Charlie Grandy answers ‘Crime Aid’ questions

Q. Not to be a wet blanket, but why oh WHY did they just not get the stuff back with insurance?? | Carmel T

Charlie: That was actually a big story point that got edited out for time. The idea was they had a $5,000 deductible for personal items. They lost less than that, so it wasn’t covered.

Q. Was Hank really performing? It was really nifty to see Hank doing something other than being a security guard! | Pudge

Charlie: That was all Hank (Hugh Dane). He’d never played guitar before that day. We gave him a guitar and said, “do this.” It came out of an early draft where Oscar and Kevin try to solve the robbery.

They believe it must be an inside job and ask Hank if he has “a record.” Hank says he does have “a record” but it’s a blues record, not a criminal record. That leads to him playing at the auction. It was Jen’s pitch and remains one of my favorites ever.

Q. Who came up with the C.R.I.M.E. A.I.D.’s acronym? | Tiffany

Charlie: That was me. I spent about three hours trying various combinations of words and that was the one that made me laugh.

Q. When Dwight tells Angela she has until 6:14, the way he says it is strikingly similar to a White Stripes song called Red Death at 6:14, even how he repeats it a second time. Is this a reference to a large coincidence? | dsrules

Charlie: This was coincidence. Weird.

Q. Did Roy just happen to show up at the bar or did Darryl call him up to have a confrontation with Jim? | Joseph

Charlie: It was a coincidence. We figured these guys would all frequent the same places, so it’s not that much of a stretch to imagine them bumping into each other.

Q. How did you come up with all the songs that Michael thought were Springsteen? | Abbey in PA

Charlie: I originally thought it would be funny if the only Springsteen song Michael knew was “Secret Garden” from the Jerry McGuire soundtrack. That joke landed with a thud, so I suggested it be a non-Springsteen song and that worked.

Aaron Shure suggested “Short People” as one of the songs and that sealed it.


  1. This was so interesting! Thanks, Tanster! I am crossing my fingers to see the Kelly scene on the Season 5 dvd set also. However, “I don’t know when or IF Jim and Pam see each other again” just doesn’t sound good to me. Oh well. I trust those writers! Thanks again!

  2. Tanster: Thanks for arranging this yet again. You’re amazing!

    It’s great to hear a little bit about what goes on behind the scenes.

  3. Tanster…it’s d’awesome that the writers make themselves available to you (and us!) to answer questions. I think that fans of The Office are an intelligent bunch and we really appreciate the behind-the-scenes glimpse these Q&A’s give us. To hear, right from the horse’s mouth, about how certain scenes were shot, why one line was chosen over another, and what goes into putting an episode together is very much appreciated. Thanks to you and Charlie!

  4. Thanks Tanster and Charlie! That was fun to read. What a great day to start off my morning!

  5. Wow – that was great. Thanks for doing this tanster, and Charlie! I feel like I get to know the show I love on a different level. Too cool!

  6. Second time asking –
    Do you know if Charlie Grandy is Fred Grandy’s son from “The Love Boat”?

    Love this Q&A’s – keep em coming

  7. I always enjoy these Q&A’s, but they may have been the most informative and interesting to read of them all. It’s like getting the DVD commentary a year early!

  8. Yay Charlie! Thanks for answering so many great questions! I would’ve loved to have seen Kelly’s TH about driving Ryan wild with lust. It makes me laugh just thinking of how that would’ve gone.

  9. Thanks for answering my question! The only thing that confused me though is how using the camera would be a crutch. If it’s a documentary, it would be perfectly acceptable for the people to acknowledge the camera being there.

  10. I love this episode, so it’s great to receive these wonderful insights into how it was written.

  11. Thank you so very much for making it possible for us to get such amazing behind-the-scenes details. This has become my favorite part of officetally! I’m always blown away by the willingness of the writers to make themselves available to the fans this way. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  12. Thank you so much for this!
    Those are always so interesting to read!
    This season is so good so far! I can’t wait for the next episodes!

  13. Welcome to our little kingdom, Charlie. Always fun to read insight and get clarification ($5000 deductible! Yes, I can finally sleep tonight!)

  14. Thank you to the writers (and Tanster) for taking the time to talk to fans in this way. It’s appreciated so much!! We know how busy you are and the fact that you take the time out to do this is awesome.

  15. Thank you so much.

    I can appreciate how tough it is for a new writer to enter an established writing dynamic. And I just have to say: what a great addition Charlie Grandy makes. Without knowing the “behind-the-scenes” of it all, I would never have guessed it was his first episode for the show. It felt “in” that Universe, filled with tiny details that spoke of thorough knowledge of these characters and this world, and just plain hysterical.

    Thank you again for answering the questions and for the episode itself.

  16. Thanks for the great Q & A — and thanks, Powers That Be — for being so loyal and connected with your fans!

  17. Fascinating, as always! This episode has got to be one of my all-time favorites. Thank you for the Q&A, Charlie and tanster! I can’t tell you how grateful I am for these behind-the-scenes peeks at my beloved show.

  18. This was a GREAT Q&A. Very funny, very informative, all around just awesome. And thank you for answering my (somewhat random) question! It made my day AND I’m doing my first NaNoWriMo novel (a comedy) this year…so knowing what other writers do will help.

    Thanks Charlie and Tanster!

  19. Wow, it sounds like this episode could have been an hour long. It’s too bad they had to cut so much out. It sounds like it could have been even funnier. Not that it wasn’t, just, you know, more.

  20. I would love to see all the Ryan/Kelly stuff we missed! I still want to know what the other phrases were that he came up with for C.R.I.M.E. A.I.D…

  21. An enormous thank you to Charlie and Tanster for gifting us with this special Q&A interview. Being able to read about the creative process and behind-the-scenes working of my favorite show adds an entire new dimension to my enjoyment. Never before have I felt so emotionally invested in a show, and the content and spirit of this website has a direct relationship to that. I may not comment often, but I am reading avidly! :-)

  22. Thank you so much Charlie Grandy and Office Tally! This was such a favorite episode, and I love these generous behind the scenes looks at the creative process he gave us. So much talent and devotion goes into each show, and we get to Q&A with the amazing writers about it. Are we lucky or what? Thanks!

  23. Hooray! My question was answered! What a great Q&A. Really helps me understand everything better. :)

  24. I actually feel so warm and fuzzy inside cos my question got answered. Made my day- Thank you so much Tanster and Charlie

  25. I don’t know why, but I just could not stop laughing after the mistaken-Springsteen-songs bit. Tracy Chapman, Fast Car. Awesome.

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