Bryan Cranston Joked About Trying To Kill The Office Cast In 'Death Bus' Episode Until Jenna Fischer Saved The Day

Bryan Cranston in Your Honor.
(Image credit: Showtime)

The Office may have ended nearly a decade ago, but the cast has been spilling on-set tea ever since. While there have been some great stories over the years, the best have arguably come from the behind-the-scenes memoir The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. In the book, the series alums revealed the time they were almost killed filming the Season 9 episode “Work Bus” with director Bryan Cranston. Now, Cranston has finally responded, joking about trying to kill the cast -- until Fischer saved the day.

While telling the story, the two co-stars and real-life BFFs dubbed the episode “Death Bus” due to all the chaos that ensued during filming. All in all, what they described sounded like a true near-death experience. After they broke down what happened, the Breaking Bad alum finally got the chance to tell his side on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Upon hearing Colbert’s reference to the title, he stated that their recount of the events was “unfair.” Though the six-time Emmy winner jokingly admitted to wanting to kill The Office cast before Fischer spoke up about smelling exhaust fumes:

Okay, so it’s not fair that it’s called 'death bus' because no one died. I’ll admit it was my aim, but Jenna Fischer actually saved everyone’s life. ... She said, ‘I smell exhaust, it’s coming inside the bus.’ I’m saying ‘Jenna, how is that possible?’ She said ‘no, it’s coming inside.’ I got a chair and I stood up on the thing and I stuck my nose up in there. And sure enough, it was billowing down. It was carbon monoxide.

So this version of the story sounds way more dire than how Jenna Fischer and Angela  Kinsey described it. Needless to say, having carbon monoxide fill a cabin containing the cast and crew would've been disastrous. Thankfully, the Office alum's keen sense of smell kicked in and was able to prevent anyone from getting monoxide poisoning. The Walter White actor went on to joke, though, that he went ahead and got another whiff to ensure that things were indeed as they seemed:

I wasn’t quite sure, so I got a second wind, I got some more. I got nice and dizzy, and then realized, 'Oh my god, we could’ve all been dead.' It would’ve been one hell of an episode. It would’ve been the finale before they would've planned that, though.

It's hard to disagree that such an episode would've been far different and, more tragic, than the the actual series finale, which ultimately closed out the fan-favorite series' ninth season. I think it's fair to assume that the entire cast is grateful to Jenna Fischer for realizing what was up.

In the episode, the employees of Dunder Mifflin move their operations to a bus after their usual workspace is shut down by landlord Dwight. During the same interview, Bryan Cranston explained how he and his team planned to make the bus scenes work and in the process, revealed how the dangerous situation came to be:

In order to do that, and we have all these actors in there, they pulled on the trailer a refrigeration system, an A/C system. But what they didn’t plan on, they didn’t think that where the intake for the refrigeration system was was exactly lined up to where the tailpipe of the bus was. So the exhaust of the bus was going right to the intake, cooling it, because when you breathe in carbon monoxide, you want it cool. The cooler the better.

I'm getting edgy just thinking about what could've gone wrong. I mean, I've heard of suffering for your art but, had things gone south, that would've been taking it a little too far. At the end of the day, I'm glad Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey, Bryan Cranston and their collaborators lived to tell the tale.

If you want to see this installment (and other amazing Office episodes), you can stream every season with Peacock Premium. And when you're finished checking out the show, be on the lookout for other workplace comedies that are either premiering or currently airing on television.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).