‘The Office’: The Show ‘Stole’ 1 Funny Detail From the British Version

The American version of The Office had a lot to live up to and struggled to find its footing during a bumpy first season. It eventually took off and became a hit in its own right, but they gave a subtle nod to the British show that started it all. During an Office Ladies podcast episode, hosts Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey shared how they “stole” one funny detail from the British version.

'The Office': John Krasinski as Jim Halpert and Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute
‘The Office’: John Krasinski as Jim Halpert and Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute | Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank

‘The Office’ ‘stole’ one small detail from the British version

During the Oct. 30, 2019 episode of Office Ladies, the hosts discussed the “Health Care” episode and Fischer shared how the show gave a small shoutout to the British original.

“After the pilot episode, which we talked about was pretty much a word-for-word adaptation of the British pilot because this was a British television show before it was an American television show,” Fischer said. “After that, we started writing all original episodes.”

“So ‘Diversity Day’ was all original, it was our story,” she continued. “And this is all original with the exception of a little wink. A little nod to the British show.”

It was subtle, but fans of the British version might have caught it.

“So in an episode of the British Office, their Dwight character, whose name is Gareth, he gets to lead an investigation into some dirty emails that came into the office,” Fischer explained. “So he takes over the conference room and he even puts a little sign on the window and that is the little thing that we stole for this episode.”

“It’s that Dwight is gonna do that same thing,” she noted. For this episode, Dwight uses the conference room to pick the company health care plan and lets everyone know it with a sign reading “Dwight Schrute Workspace.”

“So we did that from time to time, we’d just do like these little nods to the British show which I always think are kinda fun,” Fischer added. “Especially because there were people who were huge fans of the original who were then watching our show and that was a little treat.”

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The British counterpart of Dwight almost made a cameo

During the May 26, 2020 Office Ladies podcast episode, Fischer shared that the Gareth character almost made a cameo on the American The Office but that scheduling prevented it from happening.

In The Office Season 3, Episode 2, titled “The Convention,” Dwight and Michael travel to a convention in Philadelphia. They hoped to have Mackenzie Crook, who played Gareth Keenan on the British Office, at a convention booth and he and Dwight would come face-to-face.

Crook was actually in town for a press junket for Pirates of the Caribbean.

“The scheduling did not work out, he couldn’t come,” Fischer said. “He couldn’t come. He wanted to … he’s the nicest guy, I’ve met him, he’s awesome.”