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Hey, office ladies, fans, remember, you can listen to office lady's ad free on Stitcher premium, just go to Stitcher Premium Dotcom or the premium tab in your Stitcher app and sign up with the code office for a free month of premium listening.

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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 research 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. Hey, everybody, how are you guys? This week we are talking about the convict Season three, Episode nine written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and directed by Jeffrey Blitz.

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There's some powerhouse there.

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Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh, y'all, I'm wasting no time. I'm going to hit you with a summary.

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Hit me, baby, one more time only. Well, just give me a summary.

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He got.

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Oh, Britney, we love you. All right. In this episode, Michael learns that one of the new Stanford transfers, Martin Nash, is a reformed convict. When Martin tells the other employees about his time in prison, the staff says it sounds like it's better than working at Dunder Mifflin.

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Well, Michael is heartbroken to hear that people would rather be in prison than Dunder Mifflin. So he responds by turning into prison, Mike, to scare them all straight. And then also, Andy asks Jim for advice on how to woo Pam. And we get a little bit of a prank. He's going to woo Pam. There's going to be some banjo playing. It's all special.

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Jonah, I know you're about to hit me with some fast facts, but I bet I can guess two of them hit you with some fast facts.

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But oh, no, right now we're hitting. Fast forward, please. Can I skip past them? Doing Britney Spears is your first fast fact that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant created the office for the BBC. They're the OG of the Hodgy.

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Yes, Angela, it is.

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Yes. And also, this is the only episode of the American Office that was written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

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I didn't know that. Well, our pilot was sort of technically written by them because, yeah, we really we used so much of it. But it was also adapted by Greg Daniels. But this is the only original American office that they wrote. Now, Stephen did direct an episode. He directed customer survey in Season five, and Ricky did a cameo in Season seven. And they were around, they come visit us, they would pop I remember Stephen Merchant being in the writers room a lot.

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Yeah, he would come by whenever he was in America. And, you know, Angela, I did a movie with Stephen Merchant. You did a movie with The Tall Man from England.

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Yes. It was called Hall Pass. Oh. And it was a Farrelly Brothers movie. It shot in Atlanta. And I was so happy that Stephen Merchant was on this movie because this movie had like these huge powerhouse comedic stars. It was Owen Wilson. There was Jason Sudeikis, J.B. Smoove, Christina Applegate. And then like me, I remember I remember you going off to do this.

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And you were like, oh, my God, I'm so nervous. I'm so nervous. I was so happy that I knew someone. Yeah.

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So I kind of glommed on to Stephen Merchant when we were on that set because I was like someone I know, because otherwise when you go do those movies, I always feel like the new kid in school where it's like, where do I fit in?

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I don't know anyone. Yeah, I was so nervous. But there was another reason why I was very nervous on this movie, and it was because I was staying in a haunted hotel.

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What? Yes, you remember this no lady. Yes, I got to Atlanta and they put me up in this hotel, I would get woken up in the middle of the night at like two thirty in the morning by the sound of clumpy footsteps on my ceiling. Well, that happens in hotels, lady. But does it happen when your hotel room is on the top floor and there's nothing above?

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You don't know. I was on the top floor, so I called down to the front desk and I was like, excuse me, do you guys do maintenance on the roof at like two thirty in the morning or people walking on the roof when the well, the person on the phone was like, no. And also, just because you're on the top floor, they're like, that doesn't mean that, like, your ceiling is literally the roof of the building.

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Like there's stuff in between. What is this feeling of your hotel? Like like a secret floor? That's what I said.

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Said what's happening there? Like like when you get an elevator and there's no button for it. Yes. That's what I wanted to know. What is happening in this space. Something is happening. People are walking. They insisted that I was not hearing these noises. They insisted, Angela, I wouldn't let it go well. So I went to the travel website and I. I Googled this hotel. You did a deep dive on the hotel. It's a haunted hotel.

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You know, there were tons of stories of people who had stayed on the top floor who had heard the footsteps shut the front door. OK, so now I can't sleep. Right, because you have a full on ghost. I mean, a ghost hotel. I have to go to work tomorrow with Owen Wilson. I'm sleepless. I'm nervous. I called Lee crying in the middle of the night, Lee, who was my boyfriend at the time, who's back in Los Angeles writing a script, I was like, you need to fly here and you have to come keep me safe from the ghosts.

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You have to stay with me during this movie.

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And he's like, what am I, a Ghostbuster? What the heck? Just move hotels. That's what Lee said. But I was like, I am not about to call this production company and insist that you move me from this hotel because it's haunted. You would think you were loony tunes. They would be like, oh, this actress is convinced at her hotel room is haunted and she wants to move.

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I get it. I get it. So Lee flew out. He stayed with me while I shot that movie and protected me from the ghost. And by the way, when he got there, he heard it.

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He heard it. I would be so freaked out.

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Well, oh, my gosh, that fastback took a turn. But I like that he really did. I'm here for it. I'm going to steer us back on to the episode with fast. Fact number two. This was the first episode directed by Jeff Blitz. We love Jeff Blitz. He directed eleven episodes of The Office. This was his first.

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He is a wonderful, delightful human being. I adore him. We reached out to Jeff and he sent in audio clips about this episode. We're so excited. I also told him I really need him to come back on because we need to discuss safe bandit. Yes. And when I when I threw that cat in the ceiling, that has to be talked about because he directed that episode to. Right. Yes. But you guys, I want to give a shout out to a movie that Jeff had done.

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I had watched this movie. It's a documentary. I was a huge fan of it and a fan of his. So I kind of kicked out when he finally got to direct an episode. But he directed a documentary called Spellbound. It is a fantastic documentary about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and it follows eight of the young competitors. It is wonderful. So if you're looking for this to watch watch Spellbound, it is so good. It was nominated for an Academy Award.

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Yes.

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Oh, my God. I forgot that. Yes, it's so good. Well, we asked Jeff, how did you get this job? And I loved his answer. So, Sam, will you play that clip?

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When Greg was meeting people to talk about directing on the pilot, I got called in to meet with him. He was flirting with the great and probably crazy idea to bring a true dark film-maker on from the start to kind of overlay a more authentic doc style onto the show. I had just done my first feature, Doc Spellbound, about kids in the National Spelling Bee, and Greg thought the idea to have me on was an interesting one that he'd explore with NBC, who immediately said Not a chance.

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I think it was almost two years later I hadn't seen Greg at all and I got a call out of the blue. Greg wanted to know now what I like to work on the show. At this point, he thought that he could talk NBC into it. So the office season three, I had my first gig in the world of TV with the episode The Convict.

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Yeah. So this was his first scripted television show that he ever directed. He was just coming out of the world of documentary, which I love. I love that Greg did that right. That he wanted a cinematographer who had shot documentaries and now he wanted to hire a documentary film director. He was really interested in preserving the integrity of this documentary style for the show.

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I also love that Greg is such a champion of people. You know, he doesn't give up on you. NBC said no. He was like, I'm going to get you in there, Jeff, you know?

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Yeah. And then he did. I just love that.

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We also asked Jeff what it was like to shoot his first scripted television show. And here's what he had to say.

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The thing that stood out to me is that I had done all this prep work, figuring out all these shots, and I just had a ton of thoughts about the way each line might be. And then when the shooting actually started, I realized that all the prep work I had done and just didn't fit for the kind of show that this was the first or second set up, I think had me standing right by Pam's desk. And I realized that by then all of the prep work I had done, it just didn't make any sense.

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And I think that I just I just dropped all all of it into the trash can right there.

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Well, Angela, I remember Jack. Standing at reception for that scene, yeah, and we really bonded, I felt so fortunate that I got to have him up at reception with me because I just loved him instantly. I feel like reception. You got that sometimes. Like just sitting where you were sitting a lot of times that directors and writers would be sort of perched up there either on that sofa. You know, they would sit on the sofa.

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Yeah, right there and watch the scene. And I was a little jealous that you got to have all that time with them. Well, the other thing that used to happen at reception, though, Angela, is that people would stand like a wall in front of reception with their back to me, and they would also steal my pens and they would also leave their water bottles on the reception desk. So there's no there's an upside and a downside.

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There was. There was. So. All right. Are you ready for fastback number three? I am Fastback number three, Wayne Elderson, amazing comic actor, played Martin Nash. We also reached out to Wayne and he sent in some audio clips about his time on the show. He did, Jonah.

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This time I was sliding into someone's DMS. Oh, I love that. I love it. I love that.

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Now, you and I are just these two ladies in their forties sliding into people's terms.

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I know, right? Wayne is fantastic. And we started by asking him how he came to be on the office. And here's what he had to say.

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Hey, guys, it's Wayne here. How are you doing? Thank you so much for letting me come to the party. This is great. And dig the podcast.

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Um, oh, you're jumping right into a question. One, can you share how you came to be on the office? I yeah, I got to be in the office. It was just a regular audition call they had. This role was two episodes working two different weeks. And I already love the show. And I was a big fan of the British office. So very excited for this edition. I knew Steve and I knew. And it just worked with those guys.

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And Evan Almighty, Nancy, Steve's wife is one of my oldest friends, but they swore they had nothing to do with getting the audition. So that's what they said. But I got the job and was super excited in that particular episode. I'm not sure if I knew when I got the part that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant had written it, and I think it was the first two episodes were the first ones that they ever did for the US office.

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So that was a that was a bit of an honor.

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I did not know that he knew Nancy. I didn't either. But it makes sense, right?

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I mean, they're both really funny, talented people. They were in Boston. I don't know. I know. I see them crossing paths now. They have the comedy connection and the Boston connection. So, yeah, I guess that makes sense. Well, you know, when we were trading emails with Wayne, too, we asked him if he still gets recognized for being on the office and he said yes all the time, especially now with the resurgence on Netflix.

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And he's so tickled by it. But he said it's all young people now. Oh, yeah. I mean, we're crushing it with middle schoolers, guys, because we talked about this on the merger.

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He had a big recurring on Veep as well. But I think he gets recognized more for the office, even though it was only two episodes of Veep is so good, so good.

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You know, we exchanged a lot of emails with Wayne about this episode and we were talking about what it was like to watch this episode in light of everything that's happening in our country with the Black Lives Matter movement. And here's what he had to say.

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Wow. I just watched it again. I watch it, you know, maybe every year or so.

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It's such a good episode with everything that's going on in the world now, you know, it feels a little even edgier at some points, but it's super poignant, I guess, for all of it, the issues that we're dealing with now with race and how we deal with it and what's funny and what's not funny and who can say what when. And, you know, this puts a magnifying glass on where we've been and how far we've come along, what comedy we can do.

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So it was very interesting. I probably hadn't watched it in a year or so and to watch it during this time.

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And so it was very interesting with that the comedy and its commentary, I think it holds up very well. I think it's kind of a classic office episode. I'm going to say it's a classic office episode. Boom. Well, Angela, I had not watched this episode since it aired, and I definitely found a new poignancy when I was watching it. Oh, yeah. And there are definitely lines and moments that stood out to me. And I'll bring it up as we go through the episode.

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Same. Well, why don't we take a break and when we come back, we will break down the convict Moesha.

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OK, so we are back. This episode starts with Hannah bringing her baby into the office, she is setting up for her baby, staying all day. Clearly, she's got a pack and play. Yeah, there's a pack in play. I mean, she's she's moving in. What's happening? Yeah.

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We had a fan question from Ellis Freedman, Victoria Leyva and Megan Keel. Why did Hannah bring her baby into the office? Yes, ladies. Why? Why? We don't know. I watched the deleted scenes. I have a lot to bring to this episode that is explained in deleted scenes. We'll get to that. This is not there is there's a whole runner in the deleted scenes with the baby. There's no explanation. People holding the baby. Yeah, I saw that in the script because I have the script for this one.

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And there are all these scenes of people with the baby, but never is it explained why the baby is there. I would like to point out that this is a very progressive choice by Michael to allow a new mother to bring their baby into the office for the day. So I appreciate that. Although what we didn't need him to do was get under the table and do an impression of look who's talking. Do you remember those movies with Kirstie Alley and John Travolta?

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They were huge hit weight. Is Bruce Willis the talking baby? Yeah, Bruce Willis. So Kirstie Alley has like a one night stand with this cab driver played by John Travolta. And they have a baby and now they have to figure out how to, I guess, co parent this baby when they're not a couple. Of course, spoiler alert they're going to fall in love. Yay!

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But all the while, you're getting commentary on their parenting and their romance through the voice of the baby voiced by Bruce Willis as a grown man.

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So because he's not doing a baby voice, he's a grown male voice and a baby boy regular man voice.

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I want to be in that pitch meeting. In that pitch meeting. I want to see the person that's like, here's the thing. The baby talks and it's Bruce Willis, the same guy that said your mother ever is going to be the baby.

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It's going to be great. Here we go. OK, well, in the deleted scenes, there is a baby runner.

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I mean, Karen holds the baby and flirts with Jim and Pam watches it all. I read that in the script.

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Kelly holds the baby and just jiggles it in front of Ryan.

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And Ryan finally is like, what, Kelly? What are you holding a baby? Because you want me to want to have a baby with you? And she's like, no, what are you talking about? Whatever.

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And then three seconds later, she's like, oh my God, I want a baby. Right now. It's actually really funny.

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And then there's a very funny deleted scene where Andy and Dwight have like a baby off. Like, they're so ridiculous. These two are so ridiculous. Like Andy's like I was a baby model. Not going to apologize for it.

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I was a beautiful baby and I modeled this is like their whole competition in the last episode about who has seen more movies. Exactly. So they're arguing about themselves as babies. Andy was, I guess, a gorgeous baby and modeled. And Dwight was like, well, I weighed thirteen pounds and my mom couldn't walk for three months. So take that. It's so weird. All right. Well, the scene with Pam having to watch Jim and Karen fuss over this baby was deleted.

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But the next scene in the episode is Pam watching Jim and Karen kind of flirt at the copy machine. Yeah. And at one minute forty seven seconds, you can still see my zit from the week before. Stop it from from the merger. It's a little smaller, but it's still there.

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You have got to stop pointing it out.

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None of us noticed or maybe Hadley did because I know she you know, she noticed it. But Jenna, you like to track things, stop tracking your acne. Well, I think it's going to be gone next week. But I mean, we'll see. We'll see. It'll make your list, I'm sure. All right.

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So then we have this, you know, Jim talking head and he says that he he is seeing Karen. He is he admits it, but he is ready to talk about it openly because he doesn't want some people, you know, treating them differently.

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I have a beef with Jim. I just wrote. Not cool. Not cool. Yeah. This goes back to my wishy washy Jim. Yeah, wishy washy Jim. There it is again.

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All right. So now we move into the conference room. We've got Angela, Kevin, Michael and Pam. They are all on the speakerphone to Jan and they are discussing this mysterious check that has arrived.

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Yeah, I have a question, John. Yeah, I get why Michael's on the phone. I get why the accountants are. Why is Pam there? Is it just because Michael just likes to have Pam around? She's like keeper of the minutes or something? Yeah. He sees Pam as his personal assistant. She is not his personal assistant. She is the receptionist, but he doesn't have a personal assistant. And so he sort of, you know, makes her play that role.

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Yeah, she's. Always in these meetings, she shouldn't be. That's right. Always there's many episodes of meetings of Pam in conversations between Michael and Jan, and I love it because the camera will just like pan middle seen. And then it reveals Pam has been sitting there with a notebook the whole time. I mean, she's always in the seat. So I loved it as an actress. I loved it. I bet Jan eventually explains that this check is something that they're getting in exchange for hiring an ex convict, which Michael is like I didn't hire an ex convict.

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They come to realize that one of the Stanford transfers must be part of this program, meaning that there is someone from Stanford who has a criminal record. All right.

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So, Jenna, when Jan said, oh, they're probably getting the tax break because they hired an ex-con, I was like, hold up. I know this program. Why did she just jump to ex-con? Because several people qualify for this program because I worked at a company that had employees that qualified for this federal work program. And guess what I did? I'm well, I'm sensing a deep dive here. Then you sensed. Right, lady? All right.

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I went on the US Department of Labor and the IRS websites for like three hours. Real fun stuff there. Guys were real fun. I love you and I deeply love you for that. I really do. Angela, I love that you did that. I know, because this is coming from someone who spent, I think, probably five hours of her life researching an Alpha Alpha1.

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So go on anyway. So it is called the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. It's a federal tax credit available to employees for hiring individuals from certain targeted groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. And there are several types of people that qualify for this program. There are veterans, all right. They're recipients of SNAP benefits, which is food stamps, people with Supplemental Security Income, people that have long term unemployment. So a lot of people qualify for this, not just ex cons.

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And the companies that hire this group, depending on the hours they work, there's like a certain categories. They have to check off the list. But your company can get a tax credit anywhere from twenty four hundred to ninety six hundred dollars per employee you hire through this program. Wow. Yeah. Oh, am I getting applause for my deep dive? That was a really well done deep dive lady, your deep and you dive and you deep in a dive.

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What was your song? Your son. May you get a deep you get a dive, put them together, get a deep dive. Well, Angela, I have a beef with Jan, right. Because all of us ask like, oh, who is it? Who's the convict? And she's like, hold on a second. I'll find out. You'll find out. What Jan, what are you going to do, his conference room full of people?

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This like private, personal, this feels like an H.R. violation to me. Toby, where are you? Toby, where are you?

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Jan, you would have to go to a special H.R. meeting because you just crossed the line. Lady, I feel like she crosses the line by giving out this information. But while we are on hold, everyone starts trying to guess who is it? Michael guesses. Basically, they're they're just looking out in the bullpen at who they can see Hanna. And then Kevin says Martin and Michael is like, how dare you?

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He goes, You just said that because you think Martin is black. And Kevin is like, well, no, he he is black. So they're kind of bickering about it. And then Jan comes on the phone and she's like, it's Martin Nash. They're all wondering, well, what did Martin do? Yeah, why did he why was he in jail?

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And now, Jonah, we are coming up to this line that Michael has. You and I talked about it. It really stood out to us in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Yes. This is when Michael says to us a black man can be arrested for just about anything in this country. I mean, we were watching this episode in the middle of a civil rights movement in our country, people are literally in the streets protesting this very fact of black people being arrested for just about anything, but not just that being killed so. Yeah, this this line hit me hard and. And I have to say, I expected Michael to make a joke here, but he doesn't know he doesn't.

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And I'm so glad that he doesn't. I know me too. Well, you know, I think, Jenna, as the viewer, we're always expecting Michael to play it up for the cameras. Right. He thinks he's like an entertainer. And anyway. But he doesn't in this moment, he's just truthful and sincere. And I think it made the line that much more powerful. Yeah, I agree, I agree and, you know, also and while we were prepping this episode, I was reading the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, and it's it's an amazing book.

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It's a memoir. It's about it's the story of this lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, and how he helps to overturn the sentence of a man who's on death row for a crime he didn't commit. But it also goes into say that our criminal justice system is in need of reform. And it's just it's a really powerful book. And I feel like I learned so much. We can actually we can link to it in our show notes. But just to watch this episode right now and hear that line, I mean, it just yet had a lot it had a lot of added poignancy for me.

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Yeah, for me, too. I know. Just Mercy is also a movie that's out now. But Jenny, you love the book so much and you're sending it my way. So thank you. I am. Yes, I'm giving you my copy.

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Thanks. OK, so getting back to the scene, what happens next? OK, so next Michael tells them, you know what? Do not share this information. No one needs to know about this. Yes.

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I mean, he's oddly the voice of reason in this moment. He's like, it's no one's business. It's it's not a good thing to share. Right. Kevin says, cool Pams like OK Angela, I have a hard time with that.

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Angela needs to know what was the crime. Right. And she's also very you know, she's not a very trusting person, she's a very fear based person and she starts to spiral out well.

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She's also not a very forgiving person. I don't make a mistake around Angela. She'll remember it forever. And it's no surprise to me that Dwight has a similar reaction because the two of them are, you know, they're soul mates and so they both spiral out. But we'll get to that. All right. So next, we're out in the bullpen and Andy calls Jim. And this is what I wrote on my card. Jenna, why does Jim even entertain this conversation?

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He calls them on the phone because he wants to know which woman in the office he should hit on and he starts naming all the women. And I agree. Why does Jim not just hang up? I think Jim sort of sees a way to prank Pam. I don't think he wants to be part of Andy's grossness, but he suggests Pam. Yes. So next up, Michael takes Dwight aside to tell him about Martin's past. And Dwight has this talking head where he explains that he is upset simply because he does not like criminals, he doesn't like criminals.

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And we had a fan question for Mary cause Nicole Bridges and Jet Fenthion after Michael tells Dwight about Martin being a convict, he has this talking head in front of a window, but normally his talking heads are facing into the office. Why the change now? OK, people have really been tracking where the talking heads are and the whole window thing ever since we shared about it. So I just want to put this one to rest. This is because this is one of those on the fly talking heads.

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This is next to the window. That's next to our Dunder Mifflin sign in the little lobby as you walk into the office. This is not this was not done in the conference room. This was not a formal talking head. If it was, I'm sure they would have sat Dwight down in that same chair with the bullpen behind him. But since this was on the flight, that's what that window is. It is not significant of our previous talking head theme.

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So the symbolism happens in the conference room.

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Not so much talking head on the fly. Right. So Dwight, like Angela, starts to spiral out with this information. He's going to try to get to the bottom of both Dwight and Angela are preoccupied with the fact that they don't know why Martin was in prison. They can't let it go like Michael suggested.

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And meanwhile, Andy is quizzing Jim about what are Pam's interests. And Jim lists off all of these crazy things. One of them, Andy really jumps on, which is Frole Frisbee golf.

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Yes. It becomes very clear that Jim is actually listing all of the things that Pam hates, but presenting them as the things that Pam loves. And he says any Frisbee based competition to which Andy says, oh, my gosh, I guess he invented some sort of combination of Frisbee and golf while he was in college.

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No, he didn't invent it. He was on the team. He played for golf at Cornell. And he doesn't say he invented for golf.

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I think he did, because I think he says he was one of the founders of the football team at Cornell Cornell's team, but not of the sport. It's an actual sport. No, no, no, Angela, wait, wait. It is I thought that was made up for all things.

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No, no. There is not a thing where you play Frisbee and golf at the same time.

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That cannot be true. Yes. Stop it. Yes, there is, Jonah. So, Andy, Andy is just saying that he founded the team at Cornell. He is a founding member. I did a deep dive on Frolov. Also, my husband was like, yeah, Frisbee golf, I love Frisbee golf. I was like, wait, what is like, yeah, you play it in the park. I did not Google Frole because I thought there is no possible way.

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That is a real thing.

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It's a real thing. My gosh, it's OK.

[00:31:03]

You can go in. Go go on YouTube. My gosh. And I went on the eHow YouTube channel and basically you have a Frisbee and you have to throw it in a basket. There's courses all across the country. You can actually go to the Professional Disc Golf Association website. That's the DGA, and you can find out where there are Frisbee golf courses in your area, in your city. And it's a whole thing. Jennae. Wow. Yeah, well, I just Googled froth and I'm reading on frothed dotcom.

[00:31:40]

This is my favorite thing I've read so far. Everyone and everything in the world is part of a frothing game. Every Tree Street sign, building, car, person, animal, everything is a part of the game. Everything must be taken into consideration when playing a whole. Wow, I have played Frisbee golf, and I played it like out of college in New York and Central Park and I'd be like, OK, now we weren't on a course like the PGA where there's like a park with the baskets.

[00:32:12]

But we were just like, OK, the first the first hole that you have to get is like between those two trees and then you've got to get it onto that fountain and then you've got to get it onto that park bench.

[00:32:22]

You can play from anywhere, Jenah, anywhere you play golf in your backyard. Make your own course, Joona.

[00:32:29]

I still it's still so insane to me that I like there's a part there's a very, very tiny part of me that is convinced that you have planted all of the frothing websites on the Internet just to, like, prank me right now. Well, that's that is absolutely something I would do not. All right. Wow. My mind is blown at that for all thing is a real thing. OK, here are more of the things that we learn that Pam hates, that Jim presents as things she loves hunting ads for Six Flags with the old man.

[00:33:05]

Do you remember those?

[00:33:06]

I do. I do. It was a guy and like really creepy old age makeup. He wasn't actually old, right? He was covered in this latex makeup and he did this like intense dancing. Yeah. He would like break dance. It was creepy. Yeah. Yeah, it was creepy. And then also pig like. Yeah. I got in a conversation with my husband about pig Latin. This is when you talk about like bring your work home.

[00:33:32]

This is like I'm like, babe, do you play Frisbee golf babe. Do you speak pig Latin. Apparently I've been doing it wrong. Chocker, not overweight.

[00:33:40]

Wait, we had a fan question about this. Angela Demetria wants to know, can you speak pig Latin in real life? Angela, you thought you could.

[00:33:49]

Well, my friends and I, we did our version of Pig Latin, but then when I looked it up online, online, it says it's the first two Ponson, OK? And we just did the first letter of each word. That's how we did it. We did the first letter, add it to the end and add a Y. But when I looked it up online, it said it's the first two consonants. Is that how you guys do it?

[00:34:08]

Well, what is an example of a word with two consonants sort they how would you say, OK, so my friends and I would say Hotei. Oh, that's so wrong.

[00:34:20]

Did you guys know what you were saying? Do you guys understand each other? Did you struggle hot Latin? No, we had a fine time. We were fine. It was even more secretive for you because other people could not understand your pig Latin.

[00:34:36]

So how would you say there are they we would say here today. Wow. I say, well, my friends and I, we actually day we spoke something called the Hobb language.

[00:34:52]

It's the language my friend Sarah O'Halloran mother taught her the language, so Sarah's name and OB would be Barabba, ABBA, Hobby Lobby, Robin stopping to stuff.

[00:35:06]

That was always my favorite thing to say. That's ridiculous. So you put an odd sound before every vowel sound that you hear. So a word like really is spelled r e a. But you don't put before the E and before the A, you just put it before the vowel sound, so the word really would be Rob Alabi, I'll become a problem. Wait a couple of garbage. Ivan Mobli Froben Suburban Ababil. Robin Sobig, Noby Gobbo. Ivan Abullah.

[00:35:36]

Groveland Jabba's Tablas. Pollycarpus Abbott. Habi Skiable. OK, this is ridiculous, and could your friend understand you and speak back and would you guys walk around talking like this? We were so cool. We were so cool. So would my name be Hobb and Abul Loba know your name would be Oblon? Angela Abullah. Oh, my gosh. How do you say Angela Eyob and Joe Lang. Ivan Jobb. Loba Cobban.

[00:36:07]

Xabi, is that Kinzie? My name is Job Unobservable Shaver.

[00:36:15]

Oh my God. That is insane.

[00:36:19]

This podcast is produced by Cobbold Father Schopper and engineered by Sobhan Kupferberg.

[00:36:27]

All right. All right. OK. OK, where are we in this episode? All right. So I have a couple of fan questions from the scene with Jim and Andy. Are you ready? OK, yes. And question from Sarah Hajis, Liz Franco, Rachel Hayes and Donna Miller. Are any of the things that Pam hates, things that Jenna hates to they want to know, did I get to collaborate on what items Jim chose? No, I did not give any consultation on that list, clearly.

[00:36:56]

Because you had no idea. I had no idea. I don't even know what those big golf was.

[00:36:59]

I don't know that I hated it because I didn't know. And then also, we have a mystery. Many people wrote in about this mystery at six minutes and 50 seconds, Christopher Jake, Donald Miller, again, Amy Cruz and Chelsea Kay all wrote in to say, It looks like there is a mini fireplace heater in the background on a desk over Jim's shoulder. What is it? OK. There really does I don't know what it is, but I was mesmerized by it, mesmerized guys go to six minutes and 50 seconds.

[00:37:41]

What is it? I'm writing this down on a note card because I want to go check it out.

[00:37:46]

It looks like there is a little heater that has a light, you know, where, and then it blows the little, you know, thing to look like a flame. It looks like it's sitting on that desk where Luanne always used to sit. Oh, my God.

[00:38:04]

Right in front of Toby's desk, one of the things that used to sit on the woman's desk was a little Zen garden, do you remember? And I wondered if that's what it was. I wondered if there was some light reflecting off of her Zen garden. It could be she had like a little sand and a ray. Yeah. OK, so at seven minutes, 17 seconds, Michael does the thing that he does you guys, he cannot hold on to information.

[00:38:32]

You can't tell him anything. He won't be able to hold on to it. Much like how Michael had to announce to everyone that Oscar was gay.

[00:38:39]

Michael now feels like he's helping. He thinks he's helping. He's just going to say, hey, let's just come clean.

[00:38:46]

And, you know, he lets everyone know of Martin's past. It's an amazing scene because he walks over to Martin's desk and he's like, hey, I just wanted to come over and say, like, how are you settling in? And Martin's like, Oh, yeah, thanks for coming over. I'm settling in fine. And then he immediately says, Attention, everyone. I just want you to know that Martin is an ex convict, but I trust him and you're not allowed to judge him.

[00:39:12]

And the look on Wayne's face is so amazing because he's he's clearly like, I'm so sorry. I I thought we were making small talk. But now apparently we're making a grand announcement about my past.

[00:39:26]

I mean, Wayne's reaction is so good. It's what sells that. And we asked him what it was like to do these scenes with Steve and do these big sort of bullpen's scenes. And here's what he had to say.

[00:39:35]

The show at that time was getting hugely popular.

[00:39:40]

Steve was a huge star, which was just wild because it was just Steve, you know, how are you the guy from the FedEx commercials, aren't you?

[00:39:51]

But yeah, but yeah, I watch the show and I watch the British version as well. I was a big fan of the show. It was really quality work by all people in front and behind the camera. You could tell that you had this feeling it was going to be a historic show and it was going to be around for a long time. So it felt really good to be to be a part of it. We're walking on set. Everybody was so nice, so welcoming.

[00:40:23]

Everybody knew what a great thing they had on their hands and that that kind of improv is my favorite improv. That that's subtle, understated thing that you know best and on camera. And everybody there was so good at it and they were already becoming this well oiled machine. It was nice to sort of to jump in and play. So, yeah, that's pretty great. I think that's true, you know, I really feel like at this time on the show, we were just this machine like the cast and the crew and the writers, we had really gelled.

[00:40:58]

And as I watch it, I can I can feel that and I can see it.

[00:41:03]

You know what I didn't know, Angela, was that Steve was in those FedEx commercials. Oh, yeah.

[00:41:08]

And I went and I Googled them and there's like a ton. He was like, how? There's like a Verizon guy. And then there's Flo from Progressive. Like Steve was the FedEx guy.

[00:41:19]

Yeah, I did not know this. Are you serious? And I asked Sam to pull a clip.

[00:41:25]

So the bank was bad. The bank was abysmal. But you're missing the point of the story. The entire staff has food poisoning, leaving packages to be shipped, deadlines to be met, and one sales manager to do it all, just one one of the. But the Danish stay with me. He jumps on FedEx, dotcom, he's shipping. He's tracking, getting confirmations on his cell phone, pagers, PDA. It's got a PDA. Everybody's got a PDA.

[00:41:45]

Over the last packages arrive. He triumphs over adversity.

[00:41:50]

I don't know, peer. There you go. Well, wait, I have a piece of trivia about that specific FedEx ad that Sam just played. What I want you guys to know, Steve is saying that everyone in the office got food poisoning. The first person that runs to the bathroom to puke in this commercial is Eric Stonestreet. What? That's crazy extra in this commercial. And he's running to the bathroom to puke. Eric Stonestreet, who's on Modern Family, is in this commercial as a puking employee.

[00:42:24]

I love that. Oh, my gosh. That's amazing. All right.

[00:42:28]

So also in the scene, after Michael announces to the entire office that Martin is an ex convict, he then challenges everyone to name a white man they trust and he will name a black man he trusts even more. So he's like Pam, name a white man you trust. And she says, my dad. And he says, Danny Glover. In the script there is a Martin talking head. And I don't know if this is in the deleted scenes, Angela, but it made me laugh out loud.

[00:42:59]

It was so funny, Martin says. Michael's an all right guy. He told me he trusts me more than Kirsten Dunst and no one's ever told me that before. I love that talking head so much. It is three sentences, but it is so rich with information. And was that in the deleted scenes? Can I see that talking head or.

[00:43:20]

No, no, it's not in the deleted scenes and I'm really sad. There is a Martin talking head in the deleted scenes and it's this one. He says usually when people find out about the prison thing, yeah, they get pretty weird.

[00:43:33]

That's a good one. All right. Now we're in the break room and we find out why Martin went to prison. Yes.

[00:43:40]

Martin says, do you guys want to know what I was in for? And he explains that he went to prison for insider trading. Now we move to a Kevin talking head that I love. I laughed out loud, he says. I asked Martin to explain why he went to jail three times because it sounds a lot like what I do every day. Here at the office, yes, Jenna, there is a whole theory online that Dunder Mifflin is a front, like a money laundering front.

[00:44:11]

Yes, there is. There is.

[00:44:14]

And that like maybe like Kevin and I and the accountants are in on it. So here's a fan question from Thomas O'Brien. He he says that he knows about this theory. And the main reason for this is that Scranton consistently outperforms all the other branches despite the rapidly decreasing paper market. And Thomas wants to know, what do we think about this theory? Do we think it has any merit that Dunder Mifflin is actually a front for money laundering? I would say no.

[00:44:44]

I don't think it really is a front for money laundering. I mean, if that was part of the story, I believe Greg Daniels would have revealed that to us in the finale or somewhere in the last season. So, no, but I am curious. It does sound like Kevin is participating in some sort of something shady. Yeah, right. Because that's what it is. It's insider trading. It's not money laundering. Martin didn't go to prison for money laundering.

[00:45:12]

He went to prison for insider trading.

[00:45:14]

I know, but this is the theory online that Dunder Mifflin is a front for money laundering. And I'm going to say I could see it.

[00:45:21]

Oh, no, I could see it. I could see it.

[00:45:24]

Because if you were going to have a money laundering front, by the way, I've also been watching a lot of Ozark, and that's all because if you watch Ozark, he's has to launder money for the drug cartel. So I'm like, oh, my gosh, yes, a paper company. And you have to you have like all this inventory and then you have sort of like a boss who's kind of incompetent, who might not catch everything.

[00:45:47]

Right. I think I. I can see it, Thomas. I can see. Right. But I'm also watching Ozark, so maybe that's informing me. All right. Well, in this scene, Martin fields a lot of questions from all of us about what prison was like. And he gives a rather sort of rosy view of prison. He's like, oh, yeah, we had outside time. We got to watch TV. I got to take some classes.

[00:46:13]

Pam had watercolor classes in prison. And then we're like, wow, Michael, it sounds like prison is better than Dunder Mifflin. We're kind of teasing Michael. Right. And then Michael is just very upset at this implication that Dunder Mifflin is worse than prison.

[00:46:28]

What you have to remember is that everyone at Dunder Mifflin is Michael's family and Dunder Mifflin is like his home away from home. So basically his family has just told him that prison is better than home. Yeah, prison is better than than this world that that they've made together. And so Michael is really hurt. Michael had no issue with Martin until right now. And it's because, you know, somehow his his employees, which are like his family, think that there are some other cooler places to be.

[00:46:59]

And he's like, no, this is the best place to be. You guys, we have an amazing year. And he can't believe that. They can't see Dunder Mifflin the way he can.

[00:47:08]

Well, I asked Wayne what it was like to shoot that break room scene, because here he was. He was a guest star and he had to really drive that scene, you know? Yeah. And I mean, I remember what it was like to be a guest actor on shows and how intimidating something like that could be. And so I just wanted to hear what was it like to do this scene from his perspective? Here's what he had to say.

[00:47:29]

Coming to work and you guys. Some show it wasn't even even then, the show is so huge, it wasn't intimidating just because everybody was having like Christmas morning fun, like they couldn't believe their good fortune. They couldn't believe the the people they get to work with, both in front and behind the camera. And they couldn't believe how funny the writing was, so.

[00:48:03]

That scene was I love that scene, I love sort of being the the fish out of water, getting into the water so everybody can get out of the pool, if that makes any sense. I don't really know what I'm talking about.

[00:48:19]

But, yeah, it was a it was an easy environment to do your best work, so, yeah, that's I knew that day like, oh, I got to redo my real because that's the Schissel.

[00:48:37]

I thought that was the sweetest response. All right, Jenna, I have something to say to you. What? Pam Alema. Ding dong. Oh, boy. Yeah. So it's ten minutes. Thirty eight seconds. And Andy is hitting on Pam in all the wrong ways now.

[00:48:53]

And the look on Jim's face, it says it all. This is a great prank. It's going great. And then we have the talking head from Pam where she's like, that was wow. So she loves this prank, she's into it. Well, she's impressed at at Jim's ability to prank her this way. I think she's like, wow, I see where you're going now, Jenna. There is a deleted scene where Pam gets him back. Yes.

[00:49:20]

That is in the script. This is a portion of this story that got cut out. There's a bit of a prank war that happens, right? Yeah. Yeah. So Pam gives Andy all this information about all these things. That would just be a horrible night out for Jim. Like drinking white Russians. Like just going out. Yeah. Going to this German restaurant. She basically is like, you know what, Andy? I'm not available.

[00:49:48]

But Jim would love to hang out. He would love a buddy. Yeah.

[00:49:52]

And so Andy's like, what are you doing tonight? We're going out. And Jim's like, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait, wait. So she does get him back. She does. But that did not end up in the episode, which I think is a little bit unfortunate, because later when Jim is going to suggest to Andy that he go get his banjo and sing in a high falsetto, that was actually in response to Pam's prank on Jim.

[00:50:15]

Yeah. So that was like Jim one upping her. Yeah. But instead it sort of seems like this one sided prank. But in the script it was actually both of them doing it to each other. A two sided. Yeah, well, we had a fan question during this talking head, Angela. A lot of people wrote in Emily Soto, Tori Quill, Angela C. Hachita V and Monica Jacques's all said, is the necklace that Pam wears a horse or a unicorn?

[00:50:42]

Do we know its significance? And do Pam's necklaces represent different periods in her life? Well, guys, it is a unicorn. And Pam used to wear a little heart necklace, but it was a gift from Roy. And so when they broke up, she took it off. And with the wardrobe department, we picked a new necklace for Pam and this is what we picked. Now, I'm curious.

[00:51:07]

I did a deep dive on unicorns, of course, but I'm sure my search history on my computer is like IRS, United States Department of Labor, unicorn, unicorn, unicorn. OK, why did you guys pick it? And then I'm going to tell you what I found on the Internet. We just like how it looks, OK? You just liked we did not assign a particular significance to the fact that it was a unicorn.

[00:51:30]

OK, well, lady unicorns have been depicted in ancient seals that go back as far as the Bronze Age. The ancient Greeks unicorns are mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible was a symbol of strength. Yes. Unicorns go back to the Bible. Yes, the unicorn is mentioned in the Bible several times. The first verse I found was a numbers. Twenty three. Twenty two. God brought them out of Egypt. He hath, as it were, the strength of a unicorn.

[00:52:00]

I mean, OK, so the unicorn symbol has been around for a long time. It's been associated with strength, fantasy, rarity, purity. It is Scotland's national animal. What? Yeah. When I was in Scotland, like you would see it in places like you go into Edinburgh Castle and it's in the crest, you know.

[00:52:22]

There's also another meaning for Unicorn. You might want to take a minute and put some earmuffs on your kid's ears. The unicorn is also known as the third woman of a threesome. Oh, it's called a unicorn, which I probably jump too far on this. But you have Jim. You have Karen.

[00:52:44]

Wow, is Pam the unicorn? I don't know. I don't know. OK, I need to reach out to Carrie Bennett in wardrobe and ask her if this unicorn pendant was as arbitrary as I thought it was, because I like both of your explanations of Unicorn when you were describing the significance of Unicorn. I'm like, yes, strength, change, perseverance. I'm into it. Right.

[00:53:13]

And but then you're third woman thing. I don't know. I am just saying.

[00:53:17]

I'm just saying it could be. Well, listen, lady, on that note, I think we should take a break and then we will come back and see some of the changes that Michael has instituted at Dunder Mifflin to make life more like prison. Oh, fantastic.

[00:53:41]

All right, so we are back, Michael announces to the group that he is, quote, instituting some changes to make this more like prison, starting with one hour of outdoor time. So he makes everyone go down to the parking lot. They're all freezing. One of my favorite things about the scene that he has two and a half pound weights in his trunk. Yeah, well, he's not trying to bulk up. No, no. He just wants to tone.

[00:54:08]

We had a fan question from Kelly, Koryn and Bernadette when you guys were bundled up and went outside for rec time in the parking lot, was it actually cold out?

[00:54:18]

No, it was not cold at all. I looked it up, we shot this the week of October 2nd, but October is hot in Los Angeles, you guys, it stays really warm.

[00:54:30]

Every October, I get suckered in to try to recreate like a fall woodland scene to my front yard. Like I buy all these pumpkins. I have like an autumn wreath. I do this whole thing. And every year my pumpkins, like, explode from the heat and turn to mush. And I have to, like, shovel them off the porch because they're so flattened. Yeah, it was not cold, but I felt like we did a wonderful job of making ourselves look cold.

[00:54:58]

We did great. I was like, hey. And they put all the ice on the ground and on the cars.

[00:55:04]

Look at us acting and we look cold. We sold it. We did. All right. So then we go inside to the break room where Michael is setting up a very sort of grainy television set for Kevin to watch.

[00:55:21]

And Martin shares with him that the TV in prison was a lot bigger.

[00:55:25]

Yeah, yeah.

[00:55:27]

Well, we had a fan question from Groseclose, Sidney, Joe, Brooke and Leah was the weather forecast that Michael plays on the TV and actual weather forecast from a Scranton newsroom, or was it an actor?

[00:55:42]

I don't know. Well, lady, I looked this up on the Internet and Dunder Pedia, if you are correct, you say that it is the actual Scranton weather, that it is the NBC weather station, it's BRG, NBC, and that that weather guy is Josh Hodel. Oh, so is that true? Josh Hotel, is that you? You know what that tracks for me? I feel like we would we would have that detail.

[00:56:11]

I feel like we would I feel like Phil Shea would have been all over that, just like all of our menus were local Scranton restaurants, things like that. I feel like Phil Shea would have been on that. I agree. So now should we talk a little bit about how this prank is going? We mentioned it before. Andy is at Jim's desk and Jim suggesting that he play the banjo for her and asks if he can sing in a high falsetto.

[00:56:38]

And it's like, you know, I I loved it is so funny. Ed is having so much fun in that moment that I loved watching Ed get to do that. Well, what we didn't talk about is that Karen comes up and she's like, what are you guys doing? What I want in, I want you to say I'll be part of the prank. And wishy washy Jim shows up. He's like, yeah, because he's caught now, he's caught now and now if he had to explain this and who she was to him and all their pranking that they did together, now there's accountability and now he's backpedaling.

[00:57:17]

Yeah, exactly. All right, Angela, should we go into the break room so that we can meet one of the most famous characters from the office? This character is so famous.

[00:57:28]

I mean, I love roller skating. Stay with me here. All right. And I have found a community of people who love to roller skate online on Instagram.

[00:57:38]

And I was just sent. This gal won a roller skating competition just as prison Mike is like, amazing. Oh, my gosh, I know it's amazing. I might have to post it. Could I put it in my insta story. But she is phenomenal. But this character, people love prison, Mike.

[00:57:56]

They love prison like Gina. I found the origin story for prison. Mike what?

[00:58:04]

It's in the deleted scenes. I have to read this to you guys. It made everything makes so much sense for me.

[00:58:10]

All right. OK, hang with me. I'll get my notes. Michael Scott has a talking head that's in the deleted scenes. Listen to this. All right. He says, When I was just a little kid, we had an assembly at school where a giant owl came out and gave a very impassioned speech about giving hoots and not polluting. And you know what? I never polluted again.

[00:58:36]

It was right then when I realized the power of saying things as a character, people listen to you when you were wearing an elaborate costume or speaking in a voice that is not yours. I can't even speak I. Wow. Michael thinks since he was a little boy, that the way you get people to listen to you. And make changes is if you are a character, that's all they listen to you. I am so sad that this was deleted because not only does it speak to prison, Mike, it speaks to every character Michael has ever done or ever will do because a giant owl told him something and he paid attention.

[00:59:22]

OK.

[00:59:23]

Wow. He goes on, Jonah, there's another talking head where he says this isn't the first time he's done prison. Mike he's not. Yeah, he's done prison, Mike, before because he developed prison. Mike in improv class. And he said he was in improv class and he was doing the scene and these two college kids, they just wouldn't stop talking. So I became prison. Mike and I turned to them and I said, hey, shut up or I'll stab you tooth.

[00:59:56]

OK. Yeah, so not only had he done this character before, but he does characters what he wants people to pay attention. This is huge information, Angela. I know who came up with the idea of prison, Mike in the writers room. Who. All right. So this script was written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. But we've established before that after a script is written by the original writer or writers, it always goes back to the writer's room for punch up and rewrites and that scripts really are a kind of like collaborative effort.

[01:00:33]

Right. So when I was watching the scene, I thought to myself. This sounds like B.J. Novak to me, was it I texted B.J., I was like, B.J., I know that Stephen and Ricky wrote this episode. Did you come up with prison, Mike? Because I'm putting it on like you or maybe Mike. Sure. But I think it's you.

[01:01:00]

Here's what B.J. told me. Well, in the law of the writers room, I get credit for prison, Mike.

[01:01:07]

But it was, by the way, I love the writers room has a law. I want to know more about the writers room floor. Well, I'm paraphrasing. He did not say law, but he basically said, I have been given I have the reputation of having a written prison, Mike, but it actually wasn't me. So he said it was late one night and he was in poorly Racine's office. It was him and Paul and Mindy, and they were tasked with having to punch up this scene in the conference room.

[01:01:34]

The idea of the scene was that Michael was just going to convince us all that Dunder Mifflin was better than PR.. But how? And he said that at the beginning of the meeting, Paul kind of offhandedly said, what if he plays a character, you know, like, I don't know, like prison mike or something? But they quickly glossed over it and they kept spitting out ideas and this and that and this and that. And then near the end of the meeting, B.J. said something like, well, I really like this idea of him playing a character prison, Mike, and that Mindy and Paul were like prison.

[01:02:08]

Mike, that's a brilliant idea.

[01:02:11]

And B.J. was kind of like, well, I was really just giving you your own idea back. But somehow he gets credited with prison, Mike. But he said, I think I would give it to Paul Lieberstein, but it was the three of them together that then wrote those prison Mike jokes. I love that. And I love that he had the crazy guys and dolls.

[01:02:31]

Yes, that's in the script.

[01:02:33]

Oh, my gosh. We actually had a ton of fan questions about this because it's it's such a good scene.

[01:02:42]

So Kristen went Jordan see Gina de Megan and Mark and many more wanted to know where any of Steve's lines as prison Mike improvised. Yes, some because I looked at the script. But like the main ones, the ones that you remember, like about the grool and the mentors, that was all in the script, that was all scripted. There's little moments like little things that Steve kind of added. But I would have to say the main points of prison, Mike, are scripted.

[01:03:14]

I feel like we can't do this episode without hearing a little bit of prison. Mike, agree.

[01:03:20]

Sam, I presume, Mike, you don't want to call me prison. Mike, do you really expect us to believe you're somebody you really expect me to not push you up against the wall before? Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's just the way we talk in the clink. Amazing tanks, tanks, tanks, guys, I wrote about this scene in my journal, and I have to tell you guys what I wrote.

[01:03:46]

Oh my gosh, this is kind of a big thing, Jenna, because I said in the conference room scene when Steve became prison, Mike, the first time he turned around with that bandana on in his crazy guys and dolls accent, we all lost it, even Steve, which never happens because it was so ridiculous.

[01:04:07]

We all cracked up.

[01:04:09]

And then I said, But if you watch really closely, you can see John and Phyllis are barely holding it together. And if you go to 16 minutes, three seconds, you can see John breaking. I feel like all of us are near breaking through this whole scene. We emailed Jeff Blitz about this and we were trading messages about this scene. And I said to him, my memory of this was that we were in this conference room doing prison, Mike, for like three days.

[01:04:36]

I'm sure it was that long, but we spent a long time on it. He sent in this audio clip about it.

[01:04:42]

I think for scenes like this that the goal of it for me, anyway, as you guys well know, I was trying to do it with the most speed I'm picturing. You guys are laughing right now. Yeah, I do. I know the first scenes like this. There's a way to get through it where the whole of the scene gets really boiled down.

[01:05:07]

But something like this, it felt like it needed to it just intuitively felt like that. If I could give Steve more of a run at it, the whole thought of the scene was just going to was just going to come through. So, yes, I know I know for the cast that it was a slog. I know the way I did it was a slog. And yet, man, I love this scene. I do. I just do.

[01:05:40]

I love it.

[01:05:41]

Well, we were all breaking Wayne emailed Jenna that he broke in the scene as well. And we asked him what some of his favorite moments were.

[01:05:48]

And here's what he had to say. There were a lot of really great favorite moments shooting that episode, the convict and shooting the one before that. The merger, the the moment with Stanley was great. But what I remember most is obviously the whole prison mike thing was hilarious and take after take, you know, it was so very hard to not break. Well, Steve was doing prison, Mike, and we broke a lot. And then that conference room, it was pretty hard.

[01:06:22]

I remember I had to get wiped down for sweat a lot. But there's one moment towards the end of his prison break routine and they use this particular take in the episode, I believe, where he goes. Yeah, thanks for letting me be a part of your life because you got a good life.

[01:06:41]

You got life. And that was the first time he had done the second.

[01:06:48]

You got a good life and the camera's behind me and you can see my cheeks bulge because I'm about to explode with laughter. I don't want to ruin the take, but that whole that whole day in the conference room was Mike was was pretty special, I have to say.

[01:07:13]

Yes.

[01:07:13]

And by the way, I looked at that moment he's talking about and you totally can see him smiling. It's it's like on the back of his head and, you know, he's smiling like that. It's one of those that's how funny the scene was to us when we were shooting it.

[01:07:28]

I really watched that with him in mind as well.

[01:07:30]

And just you got to get like just memory lapse.

[01:07:34]

It did really make me laugh that he remembered how hot the conference room was because the guys hated the conference room because they would get so hot. It was the one place where my body temperature actually felt OK. Yes, same that was something about conference room scenes that I loved. I knew I wasn't going to be cold. Yes, we knew we wouldn't freeze to death.

[01:07:55]

But meanwhile, the guys were like a sweaty mess. And so that made me laugh.

[01:08:00]

We had a fan catch in this scene as well from Alisyn Camerota, she says around 14 minutes and twenty three seconds when everyone's in the conference room, I saw, like, someone's knee in a pair of shorts and boots. Was this the camera operator? Yes, who, yes, Randall or Matt. I think it was Randall, so it's right after prison. Mike asks you, Angela, if he if you really expect him not to push you up against the wall.

[01:08:34]

That clip we played, the camera widens out to show the whole group sort of being like, hey, whoa, whoa, whoa.

[01:08:39]

Yeah. If you look in the far right corner, I think you can see Randall's knee. Oh, I think he's, like perched in the corner there and he's got his camera on Steve.

[01:08:51]

Yeah. And then Matt probably had his camera on you and the group. Yes. Because Matt would get reactions and people would have Steve. And yes, you are right. I bet it's Randle's me. That's a great catch.

[01:09:05]

Yeah, I thought so too. I thought so too. So. The group is not sort of giving Michael what he wants now. He's so he resorts to locking them in the conference room. He's like, if you want to feel what it feels like to be imprisoned, here you go. And he walks out of the conference room. Now, here's a little something that is such a fake fake lock on the door did not lock at all. I don't even think it shut very well.

[01:09:39]

I also think that if you look at it, you can see that like Steve is doing a bit of sleight of hand. I don't even think the key goes in the keyhole. I don't think that that keyhole has always been there. Well, now, I can't be sure because I know that Jim locks Dwight in there. Yes, Jim, it's not the first time someone's been locked in there. Dwight locked in there. But in that one, again, I meant to point out that it looks like there's nowhere to lock anyone in.

[01:10:04]

Yeah, there's no see no possible way that Jim actually locked him in there. It looks it's all very fake, fake sleight of hand. All right.

[01:10:13]

Where are we? Where are we? We're locked in the conference room. Pam calls Toby. Pam called Toby. And Toby explains to Michael. Michael, they're just teasing you. Of course, they know that prison is worse than Dunder Mifflin. The look on his face when he realizes he's being teased, he like he immediately forgives everyone. And he's just so delighted to be part of a joke.

[01:10:37]

Exactly. He's like, oh, they do get it. They do like it here. They do like me. They are happy here. It's a joke. Oh, I get it now.

[01:10:47]

So now Michael has a talking head and he explains that Martin has quit. And Janelle, do you blame them? I mean, no, I don't blame them. Like, how do you work there now? And also, you have to remember, this fulfills a story arc for the show that each week is Stanford employee is going to go, yeah, well, I noticed something. When Martin is leaving, he's getting into the elevator and you see him.

[01:11:11]

He's carrying his box of things. Meredith is walking out of the elevator back into the office. And that made me realize, wait a second, she was not in the prison. Mike, scenes in the conference room. No. And then we got a fan question from Joy Morgan that says. Wait, where was Meredith all this time? Is there a deleted scene that explains why she's so late to work? Angela, please help me enjoy out.

[01:11:40]

All right, ladies, there is a whole runner in the deleted scenes and it explains all of this. So Meredith says that her car's in the shop and she needs a ride to go get it. And Martin offers to give her a ride, Dwight and Angela, because they are so suspicious of Martin and why he went to prison. They have this whole like sort of like, I don't know, like their detectives on the case. They have a whole runner as well.

[01:12:06]

But Meredith goes to get her car out of the shop. So that's where Meredith is. Yeah. I feel I feel bad for Kate that she wasn't in the car. You know, that's what I thought, too. I was like, oh my gosh, Kate didn't get to sit in there and have to bite the inside of her mouth. So she didn't laugh out loud at prison.

[01:12:26]

Mike, I thought the same thing because you got a good life. A good life. All right. So now we have the final scene. Andy is playing the banjo for Pam and singing Rainbow Connection in a high falsetto.

[01:12:42]

A lot of people wrote in about this scene. Let's hear it. What they say, OK? Leslie G. G, Ava H, Allyssa C and Carrie C. all said, Jenna, how did you get through that scene at the end when Ed is singing to you? Did you ever break and laugh? Yes, like a million times. But I have to say something. I love the banjo.

[01:13:06]

I love the banjo. And you and I and I have talked about this a lot. And we've told Ed that some of our fondest memories on set with him are when he would get out the banjo in Creed, would get out his mandolin and they would play. I did not want the scene to end. This was very funny. As Jenna, I had to love a prank and hate the banjo. But in real life, I hate a prank and I love the banjo.

[01:13:32]

So I loved doing the scene and I didn't want it to end. And we filmed it at the end of I think we filmed it at the end of the week. And so it was, again, one of those scenes where there weren't many people around. It was just a few of us. And it always felt like you could take all the time in the world. When that was the case, no one was waiting on you. And it was one of my fondest memories of doing that scene with Ed.

[01:13:56]

I loved it. So we asked Jeff Blitz what it was like to shoot the scene and this is what he had to say. So that final scene, that song, I love that, too, I loved it so much, I love that for Andy, it's sweet. And and for Pam it's so bad, but it's so sweet also. I don't know why I will say about it, though. I think it was about trying to figure out to what extent should it be such the funny or the song is the just means that Andy sense of himself and the world is changed by that.

[01:14:44]

So I do think there was a lot of talk about about it there, you know.

[01:14:50]

So Angela is something that I noticed in the script about this scene is that Jim is not in that scene. It's just in the script and playing the banjo for Pam. And it's so beautiful the way it is now, right, that you have this rack focus from Pam looking to Jim and then Jim looking to camera. It's perfect. And I asked Jeff about it and he said, yeah, that was his idea to add Jim, at the end, he actually said that he forgot to tell everybody that that was his idea.

[01:15:27]

And on the day they had, like, started to send John home and they had to, like, get him back, come back.

[01:15:34]

Yeah, they had a deal. He said it was a little bit of a mess with his schedule. Here's what he said. He said, I really do love revealing Jim. They're enjoying the lunacy of what he's put Pam through. And in a weird way, even though it's heavily ironic and played off as a joke, this is the closest Jim can come in that moment to serenading Pam himself.

[01:15:55]

Oh, yeah.

[01:15:57]

Well, yeah. To me, that moment doesn't work without Jim there, because that final moment is him and Pam getting to flirt and have a connection. Yeah, they just now have to do it through a conduit. Like once again, they can't like, communicate to one another because there's other people in the way. So they have to find ways around it. Yeah, that was all.

[01:16:20]

Jeff Blitz, I love all of these audio clips, Joanna, that Jeff gave us and Wayne, and they really just open up the episode for me so much. And I don't know if you guys heard this. And it's something Jeff will go on to talk about, but Jeff has a stutter.

[01:16:35]

And he was a little nervous about making the audio clips, then he actually sent in this audio clip that we want to play for you about how he felt like his stutter was an advantage to him here. Listen to what he has to say.

[01:16:49]

As a side note, I want to say this, that the stuttering thing, which I'm sure that is coming through loud and clear for some of this stuff, it is part when I started working with you guys, I was so scared that the stuttering was going to make it such that when I wanted to share notes with you that I would that the amount of time it would take to do it and then I'd be embarrassed and all that stuff. But anyway, I do think it inspired something where like rather than shout notes out to the cast that I would go and that for me and for me, it just it felt like a better thing to not do that.

[01:17:35]

And so I think it turned into something where the note had like a thoughtfulness to it. And I could talk to people about it. And it felt like I could spin it in a way that it made that for me. Anyway, I feel like a good thing.

[01:17:52]

It's not as good on a podcast. I'm sorry, but anyway. Yeah, I just wanted to say that.

[01:17:59]

Well, it's interesting, Angela, because my memories of working with Jeff are of close, intimate conversations. That we're very connected. And so I never found his stutter to get in the way of connecting with him. In fact, I think he's right. I think it actually created a deeper connection because we had these one on one conversations. Yeah. My memories of being around Jeff are of these quiet, intimate conversations coupled with laughing harder than I've ever laughed.

[01:18:33]

Yes.

[01:18:34]

Yeah, I absolutely agree with that. And that's why I cannot wait to tell the story of Safe Bandit with Jeff, because it was me and Jeff and Kent and Greg on set that day when we rehearsed it, getting the cat in the ceiling. I'm not going to get into it, but let me tell you, I am living for that podcast because I want all of them. I want us all to retell the story. Oh, my gosh.

[01:18:57]

We should get all you guys to come together and we should do a special save bandit where everyone speaks their memories of that scene.

[01:19:07]

A save band. Deep dive. Yeah. Yes, I love that. Well, guys, we also have a final audio clip from Wayne Elderson. He's just letting us know a few of the things he's doing now and where you can find him.

[01:19:22]

Well, I did upload on Amazon Prime with Greg Daniels. I know they've been picked up for a second season, so hopefully we'll be seeing me back on that. He can go for reruns of work I did with another for Caelum, Randall Einhorn, where I played the principal on the mic and. Yeah, oh, Eric, can you find me on Twitter? I'm weighing Elderson, one word on Facebook, I'm weighing wielders in one word and on Instagram I'm weighing Wylder said that's one word.

[01:20:07]

You guys miss you.

[01:20:08]

Thank you so much for letting me come on your awesome podcast. It's been a lot of fun. All right.

[01:20:17]

Later, he makes me laugh the way he was setting that up. I thought he was going to say something different for his Instagram, but I know his Instagram is Wayne Elderson. One word.

[01:20:26]

And yeah. Anyway, by the way, it's not Wayne's older son. One word. It's just one older son. Yeah, one part. Exactly.

[01:20:34]

It is his name combined, guys. And you can find Jeff Blitz on Twitter at Jeffrey Blitz. Jeff Wain. Thank you so much, guys. That was the contact. That was the convict. Thank you so much for listening and sending in your questions. We will see you next week with part one.

[01:20:54]

If Benihana Christmas, it's Christmas already. And it's going to be a two parter. And we have guests. Oh, we're excited. See you next week by. Thank you for listening to office ladies, office ladies, this produced by Airwolf, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Our producer is Cody Fisher. Our sound engineer is Sam Kiffer.