Hi, my name is Angela Kinsey, and I feel Zippi about being Conan O'Brien's friend.
Hi, my name is Jenna Fischer and I feel super duper excited about being Conan O'Brien. Sprent.
Hello and welcome to Conan O'Brien, needs a friend, I am your host, Conan O'Brien, although you can call me just Conan.
You know, I'm getting very self-conscious about the intros because I've been listening. I never listen to a lot of other podcasts and now I'm listening to other podcasts.
And they're little more formal when they open the show. And I'm realize that I'm not. And I think that's why I just started so formally, which is not my way. Usually I don't think about it at all and that's a better way to go.
I've noticed in the first line you go formal right out of the gate and then immediately lose it. The next line you speak, I was going to say I agree.
I think you start off very like, hello, this is Conan O'Brien needs friend Conan O'Brien.
It's like you have a voice that you do and then you quickly snap out of it. Yes. Yes. Because I get this idea in my head when I hear other people do podcasts, they start with this kind of authority. And I feel like I shouldn't. I don't have that. I don't know. Does that does that make sense? Yeah.
You go from like 70s radio DJ to basement podcasts. Well, because I.
I forget that I'm what it is we're doing at the beginning. Matt, when you say, OK, Conan, get us started, you can go now three to one. It's very natural. That's that's not a natural place to start from.
So I go, hello and welcome to Conan O'Brien. And I'm like, welcome to PBS NewsHour, talking about the ancient anchors. They really have their own calendar, you know, and but we're not. That's not us. No, I know it's not us. But when we start and I'm on my own for about, I would say it only lasts for about eight seconds, but that's what I do. Then I realize I'm just with you knuckleheads and what are we doing?
And I really I remember my own absurdity as a human being. And then the next thing you know, we're just talking like this and I'm saying Kakeru and whatever, whatever else.
But I realize just now, I don't know why, but this is the first time I realized that I do get into my head when I do an introduction sometimes.
Yeah, you do it so formally that it makes me feel like we are way more important than I know. You know, trust me, we're not.
I know it goes like I just, you know, I need it every time. Every time you have a serious voice, it makes me laugh.
Yeah. Do you notice that Sonia and I share a look on the Zoome every time. Look, checking in with each other and he's doing it again. Hello and welcome.
But so it should just be more like, hey, they're going into Brian, that kind of thing. Well, that's a little too dismissive. I just be you. Well see, no, it's this is man this you can't get in your you can't get in your head, you know, you just can't get in your head. And now what I've heard is that's too formal and that's too informal. OK, now I'm in my head even further than I was when we started.
Yeah. You know, let's try a couple of really right now a couple of just give me a cup. Just point to me, say go or action and I'll give you let's do like three or four in a row and see if we can find it. Sounds good. Three, two, one, go. It's Kirkbride needs a friend.
I'm sure that's another one. Quickly, quickly. Three, two, one, go.
Have we got a show for you quickly. Again, three to one go. Hi it's Koenen. You know me and the same guy you've been chillin with since nineteen ninety three. That's pretty good. I haven't changed. I still the guy you didn't like then and you grew slowly to like last year. How about that. That's not bad but I think you should just open with a Kakeru Coccaro.
Welcome to Conan O'Brien. Yeah, or I mean, that's the other thing, too, is we're not we should have a morning zoo energy where you and Seona are making a lot of noise and you have what, coocoo?
And I'm like, all right, you guys, knuckleheads quiet down. We got a lot of traffic on the one on one freeway. And today we're talking to a sex therapist. I was I'm looking through the glass right now. She's brought nine dildos. Oh, my God. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. We're getting a call right now. It's it's BS, man.
BS Man's out and he's bothering women on Ventura Boulevard. What's up BS man whose father is from ladies. Yeah. Biz man. Go man. Go. I must get the sex therapist in here. That's the kind of show we need to be doing. Well, yeah, somewhere near that. That's pretty good. No, we're all right.
Hello and welcome to Conan O'Brien. Needs a friend because I'm excited about our guests today. My guests starred as Pam Beasley and Angela Martin on the Emmy Award winning NBC series The Office. Now they host their own smash hit This Thing's Huge Podcast Office Ladies, which was named this year's Podcast of the Year at the I Heart Radio Awards. They're also working on a book office, BFX Tales of the Office, from two best friends who were there, which will be released next year.
Very excited to talk to them.
Jenna Fisher and Angela Kinsey, welcome. I am so happy that both of you agreed to come on the podcast, I'm thrilled, thrilled to have you here. And, you know, this is your chance to ask me questions, and that's all I'm going to do.
Are we in a wait? Are we interviewing you? I'm so excited. I'm trusting that you stayed up all night coming up with questions and go, no, thank you for being here. Thank you very much. I have questions for you both.
Normally, it's weird because you do your podcast in the same studio where I do my podcast and pre covid. I used to see you guys there and it was kind of nice. And we had a little bit of that podcast energy. We were podcast pals over at Earhole Studios.
Yeah. We had like in the hallway camaraderie of like, hey, in you walk by tall person walking and that's all you got is tall person.
Why not. The air crackled with a raw sensuality. What's wrong with you?
You should write like Lady Romance novels by the ones by the register at the grocery store.
I do. I do. Under an assumed name and they don't sell. You got to put them on Netflix. Yeah I will. I'll get, I'll get a deal. But now it's nice. But now we're doing this for now over Zoom. So tell me where you guys are like Jenah.
Where are you right now. I am in my closet.
Yeah. I was going to say, yeah, this is where you you tend to podcast from your closet.
This is the only quiet place in my house because it's, you know, a tiny room within a larger room.
So there's many doors that I can shut to my whole family who is home with me all the time.
Janet, did you just explain to me what a closet is if you're not familiar? I have never. I know within a larger space, I live in a giant mansion and the tiny space inside a larger space is what we call my living room right now.
We have so much to talk about.
First of all, I just want to say that the office is the show that is constantly playing in my house because my daughter love the office. And then my son discovered it and decided watching all of the episodes once isn't enough. He needs to watch all of them five times. And I just think the fact that you're doing this podcast was a genius idea.
Well, you know, we hadn't seen a lot of the episodes since they aired. So we've been watching the show and it's really good.
Yeah, it holds up and holds up. If you just if you're curious, you louse up from us. It's really quite good.
I got to say, I watched it all the first time. Not a fan, you know, really just barely down on the producing of it. Not I'm not a Greg Daniels fan and I really thought the lighting was off and no, I loved it first time around. And then what I love about the show particularly is that it's evergreen comedy.
Well, you know, there was something that came up on an episode. Angela, do you remember when there was that whole conversation where Kelly is trying to explain how a Netflix queue works? And we had got a lot of fan mail from people. They're like, what is a Netflix queue? What is she talking about? They weren't familiar with because, you know, it's a whole generation, new generation people who watch it now. They were not familiar with what Netflix used to be, which was a company that sent you individual DVDs of things in the mail, in the mail and mail.
It's one of those things that pops up. It's like when you're watching a movie and someone gets a call and they take out a cell phone and immediately you're taken out of the movie because the cell phone is the size of like an industrial cinder block or it's a flip phone.
And it could be the most brilliant piece of acting, unlike what flip phone?
I don't think so. Yeah, exactly. Bu and I walk out and it turns out that at one like nine Oscars. So yeah you're right, we're all trapped in those moments. I think one day I don't know how it came up, but I remembered shooting something. The second time I did the Emmys I shot a cold open where I came in through the ceiling of the office. And so I remembered having that experience of going over to your set, crashing through the ceiling onto Dwight's desk and having all these interactions with you guys.
And it came out really well. I was really happy with it. So I told my kids that I dropped through the ceiling and fell into the world of the office and that it was all shot just like the office. And they acted like I had been a member of the Beatles for a year, you know what I mean?
Like, it was just it blew their minds to the point that I was insulted.
Like, come on, I have a picture of you. We both have photos of the day you came to set. If you want us to text it to your kids and I mean not directly to your children, I'm not going to text your children.
But I swear to you, I don't see any reason why I shouldn't give my children's phone numbers now and leave it in the podcast. So I'll do that now. Here we go. My son, no, I remember being first of all, it was it was really fun. And this is just for office fans listening. I was stunned at the neighborhood.
It's a really a testament to the production of this show I just was picturing. I'm so used to it being Dunder Mifflin, being in this part of Pennsylvania and it being snowy and cold a bunch at the time. And I remember driving to this. Well, I'll just say it the most industrial part of Los Angeles you can imagine. And I cannot impress enough on people listening right now. You'd never in a million years believe that you could shoot anything outside this place and make it look like the East Coast.
I think in one building nearby, they were making airplane parts and in another building nearby, they were making pornography. That's what I think that's what was happening. Right.
And then there's a building where they cremate people. What are those called, again? A crematorium. Those are. Thank you, Terry.
Yeah, that could go past that every day. You can add a tourism to anything, you know, comes the rumor that happens.
Oh, so I'm in my closet atrium right now. Yes. Ah, yes. And I'm in my masturbatory home. So it's. Oh, did I go too far. Seona went yes. Yes. Always apologize.
No, it's very industrial. There's a gunnery we were across from like a junkyard and people would come and get in fights because their car had been towed and there was like a junkyard dog that we're really worried about. Gena, remember, we're like we think it needs water, but we're scared of it.
We have an episode coming up, chair model, where there's a line where Pam says, we walked past a junkyard dog eating some chicken today. And that was that line was created because that happened when when we walked to work.
It's incredible because I can tell from the camera angle, whenever you're looking out the window and someone's in the office and looking down at maybe Dwight's having some interaction with the parking lot or something's happening in the parking lot, you can you can tell that it's this one shot that you can get that's still believable. If you add a little bit of fake snow and everyone's acting a little chilly, it looks like it's potentially western Pennsylvania, but that's about it. If you widened out a little bit, you would see that you're in an incredibly.
Yeah, I can't say it enough. I was scared a car picked me up to take me to this shoot and it took me it was like, you're going to the side of the office. And I thought, well, this will be cool. And I thought I was going to get murdered. I'm looking out the window and thinking, I'm not getting out of the car.
Get out of the car.
This is where they shoot the office. This is awful.
If you look in the parking lot of Dunder Mifflin, there's a dense, dense hedge around the parking lot because if you saw the other side, you would be like, lock it up, get out of here. There's a lot to talk about here.
First of all, Angela, you and I have a very special connection. Yes. Having been married briefly, it was a two hour divorce. Are we going to get into it? It was a two hour marriage and an incredibly nasty divorce.
I was happy. I don't know why you were so upset. I know you were an intern on my show. And there's actually an office connection because you were an intern. John Krasinski was an intern on my show. Who else was Mindy? Mindy Kaling was an intern on my show. Did we have any personal interactions?
We did. I got in an elevator with you one time and I. I was told basically not to talk to you, which I know you talked about when Kenan was on, like they were like, don't really chat him up. And I didn't.
And I never said that. I never told anyone that. They used to tell people, look, he's the star of the show, so don't talk to him and don't make eye contact. And I found out later on I just thought I had an odor. I, I desperately wanted to chat everybody up.
Well, you were really nice. You said, how's it going today? And I was so surprised that you spoke to me. I think I really fumbled it. I said something like, I'm having a pleasure. I don't know what I said. This is really awkward. I remember that.
That's what we that's when we moved you out very quickly. And then and then I became Max Weinberg's intern. Right. And so then I was in the studio a lot, which was so fun. It just was electric every night. I loved every minute of getting to be in the studio. Not so much so fun getting everyone coffee. But, you know, that's part of being an intern. Yeah.
When I first got started out and started in SHOWBIZ's out in L.A., Greg Daniels, he and I got jobs working at the first Comic Relief, I think it was in nineteen eighty six and and we were each assigned a celebrity. He got Dennis Miller and I was assigned Estelle Getty from the. Golden Girls and my job was she kept sending me out to get coffee and then to get Rolaids and then to get and I was like, yes, Miss Ghadi asked Miss Scatty and I would run around and I wanted I mean, not no, not Estelle Getty.
She was wonderful. But I remember there were so many legends there. And I, I just I don't know. That was not the person I would have chosen myself.
You know, my job was to ask the band if they wanted any, like snacks or food or anything, and then I'd go get their food. That's one of the things when the band. And do you remember when Rusted Root was their Koenen?
We've done like three thousand episodes. I said, no, I don't. So they got a nickname pretty quickly. I don't know who started it. I didn't, I, I didn't label them this, but when you open the door there was an odor and they were labeled stinky root and that's what whenever they would come it'd be like stinky root. And the interns love the joke. OK, it's not playing as well here.
We can add laughs later, OK? We can't we can't afford interns. Really likes that. Was it was it, was it a marijuana scent or was it body odor.
I think it was body odor. Yeah. Yeah.
That's, that was common among certain musicians who decided that their, their own essential oils helped with them with their creativity. Michael Stipe, I'll just put it out there.
Are you guys Guijin female. All know he didn't believe in it. He didn't believe in it. And so he would come on the show and I would see it was it was wow. It was amazing. It was it was as if he had been Halifax out of being lost in the woods for like nine weeks and dropped into the couch next to us. Wonderful man, amazing musician. And he would probably tell you himself. Yeah, man. Bathing, not my thing.
Can I can I take us on just a quick tangent, because it's on my mind, please. It's just something I want to get off my chest, which is that I feel like this job of asking interns to get coffee for people or just any sort of I worked in admin for a long time.
I had to make a lot of coffees, feel like you're really setting setting the person up to fail. You know, unless it's like black coffee, I can't sip it and see if I got the right ratio of milk and sugar.
It's something I've been wanting to say for a long time. And this felt like this.
And this is your moment to advocate for interns?
Jenna, I've never disagreed with anyone more about anything else of shitty coffee.
Have you gotten from an intern? A lot. Probably a lot.
First of all, I have a system. The intern brings it to Sona, so it gives it to me and then I lose my shit on Sona. Right, Sonus.
That's exactly what happened. I know when you were saying interns, I was like and assistant. No, no, no.
So it's just what I set up a system a long time ago. His son and I are secretly we're good friends, we're good pals. But I've decided I'll just I'll save all my rage for Sona. And then when I see the intern, I'm like, great job. And if you ever see them saying so soon sees this horrible monster, this Stalin esque figure of of rage and just arbitrary injustice.
And then what they see is the person they want to see. But also, let's attack another issue. I can't go get my own coffee, OK?
I know you're busy. Oh, that he's not a bachelor. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about people. If I went outside into the world, people would just lose their shit.
You know what I'm saying? Yes, I hear you on that. But I'm saying. And they're like hot, you can knock and pour a cup of. No, I can't, I'm too important. No, you're absolutely right to get back to it. I went on a long rant. But, Jenna, you're right.
This is what I'm saying. I've been on the giving end of the coffee. I've been on the receiving end of the coffee. And I just think maybe there's a tiny part of world peace that could be achieved if we all just got our own coffee.
OK, I am going to pretend to agree to this now on the podcast. Are you secretly texting someone to get you coffee?
Right now, I'm not even sure I can just listen is looking at my face and she can see.
Well, actually, I don't if I have the time to go get it, I would rather get it myself because I'm I am finicky about how much the ratio. I get finicky about the ratio. And when you ask for could I get milk or all the milk in my coffee and it comes back and it's it's slightly off black, it's mostly black. But basically what they did is just show the cup of coffee to a cow. But they didn't, they didn't touch.
Yeah. That's supposed to be the amount of milk that you get.
There were so many things I thought we would talk about today. I did not see this one coming. I'm just going to tell you.
Can I tell you something? I have a complicated map.
I've written out of the conversation, and it's like a beautiful mind over there. What's happening?
Yeah, I you think this is all an accident and this is just an unprepared fool, blithering and blathering. But no, I had every intention of getting to coffee and I knew Jenny's passion. You knew just how to trigger me. I triggered you in just the right way. You know, I. I think that obviously there's terrific writing on the office, but I think one of the great testaments to that show and why it works so well is I can tell that the cast, all of you are so naturally funny.
And one of the genius things about the office, and I've known this for a long time, is that you were all encouraged to be part of the creative process.
There's a lot of shows where they say the writers are over there, they're chiseling on the tablet, and then the tablet will come down from the mountain and you have to treat that like gospel. And on your show, there is you can tell you all have different chemistries, I think. And one of the reasons why the show is so enduring, that was all Greg.
And to Greg, any idea is a good idea. It doesn't matter where it comes from. And he he wanted to hear what everybody thought. You know, in doing the podcast, we found out this great piece of trivia that Dwight's obsession with Battlestar Galactica that came from a pitch from our editor Dave Rodgers when he was meeting with Greg. And Greg ran with that. And we would go sit on our editor's couches and we'd be up in the writers room.
And I've done a lot of shows since and I never even met the editor.
I don't know their name, but I still trade emails with with Dave and Dean and Claire, who edited our show. And it just goes across all departments.
I mean, Angela, I'm one of our grips built Angela a little like Cat Shack for her apartment because Delpit built me a litter box for my cat.
We had this idea called the Caddyshack V, a litter box that hangs off your window if you live in an apartment. And Del and I sketched it out and he built it. But I feel like Greg started this whole environment of this creative partnership and everybody got to know each other in a way I've never had on any other show. And Greg has this curious mind, you know, and he he really chats up everybody about an idea and then he brings all of that to the page.
And it just trickled down, I feel like, to the whole show.
I know that you you worked briefly as a receptionist over over eight years. I worked in administrative assistant work. Yeah. I had many jobs. I was a temp for many, many years. But then I also, you know, had some full time jobs, all while I was a struggling actress. That was my gig. You know, I was never a waitress. I didn't work in food service, really. I did the admin route. I had taken a typing class in high school and I was a really, really good typist.
And so I kind of funneled that into, you know, how I made my dough.
Yeah, I briefly this is when I was working with Greg. We were between jobs.
He got a gig as preparing kids for the SAT and I got a job as a temp at Wilson's House of Suede and Leather just because and they kept hiring me because I was a really fast typist.
I sat there outside the office of this. It sounds like a porn script, but this very attractive woman who would walk in wearing like red cowboy boots would walk in. And I was her young male assistant only.
She, you know, she, I don't think ever saw me that way.
Did you see her that way, Conan? I may have seen her that way, but I was twenty two and I didn't hit puberty till I was thirty two. So there was nothing I. There is nothing I could do that, but I I remember it all being, oh, I'm a good typist. And that opens up some doors for you or did back in the day. I don't know that it would anymore.
Well, yeah. I mean, also back in the day, you know, accuracy was a big part of typing.
And something you should know about Jenna is that she brings up quite a bit her accuracy level.
It's very important to her because it's it's you know, anyone can type garbage quickly by typing actual words is where it's. OK, I know. I know. I'm very proud of you.
I'm glad I finally know where it's at.
I didn't know where it was that that's where it's at.
That's accurate. Typing. That's right. Wow. Well, you know, it's funny because, I mean, this is the the mind blowing thing. And this is what I, I really think people need to know. You sat at a reception desk for eight years in the real world and then you played a person who did that on TV. Yeah. If they had to pick up image of receptionist on TV, I think it's you that's it breaks my brain.
It's it's super weird. It's like I was doing this sort of secret act or prep, but I didn't know it. But I really what. Yeah, I truly was a young girl, an artist sitting behind a reception desk wishing for something more out of her life. And then I was cast as a girl sitting behind a reception desk, wishing to be an artist who wanted more out of her life.
And I brought so much of that yearning and struggle to the character of Pam because I had lived it. That blows my mind. I mean, even I mean, I know it. But when you say it out loud, again, it's just like very matrix, you know, I'm like, oh, my God, what's real? I worked at one dentist and I volunteered to be on the party planning committee for extra money for their holiday Christmas party.
And the woman that ran the party planning committee was the manager that that. And she took it super seriously. And she actually yelled at me about how I tied a bow on a banister. And so that was just crazy to me. When we first did those party planning committee scenes that I had been down that road, I had done that. But then I was I was the snarky lady now.
And I want to talk about that for a second, because your look of disdain, Angela, is one of the best I've seen in comedy, your just ability to have this withering look of disdain. And I'm wondering if playing that for so long and so well, has that influenced how people treat you when you walk in the world?
Always everywhere I go, I'm really chatty. I want to talk to you. I want to know what you got in the seasonal aisle. Oh, my goodness. Fourth of July. Where'd you get that candle with the flag on it? That's so great. And I, I say those things and people are like, well, they they just don't know what to do with me when they meet me.
Do you have situations ever where people assume that maybe you're not a nice person or that you're dower because they associate you with that character?
Oh, yeah. And you know, it doesn't help. Is that my resting face now is just this.
It's OK. We're run a podcast, right? Oh, right, right. I have my resting face. Just looks like Angela Martin is really pissed off, but that's my resting face.
And so I've had people online like if I'm, you know, posting something, they'll say, oh, my gosh, you have resting Angela Martin face is what they call it.
That's just my case. I was at a wedding in Las Vegas having a great time years ago. And I got in the elevator and the elevator was like the the the mirror, you know, the mirror. But basically elevator. And a older man patted me on the shoulder and he said, it's going to be OK.
I'm talking about I'm having the best day. And I look at my face was like, Angela Martin face, you're trapped.
I have been in a lot of encounters with Rainn Wilson when he has been recognized by people and he has it made because he can be having lunch and someone will come up to the table and be like, oh, my God, oh, my God.
Are you are you Rainn Wilson? Are you Dwight from the office? And he'll say, yes, go away. And people are like, oh yeah, yeah. Like they had like a Dwight encounter. Yeah. But if someone came up to me at dinner and they were like, oh my gosh, are you Jenna Fischer, Pam Beasley from the office? And I said, yes, go away. They be like, no, she is just awful.
Yeah. So so I really envy, like Rheins sort of like character. Right. Thing that he's writing because he can just be super grumpy and snarky and people are thrilled because they feel like they met Dwight.
Yes. It's why you want to be Sean Penn, because if someone comes up to you and says, Hey, Mr. Penn, can I have your autograph? And you punch them, they're like, yes, you got punched by Sean Penn. He gave me the old Sean Penn treatment. You know how classic I'm going to autograph my fractured face.
Jenna and I have been in places together and they want a photo with Jenna and they want her smile and be Pam. And then they pivot to me and I smile for the picture and they say, actually, could you do your Angel Martin face?
So there's all these photos of Jenna smiling and I'm grumpy right next to her with the fan.
Well, this is not so bad. It takes more energy to smile and ages you faster. So, you know. True. Yeah. Oh, yeah, definitely true.
I just made that. Sorry, Jenna, I'm set. Jenna, you're going to end very, very quickly. It hasn't happened yet, but very soon all that smiling for people is going to.
It's what I feel bad for you. You connected with each other right away on the show. Describe that situation.
Well, a lot of it has to do with our desks. The reception desk for me, for example, I was just all by myself sort of and then a little island. And Steve Carroll's office was also kind of an island. And he and I would actually commiserate about how lonely our desks were. But everybody else had a pod. Everybody else had a little clump of people that they could become friends with from the beginning. But besides, no one, the closest person to me was Angela over this little partition between our desks.
And very early on, we would pass each other notes and she we became just kind of like little. She was like in a real office. She was physically closest to me. But then also we were always there all the time. We were in the background of each other scenes. And so you never went back to your trailer by yourself? We were always in a group or together, but Angela and I would always manage to find one another.
And just even just by the end of the first season, we had told each other our life stories because we had just the proximity and the amount of time.
I mean, also I really liked her. I really liked you, too. But you also you had a tissue box. You know, I don't know if you remember you had a tissue box and I didn't have any tissues. And in my accounting clump, I don't know why, why they skimp on tissues or in accounting and I would tiptoe over the partition. I remember I was like, can you pass me a tissue? And you pessary tissue at the of it.
But we started talking and then it just became my little perch.
I would just perch on the partition and we chat it up but know interesting to me because, you know, there's that famous Escher drawing of a hand drawing a hand, which is drawing a hand. It's one of those things you see in my college dorm rooms and it just goes on it. It's it's infinite. You're playing people that work in an office. It's not real, but they've constructed a realistic office to create that reality then because you two were sitting next to each other and there is a lot of tedium making a TV show.
People don't know that, but especially like single camera show, like like the office, there's a lot of getting set ups, getting the lighting right. And you're sitting there and you're waiting and like any office because there's someone on a partition next to you, you start to interact with them.
Yeah. And I think our show, because the bullpen, when you have two cameras in that one big square room, they catch everything and everyone. One camera is going to have you in the shot. So it wasn't like a show where I have a scene with Jenna and it's just the two of us and everyone else can go take a break. That wasn't the case. We were all there all the time in each other's background of every shot. And we did we we just all became really close.
You put that many people in one little space day after day together. And before you know it, you guys know everything about each other.
Here are my memories of the day that I was there. I'm waiting for them to set it up. And Steve Carell had to be in the background and he was sitting alone in his office with his big eyes and that kind of Steve Carell smile. And he was alone and no one was talking to him. He was just alone in what you said. Yeah, that cube. And he was smiling. And it was he looked like a toy that had been.
It looked like they were like, we don't need Steve right now, so tower them down and they they powered him down and he was just smiling with big eyes and he was sitting in there and waiting for someone to say, we need you now. But I thought, unlike the rest of you, he was not in a bullpen. He wasn't in that common area. And it was sort of a weird quirk probably of his office day was just you sitting here in this cube until we're ready for you.
Well, you mentioned being up at the reception desk with me. I felt like I was the greeter of many guests that we had on our show. They would often be brought over to reception and I would have the task of chatting them up in the same way that an actual receptionist might chat up a guest as they waited, you know, to go into their meeting or something. There were all these weird ways where the lines were blurred or where we were had these actual, I don't know, the the roles of what our characters would have really been like.
People used to leave trash at front reception, like they line up and talk to Jenna and then leave their water bottle or like wrap it up if you like, picking up people's trash. You're one of the senior officials and pan and walk away with them just like real receptionist.
You never really you played the part too well, you know, and I think that's on you.
But now you're having this experience of watching the show and you're both much younger than me and this is still closer to you. What is this trigger for you when you watch the show? Can you do you remember ever what happened to that day and your personal life? What is it what comes to mind when you watch these? Are you able to detach yourself from what you see and just enjoy it like any fan of the office would?
Well, I think it's an interesting combination, don't you, Jenna? It's like sometimes now I'm watching an episode I haven't seen since it aired and I'm just an audience. And it's so wonderful to watch it just as an audience and then other episodes. I'm like, oh my gosh, I was hugely pregnant in that episode. And ah, my parents visited that day and we all had lunch together. And there's there are episodes where I'm remembering my life and that's bittersweet too.
I've cried a few times re watching. Just you know, my father passed away a few years ago and I watched the episode that he had come to set and I didn't expect to remember that. And I have photos of that day that he was there. And so things just kind of sneak up on you as you're watching it. And it's just really been a wonderful experience. I've really enjoyed seeing the show as an audience and then also remembering all of these memories.
I think that's really well said.
And I've had the same experience. I think when the episodes first came out, I was so close to them as an actor that I was still analyzing my choices or wondering, oh, which improv did they leave in? Because I could have remembered the three improvizations we did as a button to that scene. Well, I don't remember that stuff anymore. So now I can watch the episodes and not kind of pick apart my performance anymore. And that's really enjoyable.
And then also what Angela said about just remembering big life moments of different cast members or behind the scenes moments that warm my heart. I'm in the section of the show now where I was falling in love with my husband. And I'll remember like, oh my gosh, I remember that, you know, the morning that we shot this scene, I had called him or something or we had just said, I love you.
Like you were like those little life moments do come up.
It used to be that people would make the show and then they would send it out into the world. And it was a one way street. And now we're in this world that I find kind of much more fascinating. You have a running dialog with the people that are fans of your show.
I appreciate you putting that out about the fans, Conan, because, you know, when Angela and I conceived of the podcast, our goal was that you would feel like you got to go to coffee with me and Angela, two of the stars of your favorite show.
We're not going to get your coffee. You got to get it yourself. That's right. You're with us once everyone got their own coffee.
OK, I'm out. I'm not coming. But that we would answer all your questions and we just bring you in and just let you tell you everything we can remember, tell you everything we know. And if we can't remember, we'll text Creed and find out or we'll call Ed and see if he'll get on the phone with you. And so that's kind of the spirit of the podcast, is that we are watching it again together with the fans and coming at it from that angle, I guess.
The other thing, too, is that I think podcast in particular, if if you're talking to people enough, they really do get the sense of who you are. Lorne Michaels said to me once about my job of going on every night and doing a show, as you said, of. Virtually everything that's in you comes out meaning they're going to see who the real you is because there's no way to hide it. And I think what you can do through the podcast is people really do know they're connecting with the two of you.
And they know that by connecting with the two of you and having you speak so candidly about the show, they are then more entwined with the program. It keeps it alive.
I mean, that is really getting. I know that was like beautiful someone writing that down because that was really beautiful, you know, for you guys said something nice about me and how I got someone to help me out here, you know?
I mean, you're on your own. That's the opening for them to say, like, that's so nice.
Koenen, you know, come to think of it, your show, what you've done is like a long Greek poem all together, you know, it's like a classic piece of literature.
But have you found have when you're communicating with the fans and talking to them about the show, do you ever hear things that really surprise you?
I mean, sometimes, I mean, there's people that have very, very like serious beliefs on who the Scranton Strangler is. There are fans that were positive that Angela and Roy hooked up and were like, no, they didn't hook. I mean, she likes big guys. I don't know. But there are sometimes there's these fan theories that we come across that we're like, huh? But I don't know. Have you been stumped?
I'm trying to think we do find out things like fans were super like mad at Jim sometimes for like they felt like he threw Pam under the bus or like people think that Pam was like, mean to Karen. There's like a lot of like people get very invested in these relationships.
You really believe that this is an ecosystem with real human beings in it and this is happening. And I think that probably contributes to the fervor.
We just interviewed our cinematographer Randall Einhorn on the podcast and something he talked about was the shooting style of the office really contributing to that intimacy. He said, for example, in standard single camera comedies or in films, when there's a really intimate moment, the camera pushes in and gets a close up. But on the office, we pulled back and he said that he in his days of working and actual documentaries, when you want a documentary, what is the word documentary?
You know, when you want the subject of your documentary to open up, if you create space, they are more likely to reveal their true thoughts and feelings because they don't have a big camera in their face.
Right. So we did that all the time. We had these spy shots where we were spying on these characters. And so these moments of their life that you were finding out about, they did not feel presented. They did not feel presentational or like a show or like they were scripted.
It really felt like we were catching Jim, giving Pam a lingering look. And so the people, the characters feel more real.
I think the office, in a way, comes across as more real to me than a reality show, because I feel like when I'm being I feel manipulated when I watch a reality show, often I can tell when they've told someone to break up with someone else or, you know, it's all very ham fisted to me. But but I don't feel that way when I watch the office and it's shot like someone snagged it on their iPhone, which fits with how things are now.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We we've talked to a lot of people that were part of making the show and they've said that, you know, Greg and can cooperate, who directed the pilot and sort of set the tone of the show that they didn't mind if it looked a little messy, like if the camera didn't land exactly where it was supposed to and then had to toggle back, so to speak, like it's supposed to land on Jim and Pam.
But it overshot and got the copier now. Had to find them. And maybe you cut a little bit of the boom and just sort of that messy look, so to speak, was welcomed the floor that makes the painting perfect.
You know, it's it's it's the small inconsistency that makes you appreciate the hole. And I and I also think that it really makes you feel like you're catching something you weren't supposed to see as opposed to comedy that's kept right in the center of the camera all the time and hits on cue in a studio. Audience applauds because an applause light went off.
Could you imagine, Jenna, like walking onto our soundstage and like Dwight inters and like almost like Kramer on Seinfeld and we all have to like, hold for laughter. And then Dwight gives a zinger to Jim. It would be so surreal.
No. If a couple of you guys made a sitcom style episode of the office that had that proscenium feel where you walked in and there was loud applause and you'd start your line, but then have to wait and then. Give your line again, and then there was a big you know, someone else enters and then a, you know, the Harlem Globetrotters enter as the surprise celebrity guests. And it's all I mean, I used to it makes me crazy.
Now, shows like the Office have made it hard for me to watch older TV because I'll notice how they eat lunch, like on Murphy Brown. They're all supposed to be the most important news people in New York City. And they're supposed to be like their 60 Minutes. They're giant, they're huge. And it's time for them to go eat lunch. And there was a table and they all had to sit around. It's a half an overweight and they all have to cram around one half of it because it's a multicamera show.
And they they have all have to be facing the audience and they're all eating little sandwiches. And you're like, wait a minute, you're supposed to be Diane Sawyer and you're you're crammed in there with, like the janitor and you're all eating little sandwiches and you have to be facing out because that's where the audience is. Whereas, you know, you should do that, that I know this is a huge waste of your time, but make a 1970s or 80s sitcom style version of the office.
I'll fund it. Yeah, you'll all get paid hundreds of dollars and I will whatever proceeds, I'll sort of take off, you know, my share off the top and then we'll find a charity. I mean, if there's anything left over the charity. Well, this has been a delight. It has been an absolute delight. And I and my only regret is that we didn't get to all be in the same room when we did this, because I see you at the podcast studio and thought like, oh, this is a natural.
We should all get together and maybe someday you'll let me sit in on your podcast. Silence. Nothing.
All right. No, no, don't worry about it. It's OK. I'm busy. Guess what? I'm busy, too. I'm busy too.
I got a lot going on, but it would be it would be nice to do this in person, but I think it's you guys are doing something really interesting and cool. And and I will tell you, just in my household alone, how much joy you and your cast and Greg and all those amazing writers, all that joy, it's just it's nice to see. I love watching my son and my daughter see really good comedy the way it's supposed to be done and understand that that's the way it's supposed to be done.
Like that makes me so happy.
So I thank you. Thank you. I'll tell you, Conan, when I was growing up, Cheers was the show that I watched with my mom and dad. And I love it when parents tell me that they watch the office with their kids because I have these just really warm memories. You know, when I was a teenager, there's not much I wanted to talk to my parents about, but I wanted to sit on the couch and watch chairs with them.
And so when I imagined that the office might be the thing that brings a whole family together, it really means a lot to me. Yeah, it's cool.
And I cannot tell you I know this sounds like a fuddy duddy thing to say, but it really is not. I there's so many times when I'm watching something with my kids that I think is going to be cool or fine or I'm safe. And then suddenly the show takes an insane turn and it's very upsetting or sexually explicit or crazy. And I'm diving in slow motion towards the remote control. Try and change the channel.
And it's nice because the office is edgy and I think it does thoroughly explore all of the parameters of the human experience. But I know I can watch it with my kids and I'm not going to be disappointed. I'm not going to something horrible isn't going to happen that we all have to leave the room and and leave by separate exits.
You know what used to happen sometimes when I was a kid or like you also don't have to pretend like you're loving a show that they love, like just to bond with them, because there's that, too. I mean, I I'm a parent of young kids, so I've watched a lot of episodes of patrol where I like fame, great interest in the plot. But I'm I mean, listen, no, no dig on patrol is right now.
Why are you hating on border patrol?
But I'm just saying, like like the office is a thing where, like, everybody is genuinely enjoying it and being entertained and no one is like pretending that they love it.
If it's a kid's show that needs to go, it's Kyou.
OK, you know, I you I didn't like you, he's, it's an odd looking boy and I the rhythm of it's wrong and something's very wrong in his world. Yeah.
And something is very wrong with you. And I used to have to watch Chaohu with my daughter and I. It's the most upsetting cinema I've ever seen. I'm going to even include cinema and I've seen some really rough snuff films.
It is disturbing. Kyou is very disturbing. Please, please watch.
How are you sure your kids get that photo when you came to set? And I will tell you guys, if any of the cast of the office is hearing this, if you need your Soapdish moment, Sally Field goes to the mall to get recognized. If you need that moment, just go to a middle school.
I mean, don't be a creeper, but like I had to tour middle schools with my stepson and they asked me to leave the classroom because, yeah, we're killing it in junior high again, killing it, killing it in junior high, I do well in prisons. We don't know why prisons, prisons than anywhere where people are detoxing.
And clearly anywhere people get their coffee for, someone has to get their coffee. All right, Angela and Jenna, thank you so much for doing this. Congratulations on your podcast. Destroying it's killing it. It's a monster, as we say in Boston. It's a monster. And I'm very happy for both of you and happy that you could make the time for me. This is cool.
Well, thank you so much. We have wanted to come on your show for so long and we just koenen my gosh, it's been decades. I feel like you've just been this mentor in my life for so long and I'm so thrilled to be sitting here talking to you and I can't wait to tell my friends I was on your show and I'm just forever, forever a fan. Yeah.
We were really geeking out when we got this invitation. Oh, that's that's that's sweet. They read that just as I wrote it. You tell them to say this at the end and they better get every word right. All right, ladies, have a great day. Thank you so much. Stay safe. And I hope I hope to see you soon in person that be fine. Yes. Yeah. All right.
We have a quick voicemail that I think is important. Let's take a listen. Hi, Conan. It's here, a long time friend slash fantasy lover here. I don't really have a question.
I just wanted to say, God, that's all. Thank you. Bye. Oh, my God.
You know, it's so funny. I've never I've never met this woman, but I've never been more attracted to anyone she sounds was the fantasy lover or the fact that she's yelling.
Well, she had she intrigued me when she said, I'm your fantasy lover.
But then why should I call a guy who I knew that this is my soulmate and I must immediately I must immediately go and have the talk with my wife. Oh, and say after 19 years you've been we've had a great marriage and I love you very much. And I didn't think this could happen.
But a woman I've never met just over the phone said to me, and I must now abandon you and our children and everything that so far has been the most important thing in my life.
And I must find terror between Coccaro Magoo's and Kedikoglou Goosh.
You have your fans saying the most like the most insane gibberish.
Yeah, it's like officially a cult now. OK, so here's another one I was in. You know, we shoot the show at the now during quarantine. We've been shooting it at the Largo Theater and there's a little courtyard there. And because of covid, we all wear masks inside and distance and do all the things that we want to do to keep everyone safe whenever we can. We go out into the little courtyards who are outside, which feels safe.
So when I go out into the courtyard and that's where I get some makeup put on and sort of chill in between shooting and doing some calls with celebrity guests. And I was sitting in there and the courtyard looks out onto the street and there's a little iron gate there and this guy just walks by. I want to say he was about 19 years old. This guy walks by and he passes the little portal that looks out onto the street. And then I see him come walk backwards and stare at me for a second.
And he goes on and I said, because he was just noticing me for the first time. And I went, Yeah. And he went kind of high as God made her finally. And I was like, Yes, yes. And then he was like by I kept walking. But I would love that. I love that, sir.
Like, God bless you originally supposed to give them like a ten dollar bill or something or am I making that up.
Well, thanks for bringing it up, asshole. I don't remember what I said. And you'll have to look into legal for that. But no, it was just this great way to connect where if someone says to me, Mangoush or Kanichi or now it's Coccaro, I mean, I'm happy with any of it.
I'm just thrilled. And who was it the other day? I think it was my head writer was saying, how are we going to know? Because we got into the subject of people going senile or having as they get older and mentally slipping. And and my head writer Manteau Matt said, how are we going to know when that's happening to you? Because you act, you know, insane all the time. And it's a constant stream of bibble and babble that comes out of your mouth.
So how are we going to know? And then he said probably when you start acting reasonably. Right. And then he imagined me like we started talking about it and laughing about it. But basically the writers coming in one day and me meeting with them and me saying, hey, everybody, it's really good to see you and I hope you had a good weekend. We should probably get down to work.
They're going to immediately jump on a phone call nine one one and say, OK, there's a male here who's had a massive cerebral. Yeah, yeah.
And I'll be saying, well, I'm happy to go to the hospital. But in the meantime, please, I hope all of you were well. And let's get as much work done as we can.
It's so creepy in that way. And you pretending it's creepy. Yeah. Putting its distance and they do it. Then they do an emergency surgery and I'm in a coma for a while. And then slowly I come out and all of you are gathered around the bed and all of a sudden I just my eyes open for a second. You're all looking at me and I go Cock.
And everyone's like, he's back. We're all hugging each other. Oh, my gosh, kind of tie as God made her. Yay!
Conan O'Brien needs a friend with Sunim Obsession. And Conan O'Brien has himself produced by me, Matt Cawley, executive produced by Adam Sachs, Joanna Solotaroff and Jeff Ross at Team Coco and Colin Anderson and Chris Bannon at Airwolf. Theme song by the White Stripes. Incidental Music by Jimmy Fujino. Our supervising producer is Aaron Belayer and our associate talent producer is Jennifer Samples. The show is engineered by Wilbekin. You can rate and review this show on Apple podcast and you might find your review featured on a future episode.
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