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The Only Office Characters To Appear In Every Single Episode

When you think of The Office, it's Steve Carell's loveable idiot, Michael Scott, that immediately comes to mind. Carell earned a Golden Globe for his work on the mockumentary-style comedy, which ran on NBC from 2005 until 2013. He was also nominated for several Primetime Emmys during his run as the regional manager of Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch, but he said his goodbyes in season 7 after Comcast acquired NBC and opted not to renew his contract. 

"It was emotional torture," Carell said on An Oral History of The Office (via Mashable), a podcast hosted by former co-star Brian Baumgartner. However, he went on to add, "But it was also really beautiful. [I'll] treasure just doing that episode because it did allow me to kind of have a finality with everybody."

The Office went on for a further two seasons without Carell at the helm, although the actor did reprise his role in the finale, putting his total episode count at 139. That's less than the likes of Ed Helms (Andy Bernard), B.J. Novak (Ryan Howard), and Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapoor), but even they didn't show up for every episode. So, if even Michael Scott himself couldn't come to work, did any character appear in each installment of The Office? Well, believe it or not, a handful did star in every one of the show's 200-plus episodes, and a few of the names may surprise you.

Rainn Wilson was the first person to audition for The Office

A number of different characters stepped into Michael Scott's shoes after he left Dunder Mifflin, Rainn Wilson's Dwight Schrute included. The socially inept salesman had always longed to be the boss, and in season 9, that dream came true. It was a big moment for Wilson, who initially auditioned for the part of Scott. "I was terrible," he recalled during an interview with NPR. "It was awful. It was never meant to be. It was just one of those things that I just basically did my Ricky Gervais impersonation because I really didn't know what to do with the character." Luckily, the casting directors also had him penciled in to read for Dwight, and this time, he nailed it.

In many ways, Wilson is the real OG of The Office. He was literally the first person to audition for the show, and he was running the ship come the final episode, never missing a single one. For a while, it seemed as though fans were going to get to see him continue his journey as Dwight, though the proposed spin-off The Farm, which would've featured the wider Schrute family, never came to fruition. "We had worked really hard on it and, I think, created a really cool and different pilot," Wilson told HuffPost. "But it was kind of a relief in a way, because it's time to hang up the old Dwight bad haircut and glasses and move on."

John Krasinski was waiting tables when he landed The Office

He's an Emmy-nominated actor and producer known for critically acclaimed horror hit A Quiet Place, but back when he auditioned for The Office, John Krasinski was basically a nobody. At least, that's the stance casting directors took when he asked if he could read for the role of sales rep Jim Halpert. In an interview with Off Camera (via HuffPost), Krasinski revealed that he was initially contacted about playing Dwight Schrute, and when he relayed back that he wanted to play Jim instead, he was apparently told that he could "shove it up his a**."

According to Krasinski, the people casting The Office made it clear that he was "lucky to be coming in" at all, but he stood his ground and got his audition. When he spoke to the press to mark the ending of The Office in 2013, creator Greg Daniels revealed that he was won over by the actor's deadpan stare. Krasinski did "this amazing look right into the audition camera, and it was so funny," Daniels said (via Office Tally). "It just made people laugh." It was huge for the Massachusetts native, who was working as a waiter at the time. "I was 23-years-old, and after the pilot, I went back to waiting tables because I was sure nothing was gonna happen with it," he said when he interviewed Steve Carell on his YouTube show Some Good News. "We all came into it with that vibe."

Angela Kinsey originally auditioned for the role of Pam

Angela Kinsey's road to sitcom stardom was an unconventional one. The Louisiana native moved to Indonesia for her father's work when she was just two years old, and she lived there until the age of 14, when the family returned to the States and settled down in small-town Texas. She moved to New York for acting lessons after graduating and then switched to Los Angeles to concentrate on her comedy career. Remarkably, she landed the first TV part she ever went for (her small-screen debut came in an episode of '90s sitcom Step by Step), but her audition for The Office was a different story.

"The first time I auditioned, I auditioned for Pam," Kinsey told HoboTrashcan, adding, "I got feedback that they really liked me; they thought that I could be in the world of the show, but I was maybe just a little too feisty for Pam." They asked her to play "this really stuffy accountant," instead, and they built the character around her. Kinsey would go on to appear as the snarky Angela Martin in all 200-plus episodes of the show, which she now discusses at length in Office Ladies, a podcast that she hosts with friend and former co-star, Jenna Fischer (Pam). As Kinsey told CNN, "The Office was such an amazing chapter of our lives, and it means so much to us that we get to share some of our memories of filming it with our audiences." 

Leslie David Baker wants to continue Stanley's story

Before he became an actor, Leslie David Baker worked for the city of Chicago's Board of Education, Department of Health, and Office of Cable and Communications. The experience made him a perfect fit for the part of grouchy Dunder Mifflin salesman Stanley Hudson, though it almost never happened. Speaking to Chicago magazine, the Illinois native revealed that he was late for his callback because he was auditioning for another role across town. Luckily, nobody seemed to notice. As he put it, "They said, 'Oh, Leslie! Thank you so much for waiting! You've been so patient! They said you were in the men's room!'"

By this point, he was more than a little out of sorts. "I was kind of sweaty, my clothes were rumpled, and I was cranky." Ultimately, this worked in his favor. "The character was written the way I was feeling that day, and I just let 'er rip. Two weeks later I got a call: 'You got the pilot.'" 

As for what he's doing these days, the actor enthralled fans of The Office when he sat down for a Reddit AMA in 2020, but he also experienced the dark side of the internet that year. Baker was met with racist abuse from online trolls after setting up a Kickstarter to fund a spin-off of The Office featuring his character, Uncle Stan: Coming out of Retirement. "For those of you who don't believe racism is still alive in the world," Baker said in a shocking Instagram post, "here's the proof." It's absolutely tragic that he's experienced that kind of vitriol, but no matter what anyone says, Baker is an amazing person and a fantastic actor, as proven by all 200-plus episodes of The Office.

Brian Baumgartner is fascinated by The Office's fandom

Brian Baumgartner played accountant Kevin Malone in every single episode of The Office, yet he never gets tired of talking about his time on the show, even that iconic chili spillage. "It's clearly the thing that most people talk to me about," Baumgartner told Esquire when asked about the moment Kevin drops a huge vat of his family's famous chili right in the middle of the office. "The thing I'm most proud of is we got it in one take. They call me the one-take wonder. Yeah, it was a gigantic mess." 

Like his former co-stars Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer, Brian Baumgartner has his own podcast, The Oral History of The Office. He knew very early on that the American version of The Office could be huge ("From the second episode we shot, I remember specifically being very aware that what the show was doing was special and unique," he said), but he's fascinated by the series' lasting influence. "Today, it's bigger than it ever was," the actor told BGR. "And my approach on the podcast is to explore why that is."

Baumgartner doesn't have any Kevin-related spin-offs in the pipeline, but he apparently doesn't need one. According to Steven Galanis, the cofounder and CEO of Cameo, Baumgartner made $1 million on the app in 2020, delighting fans with his well-made personal messages. "He really takes a lot of pride in his craftsmanship of the videos," Galanis told People.