Rainn Wilson Reveals Modest Mouse’s “Float On” Was Almost The Office’s Theme Song

Rainn Wilson, best known as Dwight from The Office, just published his new memoir The Bassoon King: My Life In Art, Faith, And Idiocy this week. And in one passage, he details the story behind The Office’s theme song:

There was an interesting process to decide on our theme song. Many songs were being considered seriously, including “Better Things” by the Kinks and “Float On” by Modest Mouse. Greg [Daniels] graciously sent out a list of songs and links to them as well for the cast to weigh in on. The one we all wanted most of all was “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra. It’s a sensational song and its jubilant, upbeat refrain would have fit perfectly over the drab video of the opening credits. Then we found out another show, the doomed and dismally conceived LAX, used the song. (Yes, this was a television show that was about the day-to-day operations of A GIANT CRAPPY AIRPORT starring Heather Locklear. THINK ABOUT HOW STUPID AN IDEA THAT IS! Besides prison and a dentist’s office, what place do we want to avoid more than any other? Long lines, missed flights, shootings, pushy crowds, metal detectors, overpriced food. Just the kinds of things you want to curl up on a couch with a bag of yogurt raisins and watch more about week after week, no?)

The theme we eventually ended up with was a beaut. Composed by former seventies rock/pop star Jay Ferguson, it was fun and catchy with just a hint of melancholy. It perfectly set the tone for the show. I’ve written pretend lyrics to it on many occasions. Perhaps I’ll sing them to you one day if you’re nice.

The Bassoon King is out now via Dutton.