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Nervous And Nerdy, From 'Office' To Silver Screen

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Ed Helms in 'The Hangover' i

Ed Helms plays Stu in The Hangover, a dentist who wakes up hungover in Las Vegas and discovers he is missing a tooth. Frank Masi hide caption

toggle caption Frank Masi
Ed Helms in 'The Hangover'

Ed Helms plays Stu in The Hangover, a dentist who wakes up hungover in Las Vegas and discovers he is missing a tooth.

Frank Masi

Comedy has always been a huge part of Ed Helms' life. Helms says he wasn't a class clown, remembers watching Saturday Night Live at eight years old and being "sucked in" by the energy of those comedic performances.

Before long, he made a start in the world of New York comedy with numerous sketch comedy groups and studied improvisation with The Upright Citizens Brigade. He landed a gig with The Daily Show, where he was correspondent for four years. Now, his day job has him playing Andy Bernard, a paper salesman with anger management issues and a love for a capella, on NBC's The Office.

Earlier this year, Helms made a move to the silver screen, co-starring as Stu in the hit film The Hangover, which is now out of DVD. Stu, the "archetypal nervous Nelly" of the film, is one of a trio of guys who wake up in a trashed Las Vegas hotel suite — "anywhere you see a chicken, it's chaos," Helms says — with a hangover, unable to remember what happened at the bachelor party the night before or where the groom might have gone.

Helm's character is a dentist, and when he wakes up, he discovers he's missing a tooth. An element in the script from the beginning, that missing tooth shows that Helms was made for the role. As a teenager, Helms lost a tooth and had an implant put it. When other options for giving him a missing tooth — blacking it out, a prosthetic that gave him a "donkey mouth" — didn't work out, Helms reluctantly admitted that he had an implant. He was toothless for three months while he shot the film.

This interview was originally broadcast June 9, 2009.

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