'The Office' Audition Tapes Show Seth Rogen, Eric Stonestreet, and More Trying Out for NBC Comedy

The Office was a treasured NBC institution for six seasons. And then Steve Carell left, leaving behind a motley crew of office drones that failed to invite our affection until the series ended its run earlier this year. (Hell, even Jim and Pam managed to become as insufferable as Andy's a cappella habit.)

But, looking at some recently revealed casting possibilities for the comedy, it's too bad The Office didn't choose to replace Carell with one of the men who auditioned for the role back in 2003. Because we could have been offered actors who would have aced delusional boss much better than James Spader, Ed Helms, or any of the rumored replacements.

Just a few months ago, Rainn Wilson — otherwise known as The Office's beet- and Battlestar Galactica-loving Dwight Schrute — tweeted an audition call sheet from when the series was casting in 2003. Along with the revelation that Wilson was the first actor who auditioned for Dwight, beating out actors like Upright Citizens Brigade's Matt Besser and Men of a Certain Age's Matt Price, was the list of respectable comedic actors close to nabbing the role of Michael Scott: Bridesmaids' Ben Falcone, Serenity's Alan Tudyk, and Wizards of Waverly Place's Bill Chott. (Also, 24's Mary Lynn Rajskub for Pam? The FOX thriller did teach us that she looks good behind a desk... )

But on Monday came actual evidence of what we could expect from some of these actors, via an audition roll from 2003 for The Office. Some footage is bizarre — Seth Rogen tested for Dwight?! — and others fit so perfectly that you wonder how some of these actors managed to lose the roles. Eric Stonestreet for Kevin? Adam Scott for Jim? Modern Family and Parks and Recreation were great consolation prizes, sure, but who wouldn't want to see those two bossed around by Bob Odenkirk as Michael?

Watch The Office audition tape for Rogen, Stonestreet, Scott, Odenkirk, John Cho, and Kathryn Hahn below, and wonder if we might have liked Jim and Pam a little better in this alternate universe.

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[Via Entertainment Weekly ]