‘Scott’s Tots’ newspaper article

Randy Shemanski’s story, Electric City, December 10, 2009

The Office: Inside Scoop

Fans of The Office are used to seeing references, landmarks and other items from our area just about every week. So it was no surprise when keen eyes noticed a copy of The Scranton Times from 10 years ago that appeared during the Dec. 3 episode, “Scott’s Tots.”

In the episode, Michael Scott had promised 10 years ago that he would pay college tuition for the students in a third grade class. Now, the class was approaching graduation and wanted to thank him for his generosity.

Of course, Stanley kept a copy of the paper from 10 years ago with a story about Michael’s promise, which is where The Scranton Times — and electric city — come in.

In early October, the show’s prop master, Phil Shea, contacted us for a copy of The Scranton Times from 10 years ago. After looking at the front page and the front of the Local section, they asked for a copy of the Local section with one significant change — they wanted a story about Michael placed at the bottom of the page.

I was tasked with redesigning the page, thanks to my days working in the newsroom for The Scranton Times and The Times-Tribune. The writers at the show wrote the story, but didn’t provide a name for the writer. So I plugged my name in with Shea’s approval. After numerous revisions (see the finished product below), he and I settled on a completed product.

I had no idea if the paper would even make it past the cutting room floor, but when I found out the episode was going to air, I dropped a quick note to Phil asking if he knew anything. He called back about 30 minutes later to tell me that the paper did indeed make the show.

So, even though it wasn’t the electric city logo appearing in the show — as it has many times before — we still played a big role in the episode.

— Randy Shemanski




  1. But… here it says that Michael was all ready a Regional Manager 10 years ago, but in the pilot (2005) he says that he has been a Regional Manager for 4 years… that’s only 8 years as such.

  2. Love. It. I also don’t know how my children will go to school since I have a taste for fine Italian wine. Maybe Scott will help me out?

  3. @1. tecona

    4 years ago plus i guess each season is a year, so it would have been exactly ten years. He must have made the promise like as soon as he became regional manager!

    Anyway, awesome article! I love the cast and crew of our show, going into such amazing detail for us.

  4. I grew up reading the Scranton Times. Even though I don’t know much about print fonts and other technical newspaper stuff, I recognized the authentic “feel” of that article immediately.

    The school mentioned in the “article” is the Daniel J. Flood Elementary School, located in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Wikipedia, which is the best thing ever because anyone can contribute, has a very interesting bio on Daniel Flood.

  5. It warms my heart that in their sixth season, the writing staff is still so thorough about every detail of the show. Thank you guys!

  6. Actually, if Michael made the promise to these kids in third grade (fall of 1999-2000) school year, then the kids should have graduated this past Spring (May 2009).

  7. What a great example of the team’s attention to detail and dedication. Not to mention, the picture included within the article is hilarious.

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