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Associated Press photos
Sitting with other cast members from NBC’s “The Office,” actor Steve Carell, center, answers a fan’s question at a wrap party on Saturday at PNC Field in Scranton, Pa.

Sayonara, Scranton-style

10,000 fans attend ‘Office’ cast farewell in show’s hometown

Rainn Wilson jumps on home plate after running the bases. The actors bade farewell to the city that served as the setting for their fictional paper company.

– The actors who play Pam, Jim, Dwight and other beloved characters from the popular NBC show “The Office” bade farewell Saturday to the northeastern Pennsylvania city of Scranton that served as the setting for their fictional paper company.

The mockumentary about a clan of quirky cubicle-dwellers at the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. wraps up May 16 after nine seasons, and a crowd estimated at 10,000 attended a wrap party in Scranton to show their appreciation.

Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson and other stars rode in classic convertibles and posed for photos as fans thronged. The stars later took the stage in front of the Lackawanna County Courthouse and played a concert with The Scrantones, the band that performed the show’s theme song.

Steve Carell, who played office boss buffoon Michael Scott, wasn’t expected to make an appearance but surprised fans at a celebration later outside the city at PNC Field, home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the New York Yankees’ Triple A affiliate, the Scranton Times-Tribune reported.

As she rode down Linden Street, Fischer teared up, overwhelmed by the adoring crowds. Krasinski said afterward that he couldn’t process it.

“To have this many people coming out of their way, driving from different places, to just see us and just say thank you is totally bizarre,” he said. “You have a lot of amazing experiences when you have this gig, but there’s nothing like people genuinely saying thank you. I don’t think we ever realized how many people we had touched.”

Briquelle Hoppes, 22, of Louisville, Ky., drove 11 hours with her fiancé and two friends – skipping town on Kentucky Derby day – to attend the wrap party, keeping themselves awake overnight by playing old “Office” episodes through the car speakers and shouting “Ain’t no party like a Scranton party ’cause a Scranton party don’t stop,” a classic line from the show.

She said she never misses an episode and frequently laughs so hard she cries.

“It appeals to a particular sense of humor, and that’s us 100 percent,” she said. “It’s very awkward, and I find awkward situations hilarious.”

While the comedy was shot in California, it made liberal use of props from Scranton and referenced plenty of real-life landmarks, from Cooper’s Seafood House and Poor Richard’s pub to Lake Wallenpaupack and the Lackawanna County Coal Mine Tour.

Scranton hosted a similar blowout, the “Office Convention,” in 2007.

On stage Saturday, Wilson paid fans the ultimate backhanded compliment – befitting his character, Dwight Schrute, a paper salesman utterly lacking in social graces.

“ ‘The Office’ fans are the greatest fans in the world!” he said. “Next to Seahawks fans.”

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