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The Glee Star You Never Realized Had A Role On The Office

Michael Scott (Steve Carell) of The Office is known for all those moments that made us cringe. It's practically the core of his character. Though he usually has good intentions, his eccentric actions veer toward felony territory when he holds a pizza delivery guy captive. In all the chaos of Michael's hilarious and concerning spiral, it's easy to miss that his victim is actually a familiar face from the musical teen dramedy Glee.

Why does Michael kidnap this young pizza delivery driver? Well, in the season 4 episode "Launch Party," Michael is reckoning with the embarrassing fact that he was not invited to the New York launch party for the Dunder Mifflin Infinity website, but instead was given an invite to a video chat room. While that's the standard for any party nowadays, Michael's pride is bruised by the indignity of remote celebration, so he orders several pizzas to make the Scranton branch's party better than New York's.

Unfortunately, he accidentally gets them from the place everyone hates. Then, when the delivery guy shows up with a huge stack of pizzas, he won't let Michael use a half-off coupon for all of them. Under all the pressure and frustration, Michael snaps and orders Dwight (Rainn Wilson) to lock the teen in the conference room until he accepts the coupon, effectively kidnapping him.

The teen in question is played by Glee star Kevin McHale in one of his very first acting jobs — before he got the part of Glee Club member Artie Abrams.

McHale was very nervous about auditioning in front of Steve Carell

The Office actors Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela) reconnected with McHale on their podcast Office Ladies, and asked him about his experience working on such a popular show as a young actor. As it turns out, he was very nervous.

When coming into his callback audition, McHale wasn't aware Carell would be reading with him. He was up against a few actors, including Dave Franco (also in the beginning of his career), but was caught off-guard by the presence of the comedy star. Still, he managed to say his lines and, best of all, made Carell and the casting director chuckle. He said on the podcast, "I was like, oh, my God, I made him laugh. And that was it. Like, if I didn't get the job, I was happy enough just with that."

McHale did get the part, but among such seasoned actors, he felt out of place. The cast were all able to keep their composure in the face of each scene's outrageous humor, but he struggled to keep from laughing at the "comedic genius" of Carell and Wilson's ad-libbing. As a result, he's frowning in most of the scenes, he explained.

Working on The Office for just one episode had a lasting impact on Glee's Kevin McHale

Two years after McHale played his small part on The Office, he was cast as a regular on Glee, appearing in every episode of its six seasons. McHale told the Office Ladies that his experience on set with them shaped how he behaved on Glee's set. Everyone on The Office was so welcoming to him, a guest actor, so as a regular on his own show, he made a point to do the same for Glee's guests.

Even now, six years after Glee ended and 14 years after he was on The Office, McHale is still recognized for his part as the captive pizza delivery guy. He said, "The amount of times I get recognized for The Office is mind-boggling, truly. Like even in the midst of Glee – even after Glee – I get recognized a solid quarter of the time from The Office." 

It may have been a small role, but as one of the best guest spots on The Office, it's no wonder people found him memorable.