With the announcement that “The Office” will be ending its run after this upcoming ninth season, what better time than now to look back at the careers of the cast of “The Office,” before the show began to air. It’s a particularly fun thing to do with this cast because, before “The Office,” almost the entire cast of the show was unheard of. The most popular cast member before “The Office,” was Steve Carell, who was best known for his work on “The Daily Show.” Otherwise, there’s not a lot to speak of, save for one particular cast member’s membership in a popular 1960’s pop band.
Steve Carell — I have no idea why I didn’t know this, but Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert — who were together for many years over on “The Daily Show,” actually began their careers together on “The Dana Carvey Show.”
John Krasinski — In covering 25 stars who appeared in the Law & Order before they were famous universe yesterday, somehow I missed the fact that one of John Krasinski’s first roles was on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”
Rainn Wilson — Most of us knew Rainn Wilson first as the quirky mortician in Six Feet Under, but fewer remember him as far back as Almost Famous, where he played David Felton.
He was also in Galaxy Quest, of course.
Jenna Fischer — Probably our first glimpse of Jenna Fischer was as a sorority girl in the the amazing “Undeclared.”
B.J. Novak — Ryan’s first credit was actually “The Office,” but did you know he grew up in the same city as both John Krasinski and TK? It’s true. I believe they all went to the same high-school, as well (at different times).
Leslie David Baker — Baker didn’t have a lot going on before “The Office,” but he did play a janitor in “That 70’s Show.”
Brian Baumgartner — Likewise, Baumgartner didn’t have an extensive CV before “The Office,” but he did appear in “Arrested Development” the same year that “The Office” debuted.
Angela Kinsey — Kinsey has virtually nothing on her resume before “The Office,” except for some voice work on “King of the Hill,” a gig she probably landed the same way she landed “The Office” job: She’s the sister-in-law of Greg Daniels, as well as the sister-in-law to Paul Lieberstein (who plays Toby and had been the showrunner of “The Office” until Daniels returned to those duties this year). Jenna Fischer is also her best friend. Here she is on “Yo Gabba Gabba.”
Phyllis Smith — Phyllis had nothing going on in the industry before “The Office,” but back in the day, in a second life somewhere, she was a burlesque dancer and an NFL cheerleader. REALLY.
Same woman now.
Mindy Kaling — Kaling was also new to showbiz when she landed her role in “The Office,” but here she is when she was a little girl.
Ed Helms — Helms, of course, got his start on “The Daily Show.”
Ellie Kemper — Kemper appeared in The Mystery Team (with Donald Glover and Aubrey Plaza) the same year that she debuted on “The Office.”
Craig Robinson — Before appearing on “The Office,” Craig Robinson had appeared in an episode of “Friends.”
Creed Bratton — Of course, everyone’s favorite before they were stars member of “The Office,” Creed was a member of the 1960’s band, The Grass Roots. You’ll undoubtedly recognize at least this song.