Steve Carell Helped Kill a Bizarre Office Story Line

'Guys, I love the episode but you can’t throw a horse over Niagara Falls'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2020 3:36 PM CDT
Steve Carell Put the Kibosh on Strange Office Story Line
In this undated publicity photo released by NBC, actor Steve Carell appears in a scene from the "The Office."   (AP Photo/NBC, Justin Lubin, file)

Steve Carell didn't just star as Michael Scott in The Office, he also had some clout as a producer. And he used that clout to help stop a bizarre subplot in the episode where Jim and Pam wed at Niagara Falls, according to the book The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s by Andy Greene. The strange tale is broken down in Collider. As originally written, the character of Dwight was supposed to succumb to a "suicide gene" of sorts that drew him to the famous Falls. He would have been on horseback, thanks to a whole other ditched plot line involving an attempt by Roy to break up the wedding as a "white knight." Dwight would survive, but the horse would go over the Falls. Show runner Greg Daniels loved the idea, but others hated it. However, it was apparently Carell's input that finally killed the idea, after a table read.

As producer Randy Cordray recounts: “He said, ‘Guys, I love the episode but you can’t throw a horse over Niagara Falls." Then Carell tactfully made his case: "Yes, it's funny. I love your writing. I love all of you, but this is really an animated joke. This is a cartoon joke. This is a joke we might see on The Simpsons. I know many people think that The Office has already jumped the shark in many different ways, but let me just say, throwing a horse over Niagara Falls is really jumping the shark. I’m not in favor of this.'" And at that, Daniels finally relented. Bonus: Scrapping that expensive stunt freed up money that allowed the rest of the cast to travel to Niagara Falls for the episode, per People. (The cast recently recreated the famous dance from the episode, at least virtually.)

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