Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant made their names and fortunes with "The Office," which was remade for the U.S. with them serving as executive producers and Steve Carell playing the central character, bumbling boss Michael Scott.
On "Life's Too Short" (Sun., 10:30 p.m. on HBO) Gervais and Merchant found themselves having to ask Carell if he'd consider returning to "The Office" for some guest appearances.
Chatting via Skype, Gervais told Carell that "If you did agree to even infrequent guest spots, the network said they will guarantee two more seasons."
Carell didn't agree to sign on the dotted line, but did say he'd consider it.
After they'd hung up, Gervais was unimpressed. Saying Carell was only a household name because of "The Office," Gervais added that "he should be begging me" for occasional guest spots, not the other way round.
As Merchant and Warwick Davis laughed, Gervais carried on riffing on Carell, quipping that he was "the luckiest f***ing actor we ever worked with!"
And then the penny dropped. They hadn't hung up on Carell. He was still there and had heard the whole exchange. Ooops! As Gervais apologized, Carell was hilariously deadpan.
"Life's Too Short" airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. EST on HBO.
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