‘The Office’: Steve Carell Couldn’t Stop Laughing During This Fan-Favorite Scene Because of 1 Word

The cast of The Office has recalled many moments over the show’s nine seasons when they couldn’t get through a scene because of a hilarious line delivery or improv moment. One fan-favorite scene took an hour to get through because Steve Carell couldn’t stop laughing — and it all had to do with one word.

The cast of 'The Office'
The cast of ‘The Office’ | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

‘The Office’ season 3 episode revolved around Phyllis’ wedding

The season 3 episode “Phyllis’ Wedding” found Michael Scott hoping to have a more prominent role in his employee’s wedding after he was given one task. Michael was given the responsibility of pushing Phyllis’ dad down the aisle in his wheelchair, but the father of the bride surprised everyone by getting out of the chair and walking to his daughter.

Michael then attempts to be the center of attention at the event, but his rude behavior doesn’t go over well and he gets ejected from the wedding.

‘The Office’ scene that left everyone giggling

During the Sept. 9 episode of the Office Ladies podcast, co-hosts Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey did a deep dive into the “Phyllis’ Wedding” episode and uncovered that one hilarious scene was pretty challenging to get through because Carell’s delivery of the word “pungent” had everyone breaking.

The scene involved Michael coming to Phyllis’ dressing room before her wedding to have a cringey heart-to-heart with the bride-to-be. At one point he pauses to ask, “Did you break wind?,” saying, “It’s OK, if you did. It’s a very natural reaction. It’s your wedding, you’re nervous.”

As he’s talking to her, Michael remarks, “Wow. That is… that is pungent. I lost my train of thought.”


‘The Office’: This Improvised Dwight and Michael Moment Almost Couldn’t Be Used; ‘They Started Laughing Hysterically’

Steve Carell’s delivery of the line was so funny it took an hour to film the scene

Fischer and Kinsey interviewed the episode’s director, Ken Whittingham, as well as actor Phyllis Smith to get more behind-the-scenes information for fans.

“The funny thing about that is that was a joke that was put into the script that wasn’t really supposed to stay in the script,” Whittingham explained of the Michael Scott line. “It was just like a joke that, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if this happened?’ And then it just lived… It just kind of stayed.”

He added, “Steve was so good. He could not stop laughing. And I mean, he could not stop laughing.”

The director shared, “I’ve never seen him break like that. And we all were just laughing. It took us about an hour to get through it because we could not stop laughing.”

Phyllis Smith recalled the hilarious moment

Smith weighed in as well, calling the scene “unbelievable.” She explained, “We had the best time. I don’t know how many times we had to stop to start over because there was one word in particular that we just could not get through.”

“And that was ‘pungent,’” she continued. “Every time Steve said the word ‘pungent’ he would break out into this high-pitched cackle. And then I would start laughing. And then all of a sudden we heard the Video Village and the sound people outside the door, because we were in a small dressing room area with just the camera guy and a sound boom… So we could hear them cackling and laughing on the outside.”

Smith admitted that Carell’s line was too much for her to manage with a straight face. “I couldn’t breathe. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. [Steve] was laughing so hard,” Smith shared. “And we took, I don’t know. I don’t know how many times we started over. And it was all because of the word ‘pungent.'”

She found the only way through it was to hold her breath when she wasn’t talking, explaining, “Otherwise, we just couldn’t get through it.”

“It’s a very fond memory and one of the best that I can have in my entire life. It was a great few moments there,” she noted. “So when you hear the word ‘pungent,’ know that all hell broke loose every time we said it.”