In case you hadn't heard, The Office veteran Leslie David Baker is developing an unofficial spinoff from the long-running sitcom, in which his cantankerous character Stanley Hudson is drawn out of retirement in Florida to help a family member in need. Thinly veiled as "Uncle Stan," Baker will be reviving the Stanley Hudson character as a guy who seems to be much more at ease with himself now that he doesn't have Dunder Mifflin to deal with on a day to day basis. Baker revealed the project last week, after having teased on social media that there was something Stanley-themed coming. So far, the project has raised about 20% of its projected budget on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. And today, he's appealing directly to the people most likely to support it with a Reddit AMA on a The Office fan subreddit.
He isn't the first to cash in on The Office nostalgia, either; series stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey recently launched Office Ladies, a The Office rewatch podcast on which they frequently feature their former co-stars as guests. The series has proven extremely popular, and garnered the pair some lucrative sponsorship deals and award nominations.
You can check out the official synopsis for Uncle Stan here: "When Lucky picks up his uncle at LAX in a motorcycle with a sidecar laden with flowers and no room for his luggage, Uncle Stan knows that he will be in for quite the adventure and challenge. With his unique personality and business acumen that he has acquired over decades, Stan is sure to clash once or twice with the wild personalities that Lucky has working in the shop. With his lady friend and soon-to-be fiancée completely in the dark, Uncle Stan must take swift action to make sure that not only his nephew comes out on top, but that he is able to maintain some semblance of his previously comfortable lifestyle moving forward."
As with most Kickstarters for TV and movie projects, fans can get things like signed scripts, Blu-rays, digital downloads, and more. This particular campaign also offers fans the chance to be a producer on the movie, join the writers' room for an episode, appear as an extra, or visit the set. You can see the list of perks and more details on the show at the Kickstarter page.
The page is fairly light on specific details, meaning that other members of the cast, when the series might go into production, and other specifics are unlikely to be revealed until the project is funded. So what did he reveal during his chat with fans on Reddit today?
What will the character be like?
Here's some of what Baker had to say about the character of Uncle Stan, as presented in the forthcoming show:
"As Stanley is not a one-dimensional character, you will have the opportunity to experience him in a family and business environment, whereas before, you only saw the business side. It's been 7 years since Stanley's retirement, so you can only imagine however much a person changes after that period of time."
"Retirement wasn't as exciting as he thought it was going to be, and at this point in his life he is looking to make a major change and is very hopeful about his future."
"As far as the humor, same Stanley, different circumstances and a lot more developed. You also get to see a wider range of his personality and emotions. The style of humor will reflect the original show and will hopefully be expanded to a wider audience."
"It was a chance to expound upon Stan's dreams, hopes, ambitions, and extended family relationships. It's amazing to be able to collaborate with the fans."prevnext
About sleeping on the job
Stanley was always falling asleep as his desk, so more htan one fan asked Baker whether he ever actually dozed off while he was playing a character who always dozed off.
"Oh yes, absolutely a couple of times! When I had a mask on for a Halloween episode I fell asleep, and also once after a Christmas party I also fell asleep on the couch."prevnext
Will other characters from The Office show up?
Is there any chance we might see other characters from The Office? Now, this one is tricky because given that the show is technically unofficial and Uncle Stan is legally distinct from Stanley Hudson...well, that seems like it might be hard. But Baker isn't especially worried:
"Uncle Stan is Stanley Hudson 9 years after his retirement, and in terms of who from his past will resurface, one never knows......His past is just as relevant a part of his life as his future."prevnext
What was his favorite Stanley-focused episode of The Office, and his favorite that wasn't Stanley-heavy?
"Probably when I had the heart attack and Steve was trying to revive me. Also the episode when Rainn and Clark were rolling me across the parking lot wrapped in bubble wrap. The non Stanley-focused episode was Phyllis and Bob Vance's wedding."prevnext
All about pretzels
Obviously, a lot of fans fell in love with Stanley during the Pretzel Day episode. So...what's his favorite kind of pretzel?
"I prefer Grandmother Hudson's Preztels."
What did he get on the pretzel he actually ate the day the set had a pretzel cart?
"Chocolate, caramel, and pecans."
And why was a key bonding scene between Michael and Stanley cut in the pretzel day episode?
"I have no idea, probably editing time constraints, but luckily we have it as an outtake!"prevnext
Which 'The Office' scene was the hardest to get through without laughing?
"Hmmmm. Probably the 'Did I Stutter?' scene. I had the hardest time staying in character when yelling at Steve Carell. Because he made me smile."prevnext
Baker's favorite Stanley Hudson lines from 'The Office'
"Boy have you lost your mind?!" ...Because it had BJ and Mindy cracking up.
And, "...we get to go home!" Because it made Steve crack up.prevnext
What did he do during all those shots where he had to be on his computer in the background?
"How many hours did I spend at my desk? 9 Years.... You do the math."
"To keep busy, lots of shopping at my computer, talking to friends, talking to cast members, talking to crew online."
"I was looking for a house, and furniture, and helping Phyllis find a gown for the Emmys and myself some shoes. We shopped a lot...."prevnext
What's Uncle Stan doing during COVID's isolation?
"He's listening to old disco music and grilling."prevnext
What about Stanley's hentai?
This deleted scene is "canon -- and it's art," according to Baker.prevnext