‘The Office’: How Steve Carell Rescued a Horse During Jim and Pam’s Wedding

The Office remains, after all these years, a hallmark of workplace comedy in the United States. And of course, one of the most outstanding moments of the entire show was Jim and Pam’s wedding. After seasons of will they or won’t they, the two finally tied the knot in a heartwarming, comedic episode. However, it turns out that the original script was very different from what fans today may recognize. Luckily, Steve Carell was there to save the day. 

‘The Office’ wedding that almost was

Steve Carell as Michael Scott on The Office
Steve Carell as Michael Scott on The Office | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

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Fans of The Office will recall that Jim and Pam’s wedding was incredibly sweet. After various twists and turns during which things go awry, including the “Nard Dog” busting his own groin and tear in Pam’s dress, everything turns out sweet. 

A song and dance routine stuns Pam and Jim, who went ahead and eloped at Niagara Falls before their official ceremony. However, there were a few changes the writers made before the episode was filmed. 

In fact, things almost took a darker turn. Originally, Roy was going to show up to crash the wedding on a white horse, hoping to win Pam back before it’s too late. After failing, Roy would have a horse on his hands and nowhere to put it. 

Dwight, naturally, would show an interest in the horse, and offer to take it off of Roy’s hands. Eventually, after appearing in a few other scenes, the horse would wind up being launched to its death from the top of Niagara Falls. Pretty out there, even for an episode of The Office

How Steve Carell saved the day 

John Krasinski as Jim Halpert, Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, Steve Carell as Michael Scott on The Office
John Krasinski as Jim Halpert, Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, Steve Carell as Michael Scott on The Office | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

It seems as though Steve Carell felt as though the horse bit just didn’t really fit into the comedic atmosphere of The Office. It’s thanks to Carell that fans have the sweet wedding episode that exists today, instead of a horse falling down a waterfall. 

Apparently, when the writers gathered everyone around to discuss the script, Steve Carell stayed after to chat with them. As reported by The Playlist, producer Randy Cordray said, “A week in advance of going to Niagara Falls, we had our table read for that episode. The network is there and the studio is there. The actors all read the parts, the director reads the stage directions out loud, and then afterward, the network and the studio give a few notes, and then you are left with just the writers to discuss the episode.”

He continued, “Steve Carell stays behind because he is a producer on the show and he has some say over the writing of the show. Steve was the first one to speak up. He said, ‘Guys, I love the episode but you can’t throw a horse over Niagara Falls.’ And Greg and Mindy [Kaling] were like, ‘Really? But it’s so funny.’ And he’s like, ‘Yes, it’ is funny. I love your writing. I love all of you, but this is really an animated joke. This is a cartoon joke. This is a joke we might see on ‘The Simpsons.’ I know many people think that ‘The Office’ has already jumped the shark in many different ways, but let me just say, throwing a horse over Niagara Falls is really jumping the shark. I’m not in favor of this.’ And with that, he took his leave and we were left to discuss it.”

Greg Daniels attacked, changes The Office scene

Steve Carell as Michael Scott on The Office
Steve Carell as Michael Scott on The Office | Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

It seems criticism from Steve Carell was enough to turn the tides on the ill-fated horse joke. According to Paul Fieg, Greg Daniels basically fell under attack.

“Everyone just attacked Greg so much that he finally very angrily said, ‘All right, forget it! We’re not going to do it!’” Fieg said.

Greg Daniels explained to Huffington Post, “There was such an outcry among the cast and crew at the table read, because I brought this to the table read, and I was actually scouting big tanks at Universal. But everybody was like, ‘No, No! Not the wedding! The wedding was the most romantic thing! You can’t ruin it with a horse going over a waterfall.’ Anyway, I finally came to my senses and listened to them. I think it was a good idea.”