May 9, 2023
EP. 164 — The List
This week we’re breaking down “The List” and can you believe it? It’s Season 8 of “The Office”! Robert California (James Spader) is the new CEO of Dunder Mifflin and Andy is the Scranton Branch manager. Erin stumbles upon Robert California’s notebook with a list of all the employees’ names in two mysterious columns and they must figure out what it means. Jenna shares how the writers chose who would be the new manager, Angela does a plank and we hear an audio clip from Kate Flannery. We also have the “Great Debate” of this episode that can only be solved by Ellie Kemper. So don’t watch a commercial over and over again, instead enjoy this Office Ladies’ episode!
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164 — The List
OFFICE 164 – The List
Jenna [00:00:03] I’m Jenna Fischer.
Angela [00:00:04] And I’m Angela Kinsey.
Jenna [00:00:06] We were on The Office together.
Angela [00:00:07] And we’re best friends.
Jenna [00:00:08] And now we’re doing the ultimate Office rewatch podcast just for you.
Angela [00:00:12] Each week, we will break down an episode of The Office and give exclusive behind the scenes stories that only two people who were there can tell you.
Jenna [00:00:19] We’re the Office Ladies… Hello!
Angela [00:00:26] Hi!
Jenna [00:00:27] Are you ready for season eight?
Angela [00:00:29] Season eight!
Jenna [00:00:31] Here it is.
Angela [00:00:32] Ocho.
Jenna [00:00:33] We’re doing it. Get in.
Angela [00:00:34] Dalapan. Sorry, That’s eight in Indonesian.
Jenna [00:00:37] Okay, go ahead.
Angela [00:00:39] Okay, now I’m done. All right.
Jenna [00:00:42] Today is The List. It is season eight, episode one, written by B.J. Novak. Directed by B.J. Novak. Angela, season eight was a very emotional roller coaster of a year for me on The Office. First of all, I was very pregnant. Then I came back to work after only five weeks.
Angela [00:01:02] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:01:03] And we didn’t have Steve. It was a year.
Angela [00:01:07] Yeah. It’s really hard to go back to work when you have a baby. It just is.
Jenna [00:01:12] And there were some circumstances that made it harder, but we’ll share about that when we get there.
Angela [00:01:16] We’ll get to that.
Jenna [00:01:17] Down the road. Let’s start this episode with a summary. Andy Bernard is our new Dunder-Mifflin branch manager. And Robert California is the new CEO. Of Sabre!
Angela [00:01:29] He talked- he talked Jo out of her own job.
Jenna [00:01:33] That made me laugh out loud.
Angela [00:01:34] Yeah.
Jenna [00:01:35] In this episode, Erin is going to discover that Robert California has made a list of employees in his notebook, and he has divided this list into two groups. But what do the groups mean? The Office makes it their mission to figure it out. Meanwhile, Angela got married to the state senator over the summer, and both Angela and Pam are pregnant. And Pam can not stop crying.
Angela [00:02:00] Pam. Pam was breaking my heart.
Jenna [00:02:04] Are you ready for fast fact number one?
Angela [00:02:06] I am.
Jenna [00:02:07] Our fast fact number one is called New Manager. That’s right. Andy Bernard. How did this all come about? Well, as I said before, there was no decision about who was going to take over as manager when we ended season seven. We all left for our summer break. We didn’t know.
Angela [00:02:23] We had no idea.
Jenna [00:02:25] It was a very interesting summer for our writers. And thanks to many messages that I exchanged with B.J. Novak and Paul Lieberstein, and from reading Andy Greene’s book and doing some Googling, I have the dish on how it all came about.
Angela [00:02:39] Ooh. Give it to us.
Jenna [00:02:41] All right. The first debate was outside hire versus inside hire.
Angela [00:02:46] This debate, I remember well. It was swirling around for a while.
Jenna [00:02:50] Well, the general consensus was inside hire.
Angela [00:02:53] Yeah.
Jenna [00:02:54] However, the network liked the idea of an outside hire. So our writers did entertain this idea. And the biggest name being tossed around was James Gandolfini.
Angela [00:03:05] I remember this, Jenna.
Jenna [00:03:07] You do?
Angela [00:03:08] Yeah, I do.
Jenna [00:03:09] I remember, too. Paul Lieberstein, B.J. Novak, and Danny Chun all met with James Gandolfini about coming in as our new manager. And in Andy Greene’s book, which, by the way, is called The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, Danny Chun shared that James had seen a few episodes of the show, and he was very complimentary and very interested. B.J. Novak told me that when they met with him, he was super nervous because James Gandolfini was his favorite actor. And he said that James Gandolfini was pretty shy during the meeting. But also B.J. and Paul and Danny were very shy as well. And so it was a very quiet meeting. Nobody said very much. They just kind of sat there.
Angela [00:03:53] We were all obsessed with The Sopranos. Let me tell you, if Tony Soprano had walked onto that soundstage, I would have been like huhhhhh.
Jenna [00:04:01] All right. So here is the character that they had in mind. This is how Danny described it: “Salt of the earth. Intense, passionate guy who could be your father figure and your biggest supporter and the most sort of wonderful person to have on your side, but also turn around and be the scariest person you’ve ever seen in your life and just bite your head off about something. So this was the character they were imagining that James Gandolfini would play in a comedic way.
Angela [00:04:26] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:04:26] This was a comic turn. But ultimately, it didn’t work out. Now, there was a little dish served up recently on the podcast Talking Sopranos. That is the podcast where the stars of The Sopranos, it’s Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa, they tell stories about Sopranos. Everyone, you should listen if you want to hear some break down about The Sopranos. But they talked about this moment where James Gandolfini was possibly going to come on The Office, and Steve Schirripa said we made him an offer, but that HBO countered our offer and paid him $3 million not to take the role.
Angela [00:05:03] Geez!
Jenna [00:05:05] Yeah! Now, I did some fact checking on that. My sources tell me that we never made a financial offer to James Gandolfini to do the show.
Angela [00:05:15] Your secret sources?
Jenna [00:05:15] These are my secret sources. But that James Gandolfini ultimately decided that he wanted to do a development deal with HBO and do some other projects rather than get locked into a TV contract. So I guess HBO did make him a deal.
Angela [00:05:31] Yeah.
Jenna [00:05:32] Maybe that, you know, stopped any potential deal in its tracks with us. But my sources say an offer was not officially made. Okay. So after all of this, the writers decided for sure we’re going to do an inside hire. That had been their first instinct, you know? Krista D from Allendale, Illinois said, Did the writers choose Andy to become the Scranton branch manager because he’s the most likely to be a yes man to corporate? Was there a lot of discussion around who would take over as manager? Oh, Krista, there was so much discussion.
Angela [00:06:07] There was lots of chatter.
Jenna [00:06:09] Writer Danny Chun said the discussions got quite heated. Paul Lieberstein said here was their criteria for picking a new boss. “One of the important aspects is that the boss puts something into the relationships in the office that is not just professional. They have to see it as a lot more than what it is. And they decided that the two people who would take the job of manager most personally were Andy or Dwight.
Angela [00:06:36] Okay. That tracks.
Jenna [00:06:38] People argued heavily for each side. If you want to read everyone’s passionate feelings about this, it is all in Andy Greene’s book. There is a lot of stuff in Andy Greene’s book that, like, I knew already, like we knew, you know?
Angela [00:06:52] Right. Right.
Jenna [00:06:53] This was a glimpse into the writers room that I found very interesting. So just putting that out there.
Angela [00:07:00] So maybe the real list was a notepad. And on one side was Andy, and on the other side was Dwight!
Jenna [00:07:05] Oh, yeah, I think you’re right.
Angela [00:07:07] Yeah.
Jenna [00:07:08] I remember Paul called me into his office and he asked me my opinion. Did I think it should be Andy or Dwight? I said, Dwight. I’m sorry, Ed. I just really wanted it for Dwight. You know, the character of Dwight has wanted this for so long. I think I wanted that dream fulfillment for him.
Angela [00:07:28] Yeah.
Jenna [00:07:29] So I picked Dwight. Here were a couple of their concerns. Their concern was that having Dwight as the manager meant that we would lose our main antagonist. Fair.
Angela [00:07:40] Right. That is fair. And you would lose that foil between Jim and Dwight because now Dwight would be Jim’s boss.
Jenna [00:07:46] Yes.
Angela [00:07:46] Yeah.
Jenna [00:07:47] But they were also concerned that the character of Andy becoming manager would feel too similar to Michael Scott, and it would be harder to distinguish him from Michael. And they were trying to wrap their head around that. Well, right around this time, The Hangover 2 came out and it earned over $500 million at the box office.
Angela [00:08:06] This was so huge. I mean, it catapulted Ed into this whole new stratosphere of, like, I don’t know, showbiz.
Jenna [00:08:16] Well, guess what? The network had a real strong feeling about it after that.
Angela [00:08:21] I bet they did.
Jenna [00:08:22] And that tipped the scales in favor of Ed taking over the role. Fast fact number two. Are you ready for this dish?
Angela [00:08:30] Yeah.
Jenna [00:08:31] This one is called New CEO. Fan question from Mikayla G in Wisconsin. In this episode, James Spader takes over the role of CEO for Kathy Bates. Is there a reason why they had James Spader join the cast instead of keeping Kathy Bates as the CEO? Yes, Mikayla. Kathy Bates landed on a new TV series she was the star of called Harry’s Law. She was not available to be our CEO.
Angela [00:08:58] Was she Harry? Like, was her last name Harry?
Jenna [00:09:01] I don’t know.
Angela [00:09:02] Well, if she’s the star and it’s Harry’s Law…
Jenna [00:09:05] I have no idea.
Angela [00:09:06] Sorry. Just curious. Okay, Cassi just said that Harry’s Law, Harry is short for Harriet.
Jenna [00:09:16] Mm hmm. All right, so we don’t have a CEO anymore. We need a new CEO. Here’s something that happened. Over the summer, people freaked out over the character of Robert California.
Angela [00:09:27] As they should!
Jenna [00:09:29] Yes.
Angela [00:09:29] He is delicious.
Jenna [00:09:31] The head of the network loved James Spader. The writers loved James Spader. He was an audience favorite. They were like, Maybe James Spader could be our new CEO. They didn’t know if they could convince him to do it. It was like a big thing when they pitched him the cameo. They’re like, Don’t worry, it’s one episode. It’s one thing. You’ll be in and out. Turns out he loved doing our show. He had a great experience. But there was another reason why he accepted the role, which was revealed in Andy Greene’s book. And oh my God, it is amazing. I love James Spader so much. He said he took the role because he liked the show and also because he was basically broke and needed the money. He said- This is so him. I can hear him saying this. He said he’d just done a big renovation on his house and he’d spent all of his Boston Legal money.
Angela [00:10:20] He needed the paycheck, guys.
Jenna [00:10:21] Yeah. He’d also just done a play on Broadway for a whole year, which, as we know, does not pay a lot. And he said this: when the play was done, “I knew I was going to need some money because I was hemorrhaging cash, doing the play. And then all of a sudden I got a call from The Office.” Now, we initially called him about just doing an arc on the show, just kind of like popping in from time to time like Kathy Bates had done. But at the time, he was also in talks to do the Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln, which he really wanted to do, and it seemed like it was going to be a conflict. He said they were doing the movie Lincoln on a really reduced budget. It was not going to be a big paycheck and the movie wasn’t going to start for eight months. And he said he really wanted you to know, “By this point, I was broke. Really, I was broke.” So he told his agents to go back to The Office and say he would do the part for one year, but it had to be for a full season and he needed time off to do the movie Lincoln if it came together.
Angela [00:11:19] He needed to get that coin. Listen, Jenna and I are laughing because I can hear his voice.
Jenna [00:11:25] I can too.
Angela [00:11:25] He’s so earnest when he says something. It’s like the man cannot lie. He just tells you exactly his thoughts.
Jenna [00:11:33] The quotes made me smile because it was the same James Spader that we loved being on set with.
Angela [00:11:38] Yeah.
Jenna [00:11:39] He is just…
Angela [00:11:39] No B.S..
Jenna [00:11:41] No. Straight forward. I just loved him.
Angela [00:11:44] Same.
Jenna [00:11:45] So it worked out. James Spader got the role.
Angela [00:11:48] Well, I came across an article in Entertainment Weekly from July 6, 2011, and Paul Lieberstein was asked about James taking over as CEO, and this is what he said. “James will reprise his role as Robert California, the uber salesman that has a power to convince and manipulate like a high class weirdo Jedi warrior. He’ll have been hired over the summer as the new manager, but within hours gets himself promoted. Within days, he takes over the company. James has an energy that is completely his own, and The Office has no tools for dealing with this guy. We are thrilled he’s joining our cast.
Jenna [00:12:27] I love it.
Angela [00:12:29] And we! Were we were so excited.
Jenna [00:12:31] I have so many stories.
Angela [00:12:32] We have so many stories. We share some in our book, The Office BFFs, you guys, about our mornings in hair and makeup with James.
Jenna [00:12:41] Are you ready for fast fact number three?
Angela [00:12:43] Yeah.
Jenna [00:12:44] It’s called Big Pregs, Little Pregs.
Angela [00:12:47] Yes!!!
Jenna [00:12:48] Because we were so excited to have this storyline together. Do you remember at the table read?
Angela [00:12:53] Yes! We were giddy! And Jenna, I found an email I sent to Steve about it.
Jenna [00:12:59] What?
Angela [00:13:00] Yes! In my digital clutter. You have to hear this. Hey, Steve. How are you guys? Congrats on your Emmy nomination. Okay, first of all, you so deserve it. But selfishly, we are so excited because it means we get to see you guys. This week we went back for season eight. They have some really fun storylines for Pam and Angela. We get to be real frenemies again and Jenna and I are so excited. Three exclamation marks. Also, you should know Jenna is so adorable and very pregnant. She’s going to have a baby boy and Isabel is as sassy as they come. I hope you all are well and the kiddos are great. Also, I’m still having problems with my damn sprinklers. And of course, I think of you and Nancy laughing whenever they break. Because I would talk to him all the time about my homeowner like issues. But lady, we were so excited.
Jenna [00:13:53] I love that you were so excited about it that you put it in your little email update to Steve, which you would do, which was the sweetest thing. And I know he loved because he would get a little glimpse into how things were going.
Angela [00:14:03] Yes. And he always would respond back to what they were up to. You know how we feel about Steve. He’s just the best.
Jenna [00:14:09] Well, I wrote a MySpace blog to kick off this new season, and here is what I wrote about our big pregs little pregs.
Angela [00:14:17] Ye olde MySpace blog.
Jenna [00:14:18] Yes. I said, “Now that I’m actually pregnant, I can report with much authority that real pregnancy is way better than wearing one of those fake bellies for 12 hours a day. Poor Angela. She finally understands what I’d been complaining about. Those fake bellies cut into your bladder. So you have to pee all the time, and you have to get totally undressed to use the restroom because they’re like wearing a little wetsuit under all of your clothes. And you sweat. It’s awful. It’s funny. Angela finally has a BFF who she can talk to about real pregnancy, and I finally have a BFF that I can talk to about fake pregnancy. And it was true.
Angela [00:15:02] It is true. And this is the year we confused everyone. This is the year our script supervisor Veda said out loud, Wait, who’s real pregnant and who’s fake pregnant again? Because we we just had flip flopped.
Jenna [00:15:12] Yes.
Angela [00:15:14] Well, lady, guess what? We were emailing like crazy during this time. Are you ready for some more digital clutter?
Jenna [00:15:20] Please.
Angela [00:15:22] Here are just a few of the subject titles that we emailed each other.
Jenna [00:15:26] Okay.
Angela [00:15:27] From you to me. Subject title: Bundle Me Car Seat Covers. Thoughts? Here’s the next e-mail you sent me. Baby Bottles dot dot dot. The next email you sent me was Nursery Mural Question mark. Then you sent me Crib or Pack and Play for your trailer?
Jenna [00:15:47] Mm.
Angela [00:15:48] Then I sent you. Here’s my breast pump. Changing pads and changing pad covers. Organic baby store. Your baby shower dot, dot, dot. We had a lot of correspondence about your pregnancy. You were nesting, and I was so excited to finally be able to share this new mom, just conversation with you.
Jenna [00:16:09] Oh, my gosh. I remember all of that. All of that. Ah, takes me back.
Angela [00:16:15] I know.
Jenna [00:16:17] Well, that’s all I have for fast facts. When we come back, we have a very delicious planking cold open. And I’ve got some fun stuff for that. And I know you do, too.
Angela [00:16:26] Oh, I do. And I thought maybe today I’d try to plank.
Jenna [00:16:30] What?
Angela [00:16:30] Well, when’s the last time you planked? Or have you ever planked?
Jenna [00:16:35] I mean, I plank in yoga class, but, you know, I’m using my- I’m planking with my hands.
Angela [00:16:41] Okay, you know what? Don’t brag. Braggy.
Jenna [00:16:41] What?
Angela [00:16:42] Jenna’s actually really good at yoga, you guys.
Jenna [00:16:45] Well, let’s take a break, and then we will discuss all things planking, I guess.
Angela [00:16:49] Mm hmm. This episode is gonna start with Oscar walking past Erin. It looks like she’s laying on the ground, but he knows immediately she’s planking. He’s like, oh, good Lord.
Jenna [00:17:02] She’s laying on that cement thing that keeps your car from hitting the building. She’s not even on the ground.
Angela [00:17:09] The concrete like bumper thing.
Jenna [00:17:10] Yes.
Angela [00:17:12] I mean, she’s not really. There was, like, a ferny pad.
Jenna [00:17:15] A what?
Angela [00:17:17] A ferny pad.
Jenna [00:17:17] What’s a ferny pad?
Angela [00:17:19] We’ve talked about ferny pads! Remember my ferny pad catch on the roof with Steve when Greg was here?
Jenna [00:17:24] She’s not on a ferny pad, lady. She’s laying on that concrete thing.
Angela [00:17:27] She’s not really laying on it.
Jenna [00:17:28] Yes, she is.
Angela [00:17:28] No, they put something on there that she layed on.
Jenna [00:17:31] They did not.
Angela [00:17:32] They did.
Jenna [00:17:32] They didn’t.
Angela [00:17:33] They did!
Jenna [00:17:34] How do you know?
Angela [00:17:35] Because it’d be too painful.
Jenna [00:17:37] She did it. I’m going to text Ellie.
Angela [00:17:40] I guarantee you, they put a little patty thingy there that you couldn’t see.
Jenna [00:17:44] I guarantee you they did not.
Angela [00:17:46] Jenna, have you tried to lay on a, like, cement beam?
Jenna [00:17:49] Yes!
Angela [00:17:50] It would smoosh your boobs and your crotch. It would be painful.
Jenna [00:17:52] No. It would go between your boobs.
Angela [00:17:54] Ow.
Jenna [00:17:55] And then your forehead is resting. I swear. I swear.
Angela [00:17:59] And your pelvis, bone.
Jenna [00:18:00] Okay, everybody. One moment. We were not expecting this.
Angela [00:18:04] There is no way-.
Jenna [00:18:05] The great debate of The List breakdown. Was Ellie laying on a ferny pad or just the concrete bumper?
Angela [00:18:12] There was some buffer, I am telling you.
Jenna [00:18:15] Okay. Pause.
Angela [00:18:16] Pause.
Jenna [00:18:16] While I text her. We’ll keep breaking down, and as soon as she texts me back, we’ll let you know.
Angela [00:18:21] Okay.
Jenna [00:18:22] Okay.
Angela [00:18:23] I want to rewatch the beginning and zoom in.
Voicemail Robot [00:18:37] Your call has been forwarded to an automatic voice message system. BEEP.
Jenna [00:18:41] Hi, Ellie, it’s Jenna.
Angela [00:18:43] Hi, Ellie! It’s Ange. Um we’re rewatching season eight, the episode, The List where you’re planking in the parking lot and you’re laying on like the concrete bumper thing. Now we’re having a debate here.
Jenna [00:18:55] I think you laid directly on the concrete bumper.
Angela [00:18:58] I think there was like, some kind of ferny pad so you weren’t smooshing yourself on a piece of, like, skinny concrete.
Jenna [00:19:06] Who’s right, Ellie? You can just text us back if you want. We’re doing the podcast, but we need you to weigh in here.
Angela [00:19:11] Okay. Love you. Bye!
Jenna [00:19:12] Bye!
Angela [00:19:14] These are the kind of messages people get from us now. Oscar’s going to have a talking head where he says, Planking is stupid and dangerous. It’s a new trend where people lay in weird places and, you know, sometimes get run over. Thanks, internet.
Jenna [00:19:30] I did a mini deep dive on the history of planking.
Angela [00:19:34] There’s a history of planking?
Jenna [00:19:35] There is a controversy over who invented planking.
Angela [00:19:39] What?
Jenna [00:19:40] Yes. So in 2011, when we made this episode, the trend of planking, of laying down in odd places and then posting a photo of yourself had become really popular. The person who gets credit for starting this viral sensation-.
Angela [00:19:55] Can I guess? Can I guess?
Jenna [00:19:56] Sure.
Angela [00:19:57] Are they French?
Jenna [00:19:58] They’re Australian. He’s a carpenter named Sam Weckert. And he started a Facebook page group for planking, and that is credited with kickstarting things. Weckert said that the term planking was coined by himself and his two friends back in the summer of 2008. He said that they were in a bar and they were like doing the worm on the ground. And then one of them just stopped and was still, and everybody thought that was really funny. And that kind of started it. And then they started doing that in other places and called it planking.
Angela [00:20:34] I mean, it does sound like something that came out of a night at a bar.
Jenna [00:20:38] I mean, for sure, right? Like, I’m buying that. That sounds good. Well, the Facebook page became really popular and then the media got a hold of it. But there are some folks in England who are not having it.
Angela [00:20:51] Oh.
Jenna [00:20:51] They said that they started a Facebook page in 2007 featuring people laying down on objects in funny ways. And the founder of this page, his name is Gary Clarkson. He was quoted as saying this. A little Gary sass. “I find it funny how the Australian makes a game and a Facebook group exactly the same as ours and starts claiming he invented it.”
Angela [00:21:18] Oh, that’s a little internal UK sass
Jenna [00:21:23] Clarkson said that he and his friend invented it. They called it The Laying Down Game.
Angela [00:21:28] Well, here’s your problem. You got to have a catchy name. You might have invented it. That might be true. I’m not here to contest that. But, Gary, you got to get a catchy name.
Jenna [00:21:40] Yeah.
Angela [00:21:41] That’s what catches on.
Jenna [00:21:42] Now, to Oscar’s point, people have been injured planking. And one person died.
Angela [00:21:47] Oh.
Jenna [00:21:48] They tried to plank on the railing of a seventh floor balcony, and they fell off.
Angela [00:21:54] Oh, my gosh! That’s horrible.
Jenna [00:21:57] Yes. Everyone…
Angela [00:21:57] Be careful out there.
Jenna [00:21:58] Yeah. Plank safely, please.
Angela [00:22:00] Well, the elevator is going to open, and standing there are Andy and Dwight. Andy is going to say that he’s making Dwight his number two.
Jenna [00:22:08] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:22:09] When he said that, I just got so sad.
Jenna [00:22:11] I know. Dwight’s always number two.
Angela [00:22:13] Always the number two. Dwight has a talking head where he says, You know what? I was disappointed at first, but I’m doing fine. He’s doing karate and boxing and kickboxing and Krav Maga and meditation. And you know what? He’s doing just great.
Jenna [00:22:27] Yes. Now we’re going to find out that Pam is pregnant with little Michael Scott. Jim doesn’t like that joke.
Angela [00:22:35] Don’t say that.
Jenna [00:22:37] He says, stop saying that.
Angela [00:22:37] Well, Pam says, you know what? She’s actually happy she’s not the only pregnant woman in the office. This cuts to one of my favorite talking heads. Also, Pam and Angela never do joint talking heads. So you and I, as friends, were so excited.
Jenna [00:22:53] Did you notice where the talking head was located?
Angela [00:22:55] Yes!
Jenna [00:22:56] With the windows.
Both [00:22:57] Behind us. Yeah!
Angela [00:22:59] I think we need to hear it.
Jenna [00:23:01] Oh, yes.
Angela Martin [00:23:02] Look, it’s a little pregs and big pregs.
Pam [00:23:05] Wait, when did we start calling ourselves….
Angela Martin [00:23:08] Isn’t it amazing the difference in our sizes?
Pam [00:23:11] Well, I am a few months ahead of you.
Angela Martin [00:23:13] I’m having a child with my husband, the senator. And Pam is having a child with Jim… The great salesman.
Jenna [00:23:22] I love the great salesman.
Angela [00:23:25] Here’s my take on that line. I think Angela is actually trying to be nice.
Jenna [00:23:30] She is.
Angela [00:23:30] She’s. This is hers- her passive aggressive way of trying to give Pam a compliment.
Jenna [00:23:36] Yes.
Angela [00:23:37] Oh, okay. I have one background catch in this talking head.
Jenna [00:23:41] What is it?
Angela [00:23:42] Did you notice that Angela’s fingernails are bright red?
Jenna [00:23:45] No.
Angela [00:23:46] When has she ever had on red nail polish? Ever? This is like some real spicy stuff. Well, I went in my digital clutter, and the week we filmed this episode, I was also filming Struck by Lightning.
Jenna [00:24:01] Oh, wow!
Angela [00:24:02] And I was going back and forth between the two sets this week and my character on Struck by Lightning had fingernail polish and this big updo. And I emailed you, Jenna, because I said this: I can’t believe on one day I wear a fake belly and then I go to the next set and I wear a fake butt. This whole week has been fake belly, fake butt, fake belly, fake butt because my character on Struck by Lightning, the director wanted her to have kind of a big derriere.
Jenna [00:24:30] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:24:30] And they had a padded butt suit I had to put on. Isn’t this crazy?
Jenna [00:24:34] You spent so much time in those wet suit padded outfits.
Angela [00:24:39] Yes. It was a very funny week for me because I was going back and forth. But I guess for this talking head, I forgot to take the nail polish off.
Jenna [00:24:48] Well, we got a fan question for you, Angela, from Anna S in Scranton.
Angela [00:24:53] What’s up, Scranton?
Jenna [00:24:54] Anna said, Angela, I was wondering who came up with the idea for your character to be pregnant? And did the writers talk to you about it, or were you just surprised at the table read? I think Angela marrying the senator was such an interesting development for her character, and you do such an amazing job portraying her emotional journey. I do find it very interesting that she revenge dated Andy, but now that she’s with the senator, it seems different. Do you think that she really loved the senator or was she just believing that she loved him and all the time her heart belonged to Dwight?
Angela [00:25:28] Well, Anna, thank you so much for your thoughtful questions. They did not tell me about the pregnancy. I found out about it at a table read. And I just remember being so delighted because it was just a new thing to play. We’d been playing these characters for a while now, and anytime you got a new layer to them, it was really exciting as an actor. And as far as Angela and Dwight and the senator… I always believed that Angela’s one true love was Dwight. Always. And the way I approached Angela dating and then marrying the senator was that Angela was very enamored with the idea of being in this sort of elite circle in society. You know?
Jenna [00:26:09] It was very intoxicating for her.
Angela [00:26:10] Very intoxicating. She loved status. She loved Dwight status in the office. She always thought he should be the manager, you know? And so then to have someone who had the nice big house and had the title be interested in her, that was, in a way, her ultimate revenge to Dwight as well, is that she got to marry someone she thought everyone thought was very legitimate, you know? So I think she was in love with the idea of being a senator’s wife. But I don’t think she ever truly loved him. But she loved the idea of it all.
Jenna [00:26:46] Yeah. I get that. Now, Angela, we also got a lot of mail about my body. About my pregnant body.
Angela [00:26:56] What were folks saying?
Jenna [00:26:58] First of all, let me say I was about eight months pregnant when we started shooting this season.
Angela [00:27:02] Yeah.
Jenna [00:27:02] And in this rewatch, when I saw myself on camera, I was like, oh, my gosh, I was a real pregnant lady right there. And I felt really proud. I was like, Look at me.
Angela [00:27:18] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:27:19] It occurred to me, I haven’t seen a lot of that on TV or in movies.
Angela [00:27:25] It’s true. They often hide pregnancies. They hid mine.
Jenna [00:27:29] Yes.
Angela [00:27:29] So all you ever saw was my head popping over things or a giant bag in front of me. But for you in this season, you were showing your actual body going through pregnancy and going through your final trimester.
Jenna [00:27:41] Yes. Well, I got three fan questions to share about it. So the first one is from Shay J in British Columbia, who wanted to know, was there any conversation about attempting to hide my pregnancy for this season? As soon as I told Paul and Greg that I was pregnant, they asked if they could write it into the show. They thought the timing was right. I did not take this decision lightly, however. I had waited a very long time to share my pregnancy news. I have had close family members lose pregnancies in the later stages of their pregnancy, and it is, like, a grief…
Angela [00:28:21] I know. My, my sister. I know.
Jenna [00:28:23] Yeah. So.
Angela [00:28:23] It’s very it’s very scary to put something out there like that, because if something does go wrong, God forbid, and then you have to continue playing someone pregnant when you no longer are, it’s a terrifying and very vulnerable place to put yourself in.
Jenna [00:28:41] And I asked Paul, I said, If we write the pregnancy into the show and something happened, would something happen to Pam, too? Or would I have to go to work and put on some fake belly? Like I don’t I like I just, you know….
Angela [00:28:57] Yeah.
Jenna [00:28:58] So Lee and I talked about it for a long time, and ultimately we decided that while that is always a possibility in pregnancy, it is not a probability, that all of my ultrasounds were pointing toward a pregnancy that was not going to involve any, you know, problems.
Angela [00:29:13] Yeah, you were having a healthy pregnancy.
Jenna [00:29:16] Yes. I was. So we agreed to write it into the show. But that was a big consideration and a big conversation, Shay. And I want to say that I really appreciated Paul and Greg’s thoughtfulness in that conversation. So next, we had a fan question from Hannah L in California who said, I am pregnant with my second child right now and due in September. My body image has been so up and down during this pregnancy, as it is for so many women. And I would like to know what was it like for you to be pregnant on camera? I cannot emphasize enough how much I love seeing Pam’s second pregnancy on the show because it, of course, seems like such a real and accurate representation. As an aside, I know it can be hard to be pregnant and working a demanding job, especially with long hours. So I just want to say, on behalf of so many working moms, we see you. Thank you, Hannah. And then Haley O from Texas said, Having dealt with eating disorders and eating disorder recovery during four pregnancies and postpartum during my twenties, I love how Pam looks like a real pregnant woman. Not that they can’t look small, but it’s just not all packaged in a perfect little area where the womb is all the time. Pregnancy can come in all shapes and sizes. I used to have a hang up about how other pregnant women could stay tiny except for their cute little bump, whereas I kind of looked big all over. It made my eating disorder so difficult to deal with and recovery nearly impossible. But still to this day, seven years after starting E.D. recovery, when I see Big Pregs, it makes me tear up. I love how Angela is snide about the sizes because it does show in a way how society thinks pregnant women should be. But not every body is the same. (APPLAUSE)
Angela [00:31:05] That is so true.
Jenna [00:31:06] Hayley, I could not have soap boxed that better.
Angela [00:31:09] Yeah.
Jenna [00:31:10] And Angela in my MySpace blog, I wrote about this as well.
Angela [00:31:16] Oh, let’s hear it.
Jenna [00:31:17] I said this: It has been quite an adventure while working while so very pregnant. We’ve been working hard to shoot as many episodes as possible before I give birth, and that has basically meant that I’m working up until my due date. Luckily, I feel great. I’ve been very fortunate. I haven’t had much pain at all, which I credit to my twice weekly weight training and nightly walks with my husband. I think I had a pretty moderate pregnancy philosophy. I didn’t starve myself. I didn’t eat only organic greens and salads, but I was aware of what I put in my body and I tried to make mostly healthy choices. By the way, it’s good to gain weight during pregnancy. And I mean more than the Hollywood 15 pounds. Not only does your body need to create a base for carrying around that giant belly, you need a reserve for when you begin breastfeeding. It all makes sense and works in harmony. That’s not to say that I’ve always loved this process. It is a hard day when you look down and see cellulite on your shins. I remember that day, Angela. Do you remember, I texted you about it. I was like, Really? My shins?!
Angela [00:32:24] No, I remember you actually showing me.
Jenna [00:32:28] I was like, Wow. But here’s what I wrote. I said it was one of those moments where I thought, Yep, I’m really a mom now. This is just the first in a long list of things I’m going to do for my kid. So hang in there, ladies. We’re all in this together.
Angela [00:32:43] That’s great. I love that you wrote that.
Jenna [00:32:46] Yeah, it was really great because it took me back to my mindset at the time, and I gained a lot of weight in that pregnancy. I was starving all the time, and I don’t mean like, hungry or like, oh, you know, it’s an hour past dinner time, I’m hungry. I mean, like I… had a visceral hunger that could not be quenched. And it wanted carbs. That is what it wanted. That was with my first. With my daughter, I wanted crisp, cold vegetables. They could not be colder. They could not be crisper.
Angela [00:33:23] I just wanted peanut butter. I wanted strawberries. I remember just eating giant bowls of strawberries all the time. Here’s the thing, you guys. I really appreciate that you wrote that, Jenna, because we both worked right up into our due dates. Many women do. And what you have to navigate in a day, especially in your last trimester, you’re doing all the things everyone else is doing, but you’re also growing a baby.
Jenna [00:33:47] Yeah.
Angela [00:33:47] And so it is wonderful when people write in and say the things like what Hayley said and Hannah said because it feels good that we all see each other and that we all recognize what we do for our children. And lovingly so. Happy to do it. But at the same time, folks, if you are out there and your coworker is very pregnant, be nice to her!
Jenna [00:34:10] Yeah. Exactly. And speaking of that, Angela, I did write in my MySpace blog. The cast and crew has been so kind. They’ve taken such good care of me. I have to imagine it’s been good for our little guy to be around so much love and laughter each day.
Angela [00:34:24] Yeah.
Jenna [00:34:26] And I did think that. I’d think, I get to go to work and this little guy is just feeling me laugh so hard all day.
Angela [00:34:32] I know. I thought that too, especially in Dinner Party when I was so pregnant. And I’m like, Isabel is in there. Your mom is laughing her butt off.
Jenna [00:34:40] Yeah. All right. That was a little bit of a long tangent, but I think an important one.
Angela [00:34:44] Yes.
Jenna [00:34:45] We’re still in the cold open!
Angela [00:34:47] We are.
Jenna [00:34:47] Where are we?
Angela [00:34:48] Um we okay, here we are. Jim and Darryl are trying to help Dwight move Kevin. Go to 2 minutes and 38 seconds. Leslie David Baker is completely cracking up in the background. Totally busted. I want to share with you guys something from the shooting draft. It’s also in the deleted scenes on the DVD. Jim turns to Ryan for help. He says, Ryan, little help? And Ryan just looks at them and walks away.
Jenna [00:35:16] Wow.
Angela [00:35:16] And then he has this talking head where he explains how trends make their way to Scranton. It’s so funny. I’m going to put it in our stories.
Jenna [00:35:26] Okay.
Angela [00:35:27] sHe holds up an elaborate map. I’m like, When did Ryan make this map? Why does he care so much about trends? And this is his talking head. This is the way trends move across the country. They start in Japan. L.A. and New York pick it up soon after. Seattle looks at it and decides, meh, not to do it. Chicago gets it three months after that. Then it travels down the Mississippi. All the red states do it. Good Morning America does a piece about it, and then it shows up in Scranton.
Jenna [00:35:56] That’s very funny because planking had been around for a while by the time it got to this episode. So that’s pretty funny.
Angela [00:36:04] Yeah. Finally, Jim is going to say, you know what? No one should be planking. And Andy agrees and asks Dwight to take care of it.
Jenna [00:36:11] So Dwight walks around and basically starts pushing people off their planks. Violently.
Angela [00:36:16] He drops things on their heads. He uses a fire extinguisher.
Jenna [00:36:20] We got a fan question from Quinn T in Houston. How in the world did they do the planking scenes in the cold open? Were they stunt people? Especially for Kelly on the tall cabinet in Andy’s office and Meredith falling off the bathroom stall wall- those had to be stunt people, right? Well, everybody, I would normally go to Randy Cordray with this question.
Angela [00:36:39] Yeah.
Jenna [00:36:40] But as we mentioned before, Randy moved on from the show after season seven and our line producer for season eight and nine was Steve Burgess.
Angela [00:36:49] Who is a wonderful, delightful human being. We were so lucky. We had Kent Zbornak, then Randy Cordray and then the amazing Steve Burgess.
Jenna [00:36:58] I know Steve sends me an email for my birthday every year.
Angela [00:37:02] Yeah, same.
Jenna [00:37:02] We’re still in touch with him. We hit him up for details on these stunts. And guess what? He wrote back and said it was all done by the actors.
Angela [00:37:12] Yeah.
Jenna [00:37:13] He mentioned he thought Mindy did not love being up on the cabinet. He remembers that. But he said even Kevin, Meredith, Toby, it was all done by the actors. He said they had to rehearse with our stunt coordinator, Wally Crowder, on Tuesday, and then we shot them all on Friday.
Angela [00:37:31] Well, I texted Kate Flannery about it. I was like, Kate, give me the dish on doing this planking stunt. And she sent us an audio clip.
Kate Flannery [00:37:38] Hey, that was me in the planking scene. Yeah. I planked on top of the stall of a men’s room toilet, and they just had a couple of mattresses on top of the toilet. It was kind of janky. And I kept thinking, I hope when Rainn uses the fire extinguisher that I go the right way. Because if I felt if I fell the wrong way, I would have hit the ground. Risky. Risky. But I guess, you know, at that point I really felt like a pro. Watching it now, I- that could have gone bad fast.
Jenna [00:38:18] I can’t believe it, actually.
Angela [00:38:20] They had a mattress over the toilet?
Jenna [00:38:22] Is that the toilet that maybe Warren Buffett peed in?
Angela [00:38:25] Okay. Well, you gotta stop bringing that up. I don’t want to think about Warren Buffett… I don’t want to think about Warren Buffett peeing in our toilet. But yes, probably.
Jenna [00:38:41] I mean.
Angela [00:38:42] Also Jenna in the script, more people were planking. In the shooting draft, Gabe is going to enter for the day and Hank is planking at the reception couch.
Jenna [00:38:53] Hank?
Angela [00:38:54] Hank! Gabe looks at him and says, Planking. Amazing. Relevant. He then takes a picture of Hank letting go of a large suitcase, which falls over. Then there was a Gabe talking head, explaining why he had returned. It’s in deleted scenes. Let’s hear it.
Gabe [00:39:13] Good morning. Corporate wants me up here. Dunder Dunder-Mifflin wants me down there. What they worked out is Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’m here in Scranton. Tuesday Thursday I’m in Tallahassee. I mean, I feel like Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air, you know? More money, more problems. Although I didn’t get a raise. So, you know, same money, more problems.
Jenna [00:39:39] Oh, my God. I want a mug that says Same money, more problems. That is. That is really funny. So he’s just like taking the redeye every other day?
Angela [00:39:48] He’s just flying back and forth.
Jenna [00:39:50] Oh, you know, I wish that that talking head would have stayed in, because when I saw him pop up in later scenes, I was confused.
Angela [00:39:57] Right? You’re like, Wait, Gabe left.
Jenna [00:39:59] Yeah.
Angela [00:40:00] Yeah.
Jenna [00:40:00] Oh. That should have stayed in.
Angela [00:40:03] Pretty much no one wants to work with Gabe. So they just kept sending him back and forth.
Jenna [00:40:08] Did you notice the new opening credits, Angela?
Angela [00:40:11] I did. Andy is going to place what looks like to be like a boat captain statue?
Jenna [00:40:15] Yeah, like a wooden sailor guy.
Angela [00:40:17] Yeah.
Jenna [00:40:18] But it falls off his desk when he’s adjusting it, which I thought was kind of amazing.
Angela [00:40:22] Yeah.
Jenna [00:40:23] And James Spader is up there in the credits as well.
Angela [00:40:26] Yeah.
Jenna [00:40:27] Well, I know this is unusual since we’ve only gotten through the cold open at this point, but I think we should take a break. I need to use the restroom.
Angela [00:40:35] Same.
Jenna [00:40:36] And then we’ll come back and we’ll do the rest of the episode.
Angela [00:40:38] Maybe I’ll Plank.
Jenna [00:40:40] Is this when you’re going to plank?
Angela [00:40:42] After I pee.
Jenna [00:40:43] Okay.
Angela [00:40:46] Some interesting things happened during our break.
Jenna [00:40:49] Yes, they did.
Angela [00:40:50] Let me just share one. Ellie Kemper texted us back. I’m going to read what she said. Ladies, it breaks my heart to have to choose between you two, but Ange is absolutely right. Three exclamation points. There is no way- in all caps- I was planking directly on that hard concrete. I am certain there was some sort of pad. I’m strong, but not that strong. Ha ha!
Jenna [00:41:17] Yes.
Angela [00:41:18] I knew it!
Jenna [00:41:18] All right. I stand corrected. And it does make sense to me now. It makes sense to me that she did not have her forehead on a hard piece of concrete. Of course.
Angela [00:41:28] Yes, lady.
Jenna [00:41:28] I mean, upon reflection. For just 2 seconds. Of course.
Angela [00:41:33] Of course.
Jenna [00:41:34] Also during the break, though, speaking of planking, Angela did plank.
Angela [00:41:39] I did plank. I was a little confused what planking was. I kind of forgot. Remember, I was like, how do I do this? But then Sam and Cassi found a little green chair where they sit and sound mix, and I planked on it.
Jenna [00:41:50] Very well. You planked very well.
Angela [00:41:52] Thank you.
Jenna [00:41:53] You held it for a long time.
Angela [00:41:55] I did. Because you were like, I want to take a picture. Now I’m going to come over here. I was like, I’m done. Get me off of this chair. All right. Well, we are back and this is going to start a Pam runner, a very weepy Pam runner, where she’s watching this commercial. I guess she’s been watching it over and over about a dog and he’s trying to protect his bone and everything about it makes her cry.
Jenna [00:42:16] This was a real commercial. I remember this commercial.
Angela [00:42:20] What commercial was it?
Jenna [00:42:22] I feel like it was for like an insurance company. And it’s just this dog and he just is like he keeps moving his bone from place to place because he doesn’t know, like, the safest place for it.
Angela [00:42:32] Oh, my gosh.
Jenna [00:42:34] And I can’t remember. It was like for a bank. Maybe he eventually puts his bone in the bank. Maybe it was for a bank.s But it was a real commercial. I was actually watching it.
Angela [00:42:43] Now, Robert, California is going to arrive. The new CEO. And I love Jim’s talking head, where he says that Robert California will pick someone and zero in on them and then have a super intense small talk. That is such a great character trait.
Jenna [00:43:01] Yes.
Angela [00:43:01] I just I can imagine working with someone like that and be like, Oh, no, oh, no.
Jenna [00:43:05] Well, he’s going to lock in on Erin. I love under her breath she’s like, Here we go.
Angela [00:43:10] Yeah.
Jenna [00:43:10] Okay. And I also love their exchange where he asks her how her day is going, and she starts by saying, Well, I woke up and he interrupts her.
Angela [00:43:18] Yeah.
Jenna [00:43:18] He says, You don’t need to say that, Erin.
Angela [00:43:19] Yeah, everybody wakes up, Erin.
Jenna [00:43:20] Since the dawn of time it’s been happening. So then she says, Suddenly I was awake.
Angela [00:43:27] I know. I know.
Jenna [00:43:28] Andy interrupts this chit chat with Erin to remind Robert that they had a meeting scheduled and Andy’s going to have a talking head where he says he has to talk to Robert about some important stuff. And one of those things is that he wants everybody to get their extra long Columbus Day weekend.
Angela [00:43:47] Mm hmm. Well, guess what? Robert California, when he goes to talk to Andy, leaves his notebook, his spiral notebook that he walks around with jotting things down in, and he leaves it open at front reception. And Erin sees it. And there’s a list. There’s two columns with a line down the middle and everyone’s names on either side.
Jenna [00:44:09] Mhmm. We had a fan catch from Evan D in Buffalo, New York, who said, At 6 minutes and 20 seconds you can see all the names on Robert’s list. And instead of Creed’s name being there, it just says, Old Man.
Angela [00:44:22] Yeah, I saw that.
Jenna [00:44:24] So that detail was in the script, Evan, as was that little waving standoff between Jim and Pam. That was scripted. And I loved doing that moment. I was so excited about that.
Angela [00:44:37] Well, here is how the list breaks down. On the left side, we have Jim, Dwight, Andy, Darryl, Oscar, Toby, Phyllis, Angela, Kevin.
Jenna [00:44:46] Also, someone has been erased. Did you notice that?
Angela [00:44:49] Yes.
Jenna [00:44:49] There’s a spot.
Angela [00:44:51] On the right side, we have Stanley, Gabe, Kelly, Ryan, old man, Pam, Meredith, Erin.
Jenna [00:44:57] And two spots have been erased. I noticed. There’s been some moving of names.
Angela [00:45:02] There’s been some movement.
Jenna [00:45:04] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:45:05] sThis has the office all abuzz. Everyone’s starting to talk about it. Dwight, Phyllis, Stanley, they want to know what’s up. Pam runs over to the copier to make a copy of it, and Kevin says, We need a warning signal if Robert’s coming. And Jim is like, We do not need a warning-
Jenna [00:45:21] Warning! Warning! Warning!
Angela [00:45:24] And then they all go to their spots. I want you guys to know there were alts for this warning noise.
Jenna [00:45:30] There were?
Angela [00:45:31] Oh, yeah.
Jenna [00:45:32] I can’t wait.
Angela [00:45:33] Per the shooting draft, here were the candy bag alts for this warning noise. As scripted, it was, Warning. Warning. Alts were, Bap! Bap! Bap! Bap! Another alt: Signal. Signal. Another alt: Alert! Alert! And another alt: Oh, yes, we do, bahahaha. I don’t know. That’s how it was written. One more: (MAKES NOISE) Another one (BARKS) And lastly, Cock-a-doodle do!
Jenna [00:46:09] I really think warning was the best choice.
Angela [00:46:12] I do, too. Although maybe a submarine going under would have been good, too.
Jenna [00:46:18] Well, to buy time, Phyllis is going to flip back in her chair to create a distraction.
Angela [00:46:25] I mean, feet up in the air with the little mid-calf pantyhose.
Jenna [00:46:29] I know. Fan question from Jennifer P in Staten Island, New York. I can’t help but notice how hard Phyllis seems to fall. Was there a mat behind her to cushion the fall? Jennifer, there was a mat and that was not Phyllis. This was a stunt person.
Angela [00:46:46] Yes.
Jenna [00:46:47] Oh, by the way, I don’t know if you noticed. Very important catch. 7 minutes, 22 seconds. In all of this melee about the list, did you notice that the reception sign is now glass? There is a glass etched reception sign now, this season.
Angela [00:47:02] No. I did not.
Jenna [00:47:04] I don’t know what that’s about. I still regret not taking the reception sign.
Angela [00:47:08] Yeah, that would have been a good steal.
Jenna [00:47:10] I know.
Angela [00:47:11] Maybe we’ll have to do one of those Office recreated tours. You know how they’re going around the country, and they’re setting up the whole office?
Jenna [00:47:17] Oh, the experience thing, and I swipe it while I’m there?
Angela [00:47:20] Yes.
Jenna [00:47:20] Would anyone arrest me for that? Come on.
Angela [00:47:23] They better not. Jim and Pam are going to bring the photocopied list of names to Andy. And guess what? He wants no part of it. He’s like, Wait, this came out of Robert’s notebook? Uh uh. I don’t want to know. And they’re really pressing him, like, Listen, you need to find out what this is about.
Jenna [00:47:38] It reminds Jim of some of the lists that Dwight used to make. So we cut to Dwight in Andy’s office, and he’s got these old books of lists.
Angela [00:47:50] So many lists.
Jenna [00:47:51] Yeah. He says, Oh, let’s see. Let’s compare it to this list. This is my list of if we were on a cruise ship and had to divide into lifeboats. This is if we were on a cruise ship and had to divide into rafts. Who would we eat in an Alive situation? Well, I want you to know, I remember this prop, these books of lists. They were amazing. There were so many lists and there were even more lists that were scripted that we didn’t get to hear. I found them in the shooting draft. Here they are. Dwight was also going to say, People I’d go inner tubing with. Tents for a possible camping trip. People whose names also work for ponies. People with stronger top halves than lower halves. Chicken fight pairing for a hypothetical pool party. Yeah, these were more of his lists. But I just remember thumbing through that prop. That’s a prop I wish I had. I wish Rainn had that.
Angela [00:48:52] I can just hear the writers room pitching these. They must have had so much fun.
Jenna [00:48:56] They must have wasted a whole night on those lists.
Angela [00:48:59] I was very curious about why people make lists. Sort of the psychology behind it. And I found this quote, Jenna. And I thought you might appreciate it. According to psychologist and author Dr. David Cohen, who loves lists, he put our love of to do lists down to three reasons.
Jenna [00:49:17] Okay.
Angela [00:49:18] One, they dampen anxiety about the chaos of life.
Jenna [00:49:20] That is 100% why I make lists.
Angela [00:49:23] Two, they give us structure.
Jenna [00:49:25] Again, yes.
Angela [00:49:26] And a plan that we can stick to. And finally, they are proof of what we have achieved for that day, week or month.
Jenna [00:49:34] These are all why I love lists.
Angela [00:49:35] You do love a list.
Jenna [00:49:37] I keep a pad of paper on my desk, or sometimes I bring it with me in the morning to my morning coffee, and as I have things swirl in my head, I put it down on the list. And then later I can look at the list and I can be like, okay, what is the priority? How do I prioritize this? But now I’m not worried I’m going to forget. It creates a sense of control over all the things swirling in my head all the time.
Angela [00:50:02] Yeah. This article went on to say that lists can make you feel grounded, calm and clear when you otherwise feel overwhelmed. Lastly, in looking up why people love to make lists, I did stumble across the origin of the word list in literature. The first time we see it used.
Jenna [00:50:19] When was it?
Angela [00:50:20] William Shakespeare.
Jenna [00:50:21] Of course.
Angela [00:50:22] In the first scene of Hamlet, Horatio says, Now, sir, Young Fortenbras, Of unimproved mettle hot and full, Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there Sharked up a list of landless resolutes.
Jenna [00:50:34] Hmm.
Angela [00:50:35] This led me to MyShakespeare.com Icon. What a delight! It was wonderful and fascinating. First of all, they explained the list of landless resoluteness, which many modern English speakers would think that the word list refers to the list of names of men who have signed on for the military campaign. But that was not the case with Shakespeare’s audience. In this period, the word list had an entirely different meaning. It meant the border of a strip.
Jenna [00:51:03] Huh?
Angela [00:51:04] Yeah. For example, a knight participating in a jousting match was said to be in the list. That meant he was inside the strip of land marked off for combat. It also could mean a strip of clothing, a strip of parchment. But what Shakespeare did here for the very first time, using the word list not to refer to a strip of parchment, but to refer to the words written on the parchment was the first time the word list was used in its modern thinking, which was a writing of series of items.
Jenna [00:51:35] So Shakespeare did mean a list as we know it today.
Angela [00:51:39] Yes.
Jenna [00:51:39] But at the time it normally meant border.
Angela [00:51:42] Yes.
Jenna [00:51:43] Hmm. He reused the word.
Angela [00:51:44] He reused it. Also, for those of you who are going to say to me that it was lawless resolutes, in the original draft that Shakespeare wrote, it was landless resolutes. The youngest child who would have had no land, who would have had motivation to go on this adventure.
Jenna [00:51:59] Guys do not come for Angela on Shakespeare. All right? Do not. All of you Shakespeare nerds out there, do not tell her that it was lawless resolutes. It was landless resolutes.
Angela [00:52:10] It wasn’t. It was a typo. And it was printed lawless, which actually changed the meaning of those terms as well. Anyway, MyShakespeare.com, for those of you that love Shakespeare. Wonderful website.
Jenna [00:52:21] Angela, it has been a while since I have seen you so nerdy and excited about something. This is delightful to me. You are waving your arms about as you discuss this. Your glasses are on. Your glasses are off. Your passion behind this origin of the word list. Amazing.
Angela [00:52:42] I love literature, you guys. I love literature and I love history. Okay. Sorry. That was a tangent once again.
Jenna [00:52:49] Well, this is going to take us to Andy knocking on the conference room door. He is going to speak with Robert for a scene that I called, So many papers, but no laptop?
Angela [00:53:02] So many papers.
Jenna [00:53:03] Did you look at the conference room table? I know that’s not what the scene is about, but like Robert, California, What are you doing? You’re just reading, like, invoice sheets.
Angela [00:53:13] What are you doing?
Jenna [00:53:14] And also you have, like, a couple of Sabre manual things. I mean, what is the work you’re doing in there? You don’t need to return any emails as the CEO? You just review papers? It was an odd choice.
Angela [00:53:26] I want to give Ed a little bit of love on how he entered the scene. In the shooting draft, it simply said, Interior conference room, later. Andy enters. But if you watch it, Ed enters and does a little bit of like a robot slash body wave dance move.
Jenna [00:53:43] Well, Andy tells Robert about the notebook being left open, shows him the photocopy. Robert can’t believe that he photocopied the notebook. Andy immediately says, It wasn’t me, it was all of them. But everyone needs to know what this list is about. Robert claims that it was a doodle.
Angela [00:54:00] Yeah.
Jenna [00:54:00] That some people draw houses or penises. Robert quote unquote doodles names.
Angela [00:54:07] Yeah. He likes to draw words and lists.
Jenna [00:54:10] Yeah. He says, I might as well have been sketching a cube. Andy buys this?
Angela [00:54:17] Yeah.
Jenna [00:54:17] Explanation. But the rest of the group is not convinced, and they are now gathered in the bullpen. They have a giant easel with a blown up piece of paper with this list on it, and they are still trying to figure out what do these two sides mean?
Angela [00:54:34] Well, I have a question for you, Jenna.
Jenna [00:54:36] What is it?
Angela [00:54:37] Do you think Robert left the planner for them to see on purpose?
Jenna [00:54:42] Hmm.
Angela [00:54:42] As like some kind of, like, like social experiment.
Jenna [00:54:47] Right. I wouldn’t be surprised.
Angela [00:54:50] Well, then you would be thinking the way Ryan is thinking. This is from deleted scenes and you should hear it.
Ryan [00:54:57] It’s all a mind game. He wanted us to see the list. He’s a genius.
Jenna [00:55:02] Oh. Yeah, I can see that.
Angela [00:55:05] Right?
Jenna [00:55:06] Yeah.
Angela [00:55:06] Well, now Toby is going to weigh in on the list. We haven’t really heard from him this episode. Here’s what he says.
Toby [00:55:13] Guys, really, It’s okay. Everyone has made a really solid first impression. I don’t think there’s any reason for anybody to worry. I am on the wrong side, and I am freaking out here.
Angela [00:55:26] So he’s so calm to the bullpen. Then he rounds the corner for this talking head and he is freaking out. Dwight’s going to have everyone line up and face off. It’s getting crazy. And then Robert enters. And of course, Kevin is like, Warning! Warning! And Robert is going to invite the left side of the list to launch.
Jenna [00:55:45] The left side of the list minus Andy.
Angela [00:55:48] Oh, yeah. He’s been moved. So at the restaurant, I remember shooting these scenes, we had one big, huge table and it was actually much longer than what you see. Some of it’s in deleted scenes. Basically, everyone just parrots whatever Robert says. So when he asks Jim about Sesame Street and Jim says, Cece loves Elmo, and then Robert talks about the cultural ghetto, everyone agrees, right? This continued. In the extended scenes that are on the DVD, the waiter comes over and takes Jim’s order first. And Robert says, I like that. I’ll have it, too. And then every single person gets the same order. It’s chicken parmesan. Even Angela Martin, who’s the vegetarian, except for Dwight. He gets a steak.
Jenna [00:56:34] This is a total side note tangent. But during the scene, when they’re talking about Sesame Street, it made me realize I just read an article. Do you know Cookie Monster’s first name?
Angela [00:56:46] No.
Jenna [00:56:47] Sid.
Angela [00:56:48] Sid?
Jenna [00:56:49] Sid. There is a song that he sings, it’s a flashback to his youth from when Cookie Monster ate his first cookie. And in the song, his mom refers to him as Sid. His name is Sid.
Angela [00:57:00] Wow.
Jenna [00:57:01] Cookie Monster. I don’t know. Just if anybody else wants that useless fact in their head.
Angela [00:57:06] There you go. Bust that out at your next cocktail party. I will say, Toby is going to say, You know what? I’m going to go. I wasn’t supposed to be here. I’m gonna go.
Jenna [00:57:15] He kind of melts down.
Angela [00:57:16] Yeah. There was a deleted talking head where Toby says that he thinks Robert is taking them all out to lunch to fire them, and that’s why he bails.
Jenna [00:57:25] Oh. Hmm. I did a little breakdown of what everyone is having to drink at the table. There are three people having alcohol. Robert is having a beer with his lunch. Oscar’s having a glass of red wine, and Phyllis is having a strawberry daiquiri. And Steve Burgess let me know that we filmed this at the Hamburger Hamlet, now closed, in Van Nuys. Back in Dunder Mifflin, nobody is excited about this pizza party. There’s a lot of debate about whether or not a margherita pizza is going to be good. Pam is maybe going to cry. Fan catch from Heather F in California. What is Kelly doing at Jim’s desk around 13 minutes? Cameron C, also from California, said, Why is Kelly going through Jim’s desk and why is Pam letting it happen? I remember this bit. This was not scripted. This was just something that Mindy improvised on the day. And you guys, Pam is just she’s in her feelings right now.
Angela [00:58:24] She is.
Jenna [00:58:25] She’s going to just let Kelly snoop. Finally, the pizzas arrive and Pam gets a kind of vague text from Jim while everyone else in the office gets a text from Kevin that reads, Suck it, losers.
Angela [00:58:39] Yeah.
Jenna [00:58:40] Back at the restaurant, this is because Robert basically said, I think of you guys as winners and the rest of the group as losers. So it’s out there.
Angela [00:58:48] It’s out there. In deleted scenes when the, quote, winners are leaving the restaurant, Dwight has gotten a bottle of champagne and is spraying everyone in the parking lot to celebrate. And Jenna, as he’s doing this, I’m walking in the back with Phyllis, and you can see that giant beetle thing has decided to attack me.
Jenna [00:59:10] What? Again?
Angela [00:59:11] Yes. And I’m swatting at it and I yell! Like, actually, like in the take. I go, Ahh! And it hits in the background of the scene. I don’t have to put it in stories because proof of giant bug.
Jenna [00:59:26] Yes, proof of bug. There it is. That stalked you the whole nine years of The Office.
Angela [00:59:32] I think thought I was like a tiny yellow flower.
Jenna [00:59:35] Well, when they get back to the office, it’s awkward, to say the least. The winners start bullying the losers. It’s super not cool.
Angela [00:59:44] Kevin is spraying Meredith with a water gun while she’s trying to, I think, tell her son how to put a casserole in the oven?
Jenna [00:59:51] Yeah. Why is her son home in the middle of the day? And why are they making the casserole now were my questions.
Angela [00:59:57] Well, many questions.
Jenna [00:59:58] Eventually, Andy’s going to ask Robert to come out in the bullpen and kind of clarify this sort of top tier, second tier sort of thing. And Robert’s like, I never said that. That’s not what I said. Andy’s like, Thank you. And then Robert says, I said, winners and losers.
Angela [01:00:15] And Andy’s like, Oh, oh, okay then. That that would be what we’re talking about.
Jenna [01:00:20] And then Robert goes on this amazing monologue about his philosophy behind managing people, which is that he believes in both positive and negative reinforcement. He thinks you shouldn’t sit around and wonder what a person thinks about you. He’s going to let you know. And he thinks these people are winners. He thinks the other people are losers. But he says, You know what? I haven’t known you all for that long. Losers, prove me wrong. Winners, prove me right. And everyone’s like, Oh. Okay.
Angela [01:00:50] So maybe it was intentional, lady.
Jenna [01:00:53] Maybe it was.
Angela [01:00:55] Maybe Ryan is right.
Jenna [01:00:57] Well, Andy doesn’t like this explanation.
Angela [01:01:00] No, he can’t let it go. He’s going to march into the conference room and start just sharing with Robert about all the attributes of the right side of the list.
Jenna [01:01:11] Yes. That Pam is not a loser. That Erin is not a loser. Stanley-
Angela [01:01:15] Stanley has leads in sales and also two relationships.
Jenna [01:01:20] Yes.
Angela [01:01:21] And guess what? Robert says, I didn’t know about the sales.
Jenna [01:01:24] Oh, yes.
Angela [01:01:25] So that means he knew about the two relationships.
Jenna [01:01:28] I thought that was a funny line. Andy is also going to demand the three and a half day weekend for Columbus Day. And Robert gives in. So Andy accomplish something for the group. Andy stood up for the group.
Angela [01:01:41] He did. The day ends in a win for the new branch manager, Andy.
Jenna [01:01:46] On the way out, Pam is still watching her weepy dog video commercial, and Jim drops a little something on the ground. And Pam has a talking head. I remember shooting this.
Angela [01:01:59] You’re so good in it. You made me tear up. Jim has made his own list. And on one side is Pam, Cece, and the new baby. And on the other side, it says, Everything else.
Jenna [01:02:13] I know. And then Pam is like, I’m going to frame it. I can always un-frame it.
Angela [01:02:19] I loved that.
Jenna [01:02:21] She’s like, Am I being overly sentimental? I don’t know. We had a fan question from Molly G in Cincinnati who wanted to know was that line, I’m going to frame it. I can always un-frame it improvised or scripted? It was scripted. And Chris C from Madison Heights, Virginia, wanted to know whose handwriting was on the paper? It was John’s. He wrote that out. That was his handwriting.
Angela [01:02:42] He has really good handwriting.
Jenna [01:02:43] Yeah. I mean, I think he might have taken some time and care with it, knowing it would be on camera. But they brought him a piece of paper and they said, write this down.
Angela [01:02:51] Well, that was The List. We hope you enjoyed it. Are you going to make a list today?
Jenna [01:02:56] Maybe you will. If you do, you can thank William Shakespeare for that. A big thank you to Steve Burgess, B.J. Novak and Paul Lieberstein for letting me reach out to you about this episode and to Kate Flannery for sending in her audio clip about her stunt.
Angela [01:03:12] Yes. And to Ellie for answering our voicemail that we left. You guys, our cast and crew are the absolute best. And thanks so much for listening and rewatching with us. We love you.
Jenna [01:03:22] See you next week. Thank you for listening to Office Ladies. Office Ladies is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer, and Angela Kinsey. Our show is executive produced by Codi Fisher. Our producer is Cassi Jerkins. Our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer. And our associate producer is Aynsley Bubbico.
Angela [01:03:45] Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton. For ad free versions of Office Ladies, go to StitcherPremium.com. For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium, use code “office”.
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