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Ed Helms
Ed Helms Obvious Child Premiere 2014 (cropped).jpg
Helms at the premiere of Obvious Child in 2014
Edward Parker Helms

(1974-01-24) January 24, 1974 (age 49)
Occupation Actor, comedian, singer, writer, producer
Years active 1998–present
Children 1

Edward Parker Helms (born January 24, 1974) is an American actor, comedian, singer, writer, and producer.

He has received six Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series winning in 2008. He also received a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Writing for a Comedy or Variety Special for The Fake News with Ted Nelms (2018).

Early life

Helms was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He is of English, Irish, German, Dutch, and French descent. Helms had open-heart surgery at age 13 to correct a severe congenital heart defect. He said that was supravalvular aortic and pulmonic stenosis. According to Helms, his surgery lasted nine hours, and he was kept in an intensive care unit for one week after.

He attended Interlochen Center for the Arts as a youth and graduated in 1992 from The Westminster Schools, one year after The Office castmate Brian Baumgartner. Helms entered Oberlin College as a geology major, but graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in film theory and technology. He spent a semester as an exchange student at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.


Early work

After graduating from Oberlin, Helms began his comedy and acting career as a writer and performer with New York City sketch comedy bands. He also 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. After that, he found a talent agent.


Helms in Dublin, Ireland (2009)

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. His 2005 segment "Battle of the Bulge", which focused on the wearing of Speedo bathing suits on the beaches of Cape May, New Jersey, and his "Mass. Hysteria" segment, in which he reported criticism of Massachusetts when it became the first state to legalize gay marriage, are regarded by TV Guide as his signature segments on the program.

Helms left the show in 2006, but occasionally returned for brief appearances over the next two years. On July 21, 2008 he returned for "Obama Quest" – a segment covering Senator Barack Obama's trip to Iraq. He also occasionally narrated 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, saying that he had been working "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 on The Office, 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 has an interest in a cappella 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 was the celebrity guest on the August 3, 2015 survival skills reality show Running Wild with Bear Grylls, coming to grips with his fear of heights on the Colorado Mountains. He has done commercial voiceover work in campaigns for Burger King, Doritos,, Sharp Aquos and Advair asthma medication. He voices Neil the Angel, a character on Cartoon Network's Weighty Decisions series. Helms plays guitar, banjo, piano, as well as a sitar, in some of his entertainment performances.

He co-created the Peacock sitcom Rutherford Falls with Sierra Teller Ornelas (now showrunner) and Michael Schur. Together with Ornelas, the series has a total of five indigenous writers.


Helms starred in the 2011 film Cedar Rapids. 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 The 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. In 2012, he voiced the Once-ler in The Lorax. He played the lead role, Rusty Griswold, in the 2015 film Vacation, a sequel/spin-off of the National Lampoon's Vacation series. The film began shooting in September 2014 in Helms' native Atlanta, with Christina Applegate playing Rusty's wife Debbie Griswold. In 2015, Helms starred in Jessie Nelson's movie, Love the Coopers. In 2017, he starred in The Clapper as Eddie Krumble, a paid audience member for infomercials. He has a whirlwind of unwanted overnight fame after a late-night talk show host publicizes his frequent infomercial appearances.

Helms voiced the title role in the DreamWorks animated film Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017). In 2013, he was attached to star in the unproduced Paramount Pictures Naked Gun reboot. Helms played Joe Gargan in the 2018 film Chappaquiddick.

Other work

Helms is in a bluegrass band called The Lonesome Trio with friends Ian Riggs and Jacob Tilove. They formed the band when they were at Oberlin College and still play a few shows every year. They recorded an eponymous 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.

He and Amy Reitnouer co-founded a music blog also titled The Bluegrass Situation. It summarizes its mission as "Creating and covering content across every level of the international scene, ranging from timeless traditional bluegrass, blues, and old-time to contemporary singer/songwriter, Americana, folk, and everything rootsy beyond and in between." On April 22, 2020, The Bluegrass Situation debuted The Whiskey Sour Happy Hour, a weekly music and comedy program benefiting the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund and Direct Relief.

Helms features in the video for Mumford and Sons' song "Hopeless Wanderer". In 2015, he had a cameo appearance in the band's music video for the song "The Wolf".

Helms launched his own production company, Pacific Electric Picture Company, in 2013. The company had 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. Subsequently, he is deployed to places that his unique size enables him to infiltrate.

Civic life

Helms is a board member at RepresentUs. The non-profit organization works to pass anti-corruption laws in the United States.

Personal life

Helms is married and has one daughter.


  • Helms received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from Knox College, where he delivered the 2013 Commencement.
  • 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 commencement speech at the University of Virginia.



Year Title Role Notes
2004 Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story Bunker McLaughlin
2006 Everyone's Hero Hobo Louie Voice
Night at the Museum Dentist Scene deleted
2007 Evan Almighty Ark Reporter / Ed Carson
I'll Believe You Leon
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Stage Manager
2008 Semi-Pro Turtleneck Reporter
Confessions of a Shopaholic Garret E. Barton Uncredited
Meet Dave Number 2
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay Interpreter
Lower Learning Maurice Bunting
2009 The Smell of Success Chet Pigford
Monsters vs. Aliens News Reporter Voice
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Larry Daley's Assistant Uncredited
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard Paxton Harding
2011 Cedar Rapids Tim Lippe Also executive producer
Jeff, Who Lives at Home Pat
High Road Barry Uncredited
2012 The Lorax The Once-ler Voice
2013 We're the Millers Brad Gurdlinger
2014 Someone Marry Barry Ben
They Came Together Eggbert
Stretch Karl-with-a-K
2015 Vacation Russell "Rusty" Griswold
Love the Coopers Hank Cooper
2016 Central Intelligence N/A Executive producer
Kevin Hart: What Now? Bartender
2017 The Clapper Eddie Krumble Also producer
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Benjamin Krupp / Captain Underpants Voice
Mune: Guardian of the Moon Spleen Voice
I Do... Until I Don't Noah Brewing
Chappaquiddick Joseph Gargan
Father Figures Peter Reynolds
2018 A Futile and Stupid Gesture Tom Snyder Also executive producer
Tag Hogan "Hoagie" Malloy
2019 Corporate Animals Brandon Also producer
Penguins Narrator Voice
2020 Coffee & Kareem Officer James Coffee
2021 Together Together Matt
Ron's Gone Wrong Graham Pudowski Voice


Year Title Role Notes
2002–2009 The Daily Show Correspondent 207 episodes
2004 Cheap Seats Bradley Wallace 2 episodes
2004, 2013 Arrested Development James Carr 3 episodes
2005 Sunday Pants Neil the Angel (voice) "Weighty Decisions" segments
2006 The Colbert Report Narrator – The On Notice Board: A Wonder of the Modern Age Episode: "Linda Hirshman"
2006 Samurai Love God Samurai Love God (voice) Miniseries
2006–2013 The Office Andy Bernard Main cast (seasons 3–9); 163 episodes
2008 Upright Citizens Brigade Guest Monologist Uncredited
2008 American Dad! Mr. Buckley (voice) Episode: "Stanny Slickers II: The Legend of Ollie's Gold"
2008 Wainy Days Doctor Episode: "Angel"
2008–2010 Childrens Hospital Doctor / TV Announcer 5 episodes
2009 Family Guy Al Gore (voice) Episode: "FOX-y Lady"
2010 Funny or Die Presents Cast (Holdup) 4 episodes
2011 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Ed Helms/Paul Simon"
2011 Wilfred Daryl Episode: "Acceptance"
2011 NTSF:SD:SUV:: Eddie 2 episodes
2012 The Mindy Project Dennis 2 episodes
2012 Ugly Americans Dennis Episode: "Mark Loves Dick"
2012 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself Episode: "Ed Helms Wears A Grey Shirt & Brown Boots"
2013 Kroll Show Episode: "San Diego Diet"
2013 Saturday Night Live Ted Pelms Uncredited
Episode: "Zach Galifianakis/Of Monsters and Men"
2014 Brooklyn Nine-Nine Jack Danger Episode: "USPIS"
2015–2020 BoJack Horseman Kyle (voice) 3 episodes
2015 Jake and Amir Mickey Episode: "The Auditions"
2015 The Muppets Himself Episode: "Pig Out"
2015 Running Wild with Bear Grylls Himself Episode: "Ed Helms"
2016 Drunk History William McMasters Episode: "Scoundrels"
2017 Angie Tribeca Dr. Clive Mister Episode: "Germs of Endearment"
2017 The Fake News with Ted Nelms Ted Nelms TV special; also creator, writer, and executive producer
2020 Aunty Donna's Big Ol' House of Fun Egg Helms Also executive producer
2021 Rutherford Falls Nathan Rutherford Also co-creator, writer, executive producer
2022 Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock Lyle Craggle (voice) 2 episodes
Big Mouth Bros 4 Life Member #1 Episode: "Dadda Dia!"

Music videos

Year Title Artist
2013 "Hopeless Wanderer" Mumford & Sons
"Clouds" (Celebrity Music Video) Zach Sobiech
2015 "The Wolf" Mumford & Sons
2016 "Don't Wanna Know" Maroon 5
2017 "Wanna Do Day" Lisa Loeb

See also

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