The Office: 3 Hidden Secrets of the Dundies
For employees of the Dunder-Mifflin Scranton branch, there’s no more prestigious reward for work done well than the Dundie, an annual award for a variety of accomplishments such as Hottest in the Office and Spiciest Curry.
For Dundie aficionados, here are three secrets previously only known to members of the Dundie Academy of Office Arts and Sciences.
The Dundies have two real-life counterparts.The Office wasn’t producer Greg Daniels’ first batch of pickles. Conan O’Brien’s old college buddy held a similar role on the animated King of the Hill, where he attempted to build staff morale and camaraderie with The Swampies.
Daniels named the King awards after show designer Jeff "Swampy" Marsh. "He had a big personality,” said Daniels, “so we called it the Swampies and I got those little plastic salesman trophies that are not too hard to find.”
The Swampies also had a precursor in a managers meeting that Daniels's father used to lead every year. "He'd wear a Carnac hat — you know, the turban — and his name was Aaron, so he'd be 'Aaronac,'" says Daniels. "If you didn't grow up watching The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, one of his most popular characters was Carnac the Magnificent, in which Johnny predicted the answers to questions that were sealed in an envelope." And that, in turn, inspired Michael’s Carnac joke at the Dundies.