October 18, 2022
EP. 141 — WUPHF.com with Aaron Shure
This week we’re breaking down “WUPHF.com” and we are joined by the writer of this episode, Aaron Shure! The smartest and brightest of the office workers have invested in Ryan’s Internet startup business, WUPHF.com. It only takes a few days to realize it’s a bad investment and everyone but Michael wants to sell. Writer Aaron Shure shares what it was like to write this episode, along with writing some very iconic cold opens. Jenna answers a fan mail flurry about why the show used straw instead of hay at Dwight’s Hay Place, Angela reveals another connection she has with the actor who played the Senator’s son, and fans give theories as to why we never see him again and if he was even the Senator’s son. So everyone follow us into Dwight’s shelter to enjoy this episode and food for 14 days. After that, we have a difficult conversation.
141 — WUPHF.com with Aaron Shure
Jenna [00:00:03] I’m Jenna Fischer.
Angela [00:00:04] And I’m Angela Kinsey.
Jenna [00:00:06] We were on The Office together.
Angela [00:00:07] And we’re best friends.
Jenna [00:00:08] And now we’re doing the ultimate Office rewatch podcast just for you.
Angela [00:00:12] Each week, we will break down an episode of The Office and give exclusive behind the scenes stories that only two people who were there can tell you.
Jenna [00:00:19] We’re the Office Ladies. Hello, hello.
Angela [00:00:24] Hi.
Jenna [00:00:26] Guess what we’re talking about today?
Angela [00:00:27] Wuphf!
Jenna [00:00:27] Wuphf.com!
Angela [00:00:30] Oh, my gosh. Ryan’s startup company is here.
Jenna [00:00:35] This is season seven episode nine. It was written by Aaron Shure and directed by Danny Leiner. He was a new director for us.
Angela [00:00:43] Yeah.
Jenna [00:00:44] He had directed Dude, Where’s My Car? And Harold and Kumar go to White Castle. We had a lot of fun.
Angela [00:00:49] We did.
Jenna [00:00:50] Here is your summary. Ryan and Michael’s business venture, Wuphf.com, has hit a snag and their investors/ coworkers are pressuring them to sell the company.
Angela [00:01:02] Sell the company? The company is days old. It’s hit a snag so quickly.
Jenna [00:01:08] I know. There’s a lot of graphs for it, though.
Angela [00:01:10] So many color copies.
Jenna [00:01:12] Oh, I love that runner.
Angela [00:01:13] I don’t like to be a lousy snitch.
Jenna [00:01:17] Well, in the meantime, there’s a new corporate policy, ye olde commission cap. And Jim has hit his commission cap, so he no longer feels motivated to work. And finally, Dwight is going to relive his childhood by turning the parking lot into a hay festival, which leads Angela into the arms of a new man.
Angela [00:01:38] Oh, yeah.
Jenna [00:01:39] You know what? If this was our Thanksgiving episode, I realized. That’s why there’s a hay festival. This aired on November 18th, 2010. We’re always asking, where is our Thanksgiving episode? I think this was it.
Angela [00:01:52] Here you go, wuphf.com.
Jenna [00:01:54] Well, we’re really excited because today we are going to talk to our writer of this episode, and friend, Aaron Shure.
Angela [00:02:01] Yes, Aaron was so lovely and we got to talk to him for quite a bit. He was such a great guest. Jenna, you and I always love it when writers get to come on.
Jenna [00:02:09] Well, we’re such nerds for the writing process, I think.
Angela [00:02:11] We are.
Jenna [00:02:12] Well, here’s our conversation with Aaron.
Angela [00:02:17] Hello, Aaron!
Aaron Shure [00:02:19] Hi!
Angela [00:02:21] Woo hoo!
Jenna [00:02:21] Everyone, we’re so excited. We’re being joined by our writer Aaron Shure, who, by the way, was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for episodic comedy for this episode, Wuphf.com.
Aaron Shure [00:02:32] That was one of the high points of my career was getting that nomination.
Jenna [00:02:36] Well, we loved this episode, Wuphf!
Angela [00:02:38] I was cracking up. I hadn’t seen this episode in so long. I know we always say that because we are doing a rewatch in real time, but I was cracking up.
Aaron Shure [00:02:47] Yeah, it was fun. I really enjoyed the chance to revisit it. And the number of person hours that went into it, crazy. 25 pages of notes from Jonathan Hughes and Kelly Hannon, the writing assistants.
Both [00:03:00] Wow.
Aaron Shure [00:03:02] And then we, you know, whittled that down to a beat sheet and then to an outline and then initial draft. And then a lot changed after the table draft. The Gabe character, Zach Woods, you know, normally when you’re when you’re a writer, people will be like, how much do the actors make up? And it’s, you know, actors usually bring so much more to it than just coming up with lines, right? But it’s almost never as much improv as people think. You’re like, usually it’s more or less what we wrote. And they come up with, you know, they will add things, especially brilliant improvisers like like Steve Carell are going to bring new stuff. But generally speaking, we do the writing and they do the acting. But Zach kind of improvised that whole thing about being in the men’s room and and looking away.
Jenna [00:03:44] Yes! I remember that and John couldn’t keep a straight face. It’s that scene where John is complaining about the commission cap. And then Gabe gives this long analogy about how, well, sometimes there are regulations you don’t agree with. Like, men are allowed to walk around naked at my gym. And I don’t like it, but it’s, you know, that’s their policy. I looked in the script because I was like, That sounds like Zach. He would go on these just bizarre tangents.
Angela [00:04:10] He’s a brilliant improviser.
Aaron Shure [00:04:12] Yes.
Angela [00:04:13] And that that was an amazing speech.
Jenna [00:04:16] Well, let’s take you a little bit back to the beginning. How long did you work as a writer on The Office?
Aaron Shure [00:04:22] Well, I was there five, four seasons- wait, five, six, seven, eight. So four seasons. The seasons when the Scranton Strangler was around, too. That’s just coincidental. I wasn’t. I wasn’t the strangler.
Jenna [00:04:38] Well, before you worked on The Office, you worked on Everybody Loves Raymond and The New Adventures of Old Christine. Those were both three camera shows in front of a live audience. I’m curious, what was the difference between working on shows like that versus working on The Office?
Angela [00:04:53] Which was single camera.
Jenna [00:04:55] Yeah.
Aaron Shure [00:04:56] Well, the writing part is fairly similar. The biggest difference is in the production. So when you’re comparing single camera to multi-cam, it was my first single camera show. And one of the things is, you know, a multicam is shot like a like a stage production, like you’re watching a play. And usually, ideally, there’s a real audience there enjoying it, and you get that energy. Whereas our show, The Office, was, you know, shot like a movie and the camera is a character. And so you’re in the space and it’s much tighter and like people are speaking more quietly and more really, realistically. And but for me, being on the set, I was used to laughing loudly to try to encourage the actors and make it clear what parts were the jokes. And so I had to learn not to do that. I remember my first episode was Baby Shower and Greg Daniels was directing and he had to keep telling me like, Hey, don’t, don’t, don’t laugh. Be quiet. And so I’d go home and have held in so- because, oh my God, the performances were so amazing and so funny and it’s so hard not to laugh. So I’d go home and feel all this pent up laughter. And it used to come out in, like, you know, indigestion and burps and stuff. But but also there was sort of a generational change from Raymond to The Office and other shows I’ve gone on to like People of Earth, in terms of how we relate to the Internet, which is apropos of this episode, right? Which on, on Everybody Loves Raymond, we would be like, Don’t go to those chat boards. Don’t, you know, MySpace. And then on The Office, we were, you know, interacting with Office Tally and Jenny Tan, and we were kind of doing the equivalent of livestreaming in that day. During an episode, when the episode would air, we would- the writing staff would get on and be like tweeting. So on The Office we would draw from the Internet. It was it was like a reciprocal relationship where we would talk to the Internet and the Internet would talk to us and we would take stuff from the Internet, like in, you know, the wedding dance was straight off the Internet and YouTube, right? And also lip dubs, like the opening of Nepotism where there was a lip dub and you see Wuphf.com in there.
Jenna [00:07:13] Well, you know, on our show, a lot of times you guys would pitch us lines in the moment, because, we’ve said this before, the writers were on set with us. But my small experience with multi-cam is that you sort of figure out your jokes and change your jokes in the rehearsal process. And there is not a lot of like on the shoot day coming up with new jokes. Is that true? Or did you feel pressure while we were shooting that you had to stand there and throw new lines at us?
Aaron Shure [00:07:43] Yes. Well, we would have, you know, a candy bag with lots of alternative lines ready to go. We would write a lot of pages that would not end up in the final cut. They maybe would be deleted scenes. But on a on a multicam like Everybody Loves Raymond, we pretty much had every page that we wrote would end up in the final episode, whereas on The Office, we would lose 20, 30% of pages.
Angela [00:08:08] Oh, yeah.
Aaron Shure [00:08:09] And that’s the power of the doc style, though, because it’s it’s found footage. It’s okay if it feels like, you know, you’re not seeing every single moment and you can lose a lot and still have the story be there and you can only you’re able to keep just the best moments. I remember once I went to a panel to just for- of aspiring writers and I showed an episode I wrote- it might have been wuphf, and it was on a DVD, remember DVDs?
Angela [00:08:35] Oh, yeah.
Aaron Shure [00:08:37] I accidentally hit play on deleted scenes and I didn’t realize it. And so we were watching only the deleted scenes, and it had the basic shape of the entire episode. I thought, Wow, this is oddly edited for syndication. But it was so like there was enough of a like upside down world version of the episode there that we had written and shot that didn’t make it, you know? So sometimes you would have to write scenes with enough story markers in it so that if it’s the only part of this story that survives, there’s enough there to hold it up as a story. So there is a big flexibility in the in the editing, probably more so than a multicam.
Angela [00:09:16] Okay. I have a question for you, Aaron. We have shared with our podcast listeners that you were the quote, King of Cold Opens. You really were. You came up with some of the most brilliant ones. I mean, everyone knows Kevin’s chili. That is like the spill heard round the world. But were there some other ones that you wrote that you would like to share with us, or do you have a favorite?
Aaron Shure [00:09:40] So yeah, I came up, especially in season five, there was a fair number of cold opens that I kind of came up with. The P.A. system, I believe was my idea.
Both [00:09:51] Oh, yeah.
Aaron Shure [00:09:54] And actually, that was from the offices of Everybody Loves Raymond. We figured out that you could do that, that there was a code you could hit on any phone and you’d suddenly have the entire P.A. system at your disposal. So that was from- basically I didn’t come up with things; I just remembered things. Cheese puffs was another thing I came up with. Believe it or not, I was in the kitchen and I saw the cheese puffs and I threw one into my mouth. And that’s, you know, when you’re a writer, that’s what you do. You’re like, is this a thing? Is this you know, I’m tapping my I’m tapping my pencil. Is that a thing? You know, you’re just constantly trying to, desperate to come up with ideas.
Jenna [00:10:29] Gosh, all of these are really so memorable, too. I’m like, you said cheese puff cold open. I mean, that- I get that sent to me all the time. People want to know if we really caught them and all that.
Aaron Shure [00:10:43] You know, that was an example, though, where people throwing cheese puffs into their own mouths is not in and of itself a great idea, but what you did with it made it so delightful. And you were really, I mean, I just watched- I rewatched that. And it’s so- what you did made it a thing, you know, the the way you reacted to it. And it’s also kind of impressive that you were able to do that.
Jenna [00:11:05] But I feel like that little thing, it’s it’s really cool because it’s so relatable. We’ve all done that with popcorn or whatever. Maybe you’re procrastinating or, you know, it’s such a relatable thing. And then the other thing that’s so relatable is like coming up with bigger stunts for yourself, you know? Trick shots with food and, and then the joy when you land one that you came up with. That’s just, that’s a thing!
Angela [00:11:30] Yeah.
Jenna [00:11:31] Like, you tapped into something.
Angela [00:11:33] I think you’re so great, Aaron, at just observing and then bringing what you’ve observed to the page. And I would love to see your notes because I feel like, are you someone when you go out in the world or you travel, are you like jotting down little moments like?
Aaron Shure [00:11:47] Yes, yes. A lot of 3×5 cards, actually.
Angela [00:11:51] Ooh!
Jenna [00:11:51] You’re speaking Angela’s language.
Aaron Shure [00:11:56] I know. You go you’ve talked about that. How much how much we try to externalize the stories by putting them on three by five cards and putting- tacking them to the wall. And, you know, as you show in your book, there’s all those, you know, the writer’s room is just festooned with them. And it’s a great, you know, Greg Daniels, that was always his one of his many great writing ideas is trying to externalize it, get it out of your head, put it down on paper. And and it makes it makes it something you can literally manipulate in the world. And it also gives you a new perspective on the on the idea. So it’s um great.
Angela [00:12:30] Was there ever a note card you put on the wall that that didn’t make it, but you still remember it?
Aaron Shure [00:12:36] Tons of them. I kept. One of them is the I wanted there to be a if not a cold open an entire episode where Michael actually gets rose colored glasses, because he’s heard that expression and he wonders, you know, what it’s like. So he literally gets the rose colored glasses and then drives to work. And it’s true. Life is much better when you have rose colored glasses because all the lights were green. There wasn’t a single red light on his way to work.
Angela [00:12:58] Oh no!
Aaron Shure [00:12:59] And and people were waving at him like, your life is better when you-
Jenna [00:13:04] That actually sounds like an amazing cold open. Like, I can just see Michael.
Angela [00:13:08] Yeah, that’s the thing. I fully see him doing it, like buying them and be like, everyone’s my friend. Everything’s awesome. He’s causing accidents left and right.
Aaron Shure [00:13:19] And I found a card that just said all it said is “Dwight’s tarantula gets loose”.
Both [00:13:24] Ohh!
Jenna [00:13:25] Uh huh.
Aaron Shure [00:13:26] So I don’t know where that goes. Probably ends up on Creed somehow.
Angela [00:13:29] Of course. No, it goes in Creed’s, Creed’s drawer of mung beans.
Jenna [00:13:33] We wanted to ask you a little bit about the talks that went into season seven, and knowing that this was going to be Steve Carell’s last year, which meant that it was Michael Scott’s last year. What was that discussion like in the writer’s room? How to handle his exit.
Aaron Shure [00:13:54] It wasn’t like one discussion. It was just a constant discussion. We were obsessed with this question. It was scary. And so you got 15 writers. We pretty much had every conversation you could have about how are we going to do this? And we even went as far as to write like a talking point memo of things that that actors and producers could say to the press about it.
Angela [00:14:16] I do remember getting an email from I think it was Greg that said, Here, you guys. If you’re asked about Steve leaving or Michael leaving or what’s going to happen to the show, here’s things you can say.
Aaron Shure [00:14:27] Yes.
Jenna [00:14:27] Which was very helpful.
Angela [00:14:29] Yeah.
Jenna [00:14:29] Because we were asked a lot.
Angela [00:14:31] A lot.
Aaron Shure [00:14:33] And I think one of the smartest things that I, I don’t know if it was Greg or or Paul who came up with the idea, which is that he left before the end of the season.
Jenna [00:14:43] Mm hmm.
Aaron Shure [00:14:43] Which was just so smart, because it gives- yes, he’s leaving, but it’s not a finale. It’s still The Office. And the office goes on. And here’s an example of three episodes of what might what we are promising you. And there’s the fun of who is it going to be? Who’s going to actually come in and replace him? So it was scary. It was scary. But I think, you know, Steve was very clear that he didn’t see himself as the show. And he he was very generous in letting it continue in a way that, you know, showed that as important as Michael was to the show, the ensemble was also very important.
Angela [00:15:22] Yeah. Coming back to wuphf.com for a second, we were curious who came up with the idea of the Hay King, the Hay Place, Hay Festival, Dwight’s whole hay existence.
Aaron Shure [00:15:37] This is an interesting journey for me because… When you’re when you’ve been on writing staffs for a while, you learn to go with the flow, right? You read the room and, you know, if you’re a professional writer, you know you row in the direction that the room’s going. But I actually didn’t like Hay Place at first. It wasn’t my idea, and I didn’t love it. And I don’t know why I had such a burr in my saddle about it. I think I imagined, I mean, this is sort of an obvious thing, but it’s good to remember, that you don’t know what’s going to happen. Like you don’t know when you have just an idea, it could be the best thing ever or the worst thing ever. All depends on execution. And I just sort of had a bad version of it in my head. And I sort of felt like, Well, how much resources does Dwight have to build a hay maze? Does he bring, you know, does he really have the ability to do it? And so I kind of had a bad attitude about it. Yeah, the maze was big, but I saw them build it and it’s doable. It’s doable that two people could have built that maze in a weekend. And so the other thing, though, we got a little feedback from it, from the Internet was, That’s not hay, it’s straw.
Jenna [00:16:54] Oh, my gosh! Aaron, when we are finished speaking with you today and we’re breaking down this episode, you would not believe the mail that we got about this from farmers across the country, that that is straw. It is not hay. And I’ve got a whole deep dive about it.
Angela [00:17:13] Jenna said there was a fan mail flurry from a lot of agricultural folks who really wanted you to know.
Jenna [00:17:21] Oh yeah, I learned something. I learned a lot about hay and straw.
Aaron Shure [00:17:26] Hay is, do you know, I don’t want to steal your thunder, but you know, hay is dangerous. You know it can combust spontaneously.
Jenna [00:17:33] What?!
Aaron Shure [00:17:34] If you pack your hay too tightly and it gets wet, it will it will become a huge fire.
Jenna [00:17:40] I did not know this. And this is not part of my breakdown.
Angela [00:17:43] I did not know this either. And my dad grew hay. And I’m going to talk about that as well when we get to it.
Aaron Shure [00:17:52] Yeah. And you, you had to monitor the- you had to stick things into your hay bale to make sure it’s not going to combust. Monitor the temperature.
Angela [00:18:01] That I do remember. I remember my dad doing that, but I didn’t understand why.
Jenna [00:18:05] Aaron, is- are these all things that you learned about hay and straw after the episode aired?
Aaron Shure [00:18:10] During. Well, during the process, I was I was researching it. And the the part I didn’t know going into it was that they would use straw. I thought there would be hay. But then it turns out for for obvious reasons, you would use actual straw. Straw is structurally better. But I think one of the best reasons for that hay place to exist was the scene between the Senator and Angela, which was one of my favorite scenes. Rewatching it especially. And that was not in my original draft. The fact that he laughs at you and thinks, well, he thinks Angela is funny. And for her that’s a new experience. And I was just such a, like that got me. That moment got me. Also the moment when Michael says he he knows who Ryan is, but he’s still going to have faith in him the way he did in the rest of the staff. That, rewatching it, I was like, Wow, that’s amazing. That just really- I kind of teared up a little bit because I think that’s the quintessential Michael Scott moment where he’s got a wrong idea, but for all the right reasons, you know?
Angela [00:19:15] Yeah.
Jenna [00:19:16] Aaron, so much of your real life has made its way into episodes of The Office. Was there anything from this episode that was inspired by your real life?
Aaron Shure [00:19:24] Apart from having made a lot of bad investments? I have felt that like, Oh my gosh, is this a bad investment? Yes, usually it was. But other than that, it’s, you know, let me see.
Jenna [00:19:41] Just bad investment anxiety. You were able to write to that very authentically.
Aaron Shure [00:19:43] Yes! Yeah.
Jenna [00:19:48] Well, Aaron, thank you so much for coming and talking with us. I always love hearing a writer’s perspective. You guys are always my favorite people to hang out with on a project.
Angela [00:19:59] And on the show, too. We were always popping in the writers room, probably driving you guys crazy.
Jenna [00:20:04] Were we annoying or did you like us?
Aaron Shure [00:20:06] We loved it. We would love it when you would come in.
Jenna [00:20:09] Okay. Was it just because we we gave you a break or because you actually liked us and our ideas?
Aaron Shure [00:20:15] One of the things we would do is, is watch what you did and how you talked. And it would it was almost inevitable that it would influence what we thought about your character. So we were paying attention.
Angela [00:20:26] Oh, that is terrifying. And Aaron, lastly, is there any project that you’re working on that we can share about?
Aaron Shure [00:20:36] Well, I recently wrote a script with Norman Lear who just turned 100.
Angela [00:20:42] Wow.
Aaron Shure [00:20:44] It was for an anthology. So I’d never done that before, where it’s just a one off creating an entire world and a bunch of characters for one episode. It was through with Shondaland for Netflix, but the series didn’t go. But our episode was so well-received that we’re trying to find a way to make it its own series. So we’re re-tooling that.
Angela [00:21:03] That’s fantastic!
Aaron Shure [00:21:05] Yeah, yeah.
Jenna [00:21:06] Amazing.
Angela [00:21:07] Well, Aaron, thank you so much for stopping by Office Ladies. You know we’re going to keep bugging you, because we’re going to keep wanting your input about episodes.
Jenna [00:21:14] We love your stories.
Aaron Shure [00:21:15] Please do. I love listening to your show and I love reliving even the parts that I wasn’t there for. And congratulations on on such an amazing podcast. And your book, too!
Jenna [00:21:26] Thank you!
Angela [00:21:27] Thank you!
Jenna [00:21:27] Yes. Which you contributed some wonderful photos to.
Angela [00:21:30] Amazing photos of the writers room.
Jenna [00:21:32] We can’t thank you enough.
Angela [00:21:32] Yes.
Jenna [00:21:33] Yes. Oh, we love you, Aaron. Thank you so much.
Aaron Shure [00:21:36] Likewise. Bye!
Angela [00:21:37] Mwah! Let’s get into this episode.
Jenna [00:21:43] Yeah, it starts in the dark.
Angela [00:21:45] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:21:46] All the lights go out. There’s a power failure.
Angela [00:21:50] Dwight says, Guys, come on. Follow me to the shelter. How many shelters does Dwight have? I mean, we know he has one at Schrute Farms, but I guess he has one at Dunder Mifflin?
Jenna [00:22:00] I’m jealous.
Angela [00:22:02] I know. You want a bunker.
Jenna [00:22:03] He has food for 14 days.
Angela [00:22:05] And then there’s going to have to be a difficult conversation.
Jenna [00:22:08] Well, Michael takes the blame. He had a space heater and fan, both plugged in to the same outlet. But it’s all fine. The lights are back on.
Angela [00:22:16] But the servers are down.
Jenna [00:22:18] They need to enter the password to get back in.
Angela [00:22:21] And can we just all take a minute? I kind of need everyone to just take a minute with me, because what does Pam say? Pam says, Wait, does anyone remember when it was set up? And Michael says, Like eight years ago. And then Pam says, Oh, Lord of the Rings stuff? Pam.
Jenna [00:22:38] Yeah.
Angela [00:22:39] Is a Lord of the Rings fan. I want it noted.
Jenna [00:22:42] I don’t think she’s a Lord of the Rings fan.
Angela [00:22:43] Yes, she is! Let me have this, Jenna.
Jenna [00:22:46] She’s not. She just knows.
Angela [00:22:46] Come on!
Jenna [00:22:47] She knows her office family.
Angela [00:22:49] Why would-
Jenna [00:22:50] She’s like, Oh, I know what it is. Lord of the Rings was eight years ago. It’s probably like some- she- I bet she couldn’t name a reference. She doesn’t say anything Lord of the Rings.
Angela [00:23:01] I disagree. I think Pam is a big Lord of the Rings fan.
Jenna [00:23:04] She isn’t. I refuse. I am Pam. I’m telling you, she’s not. This is a trait we share in common.
Angela [00:23:10] Well, they have to sort of toggle back in their minds about who was the I.T. guy when this was set up.
Jenna [00:23:17] Yeah.
Angela [00:23:18] And they realize it was Lozenge.
Jenna [00:23:20] Yeah.
Angela [00:23:20] That was what they called him.
Jenna [00:23:22] I love it that they’ve never known the name of a single one of their I.T. guys.
Angela [00:23:25] No. No one.
Jenna [00:23:26] And guess what the password is? It’s big boobz.
Both [00:23:30] With a Z.
Angela [00:23:32] I did like that Meredith and Angela both chimed in things about Pam. Meredith said, Drama queen. Angela said, Nosy.
Jenna [00:23:39] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:23:39] Some side sass during the scene.
Jenna [00:23:42] Well, we had a fan question from Ryan S in Massachusetts who asked, When the power goes out in the office, since you guys work on a soundstage, how did the whole process of making the lights go out work? Was it simple or did it take a lot of planning? Ryan, thank you for this question. This is a kind of like nerdy production question I like. Per Randy Cordray, our lighting and electric crew, who was headed up by our gaffer, Frank Esposito, and his best boy, Jim Holt, had to do a lot of work to make this happen because, as Randy pointed out, all of the interior lights in the office go out, but the exterior lights that light up our fakey scrim, you know, to the fake outside, out the windows, those all stay on. So we couldn’t just, like, throw the master switch.
Angela [00:24:32] Right. Some had to stay on. Some had to go off.
Jenna [00:24:36] But also all of our stage lights in, like, various support rooms around the soundstage, like craft service and the sound booth and all of that, they’re all on the same, like lighting board.
Angela [00:24:51] Right. And they can’t lose lights. Our sound booth can’t lose lights.
Jenna [00:24:54] Yeah. So what they did was they ganged, I guess that the term, or combined all of the circuits that needed to go dark into a single dimmer. And then they would give a cue to our first A.D. to hit that dimmer. And then the appropriate lights would go off and the others would stay on. That’s how we did it. All right. Well, let’s get into this episode. Ryan and Michael arrive to work, and their cars have the wuphf.com bumper sticker.
Angela [00:25:19] Yeah, it says Wuphf.com. Whenever, period. Wherever, period. I counted. Ryan has one sticker. Michael has nine.
Jenna [00:25:29] Hmm. Well, that logo was created by Henry Saine. And, you know, you can go over to the NBC store and they sell wuphf shirts and a wuphf mug.
Angela [00:25:38] Still?
Jenna [00:25:38] Yeah.
Angela [00:25:39] Wow.
Jenna [00:25:40] But no bumper stickers.
Angela [00:25:41] Well, now we’re going to have a joint talking head with Michael and Ryan. Ryan is Wuphf and Michael is Facebook. And they go back and forth. This was reminiscent of a commercial that was running at this time. It was like, what was it, Jenna? It was like, Apple.
Jenna [00:25:56] And it was the I’m a Mac. I’m a PC.
Angela [00:25:59] Yes!
Jenna [00:25:59] And they starred Justin Long as Mac and John Hodgman as PC.
Angela [00:26:05] Look how excited you got. Did you mini dive this? What did you do?
Jenna [00:26:08] Well, I did a commercial for them.
Angela [00:26:11] What?!
Jenna [00:26:11] I did an I’m a Mac. I’m a PC commercial. It never aired.
Angela [00:26:14] Oh, were you Mac or PC?
Jenna [00:26:16] I was neither. Those guys were always Mac and PC.
Angela [00:26:19] Oh, I see.
Jenna [00:26:19] But this campaign was so successful, people loved it, that they started having celebrity guests come in and do other bits with the Mac or with the PC.
Angela [00:26:28] Okay. So did you do a bit with the Mac or the PC?
Jenna [00:26:30] It was with both of them. I can’t remember a lot of details about it. It’s a little fuzzy because it was a really long time ago. It was while we were shooting The Office. It was kind of during this time. But they told us ahead of time, We make like 12 of these, but we only pick a few that will actually air. They put them through focus groups. So you only got paid the big bucks if your commercial got picked.
Angela [00:26:54] Ohhh.
Jenna [00:26:54] So my commercial didn’t get picked.
Angela [00:26:56] The focus group was like, ehh.
Jenna [00:26:58] They were like, not loving mine, I guess. I don’t know. But what I did get was a boatload of Apple credit that never expired.
Angela [00:27:11] Get out!
Jenna [00:27:11] Mm hmm. So for ten years, every time I needed a new laptop or anything Mac related, anything, I would just go to my contact and be like, Hey, remember that commercial that never aired? I’m ready for this item.
Angela [00:27:31] That’s a pretty great “sorry you didn’t get it” gift.
Jenna [00:27:34] It is. No, I mean, I got my sister a laptop. You know, I got them for my family, not just for me, you know?
Angela [00:27:40] You’re like Oprah.
Jenna [00:27:41] I was.
Angela [00:27:42] You get a laptop! You get a laptop! You get a laptop!
Jenna [00:27:44] I was. It was like the best failed commercial ever. But I have an audio clip from one of their commercials. If you want to play it. I’m not going to be in it, obviously, as we have established. But here you go.
Justin Long [00:27:55] Hello. I’m a mac.
John Hodgman [00:27:57] And I’m a PC. (SNEEZES)
Justin Long [00:28:02] You okay?
John Hodgman [00:28:02] No, I’m not okay. I have that virus that’s going around.
Justin Long [00:28:06] Oh, yeah.
John Hodgman [00:28:08] Think you, you better stay back. This one’s a doozy.
Justin Long [00:28:10] That’s okay. I’ll be fine.
John Hodgman [00:28:11] No, no. Do not be a hero. Last year, there were 114,000 known viruses for PCs.
Justin Long [00:28:16] PCs, not Macs. So…
John Hodgman [00:28:19] I think I got a crash.
Justin Long [00:28:21] Okay, if you feel that’ll help. Good.
Jenna [00:28:24] That was that. That was the bit was basically that Mac was always doing well and thriving and the PC was always getting a virus or confused or overwhelmed.
Angela [00:28:34] So these commercials just threw shade at PCs.
Jenna [00:28:37] 100%.
Angela [00:28:38] Well, I really wish we could see yours, but.
Jenna [00:28:40] I know. You can’t. I’m sorry.
Angela [00:28:43] Did you notice during this talking head that Michael wore glasses?
Jenna [00:28:46] Yes, that’s because John Hodgman wears glasses.
Angela [00:28:49] Ohh.
Jenna [00:28:50] And so he’s doing a spin on the PC guy.
Angela [00:28:52] Now I get it. Well, I know this is how the episode starts that aired, but in the shooting draft, there was a different opening to this episode.
Jenna [00:29:01] Oh?
Angela [00:29:01] Yeah. It starts with Ryan pitching the whole idea of this company to Michael in his office.
Jenna [00:29:08] Okay.
Angela [00:29:09] I actually like the version that they aired because they just start in the middle. You know?
Jenna [00:29:14] Mmhmm. Like Michael’s in. He’s enthusiastic. He doesn’t have to be convinced.
Angela [00:29:18] Yeah. Right. And this is kind of like what Aaron was talking about when we spoke with him, how they would write so much that you could lose part of it, but the full story still is there. In this alternate opening, Angela is in Michael’s office and they’re talking about receipts for his taxes. And she’s holding a box, and they kind of argue. And then Angela takes the box and exits in a gruff, and that’s when Ryan enters.
Jenna [00:29:42] Okay.
Angela [00:29:42] But, lady, in one of the takes, I hit one of Michael’s toys with the receipt box.
Jenna [00:29:49] Okay.
Angela [00:29:50] And it made it into the bloopers. Any guesses what I hit? What toy?
Jenna [00:29:56] The clacky teeth?
Angela [00:29:59] I hit the clacky balls!
Jenna [00:30:01] The clacky balls?!
Angela [00:30:02] Yes! And they would not stop clacking for the rest of the scene. Here. Let’s listen.
Michael [00:30:08] Absolutely. Get these done. Out! Out! Hello.
Ryan [00:30:13] Hey. Here to talk about Wuphf.
Michael [00:30:15] Oh, yeah.
Ryan [00:30:16] Is that cool?
Michael [00:30:16] Yes, definitely. As long as you’re here to tell me I’m a billionaire.
Ryan [00:30:18] You’re on your way, man. On your way. Sorry.
Angela [00:30:26] They try to keep going, and B.J. tried to, like, make them stop. And then he moved his hands, and they started again.
Jenna [00:30:33] Oh, the old clacky balls. I’m telling you, I’m telling you, I am again inspired. We need to do a bonus episode where we break down the whole history of the clacky balls.
Angela [00:30:44] The clacky ball origin story?
Jenna [00:30:46] Yes!
Angela [00:30:47] Ladies who Google!
Jenna [00:30:48] Get ready for it.
Angela [00:30:50] It’s going to be a-
Jenna [00:30:51] I feel called to know more.
Angela [00:30:53] It’s going to be a ball fest.
Jenna [00:30:56] See? It writes itself!
Angela [00:30:57] Erin is about to have one of my favorite lines, which is, she doesn’t like to be a lousy snitch.
Jenna [00:31:06] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:31:07] A lousy snitch. Not just a snitch, but a lousy one. Ryan’s making a lot of color copies. That’s going to tick her off for the whole episode.
Jenna [00:31:15] Yes. Pam, as office administrator, should care about this and should probably do something about it.
Angela [00:31:21] She says, let it go.
Jenna [00:31:23] See? Now, this is when people started to turn on Pam’s new job. They were like, Fine, you lied to get it. But now. Hmm.
Angela [00:31:33] Well, she invested in Wuphf.
Jenna [00:31:34] She really believes in it. She wants a bedroom set. Well, in Michael’s office, Michael is talking to Ryan about an investor ski trip.
Angela [00:31:44] Yeah, and Ryan says someone’s already offered to buy the company. But you know what? He wants to go bigger. He wants more money, so he’s going to need more investors. And he said that’s why he came in today.
Jenna [00:31:56] Michael says, Don’t you work here? And then.
Angela [00:31:59] Ryan just laughs.
Jenna [00:32:01] Yeah.
Angela [00:32:02] Well, there was a Ryan deleted talking head where he’s super cocky about all of this, and he breaks the fourth wall. Let’s hear it.
Ryan [00:32:10] Last I spoke to you about Wuphf.com, that was just a prototype. Well, we launched the beta three months ago, and the response has been unbelievable. It’s going to be huge. Looks like your little documentary finally found its star. Wuphf!
Jenna [00:32:26] Oh, yeah.
Angela [00:32:28] Star of the documentary. Next up, we are going to learn a little bit about Dwight’s childhood. He used to have a place called the Hay Place, and he’s going to recreate it for everyone here at Dunder Mifflin. He’s overseeing a bunch of bales of hay being unloaded in the parking lot, and hay place is going to have games and a maze, all kinds of stuff.
Jenna [00:32:50] Yeah. We had a fan question from Harmjan V in the Netherlands. Harmjan, you are so wonderful. You send us questions every week.
Angela [00:32:57] I know!
Jenna [00:32:58] And they’re always very good. Harmjan would like to know, How many bales of hay did you guys have to get for this episode? Well, Randy was not exactly sure, but we rented them. That was an interesting tidbit. We returned these when we were done.
Angela [00:33:14] Well, I’m glad. I mean, what would we do with them?
Jenna [00:33:16] I don’t know. But we got them from a farm in Palmdale, California. We had to pay a truck and a driver to deliver them. They came stacked in like ten foot high stacks on this big trailer bed. And Randy’s rough estimate is that we used around 360 bales and that it was our set dressing crew, headed up by Steve Rothstein, and lead man Jim McDermott are the ones who unloaded all of those bales and then reloaded them onto the truck after the shoot. But we had a fan catch, many a fan catches, we talked about this in our interview with Aaron. These were not hay bales. They were straw bales.
Angela [00:33:59] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:34:00] Riley P from northern Minnesota said, I have been waiting for this episode ever since your podcast started. This was sort of painful to watch as a farmer because those bales are so clearly straw. And Shanaya R from Sydney, Montana, said, Maybe you guys used straw because it’s much lighter and easier to work with, but that’s not hay.
Angela [00:34:22] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:34:23] Yeah, well, thanks to our associate producer, Aynsley Bubbico here at Earwolf, I have a nice little break down to help you know if you are looking at hay or straw.
Angela [00:34:33] Go, Aynsley!
Jenna [00:34:35] Here we go. Hay has seeds in it. Straw does not. Hay is usually more green in color. Maybe think alfalfa, which is a type of hay. Straw is dry and yellow. Hay is used as feed.
Angela [00:34:52] Yes.
Jenna [00:34:53] Straw is used for bedding. Straw is also what we used in Hay Place.
Angela [00:34:59] That is right. I knew it was straw because, Jenna, you know my family has a farm and I spent many hours on the tractor with my dad while he was baling hay.
Jenna [00:35:10] You baled hay?
Angela [00:35:11] I baled hay! Sometimes we did square bales. Sometimes we did big round bales. We had a little thing that picked up the round bales, this fork, because they’re super heavy.
Jenna [00:35:21] But even the square ones are heavy, right?
Angela [00:35:23] Yes. And we didn’t have anything to pick those up, so we had to walk behind the flatbed trailer and throw them on. I couldn’t do it. They’re like 100 pounds.
Jenna [00:35:33] Well, this is definitely why we had to use straw in the episode, because we had to have just our two crew guys piling all that stuff up.
Angela [00:35:40] And stacking them. But I will tell you, when I watched this episode, I just got so nostalgic for my dad. I was really missing him, because if we would have called him and said, Bill Kinsey, can you break down some hay stats for us? He would have had the time of his life.
Jenna [00:35:57] I would have loved that.
Angela [00:35:58] I know. Me too.
Jenna [00:36:00] Well, Angela, you are about to arrive to Hay Place. It’s open. People are coming. They’re buying tickets.
Angela [00:36:07] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:36:08] I noticed that you’re wearing a wool coat.
Angela [00:36:11] It was so hot the two days we filmed this hay place. I don’t know if you noticed, but the patrons all sort of have rosy cheeks.
Jenna [00:36:19] Yeah.
Angela [00:36:19] We were burning up.
Jenna [00:36:21] I looked at the call sheet. It was 93 degrees.
Angela [00:36:24] Yeah.
Jenna [00:36:24] This was the last week of September in 2010 when we shot this.
Angela [00:36:29] We were having a heat wave, as we always do in September.
Jenna [00:36:32] Yeah, late September, early October is the hottest time in L.A.. I know that because it’s also around my son’s birthday, and we can never have, like, an outside full sun birthday party for him.
Angela [00:36:45] Also, you can’t buy your pumpkins too early here.
Jenna [00:36:48] Oh, no, they melt!
Angela [00:36:49] They melt, and then they get real gross.
Jenna [00:36:51] So I saw you, Ange. I saw you and that wool coat.
Angela [00:36:54] If you thought I was hot, poor Brian. We’ll get to that.
Jenna [00:36:59] Walking around that maze.
Angela [00:37:01] Running in his wool jacket! Well, Angela is um she’s hot to trot, guys.
Jenna [00:37:08] She sure is. She’d like a roll in the hay, please.
Angela [00:37:10] Yeah!
Jenna [00:37:11] But that’ll be $5. That’s not what she meant, Dwight.
Angela [00:37:15] Dwight. There was more to this Dwight and Angela runner. He continues to blow her off, and it really sets up nicely the Senator.
Jenna [00:37:22] Mmmm. Well, Jim’s very excited. He gives a big woo hoo when he gets off the phone.
Angela [00:37:27] He’s on a sales streak.
Jenna [00:37:29] Mm hmm. But when he goes to talk to Kevin about it, even though Kevin has done “Dunt da da da”, his commission is zero.
Angela [00:37:38] Angela’s going to say to Jim, You’ve met your commission cap. You don’t get any more commission for the rest of the month.
Jenna [00:37:44] I’m going to say something now that is going to come across to most listeners and most every viewer of The Office as a sort of like, welcome to the party, Jenna remark.
Angela [00:37:55] What?
Jenna [00:37:56] But I just noticed- I just noticed in this scene with Kevin, how Angela has taken up all the space on the top of the partition.
Angela [00:38:04] Yeah.
Jenna [00:38:05] Every item is hers.
Angela [00:38:06] Yeah.
Jenna [00:38:07] There’s nothing of Kevin’s up there.
Angela [00:38:10] No, it’s like the more things she puts up there, the less she has to see Kevin or something.
Jenna [00:38:14] Exactly. I noted two ceramic cats and two ceramic pelicans.
Angela [00:38:19] Yes.
Jenna [00:38:20] And then two stuffed cats.
Angela [00:38:22] Yes.
Jenna [00:38:22] And I know you talked about the one pelican before, but I didn’t realize there were two. But I also noticed something else.
Angela [00:38:30] What?
Jenna [00:38:30] Which is, why are we storing Sabre paper shredders on the file cabinets behind Kevin’s desk? Why is that where we’re keeping them? Don’t we have a whole warehouse? Why do we have four shredders on top of the file cabinets? What’s that about?
Angela [00:38:45] Sounds like a mom detective moment.
Jenna [00:38:47] Yeah. I don’t know. Sex!
Angela [00:38:51] Do I have your attention?
Jenna [00:38:53] Money!
Angela [00:38:53] Now I do. At 6 minutes, 58 seconds, during Michael’s yelling, did you notice the hay on Dwight shoulder? And hair!
Jenna [00:39:02] I did! And so did Sarah P from Fort Worth, Texas, who said, I love catching Dwight with hay in his hair and all over his suit when Michael and Ryan are in the bullpen looking for more investors.
Angela [00:39:14] So did I! Well, we are going to learn in this scene who has invested in Wuphf.
Jenna [00:39:19] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:39:19] Pam raises her hand. Stanley, Darryl, and I don’t know if you noticed, Andy kind of reluctantly raises his hand. He kind of sort of barely does. If you clocked that, let me know. There was a whole deleted scene where Michael really just manipulates Andy into participating. He didn’t want to. And Michael just wears him down.
Jenna [00:39:40] I did notice that from Andy, and I wondered what the hesitation was.
Angela [00:39:45] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:39:46] But I find this group of investors very curious. I feel like these are some of the smartest people in the office. You know what I mean? Like, who have invested their money in Ryan.
Angela [00:39:58] Well, I think because there is a good idea in there, but it’s just poorly executed, which Darryl says later. I want to talk about for a minute, though, this talking head that Stanley has. Everyone has different reasons for investing. Stanley wants a decommissioned light house.
Jenna [00:40:18] Yeah.
Angela [00:40:18] He wants to live at the top, and nobody will know he lives there. And then there’s a button that he can press, and it launches the lighthouse into space.
Jenna [00:40:26] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:40:27] He’s serious. He wants to live in a lighthouse that is also a spaceship.
Jenna [00:40:32] What?
Angela [00:40:34] Other people also share why they did or didn’t invest. In the shooting draft, Phyllis had a talking head explaining why she did not invest.
Jenna [00:40:43] Oh?
Angela [00:40:44] It read like this. Phyllis: I invested in Bob Vance. And per our prenup, I’m just five months away from vesting.
Jenna [00:40:54] Wow! Okay.
Angela [00:40:56] And then in deleted scenes, Darryl has a talking head of why he invested. Let’s hear that.
Darryl [00:41:02] Why would I invest with Ryan? It’s a really good idea. Aggregators are one of the few things that produce revenue online. Also, the Internet has a history of rewarding annoying white boys. All the ingredients are there.
Jenna [00:41:19] Well, maybe we should take a break, because when we come back…
Angela [00:41:22] Oscar is going to do the thing he does best; he’s going to piss on their parade.
Jenna [00:41:32] Well, we are back. Ryan is bragging that Washington University wants to buy Wuphf, but he’s not going to sell. Instead, he’s going to open a second round of investment to family and friends. And the first person that they’re going to try to hit up for money is Oscar.
Angela [00:41:46] Mistake.
Jenna [00:41:47] Mm hmm. Yeah. Now, Oscar says something really interesting. He says, Have you ever considered making wuphf, like, an emergency notification system?
Angela [00:41:57] So smart.
Jenna [00:41:58] So smart! What a great use of wuphf! ryan’s not interested.
Angela [00:42:02] He’s like, No, this is about fun. Oscar is going to press Ryan about where they’re at financially, and we find out that they can sustain their business for nine days. Nine days! And then they’re bankrupt.
Jenna [00:42:18] Michael is bummed because, what about the investor ski trip? He bought poles.
Angela [00:42:23] All the investors are going to meet in the conference room. Ryan presents a colorful investment chart, which Erin gives like side eye about. But was that printed there? That looks like something you you send out for. Her printer didn’t make that.
Jenna [00:42:37] It’s so elaborate. I know. I agree.
Angela [00:42:39] He’s just still so mad about it.
Jenna [00:42:40] I tried to zoom in on it to see what it said, but I couldn’t quite tell.
Angela [00:42:43] Well, guess what? Randy sent it to us.
Jenna [00:42:45] Oh, my gosh! What did it say?
Angela [00:42:47] Well, it’s the profit projections.
Jenna [00:42:50] Okay.
Angela [00:42:51] And it’s so ridiculous. It’s clearly all that Ryan is obsessed with. Lady, you got to see this. Look at this chart.
Jenna [00:42:59] Oh, my gosh. Okay. So according to this chart, it is November right now. They’re going to break even any minute. They’re going to become profitable before December. They’re going to be millionaires by January and billionaires by February. According to his projection, based on no actual numbers, though.
Angela [00:43:20] Yeah. Well, on the other side, if you look at the other side of the chart.
Jenna [00:43:22] Okay.
Angela [00:43:23] It looks like we have investors to the tune of 1500 and something dollars.
Jenna [00:43:28] So one thousand…
Angela [00:43:30] 580 bucks.
Jenna [00:43:30] Is going to turn into $1 billion in a matter of months.
Angela [00:43:33] Yeah, in a matter of months.
Jenna [00:43:34] Wow, this is quite the chart. Oh, I’m glad I said something. I really enjoyed that.
Angela [00:43:40] Well, Randy gave us more fun graphics for this episode. Of course, they were all made by Henry Saine, and I’m going to put them in stories.
Jenna [00:43:46] Oh, great. Well, I know that the condom wrappers were made by Henry Saine as well.
Angela [00:43:53] Henry Saine and Phil Shea were very busy this episode.
Jenna [00:43:56] They really were, because Ryan’s going to start throwing out merch.
Angela [00:44:01] 50,000 condoms.
Jenna [00:44:03] 50,000. It’s all about the merchandizing. And that is when Kelly is going to enter and be like, What are you guys talking about? Hold on a second. This was my idea!
Angela [00:44:14] Yeah.
Jenna [00:44:15] We had a fan question from Fiona L in Melbourne, Australia, who said, What actually happens when television writers come up with an invention like Wuphf? Who legally owns it? Who’s able to make money off of it? Does the network own it? The show? The writers who have their names on the episode? Or the exact writer who came up with the idea? Is it trademarked? Copyright protected? Wuphf is a great idea, and I’m surprised that doesn’t really exist. I thought these were all very good questions from Fiona.
Angela [00:44:45] Yeah.
Jenna [00:44:46] Here’s what I was able to find out. I believe it is owned by the whole network. It is not the property of the writer who came up with it. It is the intellectual property of NBCUniversal.
Angela [00:44:57] That’s right. That’s what I would have guessed.
Jenna [00:44:59] Here’s the other thing I learned. Whenever any website is mentioned on a television show, it has to be fictitious. It cannot be a real dot.com. So way back on Nepotism, when this idea first came up, they had to go through the process of purchasing the domain names wuphf.com, wuphf.net, and wuphf.org. They did it through GoDaddy and the whole thing cost under $100. Randy said that we were required to register the names for two years. There used to actually be a wuphf web site. Like, they they had it go live.
Angela [00:45:33] Yes! I reached out to Joya Balfour who was working at NBC.com at this time, and she shared with me some of the digital media they built for this episode. First of all, she thought it was really fun that Ryan set up a beta site first where he just gathered information, and that would have been set up after Nepotism.
Jenna [00:45:50] Okay.
Angela [00:45:51] And the idea was that Ryan was collecting as much data as he could on everyone before launching his official website a few months later.
Jenna [00:45:58] Sounds scammy. I don’t even know what a beta web site is. All sounding scammy to me.
Angela [00:46:03] There was also a component you get to build your wuphf dog avatar. So here are your choices: you can be a pit bull, a terrier, or a golden retriever. Your fur color can be black, brown, white or tan. Your tail length can be long, medium or short. Your ear style can be floppy or pointy. And the collar type can be leather or nylon. Joya said people actually went to the site and they tried to sign up.
Jenna [00:46:31] No.
Angela [00:46:32] Yes. And she said that NBC did not save their data because it was too much for the NBC privacy team to deal with.
Jenna [00:46:38] Oh, my gosh.
Angela [00:46:39] So when people entered their information, they just got a wuphf sound. That’s it.
Jenna [00:46:45] Aww.
Angela [00:46:46] On the website, it’s got several different features. When you click on them, they make a noise. Like the shop button, bio button.
Jenna [00:46:54] Oh. Are they all different forms of barking?
Angela [00:46:57] They’re all different forms of Ryan thanking you and trying to sound cool. I’m sorry. Ry. Ry thanking you.
Jenna [00:47:04] How much time did B.J. Novak spend on this very odd little subplot?
Angela [00:47:11] I don’t know.
Jenna [00:47:12] Recording his voice.
Angela [00:47:14] Joya went on to share that Ryan Howard also had a Twitter account that they created, along with Kelly Kapoor and Erin Hannon. And the three of them interacted for years.
Jenna [00:47:25] On real Twitter?
Angela [00:47:26] On real Twitter. She gave me their account names. All of these Twitter accounts were written by The Office writing staff, and the characters had full blown conversations between 2009 and 2012. Ryan, of course, tweeted about Wuphf.com. This was his tweet: “check out”- and it’s the check symbol, not the word. “Check out the new wuphf site wuphf.com. Sign up. Hopefully soon you’ll hear a wuphf next time I tweet at you. Wuphf!
Jenna [00:47:55] I just found the Ryan Howard Twitter page.
Angela [00:47:59] Uh huh?
Jenna [00:47:59] And yeah, he hasn’t posted since September 2012.
Angela [00:48:04] Yeah. Incidentally, Creed also had an official Twitter account, but he didn’t interact with the other people in the office. It was more like Creed thoughts, but on Twitter.
Jenna [00:48:15] I did not know any of that.
Angela [00:48:17] Thank you so much, Joya. I have a lot of fun stuff to share and stories this week. All of that website stuff.
Jenna [00:48:23] Well, we should go back to the Hay Place because a lot has been going on. For example, the hayride, which was in the back of a Dunder Mifflin paper truck.
Angela [00:48:33] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:48:34] Has returned, and we got a lot of mail about it.
Angela [00:48:38] You mean the truck with kids inside with the door shut?
Jenna [00:48:41] Mm hmm.
Angela [00:48:41] And they were all really rosy faced when they got out?
Jenna [00:48:44] Yes. We had a fan mail flurry. Anne P from Minnesota and many others noted that the little boy who gets out of the back of the hay truck.
Angela [00:48:55] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:48:55] He goes on to play Dwight’s nephew in The Farm.
Angela [00:48:59] Oh. What a good catch.
Jenna [00:49:02] Yeah.
Angela [00:49:02] Angela has given up waiting in the warehouse at their spot. She confronts Dwight and he blows her off again.
Jenna [00:49:09] Yeah. So she’s bummed out. She’s sitting by herself on some, I guess they were straw bales.
Angela [00:49:14] Yeah.
Jenna [00:49:15] A nice man is going to walk up.
Angela [00:49:18] Yeah. He’s going to say, Do you mind if we share this bale? And she says, Sure. There’s no church to sit on the hay, is there?
Jenna [00:49:26] Yes. And that man is a major guest star in the house.
Angela [00:49:32] Woo! Oh, no. Was he also in House?
Jenna [00:49:34] He was in house!This is Jack Coleman. And Lady, I got the most wonderful tweet from a fan of our podcast. The Filthy Ape sent us a link to every crossover between The Office and House.
Angela [00:49:55] Come on.
Jenna [00:49:56] There were 148 cast and crew members.
Angela [00:50:00] How happy are you right now?
Jenna [00:50:02] Worked on both The Office and House. And Jack Coleman is one of them.
Angela [00:50:08] I had just watched the show Heroes, and so when he got cast to play the senator, I was like, Oh, no, he’s a scary guy on Heroes.
Jenna [00:50:15] He plays a lot of villains. He was also a villain on Castle. But he is very well known for also playing the role of Steven Carrington in the 1980s primetime soap opera Dynasty.
Angela [00:50:28] Jack is a delight to hang around. He has so many good stories. And he’s so nice.
Jenna [00:50:33] Well, according to Wikipedia, he’s a sixth generation descendant of Benjamin Franklin.
Angela [00:50:37] Wha?
Jenna [00:50:38] Mm hmm. It’s true.
Angela [00:50:40] It’s on Wikipedia.
Jenna [00:50:42] But then another guest star alert. The little boy who was with the senator was played by Griffin Gluck. And we got a fan catch from Jessica S from Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada, who said, I spotted Griffin Gluck, who went on to find success in many TV series and movies, including Tall Girl with Angela Kinsey!
Angela [00:51:05] Yes! So listen to this. Tall Girl is so much fun. You know, it’s a movie I did for Netflix. I play a dorky mom. Steve Zahn and I are like the dorky parents. Our daughter’s very tall, but there is this sweet boy that has a crush on her in the movie played by Griffin Gluck. The character’s name is Jack Dunkleman. Griffin is so good in this movie. And in the first movie we didn’t really have any scenes together, but we crossed paths just once and we were hanging out and talking and he said, Um, we’ve actually met before. And I was like, When? And he said, Well, it’s just a brief moment. You probably don’t remember, but I was the senator’s son in Hay Place. And I was like, Oh my God! I totally remember they gave him this huge candied apple that he had to try to eat. It was, like, massive. And I was like, I cannot believe, Griffin, that you were in Hay Place. But his performance is so good in Tall Girl and Tall Girl 2, if you guys haven’t seen it.
Jenna [00:52:05] Well, I’m sure he must have looked so different. I mean, he had grown.
Angela [00:52:08] Yes. I mean, yes, It had been so long. Like, I feel old, you know what I mean? I was like, oh, right. But he’s a great actor.
Jenna [00:52:18] Now, you said something just now, Angela, where you said he played the senator’s son.
Angela [00:52:22] Yes.
Jenna [00:52:23] Fan mail flurry. Lots of people want to know. Hey. What happened to the senator’s son?
Angela [00:52:31] Guess what? I would say this every year on the show!
Jenna [00:52:35] Because later there’s no son.
Angela [00:52:40] Never.
Jenna [00:52:41] I think I’ve solved that mystery.
Angela [00:52:43] Well, I had my own character idea that I would talk to the writers about, because it was a joke between me and the writers. At one point we had a new writer that came on at the end of the series, and I’m going blank like on who all was in this conversation. But I remember them saying something about Angela and the senator having a baby. And I was like, well, you know, he’s already a dad? And one of the new writers was like, what? And I’m like, yes! He had a son!
Jenna [00:53:09] Evan T from Bremerton, Washington, thinks he didn’t have a son.
Angela [00:53:13] Oh, Evan, this is very different than my back story that I created.
Jenna [00:53:18] Evan says, If you watch the scene, the senator never says the boy is his son. It could be his nephew. It could be child of a friend. Let’s take a listen.
The Senator [00:53:32] Do you mind if we share this bale?
Angela Martin [00:53:34] Sure.
The Senator [00:53:35] There’s no charge to sit on the hay, is there?
Angela Martin [00:53:38] Probably.
The Senator [00:53:40] Wouldn’t you think the $10 to build your own broom would include the hay and not just the instructions? I mean, I’m starting to think this guy is just trying to make money off the holiday.
Angela Martin [00:53:49] Yeah. Instead of Hay Place it should be Pay Place.
The Senator [00:53:52] (LAUGHS).
Angela Martin [00:53:52] Don’t laugh at me.
The Senator [00:53:53] No, no, no. I wasn’t. I was just laughing at your joke.
Angela Martin [00:53:57] Oh.
The Senator [00:54:00] Pay Place.
Angela Martin [00:54:01] Yeah. So we can celebrate Thanksgiving me your money day.
The Senator [00:54:06] That’s humorous.
Angela Martin [00:54:07] Thank you.
Jenna [00:54:09] That’s it.
Angela [00:54:10] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:54:11] Doesn’t say. Can my son and I have a seat?
Angela [00:54:13] Right. No, you’re right, Evan. My theory that I used to say was, as soon as the senator and Angela got married, she sent him away.
Angela [00:54:22] Like to military school or something?.
Angela [00:54:23] Yeah, like some kind of boarding school.
Jenna [00:54:26] Well, if it was his son, I believe that’s exactly what happened. But I was intrigued by Evan’s theory.
Angela [00:54:33] Evan, we’ll have to keep clocking that as the episodes progress with the senator.
Jenna [00:54:36] We’ve all just made an assumption.
Angela [00:54:40] We should also point out, before we leave Hay Place, that Kevin has just entered the maze.
Jenna [00:54:45] Yeah.
Angela [00:54:46] It’s not going to go well.
Jenna [00:54:47] It’s not. We have some malaise in the break room.
Angela [00:54:51] Malaise in the break room? I love it.
Jenna [00:54:55] Yeah. Michael is sorting the trash. And Pam is going to have to have, like, an intervention, I guess.
Angela [00:55:03] She’s doing the Pam thing that Pam does with Michael, where she’s the voice of reason and sort of holds up a mirror to what’s really happening. And that’s usually the only time he can see it.
Jenna [00:55:15] And he’s going to say, you may be right. I may be crazy.
Angela [00:55:19] About Ryan.
Jenna [00:55:20] Yeah. Which means Pam knows he wants to break into song.
Angela [00:55:25] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:55:26] Randy said that we had to pay $25,000.
Angela [00:55:31] Just for that little moment?
Jenna [00:55:33] For Steve to sing that one line of the Billy Joel song.
Angela [00:55:36] Whoa!
Jenna [00:55:38] Yeah.
Angela [00:55:38] What if we sang the whole song?
Jenna [00:55:41] I don’t know.
Angela [00:55:42] Is it, like, per line?
Jenna [00:55:43] That’s a good question. I’ll get to the bottom of that.
Angela [00:55:47] After this talk with Pam, Michael is going to go find Ryan in his closet office. This scene broke my heart. Before we discuss it, at 15 minutes, 30 seconds, when Michael opens the door, did you see what was on Ryan’s screen?
Jenna [00:56:01] Some sort of game.
Angela [00:56:02] Like a baseball game. And he quickly changes it to wuphf.com.
Jenna [00:56:06] But it was like a video game.
Angela [00:56:08] Yeah, but he quickly changes it to look like he’s busy.
Jenna [00:56:11] Exactly. Yeah. It’s really sad because it’s very clear that Ryan does not have Michael’s best interests at heart.
Angela [00:56:18] No. And he wants Michael to take out a second mortgage on his condo. And Ryan says, we’re going to do so much together. We’re going to have trips and dinners. And Michael’s like, Well, we’ve never even had a dinner. How about tonight? And Ryan’s like, Yeah, I’m busy.
Jenna [00:56:31] Yeah. Well, Darryl is going to be less subtle.
Angela [00:56:35] Mm hmm.
Jenna [00:56:36] Darryl is going to literally.
Angela [00:56:39] Yank him.
Jenna [00:56:40] Remove. Yeah.
Angela [00:56:40] By his shirt.
Jenna [00:56:42] And everyone is going to really put the pressure on. They’re in the kitchen and they’re all saying they want to sell. Except Michael still doesn’t want to sell.
Angela [00:56:52] He still gets Ryan’s back.
Jenna [00:56:54] By the way, something we forgot to mention was why Washington University wants to buy Wuphf.
Angela [00:57:01] Oh, well, this is pretty important. They realize it’s just for the domain name. It’s the Washington University Public Health Fund.
Jenna [00:57:08] Yeah, and that should really show you how much this business is suffering. That just someone wanting to buy the domain name back is enough to get out.
Angela [00:57:19] Right. Well, while this is going on, Jim has decided to spend the rest of his day manipulating the audiobook of Jo Bennett’s book.
Jenna [00:57:29] Yes. Yes. Basically pranking Gabe.
Angela [00:57:33] Yeah.
Jenna [00:57:34] So he manipulates this message that sounds like Jo telling Gabe that she’s going to read her audio book to him and he has to follow along to make sure she doesn’t make any mistakes.
Angela [00:57:47] Do you know what I thought Jim was going to do?
Jenna [00:57:49] What?
Angela [00:57:50] I thought he was going to edit the audio book to say, Let Jim have his commissions back.
Jenna [00:57:57] Oh. That would have been good. We did have a fam catch from Luisa L in Massachusetts who said, Wouldn’t Jim’s extension number have come up and not Jo’s when like, quote, unquote, Jo calls Gabe?
Angela [00:58:14] So busted.
Jenna [00:58:15] I know! Gabe was not paying attention.
Angela [00:58:18] Dwight is now going to crown himself the Hay King.
Jenna [00:58:22] Yes.
Angela [00:58:23] It’s something he’s always wanted. For years, he was looked over. I guess Mose kept getting it. He’s super happy about it. And there was a deleted scene between Angela and Dwight that I think was the nail in the coffin for her to really warm up to the senator.
Jenna [00:58:38] Oh!
Angela [00:58:39] Let’s hear it.
Angela Martin [00:58:40] Dwight. It’s time.
Nate [00:58:42] I’m sorry. Women aren’t allowed to address the Hay King directly.
Angela Martin [00:58:45] Go away.
Dwight [00:58:46] It’s okay.
Angela Martin [00:58:49] I’ve been waiting for you all day.
Dwight [00:58:51] What are you talking about? Right. The thing. Okay, just get yourself ready and cleaned up and I’ll meet you there when this winds down. Begone, woman!
Angela [00:59:00] Yeah. Begone, woman. And while he says that, he’s gnawing on a giant like turkey leg and wearing a fake crown made of straw.
Jenna [00:59:09] Well, I believe that was meant to be a goat leg. Because, remember, the petting zoo.
Angela [00:59:15] Oh. Was roasting goats.
Jenna [00:59:17] Was closed right before the goat roast.
Angela [00:59:19] Yeah.
Jenna [00:59:20] Alysia Raycroft, our costume designer, made the whole Hay King outfit. It’s really great. She sent me some of the sketches when she was sketching it out. It’s pretty perfect. Clearly, though, Dwight was always meant to win because that crown was never going on a child’s head.
Angela [00:59:36] No. Cuz Rainn has a huge head in real life.
Jenna [00:59:39] And it fit him perfectly.
Angela [00:59:40] Kevin is still stuck in the maze. Poor Brian. Poor Brian this day, running around 90 degrees, full sun.
Jenna [00:59:50] What we do for our craft.
Angela [00:59:51] I know.
Jenna [00:59:52] Well, you know, in the kitchen, Michael was not going to sell. He said he believed in Ryan, that he would give Ryan the full nine days to turn Wuphf around. And then they would sell. It’s kind of cool. He says, you know, the world sends people your way. Sometimes you don’t know why, but he always sticks with his people. Basically. I’m summing up. And I. I actually thought it was it was very Michael. And he goes through and he kind of likens everybody to a playing card.
Angela [01:00:23] He’s the Joker.
Jenna [01:00:25] Yes. And it’s true that Ryan is a 2oo. But sometimes 2’s can be wild.
Angela [01:00:31] Yeah. Michael really doesn’t give up on people.
Jenna [01:00:36] But Ryan’s going to give up on wuphf.
Angela [01:00:38] Thank God.
Jenna [01:00:39] He spent about 2 hours in his closet. And the episode ends with Michael getting a final wuphf.
Angela [01:00:45] Yes. It said Wuphf from Ryan Howard. Decided to sell company. Thanks, bro. Hell of a ride. This was like a few days together. And one last thing we have to address is that the Hay King goes looking for Angela.
Jenna [01:01:03] Mm hmm.
Angela [01:01:03] And taped to the warehouse door where they hook up is a voided contract. And the punch card.
Jenna [01:01:11] And as Angela is leaving, the senator asks, If I were to call Dunder Mifflin and ask for Angela Martin, would I get through to you?
Angela [01:01:20] And she says yes. And if I were to call your home and ask for your wife, would I get her?
Jenna [01:01:26] And he says, no. My wife died.
Angela [01:01:29] He’s a widower.
Jenna [01:01:30] Mm hmm.
Angela [01:01:31] We get a tiny smile from Angela on that one.
Jenna [01:01:34] And that, my friends, was wuphf.com!
Angela [01:01:38] Thank you so much for sending in your questions. Thank you so much to Aaron Shure for stopping by and letting us chat his ear off.
Jenna [01:01:44] Thank you to Randy Cordray for all your behind the scenes info. And Aynsley, thanks for that breakdown on hay versus straw.
Angela [01:01:50] All right, you guys have a great one. From two Office Ladies, we wish you the best.
Jenna [01:01:55] See you soon! Thank you for listening to Office Ladies. Office Ladies is produced by Earwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Our show is executive produced by Codi Fischer. Our producer is Cassi Jerkins. Our sound engineer is Sam Kieffer. And our associate producer is Aynsley Bubbico.
Angela [01:02:18] Our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton. For Ad free versions of Office Ladies, go to StitcherPremium.com. For a free one month trial of Stitcher Premium, use code: office.
Recent EpisodesSee All
March 21, 2023
EP. 160 — An Interview with Will Ferrell
Guest Will Ferrell
This week we’re interviewing Will Ferrell! Will chats with the ladies about what it was like to guest star on “The Office” as Deangelo Vickers during the transition of Steve Carell leaving the show.
March 14, 2023
EP. 159 — The Inner Circle
This week we’re breaking down “The Inner Circle.” Deangelo Vickers has created an exclusive inner circle at the office that is composed only of men and it pisses off the women.
March 7, 2023
EP. 158 — Interview with Steve Carell
Guest Steve Carell
This week we’re interviewing Steve Carell! Steve talks about what it was like to be on “The Office,” play Michael Scott and everyone reminisces over some favorite Michael moments.