“The Office” is considered one of the best satirical television shows of all time, with 201 episodes and nine seasons.
The series creates plenty of funny moments thanks to actors with improv backgrounds and excellent writing style. There are certainly a few episodes of the series that will make you laugh out loud, whether you are a fan of dry, sarcastic humor or slapstick humor.
Since both realistic and absurd are handled by The Office, many viewers question whether the series has a script or is a result of improvisation. Super fans of the film, however, realize that the hit comedy is really both. Most of the things viewed by viewers was entirely scripted and were the result of some phenomenal writers, many of whom in the series were also actors. However, for at least one take of each scene, the actors were also given the chance to improvise.
The Office may be scripted, but some hysterical moments were improvised by the actors
There are, of course, some particularly memorable “The Office” moments which are totally improvised.
The infamous kiss between Michael and Oscar, for instance, was totally improvised in the first episode of season 3, “Gay Witch Hunt,” Imagine the surprise of Oscar Nunez (who played Oscar) when he learned that he was going to give a real kiss to Steve Carell (who played Michael).
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But Carell wasn’t the only improvising artist. It was also known that John Krasinski and Rainn Wilson, who played Jim and Dwight, respectively, improvised lines, especially when shooting scenes together.
During their scenes, the two also wrote lines and even slurs to each other, which contributed to some pretty amusing performance. David Rogers (who edited and directed several episodes of “The Office”) shared in a 2013 interview with Office Tally how Wilson and Krasinski also used improvisation and physical humor to enhance a scripted scene.
Scenes of improvisation were also improved by John Krasinski and Rainn Wilson
“John and Rainn are incredible in that they can really nail the scripted version of a scene on the second or third take, and then they start acting,” Rogers shared about the two Office actors. “As long as the key lines and moments are hit and the intent of the scene is clear, they’ll try different lines and physical actions to see if they can make the situation funnier and ultimately better.”
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As Wilson improvised an extremely amusing line of dialogue, Rogers also remembered a specific moment. Wilson had an especially memorable line that ended a scene in the “A.A.R.M.” episode of Season 9, in which Jim tricks Dwight into being his own assistant. “After Jim crowns Dwight and runs after Pam, Rainn came up with the line, ‘From now on, anyone who wants to talk to me has to go through me first,’ which I loved and ended the scene with.”
“Greg Daniels, creator of “The Office,” had a guideline for editing episodes
Of course, the aforementioned line from Wilson is far from the only improvised line which made it into the series. In reality, Rogers revealed that there was a rule in place for Greg Daniels (creator of ‘The Office’) to ensure that the funniest shot in a scene always made it into the series, whether it was scripted or improvised. Early on, we were told in editing by our executive producer, Greg Daniels, ‘Whatever is funniest wins.’
It doesn’t matter whether it was written by a writer or made up by an actress. We’ll go with what’s best.”
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Clearly, a wise decision was Daniels’ law.
“The Office” continues to be comic gold, due to the partnership between the writers and the actors. We’re sure a similar rule will help other TV comedies.