The fifth season of The Office featured a fake movie called Mrs. Albert Hannaday starring Jack Black and Cloris Leachman - here's the May to September romantic comedy explained. The Office is based on the acclaimed Ricky Gervais (After Life) BBC series of the same name. Gervais played main character David Brent on the show, who thinks he's a cool boss but his attempts at humor are usually horribly embarrassing. The show was shot in a mockumentary style and ended after two seasons and a Christmas special in 2003. Gervais would later return for 2016 film David Brent: Life On The Road.
The American version of The Office debuted in 2005 and has arguably overshadowed its predecessor in terms of popularity. The show featured breakout roles for Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, and John Krasinski, among many others. While the first season received mixed reviews the series evolved into a comedy staple and ran for nine seasons. The Office is popular to this day and is still finding new viewers on Netflix.
The Office showrunners tended to avoid having major stars appear on the show to make it feel somewhat grounded. They worked around this rule in a clever way for season 5's two-part episode "Stress Relief," however. The main plot involves Michael trying to reduce office stress - only to realize he's a big part of why his employees are so anxious. A subplot involves Jim and Pam watching a pirated movie with Andy (Ed Helms, The Hangover). This fake movie is called Mrs. Albert Hannaday, where Jack Black's character is introduced to his fiancee's (Jessica Alba) grandmother, played by Cloris Leachman, and they begin a passionate affair.
Brief glimpses of Mrs. Albert Hannaday are seen throughout this episode of The Office, including a steamy scene where Black helps Leachman out of her bath and they make out, and a later scene where she breaks up with him. The episode ends with the movie's final scene as Black's character arrives at her house with flowers and a new walker, only to look through the window and see her with a new young lover - he walks away heartbroken.
Another gag that recurs throughout these scenes involves Jim and Pam talking about Pam's parents breaking up, with Andy mistaking their comments for amazing insights into the movie. The Office's "Stress Relief" episode aired during Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, which helped make it the highest-rated episode of the entire show. "Stress Relief" was also designed to be something of a gateway for new viewers to The Office, since none of the stories involved intimate knowledge of the previous seasons. This extends to the cameo appearances of Black, Alba, and Leachman in Mrs. Albert Hannaday, which didn't involve them interacting with any of the characters on the show.