The slow train from Philly is finally approaching the 15th anniversary of The Office, a milestone that has encouraged fictional Dunder Mifflin foes and real-life best friends, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, to celebrate in great style: a new podcast, which will definitely help you feel God in any restaurant chain of your choosing. Titled Office Ladies and distributed by Earwolf, the podcast features the BFFs fondly reminiscing episode-by-episode about their time on the sitcom, in case you, like us, have about a thousand lingering questions about Pam’s hair evolution and/or the death of Sprinkles the cat. (The debut episode is out on October 16.) Last week, the giggly duo carved out some time to speak with Vulture over the phone, where they were eager to confirm that, yes, they’d very much love to do an Office reunion. You listening, NBC executives?
With the launch of your podcast, it’ll now be 14 years after the debut of the show. What do you think Pam and Angela are up to in this glorious year of 2019?
Angela Kinsey: I would love it if Angela and Dwight were running a crappy bed and breakfast on the beet farm with Mose as the idiot valet. I hope Angela and Dwight are happy wherever they are. I like to think they made a lot more Schrutes. They’re somewhere being their annoying selves in love.
Jenna Fischer: I like to think Pam and Jim are living a perfectly ordinary life, happily married and raising their children. I hope Pam is expressing herself somehow artistically — that would be my big dream for her. That she found a job or a way to keep doing her art. Because that was really coming out at the end of the show, but we never get to see it fully realized. So if I ever got to revisit Pam, that would be my first question: Is she still doing murals? Does she have an Etsy shop?
I imagine you both have been inundated with Office-revisiting ideas in various mediums since its end. Can you speak to some of the “bad” ideas you’ve fielded, and why this podcast proved to be the ideal time to reflect on the show?
JF: I wish I had a good story for you about a weird idea, but I really don’t have anything like that. Nobody has pitched me a particularly bad thing.
AK: Same for me. I think the podcast came along at a perfect time because of the 15th anniversary. Jenna and I were hanging out at my house, and I was renovating my guest room and home-office area — my husband put a desk in the corner, and I had three boxes full of photos and memorabilia from The Office on top of it. Jenna likes to joke I’m a bit of a hoarder, but I like to say I’m a scrapbooker just without the scrapbooks. [Laughs.] We became really nostalgic for the show by hanging out and looking through all of the boxes of stuff, so I said to her I really wanted to rewatch the show fully. I hadn’t done that since we made the show, and neither did Jenna, so we collectively had this Why don’t we do this? moment. Why not? It’s the anniversary, so let’s reminisce and share the memories with the fans.
JF: We’re talkers!
AK: We’re chatty!
JF: The podcast medium is perfect for our personalities.
Do you recall what your first meeting and first impressions of each other were like?
JF: My first impression of Angela was that she was very tiny and wouldn’t stop talking.
AK: I was a tiny chatterbox in her ear. [Laughs.] Jenna was so nice, and she was the closest female that I was sitting next to. I was in the corner with Oscar [Nunez] and Brian [Baumgartner], but I could just stand up and pop over and talk to Jenna. I’d get up on my tippy-toes and be like, “Jenna, hellooooooo.”
JF: She was literally the closest person to my desk. I was very lonely at reception. People would often stand in front of me and have conversations, but not talk to me! It would drive me crazy. When I was a real receptionist when I first moved to Los Angeles it would drive me crazy. And then it happened to me again fictionally! It just never ended. I remember being so happy she was right over that partition and was always someone I could talk with.
AK: We would talk all day long. Then we would get in our cars and continue our conversation and talk the whole car ride home.
JF: That’s when we could say all the stuff we couldn’t say on set. Talkin’ gossip that you didn’t want people to overhear. [Laughs.]
AK: Rainn Wilson one time watched us chitchat in-between scenes — we talked on the entire walk back to our trailers, then we talked during our lunch together, then we talked all the way to hair and makeup, then we talked while back on set, and then we talked all the way to our cars at the end of the day. Rainn was like, “What else could you possibly talk about?! You guys have been literally talking the entire day!” That was our defining friendship moment for me.
Did your close friendship ever influence how Pam and Angela were written for the show? The duo were never super chummy with each other, per se, but their relationship softened throughout the seasons, which I liked.
JF: Angela and I had a problem. Every time we had a scene together, we wouldn’t be able to stop laughing.
AK: Even at the most basic sentences, we would crack up.
JF: It was bad. [Laughs.] We would waste so much time laughing!
AK: There was one scene where I come over the partition and I ask Pam, “I need relationship advice, and since you’re always having relationship problems, give me some advice …” after the incident with Sprinkles the cat in the freezer. We couldn’t get through that scene. We were laughing so hard that the director was like, “Uh, you know what, I’m gonna give you guys a minute, let’s stop for a break.” The cast was turning on us!
JF: There was that pregnant story line, too, where a potential friendship was teased.
AK: Our characters tried to bond over their pregnancies, but the ways they approached their pregnancies was so different. It was funny naming our babies the same name.
JF: The writers knew we were best friends in real life, and they had fun with the fact that our characters didn’t get along.
AK: Even if we laughed through our scenes and caused delays, NBC would always pair us up for press. They knew we were a great team.
Do you two use Office GIFs a lot with family and friends? Or have any go-tos within your online lexicon that aren’t necessarily of your characters? I’m honestly shocked if a day goes by and I don’t see an Office GIF on social media — they’re everywhere.
JF: I don’t GIF myself to others, but I’ve definitely been GIF’ed. A loooooot.
AK: Yup, same with me. I’m in a thread chain with a lot of family members, and we’re all very close. One of my cousins loves texting me Office GIFs, so I send him a lot in return.
JF: My two favorite Pam GIFs are her going, “Yup” and “I just want to eat.”
Is there an Office text chain for the entire cast?
JF: The Office cast sadly isn’t GIF’ing each other. [Laughs.] There’s not a set text chain or anything, but we all truly text each other all the time.
AK: I have so many mini chains. I have an accounting text thread, just with Oscar and Brian. There’s one with Jenna and Kate. I text Phyllis Smith a lot. Rainn also texts us a lot.
Okay, I have some specific Office questions I’d love to ask. What would you say was the best party in the Party Planning Committee’s history?
JF: You have to go with the Christmas episodes. The Christmas parties are iconic. The yankee swap one was pretty amazing.
AK: Ah yes, the party where I shriek and stomp on ornaments. Any of the Christmas parties are my pick. And the Benjamin Franklin bachelorette party.
Who do you think had the better love story: Pam and Jim, or Angela and Dwight?
AK: Are you trying to start a fight? [Laughs.] I’m a huge “Jam” fan. I wanted them to figure their stuff out and find one another and be together.
JF: But there’s something so satisfying about two oddballs finding their match.
AK: Jim and Pam were like steak, and Angela and Dwight were the zesty sauce on the side.
What episode was hardest not to break while filming: “Dinner Party” or “Booze Cruise”?
JF: “Dinner Party.”
AK: Hands down, in the history of the show.
JF: When Steve Carrell pushes that tiny television screen onto his wall, when he’s explaining how he mounted it, tears were streaming down my face. Speaking of text friends, I had a trailer a couple of years ago for a project — and a teeny, tiny flat-screen was mounted onto the wall. The size of a small computer monitor. I took a photo and sent it to everybody who was in that episode, the memories flooded back. Jan with the candles? And Hunter’s song?
AK: When Melora Hardin turns her back to us to play the song, and she’s swaying around, I’m honestly still surprised there was a usable take from all of the hysterical laughing we did.
JF: And when Dwight’s babysitter shows up. It was one too many things. I truly couldn’t control myself.
What would you tell fans who are mourning the show’s impending removal from Netflix?
AK: I hope it finds a nice new home at NBC streaming where fans can still watch it. I understand why fans are upset it’s moving off Netflix. I get it. I’d say I’m sorry, and I hope NBC gives the show an easy transition. And if anyone at NBC is reading this interview, they should do an Office reunion movie and have that launch their streaming service.
JF: That’s our big idea.
Ah, well, naturally a reunion status was going to be my final question, so I’m thrilled you two are interested in such a thing.
JF: Now that we’ve been rewatching it, it’s making me so nostalgic for the show …
AK: … and the people.
JF: Working with all those people. I want to be back in a room with them so badly. We want a reunion. We’d like a reunion special. We’d been tossing around ideas, but it’s ultimately not up to us. We don’t own this show. We can want it as much as the fans do, but it’s in the hands of … I don’t even know who it’s in the hands of.
AK: Newsflash: Jenna Fisher and Angela Kinsey aren’t in charge. But if they were, there would be a really fun, one-time reunion special.
JF: We’re doing our best! We’re working on it!