‘The Office’: Steve Carell Wrote This Iconic Episode of the Series

Brian Baumgartner’s podcast An Oral History of The Office has revealed several behind-the-scenes secrets about The Office. In episode 5, Baumgartner and friends explained that Michael Scott himself — Steve Carell — wrote one of the most pivotal episodes in the series. 

Cast of 'The Office'
Cast of ‘The Office’ | Mitchell Haaseth/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Fans are thrilled with ‘An Oral History of The Office’

Fans are loving Baumgartner’s latest project. 

The actor, who played Kevin Malone in the NBC series, started a podcast to give The Office fans insight into some of their favorite moments from the show. 

Throughout each episode, Baumgartner talks to the cast, directors, and camera crew about the specific choices made that created a show loved by so many. 

During episode 5, “John and I Are Not a Couple,” Baumgartner and his guests touched on some of the critical relationships from the show — including that of Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) and Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer).

‘The Office’ Season 2 finale was a pivotal moment for Jim and Pam 

Jim and Pam’s “will-they-won’t-they” relationship is one of the most compelling aspects of The Office. Many fans thought the two were finally going to get together during the “Casino Night” episode. 

RELATED: ‘The Office’: Jenna Fischer Explains Why Pam Beesly Stayed With Roy Anderson as Long as She Did

“When Jim says he likes Pam in the parking lot, the writing staff kind of went nuts,” Greg Daniels explained. The writers cared so much about the show; everyone on the staff wanted to be the one to pen the iconic moment between Jim and Pam. 

But Daniels chose Carell, a first-time writer for the series, to write “Casino Night.” 

Showrunners disagreed about how to shoot Jim and Pam’s first kiss

Perhaps the most memorable part of “Casino Night” was the conversation between Jim and Pam in the parking lot of Dunder Mifflin. 

Or, as Baumgartner referred to it: “the Jim and Pam moment [we’d] all been waiting for, but no one [saw] coming.” 

This seemingly simple moment between two people talking in a parking lot caused a lot of uproar amongst creators. 

Behind the scenes, director Ken Kwapis and the writers were at odds

“Ken wanted to shoot it in a straightforward fashion,” Daniels explained. He said Kwapis believed audiences loved the show’s mockumentary aspect, but at that moment, the scene was about Jim and Pam.

For Kwapis, the most entertaining thing for viewers would be to give them a glimpse of Jim and Pam’s faces. 

On the other hand, the writing staff wanted to lean into the documentary structure of the show. 

Jim and Pam’s first kiss was shot two ways

Before he could decide, Daniels had Jim and Pam’s first kiss shot the way Kwapis envisioned it, as well as the way writers saw it.

“In one version, the cameras [cover] casino night, and like on a reality show, somebody is monitoring the sound,” Daniels explained. “[When] they realize that Jim is about to confess something to Pam, they tell one of the cameramen, ‘Get it! We don’t know where it is!'” 

By the time the cameraman reached Jim, he’s been rejected by Pam. 

Having the same scene shot two different ways at his disposal, editor Dave Rogers had a difficult choice to make. 

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RELATED: ‘The Office’: Why Jim and Pam’s Relationship Was So Captivating

“It’s cool to do something as a documentary, but there’s something unsatisfying for [the audience] to not see a piece of this,” Rogers said. “I think we made the right choice in letting them have a conversation.”

Eventually, showrunners opted for the scene many fans know and love. As Daniels said, “Steve wrote [‘Casino Night’] really well.” Fans of The Office couldn’t agree more!