Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Steve Carell pops out of a box, scares the ever-loving shit out of Jenna Fischer

One of the strangest manifestations of consumer culture is the “unboxing video.” Desperate to feel the second-hand joy of opening a newly purchased item, viewers pull up clips of other people unwrapping new phones, video game consoles, or toys. This, we’d argue, is a disconcerting trend that speaks to materialism’s upsetting psychological effects. Its popularity is frightening.

That is, unless the format is repurposed as a way to get Steve Carell to jump out of a box, terrifying former Office co-star, Jenna Fischer.

Fischer appeared on Busy Tonight and was given early birthday presents from other members of the comedy series’ cast. It’s a normal, conversation-prompting bit for the first while. Fischer immediately knows which actor gave her which present: a banjo from Ed Helms gets her reminiscing on Creed Bratton and Helms playing music on filming breaks; raisin crisps from Ellie Kemper bring back memories of the two eating boxes of them on set.


Finally, host Busy Philipps leads Fischer over to a giant box that opens to reveal Steve Carell. Fischer shrieks in a mix of horror and surprised delight, just like anyone would do if given a confined adult man as a birthday present.

After everyone settles down a bit, Fischer and Carell sit with Philipps to talk about all the expected stuff—Fischer’s current show, Splitting Up Together, the possibility of an Office reunion series—but, most importantly, to discuss a joke that required Carell sitting silently in a large cardboard box “for quite some time.”

“I wasn’t expecting a human being to be in a box,” Fischer says. “And then, on top of that, I was not expecting that human being to be Steve.”

With one simple talk show prank, Philipps and Carell have done us all a great service. Unboxing videos, appalling as they may be, are a little less evil now that we can expect not just consumer goods to be inside, but possibly a friendly celebrity, yearning to be let free.


[via Vulture]

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com


Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`