Edward Parker "Ed" Helms (born January 24, 1974) is an American actor and comedian, best known for his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show, Andy Bernard in the U.S. version of The Office and Stuart Price in The Hangover trilogy.
Helms was born in Atlanta, Georgia. His mother, Pamela (nÃ©e Parker), was a school administrator, and his father, John Helms, was a lawyer. Helms is the youngest of three children. He graduated from The Westminster Schools one year after Office cast-mate Brian Baumgartner in 1992. Helms had open-heart surgery to correct a severe heart murmur at age 14. Helms entered Oberlin College as a geology major, but ended up graduating in 1996 with his B.A. in film theory and technology. He spent a semester as an exchange student at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Helms is the recipient of an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts from Knox College, where he delivered the 2013 Commencement Address. In May 2014, Helms gave the convocation speech at Cornell University, alma mater of Andy Bernard, the character he portrayed for seven seasons on The Office. In May 2015, Helms gave the valedictory speech at the University of Virginia.
After graduating from Oberlin, Helms began his comedy and acting career as a writer and performer with New York City sketch comedy bands, and studied improvisation with the Upright Citizens Brigade troupe. Helms concurrently worked as a trainee film editor at Crew Cuts, a post-production facility in New York City. While doing so, he recorded some rough voiceover scratch tracks that eventually led to paying voiceover work, which in turn led to finding a talent agent.
Helms was performing comedy in New York City when, as he recalled in a 2005 interview, "The Daily Show had a sort of open audition with a casting company that I had dealt with. I read for the part, and got it". In his April 2002 to mid-2006 tenure on the satirical news program, Helms contributed "field reports" in addition to hosting various segments of the show, such as Digital Watch, Ad Nauseam, and Mark Your Calendar. He has also contributed to the This Week in God segment. Helms left the show in 2006, but has occasionally returned for brief appearances. On JulyÂ 21, 2008 he returned for Obama Quest â" a segment covering then-Senator Barack Obama's trip to Iraq. He occasionally narrates the Prescott Group educational films on sister series The Colbert Report. In late July 2006, NBC announced that Helms was added to the cast of the mockumentary The Office, alongside fellow The Daily Show correspondent Steve Carell, in a recurring role as Andy Bernard, a nostalgic Cornell graduate who is obsessed with a cappella music. Helms was a series regular starting with the 3rd season. "He had so much in common with this character we wanted to create," recalled Paul Lieberstein, a writer for the show who also plays Toby Flenderson, the human resources representative at the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin. "I can't remember when they started merging." Helms returned to The Daily Show on December 5, 2006, stating he had been gone because he was "undercover at a paper company in Scranton", an allusion to his stint on The Office. In February 2007, NBC announced that Helms had been promoted to series regular, and in February 2010 Helms was added to the show's opening credits. Helms quickly became a solidifying part of the cast, and eventually came to be one of the show's producers. In June 2009, on a radio interview with National Public Radio, Helms said that like his character, Andy Bernard, he is obsessed with aÂ capella music.
Helms has also appeared on such television shows as The Mindy Project, Wilfred, NTSF:SD:SUV ,Tanner on Tanner, Childrens Hospital, Arrested Development and Cheap Seats, and in various Comedy Central specials. He has done commercial voiceover work in campaigns for Burger King, Doritos, Hotels.com, Sharp Aquos and Advair asthma medication, and he voices Angel, a character on Cartoon Network's Weighty Decisions series. Helms plays guitar, banjo (which was shown in the commercial bumpers and on a What Up With That? sketch when he hosted Saturday Night Live in 2011), piano, and all three, as well as a sitar, in some of his entertainment performances.
In August 2014, it was announced that Helms will to star in Alejandro GonzÃ¡lez IÃ±Ã¡rritu's new Starz television drama series The One Percent, with Hilary Swank and Ed Harris. Helms will also serve as an executive producer on the upcoming TV series adaptation of the web series Jake and Amir.
Helms starred in the 2011 film Cedar Rapids and co-starred in the blockbuster The Hangover film trilogy as Stuart Price. He had minor roles, including Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story, Meet Dave, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, I'll Believe You, Evan Almighty, Semi-Pro and, with Office co-star Jenna Fischer, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. In 2009, Helms appeared in The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, directed by Neal Brennan and starring Jeremy Piven. He developed a Universal Pictures film A Whole New Hugh with Judd Apatow, in which he would star and co-wrote with Jake Fleisher and Ian Berger. Variety reported in February 2009 that Helms would star and he and Fleisher would co-write a Warner Bros. feature about a time-traveling Civil War re-enactor, with the film to be produced through The Office star Steve Carell's production company Carousel. Helms voiced the Once-ler in The Lorax in 2012 and it was announced in July 2012 that he signed on to play Rusty Griswold in the 2015 film, Vacation as a sequel/spin-off of the National Lampoon's Vacation series. The movie began shooting in September 2014 in Helms' native Atlanta, with Christina Applegate taking the part of Rusty's wife Debbie Griswold.
Helms has been cast to play the titular role in the forthcoming Dreamworks animation Captain Underpants and is also slated to star in the Paramount Pictures Naked Gun reboot in development as of December 2013.
Helms is also in a bluegrass band called The Lonesome Trio with his friends Ian Riggs and Jacob Tilove. They formed the band when they were at Oberlin College, and still get together to play a few shows every year. They recorded an as-yet-untitled album in summer 2013, shortly after appearing on the Bluegrass Situation stage at the Bonnaroo festival, which Helms curated. Helms is a self-confessed "bluegrass nerd" and founded the annual LA Bluegrass Situation festival. Helms plays banjo, guitar and piano.
Helms features in the video for Mumford and Sons' song "Hopeless Wanderer". Helms launched his own production company, Pacific Electric Picture Company, in 2013. The company has a two-year development deal with Universal Television.
In 2013, Helms co-wrote, produced and starred in the Yahoo! Screen web series Tiny Commando, about a former Navy SEAL who is accidentally shrunken in a military experiment to four inches in height, and is then employed in places that his size allows him to infiltrate.
In 2015, Helms played the character Mickey on the web series Jake and Amir after Tweeting his support for the series.
In 2010, Helms revealed that he had played matchmaker with Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres on the set of Arrested Development in 2004.
In 2012, Helms joined the boycott against fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A in the wake of Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy's publicly stated opposition to same-sex marriage. Helms called this position "lame" and said the fast food franchise had lost a loyal customer.
Awards and nominations
- Ed Helms at the Internet Movie Database
- Ken P., May 5, 2006 Helms Deep: Ken P. goes in-depth with Daily Show correspondent Ed Helms. at [IGN.com]. Retrieved 2009-10-28
- Plum TV Telluride video of Ed Helms, Rob Corddry and Aziz Ansari at Comedy Fest 2008
- Ed Helms in "Zombie American" short