"Dwight's Speech" is the seventeenth episode of the second season of The Office and the 23rd overall. It was written by Paul Lieberstein and directed by Charles McDougall. It first aired on March 2, 2006. It was viewed by 8.4 million people.

Cold Open

Dwight and Michael chuck a football back and forth, talking. Jim is irritated, which fuels Dwight and Michael. Michael hurls the football all the way to accounting, where Kevin catches it and tosses it back. But when Michael tosses it to Oscar, Jim intercepts the ball. Other annoyed workers play keep-away, but when Ryan gets the ball, he is tackled by Dwight, who barrels people out of the way before snapping the ball to Michael, who tosses it to Pam, blindsiding her. her catch is not seen on tape.

Summary

Dwight, the company's top salesman of the year, worries over a speech he must give at a ceremony honoring him. Jim "helps" him by giving him suggestions and speech notes from speeches of famous dictators.

Kelly hints to Ryan she'd like to get married, but Ryan hurts her feelings by saying he doesn't ever plan to get married. When Pam tries to tell Ryan how Kelly feels about him, he coldly says, "I know what I said."

Jim, upset at having to hear wedding planning at Pam's desk, calls a travel agent and arranges a trip to Australia. When he tells Pam about it later, she is initially excited, until he tells her that he's leaving June 8, meaning he will not be able to attend her wedding.

Deleted scenes

The Season Two DVD contains a number of deleted scenes from this episode. Notable cut scenes include:

  • Dwight comes to work wearing sunglasses and tries to get Jim to complete the sentence, "My future is so bright..."
  • Dwight practices his speech, and Michael criticizes his delivery.
  • After Dwight's failed announcement, Michael tries to find a joke "that not even you [Dwight] can ruin." Dwight begins telling the staff a sailor joke, but Meredith stops him because her nephew is serving in Iraq.
  • In the speaking exercise, Phyllis toasts to her good fortune for having found a man she is in love with. Ryan describes how he hopes to land a "challenging full-time or part-time position somewhere else." This is met with applause from the other staff, but this troubles Michael. In a talking-head interview, Michael explains that the fact that Ryan (as a temporary employee) can leave at any time scares him. This is the first time Michael has shown anything but admiration for Ryan.
  • Ryan brings Pam the wrong type of stamps for her wedding invitations.
  • Michael and Dwight look for the meeting hall. Their first stop is a numismatic meeting, then a science fiction convention, featuring the cast of Battlestar Galactica. Dwight gushes in adoration for the character of Starbuck, and Michael asks him, "Are you a twelve-year-old girl?"
  • An extended scene of Michael's unfunny and extremely awkward speech.

Non-notable cut scenes include Michael scratching an itch on his thigh, Dwight nervously clicking a pen, and several closeups of Jim's face.

Trivia

For a list of songs featured in this episode, see List of songs that appear in episodes.
  • In Creed's talking head, he says, "我的中華的朋友你好" ("Hello, my Chinese friends") in an accent so thick it is practically unintelligible. What's more, his shout-out is in Mandarin, even though the primary language in Hong Kong is Cantonese.
  • Global Television Network in Canada aired this episode the day before it aired in the United States due to a scheduling conflict with the finale of Skating with Celebrities.
  • Portions of Dwight's speech are drawn from the speeches of Lenin ("No revolution is worth anything unless it can defend itself") and Benito Mussolini ("Blood alone moves the wheels of history"; "It is a privilege to fight [with them]!"). He also draws on Karl Marx , though it is from the book The Communist Manifesto and not a speech ("Workers [/salesmen and women] of the world, Unite").
  • Dwight's award may have come at the expense of Jim. In Diversity Day, Jim loses a sale that normally makes up 25% of his yearly commission to Dwight. More than likely this had a significant impact on making Dwight the number one salesperson and Jim number nine.
  • In this episode, Ryan tells us that Jim eats a ham and cheese sandwich everyday. However, in a deleted scene from The Alliance, Jim brings a tuna sandwich for lunch.
  • According to writer Paul Lieberstein, Jim never did go on his Australian vacation. He transferred to the Stamford branch and couldn't take vacation days so soon after the transfer.[1]
  • About halfway through Michael's improvised speech, one shot is mirrored, evidenced by the backwards nametag of the closest guy named Luke.

Amusing details

  • During the cold open, when Michael is throwing the football to Dwight he hits Jim's desk knocking a bunch of frames and pens onto the boxes in front of Jim's and Dwight's desk. Then right before Jim intercepts a subsequent throw, there are no boxes anymore.
  • Later in the cold open, Dwight runs into Stanley, knocking him into Angela. Stanley is not present in the remainder of the scene. (The collision was unrehearsed, and Leslie David Baker was injured slightly.)[2]
  • On the inside door of Michael's cabinet is a framed clipping from the Dunder Mifflin staff newsletter announcing the promotion of "Jan Gould". Michael's crush on Jan goes back very far.
  • Michael's North East Sales Association Top Salesman plaque incorrectly spells the word "association" with an "s" instead of a "c."
  • When Stanley tells his wife, "Get the wallpaper," Creed sits at his desk pretending to play the drums.
  • In the conference room scene, after Dwight pulls out his index cards, Angela is the only one looking forward to his speech.
  • It is implied that Michael has never been to a wedding in his adult life despite being in his 40s.
  • Even though Oscar is the one who set the thermostat to a colder temperature, he wears his jacket when Dwight and Michael are leaving.
  • Dwight says at one point that he lost a spelling bee to Raj Patel when he misspelled the word "failure". The word "failure" was improvised by Rainn Wilson.
  • Michael refuses to let Dwight see his older speeches because "They would remember them." But when he goes on stage, he reuses his "What's the difference between a salesman and a saleswoman" joke in desperation.
  • Due to the science fiction convention mentioned in a deleted scene, a number of people in the lobby of the hotel are dressed in costumes: When Dwight finds Michael after the speech, a group of four costumed attendees are in the background near the center elevators. Easiest to spot is the person in a full alien costume. At the end of Michael's story, the alien has been replaced by a man wearing a wizard hat.

Behind the Scenes

  • The Universal Studios Sheraton Hotel stood in for the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton, which is where the crew ended up staying during their visits to Scranton for the Office Convention in 2007 and the Office Wrap Party at the conclusion of the series.[2]
  • On the day of filming for the speech, Rainn Wilson had a fever of over 102 °F, and his doctor did not let him go to work, forcing a last-minute reschedule. Wilson claims it is the only time he ever missed a day of work on the show.[2]
  • The audience consisted of 400 extras and 100 mannequin torsos (no arms or legs) dressed up in suits. There were five "dummy wranglers" who moved the dummies around for each shot. The dummies were used in the back and along the sides of the auditorium.[2]
  • The audience kept laughing at Michael's speech and had to be reminded that they were supposed to be unamused.[2]
  • Rainn Wilson tried to improvise Dwight's speech but was advised to stick to the script. The paper in front of him does have a copy of the speech, because Wilson believed that's what Dwight would have done.[2]
  • On the first take, the crowd reacted too enthusiastically to Dwight's speech. The intent was for them to be gradually won over.[2]
  • The crew had exclusive use of a ballroom for the speech, but had to share the other parts of the hotel with guests. There was a real science fiction convention going on in the hotel, and the show incorporated that into the story.[2]
  • On the set, the temperature was usually around 65 °F. This is to counteract the heat generated by the lights and other equipment, and to keep cool the male actors who are wearing business suits. The women kept themselves warm with hidden heaters and blankets.[2]

Cultural references

  • Heisman is the name of a football trophy. Michael strikes the pose depicted on the award.
  • When Pam teases Jim in the kitchen for losing to Dwight, Jim drinks from a mug that says "Together building a better Scranton. Restoring the Pride." This was the motto of the Scranton downtown revitalization project.
  • Jim calls a travel agent. In the days before Expedia and online travel services, you had to call a travel agency to buy airplane tickets, because only they had access to the airline booking systems.
  • Brad Pitt is an Academy Award-winning actor. His marriage to actor Jennifer Aniston ended in divorce in 2005. It is believed by some that Pitt cheated on Aniston because Pitt and actor Angelina Jolie admitted to falling in love in 2004 when they co-starred in the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
  • Club Med is a chain of resorts.
  • Hedonism Resorts is a pair of resorts in Jamaica, known for its naturism/nudism.
  • V.A. is short for Veterans Administration. VA buildings are often rented for events.
  • Good Morning, Vietnam is the title and catch phrase from a 1987 movie.
  • The black guy from the "Police Academy" movies is actor Michael Winslow who has a talent for making sound effects using his voice.
  • The Lord of the Rings is a fantasy novel by J.R.R. Tolkien, and Mordor is the center of power for the primary antagonist Sauron. The 2001 movie series based upon the book was filmed in New Zealand. Many tourist companies offer Lord of the Rings-themed tours.
  • 69 is slang for a sexual position.
  • Battlestar Galactica is a science fiction television series. The version that ran from 2004 to 2008 is the one that garnered wide critical acclaim, and it is that version that Dwight is fascinated by.

Quotes

  • Dwight: "Blood alone moves the wheels of history! Have you ever asked yourselves in an hour of meditation, which everyone finds during the day,how long we have been striving for greatness? Not only the years we've been at war, the war of work, but from the moment as a child when we realized that the world could be conquered. It has been a lifetime struggle. A never-ending fight. I say to you, and you will understand that it is a privilege to fight! We are warriors! Salesmen of north-eastern Pennsylvania, I ask you once more: Rise and be worthy of this historical hour! No revolution is worth anything unless it can defend itself! Some people will tell you salesman is a bad word. They'll conjure up images of used car dealers and door to door charlatans. This is our duty: to change their perception. I say salesmen... and women of the world unite! We must never acquiesce for it is together, TOGETHER, THAT WE PREVAIL! We must never cede control of the motherland! For it is together that [the audience] we prevail!"

Cast

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast

  • Ben Carroll as Announcer
  • John Kelly as Salesman
  • Sean Lake as Sci-Fi Attendee (Uncredited)
  • Randy Vinneau as Conference-goer (Uncredited)

External links

References

  1. Kath Skerry, Jim Halpert…Did He or Didn’t He?, Give Me My Remote blog
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Kinsey, Angela and Jenna Fischer. Episode 23: Dwight's Speech, Office Ladies podcast, April 8, 2020.
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