Hey, everybody, how are you? How are you guys? Guess what it is? It's spring break for us. It is spring break for our kids and you guys.
We are going to go have some family time.
That means this week we're doing a rerun. But don't get mad because it's a really, really good one. Yes. We were just thinking, you guys just listen to dinner party, right? If you're listening along. And what other epic episode could we play for you? But booze cruise and booze cruise is special because this was back when we were recording in the studio and we had our showrunner, Greg Daniels, sit with us for the entire breakdown of the episode.
Oh, my gosh. He just gave us so much amazing insight. We really, truly were like, Greg, can you please come every week you come and sit in this room with us every week. He was so fantastic. We love this episode. We hope you guys enjoy it. And we're going to be back refreshed. Tons of kid time. We're going to make lots of snacks. We're going to play board games and we're going to see you in a week.
We'll see in a week, guys. Enjoy.
I'm Jenna Fischer, and I'm Angela Kinsey. We were on the office together and we're best friends and now we're doing the ultimate Office Watch 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. We're going to booze it up today. It is the booze cruise episode, everybody. Are you ready to party? Season two, Episode 11, written by Greg Daniels, directed by Ken Copus, has been on a booze cruise in the Cayman Islands.
I've been on a booze cruise of Lake Ozark, Missouri, but that's the one I want to go on. Oh, yeah, life and all of it. Very similar. OK, let's get into this. Let's get into it. I will start with a summary. I feel like this episode doesn't need it, but I'm going to give one anyway. Michael takes the office on a booze cruise of Lake Wollen Powerpack so corporate won't pay for any more parties.
But Michael found a loophole. As long as he calls it a leadership training exercise, then corporate will endorse it. So that's what he does. But it's really just an excuse for a party. Michael loves a party. All right, let's jump in with fast. Fact number one booze cruise was the first episode to air on Thursday nights.
Yeah, NBC deal. This was a huge deal for us. Must see TV lineup.
We were so giddy about that.
We were so excited. I wrote a whole MySpace blog about it. I was so happy. I did, too, announcing our move to Thursday nights because I don't know if people know, but we started on Tuesday nights at nine thirty and now we were moving to the Thursday Must See TV lineup.
This was a coveted time slot. You guys were friends. Was it was a big, big deal. It still is.
Yeah. Still there. Big night of comedy. Yeah. So we felt like we'd really made it. And also, this is a fan question from Sean Anuja. In Episode two of the podcast, Angela mentioned that she and the other supporting cast members became series regulars during the booze cruise. Yes, Angela, how did that feel? It was such an exciting time, Jenna, because like, you know, our agents called us and said, hey, they want to make you series regulars.
We were all so, so excited. It also meant that maybe we wouldn't get fired. Now, did that happen in the middle of filming booze cruise are at the beginning. What was in the middle? We were on the boat. I remember we were on the boat when I got the call saying that NBC would like for you to be series regulars and you're going to have like an extended contract. You're not going to be a week to week day player.
Oh, my God. We were all talking. We were all so excited. The supporting cast, you and I, we had a break where we got to go off the boat, but we're standing right by the boat, Jenna. We're right by the boat. And I gave Oscar Nunez my camera and I said, Oscar, I want you to capture this moment. You and I had been jumping up and down, holding hands, screaming because we were so excited.
And you have that photo. I have the photo in you. And I look insane because I'm sure we're tired, we're tired, and we're mid jumping up in air, holding hands like two schoolgirls. And and Oscar was like, oh, you two are so silly. And he gave us a big hug, but this was job security. Yeah. And yes, this was like we all knew.
Now, one, our show must be doing well because now they're going to pay us all to be here all the time. Yeah. And and then we knew we had a job.
Special. Special. You know, things are starting to turn now. We've been talking about how we were really wondering week to week if we had jobs and now we're starting to feel like, oh, we're on a TV show that's going to keep coming back.
Now, we still haven't been picked up for season three yet, but we know, OK, we at least have a job for like another 13 weeks.
Yeah, this was the most job security any of us had had since the beginning of the show.
Oh, yeah, yeah. For sure. For sure. All right. Fast fact number two, let's talk about our guest stars, big, big guest stars.
First up, this is the third and final appearance of Amy Adams as Katy. Now, I went back and I was looking at the timeline. She had not yet been nominated for her Academy Award for Junebug. That happened just a couple weeks after we finished filming this episode. But there was a ton of buzz.
There was a lot of buzz that she was going to be an Oscar contender. And it was just so wonderful knowing her the way we did at this point and knowing that she had just been a hard working actress. Some things had gone her way. Some things happen. And to just sort of see this electricity around her and she is just such a humble, sweet, kind person, you just can't help but root for her.
And I remember being so happy for her and hopeful I was seated next to her for pretty much most of the work in this episode. And we just became such good friends doing this.
We shared so much about our lives and our hopes and our dreams. And she was just a very open, warm, generous person. And then, you know, this boat was no no frills, no no frills on this boat. OK, yeah. We were just sleeping on those benches between takes and she was all in. Another big guest star from this episode is Rob Riggle as Captain Jack Riggs.
So a few facts about Rob in case people don't know he is. A real Marine Corps veteran. He joined the Marines in 1990 with the intention of becoming a naval aviator, but then he left to pursue comedy. Yeah, comedy. Yeah, but he stayed a member of the Marine Corps Reserves until he retired in 2013 after 23 years of service. I mean. This is he's the real deal. He is the real deal, and the man has such a heart for service, you do the softball game with him.
I do. He's one of the people.
He's one of the people for Children's Mercy Hospital. And and Rob is just an inspiration to me. Well, you guys out there might recognize him also from SNL or from The Daily Show where he played their military correspondent or from like a gazillion movies, including Furry Vengeance with Angela Kinsey was in for vengeance. And then you won't recognize him from a pilot. He and I did called the Gabriel's O on Fox that never saw the light of day where we played husband and wife.
We had so much fun. I keep telling him, I'm like, Rob, someday we're going to get to play husband and wife again.
Oh, I would love to see that. You guys would be great. Yes. So you know him. You're friends with him? Yes, we are pals. So I called him yesterday and he's like the busiest guy ever. I was like, Rob, where are you? Are you in Los Angeles?
Because the last time I talked to him, he was in Scotland. Oh, he's like doing some really fun stuff. But I talked to him and I was like, Rob, what do you remember about Captain Jack and the whole booze cruise episode? And this is what he said, OK? He said, well, and on a personal level, it was one of the first jobs I had after leaving Saturday Night Live. I was so nervous. I was really green and I hadn't done much in front of a camera.
I was scared and I wanted to do a good job because I loved the show so much and the character was so much fun. He also said he really enjoyed that we shot on the water and that it was a night shoot. And he said, you know, I don't know if you remember this, but no one could retreat to their trailers between scenes. You had no where to go. So we all hung out in that boat all night.
We sat in the booths and hung out and people would sort of booth hop between scenes. You would have people that were like, oh, let's go talk to John and Jenna and Amy Adams and David Denman. Oh, let's go talk to the counting, you know. Yeah. And so we said it was so fun. We would both hop and everyone would hang out. And I really felt like I got to know some people that night. The second thing he said was he felt really bad for Steve because Steve was shooting Evan Almighty all throughout the day.
And then he would come over to our set and film throughout the night. But even though Steve was so tired, he was still kind and thoughtful and professional.
And he said that Steve really became an inspiration for him for work ethic. Now, if you know, Rob, you know, he has an amazing work ethic, but he really saw that in Steve.
OK, so the third thing he said and he was like, and this is going to haunt me. It's haunted me for 14 years. Why?
He said I had to say, like, while I'm Powerpack. And he said, And did you just hear how I said that? Like, Well, I'm Powerpack. I said it like it just rolled off my tongue, like I grew up there. Yeah.
He said I could not get it. Oh, he said, I don't even know if they had a usable take. He said, I must have messed it up ten times in a row. He said, I started sweating. I was so embarrassed. Oh no, he said I could not say Wallum Powerpack. And he said when his when his like shoot was done and he was driving home. Oh he did. On his drive home from Long Beach, I was like a, you know, an hour and a half drive and he was like like all my back, back, back.
I said I could say it with no problem in my car driving home. He said, but I could not sit in the take. And he said, it's haunted me for 14 years. Rob, I love you, you know, and you guys be sure to check out Rob. Regal's new show on the Discovery Channel is starting March eight is called Global Investigator, and he wants me to let you guys know that it's going to air after naked and afraid.
I said, well, Rob, that's a lead in. Rob is fantastic and I adore him. Thanks so much, Rob.
Oh, that was amazing. Good intel. And so we have yet another guest star on this episode, Brenda Wither's plays. Brenda, the corporate liaison sent on the booze cruise to keep tabs on Michael. And there are some fun facts about Brenda. Let's let's hear them. Brenda and Mindy Kaling were a writing team before the office. They wrote and performed in an off Broadway play called Matt and Ben, which was about the friendship of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
And they played Matt and Ben. Yes, Brenda played Matt and Mindy played Ben. It was set in 1995 and it tells the story of Matt and Ben before they were stars in their apartment fantasizing about being famous. It was a huge hit. It was a smash crime scene that I looked up The New York Times Review and it was just glowing. And this really put them on the map. And it's it's definitely what got Mindy noticed. We haven't even talked about this.
We haven't even mentioned who's coming on the show today.
I know. I was just about to let it roll. I know it. I know I thought about it, too. And I was like, wait, we didn't even say, you guys, we are in an amazingly huge, awesome. The guest of all guest is on today. Greg Daniels, the creator of the show coming on the episode today, going to be here any minute, he is going to sit with us where we are a little giddy.
As you can tell, we're super giddy. And I believe he went and saw the show and that's how he discovered Mindy. Yeah, well, we'll ask him because he'll be OK. He's going to be here. Yes, that's right. Greg Daniels, show runner of the office and writer of this episode, will be joining us. That's hilarious. Why did we not lead with that talk about burying the lead? I think we're just so excited.
I know I'm watching the clock because he's going to be here soon. So I was like, oh, let's get those facts done, because then Greg's going to be here. Oh, just get fast facts. Hey, now hurry up and get your facts. Good bed. No, I'm kidding. I'm kidding. All right. Well, let's finish with these fast facts so that Greg can get in here fast. Act number three. We shot on location, guys, on a boat, on a boat, on a boat.
This was outside of the Long Beach Harbor, which is about 45 minutes south of Los Angeles. We shot there for three days now for two of the days we filmed while the boat was docked. And then there was one night when we were moving because we were in Long Beach and they put us up at a hotel. I had these grand fantasies that we were going to be all hanging out back at the hotel and like kind of partying or something.
I don't know. I like this idea. We have really been on location before. We never even saw the hotel literally.
We're on the boat all night and we would go to the hotel, maybe sleep a few hours, and then we'd go right back.
I have no memory of the hotel. No, yeah, I. I did bring poker chips thinking that we would hang out at the hotel and play poker, but it never happened. We actually filmed from like late afternoon overnight until the sun came up. Yes. I wrote in my journal that we filmed from two thirty p.m. and usually wrapped around five a.m. and I wrote I felt the motion of that boat all week. The next week I would be in line at the grocery store and realized I was swimming.
Oh my gosh. It was intense because even when the boat wasn't moving, you're still on water. Well, yeah, even I actually think it's worse when you're just docked because then it's like doing this weird like like a bull.
Yeah. Bull kind of thing. And when you're moving, you know, it's better. It's like a forward motion. But that kind of totally rocking against the dark for days.
Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. It's bringing back memories. I have some fantastic photos from this episode because I brought my camera, my old school camera. I already mentioned we got a photo when I found out I was series regular, but I had it on the boat with me the whole time. So I have I have so many. I was looking at all my office photos, all my memorabilia and booze. Cruise is a huge chunk of photos.
I brought my camcorder back then. We didn't have iPhones on this boat, but I had a little camcorder and I filmed all of us behind the scenes. I remember the documentary of Booze Cruise, which you can find on YouTube. It go on YouTube and like Jenna Fischer booze cruise documentary, it'll pop up. It's amazing. I interviewed crew members. I asked them what they did. And it's very funny because you see us getting on the boat. Dave Rogers, our editor, I gave him all the footage and he put together this video.
You see us all getting on the boat. We're like, yes.
And then the first night, we're like, yeah, booze cruise, we're still we're doing it, we're doing it. By the third night, no one will speak to me, but you definitely see the progression. I watched the whole thing and it just made me smile. I just man, it just brought me right back. And we also look 12 years old. We do. We just look. So I was like, oh, man, time has marched on across my face.
Oh, no. I was like, how we look so young? Well, that's all I've got. Should we go get Greg and bring him in here and break down this episode? Yes, because I have a ton of note cards. You really do. I really do. Look, I just got here early because because so many cards that she was like I came in and I was shocked. I said, what is this? Here it is, though.
All right. Well, let's do it.
OK, guys, we're back from our break, and we are sitting here with Greg Daniels. Yeah, writer of booze, cruise show, runner of the office. Greg, thank you so much for coming in.
Thank you so much for inviting me. I love your show. You guys are so good together. It's so entertaining to hear you. And it's so fun for me to hear your voices and your points of view and everything. Thank you so much.
Not for you, Greg. We would not be best friends in this show wouldn't exist.
Our lives would be completely. I don't even know. I can't even put it into words, honestly, because now I'll get emotional. Here I go. Angels crying already I get sorry. I just all kind of hit me, you know.
You know how Jim says he'll get a paycheck, that Michael in this episode is going to do the Titanic thing? Yeah, I would have said Angel was going to Europe and it happened.
Already happened so soon. I know. And I'm sorry. I just it just all like the wave hit me of just gratitude I have for you. Just absolute gratitude in my heart.
Likewise. Yeah. Yeah. Great. It was a great time for all of us. And if your friendship was the only thing that came out of it, that would be cool.
Oh, and yet it's not as I know.
Well, Greg, when we have guests, we always like to start with asking them how did they end up being on the office? How did you end up developing the office for American Television?
I will go back a little ways because I was kind of already with a career at the time that the show started a very successful career.
Greg, I mean, you had Don King. I won't list your IMDB, but you were the real deal.
Go ahead. I don't know it enough. You created King of the Hill. King of the Hill.
You were running that show, but you had written on Saturday Night Live and Simpsons, The Simpsons forever. And oh, my gosh, there's that one song that you wrote on The Simpsons. That is just amazing. Anyway, OK, OK.
It's a Quickie Mart. Yes, yes, yes, yes. OK, so you were the real deal. It was. It was things were cookin so. Yeah.
So I was in a good position. You know how they say like you need 10000 hours to be good at something. Yes. So I had sort of 10000 hours on The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live and then I had another like 15000 hours on King of the Hill. So I was like prepared. And what happened was my agent sent me the tape of the office and it was pretty unknown over here. And it had a pretty boring title and I didn't watch it.
And the BBC or BBC version.
And and so he called me. It was over Christmas, like two years before our show came out, and he said, all right, I'm going to send this to somebody else if you don't watch it. And I was like, oh, OK, hang on, hang on. I'll watch it tonight. And I put it in around 11:00 and I stayed up till like 3:00 in the morning watching it. I thought it was just brilliant. So, you know, I called and I said, I really want to meet these guys.
And I had been kind of like a good little student, you know, always in my career. And I always wanted to interact with people who I respected. And, you know, I sold episode to Seinfeld so I could work with Larry David. And that was like a career important move for me. And I kind of identified that Ricky Gervais, since even Merchant, had done something that put them in the top ranks of people working in this profession.
So I really wanted to meet them and they I didn't really think it could be adapted. So I was kind of scamming them.
I was like, I'm going to go meet you and shake this and take your knowledge. You ask you questions, build a relationship for something in the future, never know what's going to be this.
And anyway, so we met over at Ben Silverman's office because he had the rights and we got along very well because it turned out that they loved American TV and specifically The Simpsons and specifically their favorite episode or Ricky's favorite episode was Homer Bad Man, which I had written. And so we kind of hit it amazing.
And I was telling them, you know, all the kind of theories that I had about making a TV show that I put into place and King of the Hill, which was, you know, a slower pace and allowing for awkwardness and realism and all this stuff.
And it was they really responded to that.
So we decided, well, maybe I would be the person to adapt it into America. And then there was a couple of, you know, months where we were kind of hammering it out and but it was always the thought was always to bring it to someplace cool. And Kabali because the show was not like what was on TV. You know, I think the biggest show at the time was Will and Grace, which was very kind of multicamera faster.
Yes, very different feel you know. Yeah. Didn't have that work. Feel like television. Yeah. Yeah. Felt weird. And so we were talking about well maybe we'll go to HBO and and apparently Kevin Reilly it effects really likes it. And so we had a couple of thoughts and anyway so I signed on to do it and then Kevin Reilly left eFax and went to NBC and HBO didn't want to do X, they'd want to do a remake.
And Ben was like, you got to sell this to NBC. And then I got very worried. So I was like, this is going to work on NBC.
You know, you're like, this isn't what I signed up for. Yeah. Cool cable show. Yeah, exactly.
And and I also had these stress dreams where I would be put on trial by all the comedy nerds in the world for doing this lousy NBC version of the office.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So but eventually we were like, well maybe, maybe the value of it will be to move network comedy into a new direction, maybe, maybe open it up just a little bit and make it more like what I liked about animation, which was single camera and didn't have a laugh track and stuff like that. So I was like, okay, I kind of convinced myself it was worth doing just for that.
And it ushered in this whole new type of American television completely. All right. Well, let's get into booze cruise. All right, let's do it. Jenna, what was the inspiration for this episode?
You know, one of the things we were doing was we were looking for classic office situations and trying to test them for was their comic potential.
And the idea of going on a booze cruise sounded funny. And this was like our biggest episode yet. You know, this was where we were kind of feeling some oats as a show.
And if you remember, they bought a whole bunch of hotel rooms. Yeah. Oh, buddy. And this was sort of going to be like the new thing. We were maybe going to have more location shooting. And it was very exciting.
Speaking of the booze cruise, when we were on the boat, I remember I was standing next to you and I had told you that I had been on a booze cruise and I had done a snorkel shot, like when we were talking about that.
After we roll with that right away from that. No, no, no. We were so I think we read we had the table read, we read the script and I went up to you and I was like, this is great. I said, you know, I went on one of these and it is it gets crazy. I mean, there were snorkel shots and you're like snorkel shots and you're like, OK, I want to talk to you more about snorkel shots.
And then you kind of went off and we were like just like you were busy with the episode. It was a very big episode. And then we were on the boat. And I think you had mentioned it to Phil Shea. And so he had snorkels. And I just remember all of a sudden I was like talking to Brian and Oskar and I heard Angela, Angela get over here and it was you. And you're like, get over here, talk to them about snorkel shots.
It's like, oh, OK, you poured it at the top. But, you know, and so we sort of had this quick snorkel shot tutorial and then it made it in the episode. That's great. But it was about that. It was just so fun. I always we talk about this a lot, how you were so open to, like in the moment, like collaboration and getting people's ideas. And it made for such a fun, awesome work environment.
Yes, completely. I love that work that you guys did because, you know, part of the thing that I wanted to do with the show was like the experiences that I had had that I didn't like in show business were mostly like factory made TV, where they keep the writers over here and the actors are over here and nobody talks to each other and they got to get the scripts out fast. And and it didn't feel very creative. And I really wanted to mix it all and have a more handmade feel to it.
And so I had you know, I had a lot of the Writers Act and I would ask the some of the actors to write. And I always loved to get access to the kind of actor prepares work that you guys did, you know, and and I would hop on any great ad lib like that whole thing with rain being Amish just came out of an ad lib, if you remember where he was talking about his grandfather's name and he said, Dwight Schrute, Amish.
And then we were like, oh, and then you just ran with it. Yeah, yeah. That sounded fun.
And I also remember in the casting process, like I. You know, we we initially wanted Steve and then he took that other show, come to papa before Alison Jones came on board, I don't know if you know that. No. Yeah.
So we had heard Ben had specifically heard about how great Steve was in Bruce Almighty, and he really had that amazing sort of scene stealing moment where he's speaking in tongues as the newscaster. Yes. And everybody knew he was, you know, really great.
And and there would be a good choice for this. And I very methodical, as you know. And I was like, OK, that sounds great. First, I want to get the casting director on board. And I, you know, really wanted to use Alison Jones from her work on Freaks and Geeks, which I loved. And it took two weeks to get her on board in those two weeks.
Steve took this other show and wow, you know, I might have been that. Yeah, it was awful.
So then we went on this incredibly long process of looking at every single person in town who could possibly be in the age range for Michael Scott and including various writer friends that I had who I threw into the mix. And, you know, just normal people like we walk down the street, go, you look good. You know this. Yeah. But anyway, it came full circle. And then after three months of intense casting, we got a little tip off from Kevin Reilly that maybe come to papa wasn't going to go the distance and we could get Steve in second position to that other show and we'd be safe.
And so let's get into booze cruise.
Oh, my God. All right. All right. All that card. OK, OK. I'm saying. No, no. Oh, wait. Right. I know. Go minute 45. Oh, yes, yes. And only one. I believe Kevin is packing a Speedo. A metallic blue Speedo. Yeah. And lots of condoms and condoms. Yes. And lots of condoms. He's also we have a great Jim Pam talking head, a joint talking head, which I know was really fun for you guys to do right before that.
That's where we're reading the memo from Michael that he has sent around telling us to prepare for a surprise outing. He tells us to pack a toothbrush, a swimsuit, a ski mask and wear your rubber soled shoes. I love how delighted Pam is by Jim in this talking head. And also at one minute, 53 seconds, please notice the winter Scranton backdrop outside of the window of our time that we would change those backdrops seasonally. They were we had a springtime one.
We had a summer and a winter. So this was our winter backdrop out the window.
January on lake while in public. That's right. Stanley's like a booze cruise in January.
And also on that note, like we said, we are jumping ahead. But at six minutes forty five seconds, when Kevin is walking down the ramp to get on the boat, he is wearing a ski mask.
There you see a man in a scheme how chilly you're writing a memo to a T.. Wait, OK, wait.
Now, wait. We do have to give our background people who love the background stuff in the cold open. What all is in the vending machine?
Oh, yes. Oh yes. The cold open. Jim puts Dwight stuff in the vending machine. Pam buys Dwight's pencil cup, which is letter H is the oh pencil cuff.
Someone does a deep dove.
G is Dwight's death nameplate F is a picture frame of Raines actual family. Yes. Fan question Hanna Watkins asked. There is a framed picture in the vending machine. Is that a real photo from Raines childhood? It is a photo of Raines aunt and uncle and nephew. Hmm.
Yes, rain had brought in. I remember a family photo album of sort of country cousins of his that lived in Oregon, I think. And I and that was part of what he was drawing from. For Dwight. For his character. Yeah. We put it in a frame. Yes. Oh, that's perfect.
I so good h h was a stapler. I was Mike Gregg. I might say this wrong. Mike Lieberthal.
He it was a bobblehead of a Phillies baseball coach.
I don't know because I know that's something that you shouldn't really go to me for. I'll tell you that right now there was I mean, Velshi, who was brilliant master on our show for the whole time of the show, used to go to Scranton and return with truckloads of tchotchkes from the different businesses and give away pens. I love the local sports figure bobbleheads and stuff. And I think that was on the penguins maybe.
No, he was a Phillies. The Phillies. I looked him up. I Googled him, Mike Lubrizol. He was a Philadelphia Phillies catcher on their baseball team. And then also the letter J is Dwight's wallet.
Yes. And Jim gives Dwight a bag of nickels to get all his stuff back, which I love that detail. So then we go to the scene where Stanley goes into Michael's office to find out if they will be spend. The night and Michael is so coy and just loves that, nobody knows where they're going and Stanley says, Should my wife tell her boss she's not coming in tomorrow?
And he's like Stanley Bowie in and out of family, me, my mom and Stanley, like, you can't or Stanley can't get anything out because Michael's interrupting him with this ridiculous, like song that was also like an early season running joke.
Was him changing people's names? He did. He did it to Pam constantly. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. It's like we kind of dropped that after a few years. Yeah. He didn't he didn't really do that to people anymore.
All right. So we move into the conference room where Michael finally reveals to everyone that they're going on a booze cruise of Lake Wall in Powerpack. I became obsessed with the question personally. Do they really have booze cruises of like while in Pontiac? Yes and no. I did a deep dove on the Internet. OK, so what they mostly have are pontoon boat tours, open aired tours where a guide tells you about the scenery.
Well, that boat, the real boat that we filmed. Yeah. Was a boat from Long Beach Harbor and was big metal boat. I can't picture how it would have gotten to Lake Wallum Powerpack, which is, you know, so I did a bit of a deep dove.
I think they have like a motor restriction law on Lake Whilom pop out. Yeah. So like, you can only have like, I don't think our boat size would be permitted.
Well, supposedly they do have a dinner cruise, so if you're in the area you can look that up. I'm sure there's beer and wine.
I mean, I'm not sure, but can we OK, in the conference room scene, first of all, these are some of my favorite scenes because Michael has something he so desperately is trying to say and then we just keep interrupting him.
Like I went and looked at the first draft of the episode and there is a scene that it was in the first draft where Brenda, the person from corporate, tells Michael that she hears he's planning this booze cruise and she tells him that corporate won't pay for it unless it has a certain amount of educational content. And he panics because he hadn't prepared anything. And then we go into the conference room scene and he's trying to make up stuff off the top of his head leader ship.
It's all about the pause, but we had a very hard time keeping a straight face in the scene, as we often did in conference room scenes. And I caught a few people breaking. And Andy Mindy at three minutes.
Forty one seconds when she says, I took the tags off already when she's talking about her bathing suit because, you know, Michael says bring a bathing suit. Now she doesn't need one. Mindy puts her hand to her mouth. Yeah.
That's what she would do when she saw Mindy was an easy breaker, that's for sure. So it's so easy. Her hair is half up, half down, lay down. We're tracking when Kelly is fully Mindy. Yeah, because, Greg, maybe you can shine some light on this. Mindy, the character of Kelly Kapoor started out as a very kind of like stuffy up do.
Her hair was in a bun. She always like a paisley top one with all the way up to her neck like an ascot. Yes. Yes. And then she very slowly just turns into Mindy Kaling. Yes, basically. And now she's she her hair has transitioned. And this is a long campaign.
OK, Mindy waged behind the scenes taking you know, and I know she plotted it in every every step was a victory. And a lot of it would be we'd kind of do a double team go, hey, wait, what what are you wearing that she would have liked? She would have slipped something in. Yeah. And she kind of hijacked that character and made it into her character.
Well, we're enjoying watching the slow evolution of this. It's been really fun.
Yes. I think her hair has now transformed. We're waiting for her wardrobe to transform. And also we're waiting for the first Beyonce reference, which has not happened yet.
Well, Brenda, also, I don't know, this is maybe would was this a fast fact? Oh, fast fact.
I did discuss Brenda in fast facts, but we were going to come to you. Yes, I was coming to your input about Brenda.
Well, Brenda was Mindy's writing and performance partner in the play. That is how I cast Mindy, because Mindy wrote this off Broadway play called Matt and Ben about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck writing Good Will Hunting. And Mindy played Ben Affleck and her and Brenda, who's in booze Cruise played Matt Damon. And it was a hilarious play. And you went and saw it?
Yes, I went and saw the accident or on purpose. No, I was actually I was a guest of my wife, Susanne Daniels, who was network executive possibly at the WB at that time. I'm not exactly sure where she was working. And she went to see it to do talent scouting. And I knew went with her for funny. Yeah. And it was great. And then by coincidence. Spec script came in like the next day for me to read, for staffing for writers, and I was like, hey, wait, that's the one I just saw.
An amazing, amazing, terrific.
I would have loved to see that. So so now we have Brenda and she's like the corporate person. You guys, I have to point out something about Brenda. I know we're not on the boat yet, but Brenda drinks the whole boat ride.
She's there to check in on Michael. She's a beer in her hand. You look look at her scenes on the boat. She has a beer the whole time she's at the bar.
I mean, he only sees her when she's at the bar.
Pretty much. Pretty much. Or she walks up with a beer. Like to check in on him before we get out of the conference room. Seeing Phyllis broke so hard. Do you remember this? Oh, my gosh. So Michael has said that the sales team could be it's like the furnace of the ship.
Yes. It keeps keeps things moving along. Yes.
And compares them to the people from Titanic. Right. Titanic and five minutes. Twenty seconds. Phyllis has to put her head down because she starts laughing because she says she knows what the furnace does. And then at five minutes, 50 seconds, she says everyone in the engine room drowned. Do you remember that she could not get out the word drown like she couldn't. She just broke every time. And you can see her legs starting to break. That would that made me break on the day.
Yes, way too. What so sadly realized that everyone in the engine room drowned to drown.
Well, now let's we have to have the moment everyone gets on the boat. We've left the conference room. Yes. We're jumping around a little at six minutes. Twenty seconds. Michael says that Pam is Marianne, Katie and Jim or the professor and Ginger Angelas. Mrs. Howell Kelly's the native. Stanley is one of the Globetrotters. Michael is the skipper and Dwight is Gilligan. And this begins the war between Captain Jack and Captain Michael.
Yes, I love that Michael has worn his captain hat to the most crews. He has it on in the booze cruise and he still has it on. And now they're having their little power struggle. Who is going to be the boss of this trip? Captain Jack is clearly going to win. I mean, I feel like his boundary is very strong from the beginning, very strong. And I want to say, Captain Jack, played by Rob Riggle.
Yes. Was a Marine. Yes, a Marine.
Yes. Yes. There's a lot of authenticity to Captain Jack's military bearing there. How did you find Rob? Well, I mean, you know Rob, right?
I know, Rob. We talked a little bit about it and one of our fast facts. But Rob wanted me to give you a message. Yes, I talked to him yesterday and he what he said, thank you so much.
Also, he's sorry that he couldn't say like, well, OMGPOP Rob was, you know, in the Allison Jones orbit. So and and we certainly knew about him. And I don't know whether he came in for one of the other parts, like he might have come in for Dwight or something. I'm not 100 percent sure.
Did that happen? Sometimes people who had come in for main cast members, you would ping them for a future episode? Sure.
Yeah. I mean, I think Allison released some of the audition tapes as part of a DVD extra, but there were a lot of cool people that came in. It would have been very interesting to see Seth Rogen as Dwight, for instance.
Yes, definitely. Or Kristen Wiig as Pam.
Yeah, I think she came in to read Pam. Yeah, I think she's in my sight on my my on my. I'm Katherine Horn. Yeah. Allison Jones gave me my sign in sheet day and Katherine Horn is on it and Bob Odenkirk is on it.
Yeah, well Bob was really the number two. If we if we didn't have Steve it would have been Bob. He did a great job. And then in season nine, we brought him back as a sort of echo.
He was so fantastic to. Yeah, he's great. So I have a lot of fan questions about the boat. Sure. OK, so since we're getting on the boat, Casey, right. Asked Was the boat really moving? And Sam Pellet asked how cold it was. The boat was really moving through the water for one of the days of shooting. The other two days, I believe it was docked and it was cold. It was December 2005, which was chilly, especially at night out on the water.
A lot of people wondered, where you pretending to be that cold? I remember being cold.
Yes, it was a lot of pretending your cheeks are like bright pink in that scene. Yes.
So Lorne Michaels has a thing that he says sometimes where, like, he will get in character underwear for the actors and yeah, I think this is it. And people said, well, why? Who cares that it's not going to be on camera?
And he goes, Yes, but the actors know. Oh, and I kind of get that. Yeah, I kind of get that.
So we certainly believed in that and went out on this real boat in Long Beach Harbor and was this huge thing. And to me, the key of it was that romantic scene on the on the top deck between. Pam and Jim and, you know, I just thought it'd be so pretty up there with the twinkling lights of the harbor in the background and everything, so we we do that scene and.
Later in the editing room, somebody was like, what you do, you just did you just put a row of Christmas lights against a black piece of Duva team there and do it in a studio.
And we're like, no, you're on an actual boat. But it didn't really look that impressive when it came down. It was just this one little tweak, old thing of lights on the horizon could have been on a soundstage.
We could have been nice and toasty and comfortable. But the wind was blowing and I could I don't know, I could tell you're on a boat. I think so. Well, one of the challenges of being on the boat was how sick everyone got. Great. Do you remember that? We were yeah.
There was a lot of seasickness purely falling on it. Yeah, I did not get seasick.
But do you remember coming up to Cape Flanary and I and saying, hey, you guys, I want to get some B roll of people vomiting off the side of the boat to photo, but that would be something I would have done. It was like 3:00 in the morning and you said so you had Mattsson grab as many people as he could and we had the choice of cream of mushroom or minestrone. Oh, right, right, right. Big vomiting, vomiting, the fake vomiting.
And I did. I did minestrone. Yeah. Good choice.
You had to take a swig of it and hold it in your mouth until action and then puke it and that the the I don't know, five to ten seconds you held it in your mouth was the most horrible thing because you're just like me, like trying not to gag.
So I didn't puke for real, but I did fake puke. Well, I got really sick. So did David Denman and I was wearing those wristbands. Yes.
We were trying to pass our boning to and stuff. Yeah.
There was all there were all these remedies. Nothing really worked. Sea sickness. God gave me something to chew on. Maybe that gum. Yeah, there's like a ginger gum. So at one point the real captain of the boat heard that I was recaptured, it was recaptured. And then there was also there was Dwight's steering the ship and the guy and then a real guy. At one point, the real captain of the ship heard I was struggling and he got out this oil that he rubbed behind my ears.
And about ten minutes later, I was totally fine. Wow. So I written about this in my diary. I looked it up and I found some on Amazon. Here's what's in it.
Here's where we turn this whole thing into an Essential Oils podcast. Yeah, the way we're sponsored by.
Yeah, sold by Jan Janns, Essential Oils and Candles. So here's what it has in it. Lavender, peppermint, camomile, something called ylang ylang birch. And then it has frankincense and myrrh. That's the stuff that the wise men gave Jesus, you know, to have this massive, very expensive stuff.
Yeah. Yeah. Fancy. Who knew?
I didn't even I mean, I know frankincense and myrrh are real, but I didn't know they were real. I mean, I thought they were part of a Christmas. So it's not real, but like, what are they. I guess they are what you rub behind your ears when you're seasick.
That sounds like they just threw everything in the kitchen sink into this the long, long night of Lang Lang Lang Lang. All right. So in the script there was a scene, Greg, that as the boat is pulling away, Toby's car suddenly drives up and he and and Michael yells at him from the ship. Oh, come on, what's up? He's like, I'm sorry. There was there was an accident or there was traffic. And then Michael says, We're not going back.
We're not going back from just leave him. And then Paul turns to camera as Toby and he kind of gives a little weight. That's a big smile. Yeah. Like you did on purpose. But you can find that in the deleted scenes. We shot it. Yes, we shot it. And it was very nice. And that is why Toby is not on the boat.
For anyone who was wondering, maybe we should take a lot of excuses for why Toby wouldn't be on things so that he could help out as a writer and producer, Toby and BJ and Mindy, like they sat in the you know, Mindy was in the annex.
Yeah, things like that.
I was so clever in season one, making them actors so that they would have this experience of being actors. And then at some point in season two, I'm looking around and fifty percent of the writers are gone. They're on set. And I'm like, oh, what have I done?
OK, at seven minutes. Fifty five seconds, Rob Riggle breaks. He totally breaks what we talked about it. It just it stayed in the shot. So Rob, as Captain Jack is going over the safety features of the boat and Michael really wants to hijack this speech and give it and he can't. So he just starts doing like the flight attendant, like pointing to the exit. Yeah. And Rob just breaks. He just starts laughing, but he just keeps going.
And then Reyna's Dwight laughs So it just sort of like but it stays in. Oh that's amazing. But Rob was like, yeah, I just, I just laughed and I but I just kept talking through my laugh when Steve is doing his dancing.
Yes, I. I remember like trying to build the reactions because everybody's supposed to be like unimpressed and just, you know, straight faced and it was almost impossible because everybody was breaking it made him do that over and over and over again for so long.
I remember I was I remember when we watched it, I just thought, oh, my gosh, Michael's dance because he danced.
So, yeah, in my journal, I said that we started taping that around 2:00 a.m. like it was really late. Yeah.
A fan question from Terre Licky was Steve Dance choreographed? I don't think so, I really think he improvised that I don't remember it being in the script. I think he just kind of went for it.
I have the script at home for this episode and I read it. And there is no direction for Michael's stance in the script. It just says Pan over to see Michael doing a weird dance. Yeah, that's it.
As much as there was another fan question about the dance, Steve Dresser says, how many takes of that superb dance did it take to get Steve's full moves?
I'm going to say about six, I think. Yeah. What do you think? What do you remember?
That seems about right. I can't remember when he started slapping his leg. That was something that was early on or later. And the worm, I mean, they were different. I feel like there were different versions of the dance. And then we kind of made the highlight reel in the from.
Yeah, I was on the deleted scenes. You can see even more of the dancing if you want to.
I remember when when Ken finally was like, OK, cut. Steve was on the ground doing the last one. Yeah. And and he got up and everyone applauded for him and like you guys came over and gave him a hug. Yes. He had really good casting.
He completely did. I was amazing.
Here is a fan question. Was there music playing when Michael danced or was it added later? My memory is that it was added later.
I mean, I feel like what we often did was we would do one take with the music and and then somebody would have a little earwig, you know, and they would say, do you want to do it with an earwig? And a lot of effort had gone into making a tiny, invisible thing that could play the soundtrack.
And then the actor would go, no, I don't need it yet. And then there was do the next five takes just for memory.
That's how I feel like it probably went down. I do remember some fun facts about the band on Booze Cruise.
Yes, we had a lot of questions about the band.
Yes, exactly. Because my friend Bob Thiele Jr., as you were pointing out on your card, who did our theme song, was in the band. And three out of the four band people were the guys who played our theme song, How Creagan and Dylan, also Dell and O'Brien, who's a big songwriter in L.A. And these guys were a friend of mine, a friend of mine or Bob was. And the theme song for the office was written by Jay Ferguson.
But he sent over a a version of it on synthesizer, which was, you know, a little. It was great, it was obviously great song, loved it, but it was didn't sound, didn't have the energy that you'd want. And so Bob had this kind of rockin band that he put together of his friends. And we went and recorded the theme song with all live instruments in a session.
Yeah, that is so cool. I did not know that. Yeah, that is so cool.
And then he became, you know, then he called his band the Scranton's. Yeah.
And then he came to Scranton with us and would play at our parties often and he was in the the I had a fan write in and say that he's also in Phyllis's wedding with Kevin in Scranton, a city I had a fan as well.
Vanessa Backload said that she noticed that at least one of the band members shows up later in Scranton, a city at Phyllis's wedding. Yeah, it's Bob.
Oh, Bob. You know, Bob also did music the music for Sons of Anarchy in the Mayans. So he's he's quite talented. So talented. Yeah.
I have an 11 minutes, 14 seconds. This is really crazy.
Why these three people, Phyllis, Kevin and Angela, are dancing together.
Oh, what I'm telling you, they're shot of of Phyllis dancing with Creed at one point.
Yes. Yes. Towards the end there is they're dancing together. But we're doing that that awkward dance. We're like I almost feel like like in eighth grade.
We're like a group of girls dance together, except it's me, Phyllis and Kevin who are just kind of doing like a little sway like that. It's very funny to me.
Well, I don't know if you remember Greg, but there was a runner. I read it in the script and then I went back and I saw it in the deleted scenes.
There was this whole runner through this episode that Oscar is a really mean drunk.
So, yeah, I didn't like that. I reread the script, too, and I was like, oh, good.
Oh, I use this where he's just he's getting drunk and then he's going around and he's insulting all of you. So that is probably why Oscar is not dancing with you guys. And also later, he's isolated himself. Yeah, later.
It's just Kevin and I in the booth. Yeah, that's probably why. Because Oscar's off, like talking about you, not about that.
Well, I want to go back to the scene with Jim Carrey, Pam and Roy sitting around the table. Great.
Katie makes a comment where she says, oh, we're at the cool table. And then they all talk about what they were like in high school. Except, Jim, we don't hear about Jim, but we find out that Katie was a cheerleader and that Pam was artsy fartsy. Thanks, Roy. And that Roy played sports. And then Amy does her little cheer. Amy as Katie does her awesome cheer. And that was not in the script. We found out on the set that Amy Adams was a cheerleader and she knew a bunch of cheers.
And she did. You had her do little cheers. Yeah. For us to react to.
Amy and I did a few cheers together. We were all really punchy, you guys. It was like 3:00 in the morning, you know.
So do you remember because I remember when we were doing that scene and Amy started to do the cheerleader stuff. We did a couple of takes of it. And then Ken wanted to move on and something was bothering me and I didn't want to move on from that scene. And I realized that the balance sheet kind of shifted the balance because Amy Adams, obviously very charismatic. Yeah. You know, beautiful actress. And she did that really fun, cute cheerleader thing.
And then we were going to move on and I realized, like, Pam is just basically not participating on the same level here. She's kind of denying the cheerleader thing, but she isn't doing her own charismatic thing. And we went back and at nine or nine, I went back to you and I said, you got to kick this up a notch, do something. Remember that? Yeah. And then you kind of mocked her cheerleader thing and you did that.
And I was like, yeah, because that was not in the script.
That wasn't that was added in the moment. Yeah. And that's yeah. I kind of I kind of flirt with Jim there.
I have a private moment at the table that that was like so bold with the boy sitting next to you. Like when I watched it again I was like, wait, she's flirting with Jim, with Roy next to her and also kind of making fun of Katie. Yeah, I like Pam's having a moment. Well, I think it was an important connection.
They are great because it is certainly going to help give Jim the courage to do what he's going to attempt to do, which is tell Pam his feelings. Yeah, I think without that little moment of them bonding over how ridiculous their significant others are being, it's like you need to see them as that bonded couple.
Yeah. So it doesn't come so out of the blue that Jim would think this could be my moment.
Well, also, Pam really gives him an opening. Yeah. Top of the boat. She does. Yeah.
That to me the Jim thing of it was she's. Engaged and he wants to be a good person and, you know, respect the fact that she's engaged in, but he's also like. There's all these clues coming in that there could be something and he doesn't go for it and it's very. Frustrating to watch. It's so painful to watch, but also feel so honest. Because that's how you would be. You wouldn't you'd want to say everything and you wouldn't be able to.
I remember to me that was probably one of the most personal and sort of raw things that I would have put into a script because it did not feel like a very like noble Jim successful social social guy moment. It felt really like the people are going to hate him for this or disrespect him or whatever. So I kind of felt it was risky to put it out there. I don't know, it was very hard also in the edit to keep it that long.
I mean, yeah, I tried to think about it the same length that you guys really did in the scene, and there was a lot of urge to, like, trim that up. That's an awful long time to have people not talk.
Yes, to talk. It's so beautiful. It's so beautiful. Pam and Jim are on the deck of that boat and Pam does give him an opening. She says, sometimes I just don't get Roy. And this is the first time we've seen her complain about Roy to Jim to disparage her relationship. Really, it's the first time she's verbalized it, I don't I'm pretty sure, and then it is 27 seconds of silence and a fan wrote in, Anthony Sneyd said, What was the motivation behind that awkward silence?
There's a lot going on in those 27 seconds. Just as people aren't talking, doesn't mean nothing's going on. And I think that you look at his face and, you know, you can see him trying out different things and thinking and being, you know, urged to go forward and blocked. And, you know, and and then I think also on your face, there's all this kind of like.
Disappointment that he's not going to do anything and face saving when you're like, well, I'm cold and kind of it was kind of good that it was cold, actually. And we really did shoot it out in the harbor because I think you wouldn't have been able to like your nose was red.
Yeah, I was. Yeah. You were cold. Yeah, I believed it. Now, Greg, it wasn't in the script that there would be a big pause.
It didn't say there's a long, big pause. Yeah, it just says what they look at each other. And then finally Pam says, Yeah, but I remember on the day you really encouraging us to take our time and don't be afraid to just look at each other.
Well, I mean, that was part of I think what made the show so special was that and so different from what was on TV, you know, was that moments of behavior were really important, more so than jokes and setups and punch lines and lines and stuff. And so and I think that came out of appreciating what's good about a documentary. Mm hmm. And documentaries just are all about finding the truth in what people are doing and leaning in.
And no matter what they think they're doing or what they say they're doing, what are they what are their actions show you that they're doing? And this was like a good romantic example of, you know, it all being in between the lines and it all being on the faces and not in the script. So, so smartly said, you guys, should we talk about what else was going on during this scene?
Do you mean when half of the cast got lost at sea?
Yes. All right. So here's the deal. When we started this scene, I think we knew it was going to take a while. And so they told the other cast members that they could leave for the day.
But the only way to get off the boat, because we weren't going to take the boat back in Dockett, know there were these little dinghies that would pull up and you would get in the little boat and it would take you to shore.
Exactly. Well, that did not go as planned. No, it didn't.
I remember getting this panicky radio thing. The boat with Phyllis on it is gone.
Look, look, look. If I heard where you were on the boat and Brian to write and rain and I wrote about it in my journal.
Yeah, yeah. It's crazy.
Well, for some reason it fixated on me that it was Phyllis, that Phyllis was that we had we had lost Phyllis like the most vulnerable, the groom, the right kind.
So so I wrote her about and she I can't wait to hear what she said. Well, she says the first memory, she said was about two thirty in the morning and she was waiting to leave the ship and her first memory was seeing Steve Carell on a tiny little boat holding on to some kind of a pole with no lifejacket disappearing into the night. And she remembers thinking that if NBC knew that their star was just didn't have a life jacket and was, you know, being pulled off back to the harbor, they would be upset.
And then she got on the boat and she thought it was Oscar Bryan and somebody from the wardrobe department I wrote about it.
The day is you know, she said, I'm not sure if Angela was there or not. And then she thought everything was fine pulling away. We were enjoying the smell of the ocean, the lights in the distance, and then all of a sudden nothing. The engine died. Do you so you were there. So this is what I wrote the day after we filmed the scene. All right. I wrote one of the coolest things that happened to me while we shot this episode happened the last night, or I guess I should say the morning of Rain.
Phyllis and Brian and I were all rapped at five thirty a.m. we were on the main boat, but they said they had more shooting to do. So we could stay on the big boat and, like, sleep in a booth. Yeah. Or they said they had these little rubber boats that would pull up next to the big boat that we could get on and they would take us to shore. So we said, OK, we'll do that. They said it's about a 15 minute boat ride on the little rubber dinghy.
So we decided to do it. It was really tricky getting on the rubber boat. Yeah, we just had to climb out a ladder off the side of the boat. And these guys are very unstable. Very Phyllis said that the one point she had to switch boats, she was terrified of falling in. Yes.
And I said, OK, the little rubber boat picture, the kind of like rubber boat that the Navy SEALs do, the back flips off of it with the little like me, like out.
But that's what this looked like. So we're lowered down into it. And it was me, rangin one of our wardrobe gals, Phyllis and Brian. It was tiny and really bouncy. We took off. It was dark out and the ocean looked like black glass. It was very peaceful.
Oh, okay. Yeah, it's all sorry. About five minutes into our right, our engine made a weird whirring sound and stopped working. And then we heard the driver radio and say the engine's dead, you need to come get us. Brian started laughing and said, You've got to be kidding me. Then we just floated in the darkness, which felt like for a while it was quiet and peaceful. It turned into the Titanic. I know. I know.
And then we lose another rubber boat pulled up and then we had to just straddle from one rubber boat with just two guys kind of holding it together into the other one. This was very tricky. We slowly made our way past the Queen Mary picture, an old cruise ship that looks like the Titanic and there was a huge plume of fire coming from a refinery behind it. Rain said to me, this is so surreal and that's exactly what it was. You know, the wheels really came off when we went on locations.
We talk about this. I mean, you know, this is first season nine.
But, you know, Death Plus almost killed us all. Yes. Work bus. We've called it death for so long. The cast calls it death. All right. Well, we'll take a break and we'll be back.
All right, we're back from break, I have a question for you, Greg. Yeah, I've been waiting to ask you this. I know we're sort of jumping around with time codes, but at 11 minutes, 34 seconds, there's this beautiful shot that goes outside of the boat and goes around the boat. You pass Dwight, right? Like steering and it goes around the boat. How did we do that?
That is Kent Zbornak. So Kent was our line producer and he was also in the DGA. And, you know, he managed to launch us on the budget that we had, which was tiny, you know, into Long Beach Harbor on a boat four days and get hotel rooms for everybody. And he realized that we really needed that, a shot like that. And he shot that himself with his own equipment. You know, while we were shooting the rest of it, because he just had an instinct that there was no way the production could get that and stop everything and, you know, so that was kind of a guerilla move and super valuable.
And Kent was, you know, fantastic at doing those kind of things. Like he was always stitching together amazing stuff on our little budget. That is how well, I did not know that.
Did you know when I saw it? I was like, wait, I know. I know. Randall and Matt were inside with us.
Yeah. Who did? Our camera guys. I was like, how did that happen?
And then I was like, is that a plane? Like, it's in the air like that? I mean, is it a drone? Like, what is it?
He's on one of those dinghies. He's one of those zodiac.
Yeah, OK. Yeah. All right. Wow. This is another question about a camera movement. So, you know, after they're at the bar and they're all talking about who they would save, Jim gets up his courage and he's going to walk over to Pam and he says, I would save the receptionist. I think I need to make that clear. Well, right before that, Greg Phelps noticed at 14 minutes, 37 seconds, there's a continuous shot of Jim looking down the length of the boat to Pam as he thinks about who he would save.
The camera then zooms in on Pam at the exact moment she has a really cute laughing smile. How did you time that out so perfectly? He wants to know.
Jenna, were you given a cue when the camera was about to zoom in on you? But we used to do that stuff all the time.
That was. Go ahead.
People, I think, have the wrong idea about how we did the show in a way, because, like most, filmmaking is super intentional. And you would say to the camera operator, OK, at this signal you need to zoom in and then you'd try and get the actor to do it. And at exactly the right time. And our show was more like the theory of natural selection, kind of like there would be a situation and I would give notes or the directors would give notes to the camera operators that were not about what they did specifically, but more about their intentions.
So we would say, OK, we're really interested in what he sees down at the end of the hall, so just go find it. And we had all these people who had come from reality shows who were used to finding the story on their own. And that turned out great, you know, and and I can't really speak for Ken as the director. He directed it and he might have known exactly what he was going for and kept doing it until he got it.
But a lot of the times there were just lots of happy accidents. And then you'd tell the story through all the happy accidents and you had enough, like, flexibility that you could have gone a bunch of different ways with it.
I think our editors don't get enough credit. Well, first of all, I think our our camera operators and. Yeah, don't get enough credit for all of those happy accidents. But then you would assemble those with the editors in the editing room. Yeah. To tell even more of a story than what was in the script. Totally, the editors are amazing. We had fantastic editors, this one was Dean Dave Rodgers's. You know, I'm still working with work with them all the time.
Brilliant. Claire Scanlon. Scanlon also brilliant. And there was enormous amounts of leeway for the editors and in Post because like a documentary, we shot way more stuff than we could ever possibly use. And so our rough cuts were always about 38 minutes long. But the show's only 21 minutes, you know, six seconds or something like that. So tons of good material was discarded. And that was like a large part of my job. Like, I.
I loved being on set. You know, and I also loved being with the writers, but this whole other area of my job was sitting with the editors and, you know, and they're fun people, too, with great, you know, creative ideas. And you could tell so many different versions of the show by what you left in, what you took out. And like there was. And there was always a thing where you'd like to go.
Everybody kind of agreed on the first six or eight minutes to get rid of, you know, and like it probably we all agreed. Like having Oscar make snarky mean comments is not great or. Yeah. Or whatever it is. But then you get to like about twenty six minutes and there was a lot of really good stuff. And I used to have all these regrets about things that were great that I couldn't get in the show. And one of them for this if you remember was Crede sitting in with the band.
Yes. Finding out that he'd been in the grassroots. Yeah. And that was like fantastic. And we had all this footage and I found footage of him from, you know, late 60s and, you know, playing guitar with the grass roots on Playboy After Dark with Hugh Hefner. And like all these all this great footage, which was going to be the B roll under the you know, under him talking about playing with all these greats in the late 60s.
And that was in for a really long time. I think it's in the DVD extras.
It is. It's in the deleted scenes. It's great, Michael, that the guitar player is going to take a break and then Michael tries to fill in for him and he's horrible. And then Creed says, let me give it a shot. And then he just gets up there and rocks out and it's so cool and satisfying. And then he has a talking head where he explains that he is himself, basically. Yeah, he is. Creed Bratton, member of Grassroots.
And that he kind of fried his brain with drug use. Yeah. So he can barely concentrate on his job.
And then there's a talking head of Angela going he wasn't that good or something like that I've seen better. Oh man.
By the way, I would wear a shirt that, that says I'd say the receptionist.
I think that we should have shirts that say I save the receptionist. I think that's so cute.
I think Ken did a really good job with that, too, because that was, I believe, supposed to just be a talking head.
And yes, in the script it's a talking head. Yeah.
And he really rightly said, well, where exactly did he say this? Because he you know, he he had the thought and then he walks over to Pam and then she gets interrupted by Roy setting a date so he couldn't figure out where there was going to be a time to interview him about this. And so he sort of invented this on the fly interview where he kind of just passed the cameraman and said into camera then and it was cool.
Yeah, I really like that know. And you're with him. Like, Jim's got his courage. He's going to save the receptionist. He almost gets up to Pam. And that's when. Yeah, Roy stands up and says that he's setting a wedding date June 10th. A fan question from Ed's are Quizz said, Was Pam genuinely happy when Roy proposed or was she just caught up in the moment? Well, I looked at the script. The script said Pam looks happy.
So I played it that Pam was genuinely kind of overcome with this moment. You know, she's been trying to get Roy's attention. I think she wants him to treat her like this so badly. And so she's also invested years into this relationship. I feel like I feel for her because she's like, all right, we're going to we're going to do it. This is it. Yeah.
I think it makes it so much worse, too, because he had his moment on the deck. Yeah. And she was quite receptive there. And then he didn't go for anything. And then here, look how happy she is that she you know, finally after three years of being, you know, strung along. Yeah.
And then and then you could just picture like, oh, I maybe I could have made that face on her if I had said something upstairs, you know. Yeah.
Yes. It's heartbreaking. And then he's mean to Katie. Well, Amy's first of all, Amy's reaction is so sweet. So sweet. She is. I mean, she's waiting for her moment to please propose to her somebody because she's like, oh. Yeah, amazing, and then you're right, Jim breaks up with Cady very abruptly, Djibouti, Jenkins actually wrote in Djibouti, Djibouti, Jenkins, you but you just come on first.
It's not real. Also, you just rolled into it like I thought it was part of your sentence. You're like and then Katie Jenkins.
Yeah, I was like, is this it's like like a Missouri word thing or drinkin from Dogpatch, Djibouti, Jenkins', Djibouti. Jenkins says Jim was kind of a dick to Katie, the entire cruise for no reason other than he wanted to be with Pam. She's really innocent through all this and then he just breaks up with her.
Also, don't break up with someone on a boat.
Well, yeah, there was a lot of the writers said that, too, to me and I. Thought it was the most efficient breakup you could possibly have pretty much, you know, and we always had time issues and I just didn't really want to see a long, drawn out scene with Katie and, you know, just wasn't about that. And it seemed to me he was motivated to be brusque.
And, you know, yeah, he was he was really upset.
He was hurting. He was hurting. And he just sort of lashed out. I didn't think it needed to be long. I thought it was perfect. But I also love and this is something we talked about a lot, Greg, is that these characters are flawed people. They're not perfect people. So they're going to have moments like Pam was petty. I think Pam has been petty. And my hands are certainly we've talked my character certainly, you know, not the nicest person.
And you went the longest being not the nicest character. Yes. And which was great, because then when we got into season nine and I was kind of casting about for what the arc of season nine should be, it was like, well, there's only one character left who hasn't warmed up at all.
Let's put Angela through hell this year and let her soften just a smidge. I deserve a happy ending. Yeah.
So then we have a scene where we see that Captain Jack and Meredith are sneaking away to.
Make out, get it on something, Meredith, it's going to come back later without a shirt on and just your life preserver or her dad wrote her. Do you remember that letter? Yeah. Dear Kate, stop taking your clothes off. Thanks, Dad.
Yes, well, this gives Michael the opening to take the microphone and really start his presentation, which he does by announcing that the ship is sinking. Mm hmm. Most of the people don't realize that this is a metaphor for passengers panic and a man jumps overboard. JT wrote in to ask who was the actual person who jumped in the water? And a lot of people are asking what happened to that person.
Yes, well, that was one of the non Dunder Mifflin, yeah, people on the boat, and as I recall, he was not supposed to jump off the boat, as I recall.
I mean, I may be blowing this, but because it was a while ago, but I I think there was a little bit of shock that one of the extras jumped off the boat in that take.
And I think we were probably not supposed to jump off the boat.
Oh, yes. Undeceived commentary. Greg, you said he really jumped out of the window into the freezing cold water. Yeah.
And you said that you always felt bad, that there is no like like this person on camera.
It wasn't I didn't know that he didn't jump in a boat like he had to be fished out of the water. A rubber dinghy there. I believe it only happened the one time.
Yeah, I think so. I think he went I think he may have either misinterpreted some direction or he just was super enthusiastic.
I don't I have a slight memory of that being a little too gorilla.
That's like Kent Kent was out there that night that was in the boat that was supposed to catch him. But he went he was filming The Shot. Yeah, well, I loved it. So this is around 17 minutes, 34 seconds for my timecode people. But I love the Dunder Mifflin employees know immediately that there's no emergency. And like even like Kevin and Angela, like we are in a booth together. Oscar, I guess, is off somewhere being snarky.
And we're like, no, no, guys, no, no, there's nothing. But you're trying to calm it down. Yeah, yeah.
And you pan across all the different Dunder Mifflin employees and they're like, oh, God, here we go. But the rest of the boat doesn't know. Well, this. Oh, go ahead.
Or you think, well, I'm just saying this was leading up to him being handcuffed on the roof. Yes. Yes.
And the kind of secret impetus for this whole episode was that, you know, we had come on the air in the first season and we were given, you know, six episodes and we didn't do a great job in the ratings. And there was a lot of question whether we'd get invited back. And so at one point in between the seasons, Kevin Reilly said, come in and, you know, pitch me a new take on the show. What like why should I bring you guys back?
Oh, my gosh. Yeah, sure. There is a lot of pressure. And so I, I had initially kind of thought that the office was such a special, unique show, which I had so much respect for, that I wouldn't change very much on it. And I realized that I needed to change something. And I had some experience with this with King of the Hill in making Hank likable, the lead of King of the Hill. And there was he has certain qualities that were invented to keep him likable.
And so I was like, oh, this isn't really that different, you know, because Michael has some negative qualities. And I just got to find a way to give him some stories that are going to warm him up. And so I wrote out a bunch of story ideas somewhere like probably in Norm Snow.
We were in at Norm's. Yep.
That was my go to place in the mornings on Sherman Way and Widman. But yes, I was in some, you know, coffee shop and I wrote down a bunch of moments that I thought would warm them up. And one of them was that, for instance, that the you know, that even though the staff finds him irritating, they'll back him against an outsider. So that was like the end of Dundies. And, you know, one of them was like, he should be good at his job, which happened in the client.
He actually was a good salesperson and. And this one was that he should give a piece of really good advice to somebody, that the audience was going to be happy, that that advice was transferred, you know, and you'd be like, yeah, good for you, Michael. And so it was sort of all about him telling Jim to never give up on the top of that thing. BFD, yeah.
BFD, right. Engaged. Married. Yeah, but that's what the audience wanted to see. You know, he wanted Jim was so sad. You wanted somebody to give him some hope and keep this Jim Pam thing going.
And so Michael kind of stepped in and and I took the never ever ever give up from actually the Winston Churchill speech, which, you know, was perfectly so nerdy or perfectly.
Yeah. But like I always choke up at the speeches of Winston Churchill in World War Two and, you know, fight them on the beaches. You know, he has something where he says never, ever, ever, ever given, you know. And I was like, that's cool.
I'm going to crib that for Michael.
Well, it worked. And it also worked for me, like on a different level for Michael, like it works for Jim, but for Michael, the whole episode, he just wanted someone to feel inspired by him. Yeah. You know, so when when Roy announces the engagement, he was like, is this because of the talk you and I had? He goes, No, Captain Jack. And he's like, so you see, like Jim's appreciation in this moment.
And I feel like Michael feels it.
And I'm like, Oh, Michael got got one person.
Yeah, it was great because the two plots kind of intersect there for a moment. Yeah.
And when Jim first walks up to Michael. As an audience member, I'm thinking, oh, gosh, this is the worst person for him to be around right now. He is so vulnerable, he this is bad. And then it turns into what it is and it's. Yeah, perfect. So perfect.
After a few of those, Michael starts to get to be a better lead. Well, guys, we did it.
We did it. Greg, thank you so much. I want to give a plug. You have a new show coming up called Upload, which premieres on Amazon Prime this April. This is crazy. This is the first show that you have written since you wrote the finale of The Office.
That's correct. I've been working on this for so long. It's kind of it's kind of ridiculous. We had our strike in 2008, and I was this was my sort of idea to write a book like a sci fi book, OK? And then we went back to work. And so, you know, it was gestating for a long time. And it's sort of a romance, very intense. And it's set in the future.
And I am in I am and I love sci fi. I am so in. Well, it's got a very kind of accessible more Harry Potter than, like on a spaceship kind of deal and. Yeah. And anyway, so I had been working on it pretty much since the office went down, which is ridiculous. But I wrote it, I sold it to HBO. It was there for a couple of years and then it went over to Amazon and we shot it in Vancouver at the beginning of the year.
And yeah, it's finally coming out.
I can't wait to see it. I love all of this. These are like some of my favorite movies. And it's a comedy.
Yeah, it's funny, too. It's a comedy. It's like a lot of stuff. There's a mystery. There's it's basically there's this idea that in the future, medical imagery will get much better and virtual reality and it'll become possible if you're in an accident and you get to the hospital in time to have your brain scanned and then you can be uploaded. It's called upload into a virtual reality hotel that's run by all the big tech companies. So the six big tech companies that have things like Alexa and Siri, they have programed these luxurious sort of virtual hotels along the lines of different themes.
So like the Facebook one is like a casino and the Apple one is like, you know, some sort of beachy kind of resort. And the one that he ends up being uploaded in is like a mountain hotel on a lake. And anyway, now, did his body die?
But then he uploaded. Do I know? Is that a spoiler? No, his brain was scanned. Now, I know, but I. I'm saying.
Is that in your head, Ed burns your head off when when the scan and the scan happen that you have died in the real world.
And now you live out the information blackout exists and it's digitally presented in a piece of software so that you think you're still alive.
Yeah, I love it. I love it. Upload on Amazon. I can't wait in April, so. Yeah. Guys, if you want more from the man who gave you the office, you have to check out upload. Yeah. That's great. So much. What a pleasure. Thank you. Thank you for listening to office ladies Office Ladies is produced by earhole Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Our producer is Cody Fisher, our sound engineer Sam Kiffer, and our theme song is Rubber Tree by Creed Bratton.
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