‘NCIS’ Star, ‘Office Space’ Cast Reunite for Black Friday Ad Campaign

by Suzanne Halliburton

NCIS star Gary Cole played a key role in the 1990s-era cult classic Office Space. And as Bill Lumbergh, he portrayed an overbearing, soul-sucking boss who launched a thousand mocking memes.

But you know what would be great — an Office Space revival. The movie, which was filmed in Austin and released in 1999, starred the likes of Cole, Jennifer Aniston, Ron Livingston and Diedrich Bader. It satirized the work experience at Initech, a random software company that embraced everything hideous about corporate culture.

Need a reminder? Long before NCIS, this is how folks remembered Cole, as a meme and/or gif.

And now several of the actors — and their characters — recently reunited for an ad campaign for Walmart. It’s all to sell the most corporate of holidays — Black Friday. It asks — do you have a case of the Mondays? (Don’t we all?) Cole, who portrays Alden Parker on NCIS, is back as Lumbergh. But he swapped his NCIS hat and windbreaker for an Initech swag vest. However, Cole’s Lumbergh still is wearing the infamous suspenders and power tie while carrying around a coffee mug.

Take a look:

And if you love to watch Cole on NCIS Mondays, then you’re in luck. This ad campaign will drop a different commercial each Monday. Plus, you’ll soon see the ads on network television and at movie theaters. Although we’re only three days into November, tis that shopping season. Black Friday is Nov. 25, but it’s now evolved into a weeks-long shopping event. Some retailers even started Black Friday sales as they decorated their stores for Halloween.

So why Office Space? Variety reported that several big name retailers have turned to 1990s nostalgia to sell products. General Motors leaned on “The Sopranos” for a Super Bowl ad. When the original Sopranos ran on HBO, it opened with James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano driving a Chevy truck. The commercial recreated the vibe of the Soprano opening, but this time, Meadow Soprano drove an electric Chevy Silverado, Plus, GM also used several cast members from Austin Powers to promote other EVs.

Office Space didn’t do that well in theaters. Rather, it found its legs via word of mouth and the old-fashioned Blockbuster video store. It’s earned a 7.7 aggregate score on IMDB. Meanwhile, the movie scores an 80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Fans love it.

Cole, even though he stars on NCIS, the most popular scripted show on network TV, doesn’t do much social media. But Diedrich Bader does. He showed off Lawrence complete with his spectacular mullet and handlebar ‘stache.

If you remember your Office Space plot points, Lawrence lived next door to Peter (Ron Livingstone) in a non-descript apartment complex. The two often talked through the walls. Twenty three years later, fans still replied to Bader with quotes from one of those conversations. Peter asked Lawrence, the construction worker, what he would do if he had a $1 million in the bank.

“I’ll tell you what I’d do, man: two chicks at the same time, man. … I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I were a millionaire I could hook that up, too; ’cause chicks dig dudes with money.”

Meanwhile, NCIS returns with a new episode, Nov. 14. The three NCIS franchises are combining for a three-hour crossover event, which will air in January. As Lumbergh, Cole pushed Aloha shirt day on Office Space. NCIS fans are wanting the same in the crossover. Make it happen!