When Steve Carell got his starring role in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, he had been making some marks on The Daily Show and SNL via the TV Funhouse sketches. With Virgin and The Office on NBC, Carell was ready for a big break. But it almost never happened. Carell stopped by Conan on Tuesday and talked a bit about how Universal wanted to pull the plug on the film with only a week of shooting completed.
It seems that the studio had been watching the footage and felt a little awkward about calling it a comedy:
“They said, ‘We’ve been watching footage’ — We’d only been shooting for five days! — ‘We’ve been watching footage and you look like a serial killer.’ “