Tension underlies a wildly creative Halloween party at the offices of Scranton, Pa.’s, favorite paper company this Thursday on ‘The Office’ on NBC (9 p.m./8c). The tension, of course, is comedic, stemming from bumbling boss Michael Scott (Steve Carell) getting in a snit when he learns that an enterprising underling, Darryl Philbin (Craig Robinson), went over his head to present an innovative idea for increasing sales to Michael’s superiors.
Predictably, Michael’s sour attitude threatens to throw a wet blanket over the whole celebration until a frustrated Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling) speaks for everyone when she admonishes Michael: “Could you for once just let us enjoy a party instead of making it about all of your issues?” It’s a great moment in this special Halloween episode because it acknowledges how Michael’s immaturity has wrecked just about every party ever thrown in the six- (now seven-) season history of this storied sitcom.
What makes this week’s episode even more hilarious is that nearly every Dunder-Mifflin-ite is dressed flamboyantly for Halloween throughout the show, including regional director Gabe Lewis (Zach Woods), who conducts a serious meeting with Michael and Darryl while costumed as Lady Gaga. On Tuesday, co-stars Angela Kinsey (who plays Angela Martin) and Ellie Kemper (receptionist Erin Hannon) talked to Fancast about their own costumes – and their handsome guest-star, Timothy Olyphant, appearing in his second consecutive episode as the office’s new super-salesman.
So who decided how you would be costumed in the Halloween episode – you or the show’s writers?
Angela: That is all the writers. I had no idea what my costumes were going to be. I showed up for my wardrobe fitting and I was like, ‘You have got to be kidding me!’ [They had her dress as a penguin.]
Ellie: I also had a very sexy costume [actually, she was kidding – her “costume” consists solely of a grotesque monster mask]. I didn’t have any input on my costume and I’m really happy with what they came up with because I think it’s really funny. All the costumes are really, really good.
How do the costume choices they made for you two reflect your characters?
Angela: Oh, my God! That’s like saying, What type of tree do you think you are?
That’s my next question.
Angela: I don’t know! I start off as a penguin. I don’t know what that says about me, that I waddle around?
Does it surprise you that Halloween has become such a big thing in our lives? It’s become like the second Christmas.
Ellie: I don’t know if I’m surprised that it’s become such a big thing in our lives because it seems like a good way to make money.
Angela: You know what? I think as Americans, we enjoy a good party. We don’t play as much as other countries. We work hard and we don’t get a lot of vacation time. And I think when we get an opportunity to dress up and be silly, we’re all for it. I get why people are into it.
‘The Office’ will lose its boss after this season when Steve Carell leaves the show. What do you think of that and who do you think should take over as office manager?
Angela: If I had my way, I would love for them to promote from within. And whoever they promote can just run the company into the ground.
How have you two enjoyed working with Timothy Olyphant?
Angela: He has a story arc [so far lasting for just these two episodes, according to NBC]. He comes in for a little bit and he’s from Pam’s [Jenna Fischer] past and so he’s just, you know, he’s not the main course, he’s a little piece of seasoning.
Ellie: And a tasty piece of seasoning!