Got a ‘Stress Relief’ question for Paul Lieberstein?

Do you have a question about last night’s post-Super Bowl episode, ‘Stress Relief’?

Paul Lieberstein, ‘Stress Relief’ writer, has very graciously agreed to answer your questions about the episode! Given that he is also very busy being an executive producer for ‘The Office,’ I am beyond excited that he’s agreed to do this. Thank you, Paul!

Submit your question here by 11pm PT tomorrow night, February 3rd.

I’ll put together a Q&A and post it hopefully sometime next week.

Remember, non-spoilerish questions about ‘Stress Relief’ only. Thanks!


  1. I’ve noticed that whenever you write an episode it has a very unique feeling (In a very, very good way!)I was just wondering how much of the character development you would credit to the rotation of writers. Also, do you have any examples of a specific writer’s unique take on a certain character.

  2. Thanks for answering questions. “Stress Relief” was amazing! Question: What was involved in the casting decision for the pirated movie? Since I know Carol Burnett has stated she wants to be on the show, were any other actors considered for those roles?

  3. First of all, your BEST episode yet! Well done…My question is……How pleased were you with this episode? This one must have been great for you!

  4. How were you able to choreograph the opening fire scene? Was it written in, or was a lot of it improv on the part of the actors? Also, do you or any of the writers have any inclinations to go back to the funny of the “2nd season”? I mean don’t get me wrong, yesterday’s episode was funny–but I feel like this season has relied too much on the physical comedy or being “big”. If you were to juxtapose yesterday’s episode to say “Dwight’s Speech” from season 2–there is more of an intellectual funny, and personally I feel a lot of us viewers enjoy that much more but that there hasn’t been that in a long time–I would say since before the writer’s strike last season.

  5. One of my favorite scenes of the episode was Michael’s “boss” talking head. Was this joke purposely written because Bruce Springsteen was doing the halftime show or was it purely coincidental?

  6. Paul, When Stanley passed out and fell to the floor, what was Michael trying to put in Stanley’s mouth? BTW, “Stress Relief” was the best episode ever! What a great idea to have Michael “roast” the staff at the end of the show!

  7. Who was the actor kissing Cloris Leachman at the very end of the episode? My friend insists that it was Ed Helms!

  8. This episode was awesome! I was laughing so hard at the cold open! Angela and her cat was my favorite part!

    Question: How many takes were necessary for the cold open? So much was happening all at the same time!

    Thank you Paul for such a great episode, it’s now in my top 5 of all time! :)

  9. I thought Stress Relief was a great episode, possibly the best of the season. My question is how easy or difficult is it for you to write for your own character? Especially when Michael is prone to view him as the devil of Human Resources?

  10. When you write an episode, do you feel you write less material for yourself as to avoid selfishness? If there’s one thing Stress Relief was missing, it was good ole Toby Flenderson.

  11. I’d like to hear the put downs Michael wrote for Phyllis and Kelly. Of course, he did not have a line for Toby either, but we hear those all the time.

    And Jim’s little notebook of Michael’s malapropisms made me wonder if there could be a book in the works, a la “Bushisms”? That would be awesome.

  12. Were there any alternatives for any of Michael’s roasts? Or were there any extra, that we didn’t see, like for Kelly or Toby? On that note, were there any roasts of Michael that we didn’t see?

  13. First of all, this was my favorite episode this season! Thank you for such a wonderful episode!

    One of my favorite parts was when Dwight and Michael were trying to decide if it was “heed” or “headed” or “heeding of” etc. Was that all written in or an improv?
    I love moments like that where the joke is the weird way the actors say a word.

    Also, what did you guys use for snow when Michael was at the park? It looked pretty real.

  14. Was there any concern among the writers or editors that the cold-open was too hi-jinxy?


    How much discussion was there about how to play that last scene where Jim and Pam talk about why her father left her mother? I thought it was so brilliant how they were both crying but at the same time, not crying. Where else but on The Office would you see that?! (Please give Jenna and John a nice pat on the back for that one).

    I heart you all.

  15. Hey Paul! Well done last night!

    Question: When you originally wrote this episode did you know that it was going to be the post-superbowl episode? If not, how did the episode change once you found out?

    Thanks Paul!

  16. Great episode! So many fantastic moments! My question involves one of the last scenes when Pam is talking about how you never understand a love affair unless you are one of the ones involved and Andy reacts in the background. Was his response meant to be strictly about the Jim-and-Pam-are-movie-geniuses plot or was it a nod to the Dwight-Andy-Angela love triangle?

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