One of my favorite episodes of the U.S. series The Office is the season four episode entitled “The Dinner Party.” In the show, Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) and Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin) invite some guests from the Dunder Mifflin office for dinner, and the tension in their relationship plays out to make the most awkward party since the Donners. As Jim notes to the camera, “Michael and Jan seem to be playing their own separate game, and it’s called ‘let’s see how uncomfortable we can make our guests.’ And they’re both winning.” One of the most uncomfortable moments comes from a wonderful song, “That One Night,” by The Hunted.
The Hunted is the fictional band led by Hunter Raymond, the young man who had worked as Jan’s assistant. As Jan plays the CD on the stereo in “The Dinner Party” episode, the awkwardness ramps up when we realize that Hunter is apparently singing about losing his virginity to Jan (“You took me by the hand/ And made me a man.”). Below is the cringe-worthy clip of when Jan first plays the song.
The song appears again at the end of the episode when Jim reveals to Pam that he stole the CD, a sweet gesture to make Pam laugh and a sympathetic theft so Michael no longer has to hear the song. He plays the CD in their car as the song then plays over an epilogue showing the dinner guests after the party.
Unfortunately, there is no real album by The Hunted, but the song works perfectly in the episode of The Office. When a comedy uses an original song for comic effect, it is a challenge for the song to sound believably real while being funny too. “That One Night” hits it out of the park on all counts.
Who are the geniuses behind “That One Night”? In the series, actor Nicholas D’Agosto (born April 17, 1980) portrayed Hunter Raymond. D’Agosto appeared in two episodes during the third season, his voice appeared in another episode, and his image graced the CD cover for “That One Night” in “The Dinner Party” episode.
The actual singer on “That One Night,” though, is Todd Fancey, a singer-songwriter who is the guitarist for The New Pornographers. Fancey also wrote the catchy music for “That One Night,” while writing and producing team Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg wrote the lyrics.
There are no “official” lyrics for the song posted on the web, so there seems to be a disagreement about the words Fancey sings. Some say that part of the chorus says “so raw, so right,” while others claim he sings “so wrong, so right.” Another source claims the words are “so rock the ride all night all right.” I have always thought it was “so wrong,” and that makes the most sense, but I understand how one may also hear it as “so raw.”
While we never got a tour or a full album from The Hunted, we loved the band’s music for that one night. Oh yeah.
What is your favorite episode of The Office? If you also love “The Dinner Party,” check out these deleted scenes. Leave your two cents in the comments.
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