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Nathan Makes It to 'The Office'

Posted by Matthew Gilbert  April 4, 2008 11:34 AM

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Did you happen to watch any of the "Office" reruns last night on NBC? Over the credits, the show ran a clip of Nathan Alden Robinson from Newton playing the "Office" theme song on the the piano. Nathan, 15, died last month from flu-related complications. "The Office" was his favorite show. Here's the YouTube clip, which was filmed a few weeks before his death (and here is the Globe's sweet obituary). The song never seemed so sad.

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57 comments so far...
  1. I'll think of Nathan everytime I hear the theme music!

    Posted by Heather M. Banter April 4, 08 02:19 PM
  1. I saw it and thought how cute he not realizing it was an "in memoriam."

    Posted by Angela April 4, 08 02:25 PM
  1. I think they should use his version to open the show from now on. That'd be a classy move by NBC.

    Posted by Mike April 4, 08 02:26 PM
  1. NBC should cut this kids music into the credits from now on. May God hold
    on to Nathan and let his youthful joy and innocence be shed upon on all.

    Posted by Michael April 4, 08 02:29 PM
  1. My deepest sympathies are with the Robinson family for their loss.

    Posted by Jack April 4, 08 02:30 PM
  1. Matthew,

    Do we know the genesis of how it made it to the show's executives? It was a sweet reminder that TV can sometimes have a heart.

    Posted by Cameron April 4, 08 02:31 PM
  1. Tragic and simply sad. I didn't know him at all but the description makes me feel like I do, as I hope my own son and daughter will grow to have Nathan's gifts for life and humanity. What a loss; my heart goes fully to his parents, beloved sister, and the rest of his family and freinds. It's just not fair.

    Posted by Paul Grasso April 4, 08 02:32 PM
  1. Cameron,
    We're looking into that now.... You're right, it's good to note those times when TV does have a heart.... MG

    Posted by Matthew Gilbert April 4, 08 02:33 PM
  1. Those rare times....

    Posted by Matthew Gilbert April 4, 08 02:35 PM
  1. So sorry for the family's loss. What a star.

    Posted by Kate April 4, 08 02:42 PM
  1. How very very sad and yet how very beautiful that Nathan's family has this clip as a precious memory.

    Posted by Hannah Dee April 4, 08 02:48 PM
  1. saw it, didn't know what the story was, googled Nathan's name, and was so touched. what a lovely boy. the song never sounded sweeter. I'm wondering if there was some local connection for the story reaching NBC's ears, since John Krasinski and "Ryan the Temp" (forgot his real name, sorry!) are from Newton...?

    Posted by joan April 4, 08 02:48 PM
  1. Thank you for explaining about that. I did notice the In Memoriam and was a little puzzled. It was a beautiful song played by Nathan, so I'm glad they did that for him and his family.


    Posted by Krystyn April 4, 08 02:52 PM
  1. John Krasinski who plays Jim Halpert, is from Newton and his family still lives there...could be the connection?

    Posted by Michael Morgan April 4, 08 02:53 PM
  1. nathan we love you and miss you
    school isnt the same without you there every morning

    Posted by simona April 4, 08 02:54 PM
  1. Thanks Globe for spotlighting this! I actually tried to find out who he was last night after watching.

    Sad to see he was a local boy..

    Posted by N April 4, 08 03:14 PM
  1. Isn't there some kind of a Newton connection with the writers and cast? It could have been forwarded by someone's mother.

    Posted by Linda April 4, 08 03:15 PM
  1. Matthew,
    Don't forget that half the cast is from Greater Boston, and Kraskinski and Novak are both from Newton.

    Posted by Anonymous April 4, 08 03:16 PM
  1. Music... lightens our heart and stays in our heart. I'm from Newton.

    Posted by Eric April 4, 08 03:18 PM
  1. Wow - I didn't realize what it was either. That is amazing. They should absolutely use his version from now on. My thoughts are with his family.

    Posted by BK April 4, 08 03:23 PM
  1. My son, in Seattle, has the Office theme song as his cell phone ring. I forwarded the story to him. Our sympathy goes out to Nathan's family.

    Posted by Mary Ann Carroll April 4, 08 03:35 PM
  1. He sounds like a really great kid.

    Posted by Nina April 4, 08 03:35 PM
  1. Thank you for adding to the tribute to a very special boy - and for explaining to us, the viewers, who he was. Please send our prayers to Nathan's family and friends.

    Posted by Mother and daughter April 4, 08 03:43 PM
  1. I love and miss you Nate, and I wish I had gotten a chance to you play in person besides that one time...

    Math class isn't the same without you. There's nobody to distract me from across the room now.

    Posted by Helen April 4, 08 03:56 PM
  1. Wow. The feel good moment of the day! Good for his family.

    Posted by Ryan April 4, 08 03:57 PM
  1. I will never watch "the office" the same again. thank you nathan. miss you.

    Posted by Dr. Jeff April 4, 08 03:59 PM
  1. Very nice! Very touching.

    Posted by Leonard Klaatu April 4, 08 04:03 PM
  1. Thank you for sharing this. And thank you to Nathan for this beatiful video.

    Posted by Jay April 4, 08 04:14 PM
  1. Apparently, The big guy upstairs needed a great pianist, friend and good all around little guy to jam with.....The best of people usually go far too soon.

    Posted by Cliff April 4, 08 04:49 PM
  1. What an outstanding story, what a tragic story. Best wishes to the Robinson family, your story has touch my heart.

    Posted by Tom C April 4, 08 05:21 PM
  1. I am sick about hearing this...

    I have a son who is 12 and I have no idea how I could ever cope with something like this happening. I am very, very, very sad and crying ... My utmost condolences go out to his family - a tragedy of epic proportions indeed...Every time I hear that theme song I will think of Nathan.

    My head is hung low...

    Posted by Mike April 4, 08 05:24 PM
  1. My condolences to Nathan's family. He was a talented and sweet young man. Rest in peace, Nathan

    Posted by Me April 4, 08 06:24 PM
  1. wait...he died while playing the song...yikes My heart goes out to the family but the editor can word that a little different

    Posted by pete April 4, 08 06:30 PM
  1. Thank you for shining Nathan's light for all to see! Beautiful, beautiful boy...

    Posted by Judith April 4, 08 07:21 PM
  1. As soon as I saw Nathan at the end of The Office last night I knew who he was, having read his obituary in the Globe. The clip was a wonderful way to pay tribute to this amazing young man and my heart goes out to his family, friends, and all who knew him.

    Posted by Jen April 4, 08 07:23 PM
  1. I will hug my children a little longer tonight.
    What a beautiful boy.

    Posted by amy April 4, 08 07:34 PM
  1. I read his obituary when he passed away, and my heart went out to his family. He sounds like an extraordinary young man. As a parent myself, I can't imagine the heaviness in his parents' hearts. It sounds like his memory will live on in the people whose lives he touched. What a touching tribute by NBC. Great move on their part.

    Posted by Adam April 4, 08 07:38 PM
  1. my condolences to his family and friends. what a sweet moment and a lovely gesture on the part of the office producers

    Posted by maryse April 4, 08 07:42 PM
  1. I will always remember this child. I am deeply saddened, but glad to have come across this story. Thank you NBC, thank you Nathan.

    Posted by Jim April 4, 08 07:44 PM
  1. Nathan sounds like a wonderful human being. My condolences to the family.

    Posted by jeff April 4, 08 08:52 PM
  1. My deepest heartfelt sympathy to the Robinson Family. Your sweet Nathan has given us a very special gift for which he will always be remembered.

    Posted by Robyn April 4, 08 09:00 PM
  1. Nathan is a beautiful boy and has touched my family's heart. Thank you for reminding us to be in every moment with our children.

    Posted by Brett April 4, 08 09:08 PM
  1. Such a truly talented young man, and so sad that he passed away before he could do great things for our world. My sympathies to his whole family. Kudos to Krasinski and Novak, if they suggested this.

    Posted by debbie from newton April 4, 08 09:24 PM
  1. Nathan and I were good friends-- he would have been honoured, and never would have thought his playing would be on/after The Office, his favourite show.
    He was really, really, really gifted at the piano (and the clarinet).
    A true musician.
    words actually can't express it. people usually make it seem like someone was perfect after they die-- but Nathan actually was...

    Posted by Catherine April 4, 08 09:27 PM
  1. I've never seen "The Office" nor heard its theme but when I hear it in the future, it won't be able to match Nathan's version. To me, his will always be the"original". My deepest sympathies to the parents and sister. May these small postings somehow bring some small level of comfort in their time of grief.

    Posted by Dave April 4, 08 09:48 PM
  1. What a remarkable young man! His playing -- such a light touch!

    "Those whom the gods love grow young" -- Oscar Wilde

    Posted by Paul April 4, 08 09:55 PM
  1. Thanks to the Robinson family for sharing Nathan with us all.

    I recognized him immediately from the Globe obit.
    Kind of put a fork in all of my self-referential neuroses when I heard that beautiful young man's music. He reminded me what's simply right about this world.

    Posted by Kathleen April 4, 08 09:58 PM
  1. It is nice that white people from Newton are remembered this way.

    Posted by Sal April 4, 08 10:56 PM
  1. I remember Nathan now because I saw the names of his parents in the obituary and realize he was my next door neighbor in Newton when he was a toddler. His parents are special people and they obvioulsy raised a special child. His parents supported my PMC rides for cancer research for the Jimmy Fund. I am now a cancer survivor. I cried when I read they had lost their son. Stacey and Donald, my deepest sympathies go out to you for the loss of your child, Nathan. Cherish your memories of Nathan.

    Posted by Greg Albrecht April 4, 08 10:56 PM
  1. Methicillin resistant S. aureus is a formidable infection and has blossomed into a serious public health issue. I'm very sad to hear it took such a bright young man, may he rest in peace.

    Posted by Andrew S. April 4, 08 11:05 PM
  1. simply amazing that corporate America can find its heart at such an appropriate time. i think that as a collection of individuals, when it all boils down... all we really have is each other.

    I did not know Nathan but my thoughts will be with him and those who actually had the extraordinary good fortune of being touched by his presence every time those heavenly chords grace my ears.

    Posted by bennett April 5, 08 01:14 AM
  1. My daughter is a sophmore at NNHS. She came walking down the hall after school and noticed something strange; groups of kids huddled together crying. She approached one that she knew and found they were all crying for Nathan. She went on out to meet her 2 BFFs who asked what was going on. When she explained, her BFF who had a class with Nate simply burst into tears - he had not yet heard. I think of Nathan everyday when I pick up my kiddo and her gang from school. My heart goes out to Nathan's family. Nate does go on - I'm sure he misses his family and would want them to know that he loves them very much and looks down on them always.

    Posted by Rebecca April 5, 08 05:36 AM
  1. As a mother of 2 teens I was moved to tears by this touching tribute. Hug your kids today and remember how precious every moment is. My heart goes out to his family but what a wonderful and beautiful memory of Nathan.

    Posted by Shana April 5, 08 09:04 AM
  1. Nathan was a Bach specialist. He memorized and played Partita # 5 at proper tempo by memory at age 10-11. I was both his teacher and his student. He was amazing. He would kid me and tell me sweetly that if I were patient, he would explain the counting to me. Math genius up against math phobe.

    I shall miss Nathan every day of my lifel.

    Posted by Tess Siegel April 5, 08 10:38 AM
  1. Everytime I hear the theme music to the Office I think of Nathan. What a wonderful tribute to someone most of us didn't know but now hold in our hearts each week when we turn on the Office. God Bless Nathan.

    Posted by Peggy May 21, 08 12:50 PM
  1. I still think of Nathan.

    He would light up everyone around him. It is such a dream that I am still waiting to wake up from... Miss him much,

    Uncle Doug

    Posted by Doug June 22, 08 07:17 PM
  1. I have tears everytime the office commerical comes on and they play the music. I didnt know him, but I was touched by NBC's tribute to him. I agree that NBC should use his version from now on. I think there would be alot of tears shed by millions of people at once every time that song played. How sad. Just tells us how lifes so short and how precious every minute is with our loved ones. RIP Nathan, you can rock the keys...

    Posted by Daniel DeLuca July 14, 08 11:23 AM

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