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Ed Helms Reveals The Truth About That Hangover Tooth Scene

Ed Helms is one of the funniest actors working today. That should come as no surprise to anyone who's followed his career, getting his start as a correspondent on "The Daily Show" before moving his way into the pop-cultural zenith known as "The Office." A role as juicy as Andy Bernard would be enough for some actors, but Helms broke out even more on the big screen as Stu the dentist in "The Hangover," which would go on to launch a comedy franchise.

Stu has plenty of standout moments in the movie, from telling Alan (Zach Galifianakis), "You are literally too stupid to insult," to the infamous moment where he loses a tooth. The latter is a delicious bit of irony, seeing how Stu's a dentist, and it becomes a running gag throughout the movie. And it's become an intriguing bit of movie trivia that the missing tooth wasn't CGI or a cover-up. Years ago, Helms received a dental implant, so when his character lost a tooth in the movie, they simply got rid of it during filming (via People).

Now, Helms has provided the inside scoop on what went down for the infamous bit during an appearance on Hot Ones to promote his new show, "True Story," on Peacock. Naturally, "The Hangover" had to come up in some form.

Ed Helms' missing tooth affected his time on The Office, too

Upon hearing that Ed Helms already had a missing tooth, it would be easy to surmise that "The Hangover" crew only decided to include the character missing a tooth only after he was cast. But as Helms discusses on Hot Ones, the plan was always in place for Stu to lose a tooth partway through the movie. He explains, "It was in the script, and so right away — once we got into pre-production — Todd, the director, was like, 'How are we gonna do this? What are you comfortable with?' And I said, 'Well, I don't know, we'll talk to the visual effects guys,' and they said, 'Okay, we'll try blacking it out.'"

Of course, once they tried other methods to block out the tooth, nothing looked that great on camera. It was at this point Helms let the cat out of the bag and let them know that he has an implant that they could probably remove for the duration of filming. But first, he had to speak with his dentist to make sure it was all right: "I went to my dentist, and he said, 'Oh yeah, no problem! We can just take the crown off and put a little thing in there to keep your gum healthy.'"

However, when "The Hangover" was filming, "The Office" was also in production, and it sounds like Helms couldn't just put his tooth back in while filming "Office" scenes. He concludes, "I had to go back and shoot 'The Office' at the same time, so he made me a retainer with a fake tooth on it, which made me sound drunk because I was like, my tongue couldn't form words. But we got through it." If there's one thing to take from all this, it's that Helms is very much devoted to the craft of acting and is willing to go the extra mile for a joke.