Goodbye, Michael Scott: The top 20 Steve Carell moments on ‘The Office’

Steve Carell is leaving “The Office” tonight in a special extended episode. As you brace yourself for the tears, remember the laughs he brought us. Here are my favorite Michael Scott moments from the past 7 seasons:

20. The Golden Ticket Idea
Michael adopts a little Willy Wonka ingenuity and hides “golden tickets” in random paper shipments. One company received all of them, getting 40% off their purchase, causing everyone in Scranton to freak out about the consequences.

19. Michael speaks to Ryan’s business school
In the middle of every speech, a speaker should throw out candy bars.

18. Dunder Mifflin’s local ad: The Michael Scott Director’s Cut
Great Scott!

17. Stanley and Michael LOVE Pretzel Day
“Can I get one with everything on it?” The pretzel with the works sends Michael into a sugar coma.

16. Scott’s Tots
Apparently, Michael promised a bunch of students 10 years ago that he would pay for all of their college educations. They’re so pleased when they finally graduate high school that they put on a big production to thank him — until they discover he can’t afford it.

15. “Lazy Scranton”
Michael welcomes his new employees from the merger with an introduction to Scranton – what! – the Electric City.

14. “Hug it out, bitch.”
Michael busts Dwight’s attempt to overthrow the position of office manager after his appointment with a dentist named Crentist… after his hilarious dude hug, he later forces Schrute to wear a sign that says “Liar.”
>> Watch the clip on NBC.com

13. Michael starts a Cafe Disco
After leaving the Michael Scott Paper Company to return to Dunder Mifflin, he used his old office space to be a combination dance party venue and coffeehouse for him to escape work once in a while.

12. “I… declare… bankruptcy!”

11. Michael kisses Oscar after his gay witch hunt
This scene was improvised — Carell wasn’t supposed to kiss his outed employee, but he did and it’s easily one of the 10 most unforgettable moments on the show.

10. Which Asian girl is Michael’s date?
After picking up two girls at a Japanese restaurant, Michael marks one of their arms with a pen so he can remember which one is supposed to be his date.

9. The Dundies
Best. Awards. Show. Ever.

8. “Booze Cruise” Motivational Dance
It’s a toss-up between this and his speech about how the ship is sinking for best moment of the episode. Okay, maybe it’s a three-way tie with “I’m king of the world!”

7. Michael vs. Toby
“I hate so much about everything you choose to be.” He just wanted to have a kickass Casino Night, yo.

6. Scott cooks his foot on a Foreman Grill
“I like to wake up in the morning to the smell of bacon.”

5. Threat Level Midnight
The Michael Scarn movie is finally realized, and it was even funnier than I imagined. Extra thumbs up to Jim playing “Goldenface.”

4. Michael hits Meredith with his car
It’s okay, it actually ended up saving her from the “incurable” disease of rabies. Of every season-opener, this was by far the single best moment.

3. Prison Mike
In Season 3, Michael got a little jealous of the attention that one of his new employees from the Stamford branch was getting when they found out he had a prison record. Scott’s solution? To scare people straight with his own prison experiences.

2. “That’s what she said!”
There are countless TWSS moments on the show, but the best one had to have been when Scott told his employees he was retiring from comedy over concerns of sexual harassment. Jim made it hard. (That’s what she said.)

1. Michael Scott vs. Michael Scott
When he waited to find out if Holly was engaged to her New Hampshire branch boyfriend, he recorded two videos to help him get through the result. One was a sad Michael to talk him out of killing himself. The other, the one we got to see, was a happy Michael that talked back at himself and danced along in a ridiculously awesome moment. Two Michaels are better than one.

By the way, Steve Carell grew up in Acton, Massachusetts — my hometown — and attended school in Concord, the next town over. (Sigh.) I’m going to miss him, but I’m still optimistic the show will be good after he leaves. But, as the 20 clips above show, it’s hard to imagine life at Dunder Mifflin without Michael Scott.

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#SYRDT RECAP: Syracuse Doubletree Tweetup – the trivia (and answers), the tweeps, and the twitpics

@SYRDT put together these awesome nametags so getting to know each other at the tweetup was a fast and fun experience!

Kevin (@SYRDT) and I (@deafgeoff) put together our first tweetup last night as a fun attempt to try something new — we incorporated pub-style trivia and twitpic challenges for tweeps to earn points and win prizes. We also had two social media-inspired drink specials, the Fail Whale Martini and the Tiger Blood Cosmopolitan (thanks to @NikkiFeroni for the recipe on the latter). Thanks so much to everyone who came, and a BIG THANK YOU to the Syracuse Doubletree Hotel for hosting. Re-live the fun experience below, plus see all the trivia answers!

THE TRIVIA
Tweeps formed teams for trivia (questions compiled and emceed by yours truly). There were five rounds with three questions each, and teams had one song’s length to turn in their answers. (We also took a 5-10 minute break for social interaction in between each round to keep the spirit of a tweetup!) At the end, the team with the most points won an overnight stay at the Syracuse Doubletree — and those awesome DT cookies! Here are the questions (with answers posted way at the bottom of this entry, after the jump):

Round 1: Current Events
1. 50 years ago this week, Russia sent the first man into space. What does NASA stand for? (3 points)
2. A photograph of a sign in front of a store saying “No restrooms. Try Amazon.” made headlines last week. What store was it? (5 points)
3. A cobra went missing in the Bronx Zoo last month and became instantly popular on Twitter. When the snake was found, what name did zoo officials give it? (5 points)

Round 2: Entertainment
1. How many times has Britney Spears been married? (1 point)
2. What SU graduate won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay for The Social Network? (3 points)
3. Besides Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer, who appears on the most episodes of “Seinfeld”? (5 points)

Round 3: Sports
1. What Major League Baseball team has currently gone the longest without winning a World Series? (1 point)
2. Syracuse had a professional basketball team in the American Basketball Association for half a season in 2007. What was their team name? (3 points)
3. What football player won two MVP awards and a Super Bowl despite not being picked in the NFL draft? (5 points)

Round 4: Syracuse
1. Where can you find an upside-down traffic light? (1 point)
2. Before Otto the Orange, what was the Syracuse University mascot? (3 points)
3. Other than the 24-second shot clock, name a commonly used invention that originated in Syracuse. (5 points)

Round 5: Famous Phrases
1. Who said “They call me Mr. Pig”? (1 point)
2. Finish the quote: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are…” (3 points)
3. What song has the line “I’ll be beside the phone waiting for you”? (5 points)

(Trivia Answers at the bottom of this entry, after the jump.)

* * * * *

THE TWEEPS:
These awesome people all stopped by the tweetup. Thanks for coming!
@syrdt
@deafgeoff
@doubletreecutie (+ her mom, who isn’t on Twitter)
@nikkiferoni
@blunick / @mozeo
@dagsly
@mitch_m
@kelvinringold
@fosterdad2
@scottseverance
@jhatchDJ / @thesocialDJ
@mmccormickcny
@mandeewidrick / @chargedupmedia
@calebwidrick / @calebsusedbikes
@tdog4494 / @asktim
@missbrittz
@jbbusch
@joshshear
@toddengel
@whoislauramcg
+ Lara (who also isn’t on Twitter yet – let’s remedy that…)

* * * * *

THE TWITPICS:
People who played trivia got bonus points for taking pictures of tweeps and posting them with hashtag #syrdt. The catch? Pictures had to be of people who weren’t on their trivia team, to encourage them to go out and meet new people! Some of my favorite pictures:


@kelvinringold, @mitch_m & @dagsly


@blunick & @nikkiferoni


@mandeewidrick with @doubletreecutie & her mom

@dagsly
@dagsly

More Twitpics:
@calebwidrick: @mitch_m & @dagsly
@mandeewidrick: @syrdt
@jhatchdj: @mmccormickcny
@kelvinringold: @kelvinringold & @mandeewidrick
@calebwidrick: @fosterdad2
@thesocialdj: Lara & @deafgeoff
@mandeewidrick: @deafgeoff, @missbrittz, @dagsly & Lara
@thesocialdj: @deafgeoff & @missbrittz
@mandeewidrick: @scottseverance & @jhatchdj
@fosterdad2: @tdog4494 & @mandeewidrick
@jhatchdj: Empty glass that was a delicious Tiger Blood Cosmo
@calebwidrick: @mitch_m “These chips are awesome!”
@mandeewidrick: @kelvinringold & the cookie monster (@mitch_m)

* * * * *

THE TRIVIA ANSWERS: Continue reading

When false news spreads: Has Twitter become one giant version of the ‘telephone’ game?

We’ve all played the telephone game at one point when we were kids. One kid says “My aunt Sally usually likes to bake cookies using lots of sugar,” and by the time it gets to the 12th kid it’s become “My aunt Sally makes cookies with sugar and chocolate chips.” It’s a very human behavior, and sometimes the meaning is still intact, but… have you noticed news reporting, especially on a social medium limited to only 140 characters, has become sloppy?

First of all, fake celebrity deaths is a separate problem. We see a famous person’s name trending on Twitter and, morbidly, half of us assume the person has died without even checking to see what people are saying. If you do actually click to see what “William Shatner” tweets are saying, half of them are saying “Why is William Shatner trending?” and most of the rest will say “William Shatner is 80 – happy birthday, Captain Kirk!” But there’ll be a few that say “RIP William Shatner” and that will spread.

The real issue with “telephone” news is that a rumor quickly becomes fact without any proof or change, except in the flow of information from one person to the next.

On Monday, ONE source had claimed Katie Couric was “thinking” about leaving CBS Evening News since her contract is up in June. By Monday night, everyone had reported on it and moved on and said “I can’t believe Katie Couric quit” and “Now that Katie Couric has confirmed she’s leaving CBS Evening News, who should replace her?”

False. No one had confirmed anything.

But that’s the telephone game. “Source says” and “confirmed” are two different things, people. It’s more exciting to say you’ve confirmed something than “report claims” or any other softer approach. Plus, we’re often so excited at “big” news that we like to be the first to tell our friends, so often we’ll retweet or add our own $.02 without confirming anything or even bothering to read past one headline.

Are we victims of our own human nature to spread false information on the Internet? Speaking especially as a hard-of-hearing person, I’ve noticed that we often hear what we want to hear and interpret it in our own way. Then when we relay the information, the facts change. Sometimes slightly, sometimes completely.

News media has always been more interested in being FIRST than being correct, and the Internet has perpetuated that incredibly in the SEO and SMO game. Plus, if you post a false story on your Twitter or your blog, all you have to do to correct it later is other post something new or just edit the original story. Tempting, I know, but please… check your facts before you spread news.