‘The Office’ stars B.J. Novak, Jenna Fischer, and Angela Kinsey revisit the cringe of ‘Scott’s Tots’

It’s a universally recognized fact among Office lovers: “Scott’s Tots” is cringeworthy as hell.

On the most recent episode of Stitcher’s Office Ladies podcast, former co-stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey chatted all concerning the painful Season 6 episode with director B.J. Novak, who was once additionally a creator at the display and starred as Ryan Howard.

In case you may have (understandably) blocked the basis of “Scott’s Tots” out of your thoughts, allow us to temporarily refresh. Ten years have handed since Michel made a massive promise to a bunch of 15 basic college scholars. Assuming he’d be wealthy at some point, he advised all of them he’d pay for his or her school tuition in the event that they graduated highschool. Welp, they are all graduating, and Michael can not in truth fund their schooling, so he has to damage the scoop to them. But do not be disturbed, he gives everybody lithium pc batteries to make up for it. AHH!!!! Just fascinated with it hurts.

“Scott’s Tots” was once in truth Novak’s directorial debut (excluding Office webinars), which made him an excellent individual to seem again on the entire flinch.

“Just so we get clear, did you bring me on to answer for ‘Scott’s Tots’? To apologize?” Novak requested to kick off the convo. His friends lightheartedly confident him they did not. They simply sought after to speak. But Fischer did ask if he knew on the time that he was once directing what would transform the cringiest episode of The Office.

“I had no idea. It seemed great. You know, I was assigned the script, loved it, and it was only much later…. I think it’s a sign of how deep into the show I was, or we all were, that we did not have a foot in the real world. Not that that was an unrealistic episode…that’s exactly what Michael would do. That’s exactly what Michael would feel,” Novak mentioned. “I also think that we can talk about it creatively. It makes a lot of sense to me. I don’t know if people are responding to — it seems like no one’s responding to it saying, ‘It’s a bad episode’ or ‘Michael wouldn’t do that.’ It’s more just like, ‘It’s so hard to watch.’ So it is consistent, I think, with the show.”

Novak defined that regardless that the episode is a tricky watch, the important thing to the tale was once that “Michael was so sure that he would be successful; that he could make this promise.”

“To me it’s not about the lie. It’s not about what ended up being a lie or a broken promise,” Novak defined. “It’s Michael — he got carried away with his generosity, with his belief in himself. I mean, maybe this is what people cringe about. It’s a very, very lovable version of Michael Scott, as well as a heartbreaking version of Michael Scott. And it’s sort of the whole series in an incredibly distilled, uncomfortable way from the Michael Scott point of view when you look at it like that.”

B.J. Novak, Prince of Darkness?

While “Scott’s Tots” was once written by way of Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, Novak did have an enormous position as director, and Fischer famous that he additionally wrote one of the display’s different cringiest episodes, together with “Prince Family Paper,” “Diversity Day,” “Sexual Harassment,” and “Chair Model.” The 3 recalled the latter episode, by which Michael falls in love with a chair style in {a magazine} simplest to find she’s useless. He and Dwight then move to the lady’s grave to pay their respects and mourn her loss.

“Paul Lieberstein wrote a lot. I love that episode. Paul is the source of the darkness on that one,” Novak defined. “And look, I wrote a lot of very joyous stuff, too. I wrote a lot of the Jim and Pam. I wrote ‘Threat Level Midnight,’ which is a very joyful episode. So I’m not — it’s not like I’m the Prince of Darkness on this show. And also, look, there were what? How many hundred episodes? I worked on like more than half of them. So it’s not…. I’m not just this dark figure. I’m proud of it.”

Kinsey then joked that the Mashable article that will pop out after this episode must be titled “B.J. Novak, Prince of Darkness of The Office.” It’s a surprising headline, however we had to get “Scott’s Tots” in there for seek functions. Plus, Novak’s admittedly much less darkish now, and regardless that he wrote a number of different darkish episodes, many do believe this to be the darkest. So he is spared the identify. It turns out he is extra just like the Temp of Darkness. 😏

“I think the dark is important, and I remember after Season 1, which was six episodes, and I think all of them ended pretty darkly, right? I mean, we had that nice moment at the end of ‘Diversity Day,’ but the pilot, ‘Hot Girl,’ ‘Healthcare’ — extremely dark,” Novak mentioned. “‘Office Olympics’ and ‘Basketball’ maybe were a little more positive endings. But we had sort of a big group meeting that Greg [Daniels, show runner] led about, ‘OK, what are we going to do differently in Season 2?’ And there’s a lot different. And one of [the things] was three out of four endings should be positive. And then one is just for us, meaning Paul. He was like, ‘We’re not going to totally sell out.’ But the British [version] had ended dark every time, more or less, and we had been ending dark every time, more or less. And so I guess ‘Scott’s Tots’ was definitely one of those [ones for us].”

Though Novak concurs that the episode is “very difficult,” he regards Stupnitsky and Eisenberg as “two of the most brilliant writers” and “the backbone of the show.” He additionally feels “Scott’s Tots” is a fascinating, deep take a look at Michael Scott’s natural motivations.

“He is such a believer, you know? And so his belief got ahead of him. And this is by far, you know…this is the biggest consequence of all,” Novak mentioned. He then references this Michael quote from the episode: “I’ve made some empty promises in my life, but hands down, that was the most generous.”

“That is sort of this incredible distillation of why we love Michael so much and why he’s made everyone’s life so impossibly difficult, which is sort of the heart and the comedy of the series. But it’s not usually that intense, you know?” he mentioned. 

Be positive to take a look at the entire podcast episode to listen to extra behind-the-scenes tales about filming the episode, “Scott’s Tots,” in conjunction with directing recommendation, appearing recommendation, and information on Novak’s new movie, Vengeance.

You can circulate episodes of The Office on Peacock and practice in conjunction with the podcast each week on EarwolfApple Podcasts, or Stitcher.

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