Skip to main content

Filming The Office was likely a fun job. Thanks to Brian Baumgartner’s podcast An Oral History of The Office, fans of the NBC series are finally being given behind-the-scenes access to all the fun the cast had while filming the show.

With a cast of hilarious actors, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the cast had a blast behind the scenes. Find out which scene had John Krasinski laughing the hardest while filming. 

John Krasinski
John Krasinski | Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Steve Carell hated to laugh on the set of ‘The Office’

While filming The Office, Carell was always trying his best to keep a straight face. That wasn’t necessarily easy, especially filming some of the show’s more hilarious scenes. 

“I’ll crack up as much as anyone, but I’ll try not to because I always feel like if I laugh, it’s going to ruin [the scene],” Carell explained in episode 6 of the podcast, “Mom, We Made It.” 

Carell knew that if he laughed at whatever it was he thought was so funny, the footage would be unusable. Still, avoiding laughter wasn’t always possible.

“There are times that I’m sure you can watch the show and just see tears welling in my eyes,” he added. “That was one of the hardest things — to not lose it.”

One of the hardest episodes to film was ‘Secret Santa’ in season 6

When Jim allowed Phyllis (Phyllis Smith) to be the office Santa, Michael Scott struggled to relinquish control of the role. Eventually, Michael broke down.

Unable to handle the idea of a woman playing Santa — something that played into the series’ cringe comedy aspect — he took matters into his own hands.

That year, Dunder Mifflin’s employees had two Santas to choose from. For Krasinski, Baumgartner, and undoubtedly much of the other cast, there was one scene in this holiday episode that Krasinski struggled with the most.

Brian Baumgartner broke character sitting on Steve Carell’s lap 

Baumgartner’s Kevin Malone opted for the male version of Santa. Having underestimated the responsibility of Santa Claus, Michael struggled when Kevin sat on his lap to express his wish list.

Filming that short but hilarious interaction between Kevin and Santa proved difficult for the show’s entire cast. 

Behind the scenes, the cast and crew couldn’t help but laugh. “There was this noise that Steve made every single time I sat down,” Baumgartner explained. As seen in outtakes from the episode, Baumgartner and Carell cracked up laughing on several occasions. 


Steve Carell Has Never Watched ‘The Office’

John Krasinski laughed the hardest when Brain Baumgartner sat on Steve Carell’s lap 

While speaking with Krasinski on the podcast, Baumgartner uncovered one of his all-time favorite scenes. 

“You know you’re part of my favorite scene ever,” Krasinski said to Baumgartner. “People always ask me what’s the hardest you laughed on set,” he continued. “Without a doubt, it’s when you sat on [Steve’s] lap.” 

Paul Lieberstein, who played Toby Flenderson on the series, couldn’t have agreed more. “That maybe was the moment we had the hardest time not breaking in the show,” he recalled to Baumgartner. 

Like so many episodes of The Office, “Secret Santa” continues to crack fans up, even today.