The 2007 William S. Paley Television Festival continued Friday night with maybe the fest's biggest panel ever: the ginormous and ginormously talented cast and crew of NBC's The Office. My Future Husband John Krasinski did not attend (sniff), perhaps because Jim was off getting his ass kicked by Roy (actually, he was unable to attend because of the jam-packed shooting schedule on his upcoming George Clooney-directed feature Leatherheads), but that aside, the night was spectacular. A win-win-win, as Michael would call it!

Check out video from the event (to your right!), and read on for all sorts of juicy details revealed during the panel:

Questions Will Be Answered—By You!  Because executive producer Greg Daniels is awesome, he brought trivia questions and prizes for the audience. The prizes are gone, but the trivia questions remain. Test yourself and see how you would do. (The answers are at the bottom of this item!)

  1. What was Andy Bernard's Call of Duty name?
  2. What is Michael Scott's favorite sandwich?
  3. What was Dwight's birthday present to Michael?
  4. What was Karen's screenname?
  5. What was the name of Michael's screenplay?
  6. What does the framed certificate behind Michael's desk say?

The Inter-Office Romance That Dare Not Speak Its Name:  Steve Carell and Oscar Nuñez totally made out onstage. Seriously!

Talk turned to the unscripted kiss between Michael Scott and Oscar Martinez in the episode "Gay Witch Hunt," and at Steve's initiation, he and Oscar graciously reenacted it for us. (Hot!)

Paul Lieberstein (a writer for the show, who also plays long-suffering HR guy Toby Flenderson) told us, "What was in the script was that Michael, he would kiss Oscar on the cheek. And we did several takes of that, and then once, Steve doesn't let Oscar turn away. And he gets closer, and as actors, we're in the scene acting, watching, and he gets closer and closer, and oh, it gets so creepy!"

Oscar chimed in, "There reached a point where he just went too far, and I just went, This a-hole! And I just went, Aw, yeah, it's happening..."

Of Doofuses We Have Known (and Loved):  The moderator wanted to know, "Steve, you've played a lot of doofuses. What makes Michael Scott special in the pantheon of doofuses?"

Steve Carell, who is clearly as smart as he is funny, said, "Something actually Ricky [Gervais] said about his character, and I think it applies to Michael Scott, too, is that if you don't know a Michael Scott, that means you are Michael Scott. No, it's really fun to play—obviously, because he can pretty much get away with saying anything, and the way that the writers have created the dialogue, he can say the most incredibly offensive things. And yet he, in and of himself, I don't think, is an offensive person...I think, at least the way I feel about the character, he has a decent heart, he's a decent person, and he's just trying his best."

Dwight Is Only Following Orders:  Rainn Wilson—who could not possibly be more awesome—said of his infamous character, Dwight K. Schrute, "I remember saying early on to Greg, I just want to be careful that Dwight is not like this annoying villain. And Greg sent me this, like, page-long 'Ode to Dwight,' describing how he viewed [Dwight's] role in The Office—and I should really find [the ode] somewhere and put it on the Internet. He's talking about how Dwight has this adolescent love of hierarchies, and that's always stuck with me. So, I don't see Dwight as angry at the system. I see him just loving the system...He would have made an excellent Nazi."

Now That's Scrantonicity:  Why is the show situated in Scranton, Pennsylvania, aka the Electric City, and what does it mean for the inner workings of the show, which is filmed in Los Angeles?

According to Greg Daniels, "We have a deck of playing cards that has all sorts of Scranton sites on it, and sometimes when we're looking for ideas, we deal each other cards, and we'll go, Oh, the Coal Mining Museum. But I think the artistic point of it is just to make it specific, so that it feels more realistic and it's part of the whole faux-documentary aspect."

Per Rainn Wilson, "They love us [in Scranton]. They want us to visit. I did a little appearance at the Mall at Steamtown, and I tell you, it was extraordinary. I was driven around the city of Scranton in a stretch Hummer by the mayor. I felt like Justin Timberlake...I was made an honorary police officer of the city of Scranton and, not to be outdone, I was [also] made an honorary mall security guard."

Rashida Is a Jam Fan!  When asked what it was like stepping between Jim and Pam, a couple with as devoted a fan following as has ever been, Rashida Jones, aka Karen Filippelli, said, "I was a huge fan of the show before I was on it, and like, I was rooting for Pam and Jim! It put me in a weird position, but because the writers are so good, they made me likeable—I'm a horrible person in real life! [Really,] the fact that anyone is rooting for me at all makes me so happy."

Memos from the Desk of The Office:

  • Leslie David Baker, who plays the unflappable Stanley Hudson, told us working with his real-life colleagues is a pleasure, as opposed to his experiences at certain past jobs. "[The group on The Office] is such a good group of people to work with. You know, I've worked in offices before, and you know how you get to work in the morning and you look around at the people who are there, and you're like, 'Damn. Nobody died on the way here.' "
  • If you've ever wondered what Creed actually does in the Scranton branch of Dunder-Mifflin Inc., wonder no more. Creed Bratton filled us in: "My [job] is quality assurance. People call in and ask about the quality of the paper, and I assure them that it's good."
  • The episode "Labor Negotiations," wherein warehouse worker Darryl asks Michael for a raise, is going to be supersized, and this season's finale will be an hour long.
  • When asked if the "documentary" would ever emerge, either as an episode or as a feature film, executive producer Greg Daniels said, "Not as long as we can have ideas without seeing the documentary. As soon as that runs dry, then you can see the documentary."
  • Why are the show's writers and producers so encouraging of improvisation by the cast? Well, according to Daniels, "The long-range plan is to have them do it all by themselves."

Sounds like a plan to me!

Answers:  1. Here Comes Treble  2. Tomato, ketchup and bologna  3. It was a hockey jersey, and on the back were the words "From Dwight"  4. KarentheJimSlayer  5. Threat Level: Midnight  6. A certificate of authenticity for a "Seyko" watch 

—Additional reporting by Jennifer Godwin

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