Dennis Fletcher Q&A

Thanks to The Office story editor Dennis Fletcher for taking time to answer fan questions!

I’ve done my best to edit Dennis’ responses for clarity and accuracy without affecting his voice or intent.

I gotta say straight up, though, this is not your average Q&A. You’ve been warned.

tanster: What are the responsibilities of a story editor?

Dennis: Thank you for the question Tanster. A story editor is an important position that is one of the types of writers on the staff. The story editor is one level above staff writers, and since we have no staff writers, I guess you could say I’m the lowest on the totem pole as it were, ha. Except that then I think of all the people out there who would kill to be a writer at all, like guys not just on the crew but people I know back in Boston and I’m like, ha, not so bad. And I don’t think I’m better than anyone just because of my job. In fact, my father who I am more proud of than anyone in the world is a cop, in fact he is quite literally the cop who arrested Dee Brown [Boston Celtics player who was arrested with some controversy in 1990] which generated quite a lot of attention and controversy back in the day when people didn’t realize that he didn’t mean any harm to anyone or any group of people whatsoever, he was simply erring on the side of caution to protect his community, as per his job description. I love my father quite deeply as a matter of fact and I will always stand by him.

Karen: The Florida arc was very funny and it was a great way to highlight Jim and Dwight. I miss having Jim,Pam and Dwight more in the forefront of the stories. Are there any plans for more of them? Quick plea for more JAM in general please.

Dennis: Thank you very much for the question Karen, as story editor I can assure you that I was personally involved in the discussions pertaining to what would happen in the Florida episodes. To answer your question about Jim Pam and Dwight, yes they are very funny characters and my favorites. The way to have more of them would be a process by which the writers, including story editors (such as myself, although next year I will be executive story editor), executive story editors, and so forth, decide to write more scenes with those characters, but that is only the beginning of the process because these characters are portrayed by professional actors named John, Jenna, and Rainn Wilson, who are the real people acting as the characters you described, who in the next step act the lines that the story editors and so forth such as myself have written. It is so funny to me that people think the actors make it up but they do sometimes. So that is why I might have an idea for a hilarious scene and then you will not see it on your TV screen until months later, or usually not at all because of politics. Thank you Karen.

Brigette: How did you get your job? It sounds awesome.

Dennis: Thank you Brigette, it is awesome indeed without a doubt. I was at a phase of my life where I was quite frankly getting into a lot of trouble and watching Entourage on HBO and then I came up with an idea for an episode of Entourage that was even better than anything else that had ever been on Entourage, by a lot. [In the script] all the guys came to Boston and got their asses kicked rather violently. Even Ari. I wrote it in two days, it was so easy for me it was like a joke. Then I don’t want to too specific about this next part but let’s just say I knew someone who knew someone who I had good reason to believe would know Mark Wahlberg and I asked if I could give the Entourage script to him since in fact Mark Wahlberg is the executive producer of Entourage so he would probably like my script more than anyone. He promised over and over that he would “show it around” quote unquote which I assumed meant it would end up in the hands of Mr. Mark Wahlberg. The [messed] up thing is that Mark Wahlberg never got the script due to some [screw]-up, but lo and behold I got a call from a Hollywood agent saying Mr. Paul Lieberstein has read my script and thought it was the funniest […] thing he had ever seen in his whole [entire] life, no joke. This led to a meeting where I flew to LA to meet Paul Lieberstein. I flew coach which is funny because now I can afford business or even first class if I wanted, but I don’t even think it’s worth it really, I actually prefer to keep it real and stay in coach purely by choice. I went to The Office and sat in a room and in walks Toby from The Office to interview me. Well understandably I thought I part of a practical joke as of course I didn’t know that Toby was a real person and in fact was the same person as Paul Lieberstein! I got very angry which I think is understandable and used some very expressive language that I regret to this day. However, soon enough the misunderstanding was clarified and the interview proceeded as planned. [Paul] asked me right off the bat if I meant for my script to be ironic and I told him that yes, of course, I meant for it to be very ironic, since being ironic is one of many tools at my disposal as a talented writer, such as being funny, being emotional, being sappy, being action-packed, etcetera etcetera, literally whatever I want. My script had it all. Before I knew it I was a story editor of The Office, living the Entourage life practically. I have always believed in fate.


  1. I know whoever is behind this is trying to be funny by being annoying, but it is not funny at all. I did not even smile once. It is not even believable. What a waste of space on this otherwise wonderful website.

  2. Wow. Does everyone understand that the office characters aren’t real? Fellow tallyheads simply wanted to know the plans the writers have for the characters, we get that they are played by ACTORS. I’d rather see the office end this season than have Dennis Fletcher as the executive story editor for season 9. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention the office characters aren’t real?

  3. Are you even sure he’s actually a real story editor on the show?

    Everything he types sounds like something we could all easily write. He thinks we don’t know the difference between fictional characters and the real people? Why did we interview him again?

  4. Also Steve Hely wrote one of the funnier episodes the whole season so…..I’m definitely fine with him having more scripts.

  5. I don’t know if this is indeed an April Fool’s stunt, but I found this very insulting as a long time fan. Like you said we do know the different between Michael and Steve. If this new guy is for real and just trying to be funny I’m afraid he doesn’t know the majority of the fans of this show.

  6. Not your average Q&A…no kidding. Wow. I admire your tact with this, Tanster.

  7. That was embarrassing to read. I feel like 99% of Office Tally readers know more about the show than this guy. Can’t believe Paul actually hired him. Really not a good look at all for the show…

  8. Wow, thanks for this tanster. Sad to see someone so bitter with a show that has probably padded his Resume and career. Have a good one sport!

  9. I particularly like the part where he talks about how he “flys coach by choice” to “keep it real”. Nice of him to provide some insight.

  10. While I appreciate the effort that went into this, as a fan of this show from the very beginning – I find this incredibly patronizing. Constantly suggesting that we are unable to separate characters from actors? Really? Unless we have all had a severe break from reality – we’re well aware that they are two separate entities.

    When talk of this Q&A first began I was hoping this was some sort of joke either by this site or the office staff. Finding out it is real is disappointing, and it frankly makes me a little nervous for the future of my favorite show.

  11. Anyone notice the posting date for this? Does that ring a bell? Lord, beer me strength.

  12. Guys… he is just joking. He is a comedy writer. This was meant to be funny and not taken seriously…

  13. There’s no way this guy is for real, right? I mean, this has to be some (really bad) joke.

  14. I think this was an April Fool’s joke, right? I can’t believe a writer for the office would be so…off.

  15. I’m…speechless. Not only did we not learn anything new about the show, Dennis appears to HAVE no inside scoop as a story editor. Strange, no?

    [ from tanster: i was hoping for even the tiniest spoiler about upcoming episodes. but then again, it doesn’t look like dennis was heavily involved this year. ]

  16. A few months ago, Mindy Kaling tweeted that B.J.’s “staff writer from South Boston who is in love with Carrie” was her favourite character of his ever. This is a joke!!! Dennis Fletcher is not a real person, it’s B.J. playing a prank on us all! You only have to read his tweets to realise that it can’t possibly be serious.

  17. Please tell me that SOMEONE realizes that everything he said was freaking hilarious and the fact that people are getting all worked up about this makes it all the more freaking hilarious. Maybe the people who “can’t distinguish between a character an actor” can’t distinguish a joke from an insult. Hahahaha this was so awesome.

  18. Tanster: Not to be rude, but do we have concrete proof that this guy is a story editor? His answers are rude and off-putting. I wouldn’t have ever expected someone who represents our beloved show to behave like this.

  19. I keep re-reading his responses and find them funnier and funnier! Best Q&A ever!

    Either I missed the April Fool’s joke, or else this is it…

  20. A character indeed. Is Dennis Fletcher for real? Why did he get so worked up when people were referring to characters instead of the actors? Lol

  21. After the ADD kicked in on sentence 2, of answer 1 (and I don’t even have ADD), I was compelled to look at the date this was posted…April 1st…happy April fools day??

    We can only hope…

  22. Everyone, I think he knows we know the difference between the actors and the characters. He was just trying to be funny (emphasis on “trying”) and was highlighting whatever “politics” issues he’s dealing with that maybe involve the actors (????). As someone who teaches English, I just gotta say, for a writer, he sure has a lot of comma splices and wordy sentences. Kind of reminds me of my students’ papers that go on and on but say nothing. Thanks for answering my question though, Dennis, seriously.

  23. Who is this guy? I don’t get it! I’m a fan who loves The Office characters. This guy seems to disrespect fans who’ve watched the show from Day 1. I don’t get it — what’s he doing on your webpage? Not at all funny! And who cares about his lovefest with the Kempers!

  24. If this is an April Fool’s joke, it isn’t funny. If it’s real… this show is in more serious trouble than I thought.

  25. People are all over the place with their thoughts on this Q&A. My take, I laughed so hard at his ramblings my stomach hurt! He just messed around every question, and although he shoulda probably answered a few, had me laughing so hard at how weird and off topic his answers were.

  26. Wow! He really pulled out the big guns! Real whining? I didn’t expect that!

    So you’re telling me The Office isn’t an actual documentary?

  27. Just to add to my original comment, if Mr. Fletcher was trying to be funny, he wasn’t. This display of his talents does not bode well at all for season #9.

  28. There’s no way this can be real. None. I cannot see any of the people associated with The Office ACTUALLY hiring a guy this jerky (I’d LOVE to use stronger language) to be involved in any way with this show. Somewhere, someone is laughing hysterically while us Office fans get worked up over these fake answers.

    By the way, the joke was not funny. At all.

  29. Is this like a late April Fool’s joke or something? For him to think that the fans don’t know the difference between the characters and the actors…really? Yikes.

  30. I have little faith in his ideas or mental stability. We as fans are not idiots…we know the office is a show, we know everyone is an actor. I am completely unimpressed, based on his comments, I feel like I would be better suited for his job than he is lol. Also, his entourage episode does not sound good. Disappointed. Demote this man.

  31. wow…
    so that was posted on April 1st. (april fools)
    Definitely an awesome april fools joke!

    However… in the case that this was not an april fools joke (very most likely possible)…

    This Dennis guy is a jerk. I don’t think he answered our questions. We learned nothing. I am embarassed for this guy. I hope that the office staff can read this Q/A and these comments…
    and then deal with this guy.
    tell this guy to write an apology note. ha…

  32. After reading this guy’s Twitter posts, I have to say I 100% do not believe he is associated with the Office. There’s no way he can be. Tanster, have you gotten any confirmation that this guy is seriously from our beloved show? Not only are his answers insulting our intelligence as fans, they’re borderline unreadable, as are his Twitter posts, which are misspelled constantly.

  33. Dennis Fletcher: You are a jerk. Please step away from my favorite show. That is all.

  34. Was this just an elaborate April Fool’s prank, posted a little tardy? If so, I’m not really that amused.

  35. If he really works as a story editor, no wonder he thinks half the staff are snobs. They probably hate Dennis Fletcher due to him being a jerk/whacko.

  36. Maybe he’s playing a character, too? Like, some really terrible and angry person…?

  37. I never post, and usually stick to lurking. But this is an extremely disturbing interview. Unless it’s some sort of an April Fool’s Day prank, I’m genuinely concerned about this individual’s mental health. If he does indeed work on “The Office,” I hope that the people there are aware of this and can get him help. But I’d love to just find out that it’s a very well-executed prank!

  38. I see this post was entered on April 1st, which leads me to believe that this is a really grand April Fools’ joke, which I know this website has been noted to do before (and effectively!) If this is indeed a prank, I have to say it’s not a very good one. It’s disturbing to read these comments and though I can find the humor in this that doesn’t make it funny. Perhaps a more well-known writer could have pulled off a stunt like this and it would have read well, but because we only know Mr. Fletcher through his tweets (which are also…weird to say the least) the joke is not very effective.
    If this is not a joke, then God help us all.

  39. I’m another one who never posts and always just lurks, but this is too bizarre and I have to ask: This can’t be real, right?

  40. Tanster, are you going to let us know if this was a joke? Either way not funny and really not The Office I love style.

  41. Everyone, this is a joke! Dennis Fletcher isn’t a real person, he’s a character, and I suspect the person behind him is B.J. Novak. It’s a prank on the fans, and all the other writers are in on it! Personally, I think it’s hilarious – I laughed out loud at some of his answers.

  42. #63 I’m afraid you are in the minority on that. I have had discussion with other fans and not one is finding this funny in the least.

  43. Epic fail! As an April Fools joke. Fail. If this dude is real. Fail. Fail on all fronts. Not funny in the slightest.

  44. If this is not an April Fool’s joke, the office is in more trouble than I imagined.

  45. Oh — so it’s an April Fool’s joke. Making fun of your fans is now funny, is it? It’s pretty freakin’ unfunny! /hits fist through wall…..that may have been an overreaction…..

  46. I’m sorry to post again but I am still laughing!! This has got to be a joke, and it is hilarious. The whole Mark Wahlberg thing – ha ha ha! Whoever did this, it’s so messed up, and you can write from the POV of the biggest dbag ever. I love it.

  47. Not funny? This is probably the most hilarious thing to ever happen. And all of your reactions make it more so.

  48. Tanster, could you please tell us whether or not this was a joke? A lot of people in this fandom are incredibly angry and insulted right now, and it would be nice to know whether or not this is legit.

  49. 64, Right from the moment Dennis Fletcher appeared on Twitter, I knew he was a hoax, so when this Q&A was announced, I was expecting it to be funny. Maybe if I had believed it to be real, I wouldn’t have found it so funny, I don’t know. I don’t mean to offend other fans by laughing about this – it’s just that I never took it seriously.

  50. Anyone who says “how come” cannot possibly be a writer for a living. If this is actually for real I have no hope for season 9.

  51. Yes #79, the reactions are funnier! That is because the original was not funny. I don’t mean I thought it was not funny because it was mean or felt tricked. I just fail to see the humor in it in the first place; I knew it was an attempt at a joke from the start – see my other comments.

    I suppose humor is subjective. Some will find it funny and some won’t. I am in camp #2 of those.

    But to be clear for those of you that are still confused: This was not real. It was an April Fools’ day thing.

  52. Hmmm… I can’t find Dennis Fletcher on the IMDB, and his Internet presence is mostly limited to this interview and Twitter…

  53. So we’ve established it was an April Fool’s joke. It however did not play out well. It’s a shame whoever attempted this didn’t understand it came off condescending to many fans. Makes me sad that there is a disconnect with us.

  54. @63 Jessie, I also think the answers are quite funny too! I still cannot ascertain if Dennis is “real” or not. But I do not get the strong negative reactions.

  55. The funniest thing is how many people still don’t seem to understand that they’ve been “pranked”…but good…really good! Well, I guess that’s how Dwight must have felt a lot of the time!

  56. LOL, how can anyone think this was real? Lighten up people, it’s just a joke. Maybe Dennis Fletcher will be manager one day ;)

  57. This is the darkest comedy associated with the Office in quite some time! Looks like some of these fans forgot that we were originally laughing at people’s awkward recognition of their social deficiencies. Thanks to whoever wrote this!

  58. The fact that this is was April Fools joke and that most fans were offended by the whole thing is not really the main point here. I would venture to guess that most fans were really shocked into reality because the prank was very unfunny and we see it as being indicative of things to come in this series.

  59. #Sprinkles, #pete, I’m fairly certain that it’s B.J. Mindy tweeted a while ago that she loved B.J’s character who was a staff writer from Southie who was in love with Carrie Kemper. This was ages before Dennis appeared on Twitter. So it rang a bell with me when I started reading his tweets.

  60. I can’t believe people are getting so buttmad about this. Don’t Office fans have a sense of humor anymore?

  61. @#88 That was my problem with this prank. “Dennis Fletcher” as a parody just wasn’t funny or realistic. Both things we used to expect from the show.

  62. @90

    We like jokes that are funny. And that are clearly jokes (do not assume that everyone uses twitter).

  63. that was just bizarre, even for an april fools day joke. my mind still can’t process how silly that Q&A was.

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