'The Good Place' creator Mike Schur reveals his best jokes in the finale fans might have missed
- The series finale of
Mike Schur's latest show, the recently Emmy-nominated comedy " The Good Place," aired at the start of 2020.
- Schur spoke with Insider abut his favorite jokes and Easter eggs planted in the show, from the "magic panda" to the Fibonacci sequence numbers.
- You also might have missed Adam Scott's demon character flying through the background of a scene in the finale.
NBC's "The Good Place," which recently nabbed seven Emmy nominations, is the type of show that operates on two levels. The show's creator, Mike Schur, was aware from the start that he wanted to make a show that could be watched by a wide swath of people.
The folks on the first level might just watch all four seasons, or even just a few episodes here and there, and be entertained by the characters and the overall storyline. But on the second level, Schur knew there were people who would notice that the iconic "Snake Juice" alcohol from his other
Schur's favorite background jokes, including a magic panda and Adam Scott's demon character flying through the void for eternity (as spotted in the series finale)
Throughout all four seasons of "The Good Place," there were dozens of small visual gags and even some Easter egg references to Schur's other series, "Parks and Recreation" (which he and many fans shorten to simply "Parks and Rec")."Our visual effects supervisor, a crazy genius named David Neidnagel, loved to sneak little tiny things into episodes," Schur said.
Just one example Schur remembers is when Jason Mendoza, in a flashback showing how he died, locks himself into a Swanson Safe — a sneaky reference to Nick Offerman's character from "Parks and Rec," Ron Swanson.But Schur's favorite background joke, which many fans might not have noticed, was spurred after a season three scene between Adam Scott's character, a demon named Trevor, and the Judge (played by Maya Rudolph). Annoyed by his presence, the Judge sent Trevor flying off the walkway into the afterlife void. "On a number of occasions after that, whenever we would see people walking through the afterlife system on the bridge, we would take the footage we recorded of Adam Scott flying backwards and drop it into the background," Schur said. "We would use his actual scream and put it really delicately in the background."
This happened for a final time in the series finale, "Whenever You're Ready," which you can see in the GIF below:
"It was funny because then we'd have to credit [Adam Scott] and pay him for being in the episodes," Schur said. "I always liked the idea that even amongst the demons, he was probably the worst one, and now he was just flying backwards through the void for the rest of time. That's his ultimate fate."Another one of Schur's favorite jokes is shared with his 10-year-old daughter. Early in the series, there was a small scripted joke about a "magic panda" that Jason wanted to try and use to escape the Good Place. The NFX supervisor, David Niednagel, started actually putting a teleporting panda into the background of some scenes, as you can see here.
"My daughter saw it once," Schur said. "She really loved the magic panda, so then we kept putting it in everywhere. There are a billion things like that — really just-for-us fun jokes."
The numbers 322 and 12358 appeared throughout 'The Good Place,' and made key appearances in the final episode
On the subject of inside-jokes, Schur also says he decided to "have a little bit of fun" with people who might be watching the first season extra-closely, especially after the big twist reveals that the Good Place is actually the Bad Place. Schur knew that shows like ABC's "Lost" had used number sequences to imbue extra layers of meaning, so he chose the beginning digits of the Fibonacci sequence (12358) as the Good Place neighborhood's ID number."And there were 322 people in the neighborhood," Schur said. "That's a dumb reference to the Skull and Bones thing, that secret society at Yale where for some reason that number is significant to them. So it's just one of those mystical numbers that pops up in a bunch of Reddit threads."
By the series finale, those numbers made three more key appearances. The first came when Michael visits Jeff, the security guard in the afterlife who loves frogs. When Michael comments on Jeff's growing collection, Jeff says he now has "322" frog-related items.Then, in the final scene of the show, you can spot the apartment building number where Michael is now living: 12358.
And Michael's apartment number? 322.You can stream the final season of "The Good Place" on NBC, and watch the upcoming Emmy Awards on September 20 on ABC.
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