As Awesome As Paul Rudd Is, He Gave All-Time Terrible Advice To Steve Carell About The Office

the office steve carell michael scott
(Image credit: NBC)

Even though we’ve been seeing reboots more and more in the last several years, back when The Office hit NBC, it wasn’t quite so common. It wasn’t unheard of for a popular show in the U.K. to be re-imagined for the United States (or vice versa), but it didn’t tend to happen with a series that already had a number of fans across the pond. This led to many people feeling like we didn’t even need a non-Ricky Gervais-starring version of his beloved BBC Two comedy. It turns out that, even with as awesome as Paul Rudd is, he managed to give some all-time terrible advice to Steve Carell about starring on The Office.

Look, we all love Paul Rudd, ok? But, he’s only human. Sometimes, even the Sexiest Man Alive can have an off day, and end up giving one of his buddies some bad advice while genuinely trying to help him out, and this is what happened when Steve Carell told Rudd about his plans with The Office. As Carell said for the new book, Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office, his friend was not on board:

I remember, before I auditioned, I was talking to Paul Rudd. I’d never seen the original one and he asked what I was up to. This was right after Anchorman. I told him I was going to audition for the American version of The Office and he said, ‘Ugh, don’t do it. Bad, bad move. I mean, it’s never going to be as good.’ Like what everybody was saying.

To be totally fair to Rudd, as Carell mentioned, there were likely a lot of people telling him not to bother with the new version of The Office. There were already tons of people who watched and thoroughly enjoyed the two-season delight that was the original series (which aired 12 episodes and one two-part Christmas special between July 2001 and December 2003), and none of them were really hoping for a brand new iteration of the story.

Also, the fact is that reboots are a tricky business. While The Office wasn’t highly rated when it was first released, it went on to become one of the biggest British comedies. And, the people who did find it during or immediately after it originally aired were devoted to it. In general, when you already adore a show and find out a reboot is on the way, the thought is that it simply can’t be anywhere near as good as the original.

Of course, a lot of people would say that the U.S. version of The Office, as led by Steve Carell’s attention-seeking, extremely inappropriate, only sometimes good at his job Michael Scott, was, in fact, better than the first, along with being able to more fully dive into the characters, if for no other reason than the fact that it was on the air for an impressive nine seasons. So, Paul Rudd (and millions of other people) may have been wrong in their initial assessment, but at least Carell didn’t listen to him, and helped give us one of the greatest sitcoms of all time.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.