The Office Set Visit 2009: Day 1

(To see all my 2009 set visit reports, go to the INDEX.)


  • Date: Monday, April 13, 2009
  • Scenes filmed: cold open, final scene
  • Locations: The Office studio, hospital
  • Call times: crew 7am, shooting 7:15am


  • That’s right; the very first scene and the very last scene of ‘Company Picnic’ were shot on the FIRST day of filming!
  • I got to meet Angela’s baby, Isabel! She was on set briefly. Angela jokes that Isabel loves the attention she gets on set. She has big beautiful eyes and an adorable smile. Just like last year, Angela showed me yet another Angela Martin blouse with a ridiculous number of buttons to button. Seriously, she handed me the blouse and said, “Try to unbutton the top button. it’s impossible.” And I couldn’t!
  • I gave Ed Helms a printout of something that Tallyhead Kenna asked me to give him. B.J. Novak was in earshot and said, “You know, people are always coming up to me and wanting me to give things to Ed.” I mentioned that quite a few fans were taken with Ed and Rainn’s ‘Country Roads’ duet, especially the harmonizing. I said I didn’t know Rainn could sing, and Ed joked, “He can’t,” looking over to Rainn to see if he overheard.
  • At this point, I didn’t know who I would be playing as an extra, so Creed Bratton decided I needed a backstory: I would appear as his long lost daughter from China, Ching Yee. While Mandarin actually is my first language, I think Creed probably speaks it better than me now.
  • What was the most difficult part of John’s “chicken pot pie” talking head? It wasn’t the lines, but the winding of the clock! I have a clock just like that, and the little nubby thing on the back of it doesn’t give you a lot of control when you’re trying to rewind it. John kept overshooting or undershooting the correct time. The final take, of course, shows his monologue perfectly synchronized with winding the clock forward to 4:50pm. :)
  • How my gig as an extra came to be: ever since posting Amy’s report on being an extra for the Season 4 episode, ‘Branch Wars,’ I’ve wanted to be an extra on The Office! And since I knew the Season 5 finale would also be the 100th episode and something extra special, I decided it would be that episode for which I would make my crazy request. So in early March, I contacted the show producers and asked if I could not only visit the set for that episode, but actually be in it. (Crazy, right?) Two weeks later, I received the green light — and I was told that I would be an extra at a company picnic! So for the next four or so weeks after that, I was going crazy with the anticipation of it all. I’ve never been an extra on anything, so I didn’t know what to expect. It turned out to exceed my wildest expectations. :)

Photos begin on the next page.


  1. Okay, that backstory as Creed’s long-lost daughter officially makes you the best character to ever appear on this show…so, when will you start dating Jim? Home wrecker! haha

  2. Great stuff! I am in love with Erin/Ellie Kemper now. And I wonder what happened to “Disaster Kits Limited” They aren’t on the building directory. You know the economy is bad when one of the Five Families goes out of business.

  3. Thanks for sharing your visit with us Tanster! I can’t wait to see the other days. :)

  4. This is AWESOME! Thanks for sharing!

    I had really thought that in the cold open everyone was trying to get off of work early, but judging by Scene 9 – “Everyone pretends to leave until Michael drives off” it looks like I was wrong and they were just seeing if they could really get Michael to leave. Ha!

  5. Wow! It seems like you had so much fun…and it’s only day one. I love the Creed backstory, it’s so Creed. Can’t wait to read all about the rest of your week.

  6. I love how John has Burt’s Bees lip balm in his makeup bag. I love Burt’s Bees :]

  7. Such a wonderful way to jump into the week! So happy to see that you got some sweet behind-the-scenes stuff. Looks like the show is a well-oiled machine after 5 seasons. And, can I just say, Dave is adorable!

  8. Thanks, tanster. Your Office devotion is incalculcable.

    Any idea if the hospital was indeed Sacred Heart?

    [from tanster: i have no idea, i don’t watch scrubs. but i think someone asked that question in jen’s Q&A, she’ll hopefully answer that one. :) ]

  9. Maybe Amy Ryan was invited to the set that day to get her back into the spirit of The Office since she’s been gone a while and has been sorely missed.

  10. Thank you so much for the inside scoop! I look forward to seeing the rest of the pics!

  11. Oh my gosh- Thank you so much for putting this together, Tanster! It’s really amazing to see just how much goes into making the show. And let’s hope they put ALL of those deleted scenes on the DVD!
    Looking forward to your next installment. And thanks for being to awesome ;)

  12. Wow! Thank you so much for giving us so much great detail. Can you tell us how the visit came to be? Was it a phone call? What were you doing when you got the invite? :-)

    [from tanster: NABD, thanks for the question! I’ve amended the Notes section with my answer. :) ]

  13. I love the fact that the pics of Jim and Pam on their desks def look like they were shot at the same time, they just removed their jackets, lol.

  14. This is SO COOL! I am jealous and very happy for you that you got to be a part of The Office! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Just wanted to pass along that, much to my chagrin, the line, “Hey, did you know that I kind of, not really, but somewhat know someone who extra’d on The Office” does not impress the ladies like I thought it would.

    [from tanster: lolol!]

  16. Wow! I can’t thank you enough for all the great inside details of my favorite show! It’s really cool to see how it all goes down week after week! You do a wonderful job!

  17. Thank you so much for what you are bringing to the show.
    I appreciate your dedication. I would rather be on Office Tally than watch TV interviews of the cast, your blog makes it feel like family.

    My appreciation of The Office wouldn’t be the same without you being involved.

    Congrats on having the cojones to ask about being part of the 100th ep. It turned out fantastic.

  18. The pictures aren’t working for me! *SOB* I need my office fix! Help?

  19. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all these behind-the-scenes photos. Uber-geeks like ourselves are obsessed with the tiniest details, as you know, and being able to see them all makes me (almost) feel like I was there! And it’s so funny that you took a picture of Pam’s bag – I’ve admired it on the show myself! Cute and functional. I want one!

    I can’t wait to see the rest of what you have in store for us. Thank you so much for everything! :)

    [from tanster: thanks kenna! i’m an uber-geek, too. as you can tell. :) hmmm, let’s see what i can do about finding out the brand and style of pam’s bag … ]

  20. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us! Kudos for going after and getting your wish.

  21. I’m hanging on your every word (and can’t wait til you get the picture server up and running!) Totally living vicariously through you.

    #19..LOL and I know what you mean. I was shouting at my husband while watching the finale: “There’s Tanster! I met her! I met her!”

  22. Thanks for the note about the photos–I was kinda cursing at my computer settings! :)
    This is an amazing behind the scenes experience and it’s so much fun to read the details. Thank you SO much for sharing this–not only do I get to watch a show that I love that is consistently really great, I also get to learn about how it’s made. So cool! I loved reading that Amy Ryan showed up a day early just to say hi! I have a friend who works on a show in LA, and boy, from the little bit he says, the folks involved aren’t anywhere near as warm and generous as the Office family. Rare and special!

  23. This is too awesome for words; thanks for sharing!

    Can I just say I love how Jenna & Ed hold their own umbrellas? Because P Diddy (or whatever name he goes by now) & Mariah Carey hire people to just hold drinks or umbrellas for them…just sayin’.

    Anyway, I love how Creed just comes up with a backstory for your character LOL. I remember reading the Q&A you did w/Mike Schur, & in it you mentioned if you were to ever appear on the show you’d play Mose’s sweetheart; I guess ex-Buffalo employee isn’t too shabby right? ;)

    Can’t wait to see the rest of your visit!

  24. This is awesome stuff right here!
    Thank you for taking the time to write all this up for us Office-obsessors. I know this had been said, but all your details make it seem like we were actually there.

    You have deserved every single bit of that week!
    Can’t wait to hear more :)

  25. All I can say is that I’m incredibly jealous, but also gracious that you’re sharing all this stuff.
    Thanks =]

  26. This experience must have been so amazing! I am so jealous. Thanks for sharing all of your experiences, though!

  27. Did Disaster Kits Ltd move out of the Scranton Business Park? They weren’t listed on the directory. Maybe Cool Guy Paul left the Five Families :(

  28. This must have been the last time they were filming on the regular set for the season. I wonder if it was like being there on the last day of school. Thanks for the stories from the set, Tanster. They were so generous allowing you to be there on that day as well as the ones where you were an extra!

  29. Tanster – Thanks for bringing us into your Office experience. It sounds like a dream job to me.

    Do you happen to know if the picture of John with the baby on his desk is a “real” picture, like of his real nephew or niece?

    [from tanster: no, sorry, i don’t know. :( ]

  30. These set visit updates are really softening the blow of an Office-less summer!
    And I lol’ed at you thinking that Brian was trying to snag a crotch shot. tanster, Brian and Kevin are not the same person :)

    [from tanster: lol!]

  31. Tanster you are one lucky lady! =) thanks so much for giving us a glimpse of the set!

    you’re awesome!


  32. it makes sense that both the first & last scenes were shot on the same day, since they’re both indoors. movie & tv shoots like to get the “set” stuff out of the way.

  33. Tanster thank you so much for all of the details you are sharing! We are loving every tidbit!

  34. Wow- I am living vicariously through you Tanster! What an amazing experience!

  35. I loved how on Pam’s and Jim’s desks, they each had adorable pictures of themselves together! :) I so wish I had that one of Jim from “Job Fair” where he is in his golf outfit!

  36. That photo of Jim and Pam on Pam’s desk is too gorgeous … No chance NBC will release that in hi-res for all of us JAM fans?

  37. Wowserz! How in the world did you get the chance to go on set? and what do I have to do to be able to get on it for even just an hour!? haha

  38. I love this site. I am a big fan of The Office and I watch it often. Can’t get enough of it

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