Comedy Gold
July 16, 2020

Kevin from ‘The Office’ did the famous chili scene in one take, is a legend

It’s perhaps the most famous GIF used on Twitter. Kevin Malone from “The Office”—Brian Baumgartner, if you prefer real names—spilling his pot of world-famous chili all over the floor in front of Pam’s desk. The GIF works in so many situations, and is always, always worthy of a true L(augh) O(ut) L(oud). But how often do you fire up the actual scene on YouTube? The answer is not enough:

Absolutely iconic stuff. Kevin continuing to describe his recipe in the background as he tries to scoop up whatever chili he can with a damn paper holder in real time is a level of hilarious only a handful of TV characters have ever reached. It’s so funny, but also so sad. If you put yourself in his shoes for a second, just think about how you’d handle a similar situation. You told the whole office you were bringing in one of your famous dishes, you worked on it all night the day before, you’re excited to share it, but also nervous over people liking it or not. Finally, you get into the front door and you spill it everywhere. Legitimate week, and possibly year, ruiner.

As if the scene/GIF wasn’t legendary enough already, Baumgartner added to the legend on his new podcast “An Oral History of The Office,” which he just recently launched. According to him, the chili scene was done in one take.

“This is going to sound weird, but it’s an incredibly different thing to film,” said Baumgartner. “I’m holding a pot of chili that weighs a lot right? It is very heavy. I know I’m going to spill it. I have to spill it. But having to do that in a way that you buy [it] — I mean I’m tremendously proud of how … that was one take.”

Unbelievable. This man deserves a retroactive Emmy now. In one take he managed to make people laugh their ass off and shed a tear at his despair. That’s acting you simply cannot teach.

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