Andy Greene literally wrote the book on The Office. His book The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History is released today! Vulture has an excerpt from the book telling the behind-the-scenes story of "Stress Relief," the two-part "fire drill" episode. Here's a snip:
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Ben Silverman [producer]: The fire drill was insanity. Greg and I talked about it and were like, “Okay, let’s make this one hundred percent like a movie, like a stunt. When it happens, how do people not change the channel?”
Kate Flannery, actor: That scene was a big deal. It was so fun, but I also knew that it was expensive, so it’s like, “Don’t fuck this up.” It was definitely like a little nerve-wracking because you just didn’t want to be the one that messed it up for everybody else.
Anthony Farrell, writer: Greg was like, “It’s the Super Bowl episode. We need it to be big and crazy and wild and this is the first thing they’re gonna see, so we want people to stick around.” He said to me and [fellow writer] Ryan Koh and some of the writers’ assistants, “You guys work on this cold open.” We knew it would start with Dwight setting off the fire alarm and Greg was in a place where he was like, “We need it to be bigger and crazier.” So we just started adding all sorts of crazy shit happening with the mayhem and the melee, like them using the photocopier as a battering ram and cats falling out of the ceiling.