‘The Office’: The Cast Had the ‘Hardest Time’ Not Breaking During This Hilarious Michael Scott Moment
Over nine seasons of The Office, you can imagine there were many times the actors struggled to get through filming a scene because it was so funny. Some of the cast revealed that the hardest scene to film because everyone kept breaking was the iconic season 6 Christmas episode, called “Secret Santa.”
The cast had the hardest time not breaking during this moment
In season 6 episode 13 of The Office, the office Christmas party features one moment that is so hilarious you can even spot some actors laughing in the background.
In the episode, Jim told Phyllis she could be Santa for the party, but Michael is upset because he showed up in a Santa costume too. He pulls a chair out of his office and invites Kevin to sit on his lap since Phyllis said Kevin was too big to sit on her. Getting through the scene where Kevin sits on Michael’s lap was tough, it turns out — and Mindy Kaling and Ed Helms are seen laughing in the background.
During the August 4 An Oral History of The Office podcast, host Brian Baumgartner explained that Steve Carell brought his improvisational talent to the role of Michael Scott. “Steve made the character his own, with his gifts as an actor and as an improviser… he was so honest and so funny that he could make us break and laugh uncontrollably during a take.”
The scene where Kevin sat on Michael’s lap was one example of how much the cast would crack up at Carell’s improvised material. John Krasinski shared that it was one of his “favorite moments of shooting ever,” adding, “People always ask me what’s the hardest you ever laughed on set. Without a doubt, it’s when you sat on his lap.”
Writer Paul Lieberstein agreed with Baumgartner’s assessment about the scene: “That maybe was the moment we had the hardest time not breaking in the history of the show.”
“I’ll crack up as much as anyone but I try not to because I always feel like, if I laugh… if I crack up, it’s unusable,” Carell shared on the podcast. “There are times that I’m sure you can watch the show and just see tears welling in my eyes. That was one of the hardest things, was to not lose it.”
Prison Mike made everyone break
While the cast shared how difficult it was to get through that scene in the Christmas episode, there was another Carell moment that had the actors breaking too.
In the season 3 episode “The Convict,” Michael decides to give the staff a “scared straight” lecture, channeling the character Prison Mike. The employees discover that one of the Stamford transfers was in prison and his experience sounds better than work to them. Michael brings Prison Mike to life to reinforce how office life is better than prison.
The character is over the top and, it turns out, doesn’t know much about being in prison. Carell, as Michael — as Prison Mike — sports a purple bandana and a tough New Yorker accent, telling the employees, “Been a lot of fun talk about prison today, but I am here to scare you straight. I AM HERE TO SCARE YOU STRAIGHT!
During the July 29 Office Ladies podcast, Angela Kinsey revealed how it was very difficult to get through the scene. “In the conference room scene, when Steve became Prison Mike, the first time he turned around with that bandana on and his crazy Guys and Dolls accent — we all lost it, even Steve, which never happens,” she said.
“We all cracked up,” Kinsey added. “If you watch really closely, you can see John and Phyllis are barely holding it together.” At the 16 minutes and 3 second mark of the episode, she shared that you can see Krasinski breaking.