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It’s no secret that Steve Carell is a talented actor with exceptional comedic skills. Prior to joining the cast of The Office as the bumbling and beloved Michael Scott, Carell trained at The Second City and was able to sharpen his improvisational skills. Throughout his time on The Office, Carrell often used said skills to enhance his performances.

The Office cast member Steve Carell as Michael Scott
Steve Carell | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

While The Office is a scripted show, the cast was given the opportunity to improvise also. In fact, some of the most hilarious moments on the show occurred by way of improvisation. A fantastic example of this comes in the first episode of Season 3. In “Gay Witch Hunt”, Carell brilliantly improvised the kiss between Oscar and Michael, thoroughly shocking the other members of the cast.

‘The Office’ cast improvised a lot even though the show was scripted

Of course, other great moments in The Office happened because the actors were truly reacting to what was happening in the scene. A prime example of this comes from the episode “Did I Stutter.” Fans may recall that the episode starts with an overly excited Michael discovering that there’s a patch of wet cement right outside the office. After getting advice from his fellow coworkers about what he should imprint in the cement, he made the decision to put his face in it.

Logistically, the scene wasn’t quite as intense as it appeared on screen. It only required one take, but Carell was given one particular direction to keep in mind as he was filming. The actor was instructed to keep his face in the concrete for as long as he could so that the scene could be utilized to its full extent.

‘The Office’ cast truly thought Steve Carell’s face was stuck in the cement

In an interview with Office Tally, Justin Spitzer, who was one of The Office writers, got candid about filming the aforementioned episode. “There was only one take of him actually going into the cement,” Spitzer shared. “We told him to hold his face in the concrete (which was actually a putty that looked like concrete) for as long as he could hold his breath, because we knew we’d want to be able to start his voiceover over video of the scene.”

Naturally, Carell easily committed to holding his breath. However, the writers forgot to clue in the other cast members about what Carell was doing. Thinking he was actually stuck, the cast of The Office rushed to pull him out, which is captured in the episode. “But we didn’t think to tell the other actors that,” Spitzer continued. “So when you see everyone rushing to pull him out, that’s not written — it’s because the rest of the cast actually thought he might be stuck.”

John Krasinski made up some of his speech in the memorable episode

Of course, this wasn’t the only unplanned moment in the episode. John Krasinski’s written speech, which he gives when Michael is preparing to go into the cement, was only two lines long, but he kept it going with random things he made up. “John’s speech as written was: ‘We are gathered here today to immortalize not just a man, but an idea. Or maybe the idea of a man.’ He improvised everything else,” The Office writer shared.


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It’s pretty hilarious that the cast truly believed Carell’s face was stuck in the cement. It just goes to show that some of the best comedic moments are truly unscripted.