The Office Trivia

This post isn’t too exciting, just an archive of the past “Trivia of the Week.”

8/13/07: The show has strong ties to it’s British counterpart. UK Office creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant wrote “The Convict”.  There were plans for Mackenzie Crook (Gareth), Martin Freeman (Tim) and Lucy Davis (Dawn) to appear in the 3rd season but they had to be scrapped due to scheduling conflicts.

8/6/07: Martin Short, Hank Azaria and Bob Odenkirk were interested in playing Michael Scott before the role eventually went to Steve Carell.

7/30/07: When asked why he chose it as the setting for the American “Office”, Daniels said Scranton just seemed like a “real place” to him, and that the name with it’s hard consonant sounds appealed to him. source

7/23/07: Think the deleted scenes don’t count? Actually, they do. Greg Daniels says since they were written and filmed, he considers the deleted scenes to be part of the story line, and the writers rely on them for the mythology of the show.

7/16/07: While auditioning for the role of Jim, John Krasinski commented about other failed British TV adaptions, and that he hoped “they don’t screw this up,” not realizing he was talking to show developer and runner Greg Daniels.

7/9/07: No trivia, due to me being insanely busy

7/2/07: The shots of the water cooler, copy machine, and calculator in the opening credits are intended to be an homage to the original UK Office, which included such shots in the actual show.

6/25/07: Jenna Fischer won the role of Pam Beesly by looking and acting as boring as possible during her audition, including creating Pam’s standard hair-half-back hairstyle, or as Jenna calls it, the “girl-mullet”.

6/18/07: Many episode writers have had cameos on the show. Larry Wilmore (Performance Review) played Mr. Brown in “Diversity Day”, Michael Schur (Traveling Salesman, etc) appeared as Dwight’s cousin Mose, and Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (The Fight, etc) have appeared as the Vance Refrigeration delivery men.

6/11/07: Don’t think you know any of the actors’ real names? Actually, you do: Angela Kinsey, Phyllis Smith, Oscar Nuñez and Creed Bratton all share their first names with their respective characters.

6/4/07: Late night show host Conan O’Brien has several ties to The Office. He and executive producer Greg Daniels were classmates at Harvard, John Krasinski, Angela Kinsey and Mindy Kaling all interned on “Late Night”, and Conan had a cameo in “Valentine’s Day”.

5/28/07: The name “Mifflin” holds historical importance in Pennsylvania, as Thomas Mifflin was the first governor of the state. There’s also a Mifflin County and several towns with “Mifflin” in their names.

5/21/07: Angela Kinsey originally auditioned for the role of Pam Beesly, but was told she was a “little too feisty” to play the shy receptionist. She was called back and won the part of the uptight Angela Martin.

5/14/07: The first season of The Office was shot in an actual office. An exact replica of the office space was built on a sound stage for the second season.

5/7/07: Steve Carell and Ed Helms both had stints as The Daily Show correspondents before coming to Dunder-Mifflin. Several guest stars also have connections with the fake-news show including Nancy Walls (Carol), Rob Riggle (Capt. Jack in Booze Cruise), and Larry Wilmore (Mr. Brown in Diversity Day).

4/30/07: Though a lot of the actors have background in improv, the show is very meticulously scripted, and only a handful of improvised scenes make it to air. The cast has often said about 10% of the final cut is improvised.

4/23/07: The show often references real Scranton eateries such as Poor Richard’s, Farley’s and Cooper’s. However, there is no Chili’s, Hooters or Benihana’s in the immediate area.

4/16/07: The Office cast boasts a number of Ivy League alumni, including John Krasinski (Brown), Mindy Kaling (Dartmouth), BJ Novak (Harvard) and Rashida Jones (also Harvard).

4/9/07: B.J. Novak (Ryan), Mindy Kaling (Kelly), and Paul Lieberstein (Toby) all perform double duty as writers and cast members on the show. Steve Carell has also flexed his writing ability; he wrote “Casino Night.”

4/2/07: Because the actors spend hours in front of their internet-connected computers during filming, many cast members maintain blogs and MySpace pages from their character’s desk.

3/26/07: The footage of Scranton seen in the opening credits was shot by John Krasinski (Jim) and two of his friends.

3/19/07: While their characters call Pennsylvania home, Steve Carell, John Krasinski, B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling, and David Denman were all born and raised in Massachusetts.

3/12/07: Though Office fans know it better for paper, Scranton is known as “The Electric City” for having the nation’s first continuously-operating electrified streetcar system.

3/5/07: Dunder-Mifflin Scranton’s address is 1725 Slough Road, named for the town that was the setting of the original British version.

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