In 2007, many fanatics of the very young The Office converged on Scranton, PA to celebrate their favorite show. I was very lucky to have been there both as a reporter and as a fan. I’m going to share some memories in old blog posts from that time.
Want to know what the cast was thinking 6 years ago? Check it out!
An enormous crowd was spilling into the University of Scranton’s gymnasium. We were at the very end of this throng and I didn’t know how far away we would be sitting. Lord beer me strength if I need to sit in the back of this place.
One glance at my Corporate ID and I’m led to the front seats. We end us third row, just off center of the stage. We are about an hour away from the cast arriving and are treated to the song stylings of the Univ of Scranton Jazz Ensemble. They did a great job of playing upbeat songs while we all waited.
Finally the magic hour of 5pm hits and the large jumbo tron goes into the video that the people in Scranton made and sent to Greg Daniels and company at The Office to convince them to come. Big applause. However the real treat was a 10 minute video clip of bloopers from this current season! I’m already excited for the season 4 DVD now!
Finally Matt Smith and the local Scranton Weather man take to the stage to introduce us to our cast! Andy Buckley (CFO David Wallace) leads the charge with his hand up in the air. He’s followed by Bobby Ray Shafer (Bob Vance), Phyllis Smith (Phyllis), Creed Bratton (Creed), Oscar Nunez (Oscar), Kate Flannery (Meredith), Craig Robinson (Darryl), Mindy Kaling (Kelly), Leslie David Baker (Stanley), Melora Hardin (Jan), Brian Baumgartner (Kevin), Angela Kinsey (Angela), Ed Helms (Andy) and Greg Daniels (Executive Producer).
The cast spoke for almost 2 hours. Questions were pre-submitted via the internet and were read to the cast, and then they opened it up to the fans in the house to ask questions.
Here are some great questions and answers we got:
– Greg Daniels stated that Angela is probably least like her character while Mindy chimed in that BJ was most like Ryan!
– Ed feels that The Office is different than the Daily Show because he gets to play a character, not just a super swarmy version of himself.
– Angela was the first to get “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID” yelled at her by the fans AND cast when she said preparing to be mean as Angela is “pretty hard”. TWSS was mentioned a ton of times over the course of the panel.
– Brian was asked to recreate the Kool-Aid Man facial expression and he complied.
– Melora enjoys the dance she gets to do between domestic Jan and vixen Jan. She said the character has a lot of meat to sink her teeth into. That’s what she said!
– Leslie was seen smiling ear to ear over the entire course of the Convention. He’s one of the happiest people I’ve ever seen. A fan asked how he keeps so straight faced as Stanley and Leslie replied that he does a lot of biting his tongue to keep from cracking up. He thinks about dead pets and such.
– Mindy can’t pick between Writing and Acting, likening it to having to choose which parent you want to go with after a divorce. She said that both are “Awesome”.
– Kate didn’t think she could top that and Oscar said – WATCH! He leaned over to move in for a kiss with a very confused Creed. He stopped and pointed at the crowd as if to say “Don’t start!” Kate said she believes one of Meredith’s ex husbands was a serial killer or something dark like that. She also loved that everyone in Scranton thought she was beautiful, and I must say, she really is in person!
– Creed was asked how closely related he is with his character on the show. Creed launched into a character story involving Ed Truck, bus rides to Scranton in the 60s, etc. Ed mentioned that Creed doesn’t really know it’s a TV show at all.
– Phyllis thanks all the cast members she read with as a casting director in helping to cultivate her skills as an actress.
– Bobby believes that Bob Vance should get Phyllis an Escalade with spinners for their anniversary that’s coming up! Poor Bobby had lost his voice and had to whisper his answers to Phyllis for the rest of the time.
– All smiles, Andy Buckely was fast becoming a crowd favorite as chants of CFO CFO were erupting from the crowd whenever he was asked a question.
– A fan asked Greg how close MASH is to the Office and he answered, not at all. Angela said that some have compared Dwight and Angela to Frank Burns and Hotlips from MASH however.
– Ed and Brian went to high school together.
– Brian doesn’t know how to play the drums and was taught by Paul Lieberstein (Toby) how to for the Phyllis’s Wedding episode.
– Mindy likens to the Kelly of recent seasons to a mallrat.
– Craig answered his next question by kissing Mindy again.
– Kate was so happy to be able to do her own stunt of jumping on Michael’s car in the Fun Run episode. Kent Zbornak did it first to prove to Kate it would be ok.
– Ed is asked to sing Rainbow Connection and he does. Then mentioned that it should really be answered by Craig and Mindy kissing – and they do again. To which Mindy said Rid it dit di doo!(Watch Video)
– Ed was prompted by the cast to do Tom Brokaw and Al Gore impressions. They were spot on.
– Melora was asked how they achieved Jan’s new breasts and Melora said it’s a strap on – THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID! Ed followed up with, yes, that is what she said, she just said it.
– Mindy said that The Injury is the favorite episode she’s written.
– Phyllis has a broken ankle and according to Melora, Phyllis used to be a professional dancer.
– The audience asked Ed to sing Take A Chance on Me. One of the people on the phone in the episode was John Michael Higgins (Best in Show, The Breakup, etc). Ed did sing Take A Chance and the cast backed him up. (Watch Video)
– Ed was asked to finish “Give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that…” Ed answered Football Cream. Then the girl said she brought him a KitKat bar and Ed said that was nice but he didn’t know what that had to do with anything. The man is very quick on his feet with the funny. Actually, they all were.
– Greg Daniels was friends with people named Jim Halpert and Andy Bernard in high school. He also blamed being lazy for using the actors names for their characters (i.e. Angela, Oscar, Creed).
– Legend states a UFO landed in Carbondale, the next town over. Look for this to be mentioned in a future Dwight storyline. They all seemed intrigued about his.
– Craig (after kissing Mindy a last time until she mentioned her boyfriend was somewhere in the audience) said that they all are in awe of how they are being treated this weekend. He said it was “beautiful” and “overwhelming”.
– Melora called this event surreal and Leslie said it was historical and ground breaking. Angela said nothing will ever compare with this. Ed called it Dawesome.
This was one of the greatest moments of the entire Convention. The cast enjoyed being up there with each other as much as we enjoyed watching them. They were all laughing all the time. Just like us. I’m SURE it will be on a future DVD!
Back to the hotel to change yet again. All this wasn’t even CLOSE to the end of the day! But that’s another story…