How long is the dinner? He still tries to push through in spite of the fact that Jan is clearly on the edge and in spite of the fact that their relationship is crumbling. Oh, my God. They hate each other! Her assistant wrote a song about her. This is just fabulous. I mean, we truly had one of the greatest brain trusts of comedy since probably, like, early [ National] Lampoon days. Then we picketed our [set] the second day, and then finally they shut it down, which was just terrible. It was really devastating for a lot of people.
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And we all really respected him for that. The whole production had to shut down until the end of the strike, and I feel like we ended up losing something like six or seven episodes that year. It ended up being a episode season. They were our lifeblood, and we wanted them to get whatever they wanted. Paul Feig director : I directed a few episodes every season. My favorite thing is to make an audience really uncomfortable and make them laugh at the same time.
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So I was super-bummed out. I just so completely saw it in my brain.
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You know, at a grocery store or something. We never knew that you could kind of transform a place like that. It was fun making it look the way that it would look when he was buying it. And so I always felt very connected to the condo, because we shot a lot of episodes in there. What does the bedroom look like?
You try to kind of throw away as much as possible. There are just little touches, like the beer sign in the garage, and Michael having that hand-shaped chair. We talked about this idea that Michael buys a lot of things that he sees late at night on TV, so he has a Bowflex and he has a Soloflex. He has an Ab Roller. He never uses any of them, but his garage is filled with that stuff. That was written in the script.
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The whole candle business was just so funny to us. He is such a brilliant director, and one of the things he knows how to do is get the best out of everybody. Michael was jealous of his youth and good looks from the second he laid eyes on him. Everyone but Michael, that is. The lyrics for the song were written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, but for the music and voice they turned to New Pornographers guitarist Todd Fancey.
He wrote it clearly about Jan and how she made him a man, and it was a terrible song. He likes the song. He has no clue.
Basically, we wanted it to sound good. We had some relationships with some musicians, and some other people on the show did, and we sent out the lyrics to a bunch of different people. People we had actually heard of and bands we had heard of took the time to record it, kind of on spec, I think? There were some metal versions.
I was living in Vancouver. I just went downstairs to my other apartment — I had two at the time — and boom. It came really quick. I wrote it on acoustic guitar. I went into a studio in suburban Vancouver and recorded it.
We ended up going with that one. I had almost completely forgotten about the song. I got a call on my cell from a production assistant on the show. And we need it to be Tuesday. How am I going to do this? This new one is too polished. For the first time anywhere, you can hear it right here.
As soon as you walk into that set, you knew why it was funny and how it was going to keep getting funnier. I mean, we were excited every time we filmed in the parking lot.
So the fact that we actually went on location was superduper-exciting. It was like the kids got to go to Disneyland. You just wind up socializing a bit more, and those group scenes are the same way. They were fun bonding experiences, in a way. It was perfect for the episode, it really was. I kind of used that a lot and used the heat. It was just scalding hot, I remember.
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