Q: What was the inspiration behind having Kelly make the mugs? They were my favorite part! | Courtney
Lester: Oh, yay! Glad someone asked about that. Basically we needed a way for Jim to realize something fishy was up with Kelly. We explored Dwight tapping her phone, discovering some secret recording device, but that all seemed lame and unrealistic. We knew we wanted her to be mad they didn’t come to her party, and the idea of party-favor mugs just popped into my head. I liked it because you would believe Andy really would have one of those, so it was a nice subtle thing to plant early in the story.
Q: When we see something like the mugs that are on the show on Thursday and for sale on Friday at NBC.com, is that something that was in the episode and NBC decided to sell or something that NBC wanted to sell and had put in the episode? | Shrutastic
Lester: Nope, the mugs were my idea, they just saw a natural marketing opportunity. And how much do I see from them? $0 my friends. So if you buy one, just pay-pal me a couple of bucks, okay? My wife just had a baby and we need the cash.
Q: I’m curious why the writers kept Pam silent during her art school friend’s rant about staying in NY. Since we’re seeing a more bold & confident Pam, why didn’t she speak up? | Krista
Lester: He was making serious points that she hadn’t considered. She needed to process.
Q: Rich Sommer’s performance really blew me away. How did the writer’s decide to have his character bring such profound clarity to the Pam/Jim/NYC situation? | Tiffany
Lester: We worked really, really hard on that scene, even rewriting parts of it on the day. Rich is just amazing, what can I say? He delivered in a big way. And a great guy, too.
Q: What, exactly, is Pam’s job at the NY office? | JAMforever
Lester: She’s just a floater, filling in where needed when assistants are out sick.
Q: I think Dwight air kicking Phyllis is probably one of the funniest moments I’ve seen on The Office. Was that written in for him to do that or did he improvise that? | Gregory
Lester: Well, we gave him some dialogue when he’s excited that indicated he should be punching the air, but Rainn improvised that kick. One take only and it made it into the show.
Q: The scene with Kelly in Michael’s office — was their laughter scripted? It just seemed so natural, almost like they broke character but you (or Stephen Merchant, I guess?) decided to keep rolling. | two toasters
Lester: No, actually it was scripted.
Q: Were there any other scenes that were cut, or is that how y’all meant to end the episode? | mandyw2009
Lester: That’s how we meant to end it.