This spring, we lost a dear television show that revolutionized the “mockumentary” format, as well as the “America always steals good television show ideas from England” format. It’s time to celebrate “The Office.”
A cappella was treated more as a punch-line than a serious art form, but Andy Bernard’s passion for a cappella represented more of the a cappella geeks than previously realized. So today, we honor the top five a cappella moments of Andy Bernard:
[WARNING- FULL SPOILERS TO FOLLOW]
Number 5- “Night at the Roxbury”
His first day at the Scranton Dunder Mifflin branch showed us how ambitious Andy Bernard was. He was willing to mimic Michael Scott’s personality, down to the exact inflection of his tone; he won over Angela by changing his screensaver to kittens; and he managed to out-grovel Dwight during the “Integration Celebration” meeting.
Michael, in one of his utterly miserable attempts to be funny, claimed that a day at work was like a “night at a party.” Michael goes on to say that “business should feel like a night out…at the Roxbury.”
Cue the boombox…which doesn’t work. Andy steps in, singing the bass line to “What is love” in a ridiculous techno voice. And the age of “Nard Dog” begins.
Number 4- “Drift Away/Lion Sleeps Tonight”
On the road with Jim to speak to one of their biggest clients, a local high school, Andy is asked if the car has any music. So of course…Andy begins to sing “rit-dit-dit-doo…Gimmie the beat boys…” and Jim is thoroughly annoyed.
Then it turns out that Andy’s new girlfriend attends the very same high school...and Andy becomes jealous of a seventeen year old boy who flirts with her.
In an attempt to cheer him up on the way home, Jim sings a very…unique…”wim-o-wep” (John Krasinski is not the greatest singer in the world) and Andy’s blues melt away with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”
Just another example of how a cappella can cheer anyone up…even someone who accidentally dates a high school student.
Number 3- "Here Comes Treble"
In the final season, Andy’s Cornell a cappella group, “Here Comes Treble” makes a guest visit to the Dunder Mifflin branch, and the a cappella jokes commence.
Best parts about this episode…Stephen Colbert’s guest appearance as Broccoli Rob, the battle of the “Faith” solos, and the hundreds of jokes thrown in a cappella’s face.
Number 2- “Take a Chance On Me”
In one of the sweetest moments on the Office, Andy tries to court Angela with a song, sung by his college a cappella friends on speakerphone. The rendition of ABBA’s hit isn’t perfect…often the tempo falls apart and the chords are not always in tune…but the moment is a perfect example that a cappella doesn’t haven’t to be perfect to mean something.
It also proves that a cappella can sound good with only three voices.
Number 1- “Rockin’ Robin”
In his first season on “The Office,” Andy was the office villain to end all office villians…a scheming “yes-man” whose focus was destroying Dwight. When he finally achieved his goal, he stole Dwight’s desk, right across from Jim. And the battle began…
Andy’s most annoying feature? His cell phone ringtone, which was a spectacular four-part a cappella arrangement of “Rockin’ Robin,” which according to him “took forever to record.” It wasn’t the arrangement that was the problem…it was Andy’s insistence of calling himself, just so everyone could hear it over and over again.
Jim’s revenge was swift and effective. By hiding the cell phone in the ceiling, and then calling it repeatedly, Jim drove Andy to the point of no return: Andy’s frustration with not being able to find the phone made him so angry he punched a hole in the dry wall…proving to Michael, and everyone else, that Dwight deserved to be there much more than Andy did.
To this day, I have still never heard a better "Rockin' Robin."
Honorable mention- “The next great A capella Star.”
No…you didn’t read that incorrectly…a cappella was spelled wrong on the show. Andy quits his job to audition for the Sing-Off/Idol hybrid reality show, bombs the audition, cries in front of the judges, and becomes an internet phenomenon. I’d put this moment in the top five, but the fact that they spelled A cappella incorrectly, on a show that airs on the same network as “The Sing-Off,” is unforgivable.