The stars of “The Office” can expect the question wherever they go in these weeks leading up to the show’s final episode on May 16: Is Steve Carell in the finale or isn’t he?
Such was the case when original cast member Mindy Kaling was asked the question by David Letterman when she appeared on Letterman’s “Late Show” Monday night on CBS.
It’s the question that’s been hovering over the show for several weeks now with some sources issuing outright denials that Carell will be seen in the episode, while other sources tease the possibility that the former star of the show would appear in at least a cameo.
Carell was the undisputed star of the show — and the primary driver of its once high ratings — for its first seven seasons. But he left to pursue his lucrative movie career full time, and the show has suffered ever since. And now it’s headed toward a one-hour finale May 16 on NBC. The show is in its ninth season.
Carell reportedly visited the set during the filming of the finale, which has fueled speculation he filmed an appearance, in character as original office manager Michael Scott. Letterman wanted Kaling to set the record straight.
“Will you be on the [finale]?” Letterman asked Kaling, who has also moved on from “The Office” to star in her own sitcom on Fox, “The Mindy Project.”
“Yes, I will,” she answered.
“Will Steve Carell be there?” Letterman asked.
To which Kaling answered evasively: “I am not certain.”
But Letterman wouldn’t let her off the hook. “No,” he said, “you were there, you know who [was] there!”
“To be perfectly honest, I was drunk out of my mind when I shot the finale,” she joked, avoiding the question again. “I couldn’t tell who was there.”
Then she admitted she just can’t talk about it. “You know something, Dave?” she said. “I don’t want to lie to you because I respect and love you. I also signed a contract …”
“Oh, a confidentiality thing?” Dave asked.
“Big time,” Kaling said. “I don’t want to be sued by NBC.”
Then Dave asked her to answer by blinking her eyes. She refused.