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The Office Star B.J. Novak's Favorite Character From The Series May Not Be Who You Expect

There are many reasons why "The Office" continues to be binge-watched by the masses almost a decade after its finale aired on NBC. From comedic moments to heartwarming storylines, "The Office" simply has it all. The childlike antics of Michael Scott (Steve Carell) are legendary, but his heartfelt exit from Dunder Mifflin is equally as notable. 

Aside from the plot, the show's biggest draw might just be its cast of characters. The Scranton branch workers couldn't be more different from one another, making for quite the interesting dynamic in the office. On the sales team, the overachieving Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) regularly butts heads with Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), who spends most of his day pulling pranks on his desk neighbor. 

Over at accounting, the cold and cat-loving Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey) is a direct contrast to the not-so-smart Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner). Back in the Annex is Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling), who loves drama, celebrity gossip and obsessing over boys, mainly Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak), who openly expresses annoyance toward his workplace.

Given the characters' ultra unique personality traits, it could be hard for some diehard fans to choose a favorite. Each has their share of good and bad moments, which means someone's favorite could change depending on the episode. Notably, Novak apparently feels unwaveringly strong about two characters, both of whom might be surprising.

Michael Scott and Toby Flenderson are his favorite characters

During a live Q&A session monitored by the Chicago Tribune, a fan asked B.J. Novak to reveal his favorite character on "The Office." In response, Novak named two, the first being the Scranton branch's regional manager Michael Scott. According to Novak, people often "don't get credit" for choosing the lead character as their favorite, but he had no shame in admitting to always loving the star.

"I think people overlook the lead character often to show how deep they are to a show," Novak said. "But there was nobody like Michael Scott." He also added that he particularly enjoyed Carell's performance in Season 2, Episode 12 ("The Injury"), when Michael accidentally grills his foot on a George Foreman grill. "No other character could've done that," he said.

As for the side character that holds a special place in his heart, Novak named human resources manager Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein). It's an ironic choice given Michael's deep hatred of Toby, who isn't the most popular guy at Dunder Mifflin. However, there's something about the soft-spoken character that Novak thoroughly enjoys. "Every time he's on screen, I just beam," he said. "He's so real and so funny and has such great timing."

Steve Carell and Paul Lieberstein also have an appreciation for their characters

Michael and Toby might not immediately come to someone's mind when they're thinking about their favorite "The Office" character. But like B.J. Novak, Steve Carell and Paul Lieberstein, have a strong affinity toward their on-screen personas.

Though some moments In "The Office" haven't aged well, Carell stressed that nothing the regional manager did ever had malice behind it. In the book "Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office," he explained, "[Michael] put his foot in his mouth all the time, saying inappropriate things, but I don't think he ever valued one type of person over any other. And in that way, I think he was a very pure character ... I just don't think there was hardness in his heart toward anyone."

As for Toby, Lieberstein revealed in an interview with Today that most of his character's comedic appeal is his inability to get emotional. He said, "When you had some of these really outrageous characters, his response just seems so flat and calm that I think it kind of heightens some of the other characters and certainly enraged Michael."

Lieberstein added that much of Toby's personality — especially his ability to unintentionally anger Michael — was written directly on set, line by line. In fact, many fans might not realize that Lieberstein was a writer on "The Office" for all nine seasons, in addition to directing and other duties.

Neither character might be loved by the masses, but it's clear that the two actors who brought them to life will always defend and stand by them. Plus, Novak will always have their backs.