“The Office” ended almost ten years ago, but since then the actors have been spilling tea on the set. While there have been some great stories over the years, the best may have come from the behind-the-scenes memoir “Office Best Friends: Stories about the Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There” by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. In the book, the graduates of the series told how they were almost killed on the set of the season 9 episode “Work Bus” with director Bryan Cranston. Now Cranston has finally responded, joking about trying to kill the actors until Fisher saved the day.
Telling the story, two co-stars and real best friends called the episode “The Death Bus” because of all the chaos that arose during filming. Overall, what they described sounded like a real near-death experience. After breaking down what happened, the “Breaking Bad” alum finally got to tell his side on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Upon hearing Colbert’s reference to the title, he stated that their account of events was “unfair.” Although the six-time Emmy Award winner jokingly admitted that he wanted to kill the actors of “The Office” before Fisher told about the smell of exhaust gases:
Okay, it’s not fair to call it the “death bus” because no one died. I admit that was my goal, but Jenna Fischer actually saved everyone’s life. … She said: “I can smell the exhaust coming inside the bus.” I say, “Jenna, how is this possible?” She said, “No, he’s going inside.” I took a chair and stood on it. a thing, and I stuck my nose in there. And, of course, it was falling down. It was carbon monoxide.
Thus, this version of the story sounds much more terrible than how it was described by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. Needless to say, the presence of carbon monoxide in the cockpit with the actors and crew would be a disaster. Fortunately, the acute sense of smell of Office graduates worked and was able to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. However, actor Walter White joked that he went ahead and took another breath to make sure that everything is really as it seems:
I wasn’t completely sure, so I got a second wind, I got a little more. I felt good and dizzy, and then I realized: “My God, we could all have died.” It would be a hell of an episode. However, it would have been the finale before they planned it.
It’s hard not to agree that such an episode would be completely different and more tragic than the real finale of the series, which ultimately ended the ninth season of the fan-favorite series. I think it’s fair to assume that the entire cast is grateful to Jenna Fischer for understanding what happened.
In this episode, Dunder Mifflin employees move their operations to the bus after homeowner Dwight closed their usual workplace. In the same interview, Bryan Cranston explained how he and his team planned to make the bus scenes work, and in the process told how a dangerous situation arose:
To do this, and we have all these actors there, they installed a cooling system, an air conditioning system on the trailer. But what they did not plan, they did not think that where the intake for the refrigeration system is exactly aligned where the exhaust pipe of the bus is. So the exhaust of the bus went straight to the air intake, cooling it, because when you inhale carbon monoxide, you want it to be cool. The cooler, the better.
The only thing that annoys me is the thought of what could have gone wrong. I mean, I’ve heard about suffering for your art, but if things went bad, it would be too far. In the end, I’m glad that Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey, Bryan Cranston and their collaborators lived to tell this story.
If you want to see this installment (and other awesome Office episodes), you can stream each season with a Peacock Premium subscription. And when you’re done watching the show, pay attention to other comedies about work that are either currently premiering on television.