Fans of The Office who have seen the episode where a bat gets trapped at Dunder Mifflin can now go back and watch it again knowing the bat was, in fact, real. Years later, the comedy that so accurately captured workplace life remains one of the most popular shows on Netflix for comfort bingeing and referencing on dating profiles. As more have been watching The Office for the first time or revisiting it during quarantine, there is still an interest in fun behind-the-scenes stories from the show.
A classic episode from The Office season 3 titled "Business School" includes a storyline where the co-workers are terrorized by a rabid nocturnal animal. All of the characters react accordingly: Dwight springs into action and goes on the hunt, Jim pranks Dwight by pretending to catch a strain of vampirism, Stanley goes home, etc. Meanwhile, Michael speaks at Ryan's business school class about the "five goliaths" facing society. Dwight eventually catches the bat in a bag; unfortunately, he traps Meredith along with it. The episode was directed by Joss Whedon and remains a standout of the series.
On the most recent episode of their podcast Office Ladies, stars Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela) discuss that a live bat was brought in to film the scenes that lead to Meredith later coming down with a case of rabies. Nobody got to know the bat quite as well as Meredith did; luckily, the actors brought Kate Flannery on the podcast to reminisce about her experience working with the bat. Flannery explains that, in addition to the one real bat that required five handlers, the show also used two motorized bats to safely get up close and personal with the actors. The combination resulted in a particularly complicated filming process that had Flannery working her hardest:
We were not allowed to make any noise around the bat. I couldn't scream. So even though I was screaming, I was acting like I was screaming when we were shooting because—don't upset the bat. Something with the sonar.
This was Flannery's first time coming on the podcast to discuss an episode, and the former The Office cast members shows a natural rapport when reminiscing about their time filming together. Flannery mentioned in the past she'd be game to talk about "Moroccan Christmas" (season 5, episode 11), so hopefully she'll be back. Until then, Flannery's reveal about "Business School" certainly adds an interesting layer to the episode. It also shows the The Office's commitment to making things as real as possible for viewers, even if it renders the filming process a little more difficult.
The Office Ladies podcast, which is already 46 episodes in, proves fans are still very interested in the series. In addition to learning fun behind-the-scenes details like this recent reveal, it also gives listeners a chance to feel like they're hanging out with cast members from the show. Hopefully, the podcast will continue on for some time, allowing fans of The Office to learn even more fun details about their favorite show.