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Knox College announced today that actor and comedian Ed Helms will be the speaker at the 2013 Commencement exercises to be held in June. Helms is best known for scene-stealing roles on both the big and small screen, including his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, his character Andy Bernard in the U.S. version of the hit television sitcom The Office, and his role as Dr. Stu Price in The Hangover films. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, a liberal arts college founded, like Knox, by missionaries and social reformers.
“With his work on The Daily Show and his roles in two of the most popular sitcoms and films in recent memory, Ed Helms is an iconic figure for this generation of students,” says Knox College President Teresa Amott. “I thank the senior class for choosing a speaker who has made such a distinctive contribution to our popular culture.”
Helms is the second veteran of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show to deliver Knox’s Commencement address. Stephen Colbert, who was also a regular on the Comedy Central hit show before starring in his own award-winning Comedy Central series, The Colbert Report, delivered the 2006 Commencement address.
Question: If you’re looking for any belated holiday gifts for me I’m curious in which episode Ed Helms will return to The Office, and what’s to come soon in regards to Erin and Pete, whom I’m already finding infinitely more compatible with Erin than Andy (with all due respect to the ‘Nard dog). —Todd Ausiello: Helms returned to work on the show right before the Christmas break, so, by my calculations, that puts Andy’s first episode back at around February or March. And as exec producer Greg Daniels points out, “It was very easy for Erin and Pete to be the romantic focus when he wasn’t around,” adding that Andy’s reappearance makes the situation “more of a horserace.” (He also notes that the triangle has stirred up a number of debates in the writers room, which tells me even they don’t know at this point which guy Erin will choose.)
Ed Helms will be making another appearance on The Mindy Project in the show’s Thanksgiving episode on Tuesday, November 20th. Here is a summary:
#2.06 – “Thanksgiving” – Mindy decides to cook Thanksgiving dinner at Gwen’s house, but she is completely caught off guard when her former blind date, Dennis (returning guest star Ed Helms), arrives with his new girlfriend. Meanwhile, a lonely Danny mans the empty office while Betsy and Jeremy visit Betsy’s eccentric family for the holiday.
The host of The Colbert Report is reporting for comedic duty on The Office! Stephen Colbert will guest-star this season as Broccoli Rob, a former member of Here Comes Treble, Andy’s a cappella group, EW has learned. In the Halloween-themed episode, Andy (Ed Helms) discovers that the smarmy, competitive Broccoli Rob is singing a different tune about the history of the group and stirring up drama, which only intensifies the rivalry between these two frenemies.
Colbert — who worked with Helms and former Office star Steve Carell at The Daily Show —will pop up on the Oct. 25 episode. The ninth and final season of The Office begins tonight on NBC at 9 p.m.
NBC is closing The Office after nine seasons. In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, exec producer Greg Daniels announced that the long-running comedy will conclude in May. “All questions will be answered this year,” he said. “We’re going to seewho is behind the documentary. We’re going to meet some of them… and we’re going to explore [why they were filming for so long].”
Daniels said “a lot of familiar faces” will return as the show approaches its series finale, but it remains to be seen if Steve Carell’s Michael Scott will be one of them. “It would be fantastic if [Steve] would return,” he said. “He loved how [Michael] exited, and is probably anxious about not messing up such a stylish exit. That’s a perfectly legitimate point. We’ll see.
“There’s so much to pay off after nine seasons of so many great characters,” Daniels added. “My biggest concern is just packing in these great ideas the writing staff has and making sure we can squeeze as many as we can into the ending.”
Daniels said to expect some “explosive” twists. “Now that we know we have an end date we can kind of blow up things,” he shared, “and take some chances. [It's] very freeing creatively.”
Daniels also revealed that…
* The Scranton Strangler will be unmasked.
* The final season will be a “big” one for Jim and Pam. “There’s a lot of drama [for them],” he teased. “The story is definitely not over for them.”
* “Daryl will learn PowerPoint,” he shared.
* John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson and Ed Helms will enter the final season as producers.
* The news has no impact on the possible Dwight-centric spin-off The Farm, which will be introduced in an episode of The Office to air this fall.
Let’s face it: Season 8 of The Office was like getting a Prism Durosport for Christmas when you really wanted an iPod. Meandering plots, characters acting out of, well, character and an overall lack of focus dragged down the NBC comedy’s first full year without Steve Carell. Enter original showrunner Greg Daniels, who is back at the helm and determined to reestablish The Office as Must-See TV — albiet during the show’s just-announced final season. Here, the boss lays out his Season 9 game plan — which includes a more aggressive Andy, several fresh faces and a tormented Nellie.
TVLINE | What was your primary mission when approaching this season?
I want to tell big arcs for the main characters and regain that sense of needing to see each episode when it airs to find out what is happening next. I want to keep the drama hot and juicy and the comedy cold and crunchy, basically imitating the old McDLT campaign for McDonalds. TVLINE | Last season Andy was more of an off-and-on boss. Is this the season he fully takes the reins at DM-Scranton? David Wallace, who now owns Dunder Mifflin, sends Andy for Outward Bound-leadership training over the summer and he comes back pretty aggressively in charge.
TVLINE | Andy and Erin — what is the state of their relationship this season? What is their next obstacle? Same question for Jim and Pam. And Dwight and Angela.
All the main characters will have serial stories and relationship arcs. It will be more fun to experience the twists and turns while watching if I don’t spell it all out for you here.
TVLINE | How will Nellie fit into the office this season?
At the end of last year, Andy softened and allowed Nellie to stay as Director of Special Projects. But he comes back from Outward Bound with the confidence and desire to torment Nellie for what she did to him last year and make her quit.
TVLINE | Describe the two new characters played by Jake Lacy and Clark Duke.
Jake and Clark play Pete and Clark, two guys in their mid-20s who have been hired to go through the 4,000-plus unanswered customer complaint voicemails that Kelly leaves behind when she goes.
TVLINE | What brings Roy back?
Jim and Pam are invited to Roy’s wedding in Episode 2.
“This will be the last season of The Office, the series’ developer/executive producer Greg Daniels just announced. Daniels, who ran the veteran NBC comedy from season one through five and has returned for the upcoming season nine, made the announcement on a conference call this morning. “It was a hard decision but this is going to be a real gangbuster season,” added Daniels. The producer stressed that creative closure was the primary reason behind the decision to end the series. “Certainly we’re not leaving for any reason other than that one,” said Daniels. “This year feels like the last chance” for The Office to have “an artistic ending.” With The Office still ranking as NBC’s highest-rated scripted series, Daniels said he feared the network might want to “cling to it” when he approached NBC executives with the idea of ending the show. “It’s actually a big surprise to me that NBC was so supportive of this decision,” he said. “We all had a lot of passion for it and persuaded them.”
The Emmy-winning comedy struggled to recover from the exit of its leading man Steve Carell at the end of Season 7. After his anointed successor James Spader exited this May, word was that Daniels had a plan to reboot the long-running series heading into Season 9, which premieres Sept. 20. The series was able to secure its core cast, with Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer all coming back, joined by Rainn Wilson, who will reprise his role with an eye toward jumping onto spinoff The Farm, which the actor created with former Office showrunner Paul Lieberstein.
Daniels said that a lot of stories would be wrapped up and the identity of the documentary camera crew that been filming the employees of Scranton, Penn. would be revealed. To bookend the series, Daniels said he wanted to get Ken Kwapis, who directed the pilot, to also direct the finale. “There is so much to pay off from nine seasons of great characters and the core cast are all going to be there,” he said. “Now that we know we have an end date, we can take some chances and blow things up.”
Ed Helms’ Whiskey Sour Radio Hour is BACK! For those of you who missed out catching the show during The 3rd Annual LA Bluegrass Festival in May, don’t wait to get tickets to this fantastic show on Friday, August 17. Ed hosts his own twisted take on the old-time, radio variety show. Music and comedy have long been separate pursuits for Ed, but here they collide in a dastardly mash-up that can only be described as Prairie Home Companion on crystal meth and moonshine. Past Special Guests have included Steve Martin, Will Ferrell, Jackson Browne and MORE. Tickets are available ONLINE ONLY. Click here to purchase tickets.
Friday, August 16: Ed Helms Presents The Whiskey Sour Radio Hour. Seats will be assigned beginning at 6:30pm, Doors open for drinks at 7:30pm, Showtime 9pm. Click here to purchase tickets.