'The Office' stars chat about the show's hilarious 'Survivor Man' episode

In 2007, whereas thousands and thousands of individuals had been obsessing over The Workplace, Steve Carell was obsessing over the outdoorsy survivalist actuality TV present, Survivorman.

Carell and his spouse Nancy had been such big followers of the actuality present that it impressed him to write down a Survivorman-themed episode of The Workplace, aptly titled, “Survivor Man.”

On the newest episode of the Office Ladies podcast Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey chatted all about the hilarious Season 4 episode and shed some extra mild on Michael Scott’s huge day in the woods.


The inspiration behind “Survivor Man”

For many who want just a little refresher, this episode finds Michael heading to the woods to tough it as a result of he is upset that he was disregarded of a company wilderness retreat.

Fischer reached out to Carell to listen to why he determined to write down this explicit storyline, and the story is pleasant.

“He stated that he and his spouse, Nancy, beloved this present known as Survivorman. So Steve pitched the thought for this episode as a result of he and Nancy had been such followers of the actual present,” Fischer stated. “[Survivorman] was a Canadian TV present starring an actual life survival professional and filmmaker, Les Stroud. In every episode, he can be dropped off in a distant location and must survive as much as 10 days. He introduced little or no meals, water, or tools apart from his digicam tools as a result of he would movie himself. There was no digicam crew.”

Fischer went on to clarify that though the present sounds harmful, there have been a couple of security precautions in place. “There was a assist staff who monitored this man from a distance simply in case he obtained attacked by a wild animal or one thing. They weren’t going to depart him on the market to die,” she defined, noting that is the motive Dwight was watching Michael from afar in the episode.

Fischer additionally stated that on the actual Survivorman, Stroud “was allowed to scout and research these areas forward of time with a staff of native consultants,” which meant he might craft his survival plan prematurely.

“One thing that Steve stated was that he and Nancy observed that the man was at all times doing issues like Michael does, like turning a stick right into a spear, like he’ll go spear an animal. However he by no means really succeeded in really killing an animal,” Fischer stated. “So Steve and Nancy had a principle that he simply actually did not need to kill any animals as a result of he was a very nice man — as a result of he by no means appeared to truly catch any dwelling meals to eat.”

Carell’s huge “Survivor Man” stunt

What makes this episode really feel so actual is the indisputable fact that Michael genuinely appears like he is been deserted in the center of a forest. Fischer revealed that the wooded scenes had been shot close to the 44-mile marker on the Los Angeles Crest Freeway, and filmed at a picnic website known as Charlton Flats in the Angeles Nationwide Forest. 

When Michael arrives on-site he memorably brings a roll of duct tape, a video digicam, a knife, and a bag of one thing that to at the present time nobody can fairly determine (nevertheless it’s OK, as a result of we by no means see him use it).

What we do positively see him use, nonetheless, is the knife. Bear in mind when Michael cuts his pant legs off to vogue a hat to guard himself from the solar? Carell really did that reckless stunt himself.

“Steve stated the costume was not rigged. He reduce his pants with an actual knife.”

“Michael has determined it is getting scorching and he takes his knife. I used to be so frightened about his leg the complete time, by the approach, that he was going to, like, sever his leg,” Kinsey stated. 

“I reached out to Steve as a result of such as you, Angela, I used to be very nervous. It seemed very actual,” Fischer replied. “And Steve stated the costume was not rigged. He reduce his pants with an actual knife.”


“Shut up,” Kinsey fired again, shocked.

“He stated it was in hindsight, it was a very silly factor to do. He form of cannot consider that he did it,” Fischer continued. “Steve actually likes this second, although. He stated it makes him chortle as a result of in the film Castaway, Tom Hanks does this. And that is form of the place he obtained the thought. However Tom Hanks does it after he is been on the abandoned island for like two years…  And Michael does it after 35 minutes.”

The fantastic “Glad Birthday” shot

Any true fan of The Workplace will bear in mind the “Survivor Man” episode incorporates a laugh-out-loud humorous scene through which Michael is seen dramatically singing “Glad Birthday to You” to Creed in the center of his wilderness tour.

The unhappy rendition comes as the digicam pans out, and even the forged of the present thought the scene was sensible.

“I would like to speak about this shot of Michael singing ‘Glad Birthday,’ as a result of it’s simply fantastic,” Fischer stated. “Michael has simply made a spear, the teeniest, tiniest spear on the finish of a really crooked stick.”

“…There’s this shot that pulls to date again. And what’s wonderful about it to me is, guys, Steve was actually in the center of nowhere and our crew was far again, as this shot reveals,” she continued.

“Yeah, I believed it was an attractive shot,” Kinsey agreed. “I additionally love these moments when Michael remembers issues like Sprinkles — like Creed’s birthday. You already know, and he sings the tune and he is like, ‘Glad birthday, buddy.'” 

The shot additionally made Fischer suppose about the indisputable fact that Carell wrote this episode — a troublesome off set, day-long shoot in the woods — for himself.

“If I had been writing an episode for myself, I might make it pajama day at the workplace the place all of us put on our pajamas and there are not any stunts,” she stated. “I might write a really completely different episode. So I applaud Steve for actually going for it in the identify of comedy.”

You should definitely hearken to the full podcast episode for extra behind-the-scenes tales about filming “Survivor Man.”

You’ll be able to stream episodes of The Office on Peacock and comply with together with the podcast each week on Earwolf, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher.

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