August 25, 2020
EP. 42 — The Return w/ Ed Helms
This week we’re breaking down The Return. This is the second episode in the two episode arc with Traveling Salesmen, and you know we have more memories from Greg Daniels for you. We’re also joined by the hilarious Ed Helms, who shares his memories of this episode, including Andy’s ringtone and punching that wall. Then, we talk about Oscar’s return to Dunder Mifflin, Dwight working at Staples, and we get another fan rendition of Heartbreak In The Breakroom by Carmen and Camille. Finally, we get a good Homer Simpson background catch, chat about Jim and Pam’s prank on Andy, and dig into the Micheal-Dwight bromance moment of this episode. Rit dit dit dit doo!
42 — The Return w/ Ed Helms
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:04] I’m Jenna Fischer.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:05] And 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”. Welcome.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:25] Welcome back to “The Return”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:29] We’re returning with “The Return”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:31] You see what we did there? See that?
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:34] I like that. We’re geniuses. No one can top us. Guys, this is Season 3, Episode 13. This was written by Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg and Michael Schur and directed by Greg Daniels.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:00:49] Jenna, let’s have a summary.
JENNA FISCHER [00:00:51] All right. Here we go. Oscar returns to work. He’s returning from his vacation to an elaborate Mexican themed party that he didn’t ask for and doesn’t really want.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:04] That sounds, that sounds about right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:05] With Dwight gone. Andy fights hard to win Michael’s favor, but crosses the line. Jim and Pam team up to prank Andy and ultimately bait him into an angry meltdown. When Michael learns from Angela that Dwight supposed disloyalty was actually just a misunderstanding. He goes to Staples to win Dwight back. And Dwight returns. It’s a double return.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:31] And there it is, it’s a double return. Jenna, I feel like if we were to title this episode from Angela Martin’s point of view, I would like to title it “Snow and Sadness”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:47] There are so many snowflakes and tears falling in this episode.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:01:52] There’s some serious moping and snow.
JENNA FISCHER [00:01:56] Yeah, it’s so true. Well, Angela, that leads me very well to Fast Fact Number One, which I called, “It’s Snowing in Scranton”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:06] It was such a fun backdrop to the whole episode.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:10] I know. We also got a lot of fan questions about it. Alisa Schroeder, Mariana Gonzalez, Holly Ganet and Paige Carter all said, “In this episode, it is constantly snowing. How did you do it? Was there a video there? Did they use a green screen”? Well, I mean, I think we all know who I asked about this.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:02:30] Please tell me you hit up Kent-apedia.
JENNA FISCHER [00:02:33] Oh, lady. You know, I did. And, you know, he delivered because he’s amazing. Kent Zbornak, thank you so much for always being there for us. So, first of all, on one of the first pages in the script, there is this note and it says through the window we see that it is snowing. Michael doesn’t notice. It should be snowing throughout the entire episode. So this was noted in the script. The writers came up with this idea. It’s going to pay off when Michael’s car fills with snow. But we also just used to like to represent the season that the show would be in when it aired. So even though we shot this in October, it was going to air in like January or February. It would be winter in Scranton.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:15] I love it. I love that throughout the episode, you see people like having talking heads and it’s just coming down. I just love that little detail.
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:24] Well, here is what we did to make it snow in those talking heads, Angela. We use the same company that we used in the Christmas episode, the first Christmas episode, remember them? Snow Business. And they used this very old fashioned technique. He said they’ve been using it for decades and they still use it today. They take like a large roller and they put it behind the window and it has like, what’s the thing that you put your pasta in? To drain it?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:03:53] Or like a sifter when you do powdered sugar?
JENNA FISCHER [00:03:56] Yes. So it’s a giant rolling sifter that they fill with snow and then they just crank it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:04] There’s like a dude back there cranking fake snow, like through a giant sifter?
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:09] Yeah. There can be a dude or a lady or it can be on a little motor. It just spins endlessly and snow falls out of it until you fill it again. And he even sent me a picture of it. So I will put it up on our OfficeLadiesPod Instagram.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:24] Oh, I want to see that picture.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:26] Yeah. And then this same company, Snow Business, would come and put all the snow and ice on the ground. And they had this big blower machine where they would, like, blow it all over the bushes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:35] I remember the blower machine, but I don’t think I ever went back behind where the windows were, where we did talking heads, and I never got to see the sifter.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:44] Well, there’s a little gap. You know, there’s like the wall. And then there’s a gap. And then there’s that Scranton backdrop that we would also change seasonally. So we had a snowy backdrop and then we had a little sifter fellow.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:04:56] Our sifter person.
JENNA FISCHER [00:04:59] Yeah. Exactly.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:05:00] Well, I love that Fast Fact.
JENNA FISCHER [00:05:02] Well, Fast Fact Number Two, Angela, remember last week we talked about how this episode and “Traveling Salesmen” were shot as one big episode. And our director of this episode and our show runner, Greg Daniels, sent in a bunch of audio clips where he mentioned some of the inspiration for these two episodes, well, he did it again. And he sent in an audio clip about some of the things that they were juggling for this portion of the storyline. So, Sam, will you play that clip?
GREG DANIELS [00:05:29] These were like extremely complex storylines. There is a lot of good stuff between Pam and Angela, between Dwight and Angela, between Michael and Dwight. And these stories brought in lots of cards that we had on the boards. One of the things that we would do in preproduction is we would generate all these funny ideas for, for different storylines or fragments or B stories, and they would become note cards that would be push pinned into the cork boards. So there’s a lot of cards. I recognize cards in the stories that had been on the boards, like, I think the, the Mexican themed party, for instance, was a card for Oscar and certainly the Pam and Angela relationship or Andy being more sinister and Michael having to, to wise up and realize who is, who his most loyal servant was. These are all fragmentary ideas that, that we combined into a great episode, I think.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:42] A lot of moving parts.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:43] Yeah, I love picturing the writer’s room and these cards and them coming back around. And Greg, I love when you send an audio clips. Thank you.
JENNA FISCHER [00:06:52] I agree. Fast Fact Number Three, re do do do do! Ed Helms.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:06:59] You heard her, everybody. We talked to Ed Helms about this episode.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:03] This such a big episode for Andy. He is driving most of the storyline. He is the instigator. We absolutely had to talk to Ed. So we did. And it was great.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:13] It was so fun. Sam, play the interview.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:19] Ed Helms! Hello. How are you?
ED HELMS [00:07:22] Hi, “Office Ladies”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:25] Ed, it’s so good to see you.
ED HELMS [00:07:26] You got an office guy right here in the mix.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:29] We do.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:29] We got an office fella.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:31] We got one of the best office fellas.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:35] Aw. Well, thanks so much for being here, Ed. People just love Andy Bernard, and we’re so excited to talk to you about this episode.
ED HELMS [00:07:43] Yeah, I rewatched a little bit just so I had it in my head for this chat because I never watch it. Unless I happen to see it on in the background somewhere. But I love it when I catch it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:07:56] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:56] Yeah.
ED HELMS [00:07:57] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:07:57] Have you ever had that experience though where you’re like flying on an airplane and you’d see it on all the screens? That people are watching it on all their personal devices and on the airplane, and then you’re just sort of sitting there.
ED HELMS [00:08:11] Please don’t notice me, please don’t notice me.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:14] Yeah. I’m always like, do I go to the bathroom? Do I not go to the bathroom?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:18] I was trying to time it out to go the bathroom one time and like, there was someone in there. So I was standing outside and I was on the little screen above my head.
ED HELMS [00:08:26] Oh, my gosh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:27] And I just started to see the faces. Look at me, look up, look at me, look up. And I was like, oh, God.
ED HELMS [00:08:31] Oh, that’s amazing. Angela, I would expect you to just sit down on someone’s armrest and be like, hey, you having fun? You enjoying the episode? Well, got any questions? I’m happy to talk about it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:08:42] I’ve exchanged more email addresses with flight attendants and make good friends on planes. Literally, I sat next to a woman one time and we’re still friends to this day. We were total strangers flying to Canada.
JENNA FISCHER [00:08:53] So, Ed, you watched part of “The Return”?
ED HELMS [00:08:56] Yeah. Yeah. I rewatched “The Return”. You know, I watched just a couple of episodes from that that first chunk of Season 3, because that was my first time on the show.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:09:08] Yeah.
ED HELMS [00:09:08] And, and it feels so long ago. I can’t, like it’s just not fresh in my mind. So many of those experiences. And so rewatching it. I was hoping I could kind of trigger a lot of memories of kind of the experience and the emotional memories and so forth. And, and it was a joy. It was really, really fun.
JENNA FISCHER [00:09:32] When I watch it, I get a sense memory of my desk. I know that they’ve torn it down now and they, they do a lot of game shows where our set used to be. And I was even invited to go on one of them. And I turned it down because I didn’t think that I could emotionally handle walking into the soundstage and not seeing Pam’s desk.
ED HELMS [00:09:56] Wow, weird. At Chandler Valley’s Center studios? They do game shows now?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:00] Yes, I. I did “To Tell the Truth”. And when I got the address, I said, yes, I would do it. You know, I don’t know where things tape. So I was like, “Yeah, sure, I’ll do it”. And then I got the address and it was Chandler Valley Studios. And I was like, what? I showed up at our studio and I started sobbing.
ED HELMS [00:10:19] Aw.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:20] Because it was just-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:10:20] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:10:20] So weird to pull up to that building. Oh my gosh.
ED HELMS [00:10:23] And there were a lot of, you know, there were, there were a lot of major chapters in, in our lives that, that went, that people went through. Marriages, divorces, children, all these kind of major life events that were happening. And sometimes I’ll see an episode and be like, oh yeah, that’s when so-and-so was going through this. Or that’s when, that’s when such-, so-and-so child was born or you know, and, and that, that stuff’s really beautiful to, to remember. Even the, even the parts that are, that might have been painful chapters. They’re still really meaningful chapters in our lives and histories. And, and it’s just so wild to have this show that’s kind of a bookmark. Right? You can just go to any point. I mean, for us, having made this show, I can recall things that I was experiencing when I see a scene or a, or just if I, if I catch a chunk of an episode, I can remember where I was, like in my life a little bit more. And-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:32] That is so true.
ED HELMS [00:11:33] It’s really wild. And, you know, and like I said, even the ups and downs of it, it’s all beautiful. Right? And in hind-, just to have that, that, those triggers available to remember those things, it feels very-. Yeah. It just feels very, very beautiful overall.
JENNA FISCHER [00:11:53] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:11:54] Yeah. This, as you were saying, is, is such a big storyline for you. “Traveling Salesmen” leading into “The Return”. And were you super excited to get the script to see what all you got to do and play with Steve and like, like you got to in this episode?
ED HELMS [00:12:08] Yeah, of course. I mean, it was still early enough for me. I mean, I had every table read is a joy. Right? It’s just so much discovery for the, for the cast. The writers have been kind of in the trenches for a couple of weeks or months at that point with every episode. But for us, it’s like this fresh, exciting thing. And I do, I do remember feeling, you know, as I got more sort of meat on the bone in some of those later episodes, it just felt, it really felt like an affirmation that Andy was a, was a valuable part of this, you know, cast overall, and of the show. And so, yeah, there were, there was always a kind of giddy anticipation with those table reads like, what am I going to get to do? What did the writers come up with? You know? And then, of course, what did the, how is Steve going to make me laugh this week?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:06] Right?
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:07] Ed, this episode opens with your phone ringing and there’s like a four part harmony of you singing.
ED HELMS [00:13:16] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:16] Your ringtone. Is that you?
ED HELMS [00:13:19] 100 percent me.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:20] All four parts? All of it?
ED HELMS [00:13:22] Oh yeah. Yeah, yep. And I did it. And I, and just like Andy says in the show, I did it on my computer at home. Using-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:32] You, Ed, did it on Ed’s computer at home?
ED HELMS [00:13:34] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:35] They didn’t like bring you into a studio or something?
ED HELMS [00:13:38] No, I think they, they-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:13:40] That tracks actually.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:13:41] That does, that does track for our show like, hey, can you do this whole thing at home on their flip phone or whatever we had at the time?
ED HELMS [00:13:49] Well, I can’t re-, I think maybe, I don’t think they wanted it to be very good, but I was like too into it to make it anything less. And I thought Andy would make it as good as possible. Right? So I think-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:03] For sure.
ED HELMS [00:14:03] I spent a long time on that in Garage Band kind of figuring out how to do multiple tracks. But, but yeah, I recorded it and, and I sort of figured out four parts to it, which was really pretty simple. I mean, it’s a, it’s a very elementary kind of harmony arrangement. But, but it, it, yeah. Super fun. And then I played it for Greg and he was like, great, we’ll use it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:33] I feel like Ed because I know you were in an acapella group, right? In college?
ED HELMS [00:14:36] Well, yeah, that, that’s a little bit of an overblown history. I was, I was in an acapella group, but only for a semester in college. It wasn’t like a huge part of my identity.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:46] Right.
ED HELMS [00:14:47] Although it was for a semester, but it, and then I just kind of realized it wasn’t for me but-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:14:52] But you have an ear, you have an ear for music. Like there is no way they could have given that assignment to Jenna and I, like-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:14:59] I know you’re like it’s a pretty easy harmony. And I’m like, is it? It is?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:04] Yeah. You’re very talented.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:06] Well, since we’re talking about famous Andy Bernard things, I need to ask you about re di di do do. I have the script and I have not once ever seen it written in the script for Andy Bernard. You had to have invented this.
ED HELMS [00:15:22] I improvised a ton in those ear-, my, my early episodes because I again, I was eager to prove myself. And I also was trying to find Andy Bernard as a character and, and that particular thing, which, which I, I think was, this, I think this was the first episode where it appeared for Andy. Right?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:15:43] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:15:43] Yes.
ED HELMS [00:15:44] And so it just was this thing that these guys I went just to middle school with would say, they would just inject into, it was kind of like a, “There you go. Gotcha”. You know, if they if, if, if they got off like a good zinger at your expense, they’d tag it with it or re di di do do. And, and, and I don’t know if they weren’t exactly bullies, but I just remember this little clump of guys that were sort of like wise crackers in my middle school and, and I don’t know where it came from before that, picked it up and always thought it was kind of a funny, obnoxious expression. It has no meaning. And it just kind of fits in wherever you want.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:16:34] It’s so perfect, Ed. I have such a memory of being in Scranton with you, Ed. Do you remember? I remember like we were there for “The Office” convention and there were so many people there. And you and I were in a car and like there were people all around the car and we went to that train shop and we had to exit out the back. And you turned to me-.
ED HELMS [00:16:53] That’s right. We were driving through downtown Scranton. I was like, oh, my God, it’s a Lionel trains, model train store. We have to go in there. And I made the car stop and I made, and you got out with me and we went and people started to press up against the glass-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:17:07] People surrounded.
ED HELMS [00:17:08] And it was like, we were like Michael Jackson.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:10] Oh my God, you guys.
ED HELMS [00:17:11] It was crazy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:17:13] You said to me, they had, they pulled a car around the back. We had to, like, exit out the back. And the man that owned the model train store, he was like an elderly gentleman. He had no idea who we were or what was happening. He was like, “Um, I guess you can use the back door. Whatever”. And then we got in the car. And you’re like, “Ang, this is the closest we’ll ever be to being a Beatle. This is our moment”. But what, why I bring it up is that to a crowd of people, Ed just turned to them and said, “Ri di di do do”. And they lost their minds.
ED HELMS [00:17:45] Oh, my gosh. That’s still like if if someone is kind of trailing me in an airport like, “Hey Ed Helms! Eddie, Eddie, what’s up”? I’ll just make, toss a “re di di do do” and then they’re like, “yeah”! Then they’ll leave me alone.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:01] And then they faint.
ED HELMS [00:18:05] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:05] Well, Ed, I wanted to ask you about the scene where you punch the wall, because I rewatched this with my kids. My kids are older now, Ed, and they love “The Office” and they love Andy. And we curled up in bed and we watched this episode and they were giggling so hard and they, they wanted to know anything about it. Like, do you have any story about punching the wall? Did you really do it? What was it like? I know Jenna had a front row seat at reception.
ED HELMS [00:18:32] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:18:33] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:18:33] Accounting. Accounting watched it from afar.
ED HELMS [00:18:35] Well, it’s funny because that was technically a stunt, right? In the, in like from a production standpoint, that, the, the sort of stunt effects people have to oversee something like that. And so I remember it was my first time doing anything that qualified as a stunt. So like there was a whole little meeting about how they were going to score the back of the, the sheet rock so that my hand went through easier. And then they were gonna put up, they, like, fixed a pad onto the inner wall so that when my hand went through, I wouldn’t hit, you know, wood or aluminum or anything. And also, they had multiple planks that they could stick up just so we could do multiple takes. But it’s still I mean, you guys know, anytime you as a character are holding court in, for the whole bullpen, it’s, it’s, it’s-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:19:31] Yes.
ED HELMS [00:19:32] Daunting, right? It’s, it’s kind of something that, that I think was, I always felt anxious about, in a good way, like in a kind of, you know, I was always amped up for those kinds of things. It’s also what makes me just stay in aw of Carell because so many of his scenes were with the entire cast where he’s like running a scene with the entire cast.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:02] Yeah.
ED HELMS [00:20:02] And that’s so hard. I mean, that is just, it is a really, it takes a tremendous amount of focus and concentration because everyone’s lines are responding off of yours as opposed to, and so you have to drive the scene as opposed to being someone who’s just responding to somebody else who’s, which is what we all got to do with Steve.
JENNA FISCHER [00:20:23] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:20:24] Yeah.
ED HELMS [00:20:24] So that that was one of those scenes for me in a, in a very early one and something that I think was very exciting, but also kind of daunting. And I really didn’t want to screw up the punch. I didn’t want to get it wrong or there were a lot of kind of wind ups to practice, practice swings, if you will. And then I think we only did two, two takes or so and I skinned up my knuckles. I do remember, you know, I got to, I still, there was a pad in there, but I still, I think breaking through the sheet rock skinned up my knuckles. So, yeah, that was pretty intense.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:09] I remember you shed some blood for that one, Ed.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:11] Yeah.
ED HELMS [00:21:12] Tiny.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:12] I remember that. But I also remember feeling as a person who was in the bullpen, watching how I could not break. Because I knew the pressure you were under. And I also knew we, we didn’t have that many of the walls. They had extra. But it’s not like they had 14. So we couldn’t crack up when you punched the wall. We, we had to hold ourselves together. So I remember it being like, oh, boy. All right, bite the inside of your lip, whatever you have to do. Do not mess this up.
ED HELMS [00:21:45] Oh, my gosh. There’s so many of those moments of trying to not look at what’s happening because it’s too funny and because I-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:21:54] Yeah.
ED HELMS [00:21:56] I can just remember, like-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:21:57] Yeah, I feel like that was most of our day.
ED HELMS [00:21:59] If I were in the bullpen for a scene like that and and didn’t want to laugh, I would just be looking at the wall three feet to the right. Just because, that was my trick. I always just looked somewhere else because everyone, everyone is just so damn funny.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:14] I used to look at Steve’s neck. I know that’s so weird.
ED HELMS [00:22:18] Yeah. I looked at his ear a lot.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:20] But I love that you were looking at his ear. I was looking at his neck.
ED HELMS [00:22:23] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:22:24] I would usually look at like his forehead. This is, these are the parts of Steve we know so well.
ED HELMS [00:22:28] Yeah. I can tell you all about his ear.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:33] Steve. Yeah. Steve right now it’s like oh, good lord.
ED HELMS [00:22:34] But you’re right, there’s something, like so much of his, of Michael Scott was in those eyes. And if you locked in on them, you’re done just like all of the tsunami of comedy that is Michael Scott would just like wash over you. And I could almost never keep it together with him, even just the dumbest little moments. He just.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:22:57] Well, you guys had so many great moments in this episode. Like, I love when you’re in his office, like telling him about like, I’m going to get my beer on, get my “Lost” on.
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:06] And you follow him to the bathroom.
ED HELMS [00:23:10] Oh my gosh.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:23:10] Yeah. What? What was that like?
ED HELMS [00:23:11] I’m on my way to the kitchen. I’ll follow you. I’ll walk you there.
JENNA FISCHER [00:23:16] Yeah.
ED HELMS [00:23:17] Oh God. So weird. I mean, the writers just, you know, there was something, a few of the writers, and Mike Schur in particular, we really bonded at that time because for some reason, Mike Schur’s just got Andy Bernard in this really weird way. I mean, there, maybe there’s some bit of Andy Bernard in Michael Schur, as well. But I mean, the stuff they came up with for him, I would read these scripts or, you know, be at the table read and I’d be like, yes, this is exactly what Andy would do. This is exactly how the Andy in my head, the way that I think about him would behave. And so I, I just got it. I felt like these scenes were like such a perfect fit. Like putting on a nice comfy sweater. I mean, you guys know, the writers paid such close attention to the actors that, so, that they have-. And it’s that great thing that happens around late in Season 2 or Season 3 of a show or, or even early, earlier than that, where the writers start to write towards the strengths of the actors or towards certain personality traits or mannerisms or just these incredibly specific things that start to bubble up and, and Mike Schur and I would just sit around and laugh and like come up with bits about who Andy was and his background and his family life and, and just die laughing. And we just had, we just had such a common understanding of, of the character that things like that walking Michael to the bathroom, which is so insane. But it made perfect sense to me. For Andy. And was just a joy to do.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:25:10] Well, I can tell you, Ed, that the cast, when we got to see you be in scenes when you finally came, you know, because we didn’t see you guys. You guys were over at Stamford and we didn’t get to interact with you. And when we finally got to see you in scenes, you just crushed every scene you were in and you were so funny. And I remember trying so hard not to laugh. It used to be my goal. Don’t laugh when Steve does something. Don’t laugh when Steve does something. And then of sudden I had to add this other layer of like, now don’t laugh when Ed does something. Oh my God.
ED HELMS [00:25:42] That’s so sweet. I remember laughing with you, Angela, so hard about the, Michael’s trying to play a jukebox, but he can’t start the tune. So Andy starts doing the the “Night at the Roxbury” song.
JENNA FISCHER [00:25:58] Yes. That is in, is that in “The Merger”?
ED HELMS [00:26:00] Yeah, I think so. I think.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:02] [Sings “Night at the Roxbury” tune].
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:02] Yes, yes.
ED HELMS [00:26:06] And you and I would just do that for hours and just crack each other up. [Sings “Night at the Roxbury” tune]. “What is love”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:26:16] Our trailers were side by side, so you were the one, you know, I just walked out my door and went around the corner and there you were. And I know, I have this memory of walking past your trailer because you would have the door open, you’d be playing your banjo or something. And I would walk past your door and go, [Sings “Night at the Roxbury” tune].
ED HELMS [00:26:32] Oh, my gosh.
JENNA FISCHER [00:26:34] Well, I loved the addition of Andy because you were this great foil to Dwight. Like Jim would always tease Dwight or prank Dwight. You had this, like, power struggle with Dwight. That was so funny to me. And in rewatching it, I just love every time you and Rainn would face off. And there was, there must have been so much improv in that, because I feel like now having the scripts when I go back and look, I can see now percentage wise how much more of different people’s improvs make it in the show. And I have to say that you and Rainn Wilson have the highest amount of improv. That makes the cut. Yeah.
ED HELMS [00:27:16] Wow. That’s cool. Well, until Zach Woods joins the cast. And then Zach was just, demolished the improv.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:25] He is a genius.
ED HELMS [00:27:26] God. He is.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:26] And he’s so smart.
ED HELMS [00:27:28] So, so smart and funny.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:27:29] Yeah.
ED HELMS [00:27:31] But yeah. Jenna, it’s funny. You’re right. I think that the Jim Dwight dynamic was, was hilarious because Jim was a reasonable person and Dwight is a sort of whacked out unreasonable person and the, seeing Jim always in a sort of superior role, just messing with Dwight was, was fun and gratifying to see. You know, Andy was also whacked out.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:01] Yeah.
ED HELMS [00:28:02] And, and so he really was at Dwight’s level. And that, I think made their conflict super fun. And certainly super fun for Rainn and me. I just can, yeah. So many, so many hard laughs with that guy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:28:18] And you guys would compete over the stupidest things. I mean, I know it’s not in this episode, but there’s a deleted scene where you two, like, are going head-to-head about who was the better baby? Like, you’re in the kitchen and you’re like, “Well, I was a beautiful baby. I was a model. So I was a model baby. I modeled”. And then he’s like, “Well, I was so big, my mom couldn’t walk”. And you’re like, “Gross”. Like it’s, but it’s like this is a crazy competition over the stupidest things.
ED HELMS [00:28:44] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:28:45] Yeah, but you’re competing over who was the better baby, but your standards for what better baby means aren’t even the same. Like you’re not arguing over who was most beautiful or who was largest. It’s like this complicated one upmanship and I love it.
ED HELMS [00:29:02] Oh. So, such flawed characters.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:05] Deliciously flaw.
ED HELMS [00:29:07] And I think, you know, the pettiness of Andy was, was a bit cathartic for me because, you know, it just, it was a way, ’cause we all have petty reactions and impulses and thoughts about, going through life. But in Andy, I was able to just fully act out all of the like0.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:29:29] Lean into it.
ED HELMS [00:29:29] Yeah, whatever petty impulses or instincts bubbled up. It just, I was able to kind of funnel through Andy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:29:39] I loved that. I loved that, Ed, because I have to say, when I think of you, I would consider you one of the least petty people. I mean, I can’t even, I don’t even have a memory of you griping. I always found you to be such a role model in that way, too. Because that’s fun. You got to let it all hang out with Andy then.
ED HELMS [00:29:58] Well, yeah, maybe I would have been a much more unstable person if I didn’t get to play Andy. If I didn’t have that release valve.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:30:06] He balanced you out.
ED HELMS [00:30:08] Yeah, but I really can’t overstate, you know, the, just my gratitude to all of you guys for when, when we started in Stamford, just that, that feeling of welcome. And it was you guys, but also all the writers and, and, and then when we arrived at Scranton. That was, it was very scary and daunting. But we never. I just, we never felt like, like there was any threat. We never felt like there was anything we had to, anything personal we had to overcome to prove ourselves to you guys. It just felt like you guys were happy to have us. And that’s the most incredible, the most incredible environment to be creative in.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:05] We really, Ed, someday want you and Creed to just play the banjo and mandolin like you did on set. I don’t know where this fits in “Office Ladies” podcast, but someday we want you here and to hear that.
ED HELMS [00:31:19] Any time.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:20] Yay.
ED HELMS [00:31:20] Anytime. This has been so fun. And yeah, it’s just really fun to get into this headspace with you guys. So thanks for that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:28] Well, before we go, I want to hear a little bit about the new show that you’re doing with Mike Schur.
ED HELMS [00:31:34] Oh yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:31:34] For Peacock, called “Rutherford Falls”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:31:36] Yeah.
ED HELMS [00:31:37] Ever since “The Office”, obviously Mike has gone on to do these just incredible shows. And, but we, we’ve stayed close friends. And so we just came up with this character, Nathan Rutherford, who is, lives in the small town of Rutherford Falls in upstate New York, and he is the curator of the local museum about Rutherford Falls, and he’s a descendant of the town founder, Lawrence Rutherford. So he’s incredibly enthusiastic about Rutherford Falls and all of its history. And he also has his best friend, Regen, who is Native American and grew up on the reservation next to the town in upstate New York. And so the two of them, and she also runs a cultural center there on her reservation. But it just, it felt important to kind of address some of, some of the reasons why people believe what what they believe and why, why it can be so hard to accept a different version of, of your, your own kind of personal narrative, even when you’re confronted with, like, overwhelming evidence that maybe you’re wrong about what you thought about your history or your, your town or whatever. And so that’s really the crux of the show, is this friendship kind of being challenged. And it also is super, super funny. It sounds very heavy, what I’m describing and it does have some heavy themes, but it’s super, super, super funny. We roped in also very early on as our show runner, Sierra Teller Ornelas.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:25] I worked with her on “Splitting Up Together”.
ED HELMS [00:33:28] Hey, there you go.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:29] Yeah.
ED HELMS [00:33:30] Yeah. So she’s, she’s our, she’s our show runner, and she’s just incredible. And then she just put together this incredible writing staff. And. We’ve been cranking on it and we’ll, we were supposed to start shooting right when the lockdown started. And now we’re just kind of trying to figure it out.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:33:51] Well, I can’t wait until you guys can start filming and we can start watching that because it sounds so great.
JENNA FISCHER [00:33:56] Before you go, is there anything else you want to share? Any memories from the show? We, we don’t want to leave you if you have anything else to say, but also no pressure.
ED HELMS [00:34:06] I just it’s something I cherish so much. Having been a part of that. And, and the the friendships that have endured, I mean, I can’t believe we’re all still on a text chain.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:17] I know.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:34:18] I know.
ED HELMS [00:34:18] That that blows my mind. And I, I just I love that so much. And I love the, just a little blurb from Oscar and then Creed’ll chime in and one of you, everybody just, it, and sometimes they’re funny and sometimes they’re, they’re just like information or news or whatever. But it’s, it just, I don’t know, it speaks to I think that is what made, that’s why the show has endured the way it has is because the, the camaraderie was real.
JENNA FISCHER [00:34:50] Yeah.
ED HELMS [00:34:51] You know? The friendships and the, the kind of mutual love and support and respect was, was real on that set. And even though the characters were in, in like ridiculous conflict all the time, there was always I think people could pick up on an underlying sense that, that, that Dunder Mifflin kind of had a foundation of love.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:16] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:17] Oh, Ed.
ED HELMS [00:35:17] Does that makes sense?
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:18] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:19] Ed. Yes. I love that. Well, Ed, thank you so, so very much for coming on and talking to us and sharing your stories. It’s just been wonderful. And we’ll bug you down the line because I have a good dinner party story with you.
ED HELMS [00:35:36] Oh, my God. You can’t tell that story. No, we have to talk about it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:37] I’m not telling that one. Wait, that’s? I’m not even talking about that one. I know what you’re talking about.
ED HELMS [00:35:45] OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:45] In the car. I’m not. I’m just talking about I have a dinner party moment, but we’ll get there.
ED HELMS [00:35:50] OK. I can’t wait to come back, guys. You’re the best.
JENNA FISCHER [00:35:54] Love you, Ed.
ED HELMS [00:35:54] Anytime.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:35:55] All right. Thanks, Ed.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:01] Aw.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:01] All right, well, we are back. Jenna, let’s get into this episode.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:05] Yeah. So, guys, Dwight has left Dunder Mifflin and he’s on the job market. So this episode opens with Dwight going on some job interviews. We see him interviewed by two different people, a man and a woman. And our fun cameo catch tidbit is that the man who interviews Dwight at the beginning of this episode is Kevin Reilly.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:36:29] Kevin Reilly, who was the president of NBC. You guys have heard us talk about him. He is the reason “The Office” stayed on the air. He fought so hard for us. So this was really fun and special to have him sort of pop in and make it into an episode.
JENNA FISCHER [00:36:44] Yeah. I asked Greg about this and he said he got the idea because Greg’s father had worked as a radio executive and he was really funny and smart, like Kevin, he said, and when he left ABC, they gave him a present that he could appear as a magician in one of their soap operas. So he thought this would be a really fun way, especially with “The Office” being documentary style to cast a real person, a real executive instead of an actor. And also, this would kind of commemorate Kevin Reilly’s contribution to our show staying on the air.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:19] Oh, well, then Dwight goes onto his second interview and it’s a woman, right?
JENNA FISCHER [00:37:24] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:37:25] Clearly, you know, we’re picking up in the middle of the interview. She must have said to him to describe himself with three words. Dwight says he’s hardworking, alpha male, jackhammer, merciless, insatiable. And as he’s saying this, if you look around the office, it is the most feminine pink office you will ever see. Everything in it is pink. Every container on her desk. The paint on the wall is pink. The flower behind her is a whole bunch of pink flowers. And Dwight is throwing out alpha male and like merciless. And you can just sort of see her being like, hmm.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:05] Well, it’s very interesting because I noted this as well. I noticed there’s a fuzzy purple butterfly frame on her desk and like a tassel lamp that has fireflies on it. So I got a little curious about this. Like what’s the story behind this?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:23] Did a 12 year old girl decorate the office?
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:26] Well, I guess in the script, Mike Schur had named this character Gwendolyn Trundlebed.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:33] Oh my lord.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:35] This is bringing up some Clementine Paddleford memories for me, Angela.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:38:39] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:38:40] 100 percent, Clementine Paddleford and Gwendolyn Trundlebed are friends in a Disney film. But this woman, she, we never call her by name. She was played by a background performer. She didn’t have any lines. But I guess the set decorators, they really took it to heart and they were inspired by the name Gwendolyn Trundlebed. And that is why the office looks the way it does.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:05] Well, it works perfectly because Dwight, I feel like, is coming in there with all this sort of like macho energy. And he came into Gwendolyn Trundlebed’s boudoir of pinkness.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:16] Yes. That’s what it looks like. It’s very boudoir looking. Eventually we find out that Dwight lands at Staples. He says it’s temporary while he continues his job search. Remember, Staples is Dunder Mifflin big competitor.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:29] They’re their big rival, I know.
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:31] Yeah, but then back at the office, Andy has taken Dwight’s seat across from Jim.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:38] Yeah. Yeah. And he’s really proud of the ringtone. We talked about it with Ed, but he is very proud that he did all four parts of the harmony. And I don’t know music, Jenna. I don’t even know what you call it. What do you call it?
JENNA FISCHER [00:39:51] I have to tell you. I still, I know we talked about this with Ed, but it’s still, it’s incredibly impressive. I mean, it’s so impressive.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:39:59] It really, I mean acapella is really impressive. Aca-what? Yeah. I just said it because there’s one guy that’s like being, “bom bom bom bom”. You know what I mean?
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:06] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:07] And then there’s another person that’s like “la la la”. It’s like I don’t get it, but it sounded amazing. I still can’t believe he did that himself. One of the things I love about the scene, obviously, how much Andy’s annoying everyone already, but he calls Ryan “Big Turkey”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:24] Yeah. Does that mean that Ryan eats turkey sandwiches for lunch?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:28] It has to. It have to.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:30] What are we learning here?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:32] Well, clearly, I mean, Andy had a friend called Broccoli Rob. Do you know what I mean?
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:37] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:38] I think all of the nicknames are just what you eat?
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:40] Yeah, I’m Yogurt Pam.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:41] I’d be Donut Kinsey.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:44] Well, in real life.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:45] Oh, in real life. Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [00:40:47] I guess I’d be Eggs and Strawberries Fischer.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:40:50] Well, that’s catchy. Jenna, I feel like there is a very classic Jim Pam shot that we have to talk about.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:00] What is it?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:01] It’s at 1 minute, 58 seconds. Andy is singing the ridiculous version of “Andy and the tuna”. You know? That whole part.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:09] Yes. Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:09] And the camera focuses on Jim’s reaction and then pushes past Jim. And Jim goes out of focus and it lands on Pam. And they both have similar expressions of like, oh, my God, this guy. And for me, I don’t know. I know I love Jim and Pam so much. So I don’t know if I’m, like, looking for meaning, but in that moment, I’m like, they’re on the same page. These two are both in it, like they’re going to be in it together for this episode because it’s hitting them the same way.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:44] Yes. I think this is that first hint that they are in sync.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:41:49] I think so. And it was just also a beautiful shot. Just to be a technical nerd, like that is a beautiful shot.
JENNA FISCHER [00:41:57] I agree. Well, now Michael arrives to work and he’s parked his car. His, you know what? His roof won’t go up, but who cares? It’s fine. He’s going to leave it. No, it’s not gonna be a problem.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:07] It’s not going to be a big deal on the biggest snow day they’ve had. I watched this episode with my kids. I know. I talked about that. They loved his hair. They loved his hair was just messy from getting out of his car.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:19] I didn’t even notice that. That’s such a good detail.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:22] I know, I know. They catch a few things. I’m going to sprinkle them through.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:26] I love that. Well, Oscar arrives next to Michael and he is welcomed back by Michael.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:32] Yeah. Michael says, “Hey, nice new car”. And Oscar said, “Well, I got this new car in the settlement after you kissed me at work”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:41] I love how matter of factly Oscar says it.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:44] Mmhmm. That Lexus SUV. That’s all you, buddy.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:47] And then Michael’s like, well, that’s how we do it here at Dunder Mifflin. When we settle, we settle high.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:42:54] Oh God.
JENNA FISCHER [00:42:54] So. And then Oscar has that great talking head where he says part of him wants people in the office to learn their lesson and to shut the hell up. But another part of him wants them to keep talking so he can buy a home theater.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:08] So now we go into Michael’s office and Jenna, it’s one of those classic scenes that you and I love where it starts with Michael and, and who else is in the room? You don’t know. And then it’s revealed. And this time it’s Andy. Andy is taking the spot of Dwight over Michael’s shoulder, but he’s creeping Michael out. You can already tell.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:26] Well, there’s a way that Michael is always kind of annoyed when Dwight interjects in the middle of what Michael is saying. But this is different. Like Michael’s annoyed by Dwight. But Michael, like, really is annoyed by Andy.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:41] Well, you know, what it feels like to me? Like Andy is getting under his skin.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:46] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:46] Like Dwight is like an annoying brother. But Andy is like the creeper that lives down the street.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:51] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:43:51] I don’t know. That you try to avoid when you go to the mailbox.
JENNA FISCHER [00:43:56] Well, we had a fan question in this scene from Tenille, who wants to know, “In this episode, there are a lot of talking heads with Michael facing the window where it’s snowing. Were those talking heads shot in sequence so that they didn’t have to keep turning the snow on and off”? Yes. Yes. I love this question, Angela, because we’ve never really talked about this. We always shot all of our talking heads in a row. So what they would do is they would setup the shot, let’s say, in Michael’s office for a talking head and every talking head he had for that episode, they would spend hours doing all of them. And the same thing in the conference room. Remember? They’d set up the chair and we would all cycle in for hours and do our talking heads.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:44:44] Yes, it would literally be like talking head day on set. And I always really felt for Steve because he always had the most. And I would think, like, oh, my God, I had to, like, learn one, you know, and maybe they would give me some alts on the day. But Steve had to learn so many and just sit there and do them and do them. And Veda would be there, our scripty, our script supervisor, and sometimes she would remind you if you had more than one. OK. Now remember, this talking head is after Dwight left. So you’re more sad than the one before, you know? So sometimes she was helping us kind of navigate the time sequence of it all.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:20] Yes. And we would usually do these either first thing in the morning. Or at the end of the day, Steve would always do his first thing the morning. I think he like to lead with them. He would oftentimes, I feel like on a Monday, it would be like Steve talking heads until almost lunch.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:37] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:38] And then we would all come in and film like group scenes for the rest of the day.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:42] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:45:43] But then on Fridays, we would spend Friday afternoons, all the rest of the cast doing our talking heads. That was kind of how we framed our week.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:45:52] Yeah, that’s how I remember it too. Well Jenna, you know, Oscar is back now and he walks back over to accounting. And of course, Kevin has a ridiculous joke that he’s been saving for weeks. Kevin thought of it. He was like, “How was your gay-cation”? Oscar’s like, “Awesome”. Kevin’s like, “Yeah, I thought of that two seconds after you left”. Kevin’s so proud of himself. And Angela is just like, “Hello”. And he’s like, “Hello”. And you can tell that there’s, I feel like a lot she wants to say, but she’s not, she’s not ready yet. She doesn’t know how to say it yet.
JENNA FISCHER [00:46:25] Yeah. But then eventually Angela does invite Oscar to join the Party Planning Committee. She says she’s sorry for the way certain things transpired and she wants to make some changes and she starts crying.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:46:39] Yeah. Well, Jenna, I really cried. That was me really crying. And I had a whole conversation with Greg about it as we were trying to find the scene. And I did one take and he was like, “Angela, I’m feeling sad”. And he said, “This has to be a funny cry”. Where sometimes on a show, someone cries and it breaks your heart. He said, “This needs to be just awkward”. Like and then at the end, we have a joke because Kevin says, “Can I join”? And I say, “Never”. Right?
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:13] Right. Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:14] So it’s it was sort of this interesting thing of figuring out how do you cry. But you don’t make people feel bad.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:22] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:22] You know? So, so, and what really helped me was that my lines were so ridiculous. So it was, you know, me being like “Certain events transpired. And certain people said certain things”. You know what I mean?
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:34] Yeah. Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:35] But it was sort of this art for my character to find a way to cry. That was just more awkward than sad.
JENNA FISCHER [00:47:42] Well, you just made someone very happy. Sara Cooper had written in to ask you, “Did you have to do anything different to get into character in preparation for this episode”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:47:52] You know, when you cry, we all have a little bit of our process of actors of how we get to that place. But it was the sort of interesting thing to get myself there. But then kind of pull back a little bit. And this might be really boring actory stuff, but it was a really interesting exercise.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:09] Well, we had another fan question, Angela, from Beatrice Smith. “Was it weird for you to have Oscar back? Did you miss him when he was gone”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:17] Oh, yeah. I think Angela definitely missed Oscar. Listen, him being gone means A, she’s carrying most of the workload in accounting because Kevin’s no help, really. And I think that Oscar and Angela really are these sort of mismatched roommates, if you will, and you’ll see their friendship come through throughout the seasons, but they are there for each other. It’s just, um, I think they just had some hurdles to get over.
JENNA FISCHER [00:48:45] Oh, well, that’s a nice answer. I think she meant you, Angela. Did you miss your friend Oscar? Who hadn’t been sitting there with you. But I like, I like how you stayed in character there for that answer.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:48:58] Well, we were talking so much about Angela Martin. Well, of course I miss my friend. Are you kidding? I didn’t have anyone to draw me little crazy cartoons of myself being silly.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:09] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:09] Passing me notes. But it was-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:11] You guys were such a little trio over there.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:13] Yeah, I definitely missed him. Well, while all of this is going on, Andy is just stalking Michael.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:20] Yeah. He’s like looking for him everywhere and he follows him to the bathroom.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:24] Yeah. Jenna, Andy now has two expressions that I love. We first heard “nifty gifties” from Andy. Love me the nifty gifties. And in this one, Michael’s like, what’s up? And Andy goes, “Nerfin”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:39] Nerfin.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:49:40] Nerfin. And now me and my kids are saying, “Nerfin”, and it’s just, it has stuck here at the house. I thought it was so funny, but, yeah, Andy is driving Michael crazy. And Michael has a whole talking head from behind his door. He’s hiding.
JENNA FISCHER [00:49:58] It was. It made me laugh out loud because I didn’t know where he was during this. Because Andy’s looking for him and he’s just nowhere. He’s nowhere. And then when he’s revealed to be giving this whole talking head from behind his door, one of the things I loved about it most was that while hiding, he was still compelled to perform and speak to the camera.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:20] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:20] He was like, I’m hiding, but I’m not going to stop presenting myself to this camera crew.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:27] I wonder if he was like, I’m gonna hide and you have to too. Because if he sees you guys in here so like, is there a world where the camera crew is like smushed up against the wall, also hiding?
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:38] That’s such a good point. Like, all Andy has to look for is like, where’s the camera pointed?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:42] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:44] There’s a crew constantly following Michael around.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:47] Well, we’re coming up on a scene that completely destroyed John Krasinski in real life.
JENNA FISCHER [00:50:53] I don’t think he’s ever laughed so hard ever, ever on the show.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:50:57] He has said it’s the hardest he laughed the whole series. Like. And I texted Creed about it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:02] Yeah. It’s this scene in the kitchen where Oscar comes in and he’s just kind of like, “Where’s Dwight”? And Creed says, “Dwight was decapitated and they had a funeral for a bird”. Which is not correct.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:18] But kind of correct. Just all mushed up together.
JENNA FISCHER [00:51:22] Yeah. Ed Truck was decapitated and they did have a funeral for a bird. And remember, Jim wasn’t around for any of this, so Jim isn’t even able to, like, correct this. So he just says, “I’m pretty sure that’s not real”. And then Creed says, “You’re not real, man”. And that is the line that destroyed John Krasinski.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:51:45] Yeah. John could not keep it together. He crumbled into just fits of laughter. And I texted Creed, I was like, “Creed. Oh, my gosh. We’re breaking down ‘The Return’. And you have that great line that you said to John:. And he was like, I said, “What was that like”? He said, “Oh, Ang, it was so much fun to see John lose it like that”. He said he lost it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:09] There are a couple of times on the show where John has laughed so hard that, like, you can’t, you just can’t even film him because when he really loses it, he cannot be brought back. He can’t. He’s like, he is, what we said. He is destroyed.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:52:26] He’s destroyed. He doubles over. He kind of tears up. He can’t make noise. He was laughing like that. And I said, “Creed. I mean, how did you, how many takes did you do”? And he said, “I think we got one where he kept it together. I think that’s the one they used”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:52:41] Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. So now we have this little scene where Michael is noticing that, like, the plant in the office is dying. He says, “You need to talk to the cleaning crew about this. And also, while you’re at it, they used to arrange the toys on my desk in this really pleasing way. And I need to know why they’ve stopped”. And Pam is like, “Well, no, that was Dwight. Dwight used to do that”. And then, of course, up from out of nowhere comes Andy. And he’s like, “I agree”. And Michael’s like, “What are we? How do you know? What do you agree with? How do you even know what we’re talking about”?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:21] Yeah. And Andy’s like, “Pam was like blah blah, something lame”. And then, you’re like, re di di do do. Right on. There it is. Come on.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:32] 7 minutes, 33 seconds. The very first but not the last “re di di do do”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:37] So we’re back at the Party Planning Committee meeting. Angela is sad. She is sad. She’s not even speaking up about anything. She’s not even being mean to Phyllis. You know, the woman is sad.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:49] Can I say something?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:51] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [00:53:52] I think that later, when we see this party, it’s going to be one of the best ones we’ve ever thrown.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:53:59] How dare you?
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:01] And I think, I’m just saying, I’m just saying that you’re a little checked out and look what we did without you? When we, when others were allowed to participate in the planning, we threw a, a very, like the decorations, that Creed loved the food.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:22] Let me tell you something, lady.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:24] What? What?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:28] I am flabbergasted.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:31] Well, I mean, I just want to say I noted, I noted how disengaged from the planning Angela was. And then I noticed what a really great party it was.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:44] Well, you know, Michael has given the marching orders. He really wants to celebrate Oscar, as Michael says, quote, “His Mexican-ness”. He wants firecrackers, a Chihuahua.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:54] You know, he also tells them to get a donkey.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:54:56] A burro.
JENNA FISCHER [00:54:58] Because, you know, the reason that we’re throwing a Mexican themed party is because Oscar’s gayness does not define him. He is Mexican-ness is what defines him.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:09] And Oscar’s just like-.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:10] According to Michael.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:11] Great, great. Right back in it with Michael.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:15] Oscar’s thinking of all the things he’s going to purchase after this party.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:18] I know. Well, I have a question for you about a scene coming up, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:24] OK.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:55:24] Was it in the script that Andy like fishes for Jim? Like that he throws the rod and reel and the whole thing? Or was, or was that just made up on the day?
JENNA FISCHER [00:55:36] Angela, I will, I will check the script for that. And in the meantime, while I’m doing that, please enjoy this hold music by Carmen and Camille. Doing their version of “Heartbreak in the Break Room”. One moment.
JINGLE [00:55:50] [“Heartbreak in the Break Room” by Carmen and Camille plays]
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:18] All right. Thank you for holding. I could not find that in the script.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:22] It wasn’t in the script.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:24] No. So it was either conceived of as a rewrite page or it was something he did on the day. So what’s in the script, the thing that makes Jim want to prank Andy is just more singing at his desk. That he’s just obnoxiously singing and then Jim decides he has to do something.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:41] Right.
JENNA FISCHER [00:56:42] But the fishing for tuna, not in the script.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:56:45] OK, well, it’s perfect for Andy. It’s so perfect. Jim has had it, though, and he now wants to play a prank. He asked Karen. Karen says she’s too busy. She got all of Dwight’s clients. Then he asks Ryan and lady, we have some Ryan sass.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:02] I loved it. I’m falling in love with Ryan.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:05] I know you are.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:06] Not going to lie.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:06] I know you are. What does he say?
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:09] I’ll tell you what he said. He says, “Oh, you know what? Not right now. But ask me again 10 years ago”. So good. And I feel like John’s, the look on John’s face as Jim in that moment is so good. So good. He’s like, “All right, man”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:26] “I liked you better when you were the temp”. And Ryan’s like, “So did I”.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:29] Yeah, Ryan says, “So did I”.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:30] Some serious Ryan sass.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:33] So, Angela, should we check in with Dwight now?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:35] See how he’s doing over at Staples?
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:38] Yes. He’s doing great.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:57:40] He’s crushing it.
JENNA FISCHER [00:57:41] He is. We had some fan questions about Staples from Amy Jackson, Aaron Westra, Ainsley Thompson, Jeff Neehem, Diamond P and Kate N. They wanted to know, “Did we film in an actual Staples store”? Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:00] Yes, we did.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:01] We filmed at a real Staple’s. It was at the Empire Center in Burbank. I’ve actually been there many times, not only to the Empire Center, but to this actual Staples. I have purchased my home printer at this Staples.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:16] Jenna, I feel like we went there for like a BFF afternoon, where we went to Target and then we went to Staples together. I have like a memory of that.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:23] Oh, yeah, I’m sure we did that because then there’s that donut place that you like. What is that? Krispy Kreme.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:30] Krispy Kreme. What’s not to like?
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:31] Exactly.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:32] And they have a drive thru. They have a drive thru.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:35] They have a drive thru. And they also have this conveyor belt that you can watch. It’s like watching a car wash, but it’s donuts going by and then you get to the end and they just take it right off the conveyor belt and it’s super warm and they hand it to you and kids love it. It’s like-.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:50] Kids love it?
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:51] A mini donut factory. Well, I would take my kids there all the time.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:58:55] I think that, the first time we went, you and I didn’t even have kids.
JENNA FISCHER [00:58:59] Well, this is true.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:00] This is true. OK. So, yeah, Dwight is crushing it. Sorry, we got off on a tangent about donuts. Go figure.
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:06] We did. But I want to say, remember back in “The Merger” when we talked about how Staples paid the production to feature one of its shredders in an episode? People were asking if this was still part of that product integration. No, no. This was just a plot point. They just thought it would be funny that Dwight ends up going to work for Dunder Mifflin’s competitor. So Staples did not pay to be featured in this episode at all. And then guess what they did?
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:35] What?
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:36] They did something insane to the Staples.
ANGELA KINSEY [00:59:38] What did they do?
JENNA FISCHER [00:59:39] So, I’m going to let Greg tell you.
GREG DANIELS [00:59:41] We we arranged to have real Staples be the location for this episode. And I had scouted it. And then between the time that I scouted it and the time that we showed up to shoot, they had replaced all the Staples signage with very unrealistic looking Staples’ signs that were three times bigger than what we had seen because they wanted more of an advertising pop in the background of our show, in the morning of the day, we were supposed to shoot there. And so it became like the thing about, you know, we had to make our day and we had to shoot. But I didn’t want to turn the show into an ad for Staples. So there was a lot of shooting around it. And I believe the last shot where the camera kind of zooms into a security camera to see them exiting was to avoid the gigantic Staples sign that they had put up at the last minute.
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:41] Ooh, Staples, you were so sneaky.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:43] Oh, Staples, can you blame them? They’re like, hey, we got a camera crew here. I’m gonna put up my big sign. I’d probably do that thing. I would do the same thing.
JENNA FISCHER [01:00:51] They were like, “Henry, get over here, bring the tall ladder and the big signs”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:00:57] Yeah, get it on TV. You know, I love the Staples folks because they give back to teachers, Jenna so.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:04] Oh yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:05] I love them, but that is very funny. I have a little piece of trivia though about that day. Dave Rogers said that Greg got really sick that day, so sick that he had to go home halfway through the day and Randall took over.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:21] Whoa.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:22] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:23] That’s crazy.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:25] I know.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:27] Well, listen, I want to talk a little bit about Dwight’s new coworker, Paris.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:01:32] She’s amazing.
JENNA FISCHER [01:01:33] Played by Yvette Nicole Brown, who would later go to star in “Community”. This scene with them in the break room eating lunch. I watched it three times. I watched it three times because she is so funny. Her like, you know what it is? I feel like we’re getting this opportunity to have someone outside of the Dunder Mifflin family react to Dwight Schrute. We all know what Dwight is like. We know what to expect from him. So to place Dwight in the real world with a regular person who’s not used to him was so funny to me. And her reactions were what I would imagine anyone would react like if they met Dwight.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:19] Yes. I texted her. I said, “Yvette, I just want you to know I forgot about this scene and how great it was and rewatching it. It was hilarious”. And she was like, “Oh, Angela, I feel like I was just there for a blip”. And I said, “Yvette, you stole the scene. You stole the scene”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:37] Yes. Now, you mentioned, Angela, that you were watching this episode with your kids. My son walked into my office while I was watching this scene. He was laughing. And then he and I looked for a fan catch that was sent in by Laurie Lex.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:02:55] Oh, what did you guys find?
JENNA FISCHER [01:02:57] Oh, my gosh. My son was so tickled because during this scene, Dwight’s sandwich that he’s eating gets bigger rather than smaller as he eats it. Because they use different takes. So at 12 minutes, 21 seconds, all that’s left is like a little corner of bread. And then at 12 minutes, 28 seconds. It’s much larger.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:21] I love it. I love how into this episode our kids were with background catches.
JENNA FISCHER [01:03:25] Yeah, I know.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:03:26] So cute. Well, lady, I want to talk about the scene with Michael and Angela. They’re in the break room and they’re clearly both missing Dwight. But obviously, neither of them are saying that to each other. And Michael just says, “It’s good to have Oscar back”. And Angela’s like, “Yeah”. And they both just sort of, sadly, take a sip of their beverage and look off into space. And I never, ever got quiet moment scenes with Steve and so in rewatching this. It was so special to me because I just, our characters hardly ever interacted. And when they did, I was usually mad at him, you know?
JENNA FISCHER [01:04:08] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:04:08] So that was really special. And then on a total tangent, there is a fantastic shot at 13 minutes, 47 seconds of Lou Ann.
JENNA FISCHER [01:04:20] Of Lou Ann’s water feature.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:04:21] And they’re like gurgling away.
JENNA FISCHER [01:04:24] Lady, I saw the same thing. I saw the same thing. I think that’s what was in the background of that kitchen scene, in that other episode that we all thought was a fireplace. I think it was Lou Ann’s water feature. She had a Zen garden and a water fountain.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:04:41] She did. And they never plugged it in because it made noise. But every once in a while, I guess it got plugged in. And I think you’re right because it has a little blue light in it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:04:51] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:04:52] That maybe-.
JENNA FISCHER [01:04:53] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:04:53] We thought was a fire something. Yes. Oh, my God. I love that. We both got excited about Lou Anne’s fountain. Well, Jenna, I think on that note of getting super excited about a fountain, that, in the background. We should take a break.
JENNA FISCHER [01:05:09] Yeah, we’ll take a break and then we’ll come back and get into this big prank. All right, guys, we are back. Angela, do you know what I’m doing right now?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:22] No. I mean, I can see you, but-.
JENNA FISCHER [01:05:25] I’m making bread.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:05:26] I can’t see your hands, but I know your left one is moving.
JENNA FISCHER [01:05:30] No, not, I’m not literally making bread in my lap. I’m sitting here podcasting, but I, I am simultaneously bread making. Like that’s the cool thing about bread making is that I have dough that is rising into a little living dough baby that I’m gonna put in my oven and turn into crisp delicious sour dough bread as we speak. That science is working in my kitchen on my counter right now. During this break, I molded my little dough baby.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:06:00] Aw.
JENNA FISCHER [01:06:01] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:06:01] Well, I molded another dough baby. I like to call my belly. ‘Cause I went downstairs ate a little piece of this, I don’t even know what it is that Josh made. It’s like some kind of, it tastes like a little square pecan pie. It’s so good.
JENNA FISCHER [01:06:18] Can we give a plug to Josh’s baking page, please? Baking with Josh and Ang. There is a recipe on there for something called a Brookie.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:06:27] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [01:06:27] OK. You know, I made this the other day. It is a layer of brownie topped with a layer of chocolate chip cookie and they’re bars. Angela, I ate so many of them that I made myself sick. I made myself sick like I, I was like a child who couldn’t stop eating candy on Halloween. And I felt so ill. And even when I felt sick from eating so many of them, I wanted to eat more of them. That’s how good the Brookie is, guys. It’ll make you sick and you won’t care and you’ll keep eating it anyway. I don’t know what kind of endorsement that is, but I feel like that’s a good endorsement.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:09] Yeah, well, he, he has tons of recipes, you guys. My husband is a baker. You can go to BakingWithJoshAndAng.com for all of his recipes. I don’t even know why I’m in the equation there. It’s just that when he bakes, he likes me around. So. But he is the master. I’m the, I’m the taste tester and he’s the master. That was really sweet, Jenna.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:29] Well, if you want to eat so much of something that you make yourself sick, make the Brookie. But he also has, guys, not just sweets. He’s got like these one sheet meals. And I love to cook things on one sheet because then I only have to clean one thing.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:44] Yes, they are really good. We just did his one sheet chicken fajitas.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:48] That’s my favorite.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:49] It’s so good.
JENNA FISCHER [01:07:50] All right. This became a small commercial for BakingWithJoshAndAng.com, but I stand by it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:07:56] Well, thanks. That was really sweet. I’ll tell him, he’ll be tickled.
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:00] All right. Well, let’s get back to this episode. Jim steals Andy’s cell phone.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:06] Yeah, but why does he pass it off to Pam? I don’t understand why they trade it twice. What are they, secret spies? Couldn’t he have just taken it and gone straight to the bathroom and, like, chucked it up in the ceiling or something?
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:19] Yes. This entire prank could have been done by Jim alone. He tried to recruit all these people to do this prank with him that required only one person. He could have prank Andy on his own. But for Jim, the prank is like the social bonding experience. It’s not about like just doing it by himself.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:40] What’s the fun in that?
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:41] Exactly.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:42] He wants a partner. He wants a buddy.
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:43] Yes. So he does this weird thing where he knocks over the pens and steals the phone and then gives it to Pam and then Pam gives it back to him.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:53] And Karen clocks it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:08:55] Yeah. Karen notices.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:08:56] She doesn’t know what they’re doing, but they’re in cahoots.
JENNA FISCHER [01:09:00] Well.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:00] And then, and then you’re like his look out. But you clearly see him. You guys have the most like, you’re the most oddball, like a duo. I feel like there could have been a spin off where Jim and Pam are secret spies, but everyone knows.
JENNA FISCHER [01:09:15] Well, and just to our point earlier, is no one noticing the camera crew following Jim and Pam, sneaking and like filming them do this prank? There’s a lot of disbelief you have to suspend right here in this moment.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:30] Jenna, no one sees it because Pam is so great at distracting them by drinking her water. That’s all we see. Pam’s just drinking her water and playing with her necklace. Nothing to see here.
JENNA FISCHER [01:09:45] Yeah. What do you mean? What?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:09:46] Well, you have to remember in the last episode, Phyllis kind of spills the beans and says to Karen, “I’m so glad you and Jim are together, because he was hung up on Pam for so long”. So, you know, Karen has got that in her brain. And when she sees the two of them kind of giggling and up to something, she’s like, “Oh, no. What’s happening”?
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:07] Yes. Well, meanwhile, Kelly and Oscar are setting up for the party. I think it’s very funny that Oscar has to set up his own party.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:13] He has chores at his own party.
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:16] It’s amazing. And then Michael, meanwhile, is pouting in the kitchen. He wants to let Jim know that he’s not fine. He’s not fine. And he’s like-.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:25] He doesn’t want to talk about it. But Jim’s like, “OK”. And he’s like, “OK, I’ll talk about it”. He’s like, “OK”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:10:29] Yeah. And he’s like, “What do you think of Andy”? What do you think of Andy? And I love this, Angela. Jim is like, “Well, I mean, he’s kind of a yes man”. And Michael’s like, “That’s not true. Because when I say I don’t like something, he says he doesn’t like it to”. It’s like, oh, Michael.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:10:46] Oh, Michael. Steve is so brilliant in this episode. I know we talk about how good he is, so, like every week. But he had to, I don’t even know how to say it, but the way he reacts to Andy is like a whole new version of Michael Scott we haven’t seen.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:07] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:08] And he’s so brilliant and the way he doesn’t get things and then the audience gets it before him and then he finally gets it. It’s just amazing.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:18] Well, Angela. He has this talking head that I can’t even barely watch because-.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:25] Was it about the raspberry?
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:26] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:27] The sherbet thing.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:28] It’s about the way Steve delivers it is so masterful. But the whole thing just makes me so uncomfortable. Whenever Michael talks about his childhood, I get scared. I just feel like I don’t want more details about his loneliness.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:47] Sad. Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:47] And his, like, need for attention and his and all of it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:52] His awkward interactions with his mom and stepdad, Jeff. I mean.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:55] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:11:57] Yeah, I know.
JENNA FISCHER [01:11:59] Poor Michael.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:00] I know this is totally off topic, but I was impressed that Jim’s choice of snack was raw carrots.
JENNA FISCHER [01:12:06] Yes, Angela. Angela. We had, we had a fan point this out about the carrots. Brianna Kernan wrote in to say, “Does John really like to snack on carrots because he can be seen in multiple episodes snacking on carrots at various times”. I did a lot of scenes with John and so I can tell you that he eats carrots. If given the choice for what he gets to eat in a scene. He will pick something healthy. He will pick carrots a lot. He would pick carrots, to the point that they finally had to say, “John, you can’t with the carrots. It’s like really bad for sound”. So then he started eating grapes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:12:49] Wow.
JENNA FISCHER [01:12:49] So you’ll see him eat some grapes. But occasionally it would be scripted that we’re eating chips. And he would eat the chips, but he preferred a healthy snack, guys, he just did.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:01] I am very impressed, John. I’m very impressed. I, I mean, I usually would ask for potato chips.
JENNA FISCHER [01:13:09] Yeah. Well, B.J. Novak and I used to say that if it’s a prop, it doesn’t have any calories. So you can eat as much of it as you want.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:16] Oh, interesting theory.
JENNA FISCHER [01:13:17] Yeah. It’s not real food. You’re pretending.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:20] It’s pretend food, no calories. Pretend calories.
JENNA FISCHER [01:13:22] It’s pretend food, so you can eat-. You know, what I would pick now? Is a Brookie. I’d be like, can I snack on a Brookie please?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:28] Well, the party setup is underway, but Angela and Pam have a little conversation out by the elevators. And I loved it so much, Jenna. When Pam’s like, “Is it about Dwight”? And Angela was like, “No, John Denver”. You’re like, “OK. That’s how it’s gonna be. I’m out”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:13:46] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:13:47] I’m like, “No, no, no, no, no”. But is John Denver like one of her favorite singers? Like where did John Denver come from? It’s just such a funny sort of little bit of detail to me about Angela Martin. Well, Angela tells Pam that she’s really missing Dwight and she feels bad.
JENNA FISCHER [01:14:02] Yeah. And Pam says, “I think you should talk to Michael”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:14:07] And Angela’s like, “Pam, I’m not like you walking around in your provocative outfits saying whatever thought pops in your head”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:14:13] Yeah. I love that.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:14:16] As she was wearing a sweater over a button down. Like what? What are these outfits, Angela, what are you even talking about?
JENNA FISCHER [01:14:25] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:14:25] But anyway, Angela appreciates Pam’s, you know, talking with her and gives her such a weird hug. It’s like she hugs her and then when she realizes she’s hugging you, she shoves you away.
JENNA FISCHER [01:14:36] Well, we had a fan question about it, Angela. Caleb Vener and Kylie Campbell both asked, ‘Was that hug improvised or was it in the script”? What do you think, Angela?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:14:49] Well.
JENNA FISCHER [01:14:49] Improvised or in the script?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:14:51] I feel like it was improvised.
JENNA FISCHER [01:14:53] It was improvised. It was not in the script. It was not in the script. That was improvised.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:00] Yeah. Yeah. I feel like you when I played around with that scene a few different ways. It was so fun.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:04] That was great. That was great. Well, back in the bullpen, Jim just keeps calling Andy’s phone, which is ringing now up in the ceiling. And a lot of people asked, “Was the phone really in the ceiling playing the song”? Now, normally, I feel like the answer would be no, because it would ruin your ability to edit the scene. But Angela, I remember that phone playing up in the ceiling. Am I going crazy?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:37] No, I feel like I remember it too.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:39] I feel like they put a speaker up in the ceiling and they had someone play that song for us to react to. I have, like, such a strong memory of hearing it all day long.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:50] Like over our head.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:51] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:52] Yeah. Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:53] Yes. So guys-.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:15:53] I do too.
JENNA FISCHER [01:15:55] No one can remember. I reached out to a bunch of people about this. What’s the deal? No one is sure. But I’m going with my personal memory that we really did have, I don’t know if it was the phone, but we really were listening to that four part harmony up in the ceiling and reacting to it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:11] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:12] We weren’t reacting to nothing.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:14] It was actually getting really annoying.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:16] It was.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:16] I do remember that. I was, like, so sick of that song. I was like, oh my god.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:21] Angela, when we were re watching this episode and he, and it played for the first time, I kind of like I recoiled a little bit like my nerve, the cells in my body were like, oh no, not again. Not again.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:31] Sense memory.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:32] Yes, because I, I remember shooting this episode and singing it. And then when I went to bed the night I rewatched it, I was like “Up in the tree tops all day long..” I would, I couldn’t. I was like, don’t do this to me again.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:51] We cannot skip past what I like to call “Nimble Phyllis”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:16:57] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:16:59] She’s so nimble, she’s agile, she’s quick. I mean, Andy tries to open her drawer. Phyllis does the no look slam.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:08] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:17:09] Pushback.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:09] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:17:10] I mean, that’s some quick reflexes, Phyllis.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:12] Yeah. Because Andy is looking for it everywhere. He cannot find it anywhere. Well, while Andy is looking for his phone, Angela goes into Michael’s office like Pam suggested, and she says, “Listen, the reason Dwight was late that morning was because he was dropping off the quarterly tax forms that she forgot to send. And to be fair, Kevin never reminded her”. She just wants Michael to know that if Kevin had done his job, she could have done her job better.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:17:43] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [01:17:43] But that Dwight was saving the day. He wasn’t going for some weird corporate power grab. He was doing this favor for her.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:17:50] Yes. I remember in this scene, Greg gave me the note to, you know, I’m coming in there. I’m very nervous because I really don’t want people in the office to know my business. I don’t want them to know who I’m dating, even though I really care for Dwight. I just hate the idea of being office gossip, you know?
JENNA FISCHER [01:18:07] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:18:08] So I’m going in there. And he said, “Angela, just deliver those lines like the top, at the top like, you’re just quickly spilling it all out”. You know?
JENNA FISCHER [01:18:18] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:18:18] So that’s why I went in with that energy, just like, like if, if she didn’t say it right away, she was going to lose her nerve. So I was like, Dwight went to New York to drop off the… Like, you know, just kind of like throw it out.
JENNA FISCHER [01:18:28] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:18:29] And then thank God, Michael, he’s such an idiot. He doesn’t connect the dots. He’s like, “Oh, my God, Dwight. If he would do that for anyone in this office. Who else is like that”? You know?
JENNA FISCHER [01:18:41] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:18:41] And I’m like, “No one”. And Angela’s so happy. She’s so happy. She was able to sort of set the record straight without revealing their relationship.
JENNA FISCHER [01:18:51] Yes. Michael just takes this as a sign of Dwight’s undying loyalty to the company.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:18:58] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:19:00] So he’s like, “I have to go get him back”. “I have to go get him back”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:19:04] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:19:04] But as he’s on his way out the door, Andy, like jumps in front of him and pitches him like this weekend date that they’re going to go on. He like blurts out a gazillion things. And Michael is like, “Just stop. Stop. You’re driving me crazy”. And Andy is like, “Oh, I’m sorry if my friendship is annoying you”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:19:30] No, he said, “Sorry I annoyed you with my friendship”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:19:32] Oh. That’s what it is. That’s what it is. Well, we had a fan question from Ali White. She wanted to know if that list of activities was scripted or improvised by Ed Helms. Guys, it was all scripted. Ed memorized that. That was not an improvisation.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:19:50] It was perfect because they all sounded like a horrible evening. And Michael’s like, “I don’t want to do any of those things”. So now Andy’s phone starts ringing. So he’s just been rejected publicly in front of the whole bullpen by Michael. And now his phone is ringing again and the man snaps. He loses it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:20:11] Yes. And this is what we talked about with Ed where he had to punch a hole in the wall. And Angela, I reached out to Kent to find out exactly how many walls we had prepared for this stunt. And it was-.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:20:26] How many?
JENNA FISCHER [01:20:26] Four.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:20:28] Four.
JENNA FISCHER [01:20:28] So we could have done four. But remember, Ed thought they only had to do it twice, but there were four chances. So that’s why when we were talking with Ed, I was like, my memory of this scene was that we all had to have our, you know, game face on. So we didn’t ruin one of these takes. We only had four walls, everybody.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:20:47] Well, I noticed in the reaction pass in the accounting department, there is one reaction pass where Oscar is standing and then it cuts back and you see, like, seated. And then it cuts back. And it, so, it was like it didn’t quite match up. But my kids loved that. They’re like. “Oscar’s sitting, Oscar’s standing, Oscar’s sitting”. And while all of this is happening, the thing they really were tickled by is that the Homer Simpson doll was turned sideways with like his butt in the air.
JENNA FISCHER [01:21:13] Oh, Homer fell over.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:21:15] Homer fell over. And then we had to go back and look for when Homer was upright and he was on his side pretty much the whole episode, just so you guys know,.
JENNA FISCHER [01:21:23] Oh, guys, the name of this episode is “Homer Fell Over”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:21:28] And “Snow and Sadness”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:21:30] So now we go outside and Michael’s in the parking lot and his car has filled with snow.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:21:37] How’s he going to get in it? He’s got to shovel it out.
JENNA FISCHER [01:21:39] He’s rushing, but he has to dig the snow out first. Angela, I have a wonderful tidbit about this snow.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:21:45] What?
JENNA FISCHER [01:21:46] OK, Kent told me the same snow company filled that Sebring with fake snow, but it wasn’t icy snow. It was like the little plastic flakes because there’s lots of different kinds of fake snow. So they were these little plastic flakes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:21:59] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [01:22:00] And at the end of the shoot day, it took them the entire next day to vacuum all of the snow out. And that was a rental. They rented that car.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:22:10] They had to get all that out of there.
JENNA FISCHER [01:22:12] Yeah. And at the end of the season, they kept it for the whole year, at the end of the season when they returned it, the snow was still in like the inner workings of the car. He said whenever they would turn on the AC. Snow would blow out of the vents.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:22:32] Oh gosh.
JENNA FISCHER [01:22:32] They never could get all the snow out. And they, I think they had to pay a fee when they returned it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:22:38] I’m sure they did. I’m sure they did, because someone is going to rent it, turn on the air and these little fake pieces of plastic snow are going to fly out at them.
JENNA FISCHER [01:22:46] Yes. I loved that tidbit. I loved that every time we tried to turn on the A.C., snow would come out of there.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:22:52] Well, Michael has now, he’s at Staples. He is going to go up to Dwight. He’s going to apologize. He wants him to come back. And I love this scene so much. I mean, Dwight is tearing up. It is a very bromance moment.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:08] Well, yes, that is what Greg calls that. He calls it the bromance moment. And, you know, playing underneath the scene is the song from “An Officer and a Gentleman”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:23:21] Yes. Remember at the end of “Officer and a Gentleman” where she’s in the factory working and Richard Gere walks in, and he scoops her up and they kiss and everyone cheers. It’s, it’s a, what is it? It’s “Love lift us up where we belong”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:36] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:23:36] Right?
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:36] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:23:37] “Where the eagles fly”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:40] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:23:40] The whole thing. Well, there is like a muzak version of this playing at Staples during this scene.
JENNA FISCHER [01:23:47] It’s amazing. Guys, Greg sent in an audio clip talking about this bromance.
GREG DANIELS [01:23:53] The ending of “The Return” was like the big bromance moment between Michael and Dwight. I’m pretty sure “The Officer and a Gentleman” was in the script to begin with. As I recall, we, we were building towards that moment to see Michael going through the aisles at Staples and trying to, you know, make a big romantic moment out of it, like Richard Gere returning for Debra Winger.
JENNA FISCHER [01:24:22] And that is exactly what it is.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:24:24] I really wish Rainn had picked Steve up and twirled him around. I wish that had been in the script.
JENNA FISCHER [01:24:31] Well, Rainn is Debra Winger in this scenario.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:24:33] I know, but he’s bigger than Steve, so I think it’d so, that’s how like, instead of them disappearing, like with him taking his Staples uniform off, that he just carries Michael out. Anyway.
JENNA FISCHER [01:24:48] Well, speaking of his uniform, when Dwight comes back to the party at Dunder Mifflin, he’s wearing a “Battlestar Gallactica” sweatshirt, right?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:24:55] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:24:56] OK. You know, what about this?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:24:58] That “Battlestar Gallactica” did not have any sweat shirt merchandise.
JENNA FISCHER [01:25:02] Isn’t that insane?
JENNA FISCHER [01:25:04] Yeah. So our wardrobe designer, Carrie Bennett, had to make up a “Battlestar Gallactica” merch sweatshirt for Dwight to wear.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:25:13] Yes, they made it special. It doesn’t exist.
JENNA FISCHER [01:25:17] I texted Rainn and asked him if he still has it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:25:20] Oh, please tell me he said he did.
JENNA FISCHER [01:25:21] He doesn’t. And he super regrets not snatching it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:25:24] Aw. That would have been a good one to snatch.
JENNA FISCHER [01:25:26] I know. I know.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:25:28] Someone has it. It’s the one and only. Well, you know, when Dwight comes back in the office, I remember I have this moment where I’m talking to Oscar and Greg was like, “When he walks in the room. I want Angela Martin in the moment to sort of let her guard down”. You know, so you, I’m blatantly looking at him with such like love in my eyes and happiness. And, you know, we’re still reserved. We just shake hands. Right?
JENNA FISCHER [01:26:01] Yeah. Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:26:02] But there’s so much emotion like between the two of us. And Michael’s just oblivious.
JENNA FISCHER [01:26:09] But then you shake hands with him. You welcome him back with a handshake.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:26:14] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [01:26:15] Now, I need to ask you a question, Angela.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:26:18] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [01:26:19] Have you not been in touch? I mean, you guys aren’t seeing one another outside of office? You don’t go to each other’s homes, talk on the phone?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:26:29] I think so. But I think he was miserable at his job and I was the reason he wasn’t at the job he wanted to be at. And to, to see him come back in the office and to know that he’s back where he wants to be. And it’s so layered what he did for me. And then the risk I took going to Michael. All of that emotion is playing out in that moment.
JENNA FISCHER [01:26:52] Yeah, it’s not that it’s the first time you guys have seen each other in a month. It’s that he’s back where he belongs.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:26:59] Yes. And we both made sacrifices for each other.
JENNA FISCHER [01:27:03] Right.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:27:04] And so it, it sort of takes our relationship to this next place, I think, very subtly of like he did that for me and I went out of my comfort zone and did this thing for him. And he knows it and I know it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:27:15] Right.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:27:16] So I think it’s that. But of course, Michael’s oblivious. And we, we look at each other with love in our eyes and shake hands, and then that’s it. The party is well underway, though, lady.
JENNA FISCHER [01:27:25] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:27:26] Like while we’re shaking hands and doing all this, everyone’s having a good time. And Jenna, we have a fantastic Phyllis dance catch.
JENNA FISCHER [01:27:35] Yes.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:27:36] Michael says to Pam, “Hey, Pam, shake yours and I’ll shake-“, and she’s like, “No”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:27:40] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:27:40] No, I’m not gonna do that. But guess who’s so like delighted? Phyllis at 25 minutes, 18 seconds. You guys know that Phyllis was a burlesque dancer and you are seeing a straight up real deal burlesque shimmy in the background by Phyllis.
JENNA FISCHER [01:27:57] I’ll tell you what. That shimmy was not in the script.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:28:01] Oh, of course not.
JENNA FISCHER [01:28:01] So I don’t know where we got that, but I think Phyllis-.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:28:05] I think Phyllis just improvised that in the moment.
JENNA FISCHER [01:28:08] Any chance to dance, Phyllis is in.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:28:11] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:28:11] But also, I just want to say, Angela, I want to point out, this party’s going great, that Angela didn’t plan. That’s all.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:28:21] I’m sorry, she was there. She was just sort of zoned out, but she was part of the planning.
JENNA FISCHER [01:28:25] I know, but it’s just maybe we should take note of what a great party it is.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:28:30] Oh my gosh.
JENNA FISCHER [01:28:30] That’s all.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:28:32] Well, I titled the next scene, “Oof”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:28:36] We have another “Oof”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:28:38] The scene is just called “Oof”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:28:40] This was heartbreak in the break room, was titled “Oof”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:28:42] Well. This is heartbreak in the conference room.
JENNA FISCHER [01:28:46] Yeah. So here’s what happens, you guys. Karen and Jim, they’re sitting side by side in the conference room. They’re not even talking or looking at each other.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:28:55] They’re not even looking at each other. That’s the, even the saddest like oof part is that when he says he’s still into Pam.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:03] He won’t even look her in the eye.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:04] Yeah. She just gets up and walks away. She’s like.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:07] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:07] “F this”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:09] Yeah. Because she says, “Do you still have feelings for her”?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:11] Mmhmm.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:13] And he says, “Yeah”. And I just want to say, Jim. Yes, wishy washy Jim is gone and we have real Jim back again.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:24] Jim is back and he’s owning his feelings. Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:28] We are happy. So this episode ends with Dwight, who thinks the party is for him, by the way, even though the sign says, “Welcome back, Oscar”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:39] There’s three signs. There’s three signs that say, “Welcome back, Oscar”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:29:43] But somehow Dwight is like, this party’s for me. He gets to hit the piñata and he just destroys it, destroys it.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:29:52] He destroys it. Then he goes through the office just whacking all the piñatas that were decorative piñatas hanging through the bullpen. In the DVD commentary for this episode, they talk about the fact that as Rainn started hitting piñatas, Phil Shea was like, “Hold up. Wait, wait, wait. I have duplicates for this one, this one and this one. You cannot hit that one or that one”.
JENNA FISCHER [01:30:13] Oh, my gosh.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:30:15] So when you see Rainn kind of like running through, he had like a little roadmap of which piñata he could hit and he couldn’t hit. So if you see him run right past a perfectly good piñata, it’s because we didn’t have a duplicate for it. So we had to run across to another one and whack it.
JENNA FISCHER [01:30:30] These are the details people don’t know that actors have in their brains when they’re doing a scene.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:30:34] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:30:36] We only have one more thing to talk about, Angela, which is Andy is going to anger management.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:30:42] And he’s going to crush it. It’s supposed to be 10 weeks. He’s going to knock it out in five. He has a whole plan.
JENNA FISCHER [01:30:47] Through his usual name repetition, personality mirroring and positive reinforcement through nods and smiles. He’s going to, he’s going to do this in five weeks. And in fact, he does do it in five weeks. Ed, the character of Andy is gone for the next five episodes and then he returns. And we had a lot of fan questions about this, Angela. Chelsea Lane, Aaron Westra, Amanda Gerson, Briona Kernan, Kaili Waiting all asked, “Did Ed Helms have to be written out because he had to film something else”? No. No, we had asked Ed about this. So I don’t know if you guys remember back in “Gay Witch Hunt” when I talked to Ed about how he came to be on the show. Remember, he said he was originally only hired for a short period of time, and it wasn’t until later that they decided to add him as a series regular. Well, I guess, Angela, how did he explain it? He said that by the time they decided to make him a series regular, they had actually written all of the episodes to finish out his initial little contract.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:31:55] Yeah.
JENNA FISCHER [01:31:56] And this episode was supposed to end with Andy punching the wall and being fired and never coming back again.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:32:02] Yeah. In this episode, we basically lose Andy and then we’re soon going to lose Karen. Right?And that would have wrapped up all of the Stamford extra character storylines. But everyone just fell in love with Ed. And just how Andy was the perfect foil for Dwight. And they wanted him back and they had to sort of figure that out. How does that work? What does that contract look like? We already have these scripts without him. So they sorted it all out in five weeks. And Andy comes back.
JENNA FISCHER [01:32:32] Yes. And it was so, so great. And in the meantime, I remember that they were wanting to also keep Rashida around a little bit longer. But she ends up getting a job on “Parks and Rec”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:32:47] Yes.
JENNA FISCHER [01:32:49] Yeah.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:32:49] Which stays sort of in “The Office” family, which is really fun.
JENNA FISCHER [01:32:53] Yes. Because “Parks and Recreation” was created together by Greg Daniels and Mike Schur.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:32:59] Yep. Well, lady, before we say goodbye to “The Return”. Did you happen to catch what the anger management class, what the name of the company was?
JENNA FISCHER [01:33:09] No.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:33:10] I loved it so much, it’s on the door as they go in.
JENNA FISCHER [01:33:13] What is it?
ANGELA KINSEY [01:33:15] Calm Visions.
JENNA FISCHER [01:33:17] Oh. You know what? I’m already less angry.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:33:21] Are you having Calm Visions?
JENNA FISCHER [01:33:23] I am. I am. Done.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:33:25] Done. Well, that was “The Return”, everybody. Thank you so much for listening. Big thank you to Ed Helms for being our guest. And Greg Daniels. And as always, Kent Zbornak. Kent-apedia. And, you know, Jenna and I, we reach out to people like crazy. If it’s as simple as like a text to Creed to jog his memory. Or I DM-ed Yvette. Like, I’m just always so appreciative by how many people, Jenna, respond in a timely manner and get back to us and help us make these podcasts happen.
JENNA FISCHER [01:33:57] Well, listen, guys, we will see you next week with one of my favorite episodes, “Ben Franklin”.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:34:03] “Ben Franklin”. We’ll see you then.
JENNA FISCHER [01:34:06] I love “Ben Franklin” so much. We’ll talk about it next week.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:34:11] All right. Bye, everyone. Have a good one.
JENNA FISCHER [01:34:13] Bye.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:34:17] Thank you for listening to. “Office Ladies”. “Office Ladies” is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey.
JENNA FISCHER [01:34:23] Our producer is Codi Fischer, our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer, and our associate producer is Aynsely Bubbico.
ANGELA KINSEY [01:34:29] Our theme song is “Rubber Tree” by Creed Bratton.
JENNA FISCHER [01:34:32] For ad free versions of “Office Ladies”, go to StitcherPemium.com. For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium, use code “Office”.
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