Press call with Ed Helms and Paul Lieberstein

Ed: Michael Scott is the Scranton Strangler.

Paul: Yeah. (Things) start happening in Colorado.

Reporter 11: What kind of lessons do you think that Andy took from Michael Scott? And also for Paul, do you think Andy’s going to have to change? Is that going to be part of the storyline?

Paul: I think he will change. I feel like Michael was promoted to the level of incompetency. He’s a very good salesman who had no management skills. With Andy it’s different. I feel that he’s more like a very talented quarterback who has been given a professional football team except no one’s told him how to throw a ball yet. You know, and it’s just like for the first time he’s picking up this football. There’s an arm there. It’s just you’ve got to figure it out. He didn’t start with competency. And probably for those first games or two, he’s a little distracted by the cheerleaders.

Ed: Yeah.

Paul: He doesn’t know the rules of the game. It’s like Peyton Manning. He was just thrown onto the field without any sense of what the game was or the rules or how to throw. And certainly any lessons that he picked up from Michael Scott were bad, were not useful.

Reporter 12: Will Andy and Toby get along and actually have a relationship unlike Michael and Toby?

Ed: That’s a great question and I was wondering the same thing. I feel like in some respects Gabe is Andy’s Toby but I don’t know – we saw a little hint of that on The List episode. But Gabe certainly has been Andy’s nemesis in love with Erin. But I don’t know that Andy has any specific beef with Toby. Paul, you want to elaborate.

Paul: Yeah. I’m not sure he does. It’s very hard to say, you know, why Michael hated him. But I think it’s had a lot to do with the way Michel saw the world was completely emotional, not rational. So we got to find something new for Toby.

Jennie: Hey. Hi Paul and Ed. How are you guys?

Paul: Really good. How you doing?

Ed: Hey Jennie. How are you?

Jennie: Doing great. Thank you. My question is, Ed mentioned Halloween a few questions back and since we’re approaching October, I was wondering if there’s anything you guys can tell us about that episode since the Halloween episodes are traditionally such fan favorites. I know Rainn Wilson posted a petty funny video of himself in costume a few weeks ago.

Paul: Yeah. We did do a lot of costumes with Rainn because he had a series of flashbacks to about six different Halloweens.

Ed: Oh yeah. Well yeah, it’s a really fun one to shoot just because The Office is completely decorated to the hilt and I think we all get in that Halloween mindset. But as far as the story goes, I don’t know what I can say other than the fact that there is definitely some tension brewing with Erin and Andy in there.


  1. Interesting quote from Paul regarding the nature of the documentary! “…that’ll be a very fun reveal. It might not be about what you think.”
    Hopefully they won’t be revealing that anytime soon since he implies it’ll be towards the end of the series.

  2. You were able to travel into the future for an interview on October 27th? Your reporter skills are impressive! :)

    [from tanster: oops! now fixed, thanks!]

  3. Having Paul and Ed talking about the inevitable finale of the series, that makes me kinda sad. At least I am relieved they know the ending they are working towards and seem to have it planned out, which is something that cannot be said about other shows.

  4. Wow, I never ever thought I’d see Capturing the Friedmans referenced alongside The Office.

    That [unintelligible] couldn’t have come at a worse possible moment in the transcript… ;)

  5. Sounds like the show is going to come to an end soon. Perhaps 9 seasons at most. However, thanks for the interview!

  6. This was a good read. And yes, having Paul and Ed talk about the ending makes me really sad. I know it has to come to an end some time especially having a 8 season run so far, but I really do wish it can go longer than 9 seasons. I’m hoping for 10, if that’s not too much to ask for.

  7. I was a bit surprised that Paul seemed very unsure that Steve would ever make a return. I was under the impression that there might be a few cameos at least. I’m all for the show not living in the past but I would have loved to see something like.

  8. @#7 Paul is unsure because it’s entirely up to Steve. And these are Steve’s most recent comments on the subject:

    “I don’t think Michael Scott should come back at all,” he said. “I just think it’s better if he just moves along. I think the show should become whatever it’s going to become without people traipsing back in.”

  9. I really can’t think of any valid reason to bring Michael back, even for a cameo. I mean, maybe they can have him Skype with Dwight or something one episode but Michael’s story in Scranton is over. That’s not to say that the series finale shouldn’t acknowledge him–and certainly, the producers should and will extend the invitation to Steve for that–but there’s really no situation that wouldn’t come across as obviously contrived for a sitcom.

    If they ever do have him make another appearance though, I sincerely hope the producers and cast make every effort to keep it a surprise until the episode airs. No hints on Twitter like “So excited to shoot with today’s ‘guest star’!!” or promos heralding the return of Michael Scott. Keep it organic so it doesn’t lead to an overblown, overhyped bit like Ricky Gervais last year.

  10. Paul was vague on Michael’s return because there is clearly some long term planning in the works. If The Office were to go off air without the Michael/Holly wedding it would be nothing short of a travesty! Steve understands that. He’s just not going to start prematurely discussing anything of that nature in the media.

    As far as the number of seasons goes, I was convinced this year would be the last but not sure as the ratings aren’t diving so we might get a 9th.

  11. There’s no chance of a Michael/Holly wedding. I’ll even go out on a limb and say that, if it happens, I’ll run naked through the parking lot with a doughnut on my ding dong.

  12. @Kyle – What, no ass tattoo?!?!

    But I agree completely. I’d be stunned if Steve ever made a cameo in a future episode, even the series finale. All indications are that he’s done with the show and they’re done with him. Everyone is taking the high road, and saying the right things, because that’s good for business.

  13. I liked the explanation Paul gave about why they chose Andy to be manager. I’m glad someone asked about the Scranton Strangler. I thought that storyline would have continued by now especially after what Toby said at the Dundies. Paul’s answer was confusing. Toby is going to visit the Scranton Strangler in jail? I’m excited to see what the documentary is going to be about at the end! I’ve been wondering what Toby’s purpose is now that Michael is gone. I really loved their relationship. I’m so happy someone asked if there would be a Michael and Holly wedding! I really hope we see them get married. I know I’m not the only fan whose been waiting to see Michael’s wedding day. If we can’t see their wedding, I at least hope they can both make an appearance and just update everyone on what they have been up to. I know Steve has already said he feels like Michael shouldn’t come back, but I hope he changes his mind when it comes time for the series finale if not sooner!

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