‘The Office’ Booze Cruise Had Some Cast Members Puking, Others Lost at Sea

Rainn Wilson won ‘Most Pukey’
‘The Office’ Booze Cruise Had Some Cast Members Puking, Others Lost at Sea

“Booze Cruise” is a momentous episode of The Office for several reasons. It was the first time we got Michael Scott and company out of their Dunder-Mifflin cubicles and into the larger world. Jim finally confessed his love for Pam (unfortunately, the confession was to Michael — Jim chickened out when he had the chance to come clean with his crush). It was the first Office to land a spot on the Thursday night Must See TV lineup, a sign that NBC was getting behind the show in a big way. And this was the episode in which actors like Angela Kinsey, Kate Flannery, Brian Baumgartner and Oscar Nuñez got promoted from “guest stars” to actual cast members. 

But what the cast likely remembers most, according to Kinsey and Jenna Fischer’s book The Office BFFs, are the disasters that occurred while filming the episode. 

Disaster #1: A crazy lack of sleep. Because the episode revolves around Michael’s “motivational seminar” on an evening cruise, the cast’s call time wasn’t until late afternoon. That meant filming all night long, then trying to grab a few hours’ sleep before going at it again. “By the third night,” remembered Fischer, “we were all delirious.”

Disaster #2: Seasickness. The cast and crew spent three straight nights on the boat, one out at sea and two while the boat was docked. “I actually thought it was worse,” Kinsey said about being tied to shore. The boat was “just bobbing side to side and back and forth against the pier. I felt like I was rocking for a week.”

The winner of the “Most Pukey” Award went to Rainn Wilson. “He started not feeling well the second night,” Kinsey explained, “and puked a lot off the side of the boat. He walked around looking a little green for the rest of the shoot.” Fischer confessed that she yakked as well, joined by David Densman who played her fiancee Roy. 

Kinsey didn’t get sick, but her character Angela did. The actress was given her choice of cream of mushroom or minestrone for her fake vomit. She picked minestrone — “The thought of cold, thick, creamy mushroom mush in my mouth really did make me want to vomit” — but holding it in her cheeks until it was time for Action! was a sickening chore. “I began to gag after a few seconds,” she confessed. “I didn’t puke for real, but I almost did.”

Disaster #3: Lost at sea. The final scene to be filmed featured Jim and Pam, meaning a 4 a.m. wrap for everyone else. The cast was given a choice: They could hang out on the big boat until all the work was done, or they could jump in motorized rubber dinghies to catch a ride back to shore. Some cast members took one look at the little rafts and said “No, thanks.” But Wilson, Baumgartner, Kinsey, and Phyllis Smith were eager for sleep and accepted the ride. 

“We took off for what was supposed to be a 10-minute boat ride back to shore,” recalled Kinsey. “It was pitch-dark, and the water around us looked like black glass. After a few minutes, our engine made a strange whirring sound, and then everything went quiet.” The driver tried to revive the motor but nothing doing. 

“I was on the deck shooting with John,” added Fischer, “when Greg (Daniels) got a panicked call on the radio: ‘We’ve lost the boat with Phyllis!’”

Eventually, a rescue dinghy arrived. In absolute darkness, “we had to throw our legs over the side and do an awkward straddle from one rubber boat to another,” Kinsey explained. “My legs are really short, so I did a very ungraceful flop/roll into the other dinghy. It wasn’t pretty, but we all managed to get to safety.”

Kinsey’s request: The next time you watch the scene with Jim and Pam on deck gazing into each other’s eyes, “think of Rainn, Phyllis, Brian and me huddled together on that tiny dinghy, staring longingly at the shore.”


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