I just want to say, again, how much I love The Office writers. They have been extremely generous in taking the time to answer fan questions.
Following are Brent Forrester and Justin Spitzer’s answers to your Did I Stutter? questions. Thanks, Brent and Justin!
Q. When B.J. answered his Chair Model questions, he mentioned that you guys usually choose simple and bland titles for the episodes. I think this is the first time a quote has ever been used as the title, so why’d you decide on ‘Did I Stutter?’ as the final pick? Did you have any back-up titles? | Post-it Thief
A. We actually had a disagreement about this. ‘Did I Stutter?’ was how we had generally referred to the idea in the room since Mindy came up with it a while back. Brent thought we should just go with it as the title. I wanted to change it to something dull, like ‘The Reprimand’ or ‘Insubordination’. Brent won, because he’s bigger than me and in significantly better shape. — Justin
Q. Were there multiple takes, or just one, of Steve being planted, so to speak? Was John’s mock introduction/speech planned or thought up while filming? | Jim
A. There was only one take of him actually going into the cement. We told him to hold his face in the concrete (which was actually a putty that looked like concrete) for as long as he could hold his breath, because we knew we’d want to be able to start his voice-over over video of the scene.
But we didn’t think to tell the other actors that. So when you see everyone rushing to pull him out, that’s not written — it’s because the rest of the cast actually thought he might be stuck. John’s speech as written was: “We are gathered here today to immortalize not just a man, but an idea. Or maybe the idea of a man.” He improvised everything else. — Justin
Q. How did you come up with “fluffy fingers?” | Lindsay
A. Totally random — first thing that popped to mind. We do dream of a world where all the violent conflicts of the street can be solved with fluffy fingers, but that’s probably not realistic. Too many gang leaders aren’t ticklish. — Justin
Q. Why didn’t you show Michael giving Stanley fluffy fingers? | joe
A. We actually did film a scene of Michel approaching Stanley from behind and bringing up his fingers to try it, then thinking better of it and scrapping the plan. But like a number of other very funny scenes, we had to cut it for time. — Justin
Q. What was your intention in writing the Pam/glasses subplot? Was it just a fun, quirky piece of info or were you going for something a bit deeper? | Shannon F
A. Mainly just a fun quirk. Also because writers are generally pasty bespectacled losers while actors are glamorous beautiful people, and we wanted to take Jenna down a peg. Unfortunately, the glasses just made her look cuter. — Justin