The OfficeTally Talking Head Contest

The Office Talking Head Contest

I am thrilled to announce that OfficeTally’s final big contest of the summer is being sponsored by the staff of The Office, led by Co-Executive Producer Kent Zbornak!

Introducing The OfficeTally Talking Head Contest — re-create your favorite Office talking head on video, for a chance to win a cast-autographed copy of The Office Season 3 DVD!

UPDATE: Please read the new UPDATES section at the end of the post.

What’s a talking head?

It’s a scene of a single character, usually shot just from the waist up, talking directly to the camera. Here’s a talking head example from ‘Branch Closing’:

Pam: It’s a blessing in disguise. Actually, not even in disguise. Sometimes at home, I answer the phone, “Dunder-Mifflin, this is Pam.” So, maybe that’ll stop now.


Basically, all we want to see is you sitting in front of a camera, speaking the words. Raw, baby, raw.

  • No NBC video footage, music, audio, or captioning are allowed.
  • No other captioning, opening/closing credits, product/website pimpage, extra props, special effects, or other stuff like that are allowed. Don’t go all ILM on us.
  • Use single-character talking head segments from broadcast episodes only (no webisodes, no deleted scenes, no talking heads featuring more than one person).
  • You cannot deviate from, or add to, the original script. The words performed must be in English. How you perform the words, though, is up to you!
  • One talking head per entry; multiple entries are allowed.
  • Three-minute maximum length per entry.
  • U.S. and Canada only, please.

How to submit an entry

  1. Choose a talking head scene. Our friends at have graciously set up a page with a fantastic selection of TH scenes.
  2. Record yourself enacting the scene.
  3. Upload the video to YouTube.
  4. Add a comment to this post with a link to your YouTube masterpiece. You’ll see a [from tanster: received] note in the comment when I’ve added it to the official list of submissions ready for judging. Please allow 24-48 hours for this to happen.
  5. Include a valid email address.

How to win

  1. The Office staff, led by Co-Executive Producer Kent Zbornak, will pick 20 finalists.
  2. The finalists will then be entered in a fan poll.
  3. The top five vote-getters will each receive a cast-autographed copy of The Office Season 3 DVD!


  • Mon Aug 6: Contest announced.
  • Sat Aug 18, 11pm PT: Deadline to submit entries.
  • Mon Aug 27: 20 finalists selected, poll posted here at OfficeTally.
  • Fri Aug 31, 11pm PT: Poll closes.
  • Tue Sep 4: Prize winners announced!


  • The rules, the prizes, and the schedule are all subject to change without notice. (Although I will do my best to not let that happen.)
  • All decisions are final.

Kent says “Best of luck to everyone and we look forward to seeing all of your Dunderhead entries!”


Thanks, everybody, for all the questions!

At this point, since shooting has started on Season 4 and I don’t know when I’ll be able to talk to Kent and Company next, the best advice I can give you is that, if you want to do something that isn’t explicitly prohibited in the rules, then go for it.

Also, please keep in mind that entries will not be publicly viewable — when you post a comment here with a link to your entry, you’ll see [from tanster: received] in the comment when I’ve added it to the official list of submissions ready for judging.

Please be patient — it may take a few days for me to get to your entry!

To those of you looking forward to seeing all the entries, you’ll be able to see the 20 finalists on Monday, August 27. :)


  1. WooHoo! This sounds like SO MUCH FUN! Now I just have to choose from a multitude of brilliant scenes! I’m so excited!!!!


  2. Tanster, this says to look directly into the camera…talking heads kind of like passed the camera? Just wanted to make sure I did it according to the rules. Which way is it?

  3. Holy crap, this is kind of funny because I kind of already did some talking head reenactments…awesome.

  4. Is it wrong that I want to re-enact Darryl’s first talking head (the “I taught Mike some phrases… things us negros say”) but I am not black? It was hilarious but I dont want to offend! Oh well I will just think of another one.

    AWGH! i could have had so much fun with this comp it looks awesome : – (

    you lucky guys.. hey if i win (it will never happen but hypothetically) could i like pay for postage out of US & Canada?
    again i repeat it will not happen but, yeah just wondering!

  6. Well, thats it. i cant do any work today other then think about which talking head to submit.

  7. what are the judging criteria?

    does the most exactitudinal representation of the original scene win? or the talking head contestant with the prettiest legs? or the largest forehead?

  8. can we dress like the character at all? like, if we were to do a dwight talking head, the glasses? according to jim, it only costs $11 to recreate his outfit

  9. Mexicanity, meet up at my house STAT so we can start planning our TH submissions. STAT means NOW!

  10. Whoa! This is mega-awesome. I already have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to do. :D

  11. This contest is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S , This contest is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S….

  12. What an awesome idea! I wonder if I can convince my brother to do Michael’s final TH from Phyllis’ Wedding about Margaret Thatcher at his wedding this weekend?

    (And may I just say, Pam looks so pretty in that picture…how could Jim NOT ask her out?)

  13. Oh god I wish I could act… or something… I would love to do one of Pam’s TH’s, like the one where she thinks she accidentally implies she’s gay.

    Does anyone know the criteria these are being judged on?

  14. What a great idea! Good luck everyone…and hope to see a lot of very funny stuff. :)

  15. i cannot BELIEVE that kent zbornak is actually looking at these! tanster your connections are incredible.

    and even though i’m not sure if i’ll enter thank you so much for including canada! :)

  16. Tanster, it says “no extra props”… does that mean if the TH had a prop to begin with, then it’s okay to have that prop (ie. Angela and her aspirin in PR) or no props at all even if the scene calls for it? :)
    I think it’s awesome that y’all are doing this. Yay!

  17. I’m also guessing that Pam’s last TH from The Job won’t count due to Jim being there… unless you skip the whole Jim line… but yeah… Heh…

  18. I’m soooooooooooo excittttttteeeeeeeeeed!?!??!?! :D
    Now I’m gonna be so distracted here in at work, trying to think about what talking head to choose. Yippy Skippy!

  19. I think this contest officially raises OfficeTally from fansite to Official Companion to Your Office Experience.

    So who can we expect to see our favorite Webmistress channel? ;)

  20. Tanster, this contest is awesome. Very big props for putting it on. Between this and Season 3 “Survivor” I almost have enough Office in my life to last until the Season 4 Premiere!

  21. I´m from Argentina too, I really want to participate!!! May I, may I, may I??? Please???!!

  22. WOW-This is so cool. I won’t be able to participate, but I can’t wait to see what others come up with. And Kent Zbornak and Co. sponsoring it?! I mean, come on-I already thought you’d hit the big time, tanster, but this is bigger than big! This is emotionally magnificent! Good luck to one and all – can’t wait to see you work your magic! :)

  23. lemoñadé we are sooo going to do this in Rocky Point, how fun would that be?!?!?! Either that or next week I’m camping at your place and we’ll do it then!!!

  24. Yes…A Contest Canada can finally participate in…this gonna be monumental……”eh”

  25. This contest sounds awesome! Good luck to everyone! I was just wondering though: If you’re a girl, can you still do a talking-head that Michael or Jim have done, or do you have to do one that Pam or Angela have done?

    [from tanster: you can choose any TH.]

  26. I just want to make sure I have this right. We are allowed multiple entries as long as we have a seperate post for each entry, right?

    [from tanster: see comment 42.]

  27. tanster, are we supposed to put our own spin/twist on the TH, or just re-do the talking head with us doing it? the latter, right?

  28. Actually, lemoñadé, I will drive myself insane trying to enforce that rule. So no, you don’t have to submit each entry in a separate comment.

  29. Can we do talking heads from the BBC version or just the US?

    [from tanster: U.S. only]

  30. Thanks, tanster! I was just making sure we could have more than one entry. Let me tell you that Mexicanity and I are having so much fun just emailing each other with possible THs. I can just imagine us laughing the whole time we are making these. Thanks for such a fun contest!

  31. About using more than one character… can we use different costumes, as long as the same person is alone on the screen at all times? This would also make the talking head different from the original, but all the original dialogue and no other would be used.

    Trying to be creative, but if it’s not allowed, I’ll rethink it. Meh, I’ll make it anyway, and make another if it’s against the rules.

  32. awesome contest! i’d SOOO give anything to be in the US right now :) still, i am looking way forward to checking out everyone’s entries

  33. I’m looking forward to seeing all the entries! I want to see you do one, Tanster, even if you don’t/can’t enter. :D

    [from tanster: oh heavens, no.]

  34. Does “featuring more than one person” mean that we can’t do TH’s in which the camera focuses on a character in the distance? Or is it just side-by-side TH’s that are not allowed?

    [from tanster: only one person should be present in the entire clip, whether they talk or not.]

  35. Am I the only person, who has refreshed this page every three minutes (a conservative estimate) for the past 8+hours in eager anticipation of seeing the first entries? Good luck to everyone.

  36. KC, you are not the only one… trust me!

    Looking forward to seeing what fellow Dunderheads come up with.

    Many cudos to you, Tanster (and The Office Crew).

  37. Hey Tanster…Question!

    My niece LOVES the show (hmm..probably because I LOVE the show =P)…she is 7 years old. Can one of my entries be her doing a talking head? I think its a dumb question..but I just HAD To ask. >.

  38. I really hope someone does the one of Jim talking to the picture of his younger self with Dwight from “Traveling Salesman.” I’m sure they’ll ALL be great, though! I don’t envy the judges! :)

  39. Well, I don’t own a camera or have any acting skills…but I’ll definitely be watching all your entries!

    Good Luck Everyone!

  40. This would be the best oprotunity for someone to do jim’s talking head with the blow up doll. If only i was a guy. I would dress it up as if it were pam, definetly would make difference in the meaning

  41. aaannnd now I have to start rewatching my season 1 & 2 dvds to choose just the right scene…. like I really needed my arm to be twisted to do that right? haha

    sooooooo excited to do this!! It’s official… officetally is clearly the best site around!

  42. Finally a chance for us canadians to show how much we adore this show!
    I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with. Even myself. Now I can make excuses to watch every episode again!

  43. This is the best competition ever! For the first time in my life i seriously wish i didn’t live in Australia!! :(
    I can’t wait to see everyones entries though…

  44. Thanks, everybody, for all the questions!

    At this point, since shooting has started on Season 4 and I don’t know when I’ll be able to talk to Kent and Company next, the best advice I can give you is that, if you want to do something that isn’t explicitly prohibited in the rules, then go for it.

    Also, please keep in mind that entries will not be publicly viewable — when you post a comment here with a link to your entry, you’ll see a [from tanster: received] note at the bottom of the comment when I’ve added it to the official list of submissions ready for judging. NO ONE ELSE WILL BE ABLE TO SEE YOUR VIDEO AT THIS TIME.

    Please be patient — it may take a few days for me to get to your entry!

    To those of you looking forward to seeing all the entries, you’ll be able to see the 20 finalists on Monday, August 27. :)

  45. I skimmed through the comments and didn’t see this asked/answered: are we allowed to use costumes and sets (i.e. some fine metal blinds and maybe a cardigan?) I don’t actually plan on using either, I’m just curious if that’s expected/allowed.

  46. Tanster,
    I’m not sure if you can answer this but I was wondering if you knew how the entries will be judged? Will it be based more on the creative and original aspects, or rather how close we are to the talking head we are mocking? Just wondering before I get started, which I’m very excited about! Great contest!

  47. ok serious question. maybe im going crazy bt in the picture at the top of link for this is a picture of pam. i do not remember her looking like that in any other season. what episode is it from?

  48. im so excited that canadians can participate, we have been excluded from way too many office related stuff.

  49. Andy – looks like the Merger to me. The episode where she tried to look her best to impress Jim.

  50. hi Andy and DrunkBiking, I think it was from “Branch Closing”. Like LEW mentioned in post #18, Pam looks so pretty in that picture :) Great choice on the banner, tanster!

    Best wishes to everyone who participates!

  51. I know it says we can’t have a a talking head featuring more than one person, but what about reply heads? Example, when Jim displays the jacket he gets from Creed saying he dug it out of a closet at the last minute, then Creed says “That’s exactly what happened”. Stuff like that?

  52. darin i think you’re supposed to stick to single-characer talking heads regardless of whether they’re in the same shot or not.

  53. The pic of Pam can’t be from The Merger b/c Pam had her hair half way up and half way down…


  54. “What if we have no way of uploading our videos?”

    If you don’t have a digital camera/webcam or something that records you, maybe you can try borrowing the item from a friend? Anyway, good luck!

    I might enter this contest, so watch out!

  55. I’m really sorry if this has already been asked, but is there an age limit to this contest. I’m fourteen years old (fifteen in September), and this is something I am really interested in. Just last week my mom had to yell at me for “dropping a deuce” while we were at Chili’s.

    (yeah, we were actually at Chili’s)

  56. Hello all,

    As one of the last of a dying breed (ie: deprived individuals without digital recording devices), I hate to see this grand opportunity fly me by.
    I therefore reach out to my OT community for support; if anyone from Northern California (more specifically, the East Bay) would like to meet with me to record each other and/or give each other notes (I promise I won’t pull a Michael Scott on you and pull out my gun), you will be blessed by the Office Gods.

    I promise I will meet – nay – exceed your expectations.

    — R

    PS: I’ll be in Califronia starting this Friday.

  57. I have not finished it yet but if I win first I will scream, then I’ll dance, then I’ll will give everyone within 100 yards of me a bid squishie hug and then I will cry uncontrollably, SO VOTE 4 ME! *

  58. I plan to be adding more clips with my buddies over the next few days, hope to see others soon as well

  59. stbernard: i’m between pleasanton and fremont (east bay) and were gonna be filming this weekend. you can hit me up by clicking my name and sending me a comment on myspace and let me know what you had in mind. maybe we can hook up.

  60. question for anyone that can help: ive recorded everything and edited it in quicktime. but when i go to upload my videos on youtube, the video reverts to the pre-edited version. any help?

  61. c – I’m not an expert in quicktime but are you using markers to select the segment you want to play? If you are, maybe you are forgetting to delete what you don’t want. I dunno.

  62. lemonade, yes i’m using the markers to select the area, copying that area, opening a new movie, pasting the selection and saving the cut movie. i’m going to try a few things today to see if anything changes.

  63. I’ve been watching some of them already on You Tube — This promises to be a fantastic contest!! Can’t wait to see the 20 finalists. :)

  64. Not an entry here, but he’s a little blooper reel from my recording. My cousin was recording me and we got a case of the giggles on the last one we did. Some of it got deleted, but the ones that were left I put into this clip-

  65. Sorry for the stupid question…but, 20 finalists: does that mean the top 20 people or top 20 individual videos?

    [from tanster: top 20 videos]

  66. Tanster, just want to thank you for going through all of these! I hope I can speak for everyone saying I had a lot of fun making mine, and I hope you have fun watching them. Thanks for being so dedicated to all The Office fans, and helping with this contest!

    [from tanster: you’re welcome. i am having a blast watching all of these!]

  67. I feel so silly, but it was fun to try. Thanks for running the contest, Tanster, and for all your hard work on the website!

    [from tanster: you’re welcome. glad you had fun!]

  68. Hey Tanster, will you at some point let us know what your favorites are?

    [from tanster: yes, hopefully after the contest is over!]

Comments are closed.