Ferrell Joins 'Office' Cast, Begins Four-Episode Run

Friday, April 15th, 2011 at 12:26 PM
Ferrell Joins 'Office' Cast, Begins Four-Episode Run by Kristen Rajczak

If the first two minutes of last night’s episode of “The Office” foretell the rest of the season, I can’t wait for next Thursday. Will Ferrell began his four-episode story arc last night as new Sabre manager Deangelo Vickers, Michael Scott’s replacement. Scott and Vickers strike up a conversation in a hotel bar and neither realize that the person each was waiting for was the other. By the time Deangelo says, “Everyone I know who skies is dead,” I was hooked.

I have a love/hate relationship with Will Ferrell. My favorite Will Ferrell movie is “Stranger than Fiction,” and I’m looking forward to him in “Everything Must Go” because it looks like he’ll be more self-deprecating than foolish. I love his serious naiveté from “Old School” but can’t stand his “Meatloaf!” yelling in “Wedding Crashers.” When it was announced he would be on “The Office,” I knew his character could go either way. Lucky for me—and Ferrell, too, as he was dangerously close to becoming the joke, not the joker—he’s channeling “Old School” more than Ron Burgandy.

Deangelo seems to be sincerely excited to take over Michael’s job as manager and gives a pretty genuine introduction speech about how he loves the American Southwest and has a peanut allergy. All goes smoothly until Deangelo tells the story of how he and Michael met at the bar and gets a laugh—right after Michael told the same story and was ridiculed. In true Michael Scott form, Michael feels threatened and starts trying to undermine Deangelo’s new managerial moves.

Ferrell and Steve Carell have a great dynamic, probably from working together on movies like “Anchorman” in the past. They play naturally off each other, even in awkward moments like when Deangelo tries to change the way Erin answers the phone. (Did you love how Erin called Pam a “living legend”?) In the end, these awkward moments are their best. Deangelo and Michael can’t hate each other—they’re too much alike. So, they hug it out. But a regular hug wouldn’t do. Of course, Michael has to hug Deangelo from behind and Deangelo reaches behind to hold Michael’s arms. In this vulnerable, rather uncomfortable-looking embrace, the pair admits they feel the other is too good at the job.

Still, among all this, the funniest moment goes to Ed Helms as Andy. Worried about keeping up his reputation as “funny guy” with the new boss, he tries to tell him a joke in the break room—only to strike out and them fall over a table and chairs. Later, he dumps hot coffee on himself and drinks soap. On purpose.

The next weeks will be interesting because obviously Deangleo isn’t going to last. I’ll be watching to find out why. As Michael says to Dwight. “You know I’ll go anywhere to see a turtle.”

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