Q: While ‘Moroccan Christmas’ was overall extremely funny, there were elements of addiction, adultery, race, and religion in this episode. Were these all intentionally placed to happen at once, or did it just turn out that way? Was it difficult to create comedy from something as serious as addiction? | Stefanie
Justin: Crazy difficult. The whole staff had endless conversations about how delicately to treat the subject matter. We wanted to make sure the comedy came from Michael’s buffoonery and not from making a joke out of alcoholism.
Q: I was just wondering why some of Michael’s talking heads were shot at a different angle. Were you just trying to mix it up or was there something deliberate you were trying to convey? | Alison
Justin: Good observation. I’d like to say we had some brilliant creative reason for the angle, but really it was because we wanted to be able to wait until editing to decide where in the episode to drop in some of those talking heads.
Since this episode took place both during the day and bled into the evening, we had no way of knowing when we shot them whether it should be light or dark outside the window of Michael’s office. So we shot it in a way to frame out the window.
Q: What is the exact mixture of an orange vodjuiceka? I’d like to make myself one sometime. | Jay Beezy
Justin: It’s approximately one part vodka to two parts orange juice. It’s very much similar to the mixture of a screwdriver, with the difference being that Michael doesn’t know what a screwdriver is.
(That joke, as originally scripted, was Michael serving Jim a drink that was part Jack Daniels and part Coca-Cola, which he called a Coke Daniels.)
Q: The camera panned to Pam after discussion of Meredith’s “porn addiction” and Michael’s subsequent reply. Was that a call-back to Fun Run and the celebrity sex tape that Pam ordered? | BringMePlayers
Justin: Pam loves porn. The two things Pam wants more than anything in life are a house with a terrace and lots and lots of pornography.
Q: I think my favorite scene is when Michael threw the pen he borrowed back right in Toby’s face. I honestly wasn’t expecting it – was it scripted or improvised by the actors? And either way, how many takes did it take to film? – because I know I couldn’t stop laughing for awhile afterwards and was wondering if any of the actors broke down too. :) | Karen
Justin: That was scripted. They probably did four of five takes, and Steve had a special rubber pen so that it wouldn’t hurt Paul too much.
In the episode in which Kate gets lit on fire, Steve wrestles her in a parking lot, Rainn does a giant pratt fall with a fake desk, and Angela drags a tree twice her size out of the office, it would have been funny if the pen gag had caused the injury. Not funny “ha-ha” so much as funny “weird.” Also funny “ha-ha”.
Q: How, specifically, does Michael celebrate Groundhog Day? | Wacky Weed Creed
Justin: The easy answer would be to say he just sits home and watches ‘Groundhog Day’ on DVD. So yeah, let’s say he sits home and watches ‘Groundhog Day’ on DVD.
Q: Were there other incidents considered to bring attention to Meredith’s alcoholism besides the hair catching on fire? And if so, what were they? | Sonia
Justin: Nope. We sat around saying Meredith’s drinking should get out of control, Greg said she should light her hair on fire, we all laughed, and then we went home early. Sometimes it’s just that easy.