The Office introduced the world to cringe comedy. The interpersonal relationships the show examined are part of what made the show so cringe-worthy. With so many to choose from, it’s hard to decide which office relationship was the most memorable. Now, thanks to Brian Baumgartner’s podcast, An Oral History of The Office, we finally have an answer.
Baumgartner revealed who he believes to be the most iconic duo on The Office.
For Greg Daniels, two is always better than one
Writer Greg Daniels understood how funny the relationship between two individuals could be. As a show based on employees at work, he fully embraced the relationships on The Office.
“[Greg] would always talk about [how], ‘In comedy, it’s never about the character — it’s about the duo,’” Rainn Wilson explained to Baumgartner in episode 6 of the podcast. “‘How is that character in relation with other characters? That’s where you want to find the comedy.’”
On The Office, it wasn’t about each character being funny in their own right. Instead, Daniels but an emphasis on each character’s relationship with their coworkers.
“Dwight doesn’t have to be funny,” Wilson continued. “Dwight and Jim should be funny. Dwight and Pam should be funny. Dwight and Michael should be funny.”
‘The Office’ has a lot of great duos
Looking back on The Office, you might start to realize just how many duos the show had. From Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) to Dwight (Wilson) and Angela (Angela Kinsey), there were undoubtedly plenty of romantic duos.
But there were so many duos outside of romance, too. Take Dwight and Jim’s neverending feud, for example. Or Dwight’s relationship with Mose (Michael Schur). Or Andy Bernard’s (Ed Helms) bonds with Jim, Angela, or Darryl (Craig Robinson).
Each Dunder Mifflin employee shared the common connection of working with one another, but showrunners demonstrated how those relationships went deeper by examining each character’s ties to their individual coworkers.
With so many relationships to look at, it might be hard for some fans to choose a favorite. For Baumgartner, the series’ most iconic duo was Dwight and Michael.
Dwight and Michael have the funniest relationship on ‘The Office’
Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and Dwight Schrute were one the weirdest matches ever made. They were so similar in their convictions, and yet so drastically different in where they placed their values. But that was part of the magic of their relationship.
“Dwight loves Michael and is desperate for his love in return,” Baumgartner explained. “Michael is desperate for love from anyone…except Dwight.”
What made Dwight and Michael’s relationship so iconic
“Each of them contributed their own kind of weird,” Baumgartner said.
For Wilson, it was all about striking a balance between outrageous and realistic.
“I tried to play [Dwight] as outrageously as possible and as grounded as possible at the same time,” he said. Wilson’s “adoration for the marginal guy,” as Brent Forrester put it, paired with Carell’s gift for improv made this duo the most iconic on The Office.
Still, Michael and Dwight might be the most iconic comedy duo of all time.
“I think they’re just one of the best [comedic duos],” writer Jen Salata said. For her, it was Carell and Wilson’s ability to be interesting on their own and bounce off one another.
Michael and Dwight’s relationship continues to inspire comedies today. “There’s not really a parallel to [Michael and Dwight],” Paul Feig explained.
The Office might have ended in 2013, but Dwight and Michael’s hilarious relationship remains one of the funniest in the world of comedy television.