I Want My Gay TV

Remembering the improvised, unaired gay joke that crossed a line on The Office

The Office may have gone off the air long ago, but we’re still sat for cubicle gossip. The latest juicy morsel involves the early iconically gay episode — and the one gay joke a cast member refused to make.

The anecdote comes from Angela Kinsey, who played Angela Martin — though fans might better remember her as the Karen of The Office. On the Soul Boom podcast, host Rainn Wilson (who played the other office killjoy, Dwight Schrute) commented on the differences between the two Angelas.

In the show, the character Angela is an “uptight Christian” whereas the real-life Angela has a “warm, meaningful relationship” with her faith. He asked whether those differences were ever a problem for her.

“There were one or two times where there would be a joke written for her that I thought was stereotypical, maybe one-note,” Kinsey said. “I like to think of her as a full, well-rounded person.”

One such instance occurred in the third season premiere, “Gay Witch Hunt.” The 2006 episode depicts the fallout after regional manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell) discovers that employee Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nuñez) is gay and inadvertently outs Oscar to the entire office. As Michael repeatedly tries to make amends (and repeatedly offends Oscar even more), the episode culminates in an awkward, iconic and completely improvised kiss between the two.

Originally, Angela was going to have a predictably homophobic reaction to Oscar’s outing. But Kinsey wanted to show that there’s some lines even Angela doesn’t cross.

“I remember there was a particular storyline between Angela and Oscar where Angela was being super judge-y,” she said. “I never went up to [showrunner] Greg [Daniels] about any joke, but there was a joke at Oscar’s expense, and I went up to Greg and I was like, ‘I can’t.’”

Kinsey described the joke as Angela bringing up Jesus to judge Oscar. “I just was like, ‘I don’t feel good about it,” she said. “I don’t feel good about that. I don’t feel like that’s what Jesus represented to me.’”

“He was like, ‘Okay.’ And he heard me, and he took the joke out,” she went on. “And the episode, it was ‘Gay Witch Hunt,’ had so many already. But that’s the one pivotal moment I remember being like, okay, this is feeling like a stereotype and very one note. I feel like she has more depth than that.”

It just goes to show that even someone as judgemental as Angela doesn’t have to be hateful. There’s more than a few Christian fundamentalists who could stand to be a little more like Angela.

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