Got a ‘Murder’ question for Danny Chun?

Danny Chun is one of the newest members of The Office writing team and penned last night’s episode, ‘Murder.’

I’m excited that he’s agreed to do a Q&A with us! (I actually told him it was a requirement for new writers. Shhh.)

If you have a question for Danny about ‘Murder,’ please post it in a comment below.

This post will close at 11pm Pacific Time tonight, so get your questions in today!

P.S. You can follow Danny on Twitter at @dannychun.


  1. Welcome to our little kingdom, Danny. I brought D-shaped bagels for you.

    One of the credits to both the writing and acting on the show is how improvised and real it feels. Were the accents we saw make it to air fully scripted as such or did the actors play around with it? Furthermore, did you write in collaboration with the actors, giving lines to those who would put in the funniest performance? And finally, there’s Oscar’s line. How much of that was you, and how much Oscar?

  2. Why isn’t Pam showing yet? She was showing a little in Koi Pond, but you could hardly see her baby belly last night! You’d think she’d feel the baby kicking or something by now! I almost forget that she’s pregnant sometimes!

  3. Great episode, Danny!

    Question: How did you come up with the idea for this episode?

    Question: How long did it take to work on everyone’s southern accents?

  4. Hello Danny!
    You are a hard working writer, working on The Simpsons and The Office. Are there similiar atmospheres in the writer’s rooms and did writing for The Simpsons help you write for The Office?

  5. LOVED the episode, one of my favorites in a long time. My only question was why keep Andy and Erin apart? It’s starting to feel very Jim and Pam. The shy/awkward thing is nice, but Andy was VERY bold with Angela, so it doesn’t seem to fit with Erin being a much less intimidating woman.

  6. GREAT episode, Danny!

    My question is if the idea for this episode started before The Office Clue game came along or was the tie-in advertising for the Clue game just a natural thing to do since the episode was very Clue-like?

  7. Hey Danny! Welcome to our family… ;)
    The episode was awesome! My husband had not laughed this much watching the show since season 3!
    Oscar: that was pure gold!
    Here’s my question:
    When you wrote the episode, could you hear the characters talking with a southern accent in your head? Was it similar to the final result? What about Oscar?


  8. Hi, Danny! This episode was brilliant! I know you’ll fit in well with the other amazing writers on The Office.

    My question is this: Where did you get the idea for such a ridiculous (yet hilarious and classic Michael) premise? Have you ever participated in such a game?

  9. I’m always curious how much the lead writer of an episode writes. What parts of the episode would you say you are most responsible for? What are some of the parts that other writers came up with? Thanks! Great job!

  10. I take it “Belles, Bourbon, and Bullets” is not a real game (thank you Google). Did you guys come up with names for all of the characters in the game or just the ones we heard? Voodoo Mama Juju= A+

    Also, where has Ryan been?

  11. Just how much blooper footage are we going to see from this episode alone? This looked like one of those. I’m sure many of the actors broke? (paging John Krasinski!)

    Great episode! Definitely the funniest one this season!

  12. I’m actually interested in hearing about how the writers determine character progression, particularly Pam’s evolution. It’s been discussed here and elsewhere that she has noticeably changed from the quiet, unassuming girl she was in the earlier seasons. Is this a conscious decision? And how much time is spent on continuing to form the character in the writer’s room?

  13. What a great episode! I have a couple of questions. 1. Did you write the cold open as well, if not who’s idea was it? Watching Dwight desperately try to counter his own attacks and eventually catch himself by surprise was priceless. 2. If there were actually a murderer working at Dunder Mifflin, who do you most medium suspect?

  14. Hey, Danny! Fantastic episode.

    When the gang wasn’t shooting did any of the actors keep their accents going?

    Are there any plans to do commentary for this episode on the DVD? I feel that this one is worthy of that distinction and I want as much behind the scenes talk on this episode as I can get!

    Thanks for your time.

  15. When do you get your next episode to write? Will B.J. Novak be writing one at some point?

    Do you feel there is a new group of writers taking over compared to the days of Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg, Michael Schur, Greg Daniels, Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak, Paul Lieberstein, Jennifer Celotta. They still write, but not on as regular a basis. Now we are seeing more Aaron Sure, Brent Forrester, Charlie Grandy, yourself, Justin Spitzer, Warren Lieberstein, Halisted Sullivan. Is it hard to keep the continuity of tone and character?

  16. Not a question, just praise: I loved Creed fleeing the scene when he heard that they were trying to find out who the murderer was.

  17. Welcome, Danny! What a wonderful episode, filled with classic OFFICE awesomeness :)

    My question: How many times did Steve, Rainn, Ed and Jenna crack up during gunpoint scene? That must have taken some major planning with cameramen and actors sharing a tiny space!

  18. Hi Danny, welcome & props on a fantastic episode!

    1) Was the lack of Toby in the episode due to the fact that Michael’s character killed him off right away?
    2) How’d you decide on the Shawn Mullins song?
    3) Will you ever have a character on-screen? Perhaps one of Darryl’s boyz in the hood warehouse guys?

  19. Hi Danny,

    Great episode last night. My question is how is writing for a show like the office different than writing for a cartoon like the Simpsons? What things did you learn in your previous role that helped you pen this episode?

  20. Hi Danny,
    Such a great episode! I loved Dwight beating himself up in the Cold Open, and Creed flying back out of the office. That was classic! And I love how subtle Jim and Pam’s scene in Jim’s office was. They didn’t say much but you could feel the undertone of the both of them freaking out. I loved the whole episode.

    One question… why weren’t Kelly and Ryan playing along? I’ve been missing them this season!

  21. The flirtation between Andy and Erin has been dealt with very carefully it seems and they’ve really been taking it slowly, which reminds me of the Jim/Pam romance in a way. My question for you is can you see the Andy/Erin storyline becoming the main romantic focus of the show somewhere down the lines (episodes away or seasons away) as the show shifts, changes, adds new characters, takes some away, etc. Thanks!

  22. Excellent episode, I’ve enjoyed the season A LOT so far, superb job to the entire crew.

    What was your favorite scene in the episode?

  23. Where did the idea for the hamsters in the tubes come from? And I love when you guys do double talking heads. Great job!

  24. Hi Danny! Great Episode :)

    I was just wondering what was the inspiration/how did you come up with the voice Michael used when he said “That would be hilarious” when he was on the phone with Dunder Mifflin Corporate? It was my favorite part of the episode, I think I re-watched it 4 times since it aired.


  25. Great episode!

    I love that we are seeing so many more exciting emotions from Pam these days. Is this because you and the writing team are just exploring different parts of her character or have the writers made this a conscious decision to make her more emotional because she is pregnant?


  26. Hi Daniel,

    I love all your work and writing, from your amazing episode of The Office just last night, to your hilarious Twitter account!

    I am an Asian American and it makes me very proud as one to see how incredibly successful you are, it personally gives me a lot of courage and inspiration for my own work and life. So thank you so much for that.

    My question is, if you don’t mind, giving us a little history on your background and personal life, such as where you were born, and where your parents/family are from?

    and also, has being Asian American influenced/effected your work and career in either a positive and negative way. Do you ever plan on using some of your family’s history and culture in future writing projects?

    Thank you very much and keep up the great work!

  27. First off, the episode was awesome, great work! =)

    My question is: Were there any more scenes taken with Tube City? That cracked me up, as I tried to imagine hamster tubes running all around the office. The ideas you and the other writers have for Michael are absolutely brilliant sometimes.

  28. Why did Pam walk out on Jim while they were having their discussion about potential joblessness? This was a very funny episode, but that bit really disappointed me.

  29. Hi Danny,

    was the scene where Dwight hit himself a reference to ‘Fight Club’?
    In an earlier episode Pam says: ‘I’m going to hit you as hard as I can’, which also sounded like a reference to that movie.

    Oh and I LOVED the ‘Mexican standoff’ at the end!

  30. Hi Danny,

    First of all, congratulations! I loved “Murder.” It’s such a fun, lighthearted episode despite the very somber issue of bankruptcy.

    Question: in this episode (and in Season 6 generally), we’ve seen a bit of a role reversal between Jim and Pam. While Jim used to be more interested in joking around, he is now quite serious and focused on his job. Pam, on the other hand, seems more and more willing to go along with the typical office shenanigans. What prompted this facet of character development? Will we see more of it in future episodes?


  31. I love these little hints of Ryan experimenting with his look & his identity. Were there any deleted scenes where Ryan explained his look? And where was Kelly?!

    P.S. Amazing amazing job. Seriously!

  32. I just wanted to say this was one of the best episodes this season. I loved it. I reminded me of why I love The Office in the first place. Great job Danny!!

  33. Wonderful episode–it was all anyone at work was talking about this morning (in a good way!)

    The cheesy, dorky mystery game the group was playing was almost like another character unto itself! I could not stop laughing at the names, the statements that people read and the props. I’m assuming this is a totally fake (and awesomely hilarious) version of a mystery game that you invented. What was the name of it (Bourbon and Belles?)? Can you tell us more about coming up with the game, ridiculous names and props, the cassette etc? Did other writers get in on making up parts of the game? Everyone must have been laughing so hard. (BTW-When the cassette is accidentally turned on to reveal the murderer, I just totally lost it!)

  34. Danny, great ep.

    My question, Andy says something along the lines as “that’s more of a Florida panhandle…” Where did you get the inspiration for this line? I am from FL. while I’m from not the panhandle, i have met some people from there and did not care for them So that line definitely got a big laugh from me.

    (i do not hate everyone from the panhandle, just those that i have had the displeasure of knowing.)

  35. Hey Danny! First off I’d like to thank you for doing this Q&A and restate what previous commentors have said in that Murder was an AWESOME episode. Ending tag w/Pam all of a sudden joining the double agent circle cracked me up. I know you can’t give spoilers and I certainly don’t wish to be spoiled of the fresh comedy genius that lies ahead but do you have any insight into Ryan’s wardrobe change the last few episodes? First the hat, now plaid and glasses. Something’s up. Thanks again!

  36. What an amazing episode! Loved it.

    Is the budding yet awkward relationship between Andy and Erin inspired by the early days of Jim and Pam?

  37. Wow, this episode was so different from previous ones this season. In a way, “Murder” woke the audience up. Was it hard to write the scene where Michael becomes truly furious and says “Shut up!” to Jim? What kind of Southern accents did you envision each character having compared to what the actors brought? Was it a lot of pressure to write an episode where a huge event happens (Dunder Mifflin bankruptcy) that almost changes the entire “social order” or status quo? Do you watch Mad Men – was it a coincidence that both shows had a major company go down in flames this week? This episode really let the actors shine and do improv comedy (the showdown) – did they enjoy that??

  38. I was glad to see some Andy/Erin interaction that was reminiscent of the old Jim and Pam. I also got really excited when Dwight began to talk to Angela, hoping that they would start to rebuild their relationship. Are there any plans for more Dwight and Angela soon? I miss them greatly!

  39. Danny,
    Congrats on an AMAZING episode… one of the funniest yet in Season 6, welcome aboard!

    My question:

    Before becoming one of the writers on the show, how familiar with The Office were you? Were you already involved with it in some way? You seem to know the characters inside and out!

  40. Did you have to buy all those board games for Michael’s office, or did different employees just bring them in from their homes for the shot?

  41. Congrats and welcome, Danny! I know you must be very excited about your first episode; what line would you say you’re most proud of?

    Looking forward to more eps from you in the future! :)

  42. hi there and thanks for the QA! i was wondering if the episode writers are able to be on set for the shooting of their episode or are you back in the writers’ room working on future shows? also, how long does it take to film a complete episode? thanks!
    P.S. love your hoodie avatar trend!
    P.P.S “voodoo mama joujou” seriously cracked me up!

  43. Hey Mr. Chun,
    First off, love the name.
    Second off, Are we seeing Jim becoming more like Michael when backed into a corner? I kind of saw that when he looked at those people after he got the call about the company going under by the end of the year and he went back to what Michael was doing in order to keep people from freaking out. Which is what Michael was doing anyways.

  44. Pam’s character has changed a lot from last season to now—are these permanent changes in the eyes of the writers, or related to her pregnancy? Also, is Pam’s love of art still a part of her character? We haven’t seen that since mid-season 5, either.

  45. I’ve already watched MURDER 4 times since last night, and am amazed that each time I hear little lines I missed before, or catch a subtle look or something going on in the background that I hadn’t noticed yet. Once again, a testament to the brilliance of the writers and actors that this show is so multi-layered and real. Did you write, or did Steve Carell ad lib, the line about going to see “Mama JuJu BooBoo” when Pam asked Michael “Where to now, Caleb?” Wishing you continued success!

  46. The Office rarely has music, so it’s always fun when you incorporate music in the plot. Why did you choose to include that particular Shawn Mullins song?

  47. The camera was used really well to hide and then reveal that Pam was a part of the Mexican standoff in the tag scene. Whose idea was it to use the camera to hide Pam from the audience in the first half of that scene?

  48. Is it becoming a running gag that Ryan always has a new and weird look going each week?

    Whose idea was it for Ryan’s latest outfit?

  49. Hey, Danny! Congrats on your first episode, it was ridiculously awesome!

    Here’s my question: Was this episode written because of or to promote The Office Clue game? If so, genius marketing ploy.

    Thanks for answering our questions and I look forward to seeing your future episodes!

  50. Great episode, thanks for writing it! :D It made me laugh so hard.

    Did Ed Helms have to have special training for the Savannah accent, or was it something he could already do based on the fact that he’s from Georgia?

  51. Danny,

    How did you come up with the idea for Tube City? Was it fun testing it? What was the Hamsters name?

    What was used as Meredith’s fake brains?

  52. First of all, great episode! Loved every minute of it. Classic Office.

    Question: Did you come up with names for every character, or just the ones featured on the show? I would love to know all the crazy names you came up with; if they’re anything like Voodoo Mama Juju, they have to be good :).

  53. Hilarious episode!!!! Were there some difficult scenes to get through? With all the southern accents…I would imagine there would be alot of “breaking”? Also, I am still a HUGE JAM fan…will we see more of them together this season???

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