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Hey guys. Jenna Fischer here for the month of July. You can get my book, The Actor's Life A Survival Guide for 50 Percent Off the Cover Price or download the e-book for only four ninety nine. All of my proceeds from the sale of the book will go to benefit Mary's list. This special offer is only available on orders made directly from the publisher. So go to Ben Bella books dot com. Click on the picture of the actor's life and enter code actor 50 for 50 percent off the physical book or actor four nine nine for the e-book at checkout.
You will be helping a small publishing house, getting a great book and proceeds go to Miras list. It's a win win win the Actor's Life from Ben Bella Books Dot Com Offer Code Actor 50. I'm Jenna Fischer. I'm Angela Kinsey. We were on the office together and we're best friend and now we're doing the ultimate office rewash podcast just for you. 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 where the office ladies.
Hi, everybody, welcome to. Office Ladies Lonzo Ball Joel. I don't know. I don't know. I am wearing like this. This T-shirt is kind of like.
It's like really soft and shimmery, but it's like also feels like pajamas and I think it's just got me in a I don't know, in a mood to say Buju Angela, when I first saw you I thought you were just wearing a black t shirt and I was really disappointed because I showed up in my Pam teapot shirt for a recording. Why? I like to always wear an office ladies or office themed or use an office mug when we record. I don't know.
It's a thing. It's like you want to get in the mindset. Every here's the thing, guys. Every single week, Jenna shows up, we hop on the zoom zoom because that's our life right now. And she has on an office themed something, shirt, hoodie. And you did this also when we would used to go in the studio, you would always have your hoodie.
And today I was like, I'd better dress to match my lady friend.
Well, I thought you were wearing a black t shirt and then you started dancing to our theme song when it played. And I saw that it says Office Ladies. What made you so happy?
And then it made you speak French, so. Wait, wait. What are we. What are we here to talk about? China.
We are here to talk about initiation. Season three, Episode five. Written by B.J. Novak and directed by Randall Einhorn.
There are a lot of good quotes in this one. I want rapid fire them right now. But there are some good quotes, Angela. Last week all we did grief counseling. We had a lot of bird injuries and fiascos in our life. Has any type of initiation incident happened to you? This week. Have I been initiated in my own house? Yeah. I mean, talk about an interesting topic if the answer is yes, no, but don't give my kids any ideas.
They would be all over this. They'd be like, here's the thing, kid. Club initiation. You go into Isabel's room, put on this fuzzy hat, jump backwards three times, make a duck sound. You're in the club.
Sounds fun. I'm into it. All right. Let's talk about this episode. I've got a summary for you. I'm very excited. This is a big episode. All right. Here's the main storyline. Dwight is taking Ryan on his first sales call. But it's not as simple as that. Of course it's not. It involves Dwight. It involves a trip to Dwight's farm. Yeah. And other places. And his creepy cousin. Oh, we're going to meet Mose.
And then, of course, back at Dunder Mifflin. Lady, it's Pretzel Day. That's a big day. Big day. Stanley is so excited. It's a long line, but they're going to get some pretzels. However, at this same time, GM has told Pam she has to keep a log of Michael's day and make sure he's productive.
Meanwhile, over in Stamford, they've got a squeaky chair. They've got some more flirty flirt. Oh, boy. Let's get into it fast, fact number one. As I said, we are going to visit Schrute Farm.
This is huge. We got a ton of questions about this. Are you ready for some names? I'm ready for some names. Who wrote in? Lauren Bails, Mike Motherwell, Jessica Coen, Bailey Lawrence and Briana Bullard all said, where is the farm? Where is the farm? Where Ryan and Dwight go? Well, I know that there was a few places. Did you hit up some Kinta P.D.A? I did. So the main Schrute farm was shot at the Disney ranch, which is also called the Golden Oak Ranch.
It is a place where you shoot things. It's like an outdoor exterior shooting studio. Basically, it's massive, though. It's massive. It's acres and acres, right? It's like, oh, yeah, it's massive. And so, so many movies that need this sort of rustic look have been filmed there.
Like the history of Disney Ranch is really cool.
Oh, yeah. It's located in Newhall, California, which is about 17 miles from the Dunder Mifflin studios. I'm giving you that detail because several people asked how far away it was from our main studios, and I want them to feel satisfied. So there are several barns and farm houses on this property. They chose one of them to be the Schrute Farm House, and then they created a graveyard next to it. But you might be thinking, wait a second.
I don't remember a graveyard. That's because it's a deleted scene. It's a deleted scene. It's a really good deleted scene. You guys, if you have the DVD, go watch it. So here's here's what happens there in the cemetery, because Dwight wants to show Ryan how many shoots have actually been buried on troop farms. And he has like his grandfather's tombstone. And he's like, my grandfather was a good man but did very bad things.
So what is up with his grandfather? His grandfather was as dumb. I don't know. Not maybe not a great guy.
Then Dwight finds like an empty it looks like a beer can and he gets furious and he starts looking around and he sees these this couple, a guy like basically has no clothes on his like covering himself with his pants and a girl who barely is clothed and they start running through the field and Dwight's yelling at them. And this was awesome because it's a total callback to office Olympics where Dwight mentions that teenagers sometimes use the beet farm for sex. Oh, I'm so bummed this is not in the episode.
It's a great scene. It's a really mighty sash. I love a callback. And this is calling back creepy grandfather and the teenagers on the farm. And you know what?
When I watched it all I could think about since I filmed many scenes on Truitt Farms. Was the field they ran through a it was probably super hot and B, it was snakey. We'll get to that later. But all I could think of was these people with not a lot of clothes on having to run through that snakey field.
I was like, oh, yes, let's talk about those snakes, Angela. Because Kent told me that the one requirement for shooting on the ranch is that every production has to hire a snake wrangler. Yeah, because the property has a history of rattlesnakes on the property. Yeah. Yeah. That said, the snake guy found a rattlesnake near there. That graveyard set a five foot rattlesnake, by the way. Oh, I. I don't doubt it.
I don't doubt it. My memory is you Angela. My height. I have two more facts about Disney Ranch. Let's hear it. So the other location that we shot on Disney Ranch was that barn. Mm hmm. That old barn. We also used to that. And we used another house at the Disney ranch for that scene at the bar at the end when Dwight and Ryan are at the bar. That house that they used for the bar was originally built for Peewee Herman show back in the 1980s.
And they redressed it and turned it into a bar. Isn't that amazing? That's crazy. I know. So there's a little fun fact. Yeah. And finally, a lot of people wanted to know if we did keep going back to the same location to shoot year after year. And yes, we went back to the Disney ranch multiple times, including in season for the money episode. That is when Pam catches moes in the outhouse. Yeah. And so we were there.
Dwight Nantel, have a scene in that barn years later. But then ultimately we'll get to this. The final Schrute farm scene of the whole series is in a whole new location. That was so beautiful. But we'll get there.
Yeah, that was looked like we were in Scotland. It was so beautiful. Yes. But we don't go there till the end. Till the end end. OK, guys, we'll get there. And three years are fast. Fact number two, the beat fields were not shot at Disney Ranch. That was a completely different location. Those scenes were shot at the Underwood family farm in Moore Park, California. It is a real working 200 acre farm.
They grow corn, carrots, kale, strawberries, tomatoes and, of course, beets. So we filmed those in an actual beet field. Isn't that crazy? That is crazy. I have been to that farm with Isabel, my daughter, for a school field trip, and I went on a hay ride through Colorado.
It's really it's like a it's a huge farm and it's just it's not that far away.
All right. Moving us along to fast. Fact number three, this was the first episode directed by Randall Eichhorn. And you guys, so Randall was our cinematographer and our a camera operator.
You've heard us talk about him a lot. We loved him. We loved him. He was just so fun. And this was a this was like a big deal. Like the cast was so excited to see Randall directing episode. I got on the phone with Randall.
Angela did I love. Yes. And we're going to have him on the show. He told me that this was his first directing job ever. He told me that before our show he had only ever worked on documentary style projects. And remember, we said he was a camera operator on Survivor. Yeah, yeah. And on all this other documentary work as well. Yeah. He used to film like I think like river boat, crazy river rafting stuff in Australia.
Like he is like a tough guy and. And I think the documentary style, like we said, was perfect for our show. And now he gets to direct.
Yeah. He said he couldn't believe he got the job as our cinematographer because he had never worked in scripted anything before. And now Greg was telling him to direct. And he was like, what? But he said that Greg was really sweet. Greg said, Randall, all the time you are finding jokes with your camera. And this is a natural extension of that. And so Randal was like, all right, I'll do it. And he said he was so touched because he felt like everyone in the cast and crew was rooting for him to succeed.
He said he'll just never forget what that support felt like and what it meant to him. He said especially B.J., who was the writer of the episode. He said the hardest part of directing this episode, because I said to him, I'm like, Randal. This was a huge episode. You have to introduce Pretzel Day, Schrute Farms and Moes. And then it all ends with this epic phone call between Jim and Pam. What was the hardest part of all that?
And he said the hardest part was not holding the camera himself. Well, yeah. Yeah, that's so true, because that was his background for years, you know. But I think it made him such a great director because he had that vision. He knew where he wanted the camera. He knew it. He wanted the camera to see. I loved that.
Well, he said he did take the camera a few times during this episode and he even pointed them out to me. So I'll tell you those moments as we go along. And then he also told me that even today when he's directing, because that's what he does now, he's now a director exclusively. And he said it was only last year that he finally directed a project and didn't take the camera once. Wow. But he said that's how he he feels it that way still because that those were his beginnings.
Yeah. Well, before he directed this episode, he directed the webisodes. And so, you know, obviously that's not like a full episode, but I remember how giddy he was. But he was holding the camera and directing because that was that was just us on the weekend. It was just like three of us there. And you guys won an Emmy for those webisodes? We did. We won an Emmy. I have an Emmy for the accountants.
It just tickles me. So cool. All right, listen, why don't we take a break and then we're going to come back and start breaking down this episode.
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Ladies, get help today. Go to better help dot.com slash office ladies. OK, so now we're in the episode, guys. And Dwight is challenging Ryan to a brain teaser. And, you know, Ryan just crushes it. He knows all of them. Dwight gets really frustrated. I found this little piece of trivia on Dunder PDA and Jenna. I loved it.
Dundar is amazing. If you guys have any chance at amazing everybody. All right. So on Dunder P.D.A, it says one of the riddles that Dwight poses to Ryan in the cold open is about a boy involved in a car accident. Who is the son of the doctor on the call in the emergency room and therefore cannot operate, even though his father was in the car and was also injured because the doctor is his mother, right? Yes. Get this at the very end of the finale of the original BBC series.
Tim, what you know, the character Jim is based on, along with Gareth. And that's the character Dwight was based on, is being asked this riddle by David Brent. Wow, that's so cool. I feel like this is a little nod, right? Yeah. I loved that. I love that, too. Well, then, when this episode really begins, Jan is in Michael's office. She's trying to have a professional conversation with Michael, but he keeps making it personal.
Yeah. Jenna, here's did you notice her hair in the scene? How can you not what is going on with her hair? I don't know. It's like you tried something new. They tried. They tried Roller's or something. I think it looks like hot rollers. It looks like hot rollers. I was just like, wait. They were just doing blow outs. And now Jan Jan is using it up when she comes in to see Michael now.
That's an interesting take on it, Mike. He's talking about the sex he's having with Carol. And she's like, I did not hot roll or my hair for this for this B.S..
Yeah, I totally noticed her hair. Well, then Jane goes up to Pam's desk and says that she needs to keep it an hourly log of Michael's activities so that corporate can analyze his productivity. You guys, there's a moment in this scene that made me laugh so hard when I was re watching it. And also I remember breaking every time Alora did it, why he walks up to the desk, I'll tell you. She walks up to the desk and she's like, Hi, Pam.
And Pam goes, Hi. And then she goes, I'm great. And then keeps talking. But Pam didn't say, How are you? Yeah. She's so pissed that Michael has just told her about Carol. And she just walks up with that energy.
I love it so much. So, you know, I got the shooting drafts for this whole season and it's in there. I'm great. Is then there I had to look it up to see if Mueller improvised that or if it was written. But that was a written joke and I love it.
So good. We had some mail about this scene. Lauren Hallman wrote in to say at one minute. Forty seven seconds. There's a weird circular object in the bottom right next to an ancient stapler that I can't identify. And Elizabeth Molina said, what's the deal with the scale behind Jenna? It looks like a food scale which would make more sense in the kitchen or break room. I think they're talking about the same object. I froze on it. Yeah, it is a scale.
I think it's a scale that Pam is using to weigh small packages for mailing.
Yeah, I would think it would probably to make sure she has the right postage. That's what it looks like to me. Yeah. We don't have a mail room in our office. We have a mail cart. So I guess Pam has to keep that scale behind her, but it's not always there. Listen, we don't know what Pam does back there with her revolving plants and her scale. She can't keep a plant alive. She has a giant shredder.
Yeah. And now she is ill. We don't know. We don't know. Well, guys, now we are going to find out that Dwight is taking Ryan on this sales call, his first sales call.
Oh, he's so excited. There are some great deleted scenes on the DVD that are all about this storyline.
But Dwight is so excited. He's hoping that Ryan will become part of the Dwight's army of champions, right? Yeah, not be a slacker like Jim. This is like and maybe maybe become one of his best friends. Maybe so. In the in the DVD, there's a deleted scene that I absolutely loved. I laughed so hard. And it's just such a simple moment, you guys. But Michael goes to hug Ryan to wish him well as he goes out for his first sale.
You know, like, I'm going to give you a man hug. It's awkward. It's so awkward. But then it gets even weirder because then Dwight joins in and he wants to hug him, too. And then Michael's like shoving Dwight right away. Meanwhile, like, B.J. is like stuck between them. It is it's it just made me laugh so hard. I love this whole storyline. We know you love it, too. We have a surprise.
We have a surprise. Tell him Jenna Raine and B.J. are going to come on the show today to talk all about it. So we're going to break down the rest of the episode. And then when they hop on, they will discuss all things Schrute Farms and the initiation.
Yes, we're going to skip their scenes for now. But don't worry, we will get to it for now. Let's discuss what's going on at Stamford. Oh yeah. At three minutes, 21 seconds, Karen notices that Jim took her chair and has replaced it with the squeaky chair.
I want you to know something. Squeaky chair was not in the original script, huh? The original storyline for Stamford was completely different. This was a late addition and I traded some text with B.J.. And he said he doesn't quite remember where the squeaky chair storyline came from. Let me give you a little pitch where it might have come from and it might not have. But I want you guys to know something happening behind the scenes was over in the accounting department.
And I texted Oscar like Oscar, do you remember this?
And you just wrote back, hahaha. OK. There was a crap chair over in accounting. It was at absolute piece of crap chair that it wouldn't go up and down. It just was like set on one setting. So it was always way too low for my desk and then it leaned way too far back. So you always felt like like I mean, you guys I know I'm Southern, but I always felt like I was gonna get bucked out of it.
I'd be like Bahcesehir, it's gonna buck me out. So sometimes I would go and it would be at my desk and I'd be like, son of a gun.
Oscar switched it again. It just traded back and forth between me and Oscar. I would move his chair and I'd put the crap chair at his desk. And then out of nowhere after lunch, it would be back at my desk and I'd be like, Oscar, you gave me this piece of crap chair again. We must have done this, I think, for weeks. And then one day I moved it over to Creed's desk.
Oh, no, Angela. And I said to Oscar, I was like, I put it, I put that crap chair Creed's desk and we, like, laughed. And anyway, it just cracks me up that this was actually something happening. I don't know if the writers ever even knew about it. I don't know if we vented about it. But this was an actual thing happening over in accounting. Oh, my gosh. You had your own chair war.
We did. But I don't know how Brian stayed out of it. Maybe cause he was too far in the corner. Yeah, just it just traded between me and Oscar. Well, did you notice in this scene in Stamford when when Jim wheels his chair over to the copier? Did you look in the background? I noticed a little something back there. I I saw a few people right, and you have to tell them because I think this is so beautiful.
All right. I also talked to Randall about this, and he said this was totally on purpose. He planted a guy standing at reception in the same way that Jim would always stand at reception and talk to Pam. He even has his sleeves rolled up the way, Jim, you know, it leaves slave gate. Susan, are you listening to this? Susan? Yeah, I know. And who brought down slaves? Yeah. And Randall said that was on purpose, too, to keep that Pam Jim thing sort of in our orbit.
Oh, my gosh. It's such a beautiful detail. So Stanford has their own version of Jim and Pam that hangs out at reception and flirt. Yeah. That's amazing. That's amazing. All right, so let's go back to the Scranton branch. Pam is keeping notes on Michael's day. He's on a phone call and he's doing a Bill Cosby impression. So Pam holds up her log and she has written Cosby impression. So first of all, that is not my handwriting on the log.
People asked. And also, we got a fan question from Jonathan Barock. When Jan gives Pam a time sheet to write down everything Michael does throughout the day, why doesn't Pam cover for him? Like, why not write down sales call instead of Cosby impression? Mm hmm. What are our thoughts on that? I mean, Pam sometimes is a little bit of a stickler. She's a rule follower. You know. Yeah, I mean, I think if she covers for Michael and then Jan finds out otherwise, Pam's gonna get in trouble.
Yeah, I mean, I feel like she she does cover for him later, so maybe she starts out being like, all right, I'll do what Jan told me, but then she feels bad or something because Michael is such a train wreck for the whole day.
Yeah. And he ends up making a huge sale in the end. So his that's the thing about Michael. Right. Like his weird ways they. They turn out, he's able to connect with people. He is say what you want to say about Michael. People like him, not that have to work with him. Yeah. Acquaintances really like him. All right. Now we're back at the Stamford branch. And Andy, I guess, has told Karen he'll try to help her, you know, get that chair back.
So he's like, Jim, can you come dawgs really over here? And he's like, I can talk to you. From here, he's a guy. But could you get up and come over here? And Karen's like, that's all you got. And then Ed is Andy made me laugh so hard when he says I'm acting my heart out here.
I mean, it is so bad, it's so transparent, and it just was so funny that he was like, hey, come on.
That seemed like an ad impromptu me, but I couldn't check because this storyline isn't in my script. We did have a fan catch at this moment. Marguerite Carter wrote in to say, at around four minutes, 50 seconds, you can see Jim's nameplate on his desk and it says Jim Halpert. And underneath that, it says assistant regional manager Marguerite.
There he was. Applause Official. Well, things are about to get real exciting over the Scranton branch because it is announced it's Pretzel Day.
Oh, and Stanley books it out the door. He books it, but he grabs his crossword. Well, he he knows he knows that he's going to be a line. Yeah. Yeah. He's planning ahead. He's ready for it. I have a question. And this was also a fan catch. Kelly, hrough asked whose voice makes the announcement about Pretzel Day and Bailey Aspens and said, is that the voice of Billy Merchant? It is. It's Billy Merchant.
Yes, which may I. That's because he's the building manager. Yeah. I asked Ketso Baunach because there was a part of me that thought is that Kent's voice. And Kent said no. Kent said they got Marcus Yawk to record that audio for the announcement. Amazing. I love it, Angela. The attention to detail. I do too. So now we have the Stanley talking head. That is one of my favorite talking heads and Leslie's delivery of it is so great.
He says, I wake up every morning in a bed that's too small. Drive my daughter to school. That's too expensive. And then I go to work for a job which I get paid too little. But I'm Pretzel Day. Well, I like Pretzel de. That talking head that appears in the episode is an alternate talking head, Angela. That is not the talking head. That was in the shooting draft. It's so perfect, though. I can't imagine anything else.
I mean, it's so perfect. It sums up like Stanley. What was it? The original talking head was this. There are four things that I love. My wife, my daughter, Pam Greer, and a hot, chewy roll of buttered dough. Pam Greer, Jenna.
You know what that sound means? I do. We get a lot of questions about different behind the scenes moments on the office, and we always try our best to give you the real deal. Just like our friends at State Farm. If you want to know how much you can save on your auto insurance by bundling with your home policy, they'll always give you the answers you need when you need them. So we teamed up with State Farm to give you the real deal behind your favorite episodes of the office.
And this week's Real Deal question comes from Crystal White.
Hi. And Angela. My name is Kristen. I love your show. My question is, who came up with the idea of Pretzel Day? And were there actually pretzels for the cast to eat while you guys were on set? Love you guys. Thank you so much for your question, Crystal. OK.
So we got a lot of pretzel related questions. Jenna, I know you did some digging around and you got the real deal on this.
Yes, I found out some good stuff. First off, B.J. told me that the inspiration for Pretzel Day goes all the way back to season one. Greg took the writers on these fact finding visits to real offices so that they could get inspiration for storylines and episodes. I love that. Now, I know that Greg likes to do stuff like this. I know when he was working on King of the Hill, he took all the writers to Austin, Texas, because they were like, OK, you got to know Texas if you're writing about characters that live in Texas.
So I love that Greg is now taking our writers to small businesses. Yes. And lady, he even took them to a paper company. Oh, my God. Amazing. Yes. And B.J. told me that on one of the days when they went to this office park, they were doing some kind of morale boosting free food giveaway for the employees. It wasn't pretzels. He thinks maybe it was popcorn, but everyone was really excited. And the writers put this idea on a card in the writers room.
And then B.J. added the tidbit that Stanley would be the character that looked forward to this free food giveaway all year. I love that. I love that so much. And it's so relatable. You know, years ago I worked as an operator, Gena, and we would have make your own ice cream sundae day and they would wheel a cart around. You couldn't leave your desk. You had to stay on calls. It was kind of crazy. But the managers would wheel around this cart and we would get so excited to make our own ice cream sundaes.
And I feel like I relate to Stanley on this day. He loved pretzels so much, he looked forward to it so much. OK. Angela, I feel like we had something similar on our set. Because we would every once in a while get a coffee cart. Oh, people would lose their minds for that coffee cart. And you would line up outside and you get to order your gorm a coffee, because on the set, we really just had that drip coffee because they took our fancy machine away for being too loud.
Oh, yeah. Was too loud.
So when we would get a coffee cart and they would come and set up in the parking lot, I mean, the line was around the corner.
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. So this is very relatable. And I love this story line. I also found out about the pretzels. Oh. Where were they from? Kent told me that the pretzels were from Wetzel's pretzels. He said that they rented a pretzel cart from a prop house and Phil Shade decorated it and sort of tricked it out. And they had pretzel toppings, just like in the script. You could have sweet pretzel, maple pretzel. I wasn't in any of the pretzel line scenes, but I do remember that day because after the scenes, they put all the extra pretzels over it.
Crafty. And so Peter had them for everyone. Yeah, I remember that too. Kent told me that they had ordered 100 pretzels, but we only used a few for the actual scene and that all the leftovers went to Crafty and that between the cast and crew, we ate them all. We did. We had our own pretzel day, guys.
We did. We had our own pretzel day. Well, there you have it. When you want the real deal on the office where your ladies when you went the real deal on insurance. Like a good neighbor. State Farm is there. If you want to submit questions about a future episode, just head over to office, ladies. Dot com slash real deal. And if we pick your question to be our real deal question on the show, we will send you a swag bag of fun stuff, including an office lady's hoodie and a signed office lady's mug.
So now we're in the pretzel line. And Kelly is chatting up Michael. So he's tuning her out and he's he's laser focused on his pretzels. And by the way, Phyllis is about to come up to the line and she's doing that thing where a leg. Oh, I'm just saying hi. She should say hi to Bob in line. I'm just saying hi to my to my fella. And then I'm going to sneak in line. Yes. And, oh, my gosh.
Michael and Stanley are not having it. They are booing her. They start booing her. They tell her to get to the back of the line. I mean, and then they high five. Michael and Stanley. High five.
I mean, is it the only time in the whole series they high five. There is like friends in this episode. It's a really cute thing.
They are friends for a moment. A moment in time on Pretzel Day. All right. So back to Squeaky Chair. Karen in Stamford, she is purposely squeaking her chair to annoy Jim. Love me, love me. Say that you love me. Yeah. And then Jim tries to get love fool stuck in her head. Now, Randall pointed out the camera work to me here. This is one of the moments where Randall took the camera back because he wanted to do this all in one shot.
Just changing the focus from Karen to Jim and then pulling back to reveal Andy and again changing the focus between these three different people. He said he couldn't explain it. He just had to shoot it. I love that. I love that he can just be like, I got this, guys. I got it. Let me let me pick up this camera. Well, on the DVD commentary, they were talking about how much John broke in the scene.
They said every time Ed would do a version of, you know, singing the song, huh? John would break. And then they said that Ed started messing with John, trying to sort of like up his game on how he would do it just to see if he could get John to break. But I just love that I guess John was kind of a mess because Ed was just crushing it. All right. So now, Stanley, you know, he's getting this pretzel.
It's here. Yes. He's at the front of the line. He's moving away now. There was a line that got deleted here. It's in the script and it's Stanley's pretzel order. A lot of people want to know what was his ordering.
I don't know what his order was. What was his order?
Salty with extra mustard. I did not see that coming. Yeah. Salty with extra mustard. Is Stanley's pretzel more good? Well, when Michael gets to the front of the line. There are just too many toppings for him to choose from. There are 18 different sweet toppings. He's like a child.
He is like a child. And I was so impressed with the actor that plays the pretzel guy because he just rifles off all of those extras like it's nothing. And, you know, he had to memorize all of that.
Do you want to hear what they are? There's 18 of them. Yeah. All right. They are sweet glaze, cinnamon sugar, chocolate, white chocolate fudge. Eminem's Carmel Dip, mint chip, chocolate chip, marshmallow nuts, toffee nuts, coconut, peanut butter drizzle, Oreo sprinkles, cotton candy bits in powdered sugar. Oh, my gosh. And Michael gets the word. Oh, my God. We had a fan question about this. God in this Chili's wrote in was the pretzel guy an actor or someone from craft service or someone from the crew.
He was an actor and his name was Thomas F. Evans. And he is he has done a ton of guest appearances on television shows. He's done. The kids are. All right. Criminal Minds. General Hospital. Days of our life. My God. You seen him everywhere. Days of our lives. Angela. Well, Thomas, I thought you were fantastic. And I just thought you were the perfect pretzel guy.
There is a deleted scene. Oh, here is. Oh, yeah, there is. It's more of the Michael Stanley friendship. And it's kind of too bad that it got cut because it's a scene in the parking lot of Michael and Stanley eating their pretzels together. They're so happy. Michael says they taste so good in my mouth. And Stanley goes, That's what she said. I'm so sad that was cut. I am so sad the scene was cut.
They shared. That's what she said. Joke. And then back in the kitchen, there is one more Stanley pretzel moment that's deleted and that's in the kitchen. Kevin has gotten his pretzel and he gets distracted looking in the fridge for like a topping. And Stanley just swipes the pretzel, realizing he's stills Kevin's pretzel.
Well, now, lady, we're on a scene that I have a lot of questions about. You know, OK, we are in the break room. And it's you and Kelly. Yeah, and Kelly is very worried because Ryan has been gone all day and she hasn't heard from him. We know where he is. He's off with Dwight, but she's worried you're eating something that's not a pretzel. It is not a pretzel. I zoomed in on this.
OK, so listen. At ten minutes. Fifty seven seconds. I am pretty sure I'm eating popcorn. Huh? I think I have a handful of popcorn. I am wondering because sometimes we shot out of order. If this was some of the leftover popcorn from the coup. That lady right now. Sure. They popped you fresh popcorn for this scene.
No, I'm just saying maybe we grabbed it from crafty. Oh, perhaps. Perhaps. Well, we got a fan question also about this scene from Natalie. Was this the first Kelly and Angeles scene? Well, you know what?
I think it's the first time they've sat down together. I mean, it's definitely a huge Kelly Angela moment. It wasn't that long ago that Kelly got drunk in the Christmas episode and tried to kiss Dwight and Andrea. Right. I mean, Angela Martin was not having it now. So it's kind of a big deal that she even tries to comfort Kelly, you know? Yeah. You even pat her hand. You make physical contact.
I make physical contact. Then she says that Dwight is weird. And then I say he's not. And then she says he's a freak. And I'm like, you're a freak. And I storm off. I wrote my journal that I was really excited to do this scene because Mindy and I never got to do scenes together. But I said that Mindy broke into laughter every single time I glared at her. Mindy was the worst, Mindy was the worst.
I have so many stories coming up of doing scenes with Mindy where you you would say a regular line and she would start laughing. I didn't even say a line. I just looked at her later, like, really snarky and she'd start laughing.
Well, we have a fan catch, Angela from Jennifer Wells. Guess what you do in this scene, Angela? I know you get up and you leave taking only your water. Leaving your food behind. Again. I should have never made such a big deal and tempted it, because apparently my character does it all the time. You know why, Angela? Because people do it all the time. People do it all the time, do they?
Kate, did you leave your food on the table? Yes, you've lost your appetite because you're so angry. That's an indication of how upset you are. You just walk away. If you are in the middle of dinner with someone and you are compelled to walk away from the table, you don't also bring your dish, although it would be very funny if you did. I think I would be like, I'm done talking to you, but I'm not done eating.
I'll eat this in another room. I think comedically I want to write myself a scene sometime in a show or improvise a moment where I get really furious and I leave the table, but I pack up everything in anger. I pack it all up, but I take it with me.
That would be amazing, especially if it took you a very long time to pack it up and everyone had to just sit there and watch as I wait. Yeah, I had to spoon things into a Tupperware. I had to find the lid. I had the wrong lid. We're onto something here. Onto something.
Well, back at Stanford, Andy is now the owner of the squeaky chair, Andy. Andy basically would be the creed. He got the crap chair. He did. He's been created. So now we're back at Scranton. Michael's playing music. He's got this sugar high go, right? Yeah. And he's playing that song Burn. And then. Hey, Diana. Yeah. At 13 minutes. Thirty six seconds. My character is annoyed. She is annoyed at the music.
Kevin's into it. He's thumping his pen in real life. In real life. Jenna Preston, our old boom operator, was videoing between scenes, all of us dancing. And he got a video of Creedon eye dancing to this in between takes in no way.
Yes, it's a little blurry because he said he did it on a flip phone and he texted it to Matt Stone, our B camera operator, who sent it to me.
Guys, check off this lady's pod Instagram for this amazing behind the scenes video. It's a lot of battery.
It's a little blurry because it was a flip phone. But Crede and I are dance in our hearts out between takes. But Angela Martin. And not so much. Well, when Michael comes out of his office after he's done dancing, he decides to maximize everything. And he's talking a mile a minute. And we had a fan question from Claudia Cano, who wants to know was that speech when he's talking a million miles an hour, improvised? I checked the script.
No. Like, maybe two words were different than what was scripted. Way to go, Steve. There you go, Steve. Way to go, Steve. And then we had a fan question. A lot of people want to know. Angela, Sarah, Quick Grace and Ali and Sarah and Janelle and Jakey all want to know what topping we would put on our pretzel. I mean, Jenna, I just like the basic. I just like like Stanley.
I like salty pretzel. And give me a little side of some kind of spicy mustard, and I'm happy.
Oh, really? This is interesting to me. I'm cinnamon sugar. Mm hmm. I think it's interesting that you like a salty pretzel and I like a sweet pretzel, but I'm probably the salty person and you're the sweet one.
That's not true. I am way saltier. Please, please. I'm a half curmudgeon. All right. I have a question for you, Jenna. Yeah. And the DVD commentary, B.J. says that the line direction were Michael crashes out. You know, he falls asleep on a khush ball and a really does his face planted on his desk. His face is on a couche ball. He said that that was Direxion written in the script. Do you have that?
What does it say exactly?
It says in the script, Pam looks through the blinds into Michael's office. It's not good. Michael is fast asleep, face on a couche ball. I that. And then later it notes when it's time to leave for the day and says Michael stumbles out of his office, squinting with couche marks on his face.
And they put the marks on his face. There was someone in here and makeup had to make couche ball like marks on his face to make his cheek read. I love this moment. And I caught a little something. Now, you guys know we have young children. So I'm watching every animated movie out there multiple times. And our kids love Despicable Me. They love Despicable Me. They love minions.
We've watched it over and over. And at 16 minutes, 52 seconds, when Michael says with the Jallow, I swear I hear grew from aspect me. I will give that to you. I think it's early, Grue, listen to it. So now we have a very big scene to end this episode. Yeah, Pam. Scott, her coat on. Mm hmm. She's done for the day. She's leaving. But her phone rings. You guys, it's Jim.
It is Jim. He called the main line because he couldn't remember Kevin's extension. He wants to talk to Kevin about fantasy football. Pam explains she's still at work because Jan told her to do this log about Michael. And. They start to have a conversation. First of all, Jenna, you and John as actors are so frickin good in this scene. This scene wrecked me. Your your expression on your face when you realize it's his voice.
And the same with John. It's so beautiful. Your conversation is so organic and earnest. And by God, it it gave me all the feels. And I want to know, was it all scripted or did you guys get to play around a little bit in that. It was mostly scripted, but there was also a lot of improvisation. So. I'll kind of I'll break it down for you. But I want to say that, first of all, this is the first time that John and I had done a scene together and we're not even face to face.
But this is the first time we had performed together in months because this was our fifth episode in. But we'd also had our long summer break. And when I was watching this scene. Oh, my gosh. All of this since memory came back to me and I remember what it was like to shoot this, we spent hours shooting this scene. Let me say, too. We had a lot of people right in a lot of people, I will say them.
Anna, Beatrice, Alexandra. Ivy Lee, Gracie. Nina. They all want to know if John and I were actually talking on the phone during our conversation because we've talked a lot about how usually if you're talking on the phone to someone, they're not really there.
You're just pretending. Yes. This felt like you were Jenna. We were. Were you. Yeah, you were. We were. Oh, my God. OK, so you're reacted to each other in real time. You heard each other's voices in real time. This was really rare. We only did this a couple of times on our set. But here's what happened. Randall told me that he requested that we be able to hear one another, but not just that he wanted to shoot both sides of the conversation at the same time.
And this was really complicated because the Stanford set was in one building and then there was a huge parking lot and then the Scranton set was in another building. And he said he thinks that it was his inexperience as a director. That led him to making this what he realizes now was like a very bold, complicated request. Logistically, this was very hard to do. And he didn't realize that.
No, he was like, hey, listen, when we do that scene with Jim and Pam, I'm going to want to be able to, like, have a camera on each of them. And I want them to be able to hear each other on the phone. And he says now, looking back, he realizes what an insane request that was because here's what had to happen. Kent told me that NBC Universal I.T. came out and they first they had to hook up the phone lines from these two buildings so that John and I could talk to one another.
He said that they put video village, which is where the video feed goes. It's a little tent with video monitors and each camera goes into a different monitor so that the director can sit and see what the cameras are seeing. They had to build that in the middle of the two stages in a parking lot. They had to run phone lines. They had to build a tent full of monitors and make sure they had enough cable that those monitors could be active and working.
Yes. Oh, my dad's.
Because the cable goes from the monitor, through the parking lot, through the building, all the way to the camera. Oh, my gosh.
So the director can see what was happening. Then they recorded audio on three different lines. They had a boom operator in with me. They had a boom operator and with John. And then they were able to record the actual phone conversation through the phone line. It's safe.
Right. Technically difficult, but the result is beautiful. And it made all the difference for John and I to be able to hear one another and to be able to really talk.
One of the things I love about your conversation, which made it feel so real, is that you guys, you're just jumping all around on all these different subjects. Just having this conversation because you haven't talked to each other in so long. It's like all your thoughts are coming out.
Yes. And in the script, there were these little time jumps. So and in the way B.J. wrote it out was so cool, too, because he would write stage direction that were things like. Pam lingers, wondering if she should have a seat. Will this phone call go on much longer? So it's like he gave me these things to play out. And then it would time cut to a new subject. So it's like we start talking about typing.
But then when we time cut to the 28 days, 28 days later conversation, it says Pam is now seated. And then, you know, it gave us direction about our body language so that you see the passage of time that has happened in this conversation, you get the sense that I feel like this was like a 40 minute conversation. And then, of course, that ends so awkwardly, so abruptly and weird. Oh, I know. And it breaks your heart.
It breaks your heart. But that's perfect, too. It's perfect, too, that they have this moment. But then it got weird. So, you know, they're not out of the woods here. They just got to hear each other's voice. And it felt like home for a little bit.
But it was everything. It was everything. I loved it. I loved it. It just completely wrecked me. But you guys always wreck me. The Jim and Pam stuff always gets me. Oh, man. I think more than any relationship on the show, it's the one that gets me every time. But I guess, you know, I'm not alone because that's everybody.
All right. So I think we should take a break now. And when we come back, we are going to be talking with B.J. Novak and Rainn Wilson. Oh, my gosh. We're going to talk all things initiation.
So come on back. Hey, everybody, we're back. And guess who's with us? It's B.J. Novak and Rainn Wilson. Hey, you guys. Hey, office, gentlemen and ladies. Welcome. Office, gentlemen. Office.
Human Rights Office. People. Office people. By. Well, this is already fun.
All right, B.J., let's get started. You wrote this episode. You perform in it, obviously, but you wrote it. Can you tell us a little bit about writing it?
Sure. As as I'm sure has been established on this show and or elsewhere. You know, the way that a writer's room works. It's very collective. And so while I wrote the episode in the sense that I was the point person on the episode, I wrote the first draft, I cared the most about it. I likely did more writing than anyone else on this particular one. That's sort of the way the taking turns process works of the writers.
So there's plenty of things, ideas and lines and stuff that I didn't write. And there's a lot I don't remember. But my memory of this time is very sporadic. Sometimes I remember things in incredible detail and there are entire plotlines in episodes I wrote that I just barely, barely recall at all. So this might be a very spotty recollection. But yes, I did write this one. That was a fantastic little monologue. And I the whole time I just kept thinking, is this Starship Enterprise trying to summon B.J. up to the ship?
Did you guys hear that background noise ringing? Is your laundry done? That's the sound my washing machine made. Yeah. Shall we do it again now? No, I think we should now. I think we should use all of it. I think this is all gold. This is all gold because it's like, you know what we're zooming and shit. Be cray cray right up in here with that. Things ring in the background. See, that's a great monologue to rain.
We're both articulate today.
You guys, you showed up. You showed up. And did we ever. There was some space ship attempting to beam someone up in the background of that monologue. But surely there were chunks of it you wrote? Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Even central ideas in the script in which it said, I would really like to write this. I connect with this. And so it was a sign to you because you had a feel for where you wanted the episode to go.
In this case. Well, in this case, I think it was a combination of Greg Daniels and make sure who came up with spearheaded the idea. Maybe I said Dwight should initiate Ryan and they they ran with it a bit. I remember it being assigned to me because I was Ryan as opposed to because I was obsessed with the story. But there can be very arbitrary reasons that you're assigned an episode in the writer's room. It can be. It's very often because you came up with the original idea.
It's often just it's your turn. You know, we're on Episode seven and you're the writer who hasn't gotten one in five episodes. And in this case, I think it was it was. Oh, you're Ryan. It's around your turn. Perfect. I did like it. And I thought that Dwight initiates Ryan with, you know, those three words. It's just amazing logline. Just so rich. You know what? Sometimes we'd spend forever pitching stories.
Now I'm just a writer from Tanesha because it's my first time on officinalis. But we're about to leave or is late. We had all given these paragraph long pitches. And I guess this was really, you know, I imagine the other writers had been mad at this. But after all of this, I just. We're back live. I said, Greg. I got a two word pitch booze cruise. And he said, we're doing it. So sometimes this the it's pitch that says the most.
And by the way, that was my last contribution to booze. But initiation Dwight initiates Ryan. You know, there's just so much you can picture.
Well, I love how this storyline begins. And we actually ask Sam to pull the audio clips so we can all listen to it. This is you guys are in the car. Ryan thinks he's driving to it. A sales meeting. But Dwight has driven him into the middle of a beet field. Let's listen to the clip.
So where's the sales office? When you are ready to see the sales office sales this year, your journey begins now. I love it. Your journey begins now. And the look on your face. B.J.. When B.J., you have a lot of really good luck. Well, this is why I think Rain and I were a very good pairing because I am such a reactor and rain is such a generator. Do you think that's fair and sort of our improv styles in the office?
I think so. I think that's I think that's. Yeah. The setup to this was fantastic to like. Are you excited? Are you really excited? Are you super duper excited? And I'm like, oh, I'm a little excited. And Dwight's like, incredibly excited. Yeah. And so you get to know that Dwight has a combination of Jedi Master and Kung Fu. A television show from the 70s with David Carradine and any other movies, Karate Kid wax on, wax off anything.
He's in horror films about initiations like are all jumbled in his head like like a popcorn machine. And the the excitement there from is has a lot of fun to watch.
Well, it's funny you mentioned that rain, because I do think that all of his experience with initiation is based on fictional things that he's watched, because I, I have the script for this and there are some deleted talking heads that you have rain where you talk about how very often like guys from a fraternity rent out your farm for activities and every year they get a go. And you would love to know what they do with that goat.
So it's like you have no like that got deleted. It's unfortunate. But, you know, that happens sometimes. But it's true. I think Dwights only frame of reference are things he's watched. He's never actually participated in an initiation. Unlike Ryan, who says he was in a fraternity in college, he's very familiar with that. Yeah, yeah.
Let's go to the beat field. Dwight makes Ryan plant a seed in the ground. And then we have this line just as you have planted a seed in the ground. I'm going to plant my seed in you rain. I think that was an improvisation.
I think it was I think I guess improvised that and was, you know, tentatively and excitedly went to B.J. like, can we keep that? And B.J. was like, yes, we can keep that.
Oh, it was a killer. It was a killer improv. I remember it so vividly. And, you know, this is and I did you know, I said I don't think you know what you're saying, which is which was perfect.
It was perfect. I hardly need to say it was equivalent all in its quality. All I need to say is that was a very good rain generating comedy and me being a very good backboard for it as a reactor. I you know, I think the generators are way more valuable improviser to have on a show, but it's a very good team. But I very vividly remember rain improvised in that line because with great respect, I considered it a dunk on me as the writer.
He was just on the spot come up with a line that was probably better than any single line in the script. I had worked so hard. So I mean it. You're very. You're very kind. That's how I remembered it. I remember that. Here's what I want to say about working in the office and why it was such a magical time and place to work under the tutelage of Greg Daniels. Because because we were allowed to do that and to bring our ideas.
And at the end of the day. Not all the writers where some of the writers were like, no, I want to just stick to the lines in the script. In the editing. Yes. But in the editing room, for the most part, especially if Greg and Dave, who was our chief editor, were in there, they would just take what's funniest. Then they would just Lee, I don't care what's on the page. I don't care what's supposed to be there.
We're just going to take what's funniest and works the best. And what was captured on the camera and make the episode about that. So it was this really nice feeling like, you know, you can improvise all you wanted. It was probably going to get cut. But if you improvise and it added something and elevated it, it was probably going to make it. So everyone felt like they were a valuable contributor. And believe me, I've been on a lot of TV sets since then and before then, and that's just not the case.
I got totally spoiled working with Greg because Greg truly wanted my stories. He wanted my ideas. He he loved to pepper me with questions about what my life was like when I was really in receptionist and those little things would find their way into the show. And it made me feel like, oh, this is what it is. This is my first TV show. I didn't know any different. So jobs that I've had since I will go into the writers offices and out with my bright ideas and my stories and my law.
And I realized quickly that most show runners and writers are like, stop talking, not interested. Please leave my office. I'm trying to write dialogue for you. And I was like, oh, what will I tell you guys? Sort of an embarrassing moment after the office ended. I did a multicam for TBWA, called your family or mine. And I'd never done a multicam before. Really like that. And in between setups, I ran over to the writers and they were really nice.
But I ran over to my mike. Guys, I have a few pitches over, like, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. What? Yeah, we're not doing any pitches like that. We'll come to you if we have an idea. We have an audience loaded in. You don't just Kinzie get to come over here on the fly and be like, hey, I got pitch. It's like, no.
B.J., as a writer and showrunner who has gone on to do more things after the office and, you know, like you created your own show. What is it? How do you run your shows? Do you have you borrowed from Greg's way? Is that a mix?
Well, I'm very I'm very early in show running a couple of shows that I'm just getting off the ground. So I don't actually have much experience as a show runner. A little. But I just to speak about Greg's features actors again, which I very much sort of took from him or learned from him and connected to he.
There are a lot of reasons why I think he wanted me and Mindy and Paul Lieberstein and make sure to play Moze, which we can totally get into because there's a lot of fun psychology at play there, as well as creativity. And the fact that in the early days of the pilot, Greg would talk about Angela and Oscar in particular, as people he knew would be good. And he didn't know yet what the characters were exactly because he trusted them as improvisers.
I think that having people you know, sometimes Lasseter's go back and forth between the writer's room and set teaches you as writers to trust the actor's instincts, because I know this is a stand up to you performing it. You are the last line of defense. You are the soldier on the frontline.
And, you know, if there are bullets coming at you or if you're firing on all cylinders or whatever you'd know in your body. So if you know something isn't working or or after a little while, you just know it's not going to work. You're going to feel fake. It's not going to be your character. And I think that when you know that and you tell that to writers, if the writer has no experience with it, they think you're being a diva.
They think you just want a better line or you want to be important. They don't realize that you might know better than them because you're actually there doing it. And often you write a line. You know, the more experience I had on set on the show them, the more I, I knew that, the more I knew to listen to the actors. I think Gregg knew that, too.
That was so beautifully said. I know he needs his own podcasting, a podcast about TV writing for TV writers.
Well, I was I was hoping that the the spaceships out came in. So you guys wonder, where is he getting this? I don't know. The whole time you were talking, I was kind of like, huh? I thought it was so well said. I think I think it was we were very fortunate that our show was a creative collaboration. And and we definitely feel that moving forward when it's not the case.
Greg would often say that the reason that he went to us so much was because he really trusted us. And that was part of the audition process for him, which was hiring actors that he felt he could go to in this way. You know what I mean? It's like I mean, to be fair, like not not every actor has great ideas. I don't like it. I think it's not a matter.
Not every actor is aligned creatively with what we were doing on this show. Not every actor is looking for a line that resonates deep within them. Is personal. Is the character. Sometimes they just one line they think would be cool or something, right? Yeah. And that that might not work for a show like ours. I did have a pitch that I, I tried four or five times to pitch to Paul and Greg because Paul Lieberstein took over for a couple seasons there as showrunner and it was it never happened.
And I just thought, oh my God, you're missing the opportunity of your lives, which is and it's pretty preposterous when I look back on it now. But I was convinced it would have been great. Which is like early on, there's just some scenes and it's Michael and Dwight and Jim and Pam and Raul, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then it pans over to creed. And Creed is like looks to the camera and creed goes, Hey, buddy.
And the camera's like looking was like, come on, come on, come with me. And the camera crew follows Creed out and they get into Crete's car. And the entire episode Creed is that showing them his life is taking them on a tour of the world of Creed. I mean, he goes to a rave and he's living in an abandoned, you know, beer factory and he's got pet raccoons. And then he goes and he, like, robs a liquor store and he's like he's just like, come on.
And the whole thing is like almost dialogue free. You're just being carried through this, like in Maze. And I feel like you've earned that. If you're on episode one hundred and thirty seven, you've had an episode where you can do something like that. But it didn't. It didn't happen. I found something similar with threat level midnight where I. I don't know if it was right or wrong, and I think we've got a lot of good stuff from telling the frame story.
But, you know, what I wanted was just drop. Threat level midnight on the audience. Yeah. And I think there there was a traditional and very, very likely correct. But a traditional view of you don't we don't do one off experiments on this show.
You know, we tell the story and there's A, B and C story and you've got to stick to that. Yeah.
Wasn't experimental. And it did work by and large, the show. So really argue. But yeah, I, I'm sort of experimental like you. I like that kind of thing.
I feel like community did things like that. Yes. Every episode would get away with that really wild one offs and I definitely.
I'm with you rain. I pitched a few times that that we would follow characters home and I was, you know, told pretty quickly. But it's the office. It's called Going Other Places.
But in this episode and here it's staring us back. We go right beat arms. So we do this year. We do go home with a character. And what is this? What time is this? Was this the first time? Second time we went to Dwight's farm. And was this gonna be the first time? And was it a production of Moe's? Was this the first time with my dad? Yeah. Yes. Yeah. It's an episode of history then.
Yes. So. Well, let's see.
Well, let me just say, as a writer who obsessed about things like this that the audience didn't give a shit about at the end of the day, which was how would the documentarians be or not be allowed to follow certain things?
You know, we would always say you'd never see Jim and Pam's bedroom because they would never invite the cameras there. Are you crazy? Whereas Dwight's beet farm, the camera crew would be very interested. It's very relevant to this new employee, Ryan's journey at Dunder Mifflin. It's very relevant to this major personality at Dunder Mifflin Dwight. It's fundamental to his nature. We've heard about it a lot. He would be extremely eager to show his beet farm, especially as part of a work related milestone for someone in his mind.
So it makes total sense. We got to be for this.
We spent forever talking about what what would it wouldn't happen and what camera angles would and wouldn't be possible. And I don't think the audience cared at all.
I did my research and I spent twenty one minutes and 40 seconds watching the episode last night. So in preparation for this podcast and it was just a joy to watch. But as I watched that, I was like, oh, this is Pam's episode. It's called the initiation. And yes, the Blacksheep part is, you know, Dwight and in the barn and the car and Ryan and the eggs and whatnot. But but really, it's the heart and soul of this episode is Pam, you know, being told by Jan to spy on Michael and and and then the exquisitely beautiful scene with Pam and Jim at the end.
That is by far the longest scene. I mean, it must have been a five page scene and had so much heart in it and subtlety and and that's. So I'd love to hear that Pam perspective on this episode. I had forgotten about that scene when I re watched this episode. I forgot that happened at the end in it.
I did, too. I held my breath and I was on the edge of my seat and I was like, what is was happening? Don't get off the phone. Stay on the phone. Say feelings. Say you miss him. You know, I'm just remembering. It's so funny, Rain, we were talking about the experimental episode because that card was on the board for a long time, Jim and Pam's phone call, and it was going to take the whole episode.
I fought so hard I wanted it to be because it just happens at the end for a long time. Right. The way we shot it. Yeah, I wanted it to. You keep coming back to it and it's still going. And it goes the whole episode there on the phone, the whole episode in the DVD commentary.
B.J., you mentioned that in your mind this conversation went on for like three hours.
Yeah, that sounds right. I wanted it to be threaded through the episode, and then I even wonder if I wanted it to be a whole episode. At one point, their phone call, which is again in line with me and reigns sort of experimental one off outlier episode love. But yeah, I remember that phone call and I remember that right in the line. The one line I remember them proud of is what time zone are you in. Sometimes.
Oh, it felt far. I was like, yes, of course.
That got me in watching this episode. I was like, Oh, this is why this show has stood the test of time. Because you have scenes that are outrageously over the top. And then all of a sudden it's two people. In love that hardly know they're in love, having know an almost UN edited five minute conversation, that it's almost like it's in real time and you have so this moment of like real heart underneath it, that grounds, that whole experience.
And I always love that Greg talked about having that, you know, a show can't support more than like ten or fifteen percent hearts. It's got to have 80, 85 percent comedy in it to work. But you can't leave out at 10, 15 percent of reality or else you'll have lost the audience. Greg was good with percentages. He also had the five percent rule, which was that every character you should try to move them forward, five percent surprised them five percent.
If a character is always exactly what you expect, it gets, you know, boring, and that when you fall into clichéd ideas of what Angela would do or whatever, but and if you change it by 50 percent or 100 percent, if all of a said Michael has read the complete Shakespeare. It's funny, but it's. You've killed the character. So it's you will always want to be like. Huh? All right. I kind of see that.
So, yeah, that's just Greg with if he I didn't ever heard him give that percentage. But it sounds like Greg. It sounds right.
I just have a question. Reign. When Ryan comes up to the barn, you do the salute and people online think it's like you sort of like sort of imitating the salute from a BBC show called it's called Red Dwarf. That is from Red Dwarf. The BBC show from the 80s. I don't remember how that came out, but I, I my hunch is that in that script and you can tell me Dwight does a strange salute or something like that.
So I had to kind of come up with what that was. Maybe that's not in the script and I know you can research that, but I don't know what that was. But I'd like that. It's kind of like. World War One. Germany. Kind of like the Kaiser. Like that's how you would salute the Kaiser.
Can I point out I'm realizing this is not our first writer actor collaboration where I write a stage direction for Dwight that he makes iconic, which is I can fire.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. In the fire I wrote, the fire truck arrives and Dwight pumps his fist. And I think Greg was like, ha! And I was like, no, he's like a little boy. He just sees a fire truck and he's like, Yeah. And you did it. It is great. Now it's like a Jeff or something. It's like a meme. It's just it's exactly what I dreamed of, I think, on that.
You know, we had like eight takes or something. So at first it was like standard pump and then it got bigger and bigger and finally. And it's like, yeah.
Oh, my God. B.J. is so tickled. I'm just like, forget how much Dwight loved. It's a toaster oven with a little bit of smoke. And he's he's a firecracker. He's like, yes, this is such an excessive Zulu's. I suppose that's what happens when the alarm goes off. It is calm, but just that this is appropriate as opposed to annoy.
All right. All right. Yeah, it was pretty late. It ranks in like his top ten best days ever. Like was making a journal like Dear Diary. Best days ever. No. Or fire truck showed up to Dunder Mifflin.
Another thing I improvised in this episode was in the barn going back to the barn. Now, the thing I'm like most Warilla animals.
Yeah, I was going to ask you that. Yeah, I love that line.
So we were laughing at B.J. and I about it on the set and just kind of like we didn't quite know how to. I don't know that it ultimately landed as a joke, but the idea that there should have been it should have been filled with animals. But now it was empty of animals. So what did most do with all the animals? Where did you put them? He probably brought them and put them in the house. And that might have been a nice cut away the most.
Where's all the animals? And then just cut away to Dwight's actual house with a. Filled with cows and sheep and pigs and chickens and whatnot. Speaking of this scene, can I play an audio clip from the scene? I asked Sam to pull this audio clip from When Dwight is Rapid Fire Questioning Ryan. Can you play that clip? Sam, what is the greatest danger facing Dunder Mifflin? Outsourcing and consolidation of competition. Wrong. Flash floods. What is the true cause of Robert Mifflin's suicide?
Depression wrong? He hated himself. What is the Dharma Initiative? Final question. Young Ryan Howard.
What is Michael Scott's greatest fear? Loneliness. Maybe women from he's not afraid of anything. Also, I would have accepted snakes. I believe just in Spitzer wrote that pitch. Justin Spitzer in the writers room. You know, you send writers off sometimes to just say, all right, you write a bunch of questions. You you and you write the scene. And I. I remember Justin coming back with some really good stuff. And I think he wrote Loneliness, which I loved.
But then you said or maybe fear of women. Yeah. Who put maybe women. Loneliness was your first take on Michael's greatest fear.
And you say maybe women. And then Dwight is like false. But I would accept snakes. He's not afraid of anything. But I would have accepted snakes.
Right. What a Loyola's.
But guys, this is the scene that introduces Moes we were talking about. Yes. And Mike Schur, how did that come about? Everyone wants to know. Mike did an interview where he said that's his real beard and it took him three months to grow. Is that an onion? Is hilarious. His hair. Yeah, that's his real hair. Oh, my. Yes. What? Like, I thought I had it hard having to wear cheesy blond highlights for six months, but Mo's mike had to wear a neck beard.
And again, it's only a neck like a classy dude. You know, he's married. He's, you know, a TV producer. People know him. He has social engagements. You walking around with his neck beard, fake neck beard for months and months and months. And there's nothing made. Greg Daniels happier or more amused than what Mike had to go through as sort of, you know, supervising producer of the office. And yet he also had to wear this neck beard.
He never asked to act. And the funniest part of it is that Mike kept asking, don't you think we could just use a fake beard?
And Greg said, no, absolutely not. People will tell the difference. And then I don't know what the reason was, but maybe it was like we suddenly came back from a long hiatus and in a rewrite, had to throw Mosin in a scene, a didn't have the beard and we just threw a five dollar fake beard on.
It was indistinguishable and it was totally, totally fine.
What. How did how did they decide? Mike sure was going to play his Amish farmer culture. Yeah, it was. I think it was. It was. I'm 60 percent confident it was a room bit. I think Mike did the voice in sort of a never thinking it would lead to anything.
There's a lot of room bits where you're just joking around for hours, cracking each other up as a way of warming up. And maybe it leads to something, who knows, just goofing off. And I think as a room that he did that voice and maybe that's what cracked Craig up and made him think. So then we took the picture. But I think the idea was always someday we'll see Mose nudge nudge. But like, we never know if we'd be picked up, you know?
Yeah, I do think it was. I do think it was assumed that he would play moes if it ever happened. We have a fan question from Quinn Moldenhauer, finally. Yes, he would like and what would have happened if Ryan had actually gotten in the coffin?
What were you going to do? Were you going to bury him next to your grandfather? What was going to happen? He was going to put a padlock. He's going to put a padlock on the coffin. They were going to wheel it via donkey cart out to the Schrute cemetery.
And they were going to bury him. And they're going to and he's going to Mosed was gonna dress up like a Chaplin and do a eulogy so that Ryan had a taste of that and the spin, the sweetness of life. And then they would bury him. Dwight would rescue him and bring the coffin up, throw the dirt off the coffin under the padlock. Open it up. Ryan would be like, what the fuck? Dwight and Dwight. I rescued you, Ryan.
I rescued you. Welcome. You're alive. You made it. You're a liar. Reborn. You're reborn. You're reborn. I said Dunder Mifflin and I saved you. And that this would be a profound experience. That sounds right. I like that Quinn will be very happy to hear. On that note, I'm going to move us along to Axelrod Limited. I'll find out that they didn't like Ryan. They didn't make the sale. Rain. You have that great line where you're like I mean, they didn't need to say it to your face.
Do you think great luck. It's really great. But so then you guys end up egging the building. We had a fan question from Shondra who wants to know, did you throw real eggs at the building? Do you guys remember? Yes.
To the Axelrod sign that's hanging up on the side of the building was a fabrication from our art department. And they hung it up there and that was our target. And, you know, we had worked out with the building itself like we had a pressure hose right there. And they as soon as we rapidly, like, took that sign down pressure, watched it, cleaned up all the egg everywhere.
That was kind of part of the contract of the location. Yeah. Kent told me that that building was in the parking lot where your trailers were. So when you were shooting in the beet field, this is where they had the craft services and this is where they had your trailers. And then there was this building. And he said he went in and asked the owner and property manager if they could do this scene. And he was like, no, I just want you to know this includes egging your building.
And he said, at this point, the office was so popular that the guy was like, that's fantastic. Yeah, definitely. Definitely. You can at my building, like, feel super on board. It didn't matter. Throw as many eggs at it as you want. Ryan and Dwight go on to have drinks at a bar. They do car bombs together. Dwight calls the temp. He actually call them Ryan. You guys have come together?
Yeah. I've had quite a day. People want to know how many takes did it take for you guys to do all those beers? How many beers did you have?
People love asking that question. I ask all the time about the cheese puffs, how many takes, how many takes of food. It's just a fascinating thing. Yeah. Yeah. Scenes for people. I don't know if this is an apple.
I mean, I was watching that scene and I thought, how many times did B.J. have chug an entire beer?
A fake player wouldn't have been beer and a fake beer near beer. But a lot of liquid, probably two or three, but probably I probably got it in the second take, you know, and moved on. Yeah, I don't remember. It was one setup. Yeah.
There you have it, guys. Thank you so much for doing this podcast with us today. It's so wonderful to see you again.
This is a lot of fun. Thank you. It's so nice to see your faces here on this zoom. You're. It's delightful. I miss you all. And I have such warm, fuzzy feelings. This was such a pleasure and a joy. I don't buy it. Oh, come on. So cynical.
Bye bye. Bye. Office, lady.
All right, guys, that was so great. Angela, how much fun was it to see them and hear from them? I mean, I loved hearing veejays insights into the writers room at that was I'm a nerd for that, though. I love any writers room info. I could have listened to B.J. talk for for like on and on and on because I thought it was so fascinating just to hear the process. And I think you and I share that.
I love hearing the process of it also. B.J., you have to come back and rein your delightful to rain. Yes. That was such a treat to have them both. Well, listen, before we wrap up this episode, I do want to add two more things, Angela. One is from Randall Einhorn. When I was talking to him, he put this thought in my head and I just loved it. He said that for him, the theme of this episode that he really wanted to highlight as a director was this idea of making connections.
He said Ryan and Dwight make a connection even after the craziness of the day. They connect. And Ryan really learned something. Stanley and Michael make a connection through the pretzels. And of course, Jim and Pam, he just said that that theme of making connections is an overriding one for him with the office. And it's something he loves. But he thought it was particularly highlighted in this episode. And I just thought that was a really, really cool observation.
Yeah, I think that's really beautiful. I find that Randal points out these themes to us all the time, whether it's about camera placement or whether you could see Pam's face after the kiss, like Randall is really great about hitting these deeper layers of the show and what they're talking about in each episode.
And then finally, this was some fan mail that we got from Amanda, this stack. She said, guys, Google, Schrute Farms, TripAdvisor, you will not be disappointed. And I did. Angela, there is a TripAdvisor page for Schrute Farms, and there are hundreds of comments of people who claim to have stayed there. It's a it's a fake page. But the comments are really amazing if you're an office fan, because they have all these details as if they had stayed there.
Oh, my gosh. I wonder if people go on it and think it's an actual thing. I don't know. That is so funny. I love that. I'll have to check that out. Amanda, thanks for. Yeah. You have to check it out. So, guys, there it is. That's initiation. And we will be back next week with Diwali, Diwali and another special guest. Yes, we have someone really special stopping by next week.
You guys are going to be so excited. I'm so excited. So we'll see you next week. And thanks so much, B.J. and Rain. Yeah. Guys, if you want to hear more of branes voice, you can listen to him discussing life's big questions on his podcast, Metaphysical Milkshake, which can be found on the luminary app.
We love you guys. Thank you for listening to Office. Lady's Office Ladies is produced by your.
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