Greg Daniels and Rainn Wilson conference call

Rainn: Spot the fetus.

Question: Do you guys have any special plans for the night of the big return?

Greg: We should, shouldn’t we? That’s like a really good idea.

Rainn: I heard Stephen was going to have a party, so maybe we could get all 50 of the folks on the line right now — we should just give them Steve’s address and April 10th. He’s at 1313 Luck Street. That’s Burbank, California — 91401.

Greg: Second floor in the back.

Rainn: Yeah, so come on by. Come by early, too — like in the morning even. I’m sure he’d appreciate that.

Greg: And we’re having four — the last four episodes we run on April 3rd and I think John Krasinski is going to host it and show scenes from Weather Heads. That’s true, though.

Rainn: Really?

Greg: Yeah. And then we’re going to do — then we’re coming back with originals — all originals, all in a row starting April 10th.

Rainn: Hey, it’s John Krasinski. I play Jim. I’m on a mockumentary of The Office and here’s scenes from my new movie.

Question: Rainn, you talked before about multi-camera, traditional sitcoms. CBS seems to be having quite a bit of success with their Monday night lineup following the more traditional format.

Do you guys feel like you’re in competition — kind of an informal competition? You know, Thursday night on NBC was King of Comedy for so long. Do you feel like you’re — there’s a compare and contrast between CBS’s Monday lineup and NBC’s Thursday lineup?

Greg: I feel intensely competitive with the Girls Gone Wild series of videotapes, myself — not so much the CBS lineup. But I don’t know. If you were to look at the numbers and stuff, there — we might have different demographics.

I’m only guessing on that a little bit, just anecdotally speaking, from the people who I know that like our show and what they – what else they watch on the air.

But no, I think it’s great. You know, if they can get that genre back, it’s all good for comedy writers.

Rainn: I think yeah, the more comedy the better, you know. The more quality comedy, the better and, you know …

Question: I don’t know how much you guys know those shows, but how do you think your comedy differs from the comedy that’s on Monday night there at, you know, aside from style? Greg, you said you think the audience might be different.

Greg: Yeah, I don’t — I mean, that’s something that you could look up. I don’t have the numbers in front of me. You know, I don’t really know …

Question: Just in terms of how you approach humor and how they might?

Greg: I don’t really know. I actually don’t watch that much other comedy shows. You know, I watch some of the stuff that’s on our night. I like 30 Rock and My Name is Earl, and stuff like that.

But I actually don’t watch a lot of other — I’m usually — when I’m watching other TV, it’s like weird, you know, shows about meerkats or something.

Question: What about the — if you look at the tradition of Thursday night NBC comedy? Do you always feel like you’re being compared to that and you want to make sure that, you know you rise to that level?

Greg: We’re really in that tradition. I mean, I love that stuff. I loved Seinfeld. I, you know, loved Cheers. And I feel like our show is in that tradition and I’m sort of proud to be on NBC Thursday. It’s like the best place, I think, to be, you know.

Question: What do all those shows have in common — those shows and the shows that are on now?

Rainn: Well I think they got really strong ensembles of really well-defined characters. And I think that’s important in a comedy. You can’t just have one funny person, you know, the great comedies you always remember everyone from Mary Tyler Moore, you know, not just Mary. And I think that’s one thing that’s in common.

Greg: Yeah and they’re — I think they’re — also they’re kind of adult in the sense that they’re not family shows — all those, usually except for Cosby Show. And, you know, they’re kind of — I don’t know …

Rainn: And you cared about them.

Greg: Yeah, you cared about them.

Rainn: Yeah. And you heard about the characters. You wanted to see them do well. I don’t know about Seinfeld, but …

Greg: I think, you know, there — they didn’t do anything to make you care about them, but you did care about them.

Greg: Because they did stuff that you did secretly in your own home and they were so appealing. I don’t know. I love those shows. I mean, I also liked Roseanne which was on ABC.

Greg: You know, and — what are some of the great CBS shows?

Rainn: Well I think All in the Family, which was a British…

Greg: Yeah, All in the Family was awesome.


  1. Wow, this is amazing tanster. Long, but worth the reading time. Thanks for posting this! :)

  2. I like the idea of them showing the documentary to the characters. Well, not now, but end of Season 5 maybe? Shake things up a bit. Put them all in the public eye, see how they all really see each other, etc. I think it would be an interesting change of pace!

  3. This is great! Exactly what I needed to tide me over until April 10th. Also, I can’t wait to see John host that mini marathon on the 3rd.

  4. That was awesome. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to see how the destruction of DMI plays out!!

  5. Good stuff. I can’t wait to find out what contrivance Michael used to get Pam and Jim to come to dinner.

  6. I think it’d be great if on the last episode they all sat down to watch the documentary and it started to show like the first 20 seconds on the first episode and there was this “low battery” light blinking on the bottom of the screen…then it just goes black with the words “no battery power” or something….

  7. love the drinking game idea! totally watching for angela’s belly on the 10th :)

  8. Great read! I loved Rainn saying that George Clooney was in The Rocker. Sounds like John got quite the ribbing about his ~fancy~ movie role.

  9. Loved this! I also think showing the documentary should happen in one of the ending episodes of the series. It needs to happen, but it will definitely signal an end to the show. I can’t wait to see how Greg does it (but hopefully it’s not for a while!)

  10. My dwight bobblehead broke :( I just have a Dwight head sitting creepily next to my printer now

  11. Worth the read! Thanks Tanster! Loved Rainn’s line about the bobbleheads being found years from now. Can’t wait to see what twist and turns are ahead!

    And great questions about whether they changed the story lines to fit the shortened season – it’s great to know they’ve taken bits of other story lines and incorporated them into this season…like we’re not going to miss out on any great stories because of the strike!

  12. Mesmerizing.
    But who is “Question”?

    [from tanster: “Question” is various members of the press.]

  13. That was a great time lunch time killer! Thanks for posting Tanster! I can’t wait to see Michael and Dwight hanging out with Ryan in New York.

  14. Wow – that was the most enthralling thing I’ve read in quite a while. Thanks so much for posting!

    Side note: Greg Daniels used the phrase “in like Flynn.” For some weird reason, that majorly cracked me up.

  15. That was great!!!!! By the way Greg said “you know” like a million times. Still Awesome!!!!!!!

  16. Hilarious reading – thanks Tanster!

    I love hearing these two be so candid with their responses. Rarely do we get a window into people’s souls… But I’m glad to say that Rainn and Greg’s souls are awesome. The entire interview was well done with wonderful questions that true fans will love! Thanks so much for posting!

  17. I can’t say how much I appreciate you bringing the insider info to us. I love hearing/reading about the passion and creativity of the writers and performers on this show. It’s so much fun, and better yet, totally justifies the time I spend laughing and re-laughing over this show! Thank you!

  18. Thanks for posting it, tanster. I have to say that personally I am a bit bummed that they keep fleshing out the Dwight character in far more detail than they do Jim Halpert.

  19. #14… I feel your pain. My bobblehead’s cappa was detaited too. He’s got a permanent neck brace of blue tape right now.

    Also my favorite moments in this was the hatch under Dwight’s desk and Spot the Fetus.

    Oh and the idea that somewhere out there someone is now planning on putting Dwight into a time capsule.

  20. Wow great stuff here! Greg stating they will be playing with time this season, the idea of the characters seeing the documentary, John Krasinski and friends shooting the Scranton footage in the opening, and the Pet Day script! I think that it would be awsome if the characters saw the documentary and were in the public eye at the beginning of the final season, there are some really golden ideas behind that concept. I think eventually the idea will be put to use, but probably not for awhile.

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