Bobby Ray Shafer is known to all fans of The Office as the man, the myth, the legend – Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration!
He has done many interviews with us in the past (including this great interview on the KPonTV Podcast) and has always shared his insight to the show and others he has been on. We asked Bobby his thoughts on the end of The Office and he submitted this piece for us, exclusively here on TheTwoCents.
Yesterday I was auditioning for a new TV show. As I entered the room, the Casting Director, as is customary, introduced me to the assembled Production staff: “Bobby Ray Shafer.” The Executive Producer looked up and smiled and said: “Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration!” I smiled back and said: “Wait a minute, that’s my line!” And we all laughed. Little did I know in December, 2005 as I auditioned for the role of the refrigeration king of Scranton, PA, how it would all turn out; but then no-one could have foreseen the magical ride that was about to commence.
I don’t know anyone that likes to give eulogies — and it still feels hard to believe that it’s over (because it still feels like we’ve just started!), but all artistic endeavors, at some point, reach the two little words at the bottom of the page: “THE END.”
And so, now, have we, and the reflection begins. However, right now, it does feel like the athlete at the end of the game being interviewed by the sideline re-porter; still sweating and lost in the combat and giving clichéd answers about the contest just concluded. Later, those replies, would be much more detailed and precise, but immediately afterwards, one is not really sure what’s happened or how, only that it has.
We’ve shared so many great times and experiences and laughs and love that the only thing to say is: THANK YOU!
Then the Casting Director wanted to know if people on the street came up to me to talk about the show and I told her: “Absolutely! ‘Office’ fans are by far the best, loyal and most devoted fans in the world! Sometimes, I think they know more about it than we do.”
The fact is that THE OFFICE truly changed television forever; the way that it is shot, distributed, marketed and sold. But that’s commerce, and we are, after all, in the entertainment business (some might say: “the funny-biz”) and it’s truly been an honor and a privilege to have been a part of it. The show will live-on forever in syndication and DVD and Stanley will always love pretzel day, and Meredith will always love booze, and JAM, and Scott!, and Bob will always love Phyllis…
In the Ernest Hemingway short story: ‘THE BATTLER’, there’s a line that has always stuck with me: “He must get to somewhere.” Well, it looks like we did it. It looks like THE OFFICE got there. That’s what she said.