“I feel like I'm worried about my later years in life because I feel like I'm using up so much good karma right now. There's going to be some sort of karmic backlash somewhere down the road.” Ed Helms (about working on “The Office”)
Starting out doing stand-up in New York City, comedian and actor Ed Helms first gained TV success as a news correspondent with Comedy Central's news/talk show series “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” a coveted gig he held from April 2002 to July 2006. He received even more recognition and fame with his role of Andy Bernard in the Emmy and Prism Award winning sitcom “The Office” (2006-present), from which he picked up a TV Land Award and a Screen Actors Guild in 2009. Commenting about his transition to sitcom, Helms expressed, “It was actually a lot smoother and easier than I thought because this was such an easy cast to kind of walk in and join. They're just so welcoming and fun and cool. And for me, I felt ready to spread my wings and do something a little different. I had been on ‘The Daily Show’ for five years.”
Since joining “The Office,” Helms has also launched a prolific film career. Making his debut in the festival-screened “Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story” (2004), he went on to have small roles in such projects as the Steve Carell starring vehicle “Evan Almighty” (2007), “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” (2007), “Semi-Pro” (2008), “Meet Dave” (2008) and “Manure” (2009). His upcoming film credits include “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” (2009), “The Hangover” (2009) and “The Goods: The Don Ready Story” (2009). Helms has also done a number of voice-overs, including Neil the Angel on “Sunday Pants” (2005), Hobo Louie in “Everyone's Hero” (2006), Samurai Love God in the 2006 miniseries of the same name, and “Monsters vs Aliens” (2009).
Helms is an accomplished banjo player. He lives in Los Angeles, California, where “The Office” is being filmed. Previously, he had lived in Atlanta and New York. He stated, “I'll always be a New Yorker. I'm very rude to people so that makes me a New Yorker.”
Childhood and Family:
Edward Helms was born on January 24, 1974, in Atlanta, Georgia. He lived in the wealthy Brookwood Hills area in Midtown, in which he worked as a lifeguard at a local pool. When he was 14 years old, he suffered from a heart murmur, which required open-heart surgery.
Ed graduated from Westminister High School in Atlanta, Georgia, the same school attended by future “The Office” costar Brian Baumgartner, in 1992. He then attended Oberlin College in Ohio, where he joined the school's swimming team his freshman year and also participated in the choir group The Obertones. After completing his film studies in 1996, he moved to New York City to try his hand at comedy. Ed later trained in improvisation with NYC's The Upright Citizens Brigade.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
After attending Oberlin College, Ed Helms headed to New York City to kick off his comedy career and soon became a regular performer at various comedy clubs. He also honed in on his improvisation skills with the Upright Citizens Brigade.
Major success arrived when he joined the Comedy Central hit show “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in April 2002. As a correspondent, he provided humorous contributions to segments such as “Mark Your Calendar,” “This Week in God” and “Digital Watch.” He stayed with the show until July 2006 and contributed to the spin-off “The Colbert Report” (2006), which was hosted by Stephen Colbert.
With his newfound fame, Helms found himself working in a string of national TV commercials and performing voice-overs for “Burger King” and “Doritos.” He also starred opposite Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a 2002 commercial for “Budweiser” during Super Bowl XXXVI and was hired to appear in the November 2, 2002, episode of Comedy Central's “Premium Blend.” In December, he appeared in “Comedy Central Presents: The N.Y. Friars Club Roast of Chevy Chase.”
Helms' stint with “The Daily Show” also opened doors for a flourishing onscreen career. The Atlanta, Georgia, native had his first taste of performing in front of the film cameras when he landed a small role in “Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story,” which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 12, 2004. He then made a guest appearance in an episode of Fox's “Arrested Development” called “The One Where Michael Leaves” and was seen as Bradley Wallace in two episodes of “Cheap Seats: Without Ron Parker” (2004).
In 2005, Helms appeared in the made-for-television film “Lies and the Wives We Tell Them To,” a comedy directed by Gary Halvorson, and provided the voice of Neil the Angel on the Cartoon Network series “Sunday Pants.” He also starred as Glen the Zombie in the well-liked comedy short “Zombie-American” (2005), where he also served as a co-writer. The next year, he starred in the role of Comedy Central's animated miniseries “Samurai Love God” and voiced the character of Hobo Louie on the cartoon film “Everyone's Hero,” also starring the voices of William H. Macy, Rob Reiner, Robert Wagner, Forest Whitaker, Whoopi Goldberg and Mandy Patinkin.
Shortly after leaving “The Daily Show,” Helms joined former “Daily Show” correspondent Steve Carell on the NBC comedy series “The Office” (2005-current), which was adapted from the popular British series of the same name. Cast as Andy Bernard, the colleague of Jim Halpert (played by John Krasinski), Helms was such a standout that he was promoted to a series regular by early 2007. For his work on the series, the gifted comic co-won a 2008 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series and a 2008 TV Land for Future Classic Award. Recently, in 2009, he and “The Office” costars were nominated for a SAG in the same category. Also a skilled banjo player, Helms has displayed his musical talents in several episodes of “The Office,” including “The Convict” (2006), “Back from Vacation” (2007), “The Return” (2007), “Beach Games” (2007), “Moroccan Christmas” (2008) and “Stress Relief” (2009).
“I think that Andy is just an amalgam of people that have annoyed me over the years. I've tried to do a sort of armchair psychoanalysis of those people and then take that analysis and insert them into Andy. It's incredibly fun to play someone that you don't like. It exorcises your own demons in a way. It's cathartic. We all have things that we don't like about ourselves, little things, and I get to amplify those things and put them out there. It's fun and it has a cleansing effect.” Ed Helms
Helms resumed his film career by taking the role of Ed Carson on the highly-anticipated sequel to Jim Carrey's “Bruce Almighty” (2003), “Evan Almighty” (2007), with “The Office” star Steve Carell replacing Carrey in the lead. He also supported David Alan Basche and Patrick Warburton in Paul Francis Sullivan's sci-fi movie “I'll Believe You” and appeared as a stage manager in the Judd Apatow-produced “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” (both 2007), starring John C. Reilly. His “Office” costar, Jenna Fischer, also appeared in the movie as Darlene Madison. Next up for Helms, he appeared with Will Ferrell and Woody Harrelson in the sport-themed “Semi-Pro” (2008), for director Kent Alterman, costarred with Eddie Murphy, Elizabeth Banks, Gabrielle Union and Scott Caan in Brian Robbins' “Meet Dave” (2008), played the small role of an interpreter in “Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay” (2008), starring John Cho and Kal Penn, and was featured alongside Jason Biggs and Eva Longoria Parker in the comedy “Lower Learning” (2008). He also portrayed Dr. Ed Helms in two episodes of “Childrens' Hospital,” a short parody of medical dramas, and had a guest appearances in the TV series “American Dad” (2008, as the voice of Mr. Buckley) and “Wainy Days.” He also reprised his TV role of Andy Bernard on an episode of “The Office: The Outburst” on the Internet.
Helms recently contributed his vocals to an episode of “Family Guy” called “FOX-y Lady,” which was broadcasted on March 22, 2009. On the movie front, he worked with Téa Leoni, Billy Bob Thornton, Jon Gries and Kyle MacLachlan in the comedy “Manure” (2009), and voiced a reporter on the animated “Monsters vs Aliens” (2009), which also starred the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Kiefer Sutherland, “The Office” costar Rainn Wilson, and Paul Rudd.
The thirty-something actor will soon appear in the Ben Stiller comedy sequel “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” which is set to be released in May 2009. He is also scheduled to appear with Heather Graham and Justin Bartha in the Todd Phillips-directed comedy “The Hangover,” and with Jeremy Piven and Ving Rhames in Neal Brennan's “The Goods: The Don Ready Story,” which is due to be released in 2009.
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, “The Office,” 2008
TV Land: Future Classic Award, “The Office,” 2008