Ben Franklin (Season 3, Episode 14)
The Office Women
With Phyllis’ wedding on the horizon, the appearance of Todd Packer gives Michael the idea of getting strippers. Knowing that he can’t give a stripper to just the men (sexual harassment after all), Packer suggests the separate-but-equal provision of getting strippers for both sexes. Michael asks Jim to hire the strippers, but refuses, leaving Dwight to do the duty. While Dwight finds a female, it’s up to Jim to get the male. Jim calls Michael to tell him the only males available are Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin or Spongebob Sqarepants. You see, Michael referred Jim to a male strip club called Banana Slings, but instead, Jim called the Scholastic Speakers of Pennsylvania. Next thing you know, Ben Franklin is getting into the elevator with Ryan and Michael.
Michael introduces the ladies to Ben Franklin as the scholastic speaker comes in and begins to do his act. While wanting to speak on his life and the era of the founding fathers, Michael can’t help but make grunting noises and stripping music. Franklin begins to do a speech on discovering electricity, but Karen and Pam begin to ask him of his wife and Parisian girlfriends. Franklin continues to speak on, but he eventually falls into the ladies’ hands and ties a cherry stem using only his tongue. After Pam asks him the boxers/brief/pantaloons question, he remarks on her sauciness and winks. Continuing to flirt, Franklin notices the electricity between himself and Pam. She can’t help but point out that Ben Franklin had syphilis, but the actor says he, himself doesn’t.
8 – It isn’t so much that Jim hired someone who wasn’t an actual stripper, but to what he got instead of a stripper. What other alternatives could Jim have gone to that wouldn’t have been as creative as the Scholastic Speakers of Pennsylvania? I don’t think there is a more creative alternative. This would have been a sure fire ten if Jim would have gotten Spongebob instead of Ben Franklin.
7 – Jim never let Michael know that Ben Franklin wasn’t a stripper. The women obviously caught on when the speaker continued to talk about the founding fathers. On paper, if Jim would have proposed this to Pam and not gone through with it, it would have been higher, but since this was Jim’s plan from the beginning, it’s lower. Automatic ten if Ben Franklin took off any of his clothes.
Bad Idea Gone Good Award – Michael’s idea to hire strippers was set for disaster from the get-go. But, put into the hands of Jim, he turns what could have been an absolute nightmare into some weird dream where you wake up and try to figure out what just happened. Part of me believes that Jim didn’t hire Ben Franklin for the purpose of pranking the women, but more for making sure the company wouldn’t be in trouble.