Q. Was the abrupt cut off of Michael’s “suck balls” intentional for comedic purposes or did NBC require it be trimmed at the last minute for censorship reasons? | Mason
John: That was an idea I had in the editing room with Dave. I wanted to play on exactly those network censored moments. And if the documentary crew actually aired the footage, the network would have to cut him off!
Q. Whose car did Michael hit when he threw the Sabre water bottle? | Anna
John: Haha! Stanley’s … it’s always Stanley!
Q. I think Jim’s Christian Slater impression might be my favorite. Who came up with that slice of genius? | Jen
Jen: Hmmm … I’m not sure who thought of him doing the impression — that talking head came from the room. But John looked at some tape of Christian Slater right before he went on set to shoot it to try and get it down and it was amazing.
He does really good impressions of people – you could see his “Dwight” in one of our episodes, but he also does a great “Kevin” as does Rainn.
Q. I know that the man who played the daycare worker was also in Brief Interviews With Hideous Men. Did John have anything to do with this casting? How much pull does the director usually have in regards to casting and bigger decisions such as that? | Kanne
John: Joey Slotnick played the daycare worker. And good eye on spotting him in Brief Interviews! Joey is definitely a close friend, but he got that part all on his own!
The casting process is a real family process, everybody has a say. Joey has auditioned several times for
the show and was always great, so the casting director (the insanely talented Allison Jones) was just waiting for the perfect part for him … and I think she found it!
Q. Jen: How did the interview at the daycare go?! I was hoping for some kind of resolution in the tag! | Ampay
Jen: There was a final scene to the Jim/Pam story. Pam and Jim are walking down the street, being defensive about not getting in and saying they didn’t want their kid to go there anyway because that guy was a jerk.
They start to explore their other options. Jim brings up that their second choice is where Meredith’s son went and Pam wants to hear their third choice.
I felt that story-wise, we didn’t really need this scene. I liked the scene but I thought we could tell that the interview scene was a bust and we could use this time to squeeze in some more scenes from the other stories — but those are always hard calls.
We had a 40-minute or so rough assembly of this episode and we needed to get it down to 20 minutes! The cool thing and the hard thing is that there are so many different 20 minute episodes buried inside our longer cuts. That’s why having killer editors like Dave and Claire is really important.
Oh, a few people asked why there weren’t more kids at the day care. There were a bunch of kids in “Story Time” off to the side when Pam and Jim first come into the daycare — but it was cut for time.
Instead, we jump ahead with Jim seeing the cubbies. When we were breaking the story, we thought it was important to show that the daycare owner (played by the very funny Joey Slotnick) wouldn’t use the toilet while kids were running around and could walk in on him — we even had pitches where the owner would decide how long he had based on the book the kids were reading — so if it was a longer story he’d go for it.
But at the end of the day, the shot of the kids had to go, too.
Q. How did you come up with the idea of Jim walking up on that guy in the bathroom? It was hilarious! | Hedvig
Jen: The idea to have Jim walk in on the daycare owner came from one of our writers, Halsted Sullivan. Right before his interview for Williams College, he walked in on his interviewer going to the bathroom.
He went into the meeting and said that there was no getting around it — they were both uncomfortable and the whole interview was awkward. He said it was so bad that he never even applied to Williams!