So, I've liked Ed Helms for years - loved him on "The Daily Show," loved him in "The Hangover," and love him on "The Office." Seriously, he's a great actor, great comedian, and it's obvious that he has some musical talent, but he just wasn't someone I thought much about...until recently.
As I've mentioned, I'm now unemployed, and at some point between sleeping 'til noon because I was up all night working on my "novel" and cooking up a tasty pot of Ramen Noodles, I decided to Netflix seasons one through five of the "The Office" and watch them in order. (I just started watching it last year.) Anyway, there's an episode where Andy (Helms) sings Abba's "Take a Chance on Me" to another cast member. I had no idea what the song was at the time, so I looked it up and thanks to YouTube's time-wasting "suggestions," somehow, I ended up on this:
I couldn't pinpoint the exact moment, but if I had to guess, I'd say he had me by about 0:47.
Now, I know what you're probably thinking. Ed Helms is a comedic genius and that's what finally caught your attention?? But what can I say? I love me some bluegrass. Like REALLY love me some bluegrass in a big geeky way that no one as cool as myself should ever admit to in public. (Actually, I have admitted it in public here: "You Had Me at Bill Monroe." <-- In case you're not going to click that link, that's a story about a mysterious hot guy I met years ago, who basically shared my, "I don't really like country music. Like Tim McGraw, Faith Hill - I don't like that kind of stuff, but I like some of the old stuff and I just love bluegrass, which I guess some people think is kind of weird, and I liked it before the 'O Brother Where Art Thou' soundtrack thing" music theory.) So, I kept digging and digging and it turns out Ed Helms is all kinds of into the bluegrass! And he admits it publicly and he's probably almost as cool as me!! He plays the banjo (really well, might I add), has/had a band called Lonesome Trio, and the list goes on. I found a few more videos of him playing and singing; most of them are pretty poor quality so you can't really hear the music, but this is the coolest freaking discovery I've made since, well, since I discovered they do actually make a device you can plug your iPod into and listen to it without headphones. (Yeah, I finally figured that out last month.)
I am now the biggest Ed Helms fan on the planet. The man is superly-multi-talented. Oh, wait! There's one more thing - he's from Atlanta! How often is it that non-rapper, non-Julia Roberts, cool famous people come from Atlanta? (By the way, totally think he and I should get married now. Come on, I'm almost 30 and I think "into bluegrass" and "from Atlanta" are perfectly fine standards to have for a mate at this point.)
Anyway, I'm really hoping he will put out an album of bluegrass music one day, but in the meantime, I definitely suggest you cruise on over to YouTube to see more of his musical and comedic endeavors. You won't regret it!! I, on the other hand, feel the need to get "The Hangover"and watch it again, knowing one of the stars is a little cooler than I ever thought possible.
Here's another one from the Lonesome Trio called "All Gone to Hell." No banjo, but check out that amazing voice!