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Don't ape me: Similarities to other shows
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Dec 11th 2006 edited

Post any similarities between The Office and other shows (or movies.) This would include plot, or jokes, or even just reocurring themes, anything that is similar.

I just finished watching the entire series dvds of Undeclared, and there an episode where two characters try to get back at their RA by pulling pranks on him, one of those being putting all his stuff in the vending machine, and leaving him a note with a cup full of change. Sound similar? It's also interesting to note that Jenna Fischer was on two episodes, and Judd Apatow created it (and directed, and also co-wrote The 40-Year-Old Virgin with Steve Carell), and they share a casting director in Allison Jones. Other connections too, but it was interesting to me that they did it first.

Dec 11th 2006

I thought about Greg Daniels during "The Dundies." The son Bobby on King of the Hill likes to do Carnac jokes ala Johnny Carson, too. I was wondering if Greg wrote that, or if Paul write it (since he wrote for King of the Hill, too).

Dec 11th 2006

There's a British show of the same name that probably no one here has ever heard of, but the similarities are eery.

Dec 11th 2006

Brian I was going to add, "besides the BBC version," but that would have denied you the oppurtunity to be funny, and I won't have that.

Dec 12th 2006 edited

Interesting topic. On the TV thread we discussed Curb Your Enthusiasm recently. I hadn't made the connection until then, but I see the similarities now. Larry David and Michael Scott, especially S1 Michael Scott, are very similar with their unfiltered reactions to absurd situations. Both shows are masters of the "don't say it, don't say it... I can't believe he said that" lines. The shows differ in that Michael Scott evolved and is often shown in situations where you know he means well and you find yourself rooting for him. Whereas five seasons in Larry David is still pretty much a dick at all times. And CYE has nothing to match the sweetness of Jim/Pam.

I'm a big fan of Friday Night Lights and I see similarities in the filming techniques of the two shows. FNL isn't a pure mock/documentary, but a lot of the scenes are filmed that way, where you feel you're eavesdropping on a conversation. They also do a lot of the quick cuts and pans that The Office does.

I think the success of the no laugh track will lead to more shows doing that in the future, which is a very good thing.

Dec 12th 2006

Yeah Friday Night Lights does the documentary style thing I think even better than the movie did. Also since they aren't a proposing to be a documentary they can line up cooler handheld shots than The Office can. Not that I'd want The Office to do that, but FNL's a goood looking show. That said, the handheld style for comedy shows will probably become as much of a cliche as the three-camera "live in front of a studio audience" format has.

Dec 12th 2006 edited

You know, JLJ, Curb did enter my brain but then I dimissed it. I don't think Michael and Larry are that similar. I see Michael as naive and kind of stupid and that he doesn't always know what he is saying. I think his intentions are never mean.

Larry, on the other hand, has said many times that his character simply doesn't like following society's rules and just says/does what he feels. One example I can think of is when his manager moved into a new house and his wife insisted that Larry take a tour. Larry declined by saying "no thanks...bedrooms, bathrooms. I get it." He, of course, got in trouble and when his wife told him he should have taken the tour he said "why? Just because that's what people do?" Or something like that.

Michael Scott would have taken the tour. He just would have said something stupid about making whoopie on the bed or something.

And for the record: I don't like touring people's homes (especially the bedrooms) and I don't like giving tours of my home. I always think fondly of Larry when I am forced to do either.

Edited for spelling

Dec 12th 2006 edited

Since the thread was supposed to be about similarities, I will add this: It has always bothered me that in Michael's Birthday they re-did the Seinfeld joke when George thought a "negative" cancer result was bad. I mean come on--like they hadn't seen that?

"It's like a...white discoloration."

edited again because: Holy crap I can't type today!

Dec 12th 2006

I was sad to realize that "that's what she said" is an old Scrub's joke.

Dec 12th 2006

I'd argue that "That's what she said" is an old joke, period, which is why it's funny. Old like Michael "raising the roof" and saying "TMI." Michael is out of the loop.

Dec 12th 2006

I was sad to realize that "that's what she said" is an old Scrub's joke.

Don't be sad. It's typical Michael Scott to quote a movie or TV show. I would expect nothing less.

Here's another one. "Ping" in The Dundies. If you saw the deleted scenes, Michael said that Ping was his Chinese delivery guy. "Ping" was also the Chinese delivery guy on Seinfeld.

Sometimes Michael cites his quotes and sometimes he just takes the credit for them.

Dec 12th 2006

Speaking of Scrubs, they used the "Smells like Updog" joke, only they said "Updoc". Scrubs also used "What's got two thumbs and blank" (fill in the blank)....but to me they were way funnier on The Office ;o)

Dec 12th 2006 edited

I think it's actually pretty cool that they use jokes from other shows. Isn't that what we do in everyday life? I don't know how many times I've used the Updog joke on people. We see something (a joke) we like on a show and then we try it on others, just like Michael did with the Updog joke after hearing it from Jim. We came in the episode at the tail end of that joke. For all we know, Jim might have seen the Updoc joke or the vending machine thing on Scrubs and then started using it on others. Telling the same jokes doesn't "come across as lazy." It comes across to me as, The Office similating the typical work environment.

I am more bothered by the Michael Scott/cancer/Seinfeld parallel because Michael seemed genuinely ignorant. He didn't come across as someone trying to make a joke.

Dec 12th 2006

I literally just tried the updog joke on my wife 10 seconds ago. It took three tries to get her to say it right. I felt like Michael Scott. Then, to compound things, she said it in a New York accent and it came out "What's updawg?" It's not as funny when the person sounds like Randy from American Idol.

Dec 12th 2006

I'd argue that "That's what she said" is an old joke, period, which is why it's funny.

Yes, Pan.

I've thought it funny for a while now that folks thought "TWSS" was from "The Office", or even "Scrubs". I remember a particularly funny friend using it from waaay back in the early 90's, when I was in undergrad. And I know he must have gotten it from someone else.

It's like my college students who are suprised that they don't own "Cool". My goodness! "Cool" has been around since the 50's, if not earlier.

So, I have a challenge: Someone research "TWSS" and see if we can find the earliest reference. That would be...cool.

Dec 13th 2006

"Cool" has been around since the 50's, if not earlier.

You know it has, I know it has, but for some reason my granddaddy, who isn't that old, thinks it's funny to always ask, "What's cool?" whenever we say something is, or would be, cool.

Dec 13th 2006

The earliest occurrence of "TWSS" I can clearly remember without research is from Wayne's World, which places it late 80s or early 90s.

Dec 13th 2006

I googled it and I can't find the origin, but there are tons of references to it being used to give a sexual connotation to something that otherwise is not sexual. I think whatevs is right. Those of us that thought the phrase was unique to The Office are just not "cool" enough to know it's been around for a while.

Dec 13th 2006

I am more bothered by the Michael Scott/cancer/Seinfeld parallel

Also, in The Fire, Michael runs out ahead of everyone ala George knocking the old lady over at the birthday party. (Don't remember the Seinfeld episode title, though.)

Dec 13th 2006

(Don't remember the Seinfeld episode title, though.)

It's funny that you can't recall the title. It's called, "The Fire." It comes on this week or next.

Dec 13th 2006

Oh really? Ha! So they're both called the same title... interesting.

Dec 13th 2006 edited

Those of us that thought the phrase was unique to The Office are just not "cool" enough to know it's been around for a while.

ToasterOven 101,

Oh, I'm not implying that I am "hipper" than anyone else! (Your comment didn't include the telling smiley to indicate good-natured ribbing, so I wanted to clarify that I wasn't trying to be braggy...)

Sidenote: I read somewhere that the term "hip" (sometimes spelled "hep", as in "hep-cat") originated in San Francisco during the railroad heyday. It's a reference to opium-smoking; the smokers reclined on their hip while engaged in the process. If you were "hip", you were an opium-smoker.

Dec 13th 2006

I looked up that version of "hip's" origins and got this instead:

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mhip.html

These folks say that "hip" came out of "hep," not the other way around. They don't know where hep came from, but perhaps it's soldier lingo from the turn of the previous century (hep, two, three, four, that kind of thing).

Dec 13th 2006

Oh, I'm not implying that I am "hipper" than anyone else! (Your comment didn't include the telling smiley to indicate good-natured ribbing, so I wanted to clarify that I wasn't trying to be braggy...)

Didn't mean that either, whatevs. I don't always think about putting a smiley or LOL on my posts. I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. It could be considered sexual harassment, you know. Especially if there's a wink ;)

I was just making light of it though, and I used the word "cool" because that's what you referenced in your comment. I was teasing, to be funny. I'm so full of the quotes today, I'm just beside myself. Nobody at home gets any of my Office jokes so I'm happy to have you guys. Maybe I should go to Spencer Gifts and buy myself a mug.

Dec 13th 2006 edited

Wow, KarenM! You just pounced on that one!

Nice bit o' research. My reference was from a Vanity Fair article I read a few years ago (I think), so I assumed it was accurate. Speaking of VF, visit the tirade thread presently. I just thought of something I read today that I must post about...

Dec 13th 2006

Maybe I should go to Spencer Gifts and buy myself a mug.

ToasterOven 101, mine is sitting in my office as I speak. And yes, I bought it for myself.

BTW, thanks for the clarification!

Aug 25th 2008

They don't know where hep came from,

Sometimes I say "hep me" for help me.

But I don't think that it came from that.

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