He would love a buddy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:39] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:40] And so Andy’s like, what are you doing tonight? We’re going out. And Jim’s like, well, whoa, whoa, wait, wait. So she does get him back.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:46] She does. But that did not end up in the episode, which I think is a little bit unfortunate, because later when Jim is going to suggest to Andy that he go get his banjo and sing in a high falsetto, that was actually in response to Pam’s prank on Jim.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:03] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:03] So that was like Jim one upping her.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:05] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:05] But instead, it sort of seems like this one sided prank. But in the script, it was actually both of them doing it to each other.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:13] A two sided.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:14] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:14] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:14] Well, we had a fan question during this talking head, Angela. A lot of people wrote in. Emily Soto, Tori Cuil, Angela C., Hershida V, and Monica Jacques all said, “Is the necklace that Pam wears a horse or a unicorn? Do we know its significance? And do Pam’s necklaces represent different periods in her life”? Well, guys, it is a unicorn.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:38] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:39] And Pam used to wear a little heart necklace, but it was a gift from Roy. And so when they broke up, she took it off. And with the wardrobe department, we picked a new necklace for Pam. And this is what we picked.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:54] Now, I’m curious. I did a deep dive on unicorns.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:57] Of course you did.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:57] I’m sure my search history on my computer is like IRS. United States Department of Labor. Unicorn, unicorn, unicorn. OK. Why did you guys pick it? And then I’m going to tell you what I found on the Internet.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:11] We just liked how it looked.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:12] OK. You just liked-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:13] We did not assign a particular significance to the fact that it was a unicorn.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:18] OK. Well, lady, unicorns have been depicted in ancient seals that go back as far as the Bronze Age. The ancient Greeks. Unicorns are mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:30] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:30] As a symbol of strength. Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:32] Unicorns go back to the Bible?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:34] Yes, the unicorn is mentioned in the Bible several times. The first verse I found was in Numbers 23:22. “God brought them out of Egypt. He hath, as it were, the strength of a unicorn”. I mean, OK, so the unicorn symbol has been around for a long time. It’s been associated with strength, fantasy, rarity, purity. It is Scotland’s national animal.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:02] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:02] Yeah, when I was in Scotland, like, you would see it in places like you go into Edinburgh Castle and it’s in the crest, you know? There’s also another meaning for Unicorn. You might want to take a minute and put some earmuffs on your kid’s ears. The unicorn is also known as the third woman of a threesome.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:22] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:22] It’s called a unicorn. Which I probably jump too far on this. But you have Jim. You have Karen. You have Pam.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:31] Wow. Is Pam the unicorn?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:37] Is Pam the unicorn? I don’t know. I don’t know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:38] OK. I need to reach out to Carey Bennett in wardrobe and ask her if this unicorn pendant was as arbitrary as I thought it was, because I like both of your explanations of Unicorn when you were describing the significance of Unicorn. I’m like, yes, strength, change, perseverance. I’m into it. Right. And, but then your third woman thing, I don’t know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:04] I’m just saying. I’m just saying.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:06] It could be. Well, listen, lady, on that note, I think we should take a break and then we will come back and see some of the changes that Michael has instituted at Dunder Mifflin to make life more like prison.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:17] Oh, fantastic.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:29] All right. So we are back. Michael announces to the group that he is, quote, instituting some changes to make this more like prison, starting with one hour of outdoor time. So he makes everyone go down to the parking lot.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:43] They’re all freezing. One of my favorite things about this scene is that he has two and a half pound weights in his trunk.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:50] Yeah, well, he’s not trying to bulk up.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:53] No, no. He just wants to tone.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:56] We had a fan question from Kelly, Corinne and Bernadette. “When you guys were bundled up and went outside for rec time in the parking lot, was it actually cold out”? No, it was not cold at all. I looked it up. We shot this the week of October 2nd. But October is hot in Los Angeles, you guys. It stays really warm.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:18] Every October. I get suckered in to try to recreate like a fall woodland scene to my front yard. Like I buy all these pumpkins. I have like an autumn wreath. I do this whole thing. And every year my pumpkins, like, explode from the heat and turn to mush. And I have to, like, shovel them off the porch because they’re so flattened.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:38] Yeah, it was not cold, but I felt like we did a wonderful job of making ourselves look cold. We did great. I was like, hey. And they put all the ice on the ground and on the cars.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:52] Hey. Look at us acting. And we look cold. We sold it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:56] I think we did. All right, so then we go inside to the break room where Michael is setting up a very sort of grainy television set for Kevin to watch.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:09] Mmhmm. And Martin shares with him that the TV in prison was a lot bigger.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:12] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:13] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:15] Well, we had a fan question from Graciella, Sidney, Joe, Brooke and Leah. “Was the weather forecast that Michael plays on the TV an actual weather forecast from a Scranton newsroom, or was it an actor”? I don’t know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:31] Well, lady, I looked this up on the Internet and Dunderpedia, if you are correct, you say that it is the actual Scranton weather, that it is the NBC weather station. It’s WBRE NBC, and that that weather guy is Josh Hodell.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:51] Oh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:52] So is that true, Josh Hodell, is that you?
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:54] Ok. You know what that tracks for me. I feel like we would, we would have that detail.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:59] I feel like we would. I feel like Phil Shea would have been all over that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:03] For sure.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:03] Just like all of our menus were local Scranton restaurants, things like that. I feel like Phil Shea would have been on that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:10] I agree. So now should we talk a little bit about how this prank is going? We mentioned it before. Andy is at Jim’s desk and Jim’s suggesting that he play, you know, the banjo for her and asks if he can sing in a high falsetto.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:26] And he’s like, you know I can.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:28] I loved it. It’s so funny.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:30] Ed is having so much fun in that moment that I loved watching Ed get to do that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:37] Well, what we didn’t talk about is that Karen comes up and she’s like, what are you guys doing? What? I want in.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:43] I want to play.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:45] Jim’s like-. I’ll be part of the prank. And Wishy Washy Jim shows up. He’s like, uh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:52] Yeah, because he’s caught now. He’s caught now.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:55] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:55] And now if he had to explain this and who she was to him and all their pranking that they did together. Now there’s accountability. And now he’s backpedaling.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:05] Yeah, exactly. All right. Angela, should we go into the break room so that we can meet one of the most famous characters from “The Office”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:14] This character is so famous. I mean, Jenna. I love roller skating. Stay with me here.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:20] All right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:21] And I have found a community of people who love to roller skate online on Instagram. And I was just sent-. This gal won a roller skating competition dressed as Prison Mike. It’s like amazing.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:34] Oh, my gosh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:34] I know. It’s amazing. I might have to post it. It’s so good. I put it in my InstaStory, but she is phenomenal. But this character, people love Prison Mike. They love Prison Mike.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:46] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:46] Jenna. I found the origin story for Prison Mike.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:51] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:52] It’s in the deleted scenes. I have to read this to you guys. It made everything makes so much sense for me.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:58] All right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:59] OK, hang with me as I get my notes. Michael Scott has a talking head that’s in the deleted scenes. Listen to this.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:06] All right.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:07] He says, “When I was just a little kid, we had an assembly at school where a giant owl came out and gave a very impassioned speech about giving hoots and not polluting. And you know what? I never polluted again. It was right then when I realized the power of saying things as a character. People listen to you when you are wearing an elaborate costume or speaking in a voice that is not yours”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:37] I can’t even speak. I. Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:41] Michael thinks since he was a little boy, that the way you get people to listen to you and make changes is if you are a character. That’s how they listen to you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:52] I am so sad that this was deleted because not only does it speak to Prison Mike, it speaks to every character Michael has ever done or ever will do.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:05] Because a giant owl told him something and he paid attention. Ok.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:10] Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:12] He goes on, Jenna, there’s another talking head where he says this isn’t the first time he’s done Prison Mike. He’s-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:19] What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:20] Yeah, he’s done Prison Mike, before because he developed Prison Mike in improv class. And he said he was in improv class and he was doing the scene and these two college kids, they just wouldn’t stop talking. So I became Prison Mike and I turned to them and I said, hey, shut up or I’ll stab you twos.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:44] OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:46] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:47] Wow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:48] So not only had he done this character before, but he does characters when he wants people to pay attention. This is huge information.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:56] Angela, I know who came up with the idea of Prison Mike in the writers’ room.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:02] Who?
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:04] All right. So this script was written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. But we’ve established before that after a script is written by the original writer or writers, it always goes back to the writers’ room for punch up and rewrites and that scripts really are a kind of like collaborative effort. Right?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:23] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:23] So when I was watching the scene, I thought to myself, this sounds like B.J. Novak to me.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:31] Was it?
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:33] I texted B.J. I was like, B.J., I know that Stephen and Ricky wrote this episode. Did you come up with Prison Mike? Because I’m putting it on like you or maybe Mike Schur. But I think it’s you. Here’s what B.J. told me. “Well, in the lore of the writers’ room, I get credit for Prison Mike. But it wasn’t me”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:56] By the way, I love the writers room has a lore. I want to know more about the writers’ room lore.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:01] Well, I’m paraphrasing. He did not say lore, but he basically said, I have been given, I have the reputation of having written Prison Mike. But it actually wasn’t me. So he said it was late one night and he was in Paul Lieberstein’s office. It was him and Paul and Mindy, and they were tasked with having to punch up this scene in the conference room. The idea of the scene was that Michael was just going to convince us all that Dunder Mifflin was better than prison. But how? And he said that at the beginning of the meeting, Paul kind of offhandedly said, what if he plays a character, you know? Like, I don’t know, like Prison Mike or something? But they quickly glossed over it. But, and they kept spitting out ideas and this and that and this and that. And then near the end of the meeting, B.J. said something like, well, I really like this idea of him playing a character, Prison Mike, and that Mindy and Paul were like Prison Mike. That’s a brilliant idea. And B.J. was kind of like, well, I was really just giving you your own idea back. But somehow he gets credited with Prison Mike. But he said, I think I would give it to Paul Lieberstein. But it was the three of them together that then wrote those Prison Mike jokes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:15] I love that. And I love that he had the crazy “Guys and Dolls”, like-.
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:19] Yes, that’s in the script.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:21] Oh, my gosh.
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:22] We actually had a ton of fan questions about this because it’s, it’s such a good scene. So Kristin Went, Jordan C., Jenna D., Meghan M., Mark M. and many more wanted to know, “Were any of Steve’s lines as Prison Mike improvised”? Yes, some. Because I looked at the script but like the main ones, the ones that you remember, like about the grool and the Dementors, that was all in the script. That was all scripted. There’s little moments like little things that Steve kind of added. But I would have to say the main points of Prison Mike are scripted.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:01] I feel like we can’t do this episode without hearing a little bit of Prison Mike.
JENNA FISCHER [01:03:06] Agree.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:08] Sam.
STEVE CARELL [01:03:09] I’m Prison Mike. You know why they call me Prison Mike?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:13] Do you really expect us to believe you’re somebody?
STEVE CARELL [01:03:16] Do you really expect me to not push you up against the wall, biatch? All right, aye, aye. That’s just the way we talk in the clink.
JENNA FISCHER [01:03:25] Amazing. Tanks.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:27] Tanks. Tanks. Guys. I wrote about this scene in my journal and I have to tell you guys what I wrote. Oh my gosh. This is kind of a big thing, Jenna, because I said, “In the conference room scene when Steve became Prison Mike, the first time he turned around with that bandana on in his crazy ‘Guys and Dolls’ accent, we all lost it. Even Steve”. Which never happens.
JENNA FISCHER [01:03:55] Because it was so ridiculous.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:55] We all cracked up. And then I said, “But if you watch really closely, you can see John and Phyllis are barely holding it together”. And if you go to 16 minutes, 3 seconds, you can see John breaking.
JENNA FISCHER [01:04:08] Oh, I feel like all of us are near breaking through this whole scene. We emailed Jeff Blitz about this. And we were trading messages about this scene. And I said to him, my memory of this was that we were in this conference room doing Prison Mike, for like three days. I’m sure it wasn’t that long, but we spent a long time on it. He sent in this audio clip about it.
JEFFREY BLITZ [01:04:30] I think for scenes like this that the goal of it, for me anyway, as you guys well know, I wasn’t trying to do it with the most speed. I’m picturing you guys are laughing right now. Yeah. I do. I know that for scenes like this, there’s a way to get through it where the whole of the scene gets really boiled down. But something like this, it felt like it needed to, it just it intuitively felt like that if I could give Steve more of a run at it that the whole thought of the scene was just gonna, was just gonna come through. So, yes, I know. I know for the cast that it was a slog. I know the way I did it was a slog. And yet, man, I love this scene. I do. I just do. I love it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:29] Well, we were all breaking. Wayne emailed us, Jenna, that he broke in this scene as well. And we asked him what some of his favorite moments were. And here’s what he had to say.
WAYNE WILDERSON [01:05:38] There were a lot of really great favorite moments shooting that episode, “The Convict” and shooting the one before that, “The Merger”. The moment with Stanley was great. But what I remember most is obviously the whole Prison Mike thing was hilarious and take after take. You know, it was so very hard to not break while Steve was doing Prison Mike, and we broke a lot. And in that conference room, it was pretty hot. I remember, had to get wiped down for sweat a lot. But there’s one moment towards the end of his Prison Mike routine, and they use this particular take in the episode, I believe, where he goes, and thanks for letting me be a part of your life because you’ve got a good life. You got a good life. And that was the first time he had done this second “you got a good life”. And the camera is behind me and you can see my cheeks bulge because I’m about to explode with laughter. I don’t want to ruin the take, but that whole, that whole day in the conference room with Prison Mike was, was pretty special. I have to say.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:00] Yes. And by the way, I looked at that moment he’s talking about and you totally can see him smiling. It’s, it’s like on the back of his head and, you know, he’s smiling.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:11] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:11] Like that, it’s one of those that’s how funny the scene was to us when we were shooting it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:15] I rewatched that with him in mind as well. And just, “you gotta good life”, just like made me laugh so hard. It did really make me laugh that he remembered how hot the conference room was because Jenna the guys hated the conference room because they would get so hot. It was the one place where my body temperature actually felt OK.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:35] Yes, same. That was something about conference room scenes that I loved. I knew I wasn’t gonna be cold.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:40] Yes, we knew we wouldn’t freeze to death. But meanwhile, the guys were like a sweaty mess. So that made me laugh.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:47] We had a fan catch in this scene as well from Allison Camada. She says, “Around 14 minutes and 23 seconds, when everyone’s in the conference room, I saw, like, someone’s knee in a pair of shorts and boots. Was this the camera operator”? Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:10] Who? Was it Randall or Matt?
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:12] I think it was Randall. So it’s right after Prison Mike asks you, Angela, if he, if you really expect him not to push you up against the wall. That clip we played.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:22] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:23] The camera widens out to show the whole group sort of being like, hey, whoa, whoa, whoa.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:27] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:28] If you look in the far right corner, I think you can see Randall’s knee.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:33] Oh, I want to go look.
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:34] ‘Cause I think he’s like perched in the corner there and he’s got his camera on Steve.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:39] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:40] And then Matt probably had his camera on you and the group.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:44] Yes. Because Matt would get reactions and Randall would have Steve. And yes, you are right. I bet it’s Randall’s knee. That’s a great catch.
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:53] Yeah, I thought so too. I thought so too. So the group is not sort of giving Michael what he wants.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:03] No.
JENNA FISCHER [01:09:03] He’s, so he resorts to locking them in the conference room. He’s like, if you want to feel what it feels like to be imprisoned, here you go. And he walks out of the conference room. Now, here’s a little something, that is such a fakey fake lock.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:21] On the door?
JENNA FISCHER [01:09:21] That door did not lock at all. I don’t even think it shut very well. I also think that if you look at it, you can see that like Steve is doing a bit of sleight of hand. I don’t even think the key goes in the keyhole. I don’t think that that keyhole has always been there.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:37] Well, now.
JENNA FISCHER [01:09:38] I can’t be sure because I know that Jim locks Dwight in there.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:41] Yes, Jim. It’s not the first time someone’s been locked in there. Dwight was locked in there.
JENNA FISCHER [01:09:46] But in that one, again, I meant to point out that it looks like there’s nowhere to lock anyone in.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:52] Yeah, there’s no keyhole.
JENNA FISCHER [01:09:53] I see no possible way that Jim actually locked him in there. It looks, it’s all very fakey fake, sleight of hand.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:00] All right. Where are we? Where are we? We’re locked in the conference room. Pam calls Toby.
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:06] Pam called Toby. And Toby explains to Michael. Michael, they’re just teasing you. Of course, they know that prison is worse than Dunder Mifflin. The look on his face when he realizes that he’s being teased. He like he immediately forgives everyone. And he’s just so delighted to be part of a joke.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:25] Exactly. He’s like, oh, they do get it. They do like it here. They do like me. They are happy here.
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:32] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:33] It’s a joke. Oh, I get it now. So now Michael has a talking head and he explains that Martin has quit and Jenna, do you blame him? I mean.
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:40] No.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:41] I don’t blame him. Like, how do you work there now? And also, you have to remember, this fulfills a story arc for the show that each week a Stamford employee is going to go.
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:52] Yeah, well, I notice something. When Martin is leaving, he’s getting into the elevator and you see him. He’s carrying his box of things. Meredith is walking out of the elevator, back into the office. And that made me realize, wait a second, she was not in the Prison Mike scenes in the conference room.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:12] No.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:13] And then we got a fan question from Joy Morin that says, “Wait, where was Meredith all this time? Is there a deleted scene that explains why she’s so late to work”? Angela, please help me and Joy out.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:28] All right, ladies, there is a whole runner in the deleted scenes and it explains all of this. So Meredith says that her car’s in the shop and she needs a ride to go get it and Martin offers to give her a ride. Dwight and Angela, because they are so suspicious of Martin and why he went to prison. They have this whole like sort of like, I don’t know, like their detectives on the case. They have a whole runner as well. But Meredith goes to get her car out of the shop. So that’s where Meredith is.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:59] Yeah. I feel, I feel bad for Kate that she wasn’t in the conference room.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:05] I know. That’s what I thought too, Jenna. I was like, oh my gosh. Kate didn’t get to sit in there and have to bite the inside of her mouth. So she didn’t laugh out loud at Prison Mike.
JENNA FISCHER [01:12:15] I thought the same thing.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:16] ‘Cause you got a good life.
JENNA FISCHER [01:12:19] You got a good life. All right. So now we have the final scene. Andy is playing the banjo for Pam and singing “Rainbow Connection” in a high falsetto. A lot of people wrote in about this scene.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:32] Let’s hear it. What they say.
JENNA FISCHER [01:12:33] OK. Leslie G., Ashley G., Eva H., Alissa C. and Carrie C. all said, “Jenna. How did you get through that scene at the end when Ed is singing to you? Did you ever break and laugh”? Yes. Like a million times. But I have to say something. I love the banjo.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:54] I love the banjo. And you and I Jenna have talked about this a lot. And we’ve told Ed that some of our fondest memories on set with him are when he would get out the banjo and Creed would get out his mandolin and they would play.
JENNA FISCHER [01:13:07] I did not want this scene to end.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:09] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:13:10] This was very funny. I, as Jenna, I had to love a prank and hate the banjo. But in real life, I hate a prank and I love the banjo. So I loved doing this scene and I didn’t want it to end and we filmed it at the end of, I think we filmed it at the end of the week. And so it was, again, one of those scenes where there weren’t many people around. It was just a few of us. And it always felt like you could take all the time in the world when that was the case. No one was waiting on you. And it’s one of my fondest memories is doing that scene with Ed. I loved it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:45] So we asked Jeff Blitz what it was like to shoot this scene. And this is what he had to say.
JEFFREY BLITZ [01:13:51] So that final scene, that song. I love that, too. I loved it so much. I love that for Andy. It’s so sweet. And. And for Pam, it’s so bad. But it’s so sweet also. I don’t know. Boy. You know, I will say about it, though. I think it was about trying to figure out to what extent should it be such the funnier the song is, the-, it just means that Andy’s sense of himself and the world is changed by that. So I do think there is a lot of talk about, about it there. You know?
JENNA FISCHER [01:14:38] So, Angela, it’s something that I noticed in the script about this scene is that Jim is not in that scene. It’s just in the script, Andy playing the banjo for Pam. And it’s so beautiful the way it is now, right? That you have this rack focus from Pam looking to Jim and then Jim looking to camera. It’s perfect. And I asked Jeff about it and he said, yeah, that was his idea to add Jim at the end. He actually said that he forgot to tell everybody that that was his idea. And on the day they had, like, started to send John home and they had to, like, get him back.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:21] Call him back.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:23] Yeah, they had to be like, he said it was a little bit of a mess with his schedule. Here’s what he said. He said, I really do love revealing Jim there, enjoying the lunacy of what he’s put Pam through. And in a weird way, even though it’s heavily ironic and played off as a joke. This is the closest Jim can come in that moment to serenading Pam himself.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:45] Aw.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:45] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:45] Well, yeah. To me, that moment doesn’t work without Jim there, because that final moment is him and Pam getting to flirt and have a connection.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:54] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:54] They just now have to do it through a conduit, like once again. They can’t like, communicate to one another because there’s other people in the way. So they have to find ways around it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:07] Yeah, that was all Jeff Blitz.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:09] I love all of these audio clips, Jenna, that Jeff gave us and Wayne, and they really just open up the episode for me so much. And I don’t know if you guys heard this. And it’s something Jeff will go on to talk about. But Jeff has a stutter.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:23] And he was a little nervous about making the audio clips. Then he actually sent in this audio clip that we want to play for you about how he felt like his stutter was an advantage to him.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:35] Here, listen to what he has to say.
JEFFREY BLITZ [01:16:37] As a side note, I want to say this, that the stuttering thing, which I’m sure that is coming through loud and clear for some of this stuff, it is part when I started working with you guys. I was so scared that the stuttering was going to make it such that when I wanted to share notes with you that I would, that the amount of time it would take to do it and then I’d be embarrassed and all that stuff. But anyway, I do think it inspired something where like rather than shout notes out to the cast that I would go in, that for me, for me, it just it felt like a better thing to not do that. And so I think it turned into something where the note had like a thoughtfulness to it. And I could talk to people about it. And it felt like I could spin it in a way that it made that, for me anyway, feel like a good thing. It’s not as good on a podcast. I’m sorry. But anyway, yeah. Just wanted to say that.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:47] Well, it’s interesting, Angela, because my memories of working with Jeff are of close, intimate conversations. That we’re very connected.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:17:58] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:58] And so I never found his stutter to get in the way of connecting with him. In fact, I think he’s right. I think it actually created a deeper connection because we had these one-on-one conversations.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:18:12] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:18:13] My memories of being around Jeff are of these quiet, intimate conversations coupled with laughing harder than I’ve ever laughed.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:18:21] Yes. Yeah, I absolutely agree with that. And that’s why I cannot wait to tell the story of “Save Bandit” with Jeff, because it was me and Jeff and Kent and Greg on set that day when we rehearsed it. Getting the cat in the ceiling, I’m not going to get into it. But let me tell you, I am living for that podcast because I want all of them. I want us all to retell the story.
JENNA FISCHER [01:18:44] Oh, my gosh. We should get all you guys to come together and we should do a special “Save Bandit”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:18:51] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [01:18:51] Where everyone speaks their memories of that scene.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:18:55] A “Save Bandit’ deep dive. Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [01:18:57] Yes. I love that. Well, guys, we also have a final audio clip from Wayne Wilderson. He’s just letting us know a few of the things he’s doing now and where you can find him.
WAYNE WILDERSON [01:19:09] Well, I did “Upload” on Amazon Prime with Greg Daniels. I know they’ve been picked up for a second season. So hopefully we’ll be seeing me back on that. You can go find reruns of work I did with another office alum, Randall Einhorn, when I played the principal on “The Mick”. And. Yeah. Oh, where can you find me? On Twitter, I’m WayneWilderson. One word. On Facebook, I’m WayneWilderson. One word. And on Instagram, I’m WayneWilderson. And that’s one word. You guys, miss you. Thank you so much for letting me come on your awesome podcasts. It’s been a lot of fun. All right. Later.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:20:05] He makes me laugh.
JENNA FISCHER [01:20:07] The way he was setting that up. I thought he was gonna say something different for his Instagram. But I know his Instagram is WayneWilderson, one word and so.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:20:14] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:20:15] Anyway. By the way, it’s not WayneWildersonOneWord. It’s just WayneWilderson.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:20:20] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:20:21] One word.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:20:21] Exactly. It is his name combined, guys. And you can find Jeff Blitz on Twitter at JeffreyBlitz.
JENNA FISCHER [01:20:28] Jeff. Wayne. Thank you so much. Guys, that was “The Convict”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:20:33] That was “The Convict”. Thank you so much for listening and sending in your questions. We will see you next week with Part One of “Benihana Christmas”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:20:43] It’s Christmas already.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:20:44] And it’s gonna be a two parter. And we have guests. Oh, we’re excited.
JENNA FISCHER [01:20:49] See you next week.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:20:50] Bye.
JENNA FISCHER [01:20:52] Thank you for listening to “Office Ladies” “Office Ladies” is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Our producer is Codi Fischer. Our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer.