On a common criticism of The Office:
I think that the show has always balanced reality with absurdity. It’s so funny when you read the people writing about it online, like on the blogs and stuff, and they talk about, ”Oh, that’s completely unbelievable…” But none of it has EVER been believable. Within a very realistic setting, that’s shot like a documentary, it’s played naturalistically. It’s just the stuff that they’re writing about is absurd. So I think it’s always a balancing act between the minutia of office life — like it’s somebody’s birthday and they have to get a cake — and the absurdity of, like, Dwight gets a concussion and his personality changes. You know, so many of the same bloggers, those are almost unanimously voted their favorite episodes. Literally, the plot is Michael burns his foot in a George Foreman grill, Dwight gets a concussion and his personality changes. That’s ridiculous! That doesn’t happen in real life! At all!
On the raison d’ Dwight:
There was a line — I think it was cut out of the basketball episode in our first season — where Dwight took over the vacation schedule, and Jim says to Dwight, ”That’s the smallest amount of power I’ve ever seen go to anyone’s head.” And I think that pretty much sums it up.