Hey, it's Brian Baumgartner! I portrayed Kevin Malone (accounting guru and chili master) on NBC's The Office and I'm here today to discuss my new podcast, “An Oral History of The Office", hosted by yours truly. I've teamed up with Spotify to give you a show that features interviews with the cast and creators, and reveals some never-before-heard stories from the people who knew the series the best. The 12-episode podcast will be available exclusively on Spotify on 7/14. Immersive, intimate, emotional and elevated, the podcast pulls back the curtain on what went into creating this unstoppable force in American popular culture and shares the theories as to why it remains such an important part of the cultural zeitgeist.

Proof: https://i.redd.it/wzhlzzbkla951.jpg

Comments: 3993 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

strider31875925 karma

How often do you get mistaken for Ashton Kutcher?

serious note: which office character do you relate with the most in your real life

BrianBaumgartner6225 karma

All the time.

Hmmmmm.... Meredith?

JoopiterPriest5847 karma

Did you have to nail the "Kevin's famous chili" scene in one take? or were there multiple spills that had to occur to get it right?

BrianBaumgartner13792 karma

They call me Mr One Take.

BrianBaumgartner4952 karma

Did you have fun? I did. Thanks a lot guys. I would like to do this again soon as I missed a lot of questions. Thanks to so many of you for your support for An Oral History of The Office. It premieres next Tuesday!!!!! July 14.

willallan054885 karma

Hi Brian! My question is, what scene in The Office did you find the hardest not to break character in?

BrianBaumgartner14300 karma

HELLO.... everyone..... I am here.

For me- 2 scenes.

1) When Kevin sits on Michael's lap as Santa. 2) When Holly helps Kevin at the vending machine.

samorgan1934639 karma

What’s your personal favorite episode of The Office?

BrianBaumgartner8022 karma

Diversity Day. Stress Relief. Christmas Party.

Gruigi1114550 karma

Why say lot word when few word do trick?

BrianBaumgartner4770 karma


Ubermike903505 karma

Hey ! Lets be honest how many takes did it take to make those 4-5 hoops in a row at the end of the episode where the office plays a basketball game against the warehouse?

BrianBaumgartner9672 karma

1 FUCKING TAKE. And it was 13 in a row. Check the DVD...

BTW- what's a DVD...

Wadyflamer2421 karma

So excited for the podcast. How will your podcast differ from the Office Ladies podcast? Thanks!

BrianBaumgartner4317 karma

It is TOTALLY different. Jenna and Angela participated in mine. Both sat down with me for extensive interviews. An Oral History of The Office - you will hear all voices in episodes. So the interviews have been edited and combined to tell one full story- from beginning through to today.

anonymousasian072364 karma

Have you gotten the patent for tissue box shoes yet?

BrianBaumgartner3743 karma

Woerking on it. Kleenex is a bitch.

samorgan1932337 karma

How did the Kevin voice come about? In the first season, your character talks normally but later on your character takes on his classic voice. Did you start doing it, or did the writers/producers suggest it, and if so, who suggested it?

BrianBaumgartner4691 karma

It was a progression. Based on HOW the writers started writing Kevin. It came from me... and my nerdy/ actory justification has always been... Kevin was shy with the cameras around in the beginning, and as he became more comfortable- more of his true self came out.

MasterBabyYoda142066 karma

Hey Brian! Was it difficult to work with Angela Kinsey because she is the exact opposite of her character in real life? Was it hard to take her seriously?

BrianBaumgartner6611 karma

She is EXACTLY like her character. What you see from her now (pretending to be chipper and positive) is the best acting ever.

bagel-kittens-2031 karma

Do people who starred on The Office binge The Office too?

BrianBaumgartner4070 karma

About a year ago I sat down and watched it for the first time start to finish since I had watched them all when they aired. And for the podcast- I watched most episodes again. So I guess so!

fwt6661836 karma

How do you feel about Kevin Office tattoos? Because I have one. Kleenex shoes

BrianBaumgartner2271 karma

I'm literally on you. That is awesome.

Kdial20021662 karma

Who was the funniest person on set? And why was it creed?

BrianBaumgartner2394 karma

Me. And damn you.

Stuts811636 karma

What numerical value would you equate to a Klevin?

BrianBaumgartner3014 karma

It's Kelevin!

And I'm not sure but it will get you home by 7.

circumsised_lamma1582 karma

Are you still friends with anyone from the office cast? If so who are you closest with?

BrianBaumgartner3210 karma

I hate them all.

Joke. Yes we are all still tight, and the ones I hadn't seen in a while because they now live elsewhere, like John- it was great to see everyone while I was putting together this podcast.

maddoxrain39011269 karma

Was the chili in the office actual chili? And was there extra that people could eat? (Because, u know, it’s great)

BrianBaumgartner1856 karma

It was actual chili. And of course it was delicious. But no. no extra.

dillpickle97071252 karma

What was your favorite episode/scene you did?

BrianBaumgartner1267 karma

I'll give u one guess...

glitterbombdotcom1236 karma

We all know what Kevin Malone does best. What does Brian Baumgartner do best?

BrianBaumgartner1918 karma

Host Podcasts. Obviously. Especially easy when I have a bunch of nice old friends who decided to come on and help out.

gastro_destiny1166 karma

What was your favourite moment while working in The Office?

BrianBaumgartner736 karma

Hmmmmm.... care to guess?

ex0th3rmic1055 karma

Hey Brian! Thanks for taking time to do this AMA. You’re one of my fave characters on The Office, and I was pleasantly surprised seeing you as a guest star on Criminal Minds a while back.

My question is: I’ve seen headlines that Leslie David Baker just reached crowdfunding for an Office spin-off titled “Uncle Stan”. Will you be making an appearance, and are there any other spin-offs/prequels you’d like to explore? I feel like picking up where Ryan + Kelly left off for the series finale has potential

BrianBaumgartner1081 karma

Thanks for the question. I don't know what is going on with Leslie's project right now.

BrianBaumgartner1505 karma

But The Accountants has always seemed interesting to us. The Accountants.

sorryiamstupid1004 karma

What are your hobbies and how do you balance them between work, family, etc.?

BrianBaumgartner1748 karma

Easy. Golf. Love it. It is how I shut off my brain and focus singularly on something outdoors.

matriiis_872 karma

Was it ever bothersome to let your own physicality become Kevin’s physicality, occasionally as a bit of a laughingstock?

BrianBaumgartner1571 karma

Not at all. I am Kevin. Kevin is me. But also- not at all.


Hey Brian- just started listening to The Ladies of the Office podcast, and I'm excited to listen to yours as well.

It sounds like you, Angela, and Oscar got to spend a lot of the time on the set pretending to work and having fake conversations. What were some of your favorite things to talk about with each other, while the show was filming?

BrianBaumgartner1563 karma

My favorite part of our characters was the triangle. Oscar and Kevin VS Angela. Angela and Oscar VS Kevin. THe constantly shifting dynamic depending on whether it was work or funtime.

empressionz794 karma

What was the best improvised scene on the office?

BrianBaumgartner1664 karma

Michael and Dwight Halloween with the head on the shoulders and Dwight AS SYTH LORD

Smintjes768 karma

Is it difficult to get parts post-Office, since you’re universally known as Kevin from the Office?

Thank you for countless laugh out loud moments Mr. Baumgartner!

BrianBaumgartner1291 karma

I have tried to be selective on what parts I take... I have a few film roles coming out soon that are very different.

Swimdonut682 karma

Hey Brian! You may know of the crazy conspiracy theory that Kevin Malone is a genius. So, was Kevin Malone a genius? Was he Jan’s sperm donor? Or was he Ashton Kutcher? Thank you for taking your time to read these! I can’t wait for the podcast!

BrianBaumgartner1371 karma

I HAVE HEARD THIS THEORY. This was born from Reddit right??? I, unfortunately, do NOT think it is true.

But yes- I like to think he was Jan's donor.

noah_bbd635 karma

Do you make good chili in real life?

BrianBaumgartner1114 karma


Heisenberg3556598 karma

My daughters ask, do you really love M&M’s?

BrianBaumgartner1289 karma

Due to a pending legal issue I decline to answer.

(But tell her yes. The peanut ones.)

tandrarine13597 karma

What did you think about the flanderization of Kevin, slowly transferring from a lazy slightly perverted worker to someone completely incompetent and rather, stupid I guess you could say?

BrianBaumgartner926 karma

It was tricky. Because Kevin wasn't Keith from the British Office. But he was born out of Keith. As the writers kept writing for Kevin over 200 episodes... he developed.

technicalveghead551 karma

Do you get recognized in public often? If so, does it ever get old?

BrianBaumgartner1739 karma

In part it is why I created this podcast. ALL OF US ACTORS realized... the show is bigger now than it ever was, even when we were the most watched show on NBC.

Most people are great. But it's never fun to be interrupted mid bite at dinner to be asked to take a picture.

gastro_destiny441 karma

How did working in The Office impact you as a person?

BrianBaumgartner871 karma

It changed absolutely everything about my life.

Africabymemes420 karma

Obviously The Office is a classic, but what other TV shows would you say are your personal favorites/I should check out if I love the Office?

P.S. I have you adorable Kevin spilling chili tshirt you advertised on Insta last fall and am so in love with it so thank you!

P.S.S. Can't wait to check your new thing out!!!

BrianBaumgartner942 karma

Thanks for the comment!

For comedy- I am personally into Shitt's Creek right now. But I'm still early in the series. Catching up.

Themastercommander10387 karma

Hey Brian! What was it really like working with James Spader? From the book “The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s” it gave off the impression that he was extremely difficult to work with. Did you have any negative experiences working with him/stories you could share of your time with him?

BrianBaumgartner1646 karma

I love James. It was an honor to work with him. He was put in a difficult spot having to come in and in some people's minds... "replace Steve". I have not read the book. It was written- you understand- by someone who was NOT on the inside. And he did not interview the majority of people who were on or worked on the show. He found old interviews and simply interpreted quotes. For example- it appears as though I was interviewed for the book. I was not. Every quote he attributed to me was something I said at some point- but not to him. And potentially taken out of context. An Oral History of The Office was created in part in response to the book you refer to. We wanted to tell our own story.

BlueKnight000305 karma

Which cast member from the office do you keep in touch with most?

BrianBaumgartner730 karma

Angela. And Oscar. And Rainn. And Jenna Kate John Steve Creed etc etc etc... I saw them all for the podcast and it was awesome.

Arcade23279 karma

What’s your favourite TV show that isn’t The Office?

BrianBaumgartner624 karma

All time? The Sopranos.

dstout22233 karma

Have you actually been in a band? Curious what instruments you might play!

BrianBaumgartner567 karma

I play nothing well. It is a disappointment. So clearly not in a band. Ed and Craig are amazing musicians.

lvance2232 karma

How will your podcast compare to Office Ladies? Any plans on a podcast crossover with them?

BrianBaumgartner476 karma

First part answered above. But YES... Jenna and Angela were interviewed for Oral History. I will be appearing on an Office Ladies soon. We waited for me to be on there until this was announced and premiered so we could talk about both together. I have been working on this podcast since last year. We had over 100 hours of interviews we had to cut down to craft the story.

AvocationalAngel208 karma

Hey Brian!

I adore your work in The Office and you inspire me every single day. I cannot wait for the podcast. My question is.. Even 15 years after the release of the show, we are still getting a lot of new information. Office Ladies, The book, Etc. With all that, are there any new secrets left for us in your podcast? 😅

BrianBaumgartner351 karma

Lots. This is the first time we ALL sat down together to tell our story. It was partly in RESPONSE to the book... we wanted someone from the inside to tell our story.

JohnBurrows295203 karma

Hey Brian! Thanks for doing this!

Are there any props from the set/your desk that you were able to keep? Or is there you wish you could have kept?

Also, I live in Myrtle Beach, SC where Hootie and the blowfish host the “Monday after the Masters” charity golf tournament, I’ve made it my mission to get you invited to the next one, would you go?

BrianBaumgartner550 karma

I have my nameplate. A football from my desk we used to throw around between takes (and get yelled at by the First AD). And the jar of M&Ms.

I wish I had taken a Dundie.

hyun2020kang169 karma

Oh my god yes, thank you so much for doing this. So I have always wondered, during the basketball scrimmage episode there is a short clip of you shooting the basketball and it is such a smooth jumper. Have you played basketball a lot growing up? And what is your favorite team if you have one? Also, thoughts on who will win the NBA Finals this year if it is happening?

Much love stay safe Kevin/Brian, you sweet sweet soul

BrianBaumgartner391 karma

I played basketball when i was younger yes. Lakers are my team and I think they have a real shot this year.

Sentient_Android66166 karma

Is there any part of Kevin's character which you improvised?

BrianBaumgartner335 karma

quite a bit. Go to most moments in which a scene ends w Kevin.

mormor69156 karma

Hey Brian, I'm looking forward with great excitement to your new podcast!

What was (one of) your favorite moment(s) playing Kevin? And did you ever co-write/write a episode, like we Mindy or B.J.?

Have an awesome day! Cheers, Simon from Denmark

BrianBaumgartner305 karma


Well, ok, I have to now answer... The Chili Spill.

I didn't write, but I Directed.

Chtorrr147 karma

What is the very best cheese?

BrianBaumgartner290 karma


Airwick95128 karma

Are you as good at poker as kevin?

BrianBaumgartner252 karma

Yes. But I gave it up for golf. Those are 2 hobbies that both take a lot of time.

thelingz98 karma

Hello Brian! I have two questions, one office related and one not office related.

  1. Who did you base the character of Kevin off of?

  2. I am just starting out learning how to play golf, any tips or tricks I should know?

Thank you for your time!

BrianBaumgartner249 karma

1) Kevin was a creation based on nobody.

2) Love this for you. Enjoy it. It is my favorite thing to do to clear my mind. Beat tip I ever got was- avoid added shots. Water. Multiple shots out of the bunkers. Extra chips. If you focus on not giving away those things- score will improve. Good luck

danklord_jeet92 karma

Hello Brian! My question, we all have heard of the picture that was taken after the show's shooting ended where you all just cried out. Could you tell us more about that please?

BrianBaumgartner406 karma

It was the end for some of us of a decade working together. They are my family. It's hard in the end. (That's what she said.)

DayWalkerRunner74 karma

What is your favorite way to spend your free time?

BrianBaumgartner107 karma


drdiabolical2222 karma

Hey Brian! Rewatching the show right now so this is great timing. How did the character and voice of Kevin evolve over the years, and did anyone or anything in particular inspire it?

BrianBaumgartner28 karma

thanks. Answered above.

Awins8085 karma

Packers fan and wisconsinite here! What made you become a Packers fan and knowing Aaron Rodgers, did you get to interact with him when he was on the office in season 9?

BrianBaumgartner11 karma

We have played a lot of golf together over the years. Fun fact- we were friends before and I got him to do the show.

Truelikegiroux5 karma

Hi Brian, just wanted to say that Kevin has always been and will always be my favorite character in The Office. You also did a cameo for my friend's birthday a few days back and it was glorious so thank you for that.

Couple of random questions:

What is your current favorite gadget in your house?

Watermelons or cantelopes and why?

How spicy should chili be?

Favorite cocktail?

BrianBaumgartner8 karma

Golf clubs. I DON"T EAT MELON. As spicy as you like it. CROWN.

Val18482 karma

Hi Brian! What is your favorite episode? Also did you know how to play the drums before playing in the show or did you learn for the show?? Thank you :))

BrianBaumgartner4 karma

I had never played the drums in my life before. I'm not sure if I even do now...