The American Office is one of TV’s biggest success stories. Beginning first as a direct rip off of its UK counterpart, the show quickly became its own and found itself a very special place in fans’ hearts all across the globe.
However, the show’s legacy could have been very different if it weren’t forthe cast having noticed something when filming a certain episode directed by none other than Bryan Cranston (or, as some may know him, Walter White!).
Now, The Office is iconic. With its 188 episodes and all-star cast of comedy legends, it makes for the perfect binge watch.
The sitcom is one of the most popular shows of the new millenium. It first began airing in 2005 after the UK version, featuring Ricky Gervais and Martin Freeman, found huge success after it debuted in 2001.
In case you don’t know, the US version stars Steve Carrell in the leading role as boss Michael Scott, with John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer and Rainn Wilson also featuring. Other notable cast members include Mindy Kaling, Ed Helms, B.J. Novak and Phyllis Smith.
However, it could have all gone very wrong during season 9, episode 4 if it weren’t for the cast’s alert noses…
Per NME, Fischer and co-star Angela Kinsey revealed that the entire cast were “almost killed twice” during filming.
The episode in question was titled ‘Work Bus’, but dubbed ‘Death Bus’ by cast members. It follows Dwight (Rainn Wilson) converting a bus into a workspace after Jim (John Krasinski) convinces him that the office is unsafe.
Directed by Bryan Cranston, the irony of the ‘Death Bus’ was not lost on the cast. Kinsey and Fischer wrote in their book The Office BFFs: Tales Of The Office From Two Best Friends Who Were There: “We want you to know that we see the irony that Bryan Cranston, aka Walter White Sr. or ‘Heisenberg’ as he was known in crystal methamphetamine circles, was an accessory to almost murdering the entire cast of The Office. I assure you this is pure coincidence.”
The first near-death incident came when a stunt driver was asked to swerve to make the episode feel more authentic.
“We were saying our lines and everything was going smoothly when all of a sudden, we heard the assistant director yell, ‘Swerve!’. The stunt driver swerved HARD. I mean he cranked that wheel like Cole Trickle in Days Of Thunder,” the pair wrote.
“As a result, the entire cast and contents of the bus went flying into the side of the party bus! What no one had considered when they told this stunt driver to serve as hard as he could without flipping the bus over was that none of our office furniture, props, or set decorations were securely tied down.
“We were all smushed up against the side of the bus. Ellie [Kemper]’s chair crashed into Jake [Lacy]’s. Jake’s crashed into mine, and I was shoved against the glass window.”
The second almost-deadly occurence was when the cast noticed an odd smell about the bus.
Kinsey and Fischer wrote: “The portable air-conditioning unit’s INTAKE hose was right next to the EXHAUST pipe on the bus. So that hose was sucking in exhaust and blowing it straight into the sunroof of the bus.
“We were all being slowly poisoned. Or not so slowly, actually.”