June 08, 2013
Citation read by Sherwood Kiraly, Visiting Instructor in English and Theatre and Writer-in-Residence
President Amott, I am honored to present Edward Helms for the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.
Best known for his scene-stealing roles on the big and small screen, actor and comedian Edward "Ed" Helms has led a remarkable career. From graduate of a liberal arts college to co-star of three of the most popular television series and films of the last decade, he has left an indelible mark on today's popular culture.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, he attended in Oberlin College in Ohio and graduated in 1996 with a degree in film theory and technology. Mr. Helms got his start in New York City, where he worked as a stand-up comedian and as a writer and performer in sketch comedy bands and studied improvisation with the Upright Citizens Brigade troupe. In 2002, he joined the cast of Comedy Central's award-winning The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. During his time on the satirical news program, he worked as a correspondent, notably covering the 2004 presidential election. After leaving The Daily Show in 2006, Mr. Helms joined the cast of the NBC's hit "mockumentary" The Office as the a capella loving Cornell University graduate Andy Bernard. This fall, he joins a new slate of original programming on Yahoo, starring in Tiny Commando, which follows the adventures of four-inch tall crime fighter.
Mr. 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. He is best known for his co-starring role as Dr. Stu Price in the blockbuster hit The Hangover, its sequel, and the recently released third installment, The Hangover III. The first Hangover film won the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.
While most may be familiar with his musical talents thanks to Andy Bernard's many performances and Stu Price's infamous serenade to a slumbering tiger, Mr. Helms is an accomplished musician off the silver screen. In addition to piano and guitar, he is known to play a mean banjo and regularly performs with his longtime band, The Lonesome Trio, as well as on stage at the L.A. Bluegrass Situation.
President Amott, in honor of his remarkable contributions to television and film, I present Edward Helms for the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.