|The Office episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Charles McDougall|
|Written by||Paul Lieberstein|
|Featured music||"Get Ready for This" by 2 Unlimited|
|Cinematography by||Randall Einhorn|
|Editing by||Dean Holland|
|Original air date||March 2, 2006|
|Running time||22 minutes|
"Dwight's Speech" is the seventeenth episode of the second season of the American comedy television series The Office, and the show's twenty-third episode overall. Written by Paul Lieberstein, and directed by Charles McDougall, the episode first aired in the United States on March 2, 2006 on NBC.
The series depicts the everyday lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. In the episode, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) helps Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) with an important speech that he is going to give. Meanwhile, Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) plans a vacation to avoid Pam Beesly's (Jenna Fischer) wedding.
The speech scene employed over 500 extras, an unusual occurrence for the series. Much of Dwight's speech is based upon real speeches by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. The episode received largely positive reviews from television critics. In its original broadcast, "Dwight's Speech" earned a Nielsen rating of 4.4 in the 18–49 demographic, being viewed by 8.4 million viewers.
Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) is named Northeastern Pennsylvania Salesman of the Year and must make a speech at an association meeting at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel, getting some assistance from Michael Scott (Steve Carell). Before he leaves, Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), in retaliation for Dwight's cocky attitude, gives him tips on how to give public speeches. Unknown to Dwight, Jim's tips are taken from speeches by famous dictators, such as Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini. When Michael and Dwight make it to the convention, Dwight gets cold feet and Michael goes up and tries to relive his glory days of winning Salesman of the Year two years in a row, but ends up bombing. Dwight finally works up the nerve to give his speech and, using Jim's advice, wins over the crowd with a passionate yet unorthodox speech. Michael ends up leaving the convention room and later entertains Dwight with his tales at the bar.
|Blood alone moves the wheels of history!||Paraphrased from a speech Mussolini gave in Parma on December 13, 1914, advocating Italian entry into World War I. The actual quote is, "It is blood which moves the wheels of history!"|
|Have you ever asked yourselves in an hour of meditation, which everyone finds during the day, how long we have been striving for greatness?||"Have you ever asked yourselves in an hour of meditation, which every one finds during the day, how long we have been at war." – Mussolini speech, 23 February 1941.|
|Not only the years we've been at war, the war of work, but from the moment as a child when we realized that the world could be conquered. It has been a lifetime struggle. A never-ending fight.|
|I say to you, and you will understand, that it is a privilege to fight!||Taken from Mussolini's Italian declaration of war on the United States on 11 December 1941, when he said, "I say, and you all feel, that it is a privilege to fight with them."|
|We are warriors! Salesmen of north-eastern Pennsylvania, I ask you once more: Rise and be worthy of this historical hour!||"Italians! Once more arise and be worthy of this historical hour!" – Also from Mussolini's Italian declaration of war on the United States.|
|No revolution is worth anything unless it can defend itself!||Taken from a 1918 speech by Vladimir Lenin.|
|Some people will tell you salesman is a bad word. They'll conjure up images of used car dealers and door to door charlatans. This is our duty: to change their perception.|
|I say salesmen - and women - of the world, unite!||Workers of the world, unite!|
|We must never acquiesce, for it is together, TOGETHER, THAT WE PREVAIL! We must never cede control of the motherland! For it is [the audience] together that we prevail!|
Meanwhile, back in the office, Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) begins to write invitations for her approaching wedding with help from Ryan Howard (B. J. Novak) and Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling). Kelly talks about her dreams of getting married someday and is visibly hurt when Ryan responds to her flirtatious question about future weddings by saying he doesn't think he'll ever tie the knot; when Kelly leaves the room, Pam advises Ryan to be considerate of Kelly's feelings but Ryan curtly notes "I know what I said." Jim makes plans for a vacation anywhere away from Scranton. While that is going on, the other employees subtly duel over the thermostat. At the end of the episode, Jim tells Pam that he will be going to Australia and unfortunately, he will be missing her wedding because of it.
"Dwight's Speech" was directed by Charles McDougall, making it his second directing credit after the earlier second season episode "Christmas Party". "Dwight's Speech" was written by Paul Lieberstein, who plays human resources director Toby Flenderson. Lieberstein later revealed that Jim never went on his trip to Australia, noting "The whole Pam thing took him by surprise, he transferred and then wasn’t really up for vacation. Unless, of course, we find a good joke in his vacation."
During the earlier scenes when Dwight is in Michael's office, Pam can be seen in the background talking to Meredith. According to actress Jenna Fischer, she and Kate Flannery stayed in character and acted out mundane talking scenes. Although they were not recorded, the dialogue was very detailed. In a guest post written for TV Guide, Fischer described several of the conversations, which ranged from Pam and Meredith discussing "the problems with the new quality-assurance computer-input program", that the computers don't "accept both alpha and numeric characters", "backlog [of] receipts dating to 2001", and that Dunder Mifflin "changed to all-numeric product codes in 2004 and the computer system does not allow for the earlier records."
The speech scene employed over 500 extras, which was unusual for The Office, and was hectic for the crew to organize.
The Season Two DVD contains a number of deleted scenes from this episode. Notable cut scenes include Dwight coming to work wearing sunglasses, Michael criticizing Dwight's speaking skills, Dwight trying to tell another joke to the office, Ryan bringing the wrong type of stamps for Pam's wedding invitations, and an extended scene of Michael's unfunny and extremely awkward speech.
In order to practice his public speaking skills, Dwight tries to convince the office that Brad Pitt was in a car accident. Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling) then states that it "is karma because of what he did to Jennifer Aniston." During the meeting in the break room Dwight references Good Morning, Vietnam. Michael later references the movie at the actual convention when he is filling time for Dwight. When Jim asks the office where he should go for vacation, Kevin tells him he should go to Hedonism Resorts, describing it as "Club Med, only everything is naked." Toby tells him he should go to Amsterdam, while Creed informs him that he should go to Hong Kong. Dwight later reveals that he will be going to New Zealand to "walk the Lord of the Rings trail to Mordor and I will hike Mount Doom."
"Dwight's Speech" originally aired on NBC on March 2, 2006. The episode received a 4.4 rating/10 percent share among adults between the ages of 18 and 49. This means that it was seen by 4.4 percent of all 18- to 49-year-olds, and 10 percent of all 18- to 49-year-olds watching television at the time of the broadcast. The episode was viewed by 8.4 million viewers, and retained 88 percent of its lead-in My Name Is Earl audience. An encore presentation of the episode on August 15 received a 1.9 rating/6 percent share and was viewed by over 4.6 million viewers and retained 100 percent of its lead-in audience.
"Dwight's Speech" received mostly positive reviews. Michael Sciannamea of TV Squad wrote that he wonders if the Jim-Pam relationship "will reach some sort of resolution or become a season-ending cliffhanger". Sciannamea also noted that "you know you're living in a Bizarro World when Dwight wins Dunder Mifflin's salesman of the year award." M. Giant of Television Without Pity graded the episode with an "A–." Francis Rizzo III of DVD Talk felt that Dwight's enlarged role was great, but noted that the episode was not as funny as his "strange behavior" in "The Injury." Betsy Bozdech of DVD Journal described "Dwight's Speech" as an instant classic. Not all reviews were so glowing. Brendan Babish of DVD Verdict felt that "Dwight's Speech" was "one of the few misfires" of the season, noting that it "certainly has laughs", but that "its humor is a bit too absurd compared to the show's usual riffs on office ennui". He ultimately gave the episode a "B–", but wrote that "Dwight's Speech" being the worst episode of the season was a "testament to the show's excellence."
IGN ranked the scene with Dwight making his speech as its third-best moment in the first two seasons, and called Wilson's performance a "hilariously spot-on impersonation of Mussolini's crazed arm movements." In addition, Rolling Stone named the same scene the eighteenth-funniest scene in the first three seasons of The Office.
- "Shows A–Z – Office, The on NBC". The Futon Critic. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
- Mussolini and Severino, p. 17
- Mussolini, Benito (23 February 1941). Speech Delivered by Premier Benito Mussolini (Speech). Rome, Italy. Paragraph 1. Retrieved 31 January 2021.CS1 maint: location (link)
- Mussolini, Benito. "Translation:Declaration of War Against the United States, by Benito Mussolini. Italy, December 11, 1941". Wikisource.
- Report at a Joint Session off the All-Russia Central Executive Committee, The Moscow Soviet, Factory Committees and Trade Unions
- Charles McDougall (director); Paul Lieberstein (writer) (March 2, 2006). "Dwight's Speech". The Office. Season 2. Episode 17. NBC. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Charles McDougall (director); Michael Schur (writer) (December 6, 2005). "Christmas Party". The Office. Season 2. Episode 10. NBC. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Fischer, Jenna (March 2, 2006). "The Office Presents: 'Dwight's Speech'". TV Guide. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
- Skerry, Kathy (October 16, 2006). "Jim Halpert… Did He or Didn't He?". Give Me My Remote. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Deleted scenes for "Dwight's Speech" (DVD). The Office: Season Two Disc 2: Universal Studios Home Entertainment. 2006.CS1 maint: location (link)
- Giant, M. (March 2, 2006). "Dwight's Speech". Television Without Pity. NBCUniversal. Archived from the original on April 21, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
- "The Office 'Dwight's Speech' Quotes". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- "The Office – Seasons – Season 2 – Episode Guide". NBC. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
- "Mar. 7, 2006 Press Release ("Dwight's Speech")" (Press release). NBC. February 27, 2007. Retrieved June 12, 2012.[dead link] Alt URL
- "Aug. 15, 2006 Press Release ("Dwight's Speech")" (Press release). NBC. February 27, 2007. Retrieved June 12, 2012.[dead link] Alt URL
- Sciannamea, Michael (March 3, 2006). "The Office: Dwight's Speech". TV Squad. Weblogs, Inc. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
- Rizzo III, Francis (September 12, 2006). "The Office – Season Two". DVD Talk. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Bozdech, Betsy. "The Office: Season Two". DVD Journal. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
- Babish, Brendan. "The Office: Season Two". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2007.
- Goldman, Eric; Zoromski, Brian (September 20, 2006) The Top 10 Moments from The Office IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved June 16, 2008
- Thomas, Lindsey (October 17, 2007). "The 25 Greatest Moments from 'The Office'". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 22, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- Mussolini, Benito; Severino, Barone (2006). Mussolini: As Revealed in His Political Speeches November 1914 – August 1923. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 9781428654938.