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8 Famous Directors You Didn't Know Worked on The Office
From blockbuster filmmakers to comedy legends, these big time directors lent a hand to making The Office hilarious.
When it comes to big names, NBC's The Office is best known for being that kind of show that made its cast of relative unknowns into very famous faces. Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, and more all became comedy superstars because of the series, and the show's popularity also led to some huge guest stars joining the cast along the way.
But what you might not know, unless you're an eagle-eyed viewer during the credits, is that the show also roped in some very big names behind the camera. Here are eight famous directors who lent their talents to The Office during its run as one of America's favorite sitcoms.
Famous Directors Who Helmed Episodes of The Office
Amy Heckerling is a legendary filmmaker known for making a seminal teen comedy in the 1980s, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and a seminal teen comedy in the 1990s, Clueless. In the 2000s, when The Office was still in its early days, she brought those gifts to the NBC series, directing the finale of the abbreviated first season, "Hot Girl," guest starring future multi-Oscar nominee Amy Adams.
When The Office launched, Paul Feig was still best known for his work in comedy television, having created the cult classics Freaks & Geeks and worked on shows like Undeclared and Arrested Development. Along the way, before he broke through with Bridesmaids a few years later, he became one of The Office's most valuable directors. Between Season 2 and Season 7, Feig directed 14 episodes of The Office, including classics like "Office Olympics," the two-part Season 5 premiere "Weight Loss," and of course, arguably the best episode of The Office ever made, "Dinner Party."
As a writer, actor, and director, Harold Ramis is a comedy legend, a multi-hyphenate who still found time to hang out with the Dunder Mifflin gang for a few episodes. Ramis ended up helming four episodes of the series over the course of its run, working primarily in Season 3, where he worked on stories like "Safety Training" and the two-part classic holiday episode "A Benihana Christmas."
Though Joss Whedon's work is often funny, he's not really known as a comedy storyteller. Still, that didn't stop the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from pitching in for a couple of episodes of The Office as the series hit its stride. Over the course of its run, Whedon helmed two Office episodes, including Season 3's "Business School" and the Season 4 classic "Branch Wars."
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By Season 3, The Office was well on its way to becoming a TV icon, and that meant bigger and bigger names were getting in on the act. One of those big names for the show's third year was J.J. Abrams, creator of Alias and Lost, fresh off the success of directing his first feature film, Mission: Impossible III. Abrams only helmed one episode of the series, but it's a memorable one: "Cocktail Party," a landmark moment in the relationship between Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin).
The fall of 2007 was a very good time to be Jason Reitman. The Thank You for Smoking director (and son of legendary comedy filmmaker Ivan Reitman) was launching his feature breakthrough Juno at festivals, and he was also making his debut as a director on The Office. Reitman directed two episodes of the series, both very memorable: "Local Ad" in Season 4 and "Frame Toby" in Season 5.
Though he's best known now for his work on The Amazing Spider-Man films, Marc Webb got his start with smaller stories like the hit romantic dramedy (500) Days of Summer. A year after that film hit big, he brought his skills to The Office, directing the Season 6 episode "The Manager and the Salesman," which also featured the debut of Oscar-winner Kathy Bates as Sabre CEO, Jo Bennett.
After making the leap to mega-blockbusters with the first two Iron Man films, Jon Favreau returned to his small-scale comedy roots in 2013 and directed one of the most pivotal episodes of The Office's final season. In "Moving On," Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) and Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) both consider major personal crossroads, and the episode helps set up the eventual series finale. It's Favreau's only contribution, but it feels like a fun return to the years of Swingers and Made.
Cast Members Turned Directors
Through nine seasons and 200 episodes, The Office also managed to get members of its core cast in on the directorial fun. Throughout the run, directors stepping from in front of the camera to helm episodes included B.J. Novak (five episodes), Steve Carell (three episodes), John Krasinski (three episodes), Rainn Wilson (three episodes), Ed Helms (two episodes), Mindy Kaling (two episodes), and Brian Baumgartner (one episode).
Relive all nine seasons of The Office — now streaming on Peacock. Die-hard audience members who have made it through the entire series more than once can discover never-before-seen bonus footage in the extended "Superfan Episodes" currently spanning Seasons 1-6.