May 9, 2013

Our Recap of The Office Wrap Party in Scranton!

office wrap party

Last Saturday we made the 2 hour drive to Scranton, Pennsylvania for The Office Wrap Party!  To mark the end of the show (the finale airs next Thursday!) thousands of fans flocked to the hometown of Dunder Mifflin joined by most of The Office cast and crew!  Here's our recap of the day!

We missed the Blogger's Breakfast and Behind the Scenes Panel in the morning and arrived in Scranton around 2:00 in time for the parade.  Each of the cast members sat on the back of an open car as it slowly drove down the street with fans cheering them on along the curb:

The crowd anxiously awaits the arrival of the cast members.

Andy Buckley (David Wallace) leads the pack wearing his "Suck It" sweat shirt.

Ellie Kemper (Erin) followed behind.

Craig Robinson (Daryl) waving to the crowd.

Creed's arrival is greeted with lots of cheers.

Responding to someone chanting "Take off your shirt!" Creed flashes the crowd.

Paul Lieberstein (Toby) flashing a smile that we rarely see on the show.

Kate Flannery (Meredith) left her car to walk amongst the fans.


Brain Baumgartner (Kevin)

Phyllis, up close and personal

A true Office fan recognizes Jennie "Tanster" Tan, who runs the best TV Fan Site ever, OfficeTally!  You might also recognize her from her cameo appearance in the Season 5 finale "Company Picnic" as a member of the soon-to-be disbanded Buffalo brach of Dunder Mifflin:

tanster company picnic

John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer (Jim and Pam) arrive!

Creator and Executive Producer of The Office attracts a much smaller crowd as he arrives in the car behind them.

Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute) ends the parade as the final cast member to arrive.

After the cars got to the end of the parade, the cast members got out and walked over the to stage.  As they approached the stage, they took lots of photos and gave autographs to the fans.  Unfortunately for me, while I was initially waiting by the area where they would walk by, I got bored waiting and went down the street to check out the parade, and after the parade had come through, there were so many people by the walking area that I never got close enough for a photo.  I probably could have handed them something to sign, but I didn't have anything with me.  I did buy an official Office Wrap Party t-shirt, but I had already changed into it, and wasn't close enough to have them sign the shirt while on my body (though many others were doing that).  Still, I got some great photos of them up close:

Greg Daniels signing autographs for fans.

Rainn telling everyone that Greg Daniels truly is the "World's Greatest Boss".

Jon signing autographs.

Jenna signing autographs.

Rainn signing a fan's US Airways ticket.  Rainn previously tweeted how mad he was at US Airways that their connecting flight left 10 minutes early and thus he and many other cast members had to rent cars and drive 2 hours to Scranton from Philly.

Once the whole cast made it to the stage, we were treated to a little concert!  The house band was The Scrantones, the band that played The Office theme.  The concert was very casual, with lots of cast members singing songs that they had sung on the show.  It really felt like watching an Office cast karaoke party.  To start off the show, The Scrantones played an extended version of The Office Theme:

Then The Scrantones performed "Werewolves of Scranton" (Office themed parody of "Werewolves of London":

Then Creed played some original songs including "The Rubber Tree".  Some people may not be aware that back in the 60's, Creed Bratton was actually a member of the popular folk rock band The Grass Roots known for their hit singles "Let's Live for Today" and "Midnight Confessions".  On the show, Creed actually talked about his past in The Grass Roots in a deleted scene that sadly never made it to air.  Check out a clip of Creed's performance of "The Rubber Tree" at the concert followed by the deleted scene from "Booze Cruise" where Creed talks about his rock star past with The Grass Roots:

Then Scrantonicity returned as Brian Baumgartner belted out "Roxanne":

Brian abandoned the song mid-way, but Oscar saved the song and really got into it:

To refresh your memory, Scrantonicity was Kevin's Police cover band.  They performed at Phyllis's wedding to Bob Vance (Vance Refrigeration), where he sang the first few seconds of "Roxanne".  Here's a weirdly edited clip from the episode, but you can catch Kevin's performance "Roxanne" starting at 3:29:

One of my personal favorite moments from the concert was when Andy Buckley performed a rousing rendition of his hit song "Suck It"!

Here's the original performance of "Suck It" from the Season 6 episode "Sabre".  The red-headed kid on drums, who Andy Buckley referenced above as "Owen Daniels", is actually Office creator Greg Daniel's son (who sadly wasn't at the party in Scranton).

Kate Flannery sang "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" (reworked as "Hit Me Mr. Michael Scott"), likely inspired by the classic scene where Michael hits Meredith with his car.

In case you want to watch Michael hit Meredith with his car again, here you go:

Jenna and Kate reprised "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" with Ellie and Phyllis.  Sadly, Kate did not wear a bald cap.

Here's the clip of Pam and Kate singing it the song from the Season 9 episode "Lice" (featuring bald Meredith):

The winner of OfficeTally's "The Office's Biggest Flan" contest performed his award winning Office rap:

And here's his award-winning video that got him there:

Rainn closed out the concert by thanking Greg Daniels and Paul Lieberstein for doing such a great job of running the show.  The Scrantones then played the cast off with "We Are The Champions" before ending with a reprise of The Office Theme:

Later that night was the big "Farewell Celebration" held at the PNC Field baseball stadium (home of the minor league baseball team The Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders).  While we waited for the cast to come out we were treated to an Office trivia game and some Office bloopers: 

Then the cast was announced one by one over the loudspeaker, as each cast member ran out of the dugout.  First out was Andy Buckley (David Wallace), who rounded the bases before pounding home plate.  He acted as the moderated for the Q&A with the cast:

He was then followed by the rest of the cast, including Kate Flannery (Meredith), Phyllis Smith (Phyllis), Jenna Fischer (Pam), and Brian Baumgartner (Kevin), who threw t-shirts into the stands as he made his entrance:

After all the remaining cast members who we saw earlier at the parade came out, the voice on the loudspeaker said, "Looks like there's an extra chair...ladies and gentleman, Mr. Michael Scott!"  Steve Carell then surprisingly walked out of the dugout to a standing ovation from the crowd and some of the loudest cheering I ever heard.  I was in such a state of shock that I couldn't get my phone out to record the moment, but luckily someone else did and posted it on YouTube:

After the cheering subsided, the cast sat down in front of home plate as Andy Buckley asked each of them questions about their experiences on the show:

Later, they opened it up to fan questions, as Andy and Rainn walked around with a microphone allowing fans to ask a question to their favorite cast member. While some good questions were asked, there were also some nauseating questions like "Can you all come over and sign my shirt?" or "It would be a dream come true to get a hug from Rainn Wilson".  After these questions the audience booed, which was quite amusing, though Rainn Wilson did actually give out two hugs to those who requested them.  The cast members also asked fans to perform some classic Office songs, such as "The Scarn" and "Lazy Scranton", as seen in this video:

Here's the original appearance of "Lazy Scranton" from the classic season 3 episode "The Merger":

The night was advertised as including a "possible sneak peak at the series finale".  While it certainly would have been exciting to get an early glimpse at the final episode of the show, I had mixed feelings about it since the the second to last episode hadn't aired yet, and thus we'd be seeing the last few episodes out of order which would spoil some of the major story lines.  Fortunately, they decided not to show us the a clip from the finale, but rather the first 10 minutes from that second to last episode (A.A.R.M., which actually aired earlier tonight), which meant we were still watching the episodes in order, while still getting a sneak peak at some never before seen footage.  It was lots of fun to watch with a big group of fans, as everyone clapped along to the opening theme, and booed when Dwight talked about his love for his farmer girlfriend Esther (obviously everyone there was rooting for Dwangela).

After the clip had ended, it was time for the cast to leave.  Before they left, Steve Carell took the mic to thank the fans for their dedication to the show and issue a final farewell:

After the cast left the event seemed to be over, as they were making announcements about how to order event t-shirts online and where to meet the bus to get back to town.  We left during the announcements in hopes of beating the traffic getting out of the parking lot, but we were frustrated to find ourselves stuck in a huge parking lot traffic jam.  However, we were soon grateful to be stuck in that parking lot, as we otherwise would have missed the fireworks!  Just as they had done in season 4 finale "Goodbye, Toby", a huge fireworks show lit the sky to end the evening.  What a way to end the night!

Overall, The Office Wrap Party was the perfect way to say goodbye to  a show that has been such a huge part of our lives for the past 9 years.  While it would have been nice to get some photos with the cast or some autographs, it was still lots of fun to spend the day with them and thousands of fans in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the city that was so central to the show.  The surprise appearance by Steve Carell really capped off an already memorable day that we won't soon forget. The Office may be ending next week, but the memories of our day in Scranton shall live on forever.

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