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Ricky Gervais Meets Steve Carell In A Clever 'Office' Crossover

It's a little sad that news of Ricky Gervais' appearance on last night's episode of The Office leaked a week ago, because had this cameo been a big surprise, it would have been even better. (Back in 2000, ER managed to keep under wraps a cameo from George Clooney, by then a huge movie star, and being startled by it was certainly part of what made it so charming.)

But to dwell on that would be joyless nitpicking, because the long-fantasized-about meeting between Gervais' David Brent (the lead of the original British version of the show) and Steve Carell's Michael Scott was clever and funny. It was a smart decision to avoid the obvious trap of having the men become competitive and petty, and just go with ... well, you'll see it.

As we discussed yesterday, there are reasons to be concerned about the way the rest of Carell's final season is going to go, and stunt casting has pitfalls all its own, but this one goes in the "win" column.

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Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.
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