The Office: Chuffa and Hyphenates

Last year, I visited a modern comedy mecca: the studio where The Office is filmed. The Dunder-Mifflin offices look reasonably large on screen, but they’re actually very cramped in person (in contrast, when I visited the Mad Men sets, I found the offices of the Sterling Cooper advertising agency to be surprisingly sprawling and capacious). The glass windows throughout the office are all subtly raked to avoid light reflecting into the camera. The show’s parking lot also serves as the Dunder-Mifflin parking lot on the show (which now makes it difficult for me to imagine it as located in Scranton).

I spoke with many of the cast members and writers, but the resulting article in Rolling Stone focused on the three people doing double duty as members of the cast and the writing staff: Mindy Kaling, Paul Lieberstein, and B.J. Novak. (There was also comedy shop talk, including Kaling’s explanation of the term “chuffa.”) Lieberstein was modest and clearly uncomfortable with his recurring role; it was no surprise to me at the end of last season when he wrote himself out of the show’s cast.

The fifth season of the American version of The Office begins tomorrow night.

posted 24 September 2008 in Archives, Articles and tagged , , , , . no comments yet

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