Office arguably became the most popular workplace comedy to ever air on the air. While very popular when it first aired on NBC, the series finally found a massive second wind when it aired on Netflix. While this is one of the most watched sitcoms in television history, one of the show’s lead writers recently revealed it to be a surprising inspiration.
In a new interview with Andy Cohen Watch what is happening live, The Office Writer and star BJ Novak revealed the show’s comedy was largely inspired by HBO’s The Sopranos and its leader James Gandolfini.
“He was shy and intrigued,” Novak said. “I just thought it would be great, because, for me, The Sopranos was in fact the biggest influence on Office because of how the comedy, the drama, and the character were completely indistinguishable. “
The scribe added: “Actually, the way Michael Scott will say something very serious but mispronounce a word that I think is a direct descendant of Tony Soprano’s sense of humor. would have been an incredible replacement. I really, really wanted to work with him. “
Not only that, but Novak said Gandolfini himself was in the running to take over as Dunder-Mifflin Scranton after Steve Carell left the series in its seventh season. Novak and the rest of the Writer’s Room were hoping Gandolfini was on board to play a white-collar executive to contrast with the blue-collar workers in the branch. The Sopranos star, however, had different ideas.
“We suggested a white collar character to play against the guy,” Novak explained. “And he said something that I’ll never forget, which was, ‘I feel like an actor, the one that comes out at 3 in the morning, he’s the one you should be playing. And at 3 in the morning. , what comes out of me is a blue collar dude. ‘ I thought it was so interesting. “
The white-collar role ended up going to James Spader, who played eccentric Robert California for the show’s last two seasons. Gandolfini returned to HBO to finish his run on The Sopranos.
The nine seasons of Office are now airing on Peacock while The Sopranos and his prequel film – Many Newark Saints – are broadcast on HBO Max.