Steve Carell probably hears “Will there be an Office reunion?” at least once a day, and now we know exactly how he feels about it, thanks to the very funny and pointed Saturday Night Live opening monologue he delivered this weekend. Fans of The Office will likely be delighted by the mini-reunion that took place on stage, but those hoping for a reboot will be disappointed—although we did get insight into exactly why Carell is against bringing it back.
Carell, hosting this week’s episode of SNL, started off by saying how much he loved playing Michael Scott on the beloved American Office for seven seasons, but that he wasn’t into the idea of its resurrection. "It was a great experience, I love all those people, but I just don't think it's the best idea," he said. Next came heckling from Kenan Thompson, sitting in the audience, who said it would be "an honor" for him to reboot his own show Kenan and Kel.
But when Ellie Kemper, Ed Helms, and Jenna Fischer each popped up to urge Carell to consider reviving the series, it looked like the whole opener might be a ruse to announce some type of, well, something, given that it was the first time that Michael Scott, Erin Hannon, Andy Bernard and Pam Halpert had been together in more than five years. Even Carell’s wife Nancy (who played love interest Carole Stills on the show) and their two kids made an appearance to ask if he would bring it back.
The ultimate fakeout came when, with Kemper, Helms, and Fischer on stage, Carell said, "I am proud to announce officially that"—after which the audience’s collective breath hitched—only to continue with, "We have a great show tonight!" the usual SNL host’s closing remarks.
The dreams of a million rabid Office fans may have been dashed, but the monologue’s jokes about how much money actors from beloved series stand to make from reboots—and how that often drives their motivations to do so—were totally on point. In the midst of our current reboot-mania, the question of whether they do much more than cash in on nostalgia is an important one (remember Roseanne?). In her bit, Fischer, asked, "Don’t you want to see what Pam and Jeff are up to these days?" deliberately flubbing the name John Krasinski’s character "Jim." Helms added, "I don’t think you're understanding how much money we're talking about." Without directly saying so, the sketch gave us a sense that Carell has moved on from The Office as fully as Michael Scott did.