Few nights will ever compare to that one night The Office aired the “Dinner Party” episode and set a whole new bar for comedy.
The thirteenth episode of Season 4 gave fans a very rare view of their favorite characters outside of the office, when Michael and Jan wound up having Jim, Pam, Angela, Andy, Dwight, and Dwight’s special guest, over for a dinner party.
The episode was ridiculously funny, and in honor of its 10 year anniversary Rolling Stone caught up with the cast and writers to reminisce and get some behind-the-scenes details. Turns out, they loved the episode just as much as fans did.
In an oral history, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, Angela Kinsey, and more shared their love for the episode and admitted they couldn’t stop laughing while filming.
“It started off very slow. Not a lot of laughs. Little by little, it just starts building, and I never experienced that before,” co-writer Gene Stupnitsky explained while describing the table read. “The laughs kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. I remember I was just sweating through my T-shirt. It was the greatest feeling I’ve ever had.”
“There’s nothing more satisfying than having Steve Carell barely able to get through his lines,” co-writer Lee Eisenberg added.
“There’s nothing more satisfying than having Steve Carell barely able to get through his lines.”
Angela Kinsey told Rolling Stone that when the cast first read the script they were all “laughing hysterically,” and Ed Helms, who played Andy Bernard, said he knew they were working on “something special” during the table read.
“Because the writers had written such good stuff for ‘Dinner Party,’ it was like tons of gunpowder being in one room,” John Krasinski explained. “As soon as you walk into that set, you knew why it was funny and how it was going to keep getting funnier.”
Though the episode was jam packed with gut churning laughter, the cast members agreed several of the funniest scenes involved Michael.
Michael Scott’s beloved plasma TV
The scene when Michael proudly shows off the mini plasma television he hung on his wall almost ended everyone’s careers.
“…When he’s showing us his flatscreen television. And it’s so tiny. We laughed so hard, like, tears were streaming down our faces,” Jenna Fisher said. “Every time they turned on the camera, either [Fischer] or me would just be absolutely in fits of laughter,” Melora Hardin, who played Jan Levinson, said.
“It probably took the longest of any of the other scenes, because we had to literally take a break and walk away to stop laughing. And I don’t even know what we were laughing about. I think we were hot and exhausted,” she added.
“I had never laughed so hard as I did than during that scene. I had my little trick: If I was really laughing, I would began to look at Steve’s ear,” Helms said. “There was probably plenty of scenes where I’m stiff as a board not even acting, so to speak, but just trying not to laugh.”
You can read the full interview here, and check out Season 4 bloopers to see the cast break.