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The Jerk

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Helms with Angela Kinsey in "The Office."  

When news hit this year that NBC had asked The Office’s creators for a spinoff, lots of speculation centered on Bernard, who seemed a natural to serve the role of Michael Scott in a different series—which is to say, the straw that agitates the drink. That show has yet to materialize, and with Steve Carell signed on for the next three seasons, Andy looks to remain a sidekick for now. Helms says of the spinoff talk, “It would be a blast to take Andy to another world, but there isn’t anything pending. Which is fine with me, because I’m having the time of my life.” He’s starring in the upcoming films The Goods: The Don Ready Story and Manure, the latter of which features Helms as a “womanizing manure peddler,” perhaps the greatest three-word character description in film history.

But mostly he’s just happy to be playing a benign jerk. He describes a recent day on The Office set, during which everyone watched an old sketch featuring Tim Conway—a classic slapstick bit in which Conway plays a dentist who keeps stabbing himself with Novocaine. It’s the kind of earnest, misguided, deadpan comedy that Helms loves: “It’s pretty transcendent and such pure comedy. There’s no victim.”


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