No one could have planned this hysterical moment from The Office.
On Wednesday’s episode of the Office Ladies podcast, co-hosts Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey — whom fans know as Pam Beesly and Angela Martin — broke down a standout opening scene that became memorable thanks to an accident.
With a pair of scissors, Jim pierces the new exercise ball that Dwight is bragging about at his desk, causing the prop to pop. The action sends Wilson to the floor, but it turns out the moment was scripted to be a slow, comical deflation.
“Ladies and gentleman, it was not meant to pop,” said Fischer, 45, on the podcast, which recaps episodes with behind-the-scenes perspectives from cast and crew members.
“The idea was that John would stick the scissors into the fitness orb, it would deflate very slowly, and the camera would be in front of Dwight’s desk and you would see him just very slowly sort of melt to the floor as Jim very smugly [looks on],” she said. “That was what was in the script.”
Fischer said the prop team and the actors practiced the scene three times, then took 13 takes — each time getting the desired deflation. On their last run through, however, comedic gold was accidentally achieved.
“[Prop master Phil Shea] said to John, ‘As long as you don’t hit the seam of the ball with the scissors — which would be like a one-in-a-million chance that you could do it — the ball will slowly deflate, and it will work as planned.'”
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The 2005 episode was directed by Bridesmaids auteur Paul Feig, who decided to leave the accident in the final cut. In the clip, viewers can even see Krasinski jump out of frame, stunned by the mishap.
“You can see the shock on Rainn’s face, and he fell to the floor,” Fischer said. “We were all completely shocked, like, ‘Oh my god.’ And you can totally see John break … and very quickly, [because] he’s such a pro, he turns his back and just like leaves.”
New episodes of Office Ladies are available weekly wherever you stream podcasts.