Greg Daniels and Rainn Wilson conference call

Rainn: Really it’s a lovely town. Like there are big old buildings, 100 years old, all over the downtown — big brick buildings that have a really cool industrial look, and a lot of iron work. And stuff like that.

And there’s beautiful hills all around Scranton. It’s like down in this little valley and there’s lovely trees and hills all over the place. A very green city.

Rainn: Brought to you by the City of Scranton Tourist Bureau.

Question: I was actually just wondering — for Greg — do you have a favorite Office character that you like to write stories for? And I know it’s kind of awkward with Rainn right here, but you can be candid. Is there anybody that you really enjoy writing stories for?

Greg: Well I do love the Dwight character, I have to say — and especially writing the talking heads, you know, the interview segments with Dwight. You know, when I was — when that book — I think I — you know, that book about how — what’s that survival guide book?

Basically I look at every survival guide as it’s published. I, you know, I get multiple copies because my friends all go — oh, Greg would be great for this. He’d love this, you know.

And my, you know, wife just got me, you know, what would MacGyver do — some book about that.

So there is something of that character that I really respond to that, you know — the thing about like — there was this special on the Discovery Channel, I think, a couple of weeks ago which I spent, you know, an hour taking notes on and being really fascinated by which was the ten greatest threats to the world, you know, from robots that come alive to the mega volcano, to, you know, new diseases and everything.

And it was so great. And eventually this will filter its way into Dwight’s brain, I think.

Question: Are those talking heads segments — are those mostly scripted or is it kind of half scripted, half improvised?

Greg: There’s usually a script, you know, to start from. And then the directors ask questions. And some of the actors — like Rainn, for example, will sometimes write stuff on his own and come in with them.

Rainn: Mostly it’s, you know, it’s this great — you know, it’s just a wealth of riches and the writing is so good and so funny. There’s so many times I go in and I can’t imagine doing — even changing a word. I mean, it’s just, you know, perfect …

Greg: And yet you do.

Rainn: Recently I’ve just been taking to saying them because they’re just so spot on and you can’t really improve on it.

Greg: There’s probably the same amount of improv.

Rainn: I think the writers would like to write for Creed a lot more. I think — my sense is that, you know, Creed works best in some little doses here and there. But I think the writers really get off on how crazy that man’s brain is.

Greg: Yeah. That’s definitely a thing about comedy writers — it’s like, you know, if you were to see breakdancers and then they all take turns, you know, spinning more wildly or something.

And like what the comedy writers try to do is say the weirdest thing that they possibly can, that makes any sense.

Rainn: Cool.

Greg: People do like Creed.

Question: You guys were both mentioned The Dwight Show as a – kind of a horrible spin-off of The Office. I was just wondering, you know, Joey moved from Friends to LA. How would you guys imagine a Dwight spin-off?

Would he be on a beet farm? Would it all be in second life? Any ideas?

Greg: Well we just joke around upstairs. We talk about the detective agency. Have you heard that, Rainn?

Rainn: No.

Greg: Yeah.

Rainn: I think it would be like — in the Seventies, what was the one that was at — Dennis Weaver was on a horse and something …

Greg: McCloud. That’s great, I love it.

Rainn: Yeah. McCloud was a fish-out-of-water cop in New York City and there’s something appealing about that.

Greg: I like that. That’s perfect.

Rainn: There’s something appealing about just watching Dwight going in an opposite direction, not having it be a comedy or a sitcom — but just having it be a reality show about a beet farmer. Kind of like Axe Man — it’s this new hit reality show about lumberjacks. You could just watch a beet farmer.

Question: You guys could combine the two and have like On the Beet — it could be like a pun with a detective agency and a beet farmer.

Rainn: Oh, nice.

Greg: There aren’t enough pun titles for TV shows.

Question: If Dunder Mifflin went on strike, what would Dwight do? What would Dwight be doing all this time that Dunder Mifflin was on strike?

And when they came back, what would life be like for him again?


  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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