‘Stress Relief’ preview

This post contains information about The Office one-hour episode following the Super Bowl on February 1st, 2009, titled ‘Stress Relief.’

Jan. 29, 2009

Jan. 28, 2009

Read GMMR’s review of ‘Stress Relief.’

Jan. 22, 2009

Jan. 16, 2009

From IGN: Jennifer Celotta explained that the movie plot is “A Harold and Maude type movie where Jack Black is engaged to Jessica Alba and then meets her grandmother — her nana — and instantly falls in love with Cloris Leachman.”

Jan. 16, 2009

From Zap2it: “[Paul] Lieberstein says that the stunt casting of Jack Black, Jessica Alba and Cloris Leachman in the Office Super Bowl episode was not a mandate from on high, but rather grew out of an idea from writer Aaron Shure.

Viewers will only see a little bit of footage from the fake film, and since Black and Co. only shot for a day, Lieberstein says there’s not a ton of extra footage to showcase on a DVD release.”

Tipster: Tallyhead Purse Girl

Jan. 8, 2009

TV by the Numbers states “The episode of NBC’s The Office following the Super Bowl is likely to be seen by 25 million viewers if the recent past viewership of the ‘Program After The Super Bowl’ is any indication.” More here.

(For comparison, see regular viewership numbers at the Nielsen Ratings post.)

Jan. 2, 2009

From Us Magazine:

Cloris Leachman displays some serious PDA with Jack Black in an upcoming episode of The Office.

“I have an intimate scene with Jack Black,” Leachman — who recently competed on Dancing With the Stars — told Entertainment Tonight Tuesday while prepping for her role as Grand Marshall at the Tournament of Roses New Years Day parade.

“He has to take me naked out of a bath tub and we kiss a lot,” added Leachman, 82.

This plot point has been confirmed by my Office source.

Link: Cloris Leachman Kisses Jack Black for The Office

Tipster: Tanya

Dec. 17, 2008

NBC has confirmed to me that ‘Stress Relief’ was written by Paul Lieberstein and directed by Jeffrey Blitz.

Dec. 16: KorbiTV

KorbiTV reports that Cloris Leachman will also appear in the episode.

Tipster: Paul

Dec. 16: NBC.com

Actress Jessica Alba (“Fantastic Four,”) is set to guest star in the upcoming post Super Bowl episode of “The Office.” The announcement was made by Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios.

In one plot of the special post Super Bowl episode of “The Office,” some of the office workers try to secretly watch a bootlegged Hollywood movie during the workday. Alba and comedic actor Jack Black will play characters in the bootleg movie.

Tipster: sorano916

Dec. 16: Ausiello Files

Jessica Alba announced as another guest star!

Tipster: Phyllis

Dec. 15: NBC.COM

Multitalented actor Jack Black (“Kung Fu Panda,” “Tropic Thunder,”) is set to guest-star in the upcoming post Super Bowl episode of “The Office.” The announcement was made by Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios.

In one plot of the special post Super Bowl episode of “The Office,” some of the office workers try to secretly watch a bootlegged Hollywood movie during the workday. The movie stars Jack Black and other notable Hollywood actors.

The special hour-long episode titled “Stress Relief” will premiere immediately following “Super Bowl XLIII,” Sunday, February 1 (10:30-11:30 p.m. ET; simultaneously to all time zones) on NBC.

Tipster: Daniel

Dec. 15: Ausiello Files

Guess who is guest starring on this episode?

Dec. 3: TV Week

According to people familiar with the plotline, NBC’s just-confirmed post-Super Bowl episode of “The Office” will feature the employees of Dunder Mifflin roasting the show’s lead character, played by Steve Carell.

The roast of Mr. Scott will not be celebrity-driven, but producers are exploring the idea of incorporating some stunt casting into the project.

More about the episode at the link below.

Link: ‘Office’ Game for Michael Scott Roast

Dec. 3: NBC Universal Media Village

Immediately following “Super Bowl XLIII” on February 1, NBC will broadcast an original, hour-long episode of “The Office” (10:30-11:30 p.m. ET; simultaneously to all time zones). Noteworthy announcements regarding this special episode are forthcoming.

Simultaneous to all timezones! That means I’ll finally be able to watch an episode without having read spoilerish comments first! WOO! ;)

But what does “noteworthy announcements” mean? Hmmm …

Tipster: Red


  1. Cool! Now I have something to look forward to on Super Bowl Sunday, other than some hot wings. :)

  2. Awesome! That’s great about the timezone thing too. I hate always being 2 hours behind! You should recruit someone from the East Coast to moderate comments for you on Thursdays, Tanster.

  3. First the Bears will win the Super Bowl, then an hour-long Office! Win win!

    Or, you know, not.

  4. *phyllis*farm * I agree the BEARS should win. I think it’s gonna be a live episode. Think about it, if they are gonna televise it simultaneously it has to be live.

  5. 9. ncsuduncan–

    Well, considering it’s not really a spin-off, that would make no sense. Just saying.

  6. Hmmm…noteworthy probably means setting up the spin-off.
    but I agree with 2 and 3. Vampire-Bat Jim is right, one can dream.

    Yay for Tanster! I always do feel bad that you have to read those comments. I’m glad your watching enjoyment doesn’t have to be ruined during this huge episode. :)

  7. Oh it will be a wedding, but just not the one everyone might want to see… Angela and Andy’s.

  8. but i thought angela & andy were getting married on thanksgiving? i vote for return of holly!

  9. I think there is a better chance of Jim and Pam getting married after the Super Bowl than Holly coming back before the season finale (if she even comes back, which I hope she does).

  10. How exciting! Just imagine the ratings this episode will get, with that time slot! And if the Titans make it to the Super Bowl, this could possibly end up being the greatest night of my life. ;)

  11. I hope it is a football themed episode. That way the show would combine my 2 favorite hobbies, The Office and football!

  12. I feel like it will be the Jim/Pam wedding just because I know they don’t want a long engagement!

  13. Not going to lie the idea of having them “roast” Michael literally sounds stupid. That’s what I got from the article. I hope I’m wrong.

  14. I am sooooooooooooo excited! I love watching the Super Bowl, and I will get to see an episode of the Office not the next day!!! (I work on Thursdays :( so gotta catch them on the web)

  15. 23 | Daniel,

    That’s what I was thinking too. But then I remembered that a lot of the plots they do sound stupid, but end up being executed brilliantly. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out. I wonder if they’ve even written a script yet.

  16. 23. Daniel:

    Really? I can’t possibly see how a roast of Michael Scott could NOT be funny.

  17. hopefully the hour long episode will actually have a plot that gets fully explained.
    some of these last half-hour episodes could have been an hour long.

  18. What does stunt casting mean? For that matter, what does a celebrity roast mean? I’ve heard the term before but never really knew what it meant. Thanks.

  19. Black Matt: Stunt casting is when a TV show has a celebrity guest star (usually someone A-list) for an episode or two. 30 Rock does this all the time, bringing in guests like Jennifer Aniston, etc.

  20. Pam Babe-ly — I guess it could be read like that (:

    But what I mean is that there’s no crossing over of characters. Rashida Jones is even in the spinoff, but she won’t be playing Karen.

    As for the naysayers for this Michael roast idea, I think it’s a great idea. Although I can’t see some characters — Stanley, Phylis — making fun of Michael, I can see Meredith, Kelly, even Creed saying some pretty entertaining things.

  21. Stunt casting= bad idea. It works for 30 Rock, a show whose premise welcomes big-budget guest stars. The Office is a mockumentary about the everyday lives of “normal” people (though I use normal loosely) and having a guest star detracts from the normal Dick, Jane, and Mary set-up that works best with up-and-comers. Big stars would be a distraction and a mistake. And, of course, we don’t even know that’s the case, but just getting it out there.

  22. I can see at first Michael loving the idea of people roasting him because they do it on TV a lot and it would make him feel like some sort of celebrity. But then when everybody actually starts making fun of him he starts getting mad and more mad and he eventually storms out of the room while everybody else just kinda sits there all quiet. lol…I think that would be funny.

  23. This is what a roast is (according to wikipedia) if anyone doesn’t know:

    A roast is an event in which an individual is subject to publicly bearing comedic insults, praise, outlandish true and untrue stories and heartwarming tributes. The implication being that the roastee is able to take the jokes in good faith and as not being serious criticism or insult, and therefore showing their good nature. It is seen as a great honor to be roasted, as the individual is surrounded by friends, fans, and well-wishers, who can receive some of the same treatment as well during the course of the evening. The party and presentation itself are both referred to as a roast. The host of the event is called the roastmaster. Anyone who is honored in such a way is said to have been “roasted”.

  24. Alright now I am officially convinced this will be great. They mentioned in the article Dwight being a fire Marshall which prompted me to think that roast meant like a literal roasting of Michael. But this makes much more sense and actually is something I’ve been waiting for, for a long long time. Looking forward to it. I have to say I think Michael being fired might be a good turn, the British did a great job with that arc and Brent was just as prominent. I think it might be a good turn for this series too as it might shake it up a little.

  25. I will stand by for the noteworthy announcements. I am also awaiting for announcements further regarding my paycheck.

    [from tanster: hahahaha! :) ]

  26. i wonder if the stunt casting is within the office world: like the guest stars would be todd packer and karen and maybe carol? maybe holly? i could see them maybe adding one more “stunt cast” person to play a character related to michael but i bet the person would be someone like stephen colbert or tony hale or someone like that. i doubt you are going to see brad pitt or jessica alba showing up on the office. that would never happen.

  27. Stunt casting= Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart

    Some people are questioning if this will be a live episode. I HIGHLY doubt it, there is no way that this show could go live because of all the talking heads.

  28. This has the potential to be great. Remember, this show has done plenty of weird or silly plots before that could have ended up being stupid. However, most of the time, they are executed very well and turn out to be amazing. Let’s hope it is like that.

  29. I’m 50-50 on stunt casting, but one Mr. Stephen Colbert is definitely a-ok w/me! That way, Steve Carell can finally make his debut appearance on the Report to promote this episode. One can dream right? ;)

  30. Maybe a “celebrity” family member of Michael’s. I still think Carol Burnett would be perfect as his mom… and Ben Stiller as a long lost brother/half brother.

  31. 44- Yes! They should bring Todd Packer back, he was just absolutely hilarous. He is such an amazingly funny character and I wish they would put him into more and more story lines (I’m curious to what he would say about Jim and Pam’s engagement-probably along the lines of what Creed had said)…

  32. I’ve always loved the idea of Stephen Colbert as Art Gould, it would allow for us to see Jan’s character under a little pressure, and not the one putting the pressure. Also if David Koechner is available having Todd Packer back would be DAWESOME!

  33. well i think karen will be one the the guest because she was suppose to be in one more episode anyways

  34. This is too easy… It’s gotta be Ricky Gervais!! They have already discussed that possibility, and having David Brent in the same room as Michael Scott would be golden.

  35. I have my fingers crossed for Stephen Colbert as anyone whom Michael hates… ahh, anything for the glory days of Even Stephven! Do you realize how amazing that would be? It would rock my life.

    wouldn’t it be super awesome if for one episode, Colbert comes back as someone Michael hates more than Toby, and then Michael inadvertently joins forces with Toby to rid The Office of Colbert? And then goes back to hating Toby? I dont know. Just thinking out loud.

  36. I love Jack Black, but I am unhappy about this. It seems so big for our little world…

  37. This is pretty awesome news, I’d like to see what they do with him. I mean they’ve done well with stars in the past (Amy Ryan turned out to be one the best characters of the series) So count me as excited.

  38. As the page was loading, I had my fingers on both hands crossed, chanting “Amy Ryan, Amy Ryan.” I have to say, I got a little choked up when I saw it sadly was not. It’s okay. I trust everyone at The Office! Thanks!

  39. 58. PAMJIM: It’s because of the Super bowl. The Friends post-Super Bowl episode guest starred Julia Roberts, Brooke Shields and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Before that episode the only famous guest stars of friends were George Clooney and Noah Wyle and they weren’t famous at the time, it was 1994.

  40. I would be surprised if the Jack Black we know is the Jack Black we see on The Office. Look at Will Ferrell in “Winter Passing” or Jim Carrey’s dramatic roles. Over the top broad comedians can be refined. Here’s hoping that’s the case.

  41. I don’t think people should be worried I think this is going to be amazing. As to who he’ll be my guess is either Michael’s friend or the real father of Jan’s baby.

  42. I do not like Jack Black at all. I think he’s not very funny and extremely obnoxious. Then again, I think David Koechner is also obnoxious, but I love it when Todd Packer is on the show. So I reserve judgment.

  43. The only stunt casting I want to see for Michael’s roast is Todd Packer and Elizabeth the stripper. I love Jack Black, but if Carol Burnett was deemed too famous to play Jim’s Mom (in other words – not herself), then I don’t understand why they are casting Jack to play a character. It makes me sad that The Office is kind of selling out.

  44. Wow, I’m excited for this episode. Didn’t think I would like stunt casting, and Jack Black is not my favorite comedian, but there’s at least some potential there. I’m sort of hoping Jack Black is not Gould, because that role should only go to Colbert. However, maybe Todd Packer’s brother?!?

  45. I saw Jack Black and immediately groaned “Ohh no!”

    It seems so gimmicky. and when is Jack Black NOT Jack Black?

    I can’t imagine him fitting in anywhere- unless he’s supposed to be Jan’s creme-de-la-creme sperm donor.

  46. Ugh. If you’re going to have a guest star, we all know that it’s supposed to be Stephen Colbert. I guess the fandom’s greatest wish will continue to go unfulfilled.

  47. Jack Black has never been funny. Isn’t this just the kind of stunt casting the show said it wouldn’t do?

  48. I may actually not watch this now. I was a little hesitant at first because I don’t know how having a roast of Michael Scott made any sense with the show, but Jack Black basically makes this idea terrible. He’s known for his out of control comedy, which is something I thought The Office was trying to get away from…

  49. 30 Rock took a lot of ****(l mean “heat” if course) with guest stars when trying to attract more audience.

    This episode better be good or the complaints will pour down on us.

  50. I love Jack Black! I have no idea what kind of character he will play, but I seriously doubt it will be anything too “scene-stealing” especially since that isn’t how the show is played. It’s probably NBC telling the producers they need to add some extra spice and I think Jack Black could be a great enhancement. This roast episode is going to be wild…

  51. I’m afraid that when I watch all I’ll be able to think is “that’s Jack Black” and I won’t be able to focus on anything else. Hopefully, I’ll be proved wrong.

  52. Jeez people calm down. Yes, it is Jack Black, but it mentions he will NOT be playing himself. Let us reserve judgment until we see it. This is NOT the first time a big star has been on the show. Amy Ryan, David Koechner (although probably not too big), and of course Steve Carell was a big star already.

    Maybe they will have Jack Black doing his crazy stuff, but I’m sure it will make sense, and I trust the Office writers will make it funny. Of course, they could have him being completely serious.

  53. Come on people. I’m against stunt-casting, but Jack Black isn’t TOO famous anymore. This isn’t like 3+ years ago.

  54. I think we all know that whatever the writers decide to do, this episode will be funny. I don’t really like Jack Black, but it is The Office. They could bring in anyone and make it funny. My fingers are crossed that Jack will play a mute man:)

  55. Oh, Secondrink (71), keep believing. Stephen Colbert will happen.

    The Office writers will make the craziness of Jack Black work. They ARE the writers of the Office, for god’s sake. Let’s not lose our faith in them.

  56. If they take Jack Black, what’s going to stop them from taking other celebrities?
    I don’t want this to turn into 30 Rock (even though I love that show). I mean, they can only pretend that the employees don’t know some stars. But Jack Black? Hopefully it will be like Conan’s appearance. That was funny!

  57. Okay, maybe it makes me look juvenile, but I love Jack Black and I think he will be fantastic (p.s. he’s still pretty famous, Kevin, he did have that little film called Kungfu Panda this year). I’m not a big believer in stunt casting either, and it’s taken a lot away from 30 Rock in my opinion, but I do recognize there is a difference between one well-placed actor and a rotating door of names. I have no doubt The Office writers will make it work. Our baby is growing up, guys. Time to loosen the apron strings…

  58. Have you all forgotten about Tim Meadows’ guest appearance in The Client? The Office has done this before and it worked well for them the first time.

  59. ok now that Amy Ryan got even bigger playing Holly, can she come back and be the perfect guest star ever?

  60. Wow, lighten up people. Give the writers and whatever they’re going to do with Jack Black the benefit of the doubt. This episode is obviously extremely important so they are going to try to make it good. I’m not a fan of stunt casting, especially for this show, but I’m willing to see what happens. I’ll judge it when I see it, not before.

  61. We don’t know what’s going to happen! Let’s just wait and see: Has “The Office” really ever let us down? Come on, the writers are perhaps the most brilliant in television. They have something fabulous up their sleeves, I know it.

  62. Whew! Now I’m relieved that they aren’t directly interacting with each other. I read on a site the other day that Hillary Duff said she’d love to be a guest star on The Office. I wonder if she’ll be one of the “notable Hollywood actors”.

  63. I forgot about Tim Meadows’s appearance, but he isn’t manic like Jack Black. If Black is “High Fidelity’ funny, all will be well.

    And I reeeally love Pam’s BFF’s idea…the appearance of Agent Michael Scarn in film form would be very in-line with the UK show’s fulfillment of David Brent’s dreams. Never give up, Michael Scott!

  64. I’m cool with it as long as it remains Jack Black AS Jack Black playing a character in a movie they are watching.

  65. Ok, Writers of “The Office”. You got me. You got me good. Here I was thinking you were selling out by putting in a famous actor, but you win. Clever. Very clever. I think I could dig this.

  66. Wow, what a totally gimmicky idea. I remember when this show strived to be realistic and now they’re treating it like an unrealistic sitcom. What a totally see-through attempt at getting a ton of viewers. I’m really pissed at the writers right now. Hope the episodes before this are good.

  67. Jessica Alba?

    Boy, I wonder where the Dunder Mifflin crew got a hold of this bootleg movie with all these names so far.

  68. #102, Party Mike, your assessment is absolutely correct.

    I fell in love with The Office from the very beginning because it was able to find the humor and the beauty in the subtlest everyday moments in an ordinary office. The subtle humor and beauty I fell in love with are now completely gone. I never would have thought that this once wonderful show would resort to things like Michael driving into a lake, or blatant in-show commercials, or characters chasing each other around a rehab clinic, or stunt-casting for the Super Bowl. Just watch the season 1 Christmas episode and then watch the season 4 Christmas episode and compare. You’ll see that the heart and soul and core of the show is completely gone.

    I see these things and can only conclude one thing:

    The Office has sold out.

  69. Well, two famous guest stars. One of them is somebody who’d make you laugh in anything just by contorted facial expressions and the other is Jack Black.

    More seriously, I hope that Alba has just a 10 s cameo, as if it were a fake trailer and it’s over. The fact she was cast smells casting stunt. I guess NBC asked the writers to make a star-filled episode and the movie within the show was the best way they dealt with it.

    A good casting stunt was this episode of “Arrested Development”, “Save Our Bluths” where many celebrities just made an appearance in a fake desperate attempt at boosting the ratings (the show was already cancelled).

    By the way, Jack Black can be great in a sitcom, just check the pilot for “Heat Vision & Jack”. But I agree that over-the-top Jack isn’t compatible with The Office.

  70. Some of you did read the article right? They ONLY APPEAR IN A MOVIE THE STAFF IS WATCHING. This sounds like the writers’ middle fingers to NBC, a way of dealing with stunt casting that NBC forced on them.

  71. Some of you people have to calm down.

    It is just one episode and this will probably only be a B storyline at best. The main storyline is Michael’s roast. I bet these actors will only have about 5 minutes of screen time. Personally, I think Jack Black could be hilarious.

    Every show that has the post Super Bowl time slot always does this. I bet if it were up to the writers and producers they would opt for a “regular” episode. However, the network is going to do everything possible to get those Super Bowl viewers to stay tuned for their show. After Feb 1. The Office will be back to normal.

  72. This reminds me of the time they did that episode of Friends after the Superbowl with Julia Roberts and Jean-Claude Van Damme in it.

  73. Jessica Alba is nowhere near as good an actor as Jenna Fischer, and she isn’t anywhere as attractive or as cool a person either. :)

  74. I think the movie-within-a-show is a really great way to get cool actors in TO without it seeming totally contrived. If Jack Black is TOTALLY over-the-top, it would definitely work if everyone in the office is watching a bootlegged movie that Michael likes. Michael would think that Black’s insane personality (let’s say…in a movie like that one he did about the mexican wrestler?) is Oscar-worthy. It could even be just as funny if he and Alba are trying to be super-serious. Either way, I think it’s great. After all, Greg Daniels had always talked about wanting to get Carol Burnett to come on and play Michael’s mom…but that’s just too unrealistic. Although technically, they’ve already broken that barrier between worlds when they had Amy Ryan come on to play Holly even though in the episode right before, Michael mentions “The Wire.”

    As for Cloris Leachman? I don’t care what she does…it’ll be awesome!

  75. Ok, let’s give the writers a chance. If it turns out to be horrible, we’ll all meet here and complain about it. But despite some rocky season 5 writing, these people know how big of an opportunity this is, and I can’t see them blowing it. If it brings more fans to our little club, it’ll all be worth it!

  76. Does anyone know who is writing, and who is directing this episode. I hope it’s Lee and Gene.

  77. Wow…Cloris Leachman?

    Now I’m a bit scared…but since she’ll only be in the movie they’re watching…it won’t be so bad.

  78. Am I the only one who thinks it’s funny when people complain about how unrealistic the show is now? Is “The Injury” at all realistic? No, but that is still considered by most to be the best episode.

  79. I’m going to sound like a broken record here but let’s all chill out for a second here. There’s some people that are jumping the gun on this episode when it hasn’t even aired. It’s crazy!

    Yes, the show has never done this type of stunt casting before but c’mon, it’s the SUPERBOWL. It has to be big.

    But this does not mean, in any way, that the show is selling out. It’s a one time thing SOLELY because of that little football game that will air before it. Now, if they were to do this every week, a la 30 Rock, THEN I would have an issue with it.

    Let us all trust that Greg, the writers and everyone else involved know what they are doing and that they will kick butt.

  80. I love me some Office. I have absolutely no complaints. Five seasons of keeping me sane while I have to work at my office job. The show has changed, but if it didn’t we would all get bored. Every episode keeps me entertained, whether it makes me laugh out loud or cringe at awkward moments. Bring on Jack, Jessica, and Cloris. The writers are amazing and I’m sure everyone will be surprised at how it turns out.

  81. I think it’s awesome! and the movie within the show idea is a great way to have a guest star, but make it realistic. I don’t know about you, but Jack Black doesn’t just come waltzing into where I work, and I doubt (even with how abnormal DM really is) that celebrities will be in Scranton and walk into their office on a whim. May be a stretch, but it ain’t gonna happen.

    I just hope that the fourth actor/actress they are trying to get isn’t Ben Stiller. Ugh.

  82. These “stars” are only going to appear in a movie that the office workers are watching. It probably won’t even be a very big part of the episode. What’s the big deal?

  83. I am usually not quick to criticize the show or the writers, and have actually been enjoying this season for the most part, but this is getting to be a little into the selling out territory. One guest star is one thing, but three…? I’m skeptical.

    Let’s hope this doesn’t keep happening.

  84. This should be very entertaining.
    How can people get mad about “stunt casting”?

    Haven’t we done that EVERY episode with the superstar, mr. Carell?


  85. I’m with the “let’s chill” crowd – I think the “movie within a TV episode” idea is a great one. And I recognize that the post-Super Bowl episode isn’t aimed at me, an existing fan. It’s supposed to appeal to people who don’t already watch The Office. In that sense, it’s a one-off and not a sign that the show is moving in any sort of “new direction.” 30 Rock needs guest stars every week – The Office does not. P.S. Hasn’t anyone had a chuckle about the idea of one of Michael Scott’s “Jessicas” being in the episode! It’s perfect!

  86. I wonder if Cloris Leachman will play Michael’s mom!? I’ve been dying to meet this special woman for some time now!

  87. This is so encouraging! I love Paul’s episodes! The Job and Money are two of my favorite episodes. Oh, I am excited!

  88. Airing directly after the Superbowl, nearly every show does this to draw in new, interested eyeballs. Do you want more people watching this show or not?

    [from tanster: yes! we definitely want more viewers!]

    Additionally, I bet you anything the movie-within-a-show plot device won’t even play into the storyline all that much. We already know it’s really about the employees roasting Michael. The Office is merely doing this so that NBC has Jack Black, Jessica Alba and other famous faces to plaster in its ads before and during the Superbowl.

  89. My veins are filled with The Office blood, but I don’t see this as a big deal. It’s the Super Bowl. The NBC promo department needs this to attract the viewers. I doubt this will be the beginning of a trend, a la 30 Rock.

    And wasn’t there a time when a couple of us thought Steve Carell got a little too famous after ’40 Year Old Virgin’ to play Michael? I sure did.

  90. Tanster, do you know if the Jan. 15th and 22nd episodes will be new as well? Or will the next new one be Stress Relief?

    [from tanster: they’re new, too.]

  91. I’m so glad to hear that the guest stars are going to be characters within a movie. Very interesting way to bring in ratings and keeping it real.

  92. Cloris Leachman did the cutest interview with John Krasinski on the red carpet before the Emmy’s. She’s awesome and I’m so glad she’ll be incorporated into this episode. I can’t wait to see what the writers come up with for the crazy movie-within-the-show. If it is anything at all like the sexual harassment video they made (“The Natural Red Head” tee hee!), it is going to be great!

  93. i have been waiting for a paul lieberstein episode. his are always fantastic and most of my favorites have been written by him. this is a creative cool new idea, can’t wait to see how it plays out.

  94. . . . ew.

    well. congratulations, lieberstein. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine i would see a naked make-out between jack black and cloris leachman. not that i dream about stuff like that. oh god.

  95. Usually the reason I’m nervous to watch an episode of the Office is because of what might happen between Jim and Pam. But now I’m nervous to watch this particular episode because I’m not sure I want to endure the sight of that.

  96. This tub thing with Jack Black and Cloris Leachman seems silly. I hope this episode isn’t like that. I like The Office because it’s SMART, not silly. If I wanted silly, I’d watch “Earl”. Which believe me, I don’t!

    I hope she’s just yanking our chain.

  97. To 143, I’m afraid that The Office has already gotten “silly.” They have dumbed it down so it will appeal to a wider audience.

  98. It’s going to be great. The writers know what they’re doing and it’ll be an awesome episode, know doubt. Random: I just really want more JAM moments! I miss them.

  99. So what? It’s a movie within the show. There are stupid comedies like that in theaters all the time. It’s very plausible that the workers would want to watch it. It’s like every Will Ferrell/Ben Stiller movie.

  100. Roasting is when people openly take jabs at one specific person, usually done in a joking manner.

  101. The description of the scene rang a curious bell in my mind: Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. There’s a scene in which Jack Nicholson is seduced by a beautiful (and very naked) woman in her bathroom. She turns out to be a succubus, a ghost, and changes into an old rotting woman.

    Well, you’ve almost got the perfect cast for the scene with Black being a chubbier Nicholson but I’m not so sure that the movie within the movie is a MTV-friendly remake of “The Shining”…

  102. Rasko #154

    A Ha!

    that might be what movie/show that the whole office watches

    haha Pam would be so embarrassed, hehe

  103. 154. rasko: WOW! That would be a hilariously spectacular continuation of the ongoing saga of Pam’s porn fascination!

  104. Great clips. I’m approaching this episode with caution because it seems really unusual for them, but it could be great. Dinner Party was great.

  105. I was already really excited about this episode, but after hearing that Dwight leads a fire safety seminar I’m EVEN MORE EXCITED!

  106. I’m a CPR instructor and Kevin is not doing CPR correctly! I hope the “instructor” didn’t pass him.

  107. That still frame of Pam resting her head on her hand and Jim looking at the camera is priceless… how can I get that on a t-shirt or poster?

  108. three great lines in one clip…..nobody wants to see that ohmmm, call it, and he doesn’t have a wallet I checked. Love Creed!!

  109. I love how everyone sat on the floor Indian style. Allusion to Season 1/Season 2 days. I can’t remember exactly, but Toby said, “We’re not all going to sit on the floor Indian style are we?” And Michael kicks him out.

  110. Jenna – 180 million people
    Rainn – 400 thousand people
    Ed – 600 billion and 1 million million people


  111. John is so adorable. These little interviews got me sooo psyched for this episode! The “movie” with all the stars looks hilarious.

  112. I am so excited after reading that GMMR review that I can’t stand it! The episode is a touchdown! Woo-hoo!

  113. I REALLY REALLY hope the flash back has to do with Jim’s Christmas confession letter to Pam in the first Christmas episode!!!!!!!!!

  114. After reading GMMR’s review, I just can’t wait till Sunday!!! omigosh, this is gonna be awesome! :P

  115. I am really starting to get optimistic about this episode. Despite how we all had misgivings about the stunt casting at first, what I’ve seen so far looks like the show being back in its element.

  116. I saw a commercial last night that said Entertainment Tonight Canada was going to have interviews with The Office cast tonight (January 29th) in advance of the SuperBowl episode. I’m not sure if these will be on the U.S. version as well, but maybe worth checking out ET Canada tonight!

  117. Hey tanster –
    I know the show is supposed to start at 7:30 pacific Sunday night. But do you have any insider information on whether or not this is a strict time, or if there is some sort of buffer between the end of the game and the start of the show?

    I’m planning on going from a Super Bowl party to an Office-viewing party, so I was trying to figure out what time I’d have to leave the SB party to make The Office on time.

  118. @ 179:

    All I remember was that House was scheduled for 10:30 and didn’t start until somewhere around 11.

    Bottom line is, it depends on the game. If it’s short and quick, you can expect the game to end around 9:45 and the trophy ceremony/interviews to end around 10:30 just on time.

    It it takes a while, or god forbid into OT, you can expect a 11:00 – midnight start time, which would do horrors for viewing numbers.

    All times in eastern, of course.

  119. Oh my god, that was hilarious. “push the reverse button!” I am so excited for this episode!

  120. Do you know what really sucks about this?

    I live in Steelers country, and plan on having a few friends over to watch the game Sunday. The problem is, I am such an obnoxiously obsessed fan of this show that I will turn into Nasty Buzzkill Bitch if anyone dares speak during this episode.

    Should I put a laxative in some of the food and plan for it to kick in at 10:15?? That is my only solution. This looks too good.

    My husband watches the show, too, though not quite with the same fervor. If he speaks to me during an episode, my standard response is, “I only ask for a half-hour of silence a week. Can I just have that???”

    I cannot imagine trying to watch this surrounded by hopefully happy, possibly inebriated Steelers fans.

  121. Oh my God!! The more I see and read about this episode the more excited I get!! :] And 183. Sugahwafuhs that’s exactly how I am during The Office..you talk, I punch your face!! I seriously just want it to be Sunday!

  122. Oh. My. Gawd.

    I have tears in my eyes. That was the funniest freaking thing I’ve ever seen. “No, Lilly, press reverse! Press reverse!”

    It’s so perfect for The Office…and Andy CRYING!!! I thought I was going to die…it’s golden! I can’t wait for Sunday now, even more!

  123. hey there is a video on people.com with John and Cloris and Cloris says a spoiler about the episode! It is under their SAG awards coverage!

  124. #183 Watch the Super Bowl and have a great time, Suga!
    Then sneak away and watch The Office in your bedroom.
    If the Steelers win, your guests will be too happy and drunk to notice.
    If the Steelers lose, your guests will be so depressed they will have one foot out the door anyway.

    Take it from the wife of a superfan who also loves The Office.
    P.S. Go Steelers!

  125. Judging by that promo, and some of the reviews, this is shaping up to be one of the best episodes in a while! Can’t wait!

  126. AAHH this episode looks sooo hardcore and amazing! OMG and poor kitty!! I was half between crying, shouting, and laughing when Angela threw him through the ceiling and he fell out the other side, lol. And OMG the chime in was awesome. And Michael’s “OBAMA IS PRESIDENT!” is so classic. Is it sunday yet? Please say yes!

  127. I know I’m horrible for saying this, but STOP…NBC is giving away too much. Save a little something for Sunday night. You won’t be disappointed.

    Angela and the cat throwing was probably my favorite OFFICE moment of the season. I think I’ve watched it over 25 times and I howl every single time.

    [from tanster: i agree with you 100%!]

  128. omg, that promo had me howling w/laughter. I wonder if the cat throwing was the scene mentioned in the GMMR review (the one so hilarious it was watched 15 times in a row, or something like that). Also loved Andy crying in the promo posted earlier today. Haha!

    Tanster, have you already seen this episode?

    [from tanster: yes! the first episode i’ve EVER watched before it airs on TV. woo!]

    sorry if that sounded like cackling, but that was the BEST promo ever. It does seems like it gave away too much, but it was amazing. wow.
    Also, not a huge fan of physical comedy on The Office, but those cat-throwing and vending machine breaking visuals are too good.

  130. I wonder if the flashback has anything to do with the fact that Jim “would save the receptionist” if the building ever caught fire.

  131. This is awful! The Office shouldn’t be creating fake movies. Remember when The Office was rooted in the real world and in a real office setting? Ugh…

  132. Woah. Dwight almost kills Stanley, and Michael saves him? Oscar in the ceiling… o_O Kevin breaking out the vending machine.

    Why are they running? there are 4 emergeny exits. If Dwight blocked all of them, then this was attempted murder.

    1)Regular exit
    2)Behind Stanley/Andy’s desk
    3)Between Kevin & Meredith’s desk
    4)Near the break room.

  133. Re: #183: Sugahwafuhs…

    I live in Steeler Country too. Check the local listings. On my DVR, the Office is set to play at 12 midnight on WPXI. I guess they are allowing for all the post-game stuff here in “Stillertown”. I really shouldn’t stay up to watch it at midnight…but I probably will. After the last preview, how can you NOT?

  134. “Stanley, Obama is president!” Omg I can’t stop laughing…that line alone just makes it haha. And the cat falling through the ceiling…wow! I can’t wait for this episode. :D

  135. Stanley, Barack is President! You are black Stanley!!

    I’ve watched this promo a million times and I’m still dying with laughter each time I watch it. If that’s really just the beginning of the episode, I can’t wait to see how the whole episode plays out.

    The Reviews all speak highly of it people! I think we may just be in for one of the best office episodes of all time!

  136. I’m always uncomfortable when anything happens to an animal on TV or the movies. I think it’s seriously OOC for Angela to toss the kitty into the ceiling. She would wrap it up, tuck it under her blouse, or have a carrier with her, imho.

    Kevin taking the snacks? That’s some funny.

  137. That cat tossing reminded me of when in Tropic Thunder Ben Stiller threw Half Squat into the river when he was stabbing him.

  138. 203. Chris: Thanks for the heads-up! Midnight is correct for WPXI. Fortunately, I am in Morgantown and we have a more local NBC affiliate airing the episode at 10:30. I could watch twice!!

    If I can’t get folks to shut up during The Office, I’ll just watch at 12! No laxatives required!

  139. I’m right on the border of OH & PA, and our local station has The Office listed at 11:30 pm also.

    What an awesome night this will be. I think both my Steelers and my “Office” will be big winners!

  140. My DVR says 9:30 (central time)! LOL! What?!
    My guess is we will “have to do it live!”

  141. Hahaha!! I can’t WAIT! That looks like it’s going to be the best episode ever. Ever.

  142. #183, I live in Steeler country too, and I have an idea for you: Forget about the guests and your hubby, go into another room and lock the door so no one can bother you. Maybe you will have to buy a new TV, but the solitude will be worth it!! GO STEELERS!!

  143. over here on the west coast the office will be on at 7:30. Perfect time.

    and the promo is HILARIOUS

  144. OMG that new promo is insane. I totally just burst out laughing at Angela throwing a cat into the ceiling. Can’t wait for Sunday!

  145. The hype for this thing is just awesome. I don’t remember an Office ep that this site has ever gotten so excited about. And with the early word of mouth, this could be the best show of the year.

  146. OH MY GOSH! I’m VERY excited for this episode! It looks HILARIOUS and is also looking pretty epic! If they stick Jim in there “saving the receptionist”, I am going to go onto iTunes and buy it JUST for that!
    LOVE IT!
    What would I do without you, Tanster? I wouldn’t have the satifaction of knowing that The Office this week will be AMAZING!
    LOVE IT! (I know I alreay said that, but WHO CARES?)
    <3 Ally <3

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