When The Office finally ceased trading, the world had completely fallen in love with Michael Scott, Pam, Jim, Dwight and the rest of the gang. Adapted from the Ricky Gervais show of the same name and given a more mainstream appeal, the show ran for nine seasons and captured millions of fans in that time. The sitcom had become such an institution that when it left the airwaves, it left audiences highly emotional.
What is perhaps even sweeter, however, is that the actors involved in the show also clearly found themselves a little taken aback by the show’s impact. No better is this illustrated than by revisiting the entire two-hour table read of the show’s finale.
Of course, if you still want to keep up to date with The Office, there are a few things you can do. You can follow John Krasinki’s Hollywood career or join Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey for their Office Ladies podcast. You could even read interviews with the cast and crew from Andy Greene’s book on the show The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s to get to grips with the entirety of the phenomenon. However, there is one more way too.
As well as streaming the hit series through Netflix, you can also languish in the myriad of behind-the-scenes extras that the show has delivered over the year, including this rare footage of the cast’s final table read for the show’s ultimate finale.
Table reads are commonplace in cinema and television. It sees the actors and producers sit around a table and read through the script, delivering the lines at half power and generally running through the rehearsal as a makeweight between the writing process and the delivery of the project. However, after spending nine seasons together, this table read is particularly emotional.
The video begins with Greg Daniels’ speech: “I want to make some last remarks,” Daniels starts. “Ten years ago, my agent gave me a VHS tape to watch, the British [version of The Office]. I showed it to my wife and said, ‘Do you think I should adapt this for the US?’ and she said absolutely not. Lucky for me, I didn’t listen. I’ve done not much else for ten years. This show has been my passion and my family.”
As Jenna Fischer delivers a final word as a “talking head”, the crew and cast are clearly shaken. As Fischer reads her line between stifled tears, the entire room deflates into a whirlwind of love and gratefulness.