An award presented Thursday morning confirmed what most people already knew – Scranton is the best hometown of “The Office.”
Peacock, the new NBC streaming service that this month took over as the exclusive home of “The Office,” presented an oversized Dundie Award to Scranton in a morning ceremony outside City Hall. As snow fell, Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti accepted the award and an accompanying certificate. She thanked Peacock and NBC as well as the fans for continuing to love not only the show but also the city.
“It is my honor every single day to be mayor of ‘the best hometown of ‘The Office,’ ” Cognetti said.
The Dundie is a replica of the awards given out in the Scranton-set comedy, which ran on NBC from 2005 to 2013 and brought numerous stars to the area through the years. Featuring a golden likeness of a businessman set atop a stand, it takes its name from Dunder Mifflin, the fictional paper company at the center of the show.
Peacock touted the one given to Scranton as the biggest Dundie in the world. A plaque on the bottom of the award read “Best Hometown of ‘The Office.'”
Prior to the presentation, workers scrambled to fix the Dundie, which broke in the truck transporting it to city hall. They got it back together for the ceremony, and Peacock will send a replacement in the coming weeks. The Dundie will go on display outside City Hall, where the public can take pictures with it.
“It’s another great tourist attraction for the area,” Cognetti said.
Peacock also presented monetary donations and Dunder Mifflin-branded office supplies to Dress for Success Lackawanna and Outreach Center for Community Resources, formerly EOTC, and trucks were to deliver office supplies to other local charities. Linda Ciampi, Outreach’s executive director, said the organization felt honored to receive the donations, and she looks forward to seeing the Dundie on display.
“We were actually very excited and delighted (and) quite surprised that we were selected, because there’s so many great nonprofits in the area,” she said.
Mary Ann Iezzi, executive director of Dress for Success Lackawanna, was excited to be part of Thursday’s event – and noted how important such donations are at this time.
“Everybody loves ‘The Office,’ and it’s just a great way to bring a little attention to the city and Dress for Success Lackawanna,” she said.
Peacock originally planned to present the Dundie last week but postponed the ceremony to Thursday, when it brought Dunder Mifflin trucks and men dressed as the company’s workers to City Hall along with the Dundie. Representatives of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce also attended, and local radio personality Jeff Walker served as emcee.
Cognetti showed off her “World’s Best Mayor” mug designed to look like the “World’s Best Boss” mug made famous in “The Office.” The comedy was a well-written, well-made show that’s also family-friendly, Cognetti said, which helps the city embrace that connection.
“It’s kind of timeless in a way,” she said.
In a taped message shown at the presentation, “Office” stars Kate Flannery and Oscar Nuñez helped present the Dundie and donations.
“Best fans, best city ever,” Flannery said. “We love you, and we thank you for being such an important part of ‘The Office’ family.”
Caitlin Heaney West is the content editor for Access NEPA and oversees the Early Access blog in addition to working as a copy editor and staff writer for The Times-Tribune. An award-winning journalist, she is a summa cum laude graduate of Shippensburg University and also earned a master’s degree from Marywood University. Caitlin joined the Times-Shamrock family in 2009 and lives in Scranton. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5107; or @cheaneywest