In honor of Steve Carell’s departure, we take a look back.
On April 28, Steve Carell will step down from his role as regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Sabre on NBC’s The Office. After 148 episodes as Michael Scott, Carell decided it was time for him to leave the show, and it’s unknown who will replace him — or how the show will fare without him. So, we figured now was as good a time as any to watch over every episode of The Office and rank the characters (who have appeared in at least ten episodes) from least funniest to most hilarious.
26. David Wallace (Andy Buckley)
At his peak, David “Not Foster” Wallace lived a lavish life, complete with a huge house and even bigger salary — plus, he appreciated Michael’s unique management styles. Now, though, after a buyout by Sabre, he’s a broken man, attempting to sell “Suck It,” a poorly named device that picks up toys. More depressing than funny, really.
25. Roy Anderson (David Denman)
The only time we really ever saw the blue-collar Roy was when he was being disrespectful to Pam or fighting with Jim, both situations where there was little opportunity to be funny. Pam picked the right guy (Jim), although Roy did one thing right: he picked Scrantonicity to play at their never-occurring wedding.
24. Bob Vance (Robert R. Shafer)
Bob Vance, of Vance Refrigeration, is about as amusing as you’d expect someone working in refrigeration, air conditioning, and heating to be. He's a nice man — he once paid $1,000 for a hug from his wife and donated all the money to Crime Aid — but he's not a funny one.
23. Jan Levenson (Melora Hardin)
It’s not entirely known whether dating Michael Scott made Jan crazy or whether she was insane before the two even met. Either way, she’s never been very likable or funny. We were over her long before she was over Michael.
22. Hank Tate (Hugh Dane)
Hank’s just kind of there. He’s Scranton Business Park’s security guard, so it’s his job to unlock doors and sell candy, and he’s not very happy doing either. That's probably why he recorded his Hank Tate is the Blues album. (Ed note: Tate is such a background character that, despite having appeared in well more than the requisite ten episodes, there's not a single clip we could put here without bringing down the wrath of NBC. But we want you to get your money's worth, so check this one out instead.)
21. Karen Filippelli (Rashida Jones)
The members of Team Karen were a small but vocal bunch back in season three. But Jim chose Pam, of course, which is just as well: Karen had more backbone than Pam, but she was ultimately a pretty boring love interest — so normal it hurt.
20. Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper)
Erin had potential: she was the new Pam, after all, and she's played by hilarious improviser Ellie Kemper. But that potential faded fast when we realized she was an annoying try-hard and certifiably insane.
19. Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nunez)
Another straight-man character for the weirdos of the office to play off of, Oscar has only two distinguishing characteristics, he’s Mexican, and he's gay. Towards the later seasons we also found out he's kind of an intellectual show-off, but it was too little too late to garner him a higher spot on the list.
18. Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey)
The crazy cat-lady of the office, Angela, only finds pleasure in books like The Purpose Driven Life and people like Harry Connick, Jr. Oh, and also in potentially gay state senators, one of whom she’s currently dating. But even with her holier-than-thou ways, we still sort of think she’s funny. She’s the show’s weirdest character —- and yet we all know someone like her at work.
17. Meredith Palmer (Kate Flannery)
Every office needs a drunk — and Meredith is probably drunk enough for the entire building. She also has a habit of flashing people, both upstairs and downstairs. In real life, this kind of character would be sad. Lucky for us, The Office is a sitcom.
16. Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein)
Trying to contain Michael Scott can’t be an easy job — maybe that’s why Toby’s the way that he is. He’s the most hated character in the office, which makes laughing at Toby somewhat of a sadistic endeavor. Even most of Michael’s jokes at his expense are often just mean. The best thing he ever did for The Office was leaving, and letting Holly come aboard.
15. Gabe Lewis (Zach Woods)
Gabe is such a recent addition to the show that we’re still finding out things about him. For instance, we know he’s incredibly insecure and prefers Hardware over WALL-E. Also, we know he’s not a very funny person, but is often put into funny situations. Occasionally, he’s also put into Lady Gaga costumes.
14. Phyllis Lapin-Vance (Phyllis Smith)
Get her to talk about Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration, and she won’t stop blabbing. Otherwise, Phyllis is perfectly comfortable in the un-flashy role of being the office mom. Ryan even used her face on a bottle of his mom’s pesto.
13. Holly Flax (Amy Ryan)
Holly is the female Michael Scott, in more ways than one. She’s also, in the words of Jim, a “major dork.” She regularly talks like Yoda and E.T. and one time, along with Michael, acts out a Slumdog Millionaire-inspired skit for her coworkers.
12. Todd Packer (David Koechner)
A man who doesn’t know the meaning of “politically correct,” Packer will joke about homosexuality and Jews just as easily as he will take a dump on Michael’s carpet. Every show needs the over-the-top jokester, and that’s what we get with Todd.
11. Stanley Hudson (Leslie David Baker)
The Office writers have gotten a lot of mileage out of this one-note character (he doesn’t like working… in an office… unless it’s Pretzel Day), but to their credit, he’s never been unfunny or boring. Did I mention Pretzel Day?
10. Pam Halpert (Jenna Fischer)
It’s easy to point to Erin’s quirkiness and Todd Packer’s crass comedy as reasons why they’re funny. With Pam, it’s tougher, because she’s not laugh-out-loud hilarious; the receptionist-turned-office administrator is an under-the-radar comedic force. And just as Jenna Fischer has grown more comfortable playing Pam over the years, so too has Pam grown increasingly confident in herself. And that’s made her considerably more hilarious.
9. Ryan Howard (B.J Novak)
No character has held more positions than Ryan: from temp to salesman to Michael’s boss to receptionist to bowling-alley attendant to working at the Michael Scott Paper Company to temp (again) to founder of WUPHF.com, he’s pretty much done them all. Through it all, and through all his various fashion statements, he’s always remained funny. An asshole, yes — but a funny one.
8. Creed Bratton (Creed Bratton)
The man isn’t a character; he’s just a string of hilarious quotes, so instead of describing why he’s funny, here’s a Creedism instead: “Oh, I steal things all the time. It's just something I do. I stopped caring a long time ago."
7. Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling)
Need to know how Netflix works? Go see Kelly. Not sure what happened in last week’s Glee? Go see Kelly. Confused about where Brad and Angelina are this week? Go see Kelly. Need to laugh at a well-meaning adult who acts like a teenager? Go see Kelly. She started out as a horrifically dressed token minority, but as Mindy Kaling's high-pitched voice became clearer, so did Kelly's Valley Girl-esque character.
6. Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner)
Kevin makes you laugh like an oversized teddy bear amuses a child. He’s just a big, lovable, slightly dimwitted guy, and his goofy grin is often the highlight of an entire episode. He's so doltish that Holly mistook him for a "special needs" man at first. And if making fun of people with special needs isn’t comedy, what is?
5. Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson)
The world got a little exhausted by Dwight’s weird-for-weirdness’-sake bits around seasons five and six (see: the entire plot with his babymaking contract with Angela). But in the past year, his role has diminished, making him not only funny again, but better than he’s ever been. Plus, in terms of quotability, he's hard to beat.
4. Jim Halpert (John Krasinski)
Jim’s smirking-at-the-camera gimmick might not be for everyone, but he’s the show’s most realistic character: a guy who hates his job, but deals with it through sarcasm and making fun of others (and also by finding the love of his life). Also, his pranks on Dwight are one of the show’s first and most popular gags.
3. Darryl Philbin (Craig Robinson)
He might be named after Regis Philbin, but don’t let that fool you: there’s nothing phony about Darryl — not when he was working in the warehouse and not now that he works with the rest of the gang in the office. He’s at his best when he’s pranking Michael, like when he tried to teach him how “Negros” speaks.
2. Andy Bernard (Ed Helms)
The Nard Dog first appeared in season three as the anti-Jim: a corporate suck-up who wasn’t afraid to punch holes in the walls of the office. Since then, the writers have tamed Bernard’s qualities, making him not only the sweetest character on the show, but also the one with the best musical pipes and funniest personality. Lord beer him strength.
1. Michael Scott (Steve Carrell)
He’s the boss, which means he can get away with anything — and he does. He writes song parodies (like “The Chanukah Song,” but about Dwali), makes derogatory comments (to Oscar: “Hello Oscar Meiner Weiner… lover”), and admits to hating his co-workers (to Toby: “I hate, so much, about who you choose to be”). The two reasons he can get away with so much: he’s great at his job and he means well. Except for when it comes to Toby.