In the wise words of Dunder Mifflin’s expert prankster, Jim Halpert, “sometimes goodbyes are a bitch.”
When Michael Scott bid his emotional farewell to the Scranton branch in Season 7 of The Office, he and Jim never officially said goodbye to each other. The sentiment was mutually understood, but the goodbye itself was too painful, so they simply ignored it. Years later, that’s exactly how fans and cast members parted ways with the show itself.
The NBC comedy ended in 2013, but fans have ultimately refused to let it go. The Office is one of the most popular shows on Netflix, acts as fodder for endless memes, and has even inspired an Off-Broadway musical. Though a reboot currently remains off the table, former co-stars and IRL best friends Jenna Fisher and Angela Kinsey wanted to give people another way to celebrate the off-air series, so they decided to host a podcast called Office Ladies.
Each week, the two ladies of The Office will re-watch an episode and share memories, a few fast facts, and behind-the-scenes stories from filming. The first episode, “Pilot,” aired Wednesday on Stitcher’s podcast network, Earwolf, and fans should definitely give it a listen.
In Episode 1, Fischer and Kinsey recall the early days of shooting, back when no one had any idea if the U.S. version of the UK show with the same name would take off. They take listeners back to the “Pilot” episode, which aired on March 24, 2005, and reminisce on which hilarious moments were improvised, Jim and Pam’s first flirts, how Sprinkles the cat came to exist, and more.
If you tune into the podcast, here are some of the enlightening tidbits that you can expect to hear.
Steve Carell is as nice as he is funny
You may have heard rumors that Steve Carell is a super agreeable guy, and Fischer is here to confirm. “He’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet,” she says, noting that while he’s not constantly cracking jokes he is personally responsible for some of the funniest moments on the show.
In the pilot, for instance, Carell improvised the line where Michael’s talking about his heroes. Showrunner Greg Daniels apparently asked Carell who he thought Michael Scott’s heroes would be, and that’s how they created the line, “Bob Hope. Umm, Abraham Lincoln definitely. Bono… and probably God would be the fourth one.” Iconic.
Jenna unpacks Pam and Jim’s undeniable spark
One of the fan-favorite relationships on the show is, of course, the slow-burn romance that develops between Jim and Pam. Jenna Fischer is just as obsessed with the two work pals turned spouses as you are, and is excited to lend some commentary to the couple. She talks about the flirtation between the two characters in the pilot, the heartbreaking talking head where Jim wonders if he’ll be invited to Pam’s wedding, and her favorite moment between the two: Their cat party conversation.
“After the conference room scene where everyone finds out there’s going to be downsizing, the camera cuts to different groups of people talking about downsizing. But when it cuts to Jim and Pam we are not talking about downsizing. We are talking about your cat party,” Fischer tells Kinsey. “I feel like this is really significant.”
The birth of Sprinkles
Speaking of the cat party, did you know Kinsey invented her character Angela’s cat, Sprinkles?
“I was just sort of bored and I just made up a backstory that my character had found this cat in the parking lot,” Kinsey told Fischer. She reportedly drew a cat on a piece of paper, passed it to Fischer in the background of one of the scenes, and said, “You’re invited to Sprinkles birthday party.”
Fischer stuck the note to Pam’s computer monitor and brought up the party later in the scene when making chit-chat with Jim. “Greg honed in on that… he loved it, and then for four seasons we discussed Sprinkles until his untimely death in the freezer,” Fischer said.
The Office trivia
Fischer plans to kick off each episode of the podcast by sharing three “Fast Facts” that she thinks viewers will find interesting. As the podcast goes on, however, she and Kinsey end up revealing a bunch of other fascinating tidbits.
Did you know?
The cast and crew filmed the pilot episode six months before the rest of Season 1.
In the pilot Meredith Palmer is played by Henriette Mantel, not Kate Flannery.
Todd Packer was initially voiced by Toby Huss, not David Koechner, who later played him in the series.
B.J. Novak was the first person to be cast on the show. (Greg Daniels saw him doing standup comedy and thought he was brilliant.)
Angela wore her own clothes in the pilot and originally auditioned for the part of Pam.
Michael asked Ryan if he’d ever seen Punk’d and in real life Novak had appeared on a Season 2 episode of the prank show.
The key takeaway
Fischer and Kinsey are here to give new life to these familiar episodes that people have spent years watching on repeat, so for hardcore fans of The Office, the 50-minute podcast can be considered essential viewing.
If you think you know it all, Fischer and Kinsey are here to challenge your superfan status. I guarantee you’ll walk away with a deeper understanding of the show than you had before.