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‘The Office’: Steve Carell ‘Broke Down Laughing’ During This Improvised Rainn Wilson Moment

Steve Carell found this scene on The Office with Rainn Wilson particularly hard to get through. According to Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, Wilson would improvise the sound effects during The Dundies awards while Michael was hosting. Carell 'broke down laughing' and they had to stop filming.

The Office Season 2 episode “The Dundies” involves the employees of Dunder Mifflin attending an awards ceremony held at a Chili’s restaurant. Michael Scott hosts the event, delivering jokes and song parodies while presenting awards like the Busiest Beaver Award and Hottest in the Office. There was one moment where they had to stop filming because Steve Carell couldn’t stop laughing, however.

The Office: Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson as Michael and Dwight at The Dundies awards
The Office: Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson as Michael and Dwight | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

Rainn Wilson had a lot of fun during ‘The Dundies’

While Michael is hosting the awards, Dwight, played by Rainn Wilson, interjects with sound effects played on a keyboard. When Wilson improvised the keyboard effects, it made Carell break.

During a December 2019 episode of the Office Ladies podcast, host Jenna Fischer recalled how Wilson “got really into the sound effects on that keyboard.”

Her co-host, Angela Kinsey, confirmed that Wilson took full advantage of the freedom to improvise with the sound effects. “He did. So they had a keyboard for him and they told him the different sounds the keyboard made,” she recalled. “This is like handing a child like a keyboard or even when you give Rainn a microphone. Get ready because he’s gonna have a lot of bits.”

Fischer added, “They told him he could play it whenever he wanted during Michael’s speeches.”

Steve Carell couldn’t get through 1 scene in this ‘The Office’ episode

Wilson definitely had some fun with the sound effects — which made it challenging for Carell to get through the scene.

Kinsey interjected, “I mean, right out of the gate when Michael’s like, ‘Well, Stanley, I can’t wait to meet your wife.’ And he’s like, ‘I’m holding her hand right now.’ Like, that was Rainn improvising … that was just Rainn having fun on the keyboard.”

Fischer and Kinsey discussed that when Wilson hit the ‘Oh yeah’ button, it was too much for Carell. “Oh my gosh. And Rainn kept doing it at the most inappropriate moments,” Kinsey explained.

Fischer shared how Carell had a hard time. “That was the thing that would make Steve break more than anything else,” she shared. “It wasn’t the fart noise or the trumpet sounds. It was that ‘Oh yeah’ button.”

“And there was one time where Steve broke down laughing,” she added. “It felt like 10 minutes and he could not get it back.”

Kinsey added, “He doubled over. We had to stop filming because he got so tickled because Rainn kept hitting that ‘Oh yeah’ button.”

This wasn’t common for Carell, according to Fischer, who said, “Steve never breaks. He is a rock.”


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Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson couldn’t get through another improvised scene

There was another Carell and Wilson scene that proved very challenging for both actors to get through.

During the July 8, 2020 episode of the Office Ladies podcast, Fischer and Kinsey shared some behind-the-scenes details about the season 3 episode “Branch Closing.”

In the episode, Michael and Dwight visit David Wallace at his home to appeal to him to save the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch. Before they speak to him the two role-play how they’ll confront David.

The episode’s writer, Mike Schur, told Fischer that at the end of the scene the two actors improvised but kept breaking.

“There was an element of the scene that was improvised and it made everyone laugh so hard that they were able to keep it in but they had to cut this one moment because … one second after that moment everyone started breaking,” Fischer shared.