The Office's Season 3 Sumo Wrestling Resulted In A Couple Cast Members Getting Injured

You'd think it'd be safe to assume that there weren't a ton of injuries on the set of "The Office." The cast was pretty sedentary for a lot of the filming, only occasionally having to perform such strenuous tasks as answering a phone or using the copy machine. Besides Rainn Wilson's knack for injuring his co-stars, the actors in "The Office" didn't have much to worry about in terms of their physical wellbeing.

The setting in "The Office" is essential to the show's tone, as boring as it is (although enough fans are interested in the visiting the office to justify "The Office Experience" exhibit). But the show left its comfort zone for the season 3 episode "Beach Games," which resulted in a deviation from the series' safe, humorously boring norm. When the delusional regional manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin, Michael Scott, believes he's going to be getting a promotion and a new position soon, he decides to bring all his employees to the beach to have a series of competitions to determine his replacement. Think "Survivor" meets "American Gladiator" meets Michael Scott's typical nonsensical approach to management.

The episode is well-regarded, creating a fun scenario that pits the employees of Dunder Mifflin against each other, although few take it seriously. Unfortunately, the competitive aspect of the episode eventually led to some workplace injuries; not only for the characters in the show, but for the actors behind the scenes.

Casualties of comedy

The first incident occurred when Rainn Wilson as Dwight took on Leslie David Baker's Stanley in the sumo challenge. Their duel ended with Baker in the hospital with a scratched cornea. Jenna Fischer discussed this on "Office Ladies":

"What happened was that during all this sumo wrestling, Leslie got sand in his eyes and they tried to flush it out, but they couldn't. And I remember he had to leave set. And I don't know if he went to the hospital or to an eye doctor, but he had a scratched cornea."

Baker was able to finish shooting the episode, but eventually had to leave to have his injury looked at. According to Kinsey, Wilson felt extremely bad about the incident.

The second injury from the sumo trials was less serious, but still quite painful. Once again, Rainn Wilson had a part in it, as it took place when he and Ed Helms' Andy faced off. Somewhere in their tussle, Helms broke a nail. According to Fischer:

"It was gruesome, but Ed was like yelling, in his sumo suit, he was yelling, 'Stop, stop.' And all he could get out was, 'I broke my nail' and people were like, 'Oh, OK. Did you break your fingernail?' And he was like, 'No, guys. I broke my nail.'"

Helms luckily did not have to leave the set. He got his finger wrapped up and continued shooting. "The Office" isn't usually a very violent show (even knowing that the writers planned on having Michael Scott kill one of his employees at one point), so the fact that a single episode had multiple casualties is surprising.

This all just goes to show that comedy can be dangerous. Salute your comedic actors, folks. They're putting their bodies on the line for our entertainment, and we should thank them for their service.