Not many things besides coffee and staring at Ian Somerhalder's smoldering gaze can perk up our morning. We're cranky and we're not afraid to show it. But stumbling across this website put a little pepper in our a.m. routine, and we are so grateful.
The Office Time Machine, created by a man named Joe Sabia, is a website solely dedicated to every culture (pop and otherwise) reference from NBC's beloved comedy The Office. All you have to do is enter a year in the box at the top of the website and bam! A whole YouTube compilation of any Office reference from that year will start to play. It's brilliant!
For example, if you enter "1989", you'll get Dwight (Rainn Wilson) singing his "We Didn't Start the Fire" parody to Ryan (B.J. Novak), a song which was released in 1989. And if you select "1955," you'll see Michael Scott (Steve Carell) telling Jim (John Krasinski) that Gumby, who made his TV debut in 1955, has a better body than he does.
But as entertaining and addicting as this site is, Joe created it for a bigger purpose than just showcasing Office clips.
"I created this project to advocate for copyright reform and highlight the importance of fair use in protecting creators and their art," he writes on his website. "To prove culture is not only everywhere, but that certain references to films, songs, and works of art are critical for our collective understanding of comedy and to the importance of relating to content, I found every cultural, real-life reference from every episode of The Office. This Time Machine is intended to show how much we rely on culture. So let artists bang it out without fear of being sued. (...that's what she said)."
He even included references from the B.C. era and a funny little montage pops up if you type in a date from the future. Plus, Joe sees this as a collaborative project, and he not only urges people to point out any mistakes, but there is a video at the bottom of the page with references that Joe still needs help with.
Here are some montages we pulled from the site, but we urge you to spend some time clicking around on The Office Time Machine. But be warned, you will be there much longer than a couple of minutes. Guaranteed.
1000 B.C.-3500 B.C.:
(H/T Jon Weisman)