‘The Office’: 1 Star Felt Like the Show ‘Was Over’ When Steve Carell Left

When Steve Carell left The Office, the cast definitely felt the loss of their beloved co-star and, while the show continued, one of the stars felt like it was very different after Carell’s exit. Find out why Oscar Nunez said the show was “over” when Michael Scott said goodbye.

The Office Steve Carell sits at a desk in character as Michael Scott
The Office: Steve Carell as Michael Scott | Byron Cohen/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Steve Carell’s ‘The Office’ exit ‘was very emotional’

When the cast filmed the “Goodbye, Michael” episode of The Office, it proved to be very challenging. Nunez, who played Oscar, told Yahoo! Entertainment, “People were crying all over the place … it was very emotional.”

Creator Greg Daniels said that it was hard for many people to put aside that emotional part and perform the required comedy. “You know, I wrote that episode and I think the trick was just to not be so maudlin with it,” Daniels explained.

“Because the cast was feeling really sad about the fact that Steve was leaving because, you know, obviously we all loved him,” he continued. “And he had told us for a long time that he was going to leave.”

“But I remember the hardest part was just saying to the actors, ‘This is a comedy show, you can’t cry in every scene with Steve. Try and care a little bit less or something. You know, just to keep it going,’” he added.

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Oscar Nunez said it felt like the show ended when Steve Carell left

Though they had to say goodbye to Michael, the show continued, but for Nunez it never felt quite the same.

“It was just very sad when Steve left,” he explained. “It wasn’t weird, it was just like, ‘Wow, the show’s over. Now we’re going to do two seasons without him. We’re going to do something else. We’re going to do another show without Steve … some other show and someone’s going to come in and be the boss.’”

“But The Office was over,” Nunez added. ‘Steve left and now it’s another show for two… which was fun, it was great. Meeting those people was great, but when Steve left, it was very sad.”

Steve Carell recalled the ’emotional torture’ of his final episode

During the Aug. 25, 2020 episode of An Oral History of The Office podcast, Carell explained that it was his idea for Michael to individually say his goodbyes to each co-worker.

“I just thought that would be the most elegant representation of his growth as a human being,” Carell explained. “Because Michael lives to be celebrated, you think that’s all he wants. He wants to be the center of attention.”

“But the fact that he’d walk away from his big tribute, his big sendoff, and be able to, in a very personal way, say goodbye to each character — that to me felt like it would resonate,” he added.

It ended up being “emotional torture” for the actor, however, as those scenes were shot over a week and so the goodbyes were drawn out.

“It was just fraught with emotion and joy and sadness and nostalgia. But it was also really beautiful. I treasure it,” Carell said. “I treasure just doing that episode because it did allow me to kind of have a finality with everybody.”