‘The Office’ Parade in Scranton: City Laughs at Itself

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The Office parade: Actors from the NBC show The Office paraded through Scranton, Pa., on May 4, where the show, which will finish May 16, is set.

Though The Office was filmed almost entirely in California, it is set in the industrial town of Scranton, Pa., with a population of about 75,000. As Philadelphia Inquirer writer  David Hiltbrand points out, the city seems to have “wholeheartedly endorsed the TV satire, despite its implicit mockery.”

“Hey, rusty industrial towns in Lackawanna County can’t be choosers,” writes Hiltbrand.

A crowd of about 10,000 attended the Wrap Party in Scranton on Saturday, with some paying hundreds of dollars for a VIP package to rub elbows with the actors who play Pam, Jim, Dwight, and other popular characters.

The NBC mockumentary features the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. in Scranton. The series finale will air on May 16, wrapping up nine seasons.

“It’s cool to see all the Dunder Mifflin signs [around Scranton],” Courtney Barrow, 19, a student at Pennsylvania State University and a fan of the show, told Hiltbrand. “It’s obvious the city has really embraced the show,” she said.

In a video of the parade posted by a fan on YouTube, actor Oscar Nunez said: “The office fans are the greatest fans in the world, next to the Seahawks fans.” He expressed amazement at how The Office climbed to the top of the list of the most popular iTunes downloads.

Nunez plays Dunder Mifflin’s paper supply accountant, Oscar Martinez.

Scranton’s fame has helped draw tourists to the town. The Office fans have had a chance (for $55, or $45 for youth) to visit landmarks such as the Mall at Steamtown and Poor Richard’s Pub,  or to take photos with a large, cardboard cutout of Phyllis’s head. 


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