The Office, the publicly acclaimed NBC comedy series, had several iconic scenes. One of those unforgettable scenes is the cardiorespiratory resuscitation, in the episode of the fire caused by Dwight, in the 5th season: “Stress Relief Pt. 1”, the 14th episode.
Jenna Fischer, who played Pam Beesly, and Angela Kinsey, who played Angela Martin, talked about recording the scene in The Office Ladies podcast.
The scene takes place while company employees are learning to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from a professional trainer. Given the chaotic nature of the situation, the duo said a fan wrote in asking if anything was improvised, but Fischer confirmed that everything was fully planned, including the moment when Dwight cut the face of the CPR dummy.
“No, guys. This whole thing, all the singing, the dancing, it was all planned out. And we followed this scene almost as it was written… I’m sure Rainn really cut it because we saw him do it,” Fischer said.
The actresses said writer Jen Celotta came up with the idea for the scene after hearing that CPR should be performed in time with the Bee Gees’ “Stayin ‘Alive”. Despite the scene’s success, however, the episode was quite expensive: Fischer said producer Randy Cordray revealed that they used three different CPR dummies for $750 each. The fake cat Angela threw on the ceiling during the episode’s opening cost $12,000.
The fact that one of the most hilarious and chaotic scenes in The Office’s history was not improvised but rather completely written is a testament to the quality of the team of writers and actors. The entire episode is one of the most memorable of all nine seasons, and almost every fan instantly recognizes something of it, like Dwight wearing the CPR puppet face, Michael singing the wrong song and Angela throwing the cat in the air.
The Office is available in Brazil on the Amazon Prime Video platform.