‘The Office’ set visit 2009

spoiler alertContent and comments may contain spoilers.

UPDATE: this post contained teaser information and photos prior to ‘Company Picnic’ airing on May 14th, 2009. It is no longer open to comments or updating. For my full set visit report, go here. Thanks!

May 14: Latest photos

Here are two final photos before the episode airs tonight. Only two hours left for East Coasters!

I have SO MANY MORE photos and notes to share, plus one awesome video. All coming after tonight!

Steve CarellSteve Carell

The OfficeHad to give one final shout-out to my Buffalo peeps.


(I’m the one kneeling right below my friends Erin and Dan, who are holding their precious babies.)

April 26: Latest video

This was a break in the shooting, and The Office cast was having fun playing a little catch. I am chatting with Creed. The atmosphere all week was fun and relaxed. :)

Previously posted stuff starting on the next page.


  1. Thanks, Tanster! Can’t wait for more tidbits. You’re the best! “Company Picnic,” hmm? All kinds of possibilities. :)

  2. Jen Celotta annnnnnd Paul Lieberstein TOGETHER?!?! So awesome! I can’t wait!

    Have fun storming the castle! I mean Dunder Mifflin!

  3. Tanster you’re so lucky! Enjoy your week and I can’t wait for the picnic episode!

  4. Oh, so that’s how he’s gonna see holly: It’s company-wide. Very cool.

  5. Too bad it’s only a half hour show. The company picnics are the funniest episodes. Any good cliff hangers???

  6. So “Company Picnic” is the season 5 finale AND the 100th episode…. and it’s still only 30 minutes long? WEAK!

  7. No super sized episode? Nothing? Oh well. If the episode is amazing I won’t care about the length. Casino Night remains my favorite season finale and it was the shortest (unless you count Hot Girl).

  8. That sounds like one heck of a finale! Thanks for the scoop, Tanster! YES – Paul and Jen writing will be fantastic. I love Ken’s directing skills and can’t wait to see what lies in store for our favorite Office workers :) Best of luck waking up early, Tanster. Just keep yourself hydrated. The weather will most likely be hot, and being around John Krasinski would make any girl a bit lightheaded.

  9. man it all sounded super awesome besides the half hour part that makes me kinda sad… but dude it’s THE OFFICE so it will definitely be a gnarly episode!!!!!!

  10. Aw man! I wish the season finale would be 1 hour…”Company Picnic” Sounds fun

  11. Thanks for the update, Tanster! Can’t wait to hear more details. It is a shame that the finale isn’t a full hour, but a company picnic does sound like a great premise! Hope you’re having an awesome time on set!

  12. Company picnic with all the branches. Lots of people. Plenty of opportunities to jump right into a scene or five (wink-wink). So which branch will you be from? Am I getting warm?

  13. I’m sad that the season finale is only a half hour long, but I’m happy to hear that Paul Lieberstien and Jen Celotta wrote the episode! They’ve written some of the strongest episodes.

  14. If I had to guess why you’re there for an entire week, I’d say you’re gonna be in the episode! LUCKY!

  15. this is weak. why did it change to a 22 minute episode? how are they gonna fit a finale into 22 minutes?
    and even if it wasn’t the finale, just because it’s the 100th episode alone should call for an hour-long!

  16. Half an hour? Boo.

    Oh well, looking forward to all the photos and observations you’ll bring back for us, Tanster. I always enjoy your behind-the-scenes entries.

  17. So if Michael is going to be in attendance (which he obviously is), and the picnic is Dunder Mifflin I’m assuming he has returned to Dunder Mifflin by this episode…?

    And yeah, half hour for the season finale? What happened there?

  18. Maybe we’ll get an hour long producer’s cut of the season finale on the DVD, or 42 minute since it’ll be without commercials.

  19. I’m happy to hear that the finale is just a half hour, and the fact Paul and Jen are writing. This will most likely have more laughs per minute rather than thin the jokes out to a double length episode.

    Wonder if we’ll see Rashida/John/Jenna scene

  20. RE: #12 above, thephoenixlord, who said ” If the episode is amazing I won’t care about the length.”


  21. I feel exactly the same as most of the posters before me…how is it only a half-hour??? Even Casino Night was supersized! But my favorite season episodes are almost always the finales and premieres, so I’m not too concerned.

    And Company Picnic? That just SOUNDS entertaining!

  22. Yes, it’s a bummer that it’ll only be a half-hour. But we’ve had some AMAZING half-hour episodes (BOOZE CRUISE!?).

  23. Is there a chance we could start a petition for a supersized episode?? I know NBC would have to change some things around, but maybe it could work!

    We all know the first cut will be about triple what they have to cut it down to, so let’s at least beg for an editor’s or producer’s cut online the next day.

    We’ll look for you in the episode, Tanster!

  24. I’m disappointed that it’s only 30 minutes, but I’m sure it will pack a lot of punch into the regular running time. The idea itself had me smiling.

  25. Office finales are always classic, so it’s all the more impressive that they’re fitting all that goodness into 30 minutes. I wonder if/how Karen will play in the episode- I’m guessing Rashida Jones is pretty busy with Parks and Recreation. The premise of a company picnic sounds amazing- especially for getting HOLLY back on the scene!!
    Thanks for giving us tidbits before the week is up, tanster! I am RIDICULOUSLY excited for the full report.

  26. You must be so excited!
    But wait- 30 minutes?
    Is this because Stress Relief was so long?

    But the real question is…

  27. My first thought as well

    “So if Michael is going to be in attendance (which he obviously is), and the picnic is Dunder Mifflin I’m assuming he has returned to Dunder Mifflin by this episode…?”

  28. A company picnic…what an awesome idea!

    Is Michael going to crash it so he can get a glimpse of Holly? The suspense is going to kill me.

    Can you tell us if JK has brought his new puppy (Finn) to the set? He’s such a cutie (they both are, actually).

    Have a great time, Tanster!

  29. A company picnic…what an awesome idea! Will Michael crash the party to get a glimpse of Holly? The suspense is killing me.

    Can you tell us if JK brought his new puppy (Finn) to the set? He is such a cutie (they both are, actually).

    Have a great time, Tanster!

  30. Tanster,

    Please explain why The Office execs (or NBC, perhaps?) decided to make this episode 30 min. instead of an hour. I’m guessing that they’ll have to wrap up a lot (e.g. Michael’s relationship with Holly), and it’s hard to imagine that they’ll be able to do it in 30 min.

  31. Only thirty minutes? It’s like the capa is detated from this episode. Should still be awesome, though. And I look forward to playing Spot the Tanster.

  32. maybe it will be a two-part episode like Lecture Circuit then if it’s only gonna be a half-hour long

  33. Regarding the finale only being 30 minutes:

    If I remember correctly, it has something to do with the scheduling of “30 Rock.”

  34. Sounds cool, but am I the only one wondering if Pam and Michael will be back to experience the Dunder Mifflin picnic? Perhaps Pam could come as Jim’s date (obviously), but how would Michael be there? Crash the party?

  35. Company picnic sounds good, but just a half hour episode it’s a shame, anyway we’ll see.
    oh and thanks for the update by the way tanster¡¡¡.

  36. Wow, only a 30 minute finale? That really stinks, especially for their 100th episode. I’m sure it’ll be a glorious 30 minutes, though.

  37. Just because it’s only a half hour episode doesn’t mean it’s not going to be action packed from the start of the cold open all the way to the end! Can’t wait to see who shows up from Nashua (fingers crossed).

  38. Horrible decision on NBC’s part to do a 30 minute finale. Not sure what the thinking could possibly be there. The premise sounds good though.

  39. I just don’t understand having a half-hour length season finale in the 5th season. There are SO many scenes that could be used, like Karen/Pam/Jim, Michael/Holly (obviously), and so many more. I just don’t know how they are going to make full use of this story idea in 30 minutes WITH commercial breaks. Terrible.

  40. Tanster, you should totally be in the background! Or become a branch member at another branch! It would be nice if Rashida/Karen was in it. But I think she’s busy with P and R.

  41. “All branches of Dunder Mifflin”? I am assuming that the Michael Scott Paper Company would have merged with Dunder Mifflin by then. Can’t have a season finale without Michael and Pam playing a major role in it.

  42. LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FINALE! I think I’m glad that the episode is only half an hour. During the season 4 finale (that disasterous one at the end), I was so excited about the “JAM” proposal because it kept building and building and then it was all taken away from me like THAT.

    I am disappointed that a half an hour finale means there is no chance for a JAM wedding…Man, no offense to Jim, but he is SLOW! Jim! You used up a third of your quota!

  43. Thanks for all of the awesome photos and updates! Wooo-hoo! So excited that you’re in the finale, and you know all of the Office Tally fans will have to watch the show twice because we’ll miss a lot of the plot while we’re looking for you! Hope you have a blast all week long!

    [from tanster: thank you so much! :) ]

  44. Will karen be back then??? I mean I know Rashida Jones is in “Parks and Recreation” but is there any chance that she will be in this episode as the Utica branch manager? or was the baby her way out???

  45. Eeee Tanster it is so awesome that you will be wandering around in Company Picnic…on national television!!! And those pics from Jim’s desk are so great

  46. Aha! I was right! You are an extra! However, it looks like you had to cover up/ crop out what ever is on your orange shirts in order for you to post it! Sad Panda…

  47. ok, so we got a good look at the pics on jim’s desk… but i’ve always wondered who that baby is that jim (john) is holding in that one picture. get the scoop, tanster!

  48. It looks like you’re having a great time. I’m glad you finally confirmed our suspicions. So do you get to keep the shirt?

  49. Happy 100th Office crew! And congratulations to you Tanster! You’re so lucky to be there and be an extra, just wow! The pics are awesome :-) Can’t wait for more updates. I envy you.

  50. I knew it! That’s so great, I’m so excited for you Tanster! I’ll be keeping an eye out for you in the episode.

  51. I just don’t think that I could resist the urge to stare at John K. the whole time. I wouldn’t make a very good extra. LOL

  52. Oh man you’re so lucky! Is the cast and crew all sad since it’s the last episode they’re shooting this year? I’m so pumped for it, and here’s hoping for a JAM wedding early in September!!

  53. Yayayayay!!!!!! Tanster, that’s fantastic! I knew you would be an extra! That is so exciting!!!! I am so happy, you know, being able to live vicariously through you… Enjoy the rest of the week, and get in as many shots as possible!!!! : D

  54. Congrats on the part! You really deserve to be part of the finale/100th episode for all that you do. And on the plus side, it’s from a branch that has good wings… get it? haha.

  55. How exciting!! I’m so glad that you finally get to be an extra! Like what’s the dealio said, I’m gonna be too busy trying to spot you in the background to pay attention to the episode! ;)

    Thanks so much for the photos and updates. This has to be the best week ever for you!

  56. Oooooh! I’m from Buffalo! I’m from Buffalo! If nbc.com ever offers t-shirts for the other Dunder Mifflin branches, buying a Buffalo one will be a moral imperative! Chicken wings and beef on weck for everyone!

  57. My INSANE jealousy just turned into uber excitement!! I’m so excited for you Tanster!! And what a nice week for a shoot!

    The finale is going to turn into a sort of “Where’s Waldo”… only “Where’s Tanster!” Congratulations!

  58. 61, it’s probably supposed to be Jim’s brother’s baby that was mentioned in “Branch Wars.”

  59. I’ll bet 10 bucks and 2 packs of skittles that all of those shirts will be available to purchase from the NBC store.

  60. Rainn is nothing short of hilarious, all the time.
    WOW you are one lucky gal Tanster! Hey, you can now say you were a guest star on The Office :)

  61. It originally was going to be an hour long episode but NBC wanted a new episode of The Office as a lead in for Parks & Recreation. So NBC moved an episode of The Office up a week and by doing that the finale was changed to 30 minutes. That was posted on the site here.

    I have a feeling that the May 7 episode will have Michael/Pam/Ryan back at Dundler Mifflin, resolve that storyline and the May 14 picnic episode will be a fun episode where they will handle Michael/Holly and toss in a cliffhanger at the end (Pam pregnant? Mrs.Vance pregnant? Dwight and Angela doing it outdoors?).

  62. Thanks for showing Jim’s desk! I’m excited to see more pictures and learn more scoop! I’m so jealous!! :)

  63. Gotta admit; if Amy Ryan is back for this episode, this is a genius way for Holly and Michael’s pathes to cross..Wonder if he’ll return her sleeve..ha ha..Seeing her together with A.J. may just crush Michael though..

  64. Congratulations to the show that brings the laughs, the tears and the jaw dropping surprises. Here’s to 100 episodes!

    And Tanster, you’re from the Buffalo branch? I will be looking for you in the background.

  65. Congrats on being an extra. I hope the episode’s so awesome that I don’t spend thirty minutes looking for you.

    And those shirts totally remind me of Little League.

  66. congratulations tanster!! ahh i wish i could be an extra, if only for one second!

  67. I can’t wait to look for you in the background. Congratulations and have fun for us all!

  68. Ahhh tanster you look great, that’s amazing! I will definitely be jumping on the “spot tanster” bandwagon come finale night.
    And 82-Leesa, thanks for the link to that awesome footage!

  69. Aw tanster that’s so exciting!! You’re so awesome to share all of this with us..we appreciate it :] Also, is it bad that I check Officetally more often than I check my e-mail?? Hmm…

  70. Tanster, your interaction with the Office cast and crew is SO cool! Thank you for sharing your notes so we can live vicariously through you =)

  71. That’s so cool that you get to be an extra!! I’ll be looking for you when I watch it.

    And… I love the picture of Jim & Pam on Jim’s desk. :)

  72. Sounds like the time of a lifetime, tanster! I am sure OT was mentioned by GD, as evidenced by the chance to be an extra. The really cool thing is the cast must seem almost like friends to you and it must be a blast. Congrats and enjoy! I am living vicariously through you and your reports!

  73. very cool. do you have a place where you host your pictures (like a photobucket) so I can check out all your past pictures? I was trying to look at your 2007 visit and the pictures won’t work.

    [from tanster: thanks! the photos should work now, thanks for letting me know. :) ]

  74. Angela Kinsey is really a beautiful looking woman. That smile would light up a room.

  75. We want to know everything, Tanster. From the minute you got the call to saying goodbye at the wrap party. No detail is too small. :) Will you write a book, please? It would be a best-seller!

  76. “I’m sunburned, sleep deprived, and I’ve been wearing the same clothes for the past four days.” LOL… you loved every minute of it and it shows. I can’t wait for your report and more adorable photos of you and the cast. Ed Helms hasn’t looked more adorable.

  77. Okay, that picture of you and Ed is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen! I can’t even begin to imagine how many precious memories you now have – and how exhausted you must be! Thank you SO much for sharing all of this with us. I can’t wait to see/hear the rest of it (video? yay!).

  78. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for something than I am to hear your report, in extreme detail. Congratulation on being an extra! Must be a dream come true

  79. It’s a testament to your hard work here, Tanster. Hope you are still buzzing from the excitement of it all.

  80. I am excited that Amy Ryan will appear in the season finale. I hope you have a photo of Steve and Amy.

  81. These tidbit-sized posts are torture! haha…I can’t wait to see how this season ends. And considering how in-the-know you are, the restraint you show in not blabbing the details to all of us is commendable. And why you get to go on set visits :)

  82. HAHA those pics with Paul Feig are hilarious. It’s so great to see everyone just frolicking in the sun (well, at least it looks like that, I realize it was pretty freaking cold sometimes!) I also love that you’re releasing this in little tantalizing bursts(TWSS)

  83. Thanks for sharing all of this! I’m so glad you got to visit for an entire week. Because of Paul Feig’s tweets about being on set, I kind of thought he was directing the episode. Tanster, do you know if he is always on set as a producer, or was there a specific reason for him being there for this episode? I can’t imagine that the producers are always on set.

    [from tanster: excellent question! ken kwapis was definitely the director, he called all the shots. i think paul was there pretty much every day as well, to help out and be a sounding board for paul and jen.]

  84. Thanks for answering my question, Tanster! I am definitely a fan of both Ken Kwapis’ and Paul Feig’s directing styles, so having them both work on a Jen C. and Paul L. episode in which you will be an extra is incalculable. Forget about Amy Ryan, you are the real star around here :)

  85. Man! Look at Krasinski showing off his Leatherhead skills! Thanks so much for these pics and videos – I think all hardcore Office fans envy you!!!

  86. Thanks for taking and posting the video Tanster! That was so awesome, please say there is more video to come. How neat to watch them all having fun and listen to Creed’s remarks. Oh, and watching John throw the ball around got me a little swoony, I must admit.

    [from tanster: i do have one more video, and it’s a GREAT one. can’t post until after the episode airs, though.]

  87. Are you going to give any more finale spoilers, Tanster? Or perhaps you know things that happen leading up to the finale?

  88. Did you get to talk with all of the actors? Creed seems like a good storyteller. And Angela is so cute!

    [from tanster: isn’t angela adorable? yes, i got to talk to everybody! :) ]

  89. As always thanks for sharing!! I agree, you should write a book! :P And I can’t wait to see the next video!!

  90. That video is pure heaven. So serene. It’s fun to see everyone relaxed and playing around.

  91. I would love to throw a football around with the cast of the office, especially John Krasinski.

  92. Thanks for the video! It’s great to see the cast have fun. Btw, Tanster, your voice is so cute!

    [from tanster: lol, thanks!]

  93. Awesome footage, Jennie. Did you take that with a Flip? It’s surprisingly steady for a hand held. Very cool.

    [from tanster: yes, it’s with a Flip! the best little gadget ever. especially for a newbie like me. :) ]

  94. If this is to be an all-company retreat, it would be nice if Karen were included…even if just as a background character. Perhaps she’s on maternity leave, explaining her absence.

    Still, it would be nice if there was one final Jim/Karen scene so that we get a sense of closure between the two characters.

  95. Cool video, thank you muchly for sharing!

    Bobby Ray Schafer’s youtube page also has a video, featuring you & an Ed Helms-Creed Bratton jam session!


  96. Thanks so much for sharing your office week, Tanster! It is so much fun to read about (and watch!!). I’m so glad they invited you down. You are completely deserving, and I CAN’T WAIT to look for you in the finale =)

  97. I’m having so much fun checking back to see what new things you’ve posted from your set visit! Thank you so much for sharing it all with us.

    Man, that engagement picture on Pam’s desk…too adorable.

  98. was it just me, or did anyone else squee at the pam & jim picture on pam’s desk?

  99. Pam’s desk is 100 levels of cuteness! Thanks for the snapshots of the crew – what a plethora of good-looking people ;)

  100. Awesome pictures! It’s adorable and hilarious that Pam has photos on her desk of the guy who sits about a foot away from her.

  101. I find it really cute she has 2 pictures of Jim on her desk when they sit..only 2 feet away from each other 40 some hours a week :)

  102. Even though it’s only 30 minutes, I have faith that the cast and crew will make every minute amazing!
    And Tanster, I envy you! Was it hard not staring at John K. the whole time?

  103. I think I’m the only one sad to see Pam’s reception desk setup gone. I always wondered who was in the pictures she had tacked up on the inside of the desk. There was one that looked like it was Jenna and her sister, but I guess we’ll never know…unless the great Tanster can enlighten me ;)

  104. Tanster, can you please take the pic of Jim and Pam off the desk, photocopy it, and upload it so everyone can share in it’s squeeworthyness? Or just ask Jenna to do it. haha

    Love the photos, awesome experience.

  105. Thanks for all the behind-the-scene photos and stories – I’ve enjoyed them! I saw you had a photo with the hair/makeup/prop ladies . . . do you think they would ever be willing to do a Q&A? I’m always curious about the little details of that aspect of the show too – who came up with Jim’s trademark “floppy” hairstyle, where did they get Pam’s pretty pink dress in Cafe Disco, etc.?

    [from tanster: good idea! we’ll have to see about doing a Q&A with the behind-the-scenes folks next season. you can read more about jim’s hairstyle here.]

  106. “Awesome footage, Jennie. Did you take that with a Flip? It’s surprisingly steady for a hand held. Very cool.
    [from tanster: yes, it’s with a Flip! the best little gadget ever. especially for a newbie like me. :) ]” was it with a flip mino hd or flip ultra hd? if you know.

    [from tanster: mino hd!]

  107. Is that…eyeliner? I’m going to say (hope) it’s not.
    But I do think I spot some Burt’s Bees lip chap- love that stuff!
    I also love that the accountants teamed up for the coffee cart!

    Thanks for taking the time to get pictures of these cool little details, tanster!

  108. @ 139

    To me, that looks more like a small brush than eyeliner. It would be funny if it were though.

  109. I think it’s a small brush too, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the male actors wore a touch of eyeliner too. Those lights can wash you out!

    I love this behind the scenes stuff…thanks so much!

    [from tanster: you’re welcome! i have LOTS more to post. after tomorrow night. :) ]

  110. john uses burts bees!!!! so do i… obviously we’re soul mates! (uh, i’m kidding about that last part. i’m not delusional.)

  111. I am fully supporting guys wearing eyeliner ever since Johnny Depp’s performance in Pirates. And, agreed, the lighting really washes out a person’s face. Bring on the eyeliner :)

  112. I just have one question… Do you know if this episode will be a 30-minutes or 1-hour long?

    Bye ;)

  113. @ TANSTER:
    Are you an east coaster??

    [from tanster: no. but i wish i was tonight! :) ]

  114. To Tanster:

    Hey I just wanted to thank you so much for this website and how amazing and dedicated you are! I have checked it every single day for the past 3 years and it really is the best :) NBC should thank you two hundred million times for all the support and viewers you have brought to the show! No doubt we’ve been through the good (JAM finally together) and the bad (writer’s strike), and now with the season finale of season 5 less than 3 hours away, I just wanted to say

    -Amelia (rockin it in the bay area!)

    [from tanster: thank you so much, amelia! :) ]

  115. Two– well one more hour to go!!

    I’m coming right back on here after the show to see the rest of the photos! Thanks for posting them!

    [from tanster: you’re welcome! and to clarify, the photos and such are coming after tonight, but not immediately. in fact, they’ll be slowly posted in installments.]

  116. So, Tanster, did you find out about Pam being preggers while you were on set, or was that part a surprise to you as well?

  117. I got super excited and yelled out “it’s Tanster!” then added “she does Office Tally!” for my roommate.

    Wow, corporate are a bunch of JERKS! And of course, YAY JAM!

  118. Tanster–Were the people in the light blue shirts from the “Atlanta” branch?

  119. I caught your closeup, well done! And I want one of those Buffalo shirts in the worst way! LOL

  120. Wow…I saw you in two scenes last night. Congratulations! What an awesome honor. Fantastic show too!

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