Fans came from Salt Lake City. They came from Portland (both Maine and Oregon). They came from just a few blocks away. They came to Scranton, Pennsylvania — thousands of them — to pay tribute to the show that made the city a household name: The Office.
Most of the cast of the NBC comedy was on hand for the May 4 all-day event (dubbed The Office Wrap Party), and creator Greg Daniels and some of his crew dished at a behind-the scenes panel held at the University of Scranton.
There we learned (or were reminded, in the case of die-hard fans) that John Krasinski (Jim) shot the Scranton footage in the show's opening credits sequence on a research trip; that the writers often provided double the material needed for a 21-minute episode; and that every single prop ever used on the show, from the yogurt-lid medals of Season 2's "Office Olympics" to the paper airplanes from Season 9's "Paper Airplane" resides in a giant warehouse in Los Angeles. (NBC is thinking of opening an Office museum.)
Daniels revealed that his favorite moment came at the end of the series' run, on one of the last days of shooting, when they had to recreate Jim and Pam's wedding to get footage for a flashback at the end of "Paper Airplane." "To get Jim and Pam's eye line right for the camera, I stepped in as the minister," Daniels said. "So they were both looking at me with the full actor-power of all the emotions they were supposed to be feeling at their own wedding, just blasting in my face. I got chills and a fever."
Then it was the cast's turn to show their appreciation for the city: Krasinski, Jenna Fischer (Pam), Rainn Wilson (Dwight), Craig Robinson (Darryl), Kate Flannery (Meredith), Ellie Kemper (Erin), Oscar Nuñez (Oscar), Brian Baumgartner (Kevin), Creed Bratton (Creed), Paul Lieberstein (Toby), and Andy Buckley (David Wallace) rode in a parade down one of Scranton's main arteries, then hopped up on the grandstand to entertain thousands of adoring Dunder Mifflinites with impromptu karaoke.
When it came time for Daniels to say a few words about Scranton's mayor decreeing May 4 "The Office Day," he apologized that the comedy's shooting location of Los Angeles was a poor substitute for showcasing Scranton's beauty. "Our most historic building is a Quiznos," he joked.
And while Daniels has insisted that Steve Carell's Michael Scott won't appear in the May 16 finale, those who attended the nighttime event at Scranton's minor-league stadium (home of the RailRiders) got a major surprise when Carell walked onto the field to join his former castmates and thank the fans.