Few TV shows have maintained a level of posthumous success as strong as The Office. Though the NBC comedy show ended its nine-year run in 2013, audiences everywhere have clung to their love of the series with an intense grip. The Office has become Netflix’s most-watched show, clocking in at an astonishing 45.8 viewing minutes in the year of 2018 — more than 14 billion more minutes than other wildly popular shows on Netflix such as Friends or Stranger Things. The show is just as beloved by its stars as it is by its fans, so much so that Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, who respectively played Pam and Angela on the show, have teamed up to create a weekly podcast that they call “The Office Ladies” in honor of the show’s 15-year anniversary.
In each 50-minute long podcast episode, Jenna and Angela sit down and discuss the episodes of The Office one by one, talking about their memories and behind-the-scenes moments. They begin with a quick synopsis of the episode, which in this case was the pilot of the series. The episode was filled with trivia and funny anecdotes about the casting process and how each of the characters developed.
A surprising amount of iconic lines and scenes from this pilot were revealed to be improvised by the actors. The producers would often pull the actors into the conference room to ask them impromptu questions about their characters, encouraging them to develop their personality and create some genuinely funny moments. For example, Steve Carell improvised a line where Michael Scott talks 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.” Comedy gold.
Another improvised moment that made the final cut ended up becoming a recurring joke throughout the first four seasons. In the background of one scene, a producer asked Angela Kinsey to hand out papers and make herself look busy. Angela doodled some cats onto Post-It notes and passed them around, asking everyone in the background who received a paper to “come to a party for a cat she had found in the parking lot.” When asked to improvise gossip later on during filming, Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski (who played Jim) discussed the very serious event of Angela’s parking lot cat party, and the shot made it into the episode. Lo and behold, Sprinkles was born, and he recurred for four more seasons until his unfortunate and untimely death by freezer.
In addition to behind-the-scenes show secrets, Jenna and Angela tell stories of their co-stars, for instance confirming that Steve Carell is just as nice as he’s rumored to be and making note of his favorite weekend Target runs just like the rest of us. In another example, Angela reflected on meeting Rainn Wilson’s pregnant wife. He said, “This is Holly, bearer of my seed,” and Angela notes how Wilson shares many quirky similarities with his character, Dwight Schrute.
Though the podcast has just started, I can tell it’s going to be a hit. It’s clear that Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey are the best of friends, and they’re thrilled to be working together on the podcast. They announced that they intend to cover all 200+ episodes of the show and that they’ll be calling other cast members in the future to make guest appearances. Although Netflix has plans to remove The Office this January, Angela and Jenna’s podcast is streaming for free on multiple platforms, including Earworld, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and more. “The Office Ladies” allows fans to fondly relive the episodes that they know and love from an insider’s perspective and is a must-listen for all of The Office lovers out there.
Cover Photo: CNN