Lee and Gene answer ‘Dinner Party’ questions

Sunday, April 13th, 2008 | 69 comments


I asked Tallyhead Nation to post their questions about Dinner Party, and Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky were gracious enough to answer a bunch! I love hearing about all the behind the scenes details.

Thanks, Lee and Gene!

Q. We found out in the live blog that you two wrote the words to that incredibly bad but funny song by Hunter, and the music is by Todd Fancy of The New Pornographers … is that who is singing it? | Troy

A. That is the great Todd Fancy singing. He was great. He did a bunch of different versions for us. I believe that a longer version with extra lyrics will be available on NBC.com sometime next week.

Q. Are there any hidden jokes in this episodes that a lot of viewers might not have gotten when watching it, like in the background or something like that? If so, can you give us a clue about what it is? | Sonni

A. Let’s see … Jan’s ‘office’ was really never used. I don’t know if you can see on camera, but someone had the idea (Paul Feig, I believe) that the desk chair still had plastic sleeves on the arms. What else, what else. Oh, every photo in the house was of Jan with other guys. There was not one picture of Michael anywhere. And finally, in the garage, there was actually a Soloflex and a Bowflex back to back. Many of the writers love the idea that Michael is completely taken by late-night infomercials.

Q. Is Michael’s condo the same location as first seen in Office Olympics? Also, did the script include an exact pillow count for the quantity of pillows on Jan’s bed? | Jack

A. This is the same location. The production design team on the show did an amazing job to transform the condo from Michael’s design aesthetic to Jan’s.

Q. Was Dwight’s date really his babysitter or was she some random homeless person? | Lisa

A. Dwight’ date was really his babysitter. She was taking the bus home at the end.

Q. Is Hunter’s song about Jan? | WiseWithWorms

A. Yes, Hunter’s song is about Jan. But what specifically happened ‘That One Night’ is left to interpretation.

Q. Were there a LOT of breaks during the dinner party scenes? lol especially when Jan was throwing things around … | Awesome Blossom

A. Breaks? Like actors laughing? Yes! There was a great, loose vibe on set because it was the first episode back. The plasma TV scene, in particular, was tough to get through. Steve was on fire.

Q. Was the Serenity candle logo a nod to Joss Whedon’s Serenity movie? | Shunned Ryan

A. We love Joss, but no, sorry. It was just something we came up with.

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  1. 69. headcaver  

    Best episode ever!

  2. 68. Lisa  

    I love the care that’s put into every detail. It makes the episodes infinitely re-watchable. You always pick up something new.

  3. 67. Amanda  

    Yeah. I was wondering whether she was a homeless woman myself.

  4. 66. Dominique  

    Haha I love that someone asked whether or not Dwight’s date was really his old baby-sitter or a homeless woman. There was some debate on that on my site (and on the couch right after the episode!)

  5. 65. Spicy Curry  

    Thanks, Lee and Gene!
    I’ll have to rewatch the episode to catch the photos.

  6. 64. what's the dealio?  

    This was so cool! Thanks for setting this up Tanster and thanks to Gene and Lee. I loved this episode and the behind the scenes stuff is such a bonus. I love the care that goes into the tiny details–Andy’s multi-layered preppy ensemble, the pictures of Jan with different men, the zillions of pillows on the bed, etc. It’s one of the many things that makes the show really special. It was great to hear that there was a ton of breaking. How the actors kept it together long enough to complete the episode is beyond me. Just the way Jan scampered over and grabbed the Dundie before she threw it still has me laughing. Sadly, “That One Night” has been stuck in my head for 5 days now. Grrr!

  7. 63. Lissa  

    Wow, this is so awesome =D Very cool! Interesting, I’ll have to go back and see if I can catch some of this stuff xD (the pictures!)

  8. 62. jkrasislove  

    this is great. and that “controversial” Jim and Pam scene might have been my favorite.

  9. 61. Philly Jim  

    Now I will watch a 3rd time to catch Jan and her boyfriend photos (didn’t catch the first 2 times around.) Also to listen to Hunter’s song again :> HA HA

    Loved the Q & A interview! Thanks!

  10. 60. nv  

    That was such a fun read! tanster, thanks for arranging this kind of stuff for us! It’s like having DVD extras after every episode.

  11. 59. mbl  

    This was great, thanks to Lee, Gene and Tanster. And wouldn’t it be great if we could always have this after an episode!

    I am glad to see that Lee and Gene have confirmed the playful side of Pam and Jim’s relationship. I loved the scene where Jim was trying to get them out of there.

  12. 58. LC  

    I loved this! It’s so cool to get this kind of insight after watching an episode. I hope it can happen again in the future!

  13. 57. Pam Scherbatsky  

    Sweet! Those questions were much better than mine. Very informative! :)

  14. 56. Robyn in Canada  

    Darn, I used to call my husband ‘Babe’ naturally and now I say it and feel like laughing. Oh well, small price to pay. Loved the episode but love it even more when we hear all these inside details. Thanks!

  15. 55. Angelica  

    Lots of thanks to Lee, Gene and Jennie! This is great!

    Also, I just have to say that it cracks me up that so much doom and gloom gets read into every little moment that Jim and Pam aren’t all lovey dovey with each other.

  16. 54. Awesome Blossom  

    This just made my day!! I’m so glad they answered my question. To be honest i wouldn’t think they’d answer it, but I’m so glad they did!!! :)
    Thanks a bunch for answering our questions Gene and Lee! And thank you so much Tanster for setting this up!

    #10 – OMG that would be awesome! If we had this for every episode…yay!

  17. 53. Allison  

    Awesome! Thanks!

    By the way, you can see the plastic on the arms of the chair in Jan’s “office”

    I re-watched the episode this morning.

  18. 52. Dee  

    Wow! That was really cool. I really like to appreciate the small jokes, and I’m glad they shared a few of the subtle jokes. Next time I watch it, I will have to be on the look out for these. Thank you so much Gene, Lee, and Tanster!

  19. 51. headphone  

    I’m going to have to rewatch the episode again to see if I can spot the pictures of Jan with other men. Without this Q&A I never would have caught it.

  20. 50. Emily  

    REALLY really cool. I’m glad they cleared up the Jim and Pam thing…I thought it was supposed to be playful, but a lot of my friends thought that Jim was being a jerk.

    And I’m SO glad that that song really is about Jan. I can’t wait to hear the whole thing!

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