Well, here it is. My last regular blog about The Office [Tuesdays at 9:30 pm/ET on NBC] for TVGuide.com.
Don't worry. There'll be plenty of chances for an "Office" fix elsewhere. We'll be on Today this morning, and our newest episode, "Performance Review," airs tonight.
It has been fun to write about my experiences on the show. And it's been especially great to hear back from readers. It turns out that a lot of people want to know the same things about the show: What's going to happen with Jim and Pam? What's Steve Carell like in real life? Those are definitely Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the show. But everyone does Frequently Asked Questions. That's a Frequently Done Thing (FDT). Instead, I will devote my final TVGuide.com blog to Rarely Asked Questions (RAQs) about The Office.
Q: Jenna Fischer, who plays Pam, was great in the "Halloween" episode, in which she dressed as a cat. What did she actually do for Halloween this year?
Jenna had a few of us over to have dinner and then hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. Everyone was very excited to see the costumes that people were sporting. In about four hours, maybe six kids came by. It was a bit of a bust.
Q: I hear that you film in a pretty no-frills section of Van Nuys, Calif. How dangerous is the pit bull in the junkyard across from where The Office is filmed?
This question has to be disqualified because around here, this is a very, very Frequently Asked Question.
Q: Why do some of the characters — such as Angela, Oscar and Phyllis — share the same name as the actors who play them?
For our supporting cast, most of the characters were envisioned before the casting process began, so executive producer Greg Daniels went out looking for a "Dwight," a "Kevin," a "Stanley." In a handful of cases, he knew certain actors he wanted to work with and built parts around them. This was true of Oscar Nunez and Angela Kinsey, both improvisers who have performed in the Groundlings, among other places. Phyllis Smith was working as a casting director for our show when Ken Kwapis, who directed our pilot, threw her in. She's gotten more lines every week until she became a full-fledged cast member and fan favorite.
Q: Are people excited that the show is gaining viewers?
I don't know, dude. I was into The Office back when nobody was into it. Now that everybody's starting to watch it, I think it's kinda lame.
Q: There are occasional references to Dwight's best friend/cousin, Mose, a socially awkward, possibly Amish, beet farmer. Is there an actor lined up for this part?
Yes. Producer Michael Schur, writer of such memorable episodes as "The Alliance," "Office Olympics" and the upcoming "Christmas Party," is currently slated to appear as Mose. Mike appeared as Mose briefly in a photograph in "Office Olympics," and there have been many plans for him to appear on the show in an expanded version of this role. These plans tend to be scrapped in favor of relevant plot points, but someday we will meet Mose.
Q: Who edits The Office, and what is she like?
Actually, it's a "he"! And he's insane. Apparently, viewing hours and hours and hours — we shoot all day, five days a week — of raw footage of Michael Scott & Co. was enough to drive our editor, Dave Rogers, to the brink of sanity and then far beyond it. I want to be careful about throwing around the word "insane," of course, because there are many people who are suffering from various forms of mental illness, and I would hate for them to be associated with someone as nuts as Dave Rogers. Around the set, Dave will only address me by my character's name, Ryan. And when we speak, which is quite often, he will only address me using phrases that have been said to Ryan on the show. Dave literally spends more of his waking time in the show's fictional world than anywhere else, and it shows. On a show with no method actors, he is a method editor. Whatever works. As fine a comedy editor as they come.
Q: This is your last blog, at least for a while — any shout-outs?
Sure, while I'm here, why not? I want to give a shout-out to my boy John Krasinski. What's up, man? See you on the set!
Q: Which member of the cast has a fake MySpace page?
Recently, a segment of our cast has gotten a little MySpace crazy. Jenna (as her character, Pam Beesley), Angela (as Angela Martin), Paul (as Toby) and I all have MySpace pages, which we sometimes (OK, constantly) use to procrastinate while we're at work. Our pages are all too real. However, recently a page popped up for "Rainn Wilson" and Rainn had never even heard of it. That's how we know Rainn is entering the big time.
Q: What are the most popular snacks in the writers' room?
Our writers' P.A., Jonathan, restocks the snacks every Monday. If you ever win a trip to visit The Office or anything, come on a Monday — by Friday, we're running low. Our most popular snacks are: Trader Joe's Multigrain Pretzel Nuggets; Trader Joe's Honey Roasted Peanuts; Trader Joe's Roasted & Salted Cashews; Trader Joe's Dry Roasted & Smoked Almonds; Life cereal; Quaker Instant Oatmeal; Kudos bars; Triscuits; Fuji apples; bananas; Toblerone bars; Atkins Advantage bars; Clif Bars; Zone Perfect bars; Sugar Free Jell-O cups; Jell-O Pudding cups; Naked Juice; Arrowhead water; Diet Coke; and grapes. We also get a lot of healthy trail mixes, but we just pick out the sweeter stuff like the chocolate chips.
Q: Who cares?
I don't know. My dad asks me what we ate for lunch sometimes. But even he doesn't care about the snack food. I don't know why I listed all that.
Q: Seriously, man. Why would I care about that? Are you out of things to say on your blog?
I guess that's pretty compelling evidence. Hey, thanks for the chance to talk about the show each week. It's been real fun.
Q: Wait! Is there a new episode of The Office on tonight, Tuesday, November 15?
Oh yeah! I hope you enjoy tonight's new episode, "Performance Review" — it's a good one. Michael (Steve Carell) reviews the performances of his nervous employees, most notably Dwight (Rainn Wilson), when in fact Michael is most nervous of all about the upcoming review from his own boss, Jan, with whom he recently made out. The subplot: It's a Thursday that just feels like a Friday.
Q: That's how you're gonna end? No special good-bye?
OK, well, see, I just wrapped it up a moment ago, but now I have to do it again: Thanks to TVGuide.com and the readers who wrote in and everybody else for the chance to talk about the show each week. It's been real fun. I hope you enjoy The Office and if you like it, that you keep talking about us and keep making us more popular.
Oh! One more thing. We also have brownie cake from Ralph's supermarket. That should have been high on the list.
OK, I think that's finally it.