Just in time for Mother’s Day, Office Ladies podcast hosts Jenna Fischer (The Office, Splitting Up Together) and Angela Kinsey (The Office, Fresh Off the Boat) revealed a mystery that’s been haunting The Office fans for over a decade – the identity of Jan Levinson’s sperm donor. While recapping season four finale “Goodbye Toby” for their The Office podcast, the former Dunder Mifflin staffers revealed that the original script for the Paul Lieberstein (The Office, Ghosted) penned episode named tennis player Andy Roddick as the biological father of Jan’s baby.
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According to Entertainment Weekly, Fischer and Kinsey did more than just reveal the sperm donor’s identity on the latest episode of their podcast, they described the scene which did so in the series’ original script. Kinsey explained how Melora Hardin’s (The Office, The Bold Type) Jan quantified the decision to her characteristically dumbfounded ex-boyfriend Michael Scott, played by Steve Carrell (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, The Big Short). “He’s the sixth-ranked player in the world and he’s won four grand slams,” Kinsey quoted Jan’s lines from the script, which went on to make note of Roddick’s humanitarian efforts which included “something with orphans” (Entertainment Weekly).
Kinsey and Fischer went on to explain that the choice to make Roddick Jan’s sperm-donor was not as random as it first presents. Apparently, Roddick was close personal friends with The Office star Rainn Wilson (The Office, Super) and would make frequent behind-the-scenes visits to Dunder Mifflin. Fischer then ascribed the reason Roddick was selected as Jan’s donor as an intentional “nod to Andy, who has an amazing sense of humor” and the Pam Beesly actress expressed her disappointment that the shout-out “did not stay in the episode” (Entertainment Weekly).
While Roddick’s send-up was cut from the original script, The Office writer and actress Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project) did go on to create a series for Netflix – Never Have I Ever – that featured tennis player John McEnroe in a central comedic role. Perhaps Kaling was subconsciously over-compensating for a long-forgotten The Office joke when writing McEnroe into Never Have I Ever, but its likely just a fun coincidence for fans of both series.
Regardless, The Office fans can rest a little easier now that “one of the show’s biggest mysteries” has finally been resolved, via Entertainment Weekly.