From its original run on NBC to its mega-popularity on streaming services, The Office's nine seasons have been watched bazillions of times by fans all over the globe. But no matter how many times one binges through a show, there will almost always be lingering questions. So it goes with one fan-favorite relationship of the non-romantic variety: Steve Carell's Michael Scott and Andy Buckley's David Wallace. Fans have often wondered how David put up with Michael's shit for years on end, and whether or not the Dunder-Mifflin CFO-turned-CEO even liked Michael. Just hit play on the video above to hear how Buckley explained it to CinemaBlend.
I had the joy of speaking with Andy Buckley to celebrate the streaming debut of The Office on NBCUniversal's Peacock, which aimed to draw in subscribers by offering extended runtimes for specific installments dubbed "Superfan" episodes. At the time of this writing, only Season 3 boasts the Superfan upgrade, but more seasons will feature deleted and extended scenes as time goes by.
Before we got into the deleted scenes that he's interested in fans seeing, I brought up how Andy Buckley's David Wallace managed to be a very memorable TV boss on a series that featured arguably the most celebrated boss of any TV comedy. I then asked if he could clarify David's feeling about Michael, pointing out that some fans held wildly differing views about this, with some theorizing that David views Michael as an unofficial son, while others believe that David formed palpable hatred for Michael (and other Dunder Mifflin employees, such as B.J. Novak's Ryan as Ed Helms' Andy). For those who didn't watch the video, here's what Buckely told me:
Really? Oh, that's why I loved him. You know, my God, certainly he was frustrating at times. But I mean, my goodness, he was – Steve certainly – but Michael is such a lovely guy, and he delivered the best results. I mean, that's why I had him into the office that one time, you know? 'What are you doing right?' Because all the other branches are struggling, but somehow, his branch is doing well, and how does he do it? Even though he didn't quite give me an answer. [Laughs.] So that was key. And, you know, he's just such a compassionate guy. So I think, you know, we're both... What is it? 'You're a nice guy, too.' I mean, I think it's there.
In making that "nice guy" reference, Andy Buckley is referring to the Season 4 episode "The Deposition," which features one of Michael Scott's most organically smart and understanding moments of the entire series. Stuck between embracing loyalty for his girlfriend Jan during her deposition case, and his loyalty for Dunder-Mifflin, Michael could have easily blown a gasket or two after learning that David had never really considered Michael as a potential replacement for Jan. But David's admission was coupled with the earnest notion that he thinks Michael is a "nice guy," and that simple piece of honesty was enough to win Michael over.
Andy Buckley is pretty spot-on in pointing to the "nice guy" quote as a distillation of David Wallace's core opinions about Michael Scott. No matter how frustrating Michael got, and no matter how disastrous and awkward he could make a situation simply by being in the near vicinity, his actions were rarely, if ever, malicious. And at times, he was actually pretty good at his job in ways that made him stand apart from other Dunder-Mifflin managers. So in David's eyes, that was enough to put Michael in the "nice guy" column, which is always better than landing in the "hopeless douchebag who deserves to get smooshed by a fridge from Bob Vance Refrigeration" column.
Heaven help us if the Superfan version of "The Deposition" features some additional scenes where David calls Michael a "not-nice guy" and features him sticking pins in a Michael-shaped voodoo doll. Stay tuned to learn when those Office Superfan episodes are on the way to Peacock, and in the meantime, don't be a jerk to your boss.