‘The Office’: Michael’s Vasectomy Rant Was Heavy Until Steve Carell Improvised
Do you have any idea the physical toll that three vasectomies has on a person? Michael Scott certainly does. In the “Dinner Party” episode of The Office, Michael has a whole monologue about getting a vasectomy and getting it reversed countless times. The rant is just one of the laugh-out-loud moments that the episode boasts. But it was originally a little too serious until Steve Carell added his unique spin on it.
How much of ‘The Office’ is actually improvised?
Because The Office is so alive and humorous, many people think that the hit comedy is highly improvised. And while some moments are spontaneous (e.g. Michael kissing Oscar in “Gay Witch Hunt”), a lot of the humor was accomplished on the page. The talented writer’s room dreamed up hilarious and unique situations (often pulling from their own life experiences) that the cast was able to bring to life.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, John Krasinski (who played Jim Halpert) revealed the approximate ratio of improvised content vs written content. “People always ask me, ‘Oh, man, how much of The Office is improvised?’ and I go, ‘Ninety percent of the time it was exactly what the writers wrote,'” he shared. “Nobody ever believes me. I mean, we truly had one of the greatest brain trusts of comedy since probably, like, early [National] Lampoon days.”
Michael Scott’s vasectomy monologue was a little too serious initially
While improvisation wasn’t common, actors did have the opportunity to add their own personal flair. In fact, at times, it was encouraged by directors to add more levity to otherwise intense moments. An example of this occurred when Carell was delivering his vascectomy monologue. According to Paul Feig, who directed the “Dinner Party” episdoe of The Office, the rant was initally too heavy.
“We shot that exchange, like, four or five times, and it was really good but it was superheavy,” Feig explained about shooting The Office episode. “I remember we were all like, ‘This is a little . . . this isn’t as fun as we wanted it to be.’ So I went over to Steve and said, ‘It’s awesome, we just need to make it a little more fun.'”
Steve Carell improvised some incredible lines in the ‘Dinner Party’ episode
Carell immediately understood the assigment and improvised two words that made the vascetomy moment sing. “And so that was the take that’s in when he said, ‘Snip-snap, snip-snap, snip-snap,'” Feig remembered. “That all came out of Steve being such an amazing actor and going, like, ‘OK, I know how to take it and make it Michael craziness.’ [The Office cast] were just laughing so hard and going, like, “God, this guy is such a f****** genius.”
‘The Office’ director revealed that there’s an even longer version of the iconic episode
Of course, the vascetomy monologue wasn’t the only moment that left The Office cast in stitches. The episode was packed full of laugh-out-loud moments. In the bloopers for the episode, Carell jokes that they will never make it through the episode. Eventually, however, they did. And while fans of the show love “Dinner Party”, most fans have truly only seen the half of the episode. The episode that was filmed was actually supersized. This means that Feig shot enough footage for a 44 minute episode rather than the typical 22 alotted minutes. Fans may never see all of the footage that was shot, but Feig insists that there’s a 29 minute episode of “Dinner Party” somewhere out there in the ether.