February 13, 2013
Knox College announced today that actor and comedian Ed Helms will be the speaker at the 2013 Commencement exercises to be held in June. Helms is best known for scene-stealing roles on both the big and small screen, including his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, his character Andy Bernard in the U.S. version of the hit television sitcom The Office, and his role as Dr. Stu Price in The Hangover films. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, a liberal arts college founded, like Knox, by missionaries and social reformers.
"With his work on The Daily Show and his roles in two of the most popular sitcoms and films in recent memory, Ed Helms is an iconic figure for this generation of students," says Knox College President Teresa Amott. "I thank the senior class for choosing a speaker who has made such a distinctive contribution to our popular culture."
Helms is the second veteran of Comedy Central's The Daily Show to deliver Knox's Commencement address. Stephen Colbert, who was also a regular on the Comedy Central hit show before starring in his own award-winning Comedy Central series, The Colbert Report, delivered the 2006 Commencement address.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Helms moved to New York City to pursue comedy shortly after graduating from Oberlin in 1996. He began his career as a writer and performer in sketch comedy bands and studied improvisation with the Upright Citizens Brigade troupe. He joined the cast of The Daily Show in 2002 and, in addition to serving as a "field reporter," contributed to the segments "Digital Watch," "Ad Nauseam," and "This Week in God," among others. After leaving the show in 2006, he joined the cast of the NBC "mockumentary" The Office and has been a series regular ever since.
Helms has appeared in more than a dozen films, including starring roles in 2012's Jeff, Who Lives at Home and 2011's Cedar Rapids and a co-starring role in the blockbuster hit The Hangover, its sequel, and the upcoming third installment of the film, to be released in May. The first Hangover film won the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. Helms currently resides in Los Angeles and is known to play a mean banjo.
The Knox College Commencement will be held on June 8, 2013, at 10 a.m. on the South Lawn of Old Main on the Knox College campus. It is free and open to the public.