Comic-Con interview with The Office writers

Greg: Are you enjoying Comic-Con? Are you doing some other things? You’ve got like five other sites, too? No, I’m just kidding.

tanster: Yes, I’ll do the for the new show.

Lee: I think that’s a good URL.

tanster (as the writers try to figure out the acronym for that): It’s kind of a mouthful, right?

Greg (pondering out loud): Not, a, spin-off, N-A-S … NASTY? (Laughs)


tanster: There you go!

Lee: Yeah, there it is.

Justin: “Nasot” is a very lewd part of the female anatomy, so you may want to be careful …

tanster: Is it really? And why do you know this, Justin?

Justin: It’s my other specialty. (Everybody laughs.)

Greg: He is a doctor. He is.

tanster: You play one and you become one, okay. No, I came down here specifically for this panel.

Greg: Oh wow.

tanster: And I’m not going to any others.

Greg: You’re not going to see any of it? Did you walk around?

tanster: I did. And the people who are …

Matt: She’s intimidated by the costumes.

tanster: The costumes are of characters on shows that I know nothing about.

Lee: That’s part of the thing. That’s part of the theory.

Greg: Oh, oh, yes. There are huge celebrities inside those costumes. That’s how they mingle when they go to Comic-Con.

tanster: Omigod!

Greg: Michael Jackson, this year, dressed as a Sith Lord, no, as Darth Vader, I believe …

tanster: We should knock on the masks and ask!

Matt (pondering my ridiculous idea): … knock on the masks …

Greg: Britney Spears is here as that robot from Futurama.

Lee: Is that true or are you making that up?

Greg: No, I’m making the whole thing up. (Everybody laughs) I don’t think there’s any truth to it, but I am trying to spread it.

tanster: That’ll be an exclusive on OfficeTally. Your theory on Comic-Con costumes.

Greg: That’s my theory.

Lee: You should start spreading that, so next year, people will be constantly bumping into each other …

Greg: … yanking their masks off. (Everybody laughs)

tanster: So are you guys going back? Right after this?

Greg: We’re all going at different times.

tanster: The hotel situation is just impossible.

Greg: That’s right. We couldn’t get any rooms. I was thinking about bringing my family and staying the weekend, but there were really no rooms in the entire city.

tanster: No, there’s nothing. And the rooms are exorbitantly priced.

Justin: It’s crazy expensive. I think Lee’s staying on a friend’s couch or something, the rest of us are going home.

Lee: What, tonight?

Justin: Tonight.

Lee: I can afford a hotel room.

Justin: But you can’t. (Everybody laughs.)

Lee: No, I can.

Justin: But you choose not to.

Lee: I choose not to. I’m sleeping on the floor of the convention.

Greg (pointing to drapes in the press room): These curtains, you’re just going to wrap yourself up in these curtains.

Lee: Yeah. I’ll probably sleep standing up.

tanster: Awww. Well I’m sure I could post something on OfficeTally and, you know, a local Tallyhead could put you up for the night.

Lee: Ah see, now that would be something. That would be great.

Greg: That’s interesting. You could make a Craigslist out of it.

tanster: Yeah!

Lee: If you posted a thing now, how fast, I have a hotel room for real, I’m just curious …

tanster: If I posted it now? How fast would it take for someone to respond? Immediately.

Lee: Somebody in San Diego would say, oh Lee Eisenberg can stay with me? (Does Lee even have to ask?)

Justin: Let’s say one of The Office writers needs a kidney. (Everybody laughs.)

Matt: Three minutes.

Lee (to Justin): The problem with that is that the Tallyheads would want you to do the operation.

Greg: The FBI is riddled with Tallyheads. The founding fathers were Tallyheads.

At this point, Matt takes a photo.

Greg (to Matt): You didn’t happen to be in Banff, Canada, did you?

Matt: I did not happen to be in Banff.

tanster: Does he look familiar?

Greg: Yeah, you look familiar! Last summer, I went to the Banff Television Festival and did some interviews with some guys …

Matt: Next time you go to Banff, I’ll go. Just so this makes more sense later.

And with that, my audio recording ends. It was less a formal interview and more of a casual chat. With some spoilers thrown in, of course. Hope you enjoyed it, Tallyheads!

Thanks to Jen, Mike, Greg, Justin, Lee, Rainn, J, J, and J for letting me hang out in the press room with y’all.

A special thanks to Matt for being OfficeTally’s photographer, videographer, and post-production engineer during this trip. Hope you had fun! :)


  1. OOOOH! Spoiling. I wonder who’s gonna lose weight? I can’t really imagine like, Angela and Creed dieting. But sounds fun! xD

  2. Way to get Jen and Mike to do some spoiler spoilery spoiling, Tanster! What an episode concept! I am soooo pumped for Sept. 25. Sigh, if only it weren’t late July.

  3. I can’t wait to read the rest of it. Sounds like an interesting season premiere.

  4. That sounds PERFECT! Oh my gosh, what an amazing way to start the season, show what the summer was like, provide a unique episode, and check in on all of our favorite couples.

  5. Thank you, for this, tanster! You rock! I’m glad you had fun at Comic-Con!

  6. Also, the weight loss competition is something my company does so it’ll be fun seeing that played out on The Office. Just gives me more reason to be excited for the premiere.

  7. Wow! I’m glad the Office team is doing something new for us. This creative and dynamic bunch really know how to spoil their fans.

  8. WOAH!!!!! that’s crazy! I’m super excited though – I’m sure The Office team will be able to pull this off very nicely.

  9. I also don’t see any long-term weight loss. So hopefully they make it a joke that nobody is losing weight. If they reference Hurley from LOST, that’d be great too!

  10. WAIT. Wait wait wait. Are they being serious?


    Yeah, I’m sorry I have to ask too.

  11. I’m new to the whole Weight Lost at Work Contest… Is there a certain prize for the winner?? I bet Michael would give the winner a year-long pass to Old Country Buffet :)

  12. I am SOO excited. Excited isn’t even the word. I’m “uber-excited” times 1000. September seems so far away… :(

  13. Thanks Tanster!!! That sounds AWESOME…I think it will be GREAT to see what they do over an 8 week period…especially giving the “cliff hangers” from the season finale of season 4!!! Can’t WAIT until Sept. 25th!!!!! :)

  14. Chalk this up to another Office episode that emulates my ACTUAL office life…so sad, but at least the show provides a humorous spin on seriously boring work events. If only Michael Scott was my boss, the workplace would actually be interesting and exciting.

  15. Yay, spoilers!!!! Thanks so much. The season premiere sounds very innovative and hilarious. I bet nobody loses weight at Scranton. Teehee.

  16. Is it me, or does this “Weight-loss” parody sound like a parody of the Frasier episode “Frasier-lite”?

  17. I love Mike’s little gray spot – it makes him look so distinguished… like a younger George Clooney. lol.

  18. SQUEE!!!

    Sorry… had to get that out. Okay… I’m back.

    The premiere sounds amazing! Counting the days…

  19. I don’t know. That sounds like it would suck as a premier. Summer thing I can see. Which, would mean there would be an absence of Pam while she is in art school. Interesting…

  20. Oh good stuff was shared. I like how we’ll see what happens over the summer for once rather than jump in three months later. I’m curious how they’ll do that. The weight loss topic should be pretty funny, I have ideas how Michael will “crash diet”

  21. This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to see it. I have always wanted to see The Office in the summer, and now I get my chance! September can’t come soon enough!

  22. I can’t tell if they’re kidding or not.

    “I don’t trust you, Tanster.” /Andy

  23. Weight loss? I bet Dwight they will be more shirtless Dwight this season. Yay!

    Kinda of off topic but did anyone else managed to get the free Dwight poster or Dwight’s modified “Emergency” flow chart? The Dwight poster was handed out in line for the panel and the flow chart was handed out at the NBC booth.

  24. Are you kidding me? Is this a serious spoiler? The writers seem to enjoy too much telling us the scenario. Are they playing with us? Sounds like a great idea though.

  25. Yeppers, there might not be an absence of Pam, the cameras could follow Jim to New York and Pam could visit Jim. That is assuming that they keep their promise to visit each other.

  26. Today is my birthday. All this Comic-Con coverage is pretty much the best gift ever. Well, that and the Office DVD board game that my sister got me. ;)

    Also – count me in the camp that doesn’t know whether to believe the writers about the spoilers. However, if it’s true, it sounds intriguing and hilarious!

  27. I think it sounds great…not to mention seeing the summer will mean we get to see a jam proposal!

    sorry about the last comment…i hit enter on accident

  28. Sounds fun – why do I imagine Stanley opting out and Kevin having a fairly uphill battle?

    “Michael, I can’t run.”

  29. Speaking as someone who was there when Tanster was getting all this info – the writers were serious. They wouldn’t “f” with the Tanster. Believe dat.

  30. “Ooooh. Look at you spoiler spoilery spoiling.”

    LOL, I love these people.

  31. Would the team really try to put fake spoilers through tanster? It’d just make them look bad, IMHO. And it’s not like they said anything all that revealing, just the basic plot of the premiere (which we’d probably find out soon anyway).

  32. Thanks for bringing that back Tanster! The construction of the episode seems really interesting and different. I hope you had fun!

  33. i remember that someone (greg i think) wanted to do a weight loss story a while back and there are a bunch of deleted scenes from the client where michael is talking about his egg yolk diet and then in the commentary they are talking about this idea of dieting in the office. so if this is true it is an old story idea.

  34. If Jim/John loses any more weight, he won’t be appearing, or at least visible, in any episodes this season. The directors will have to be sure he doesn’t stand sideways when they film.

  35. This is a good concept. I did notice everybody gained a little weight last season. Including Pam and Jim!!

  36. HOW COOL. What a clever idea! I am so excited that we get to see the summer. I was always a little sad that we never have before.

  37. Whoa – one week per act for the season five premiere? Does that mean we’re going to have eight commercial interruptions? I don’t care, this sounds incredibly exciting!

  38. Hmm, the baby shower will be interesting.

    p.s. Why can’t there be one pretty Schrute?

  39. I am wholeheartedly in support of helping Jen achieve her dream. lol. And I have some Old World germanic names for this future Schrute: Reinhild, Astrid, Wiebke, Ulrike, Ingeborg…

  40. I think we all know the make-up and wardrobe people are fabulous on this show (looks at drab Meredith and uptight Angela). These women are both gorgeous in real life! So, though I agree that Jen is too pretty to be a Schrute, I’m sure that could be downplayed quite a bit. :) Go Jen!!!

    [from tanster: my thoughts exactly!]

  41. But… Mike Schur’s pretty hot (please tell me I am not the only one who thinks this) or at least very good-looking and he’s a Schrute!

  42. In a deleted scene, Dwight talks about his cousins, and he mentions Helga, the outlaw. Jen needs to be Helga Schrute, the outlaw Schrute cousin!

  43. You found exactly the right word Tanster – that baby shower *does* sound fantastic!

    Jen should be their like 5th cousin twice removed that Mose has a crush on – so it’s extra weird. Why do I see her teaching butter churning lessons at Schrute Farms?

  44. Oh # 55! I totally thought of Astrid as well.

    Here’s some others I thought were amusing:
    Adeltraud (noble & loved)
    Adolpha (noble wolf – which seems right for a Schrute)
    Balthilda (bright battle)
    Bertille (clever & skillful)
    Burglinde (protected by the lime tree)
    Dita (prosperous in war)
    Friedegunde (war & peace)
    Irmgard (whole enclosure)

    man that’s a good website….

  45. Why can’t dwight have a hot older sister? She can come to office for some reason, actually be one normal schrute, and tell embarrasing stuff about dwight to Jim. That would make a great B plotline.

  46. Jen could definitely be a Schrute, but I think she is too pretty unless they really go all out with costuming and make-up. She should be considered for the sister Angela hasn’t spoken to in several years. That could be fun.

  47. Jen can be a Schrute… kind-of like Marilyn from “The Munsters.” :) Come on, Greg & Co! Give Jen her dream!

  48. Question: Do I think Jen could, and should, be a Schrute?
    Answer: Absolutely I do.

    (I totally agree…the makeup and wardrobe people on that show can do wonders!)

    I think we should start suggesting possible names for her character :)

  49. Jen SHOULD be the sexy Shrute with the matronly Amish-sounding name. However, she should still have a trait or a hobby that leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that she’s related Dwight.

  50. I think it would be funny for Jen to be a Schrute. She could be the surprisingly “hot” cousin that someone… like Michael or Kevin falls for, but then her true, inner Schrute comes out…
    I don’t know. I am not a writer, but I know our Fabulous Office writers can make anything work!

  51. I think the world is ready for a female Schrute. :) And it’s only fair she should be played by Jen. Possible names:
    Ulva Schrute… (women ARE like wolves, after all). :)
    Brunhilde Schrute. The Schrutes are warriors.

    Jokes aside, the most common female Amish names appear to be Mary, Sarah, Rebecca, Annie, etc. Then again, the Schrutes are hardly your common, typical Amish. :)

  52. Hey, in Hollywood, the right amount of makeup and wardrobe can make the pretty people ugly too.

  53. HA! I can imagine Jen as the “Shunned Schrute”… Too pretty to be considered a family member, this Schrute committed a crime worse than not saving the access oil from a can of tuna. Let’s campaign. I’m totally up for it!

  54. Hahah, this interview was brilliant, Jen and Mike are officially two of the most awesome people on the planet!

    On another note, I do think Jen is too attractive to play a Schrute the way she looks now, but make-up can do anything… She should be on the Office! It would be hilarious.

  55. i like the idea of dwight randomly having a really good looking, cool relative. i think it would be funny if jim and pam met her and got along really well with her, much to their surprise and dwight’s chagrin!

  56. See, I think it would be awesome to have someone pretty be a Schrute. Think about it! She walks into the Office and says she’s related to Dwight. Can’t you see Jim and Pam’s jaws drop? Can you hear Kevin’s trademark “nice”? Every family has an oddball and that could so be Jen…it’s odd to have a member of the family be hot!

  57. A baby shower for Jan at the office? Michael’s lover, Jan and former lover Pam in the same room? That’s going to be hilarious.

  58. yah, the the make up department would be a shoo-in for an Emmy if they can change her into a Schrute!!! My name suggestions are Dorothy, Helga, Hagitha, Buela or Edna.

    I think the 8 week thing will be awesome! I admit I have always wondered what happened during the summer. And planning the baby shower will be very interesting seeing as how Phyllis has dirt on Angela.

  59. Yes! Jen a Schrute… absolutely resounding Yes! And I too also love the name suggestion of Maude, she can be yet another cousin, cousin Maude Schrute.

  60. I think Mike Schur is a total cutie and hilarious as a Schrute! Jen could totally pull it off too. It could be ironic and funny that the Schrute’s produced such a pretty lady!

  61. I absolutely think Jen Celotta should be a Schrute. Her name could be Goody Schrute.

  62. Let Jen be a Schrute! Wonderous things can be done with makeup or there could be a pretty Schrute.

    Also, I am very excited for Jan’s baby shower. I cannot wait until September!

  63. Possible suggesting for Jen Celotta’s Schrute character:
    Alvara (meaning “army of elves”)
    Emelie (meaning “industrious”)
    Gertrud (meaning “from the protected farm”)
    Idette (meaning “hard working”)

    That’s what I got.

  64. Why couldn’t Jen be like Marilyn Munster, the pretty one? Not that the rest of the Schrutes look like the Munsters. I think Dwight and Mike are cute!

  65. she should be a pretty Schrute!!!
    Someone in the office should try and hit on her too, like Andy (after him and Angela break up of course) or Kevin!

  66. I think Jen should play Sister Schrute, and be surprisingly attractive and cute like Sister Smurf, and Mose could have a thing for her. I also think Sister Schrute should be a mother with a baby and make a side comment that the Schrutes make very thirsty babies. Maybe Angela’s baby can play her Baby Schrute.

  67. Great interview! I cannot wait for the premiere now! TWO MORE MONTHS (ish).

    Also, because I’m cool:


  68. oh heck ya Jen should be a Schrute. Part her hair in the middle and let her be too pretty.

  69. I agree with CFO. She can be the really hot cousin but then her inner Schrute comes out. It’ll be great :D

  70. Let my join my voice with the masses: Jen for Schrute-hood! The world is ready for a female Schrute, whether they let her look pretty or makeup works its magic. She can be Dwight’s weapon’s dealer, or be the nomadic cousin who goes on month-long hunting excursions, a wildwoman from the mountains who only comes down to the family farm once she kills her annual werewolf. I don’t know – something Schrute-ish. And if she really is too pretty, I know the beard thing might be out, but unibrows and hairy pits aren’t, right?

    Or I suppose the other way for her to be a Schrute is to be one by marriage… Not as exciting, but there’s a few possibilities there too. Anyway, best of luck being Schrutified, Jen!

  71. I think the best suggestions for Jen’s Schrute cousin so far were Helga, Ingeborg and Gertrud. As a native German speaker (and the Amish language derives from German somehow… so the names could/should be similar there, too) those seem like pretty plausible suggestions to me.
    I have to add some name suggestions though: Hildegard, Adelheid or Ingrid.
    This is, if they decide to put lots of make-up on her and make her a “regular” Schrute.

    If they decided, however, to make her the hot cousin (=the odd one out), they should also stick with a “regular” name.

  72. if the season opener is about weight loss between branches then we will most likely see Karen (head of Utica)

  73. Couldn’t she play… like… the Black Sheep of the Schrute family? Dwight’s beautiful cousin who comes to visit and no one believes they’re actually related? Or… something.

  74. I’m all for Jen being a Schrute. As for the name– I vote for Goody. That’s a pretty old fashioned name. Unless I’m getting my Amish confused with my Puritans, that happens sometimes.

  75. I have an idea, she’s a Schrute cousin and gets involved with dating Kevin.

  76. OK, wait. Jen could SO EASILY play Stacy (Kevin’s ex)!!!! Give her glasses and viola! She comes to terrorize the office!

  77. She has to do it – I love how the writers are involved as characters. Gertrude Schrute has a good ring to it. Berthe…also great. I think she has to be hot but does all things like a Schrute. That would be the funny. Very much keeping in line with the Marilyn Munster idea. She would so be the black sheep because she looks ‘different’.

    Sidebar: I just put my bosses staple remover in jell-o and will be delivering it to his desk tomorrow (yay!).

  78. #88 may be onto something! she can be a Schrute that Andy “hooks up with” to spite Dwight … payback baby!

  79. I would love to be introduced to Esther Schrute in season 5!

  80. How about Myrtle Schrute,(named after her Grand-Ma-Ma), she was adopted or accidentally switched at the hospital and was blessed with being brought into the Beet way of life.

  81. Jen would make a great Schrute, but I still like the idea of her playing Angela’s estranged sister.

  82. September can’t come fast enough, especially in the last week of my college math course this summer!

    A baby shower – aka Dinner Party Revisited? XD!

  83. Fantastic interview, Tanster! Loved Justin’s reply, “Christmas has been around for 2,000 years, so I’ll get one of them to work for me.” Me too, Justin! Me, too!

  84. Jen should be the Marilyn of the Schrute clan (like from the Munsters) They all expect the worst and then she shows up and is nice and normal and no one can believe she is really a Schrute!

  85. tanster, this is so great. thanks for constantly giving us this great access and insight. and for getting an answer to my queries about how many episodes there will be. you rock.

  86. #108, Jen Celotta as Angela’s estranged sister is an AMAZING idea! And then what if her character becomes a Schrute because she marries into the Schrute family for some reason? It could be an interesting parallel to Dwangela.

  87. Dear Greg Daniels,
    Please find a way to get the ‘lost’ Christmas episode script out for us to see it. I would love you forever.

    Thanks for these awesome interviews, Tanster!

  88. I just hope they explain what needs to be explained this season. I know it will be funny as hedgehogs!

  89. Though probably logistcally impossible, I think filming the “lost” christmas episode and leaving it in it’s raw form (no edits, bloopers and all) would be an OUTSTANDING bonus feature for the S5 DVD!

    One can only dream!

  90. Tanster, you know how to deliver. Thanks for all the comic-con coverage. Reading this stuff has been awesome.

  91. Hi, do you post the audio of these interviews anywhere?

    [from tanster: no, sorry!]

  92. oooh i like gretchen too. thanks tanster for all your awesome coverage!!!

  93. Jen should be the pretty, normal shrute that dwight thinks is a freak!! That would be hilarious!

  94. I would TOTALLY put Lee up for a night (or longer…)- granted, I don’t live in San Diego…

  95. This just keeps getting better and better! Two thumbs way way up for tanster and Matt!

  96. I have a question. Can there be a normal Schrute? The whole family seems to live at the intersection of The Twilight Zone and The Shining.

  97. Sweet interview! If I lived in San Diego… haha. But I have 2 healthy kidneys, if, say, John Krasinski needs one… )

  98. headphone, that is an awesome idea. Just like a totally normal, completely embarrassed and angst ridden cousin or something. That would be funny!

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