The Office: 10 Famous Directors You Didn't Know Worked On The Show

The Office may have started off as an underdog series doomed for cancellation but, before too long, the sitcom became one of the most popular shows of all time, garnering an extremely passionate fandom and plenty of notoriety during its nine-season run.

Due to its overwhelming success, The Office began to draw the attention of famous directors during its later seasons. As such, there are several noteworthy episodes of the series that were helmed by A-list directors, including some whom viewers will recognize from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars.

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Harold Ramis

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Harold Ramis was one of the most prolific creators of his time, whose projects included GhostbustersGroundhog Day, and National Lampoon's Vacation. Ramis, who died in 2014, was also known for his acting work, most notably in his portrayal of Egon Spengler, one of the most iconic characters in the original Ghostbusters film.

In the realm of television, Ramis worked directed for The Office, taking the lead in four of the show's episodes. All four of Ramis's episodes, which consist of "A Benihana Christmas," "Safety Training," "Beach Games" and "The Delivery: Part 2," are all considered classics by The Office's fandom, making the director's work a standout success for the iconic series.

Joss Whedon

Joss whedon Avengers age of ultron justice league

Joss Whedon may be best known for his work in the superhero fandom, including directing the first two Avengers films and taking over for Zack Snyder in helming the original cut of Justice League, a film that caused a deep divide in the DCEU fanbase. However, he is also known for creating several major television projects, including Buffy the Vampire SlayerAngel, and Firefly.

Prior to his work in the two biggest superhero franchises of all time, Whedon directed two episodes of The Office. His first episode, Season 3's "Business School," earned Whedon positive reviews from critics for his direction. His second and final episode, Season 4's "Branch Wars" has become a fan favorite for its laughably awkward reunion between Jim (John Krasinski) and his ex-girlfriend Karen (Rashida Jones).

J.J. Abrams

Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine and Daisy Ridley as Rey in The Rise of Skywalker Star Wars JJ Abrams

J.J. Abrams has become a major facet of several major film franchises in recent years, directing two films in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, as well as the first two films in the rebooted Star Trek franchise. Abrams got his start on television, however, most notably in creating the hit mystery-survival series Lost.

Abrams joined The Office as a guest director for the eighteenth episode of season three, entitled "Cocktails," in which several characters from Scranton go to a party at CFO David Wallace's house. Abrams was one of the show's most famous directors at the time, helping the show find its footing as it continued to rise to prominence.

Jason Reitman

Jason Reitman and Ghostbusters 2020 Ecto-1 Car

Jason Reitman rose to prominence with his hit comedies Juno and Up In The Air, both of which earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Director. Jason Reitman would later follow in the footsteps of his father, Ivan Reitman, in directing Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a film that has become considered to be one of the best legacy sequels of all time.

Reitman helmed two episodes during The Office's run, beginning with "Local Ad," a hidden gem from the show's fourth season. More notable, however, was Reitman's return for the iconic Season 5 episode "Frame Toby," in which Michael (Steve Carrell) is furious at the return of his sworn enemy, Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein), resulting in one of the show's most unforgettable cold opens.

Stephen Merchant

Stephen Merchant in The Outlaws season 2

Stephen Merchant is a British comedian who has appeared in several major film projects, including Taika Waititi's Oscar-winning picture Jojo Rabbit. Merchant is best known, however, for co-creating the British version of The Office alongside Ricky Gervais, launching one of the most successful television franchises of all time.

Merchant returned to The Office franchise to direct the Season 5 episode "Customer Survey," an episode in which Jim and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) endeavor to improve their customer service after getting poor reviews, leading to one of the show's most hilarious conference room scenes and the invention of Jim's alternate personality, William M. Buttlicker.

Paul Feig

Paul Feig in Wired

Paul Feig is a prolific comedy director whose vision brought to life several notable films including the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters and A Simple Favor. Feig is best known, however, for his 2011 hit film Bridesmaids, which also starred The Office's Ellie Kemper, Andy Buckley, and Nancy Carrell. He also created the cult-classic TV series Freaks and Geeks.

Paul Feig was a frequent collaborator on The Office, directing fifteen episodes of the season during its run. His most meaningful contribution to the series is undoubtedly the cringy yet iconic episode "Dinner Party," for which Feig won the award for "Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series" at the Director's Guild of America Awards. Other notable episodes from Feig include "Office Olympics," "Goodbye Toby," "Niagra," and "Goodbye Michael."

Tucker Gates

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Tucker Gates is a talented television director who has taken the helm of episodes from various noteworthy series during his career. Gates has directed episodes of The Terminal ListParks and Recreation, Lost, and many more, including a whopping seventeen episodes of the hit thriller Bates Motel, a series on which he also served as executive producer.

Tucker Gates directed four episodes of The Office, the most notable of which being the Season 7 episode "Threat Level Midnight," a unique installment of the series depicting Michael Scott's amateur espionage thriller film starring his friends and coworkers.

Marc Webb

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Marc Webb rose to prominence with his 2009 romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-LevittHe truly catapulted himself into the spotlight by helming the rebooted Amazing Spider-Man series starring Andrew Garfield, a franchise that fans think was canceled too soon.

Webb served as a guest director for the Season 6 episode "The Manager and the Salesman," which brought to a conclusion the arc in which Michael Scott and Jim Halpert serve as co-managers of the Scranton Branch of Dunder Mifflin. The episode is also notable for its Academy Award-winning guest star Kathy Bates as Sabre CEO Jo Bennett, who would appear sporadically throughout the sixth and seven seasons.

Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston The Office Work Bus(1)

Bryan Cranston is best known for his acting work on some of television's biggest hits. The actor starred in the comedy Malcolm in the Middle for seven seasons before truly making his mark as Walter White in AMC's iconic series Breaking Bad. Since then, Cranston has appeared in numerous A-list films and has become one of Hollywood's biggest stars.

The iconic actor helmed the Season 9 episode "Work Bus," in which Dunder Mifflin works on a moving bus while the office is undergoing repairs. Cranston would later recall the cast and crew's near-death experience on the bus, wherein he reveals that Jenna Fischer saved everyone's lives.

Jon Favreau

Jon Favreau The Lion King and Mandalorian

Jon Favreau has proven to be one of the most prolific and successful directors of his generation, kickstarting several of the biggest franchises of the last few decades. As the director of the first two Iron Man films, Favreau initiated the phenomenon that would become the Marvel Cinematic Universe and, more recently, created the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, which has been a hit for both critics and fans. Favreau also helmed major hits like the 2003 Will Ferrell comedy Elf and the 2019 live-action remake of Disney's The Lion King.

Favreau helmed the Season 9 episode "Moving On." The episode, though criticized for its B-plot featuring an out-of-character Andy (Ed Helms) attempting to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend Erin (Ellie Kemper), is notable for a fun cameo from Bob Odenkirk, who portrays a pseudo-Michael Scott on one of Pam Halpert's many job interviews.

NEXT: 10 Possible Plotlines For A Reboot Of The Office

 

2022-08-14T02:56:45.000Z

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