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The Hilarious Origins Behind The Office Speed Radar Cold Open Finally Revealed

Fans remember "The Office" Season 5 episode "The Duel" primarily for Andy's silent Prius attack on Dwight. But it should also be remembered as one of the dumberĀ "Office" cold opens. And we mean that in a good way. The cold open of "The Duel" sees Michael and his coworkers measuring their running speed using a recently installed radar gun. "Angela made several 911 calls about cars going too fast in front of the building," Pam explains. "So the police put up a radar gun. It's actually caused a bit of a traffic hazard." That hazard being Michael, Dwight, and Oscar running in the middle of the road.

The "Office Ladies" podcast revealed that this cold open came from a writer's real-life experience. Aaron Shure was a writer on the show who had previously worked on the Julia Louis-Dreyfus vehicle "The New Adventures of Old Christine." Angela Kinsey explained on the pod that while Shure was working on the Warner Brothers lot for that show, he lived cold open from "The Duel."

"He said on the Warner Brothers lot there was this radar gun and he was walking back from lunch ... with some of the other writers, and as he walked past the radar gun, it said zero," Kinsey said. "So he was like, 'Oh, yeah?' So he set his lunch down, backed up, and he ran as fast as he could by it. Surprisingly, it clocked 20 miles per hour." All the writers then tried to beat Shure's speed. "He said it was a very sweaty writer's room that afternoon."

The geography of Dunder Mifflin isn't what you think

The Office Ladies went beyond discussing the origins of "The Duel" cold open and explained how the sequence was filmed. While discussing the logistics of shooting that scene, the Ladies completely broke listeners' brains by revealing how the sets of Dunder Mifflin were laid out. "Anything that you see out the window of Michael running, we had to shoot that from Paul Lieberstein's [Toby] office, because that was the window that looked outside onto our parking lot and onto our street," Jenna Fischer said. "So [the director] shot Pam, pulled back into Michael's office, and then he whipped to a window that just had like a scrim behind it because that's what Michael's office really has."

That's right, Michael's window didn't actually look out onto the Dunder Mifflin parking lot. According to Architectural Digest, Season 1 was filmed in a "nondescript office space in Culver City," and that office space was rebuilt in Chandler Valley Center Studios. So looking out Michael's window, if a scrim didn't block your view, you would see the rest of a soundstage. Thankfully Lieberstein, who was also a writer on the show, had a real window that could double for Michael's TV view.