Top 10 Actors You Forgot Were on The Office
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Everyone knows Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, and John Krasinski are from the show, but these are the actors you forgot were on The Office. We'll be revisiting the most remarkable cameos and guest appearances in the U.S. version of “The Office.” While many memorable actors have made appearances, we'll be focusing on those that fans have generally forgotten. WatchMojo ranks the actors you forgot were on The Office. Are there any actors we forgot? Let us know in the comments!
Wait… who?! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Actors You Forgot Were on “The Office”.
For this list, we’ll be revisiting the most remarkable cameos and guest appearances in the U.S. version of “The Office”. While many memorable actors have made appearances, we’ll be focusing on those that fans have generally forgotten - either because the cameos were so brief, or because the actors in question only became well-known after the fact.
#10: Jack Black
By the time he appeared on the fifth season of “The Office” in 2009, Jack Black was already a household name, with a string of high profile roles under his belt. As such, you’d think that his cameo on “The Office” would be a big deal. Defying expectations however, rather than entering Dunder Mifflin as one of his typically larger-than-life characters, he instead appears in a film within the show that Pam, Jim and Andy watch. Adding to the ridiculousness of this cameo, he stars opposite Jessica Alba, who his character leaves for her character’s grandmother.
#9: Evan Peters
Here’s an actor that, unlike Jack Black, wasn’t nearly as recognizable back when he appeared on the “The Office”. Though perhaps not a household name (yet), Peters is most famous for his consistently excellent work on horror anthology series “American Horror Story”, and for his scene-stealing performance as “Quicksilver” in the X-Men franchise. As far as “The Office” is concerned however, he’s Luke Cooper, the unprofessional son of Michael Scott’s half-sister. He joins Dunder Mifflin in the aptly titled episode, “Nepotism”, and after doing a terrible job, quits when Michael, in a misguided move only he could come up with, spanks him.
#8: Timothy Olyphant
You likely recognize this actor from films like “Scream 2” and “Live Free or Die Hard”, and TV roles on “Deadwood”, “Justified” and “Santa Clarita Diet”. It was during his time on“ Justified” that he temporarily joined the good folks of Dunder Mifflin on season seven. He played Danny Cordray, a traveling salesman who Michael hires for fear of him stealing their sales. People have frequently pointed out that Olyphant bears a striking resemblance to actor Josh Duhamel and the show cracks a joke about this by comparing Danny to the actor. We’re not sure why we forget about Olyphant’s time on the show - maybe because he inhabited the role so well!
#7: Christian Slater
Like Jack Black, Christian Slater also made an ONSCREEN cameo within the world of Dunder Mifflin. Unlike with Black however, Slater is clearly playing himself. Of course, the version of himself he’s playing is a notably over-the-top one, who acts as the spokesperson for Sabre, the company that acquires Dunder Mifflin midway through season six. Though his time on screen is brief, the handful of lines he delivers are downright hilarious - a perfect parody of the cringeworthy orientation videos we’ve all had to sit through at one point or another in our lives. If, like us, you’d forgotten about this odd cameo, go back and rewatch it - it’ll have you tasting rainbows. [SB have you ever tasted a rainbow?]
#6: Josh Groban
Walter Bernard Jr.
Though he’s arguably best known as a singer, Josh Groban has in fact been acting for decades. Back in high school, theater was his primary focus before fate pulled him in the direction of a singing career. Though he did make a two episode guest appearance on Ally McBeal in 2001, 2011 was really the year he returned to acting, with roles in both “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and “The Office”. In the latter, he plays Walter Bernard Jr., the younger brother of Andy. Hilariously, this was originally Andy’s name, before it was taken away and given to Groban’s character by their father. Suffice it to say, in both episodes, the singer does a great job acting against type.
#5: Stephen Colbert
With a name like that, we’re not sure how he manages to slip our minds, but every time we’re rewatching the show and he pops up, it’s a pleasant surprise all over again. Colbert plays a figure from Andy Bernard’s past, a frenemy of sorts from his college a capella group “Here Comes Treble”. It turns out that Broccoli Rob has been taking some liberties with their shared history, taking credit for many of Andy’s claims to fame. Colbert does a solid job in the role, but we wish he hadn’t been limited to appearing via video call. Had he set foot in the office himself, we’re sure he would’ve torn the place down.
#4: Idris Elba
In season five, this English actor stepped in as Charles Miner, the new VP of the Northeast Region, appearing in seven episodes. Though initially seen as professional and likable, he ultimately winds up clashing with Michael and his staff - to the point that Michael leaves to start his own company. Nowadays, Idris Elba is a big deal, but this was before he joined the MCU, back when he was better known as a television actor - namely for his iconic role as Stringer Bell on HBO’s The Wire. As such, people still tend to be surprised when they rewatch the series, immediately recognizing him in hindsight.
#3: Jim Carrey
Finger Lakes Guy
Season seven marked the end of an era for “The Office” with the departure of Steve Carell. This left a void in the series that, for the season’s remaining four episodes, was filled by guest stars. In the season finale, we were inundated with familiar faces when a number of potential replacements dropped by to interview for the position. In a single episode, we meet David Brent, Fred Henry and Merv Bronte, played by Ricky Gervais, Will Arnett, and Ray Romano respectively. The biggest curveball however, was Jim Carrey’s bizarre character. So why is it that we forget all these cameos? Well, in addition to them being brief, they came immediately after a multi-episode guest appearance by Will Ferrell as Deangelo Vickers.
#2: Ken Jeong
Honestly, most people seem to have completely forgotten about this role - namely because back in 2005, Ken Jeong was basically a complete unknown. His resume before this one episode appearance on “The Office” generally consists of unnamed roles like “male nurse” and “store owner”. This was by no means his big break, but it was a step in the right direction. In the season two episode "Email Surveillance", he plays Bill, a guy from Michael’s improv class. Looking back at his give and take with Steve Carell, you can already see Jeong’s potential - he just needed the right opportunities to share it with the world.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions
#1: Amy Adams
This actress has two Golden Globes to her name, not to mention six Academy Award nominations, and seven more from the BAFTAs. She’s now an instantly recognizable A-lister, but back in 2005 when “The Office” premiered, not so much. At the time, Adam had only had one prominent role, in the 2002 film “Catch Me if You Can”. In “The Office”, she played the titular “Hot Girl” Katy, in the sixth and final episode of the first season, and would return twice in season two as a casual romantic interest of Jim’s. Given her career trajectory since, for those who haven’t rewatched the show since its original airing. . . well… her appearance, in hindsight, is enough to make your jaw hit the floor.