That's What They Said: Penn Gets A Shout Out On 'The Office'
November 1, 2008 at 11:47 am
Penn's Ivy cousin Cornell gets namedropped left and right on The Office, but because this blog is called Under The Button (as opposed to "Inside The Gorge" or something Ithaca-y like that), it doesn't usually warrant a post. On Thursday night's episode, however, Penn finally got a mention! And it wasn't a lame joke at Penn's expense, as many Penn pop cultural references tend to be, so double hooray!
So here's the backstory: Andy (Ed Helms) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) are bitter rivals: both of them really want to be the boss's pet and they also share a bizarre ardor for Angela, the uptight accountant. Andy's main bragging right is the fact that he went to Cornell, which he mentions as frequently as possible. One day a fed-up Dwight comes into the office clad in a Cornell sweatshirt--Andy is pissed that Dwight's mocking the "sacred colors," but Dwight says it's ok, because he's actually applying to Cornell. Later in the break room, Dwight asks a fuming Andy, "So, how do you think we're gonna do against Penn this year?" We loved that Penn got mentioned, and we especially loved how well-placed it was--as a Scrantonite, Dwight would definitely be familiar with Penn, the closest Ivy.
Check out the scene, which comes about six minutes into the episode:
Edit: Ahem. A pedantic reader writes in to set the record straight: "actually, cornell is the closet ivy to scranton. followed by princeton. columbia and penn are exactly tied for third place at 126 miles from scranton. check it on google maps."