Jenna Fischer Cleverly Posted the Viral Bernie Sanders Meme in This Classic Scene of ‘The Office’
The Office fans still get their fix of the legendary sitcom thanks to streaming services and syndication. Also keeping sitcom memories of the show alive on her podcast Office Ladies, Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly Halpert) often shares behind-the-scenes secrets from the series with her BFF and former co-star Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin).
Fischer often uses scenes from The Office for posts on social media. After the inaugural photo of Bernie Sanders went viral, Fischer seized the opportunity to recall a fan favorite moment.
‘Diversity Day’ on season 1 of ‘The Office’
Viewers of The Office still consider the romance of Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam to be one of television’s greatest love stories. The two went from flirtation to marriage over the course of nine seasons, although early on their relationship was often a will-they-or-won’t-they situation. It wasn’t until season 4 that the two officially became a couple.
In the episode “Diversity Day” in season 1, Jim spends the day trying to close a very profitable sale only to have it stolen from him by Dwight (Rainn Wilson. Toward the end of the episode, Jim and Pam are sitting next to each other in the conference room after a stressful day. Pam ends up falling asleep on Jim’s shoulder, showing the couple in a semi-intimate moment and giving viewers a taste of their affection for each other. “Not a bad day,” Jim tells the unseen camera crew.
According to Mashable, the scene with Krasinski and Fischer was filmed 15 times. Writer/producer and co-star BJ Novak (Ryan Howard) told Krasinski how the scene should play out, suggesting, “Jim reacts to Pam falling asleep on him like a butterfly has landed on his shoulder.”
Pam and Bernie = BAM?
At the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, Bernie Sanders possibly got more attention than incoming President Joe Biden in a now-famous photo. Clearly opting to keep warm on the especially chilly day in Washington, D.C., Sanders was photographed in a puffy wintry parka and woolen mittens.
Sanders kept socially distanced from the crowd, and remained seated in a folding chair throughout the ceremony. With the picture of the Vermont Senator sitting by himself in the cold now a viral meme, Fischer posted a re-creation of the famous “Diversity Day” scene.
“What do we call this? BAM?” The Office alum wrote in the Instagram post of Sanders in Jim’s place from the conference room. “Whatever we call it, I love it!”
Fischer’s followers applauded the image. “These edits are just making my life better,” one fan commented. “Pam’s smitten by the mittens,” another wrote. “Ooh Jim’s not gonna be happy about this one!” a follower noted.
Another fan reiterated Jim’s famous line, posting, “Not a bad day.”
Some backstory on the ‘Diversity Day’ scene
Director Ken Kwapis recalled filming “Diversity Day,” and how the one small moment between Jim and Pam made an impact in the episode.
“That more than makes up for everything else that went wrong in Jim’s day,” Kwapis told Andy Greene in his book The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s. “It took a lot of takes because [executive producer] Greg [Daniels] and the writers had so many thoughts about this small moment. I think we must’ve done it a dozen times.”
Though the interaction between Jim and Pam was subtle, how Krasinski chose to play out his reaction was critical to the scene.
“It wasn’t so much Jenna leaning her head as it was how John reacted,” Kwapis explained. “How surprised should Jim be? How happy or how obviously happy should he seem? … Sometimes romances proceed at a glacial pace. But what was wonderful about this is it sort of made a big leap forward in the form of a tiny moment.”