Can you believe it's been 10 years since "Niagara Part 1" and "Niagara Part 2" aired? For those who haven't streamed The Office on Netflix repeatedly, these beloved episodes depict Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly's wedding. In honor of this special anniversary, Entertainment Weekly put together an oral history of "Niagara Part 1" and "Niagara Part 2" with director Paul Feig, producer Greg Daniels and some of the cast, including Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski and Mindy Kaling.
During the interview, Feig revealed the two part episode originally had a completely different ending. Not only was the original ending different, Feig said " the original ending was a big controversy." What was so controversial about the original ending? Well, let's just say it involved Roy, Dwight and a random horse. Yes, a horse.
"All throughout the episode, Roy’s [David Denman] been kind of haunting around and unhappy that they’re getting married, so when they ask if anybody has reason why this couple can’t get married, he rides into the church on a horse to sweep Pam off her feet like a knight in shining armor and declares, “I have an objection.” And she’s like, “What are you doing? No, I want to get married.”" Feig recalled. "She sends him away, so he has to ride his horse back out of the church. But then, in an absolute insane thing, they had this crazy ending where Dwight [Rainn Wilson] gets the horse and rides it into the falls."
Unsurprisingly, the horse storyline was not popular amongst the cast and crew. Daniels, though, really wanted to keep the horse and it's untimely demise at Niagara Falls in the final cut of the episode. "I was really committed to the horse for the longest time. It was like Dwight got fascinated with this historical display at the hotel that talked about various animals. It started with a cow had been swept over the falls and survived, and then a couple of people tried to go over the falls in a barrel and were killed, and then some sheep went over the falls and survived," Daniels said.
"And he came up with this theory that you could survive going over the falls if you were riding a horse, because a horse would have the instinct of how to swim properly," he continued. "And so he was trying to get people to listen to this theory, and then Roy interrupts the wedding trying to do a big, grand romantic gesture that nobody wants and just abandons the horse and drives home. So Dwight gets on and goes into the river above the falls, but panics and jumps off the horse at the last second, while the horse goes over in the background of the wedding."
Ultimately, the cast ended up imploringly Daniels to cut the horse bit. "Then we got to the table read and I was the last defender of the horse. The entire staff and actors were yelling at me: “Don’t ruin Jim and Pam’s wedding with a horse!” he revealed. Thankfully, Daniels cut the bit, which resulted in the cast's memorable recreation of a viral wedding dance video.
Not only did fans love the dance number, the cast did, too. Fischer and Krasinski never saw the rest of the cast rehearse the dance until filming actually started, so, there reactions in the episode are genuine. "I hadn’t seen it, they’d all been rehearsing it, and then I was very frustrated that I was stuck in the back of the church. I went up to the front to watch it and I was actually crying during the first rehearsal. It’s so sweet and joyous. I think it was a stroke of genius," Fischer said.