While Andrea keeps bugging Dave, Mr. James lets a camera crew film in the office for a documentary about him. Bill is working on a musical act.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Steve Johnson
Peter Spellos ...
Camera Guy
Cheryl Kirby ...

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Beth and Joe tell Dave to talk Andrea into getting Matthew back. Dave agrees with them, but has bigger fish to fry when Andrea introduces Steve Johnson, the man she brought over 'to help' Dave but is actually hired to take over from Dave. On top of this, Dave is also being bugged by Bill who, at the office, has started a musical act where he sings satirical songs about politicians while accompanying himself on piano. Meanwhile, Mr. James lets a camera crew film around the office for a documentary about him. Unfortunately, Mr. James starts acting rather weird when the camera rolls. Written by Marco van Hoof <k_luifje7@hotmail.com>

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Comedy | Romance





Release Date:

29 October 1997 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The head shot of a woman that is usually taped to the side of Matthew's computer, is now taped to the side of Beth's computer, since Matthew's desk is cleared off after being fired. See more »


At the end of this episode, Matthew thinks he's got his job back and celebrates by jumping on the piano. As he does this, he grabs a cup of liquid on the piano and splashes it down Andrea's blouse as he falls. This seems to be a surprise to Lauren Graham by her reaction. Notice Phil Hartman's smile. See more »


Dave Nelson: That's a very cunning plan, but now is not the time for cunning plans or crazy capers.
Lisa Miller: Dave, you never want cunning plans or crazy capers.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits/theme song, instead of the usual footage there is a scene of Joe carrying Matthew outside the building and putting him in a trash can. See more »

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User Reviews

One of the series' finest
27 April 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

'The Public Domain' has stuff coming from every angle, and what could've been a massive train wreck comes off as a schizophrenic masterpiece. Bill's aggravating Dave with his political song and dance (using public domain jingles . . . "When Johnny comes marching home again, he's gay! He's gay!"), Lisa's trying to cure Mr. James' camera shyness in front of a reality TV crew, Matthew's a persistent stowaway in the office while the staff labors to get his job back . . . and Dave's being put through the ringer by all of this, even as his job is at risk when a "partner" (Paul Gleason!) shows up help.

Cunning plans across the board end up going completely awry leaving almost everyone smarting from the events herein . . . and yet everything - kinda - turns out alright in the end. Between Hartman's trolling, Root's going full-on Milton Waddams in before the camera and the very active physical comedy from almost everybody, this is an absolute riot.


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