Tanster: So that if one of you “runs out of funny,” someone else can pick up the baton. Or some metaphor like that.
Michael: I like it. Nice work. I’m going to steal that.
As for future collaborations, I dare say we all like each other enough so that any two of us could be paired, for any episode, and have a good time working together. I’m sure there will be more of it. Although, if I have to work with Lee again I will freak the eff out.
(And since irony doesn’t always come across on the screen, let me add that I love Lee. I love him an almost inappropriate amount. Paul too. Gene, not so much. But Lee and Paul are great.)
Tanster: I am now totally confused as to who you really like and don’t like. I need a cheat sheet.
Michael: Love: Lee, Gene, Paul.
Strongly Dislike: Gene, Paul, Lee.
Tanster: What strengths do you bring to the writing team? (“Mike is really good at handling …”). Does each of the writers have a special writing superpower?
Michael: Here is each of the writers’ main strength in the room:
Mike: impeccable manners
B.J.: making coffee
Mindy: fashion/shopping on-line
Gene: cell phone photographs
Justin: can shoot flames from fingers
Jen: very good at those mechanical claw games
Greg: has not demonstrated a talent yet
Brent: physical fitness
We also hired back Lester Lewis, who wrote with us on season one. His talent is also fashion, so he and Mindy will have to fight it out to see who wins. Ryan Koh’s talent, I’d say, is his encyclopedic knowledge of late-‘90’s hip hop. And Anthony Farrell has Death-Ray Vision.
Tanster: I kind of meant, like, WRITING superpowers. Not superhero superpowers. But whatever. And I would argue that fashion is a superpower, but being handsome is not.
Michael: Have you seen how handsome he is, though? Seems like a superpower to me. The guy stops traffic.
As for writing superpowers … honestly, everyone has something(s) they are good at. It’s the #1 perk of my job that I get to work with, and hang out with, this staff.
Just one example: when Mindy wrote the scene in “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” where young Michael Scott is being interviewed by the cat puppet, Edward R. Meow, she wrote that sad/crazy line about “I want to have a million friends so no one will ever not be able to be my friend” or whatever it is. And she followed it up with the all-time greatest stage direction: “Even though he’s a puppet, Edward R. Meow somehow manages to look confused.” It killed me. She thinks very visually. Her writing style, like everything about her, is unique.
Next up: Part Three — The origin of Dwight’s cousin, Mose