Monday, April 09, 2018

The Dinner Party: An Oral History

The Office is great in that I started off loving it, and as time goes on I keep finding it even funnier. Meanwhile, I've stated several times over the years that I rarely like it when a show goes outside it normal set (i.e. if I'm watching Cheers I want them in the bar), and yet The Dinner Party is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) episodes of The Office. And because we're in a golden age of tv and oral history, Rolling Stone has put together an oral history of the episode. A few of my faves:
Gene Stupnitsky (co-writer): Most scripts get rewritten, and I think this was the only one ever done that didn't. The only thing that was changed was that in our first draft Jan hits the neighbor's dog and kills it on purpose.
Beth Grant (Melvina, Dwight’s former babysitter): I had just done No Country for Old Men and I'd worked with Greg Daniels on King of the Hill. When the strike ended, he called me and said, "We want you to play Rainn Wilson's date and former babysitter." I was like, "Oh, my God, from the beet farm?" 

John Krasinski (Jim Halpert): One of the funniest things I've witnessed in my life was Steve showing us that flatscreen TV and saying, "When . . . when people are over you can just do this" [pulling the screen out from the wall]. The TV only moved, like, a half an inch. Sometimes Steve would get frustrated when we couldn't keep it together because he didn't think he was as funny as we thought he was and also he's more professional than all of us. But on that one, he couldn't come back. There was something in the room there that was like an untamed animal, and we were just getting demolished by laughter.

Paul Feig (director): One of my favorite visual gags on that episode was that Dwight brings wine and wine glasses. I said, "He's gotta fill those wine glasses to the top. He's a guy that never drinks wine, so to him it's like a water glass." So the fact that those wine glasses are filled right to the top just makes me laugh so hard.
Enjoy! :)

No comments: