Today The Office’s Executive Producer Greg Daniels and John Krasinski got on the phone with the press to talk about the end of the show.
Here are my rough notes. The full transcript starts here. It’s funny, poignant, phenomenal. Greg and John killed!
- Someone asked about John’s work pre-Office, including commercials, so I had to mention to him one of my favorite commercials, starring him and his faux-hawk!
- Greg mentioned that he reads fan feedback. He’s very interested in what fans think about storylines, characters, etc.
- This season’s Jim/Pam arc came from John’s pitch based on his brother’s real-life experience traveling for his job and how that put a strain on the family.
- Greg is working with NBC to supersize the finale, currently scheduled for an hour. Sign the petition here to support him!
- In last week’s episode, Paper Airplane, Greg/John wanted to give the audience “a light at the end of the tunnel.” It doesn’t answer the question of how Jim and Pam solve their issues, though. More brass tacks to come.
- Greg hopes fans treat the last 3-4 episodes as the finale, and he doesn’t want people terrified with Jim/Pam anxiety.
- The original plan was to air the documentary in episode 17.
- As part of the retrospective airing prior to finale, Greg was asked for footage of cast auditions. Greg recalled asking John to improv about his favorite fruit. He talked about the pomegranate, and tagged it with an amazing look into camera. Greg also mentioned that in the pairs auditions, John was the only Jim who could “stand up” to Rainn improv-wise.
- When asked about a possible Steve Carell return, Greg said that Steve felt the Goodbye Michael episode was his goodbye and that he didn’t want to overshadow the other characters’ goodbyes.
- When asked, “what is The Office’s legacy?” Greg said that viewers who appreciate The Office’s comedic sensibilities “got a good long drink of comedy juice.”
- Greg confirmed that The Office set is gone. :(
- John described the final scene that was shot: it was of various people exiting the office (not the last scene in the actual episode), and they were laughing and crying as they did a take, then walking back into the office for another take, and then all of a sudden Greg appears and says, “Ladies and gentlemen, that’s the end of The Office.” John said that was a gut punch. (I started to tear up at this point.)
- When someone asked John if leaving The Office felt like graduating from high school, Greg joked, “we turned your trailer into a gym.”
- When asked if there were storylines they didn’t get to do, Greg mentioned that the Belsnickel story had been written seasons ago and that they finally got to do it this year. Greg then joked he would be writing fan fiction on all the other stories they didn’t do.
- When asked about their favorite episodes, John pointed to Diversity Day, Casino Night (no one had ever done a scene like the final Jim/Pam scene), and Booze Cruise with its 27 seconds of silence. Greg mentioned Booze Cruise, Business School, The Job, and The Injury.
- When asked about upcoming projects, John joked that he was auditioning for the lead role in Mr. Robinson (Craig Robinson’s show).
Fun call. But sad, too.