‘The Office’: Steve Carell Wasn’t the Only Guest Star in the Finale
When Steve Carell left The Office, many fans were heartbroken. But there was hope Michael Scott would be seen again in the finale of the series. Showrunners knew they couldn’t bring The Office to an end without Carell’s help, but he wasn’t the only guest star in the final episode of the series.
John Krasinski is the reason ‘The Office’ ended after nine seasons
After Michael Scott left, John Krasinski knew the show couldn’t go on for much longer.
As television critic Emily VanDerWerff put it on Office actor Brian Baumgartner’s podcast:
Once Michael Scott [left The Office], it [had] to become something different. It never quite figured out how to become different in an interesting way. It’s a tricky thing to do when you have to replace the center of a show. I don’t think The Office managed it, but I don’t think any show ever has. You can’t do that.
“I had a very honest conversation with Greg [Daniels],” Krasinski explained. “He called me about season 9 and said, ‘What do you think?’ and I said, ‘You have to end the show.'”
For Krasinski, it wasn’t about negotiating for a better contract. He wanted to end the show before the network decided to end it for them.
“I remember that feeling of like, we don’t want to be taken out back…” Krasinski joked. “I don’t want to go behind the shed.” Baumgartner agreed, adding: “I remember being conflicted, but ultimately I felt like [ending the show] was the right decision.”
Steve Carell returned for ‘The Office’ finale
In an emotional conclusion to the show, fans got to see Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) and Jim Halpert (Krasinski) finally set aside their differences and become friends. Fans also got to watch Dwight and Angela (Angela Kinsey) get the happy ending they deserved. Plus, fans got to see Michael Scott one last time.
“I can’t believe you came,” Dwight says, setting Michael up for the only acceptable way to return to a show he played such a big part in making funny. “That’s what she said,” Michael remarked.
The emotional two-part finale featured all of the Dunder Mifflin employees fans expected, as well as Carell. But he wasn’t the only guest star on the series finale.
The series finale of ‘The Office’ featured guest stars like Steve Carell’s wife and the show’s writers
When The Office finale aired, it was a momentous occasion. Not only did Michael Scott make it to Dwight Schrute’s wedding — but so did many other key members who had worked on The Office for years.
“Ordinary people, if they’re a little bit uncomfortable in front of the camera — great,” Daniels during the “That’s a Wrap” episode of An Oral History of The Office. By including people who were usually behind the scenes in the finale, Daniels was able to lean into the show’s documentary aspect.
Jen Salata, a writer and showrunner, played one of the Schrute family members present at the wedding. Mike Schur — who has become one of the biggest names in television today — played Dwight’s cousin, Mose, who was in attendance at the wedding, and in a number of other episodes throughout the show’s run.
“I hated every second of [playing Mose] because I was wearing wool clothes and had a neckbeard,” Schur admitted. “The joke was I didn’t talk, and that’s not a funny joke,” he laughed. Knowing how much Schur hated the minor role, showrunners were compelled to include him in the finale.
Chris Haston, the on-set photographer who hit it off with Office star Kate Flannery, was also in the finale. “They let my boyfriend Chris dance with me during Dwight and Angela’s wedding,” Flannery recalled.
Other special guests included editor Clare Scanlon, casting director Allison Jones, and Carell’s wife, Nancy Carell. The inclusion of these guest stars made for an incredible final episode, but they also meant so much to the cast and crew who had spent years making The Office the show that it was.