March 5, 2010

The Office, Triple Crowns, and Erin

The hilarious crew at the Dunder Mifflin paper supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania were at it again. I am of course speaking of the television show, The Office. The Emmy winning, mega-hit has been my favorite situation comedy for years. Last night they took it to a whole new level and gained an even greater appreciation from yours truly and horse fans everywhere. During one of the most important episodes of the season, “The Delivery,” one of the characters, Erin Hannon, displayed an impressive talent. She recited each winner of racing’s Triple Crown. I must admit it took me off guard…I was floored. I did a quick rewind and watched and listened intently for accuracy. Who says Thoroughbred horse racing has not gone mainstream?

Is today's piece on ZATT a little silly?  Proudly, I say yes.  But for someone who follows horse racing with my level of dedication, and who is also a fan of The Office, the scene made me very happy. 

On a somewhat more serious note...racing in popular culture may be poised for a resurgance.  The Office will not be the only mainstream outlet to shine a loving light on our great sport.  Two major motion pictures featuring Secretariat and Julie Krone will be out in the near future, and HBO has signed on for a David Milch drama series called "Luck" starring Dustin Hoffman, set to debut in early 2011.

But enough of the serious talk, let's get back to the hijinx at Dunder Mifflin...

Let me set the scene; when boss Michael Scott called an office meeting to take Pam’s mind off her pregnancy labor pains, he asked for anything interesting, any hobbies, or special skills from the staff to entertain Pam. The skill of Phyllis, to put lipstick on in the same way Molly Ringwald did in the Breakfast Club, was quickly rejected. Andy started off the show with the evolution of dance, dance, done in complete silence.  Ryan was next with a dramatic reading, presumably straight from his journal, and finally it was Erin’s turn. Starting with the most recent, she quickly ran down the list, Affirmed, Seattle Slew and so on. Erin blazed her way through the first ten horses, before forgetting the final horse, the very first horse to win the Triple Crown. Thinking on her feet, she hilariously mentioned the jockey Johnny Loftus and the sire Star Shoot, but the scene was cut away from before she could remember the final name. Of course the answer was Sir Barton…I am sure Erin knew that. Actress Ellie Kemper portrays the likeable receptionist, Erin Hannon, on the show. I do not know if she had anything to do with the Triple Crown skit, or if it was strictly the brainchild of one of the show’s writers. Either way, it was a very welcome addition to a wonderful show. To last night’s episode of The Office, I give a resounding two thumbs up.


I invite you to watch the episode here:  http://www.nbc.com/The_Office/video/episodes/#vid=1206655  The scene begins at approximately seven minutes in, with Erin's speech at approximately 8:25 of the video.  Enjoy!

8 comments:

Sid Fernando said...

my wife loves the show and i saw it peripherally (sp?) yesterday and loved it. Good piece.

Brian Zipse said...

Thanks Sid. I'm glad that your wife got you into some quality programming.

Colins Ghost said...

Nice! Huge fan of The Office. Looking forward to watching the episode online tonight!

Brian Zipse said...

Enjoy it Kevin. It was an excellent episode even without Erin and the Triple Crown.

Steve Munday said...

Brian,
I had "The Office" on last night but was working on the laptop and not paying much attention. When Erin started naming the TC winners my ears pricked and I did a double-take. I reversed it and watched it over again. Great bit!

Brian Zipse said...

It woke me up a little as well, Steve. I need to find out the impetus behind its inclusion in the show last night...maybe "The Office" has a real race fan in the mix.

LDP said...

All I can say is that it's about time horse racing got some good attention! I don't really know the show all that well, but I'm always when horse racing gets a good mention on television.

ja.raymond said...

I, personally, cant see what everyone sees in that show. I've tried to watch it a few times (my son loves it), and it's all just lost on me. I have caught a few one-liners that were pretty funny, but to me, it flits, it's obscure; I guess its something you have to see from the very beginning; an acquired taste.
At any rate, the fact that they slid some horseracing into the script is very cool!!!
Cant wait for the movies & the DH series!! :)