The Office had many classic scenes over the show’s nine season run. While many of the jokes relied on sarcasm and dry humor, some of them required food to bring the punchlines home. Kevin’s chili spilling scene has become an iconic moment within the franchise. But there is another moment in the show where food takes center stage and Steve Carell had to commit to the scene in a way that might have grossed some actors out.
Michael’s peanut butter scene
In the infamous “Night Out” episode of season 4, Dwight and Michael go to visit Ryan in New York City and go out with him. Throughout the night, the duo have to deal with NYC bouncers and discover that Ryan’s big city life isn’t all that he made it out to be.
When the episode opens, Michael gets gum stuck in his hair. In order to remove it, the ever-helpful Dwight puts peanut butter all over Michael’s head.
Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey recently discussed the moment on their Office Ladies podcast.
“I will tell you. It was real peanut butter, but Rainn [Wilson] did not put it on Steve’s head,” Fischer said. “It was our hair stylist, Kim Ferry. She would get it all set and then Rainn would step in and just do like that last little touch and the massaging part. And then she’d have to fix it between takes.”
Luckily for Carell, the scene only took a few takes to film and then he was able to go wash the peanut butter out.
Some of ‘The Office’ cast did their own stunts
Besides food, “Night Out” features another classic bit in the Office world, Meredith getting hurt. In this episode, Pam throws a football at Meredith’s face. During this scene, Kate Flannery, who plays Meredith, didn’t use a stunt double.
“I watched this episode with my daughter, Isabelle, and I had forgotten about that moment when it happened,” Kinsey said. “We were both like ‘Ahh!’ and Isabel said, ‘Mom, I think she really got hit in the face. It looks like she got hit in the face.’ And I said, ‘Isabel, no way. There is no way they threw a football at Kate’s face.’ So I texted Kate and I said, ‘Kate, Isabelle thinks you really got hit in the face with that football. And she said, Isabel’s not wrong.'”
Flannery further explained the stunt.
“There was a stunt double there, but she did not work that night,” Flannery said. “For some reason I thought it was funnier — it’s always funnier to me when an actor can do their own stunt — but I didn’t realize where the camera was and my back was sort of to the camera, so it kind of could have been anybody.”
Luckily, the ball wasn’t fully inflated.
“I will say they deflated the ball a little bit, which was supposed to help, but I remember Ken Winningham was directing and I just remember I think we did eight takes and we weren’t done,” she continued. “And I just kind of felt like after the eight — when we hit number eight — I was like, ‘This was a really stupid idea,’ and I slept really well. I don’t think I had a concussion or anything, but I had the weirdest dreams. It was kind of exhausting.”