Of all the lovable and charming characters on The Office, Andy Bernard is to me the funniest of all. Is this because of my growing up in Ivy League Princeton, NJ, where there were families like Mr Bernard’s who brag about their Cornell roots yet are absolutely terrible at their jobs?
Ed Helms is the 37-year-old actor from Atlanta who plays Bernard, and he’s now on the interview circuit for the remake of The Hangover. He spoke with Joanne Kaufman of the Wall St. Journal yesterday.
He got his start in the proud tradition of John Stewart and Steve Colbert, the new comedy incubator called the Daily Show. As a correspondent he said he credits Office star Steve Carrell for breaking the barrier leading from mock newsman to big time movie star. “He opened people’s eyes to the fact that the correspondents might be more than snarky jerks. They might actually have acting chops.”
On the Office, Helms has gotten be known for his singing, lifting his voice in song in odd and funny situations. In real life, he is in a bluegrass band. When he was a senior in college, he realized that yes, he would grow up to be a comedian. “I’m going to make it work,” he said.
Hangover 2 director Todd Phillips describes the actor’s talent, explaining why he went toothless on a movie poster: “Ed just wants to make sure it’s funny. He’s fearless; he’ll try anything for a laugh, and that’s all you can hope for.”