The beloved American comedy series, The Office was one of the forefathers of the ever so popular docu-drama genre. Along with some of the most memorable characters and quotables, the only thing more synonymous with the series name was it’s opening theme song.
In his recent memoir, Rainn Wilson, the actor who played Dwight Schrute revealed that the decision making process for picking the theme song was a lot more complicated than most would think. As it turns out, NBC only asked Jay Ferguson to write what ended up as the final theme song after a couple options fell through, including Modest Mouse’s “Float On”.
There was an interesting process to decide on our theme song. Many songs were being considered seriously, including “Better Things” by the Kinks and “Float On” by Modest Mouse. Greg [Daniels] graciously sent out a list of songs and links to them as well for the cast to weigh in on. The one we all wanted most of all was “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra. It’s a sensational song and its jubilant, upbeat refrain would have fit perfectly over the drab video of the opening credits. Then we found out another show, the doomed and dismally conceived LAX, used the song. (Yes, this was a television show that was about the day-to-day operations of A GIANT CRAPPY AIRPORT starring Heather Locklear. THINK ABOUT HOW STUPID AN IDEA THAT IS! Besides prison and a dentist’s office, what place do we want to avoid more than any other? Long lines, missed flights, shootings, pushy crowds, metal detectors, overpriced food. Just the kinds of things you want to curl up on a couch with a bag of yogurt raisins and watch more about week after week, no?)
The theme we eventually ended up with was a beaut. Composed by former seventies rock/pop star Jay Ferguson, it was fun and catchy with just a hint of melancholy. It perfectly set the tone for the show. I’ve written pretend lyrics to it on many occasions. Perhaps I’ll sing them to you one day if you’re nice.
Check out the original intro, and our updated version with “Float On” below.