On last night's episode of The Office, Ricky Gervais made a cameo as David Brent, the character he played in the UK version of the show. Brent has a brief run-in with Steve Carell's Michael Scott at an elevator well, ending with shared bonding over a expertly delivered "That's what she said!" joke, of course.
For fans of both the American and UK iterations of The Office, the scene was positively euphoric. But as Movieline's Mike Ryan points out, David Brent's appearance in Michael Scott's universe raises one pivotal, deep question: "How did these two people, living thousands of miles apart, once live a day with the exact same events occurring?"
Recall, after all, that the pilots of both versions of the series were virtually identical, right down to common bits of dialogue. The top of this week's episode confirms that the two characters exist in the same word, making the fact they once lived such similar days an eerie coincidence—or is there more to it than that? Ryan has some theories:
Is it possible that Michael Scott saw David Brent's documentary and copied some of his actions? That's not completely unbelievable considering how much Michael loves paper companies, so a documentary on a British paper company seems like something that would interest Michael. If so, though, why didn't Scott recognize Brent when he ran into him in last night's episode?
Making this an even stranger occurrence? Both of these respective days were filmed by a camera crew for this supposed documentary on office workers. There is proof that such a strange paradox exists! Since it's been a few years, let's assume that Michael never saw the documentary about Brent's company, Wernham-Hogg. But when the documentary on Dunder Mifflin-Sabre is finally released to the world, there will have to be at least one person who notices that the beginnings to both documentaries are almost exactly the same -- probably the producers of the Wernham-Hogg feature.
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