Ed Helms Biography

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
May 23rd, 2013

Ed Helms Biography

Edward "Ed" Helms was born to a wealthy family on Jan. 24, 1974, in Atlanta, Georgia. His mother worked as a school administrator, and his father was an attorney. Even though Ed Helms graduated from The Westminster Schools with a major in geology, he went on to go to Oberlin College for a degree in technology and film theory. During his time at Oberlin College, he spent a full semester at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he cemented his dream to become a comedic actor.

Shortly after getting his degree from Oberlin, Ed Helms moved to New York City to begin his career as a performer and writer with multiple sketch comedy bands. While he worked with these bands and started getting attention, he began to study improvisation and comedy with the Upright Citizens Brigade troupe. In spite of his studies and work schedule, he managed to find the time to record voiceover scratch tracks that led to paying work and a talent agent.

The talent agent whom Ed Helms was working with caught wind of an open audition for "The Daily Show" through a casting company he had previously had contact with. Ed Helms immediately auditioned for the part. To his surprise, in spite of still being relatively unknown, he was chosen for the role. Ed Helms was part of "The Daily Show" for four years and hosted several segments, including Digital Watch, Mark Your Calendar, and Ad Nauseam. Though he left of his own accord in 2006, he still returned for brief appearances on occasion. For some time, he was secretive about his reasons for leaving "The Daily Show" due to contracts with NBC.

He kept his reasons private until July of 2006, when NBC announced that Ed Helms would be joining the cast of "The Office" along with Steve Carell, another "The Daily Show" correspondent. Ed Helms took the role of Andy Bernard, an obnoxious but kind character who would become regional manager at the Scranton branch. Even though he is portraying a character, it's funny that friends, family, and other actors have all stated that Andy Bernard and Ed Helms are very similar in personality. After filming the first season of "The Office," Ed Helms returned to "The Daily Show," where he was promoted to series regular and added to the show's opening credits. He still makes appearances on "The Daily Show" when he has time between seasons of "The Office," but due to his current work in film, it is unlikely he will be with "The Daily Show" for much longer.

Ed Helms has also had appearances on shows such as "Arrested Development," "Tanner on Tanner," and other "Comedy Central" specials. His voiceover talents have landed him roles in ad campaigns from Doritos, Burger King, Hotels.com, and various prescription medication commercials. Ed Helms has also provided a voice for the Once-ler in "The Lorax" and Angel on the "Weighty Decisions" series by Cartoon Network.

Ed Helms is also an accomplished musician who sings and plays multiple instruments, including the banjo, sitar, piano, and guitar. On several occasions, he has shown he can play several instruments at once. He is currently in a band called "The Lonesome Trio" with two friends from college. While the band is no longer active, they still find time to play several shows each year. He also claims to be obsessed with a cappella music, one of many traits he shares with his character in "The Office." In several interviews, Ed Helms has stated he would be a musician if his career as a comedic actor were not so successful.

Ed Helms also has a highly successful film career. He developed, cowrote, and starred in "A Whole New Hugh," a popular Universal Pictures film. He also starred as Stuart Price in "The Hangover," a blockbuster trilogy that may be his biggest accomplishment along with his starring role in "The Office." Ed Helms has also enjoyed several minor roles in films such as "Meet Dave," "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay," "Evan Almighty," and "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian." He also had a role with Jenna Fischer, a costar from "The Office," in "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story." Ed Helms and Jake Fleisher, a cowriter for "A Whole New Hugh," are also working on a film about a Civil War reenactor who travels in time. In the future, he will play the role of Rusty Griswold in "Vacation," a sequel to the "National Lampoon's Vacation" series.