This Was the Hardest Part of Filming ‘The Office,’ According to Steve Carell and the Rest of the Cast

Filming The Office was likely one of the best jobs for anyone who had the pleasure of working on it. As a show that made audiences around the world laugh, it should come as no surprise that the cast had just as much fun filming the series as fans did watching it. 

Steve Carell, who played the “World’s Best Boss,” Michael Scott, spoke with Brian Baumgartner on his podcast, An Oral History of The Office. In
“Mom, We Made It,” Carell revealed which scene he and the rest of the cast struggled the most filming — mostly because they couldn’t stop laughing.

Steve Carell
Steve Carell | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

Brain Baumgartner is interviewing the cast and crew of ‘The Office’ 

Baumgartner played Kevin Malone on the NBC comedy series. Now, he’s the host of a podcast that gives The Office fans a behind-the-scenes look.

In chatting with his castmates, directors, writers, and camera operators, Baumgartner seeks to figure out what it is about the show that has allowed it to withstand the test of time. 

Carell and some of the show’s other key members dissected the scene they struggled with the most as guests on episode 6 of Baumgartner’s latest venture. 

The holidays were a big deal in ‘The Office’ 

Every season, The Office featured a holiday-themed episode. Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey) was usually stressing about the success of whatever party she was planning.

Meredith Palmer (Kate Flannery) was typically concerned with the amount of alcohol.

And Michael Scott’s priority was always throwing the best office party ever. 

Usually, the holiday party wasn’t complete without Michael Scott’s Santa. The year Jim (John Krasinski) decided to let Phyllis (Phyllis Smith) be Santa, Michael Scott wouldn’t have it.

According to Carell, there was a scene from this holiday episode that he had a hard time filming.

When Kevin sat on Santa’s lap, the cast lost it 

In the season 6 episode “Secret Santa,” Michael struggled when Jim allowed Phyllis to be Santa. Naturally, Michael couldn’t let Phyllis have her day. When he shows up dressed as Santa, the employees of Dunder Mifflin had to choose a side. 

Kevin Malone opted for Michael’s version of Santa — a scene that gave the cast a hard time behind the scenes. 

“That maybe was the moment we had the hardest time not breaking in the show,” Toby Flenderson’s Paul Lieberstein shared on the podcast. 

“There was this noise that Steve made every single time I sat down,” Baumgartner explained. “It just got me every time.”

“I’ll crack up as much as anyone, but I’ll try not to because I always feel like if I laugh, it’s going to ruin…whatever they’re doing [that] is so funny. If I crack up, it’s unusable,” Carell said. 

But when it came to this particular episode, Carell couldn’t help himself. As seen in the outtakes, Carell and much of the cast broke character while filming this scene. 

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“You know you’re part of my favorite scene ever,” Krasinski said to Baumgartner. “People always ask me what’s the hardest you laughed on set? Without a doubt, it’s when you sat on [Steve’s] lap.” The improv between the two actors had Krasinski laughing endlessly. 

That wasn’t the only time Carell stifled laughter while filming The Office. “There are times that I’m sure you can watch the show and just see tears welling in my eyes,” he explained. “That was one of the hardest things — to not lose it.”