Ed Helms: ‘Daily Show’ vet gets big ‘Office’ promotion

Comedy Impact Report 2011: Tube Titans

As if returning for “The Hangover Part II” wasn’t enough to make Ed Helms’ year, the former “Daily Show” correspondent was promoted to boss of “The Office” after Steve Carell left. Somehow, he also found time to star in his “labor of love project,” Fox Searchlight comedy “Cedar Rapids” (box office $6.9 million). “That was my first time producing, and I plan to do a lot more and expand into TV and other media,” says Helms, who’s finishing up voice work on Universal’s animated “The Lorax.” “I loved doing it, because it’s how I first cracked showbiz, doing commercial voice-overs.”

“The Lorax” will open on March 2, the same day as “Jeff Who Lives at Home,” which he calls “a very small, weird, wonderful film with a great indie feel.” The modest laffer, which preemed at the Toronto Film Festival, “couldn’t be more counterprogramming,” says Helms who plays “a doofus like ‘The Office’s’ Andy Bernard, but a bit more realistic.” The actor, who says he wants to keep juggling movie and TV projects (he just directed an “Office” episode), loves playing characters who “want to do the right thing but always get in their own way and stumble around.”