BySJ Crossley, writer at

It has been almost two years since The Office went off air. It is always sad to me when a series ends, we get so close to the characters and relate so much with their stories. It is a feeling comparable with moving away from one's family; you know they are still alive, but you still miss seeing them and whatever mess they have gotten themselves into.

I was watching my DVD's of [The Office](series:723298), with the audio commentary because I am the ultimate nerd. As I was listening some of the commentators would divulge a fact or issue from the set; some I have to admit I had to look up just to be sure it was true. I decided there might be some other die-hard Office fans out there who would appreciate some of the facts I discovered!

1. True, not everyone likes to work with their spouses, but as actors it seems like it could be fun. Like public role playing! Steve Carell is in fact married to Nancy (Wall) Carell, who played Carol, Michael Scott’s short-lived girlfriend and realtor.

And Jenna Fischer’s (then fiance) husband Lee Kirk also played a small role, as the Lactition specialist in “Delivery Part 2”, he studied breastfeeding pamphlets to sound more clinical and professional. 

2. The co-creators of The Office UK, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, had their hand in the franchise as well. Writing episodes such as “The Pilot”, and Season 3’s “The Convict”. And Directed Season 5’s “Customer Survey”.

3. In college Ed Helms was in an actual acapella group. The Oberlin Obertones! I would kill to find a video of that!!

4. Mindy Kaling began working as an intern on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, but according to Kaling she was more interested in stalking Conan rather than making copies or getting his coffee.

B. J. Novak’s career started when he worked alongside Ashton Kutcher on MTV’s Punk’d! I used to watch Punk’d when my parent’s weren’t home (they weren’t fans of me watching “garbage’), but I have to admit I was mostly staring at Ashton’s pretty face.

5. Angela Kinsey, who plays Angela Martin, auditioned for the role of Darcy Sears in Varsity Blues. Kinsley plaid the role of Angela so well that picturing her covered in whipped creme is extremely comical to me, though I’m sure Dwight wouldn’t protest!

6. Creed Bratton has actually played himself in several small productions BEFORE landing the role as himself in The Office (With Six You Get Eggroll). Which, let’s be honest, he was BORN to play! When I was listening to the audio commentaries Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin on the show) mentions how strange Bratton really is, as well as how surprisingly good shape he is in!

(Jenna Fischer played a small role in That 70’s Show! Just an extra little tidbit for you readers)

7. Phillys Smith, AKA Phillys Vance, was a burlesque dancer in her younger years. Somehow, knowing that, made any scene where she is breaking it down all the more special!

8. Some of the writers on the show were regular actors as well. B.J. Novak, character Ryan Howard, Mindy Kaling, as Kelly Kapoor, and Paul Lieberstein, who played the sullen monotone HR rep Toby Flenderson, were all hired as writers, but ended up being the best choice for the characters. Even co-creator Michael Schur made a few appearances as Mose, Dwight Schroot’s odd and quiet cousin. Some of the writers relished in the spotlight, Mindy Kaling for example, while others preferred their time behind the camera; Paul Lieberstein had to be fitted with his own mic during several episodes because he was so quiet.

Steve Carell also did his part and wrote Season 2’s “Casino Night” and Season 4’s “Survivor Man”. (Carell won a Writers Guild of America award for “Casino Night”.) And the co-creators of The Office UK Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant wrote Season 3’s “The Convict”.

9. Writers were not the only ones doing double duty. Several actors also directed a few episodes.

Steve Carell directed Season 5’s “Broke”, Season 6’s “Secretary’s Day” and Season 7’s “Garage Sale”.

Rainn Wilson, known best as his character Dwight Schroot, directed Season 6’s “The Coverup”, Season 7’s “Classy Christmas” and Season 8’s “Get The Girl”.

John Krasinski took the reins in a few episodes, such as Season 6’s “Sabre”, Season 8’s “Lotto” and Season 9 “The Boat”

Ed Helms directed two episodes in Season 8 as well, “Christmas Wishes” and “Welcome Party”, which I found surprising but I also only know him by the characters he plays. I bet he was a fun director though!

Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak and Paul Lieberstein all must have been working triple over-time; writing, acting AND directing. Kaling directed Season 6’s “Body Language” and Season 7’s “Michael’s Last Dundies” (one of the episodes that makes me cry no matter how many times I have seen it.)B. J. Novak directed Season 6’s “Scott’s Tot’s”, Season 7’s “The Seminar” and Season 8’s “The List”, “Trivia” AND “Free Family Portrait Studio”. Paul Lieberstein, who must have been working nonstop, directed 6 episodes, such as Season 5’s “Two Weeks” and Season 6’s “Gossip” and “Whistleblower”.

Also, Bryan Cranston directed Season 9’s “Work Bus”. BRYAN CRANSTON! DOES THAT BLOW ANYONE ELSE’S MIND!?

(And, just an extra tidbit Charles McDougall, who directed some of my favorite Sex and the City episodes, directed 7 episodes including Season 2’s “Conflict Resolution” and Season 9’s “Dwight Christmas”. Just in case anyone else out there finds that interesting.)

10. My favorite fact! And don’t ask me why it is my favorite, because I have no real answer. Andy Buckley, known in this context as David Wallace, was actually a partner in an investment group and works at Merryl Lynch! His audition was almost a joke, not really believing he would get a part. Then even after he got the role, he continued his ‘regular’ job. He was basically moonlighting as an actor! He would take time off, or during a ‘break’ and go in to read lines as David Wallace. (I always knew that his character felt very genuine!)


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