‘The Office’: Michael Scott’s Famous ‘That’s What She Said’ Joke Has a Connection to ‘SNL’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Steve Carell as Michael Scott on

The origins of one of the crucial well-known comedy TV catchphrases got here from a stunning supply — one of many writers of The Office heard it throughout his faculty days. When Michael Scott first uttered it, there was no turning again on using it quite a few occasions all through the collection.

Steve Carell as Michael Scott on 'The Office'
Steve Carell as Michael Scott on ‘The Office’ | Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank

The first time Michael mentioned ‘That’s what she mentioned’

The phrase is first mentioned in The Office Season 2 Episode 2, titled “Sexual Harassment,” during which Michael pronounces he’s now not going to say “That’s what she said.” During the Dec. 10, 2019 episode of the Office Ladies podcast, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey shared extra particulars in regards to the scene.

As he should be extra skilled within the office, Michael tells the workplace staff, “I just want you to know that, uh, this is not my decision, but from here on out, we can no longer be friends… and when we talk about things here, we may only discuss, um, work-associated things… and, uh, you can consider this my retirement from comedy.”

“And in the future, if I want to say something funny, or witty, or do an impression, I will no longer ever do any of those things,” he provides.

Jim asks, “Does that include ‘That’s what she said?’ and then teases Michael by saying, “Wow, that is really hard… You really think you can go all day long? Well, you always left me satisfied and smiling, so…”

Unable to withstand the setup, Michael shouts, “That’s what she said!”

Fischer and Kinsey recalled how they remembered filming the scene, with Kinsey declaring that when Michael blurts out “That’s what she said,” that “his laugh is so huge and giddy and contagious and he’s so happy and pleased with himself” that the solid virtually began laughing.

Kinsey provides that “you catch it in John, for just a second” as he’s seen placing his hand in entrance of his face to cowl his snicker.

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The joke wasn’t unique

During the Office Ladies podcast, Fischer revealed that the origin of the catchphrase is courtesy of author B.J. Novak listening to it whereas he was in faculty. Another phrase that B.J. heard in faculty was utilized in one in every of Jim’s speaking head interview about how he dislikes Todd Packer. “What has two thumbs and hates Todd Packer,” he says, earlier than pointing his thumbs towards himself to declare, “This guy!”

“That joke of ‘what has two thumbs and likes…’ and also the very famous line from this episode, ‘That’s what she said’ those are not original jokes,” Fischer defined. “We did not make those up, B.J. Novak did not write them… B.J. said those are things that he just heard in college as a college student and he kind of dusted them off and brought them back to this episode.”

“And then they took off, especially ‘that’s what she said,’” Fischer added.

The phrase had a ‘Saturday Night Live’ connection

Fischer additionally identified that the phrase “That’s what she said” was mentioned by Chevy Chase on Saturday Night Live throughout a “Weekend Update” phase and it was mentioned in Wayne’s World, too.

“The origin of that joke is a British joke,” the actress identified, however the phrase initially was “As the actress said to the bishop.”

The phrase misplaced recognition, however Ricky Gervais introduced it again when he mentioned it on the British model of The Office… and so they introduced its American equal to the U.S. model.

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