The Town Hall was absolutely packed for THE OFFICE BFFS AT THE TOWN HALL: An Evening with Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, a one-night-only book promotion event for fans of the mockumentary TV sitcom The Office. Cheers erupted when the show’s theme music burst out, underscoring the panorama of photos being presented on a big screen. The hoots and hollers continued as Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey took to the stage, which was set with two comfy chairs and a table in between, talk show style.
“Frenemies” on The Office but best friends in real life for the almost two decades since the show first aired, Fischer and Kinsey have convened on this stage to promote their new book, “The Office BFFs: Tales of ‘The Office’ from Two Best Friends Who Were There.”
After Kinsey invited the house to take a group photo with the two of them for her Instagram page (post pending), Fischer and Kinsey treated the audience to pictures of each other as young girls and spoke of their early dreams to be actors. They talked of the jobs they’d held prior to being cast in The Office; Fischer shared that she’d been an actual receptionist before playing one on TV, and Kinsey reflected on her job at 1-800-DENTIST.
The pair told of how, shortly after the show aired, they’d gotten hold of the private producer’s number to call in and get the daily ratings, and of having to listen to a myriad of other shows’ ratings before getting to those of The Office (think “Moviefone”, this kind of stuff wasn’t on the internet at the time). They also humorously reflected on their persistent anonymity at LA’s then “must-be-seen-at” Ivy Restaurant, even after the general success of the show.
Fischer and Kinsey continued to tell stories about female power taking back “VPL” (‘visible panty lines’, for anyone residing under rocks) and revealed various other pictures and videos, one video quite hilariously taped during their podcast “Office Ladies” (@officeladiespod). They shared favorite show moments and not-so-favorite plot lines; many of their recollections resulted from reading questions off of (presumably pre-selected) index cards from audience members, and a good time was had by all (that’s what she said).
To best enjoy the evening’s proceedings, I’m sure it helps to have watched The Office and even better to be a die-hard fan. Quite honestly, though, even if I didn’t know the show, I’d have paid to watch these two women read from the phone book (yes, there used to be an actual book). For all the evening’s hilarity, some of the best moments were from Fischer’s and Kinsey’s expressions of loving, heartfelt devotion to each other.
If you can’t catch these ladies on tour, I expect the book is a good one (a copy was not provided and so I cannot speak for its content).
The Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street (between 6th Ave and Broadway), in Manhattan
For more information on the book, visit https://www.harpercollins.com/pages/OfficeBFFs