March 13, 2012

Who Dat Ninja? - Irene on The Office

Welcome to the first installment of our newest recurring segment called "Who Dat Ninja?".  "Who Dat Ninja?", which derives its name from the popular Tracy Jordan film, will look into an actor or actress who makes a small guest appearance on a TV show, and we figure out who they are.  ("Who Dat Ninja?" is essentially the same as "Sitcom Moms & Dads", except that they're not playing moms or dads).

Today, we look at Georgia Engel, the little old lady named Irene who has appeared in the last few episodes of The Office as Erin's new friend and employer.

But who is this random old lady?  What has she been in before The Office?  It's time we ask the question, WHO DAT NINJA?

Decades before The Office, back in the 1970's, Georgia Engel starred on Mary Tyler Moore as Georgette, the soft-spoken girlfriend and (spoiler alert) eventual wife of the loud and brass newsman, Ted Baxter.  She became a popular character on the show, and even earned herself two Emmy award nominations for the role.  Here's the beginning of an episode which prominently features Engel's character of Georgette.  (Georgette enters at the 2:15 mark)

More recently, Georgia Engel  appeared on Everybody Loves Raymond as Robert's mother-in-law (Amy's mother) Pat MacDoogle.  Here's a nice little compilation video I found on YouTube of the best of Georgia Engel as Pat MacDoogle on Everybody Loves Raymond:

Lastly, while Georgia Engel is primarily known for her work on television, she has also appeared on the stage.  I had the pleasure of seeing her live on Broadway in the musical The Drowsy Chaperone.  

And that's Georgia Engel, the little old lady on The Office.  Tune in next time when we'll find take a guest actor or actress and ask the question, "Who Dat Ninja?"

So we were sitting around, watching an old episode of the classic Nicktoon Hey Arnold! on Teenick (part of the 90's Are All That block), when Anna recognized that unmistakable voice coming from the show.  "Hey, isn't that Georgette from Mary Tyler Moore?"  Turns out it was.  Georgia Engel voices the old lady with pink hair, a peg leg, and one eyebrow who mistakenly took Arnold's bag of money.  What are the odds that particular episode came on tonight, the day I posted a "Who Dat Ninja?" on Georgia Engel?  Anyway, here is the full (11 minute) episode entitled "Bag of Money" which features the voice of Georgia Engel.  Her character first appears around the 2:00 mark, and then again around the 9:30 mark.

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