Edward Parker Helms was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where he graduated from The Westminster Schools in 1992. He attended Oberlin College but also spent a semester as an exchange student at New York University's Tisch School of Film where he studied film theory and technology.
After graduating from Oberlin, Helms began his comedy and acting career as a writer and performer with New York City sketch comedy bands, and studied improvisation with the Upright Citizens Brigade troupe.
Helms concurrently worked as a trainee film editor at crewcuts, a post-production facility in New York City. While doing so, he recorded some rough voiceover scratch tracks that eventually led to paying voiceover work, which in turn led to finding a talent agent.
Helms was performing standup comedyin New York City when, he recalled in a 2005 interview, "The Daily Show had a sort of open audition with a casting company that I had dealt with. I read for the part, and got it". In his April 2002 to mid-2006 tenure on the satirical news program, Helms contributed "field reports" in addition to hosting various segments of the show, such as Digital Watch, Ad Nauseam, and Mark Your Calendar. He has also contributed to the This Week in God segment. Balls and Wangz. Helms left the show in 2006, but has occasionally returned for brief appearances. On July 21, 2008 he returned for Obama Quest — a segment covering then-Senator Barack Obama's trip to Iraq. He occasionally narrates the Prescott Group educational films on sister series The Colbert Report.
In late July 2006 NBC announced that Helms would join the cast of the mockumentary The Office, along with his fellow The Daily Show correspondent Steve Carell, in a recurring role as Andy Bernard. Even though Andy's arc was only supposed to go on for 8 episodes, Helms became a series regular in the third season.
Helms returned to The Daily Show on December 5, 2006, stating he had been gone because he was "undercover at a paper company in Scranton", an allusion to his stint on The Office. In February 2007, NBC announced that Helms had been promoted to series regular, and in February 2010 Helms was added to the show's opening credits. In June 2009, on a radio interview with National Public Radio, Helms said that like his character, Andy Bernard, he is obsessed with a cappella music.
Helms has appeared on such television shows as Tanner on Tanner, Arrested Development and Cheap Seats, and in various Comedy Central specials. He has done commercial voiceover work in campaigns for Burger King, Doritos, Hotels.com, Sharp Aquos and Advair asthma medication, and he voices Angel, a character on Cartoon Network's Weighty Decisions series.
Helms plays guitar, banjo and piano, and he has played all three, as well as a sitar, in some of his movie and television performances.
Helms starred in the 2009 film The Hangover, and previously appeared in small roles in films including Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story, Meet Dave, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, I'll Believe You, Evan Almighty, Semi-Pro and, with Office co-star Jenna Fischer, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. While promoting The Hangover on The Late Show with David Letterman on May 21, 2009, Helms performed an impression of Tom Brokaw. The same year, Helms appeared in The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, directed by Neal Brennan and starring Jeremy Piven.
Helms has been developing, with Judd Apatow, a Universal Pictures film, A Whole New Hugh, in which Helms would star, and which he would co-write with Jake Fleisher and Ian Berger. Variety reported in February 2009 that Helms would star and he and Fleisher would co-write a Warner Bros. feature about a time-traveling Civil War re-enactor, with the film to be produced through The Office star Steve Carell's production company Carousel. While promoting the seventh season of The Office on September 21, 2010 on The Tonight Show, Helms announced that the sequel to The Hangover would begin filming in the fall.
|2004||Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story||Bunker McLaughlin|
|2005||Zombie-American||Glen the Zombie|
|2006||Everyone's Hero||Hobo Louie||Voice only|
|2007||Evan Almighty||Ark Reporter|
|I'll Believe You||Leon|
|Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story||Stage Manager|
|Confessions of a Shopaholic||Garret E. Barton||Uncredited|
|Meet Dave||No. 2 – 2nd In Command|
|Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay||Interpreter|
|Monsters vs Aliens||News Reporter||Voice only|
|Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian||Museum Worker||Uncredited|
|The Hangover||Dr. Stu Price|
|The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard||Paxton Harding|
|2011||Cedar Rapids||Tim Lippe||Post-Production|
|Jeff Who Lives at Home||Pat||Post-Production|
|The Hangover 2||Dr. Stu Price|
|2002–2006||The Daily Show||Correspondent||480 episodes|
|2004||Arrested Development||James||Single episode|
|Cheap Seats: Without Ron Parker||Bradley Wallace||Two episodes|
|2005||Lies and the Wives We Tell Them To||Television film|
|Sunday Pants||Neil the Angel||Single episode; voice only|
|2006||The Colbert Report||Narrator||Single episode|
|Samurai Love God||Samurai Love God||Television miniseries; voice only|
|2008||Upright Citizens Brigade: Asssscat||Guest Monologist||Television film|
|American Dad!||Mr. Buckley||Single episode; voice only|
|2009||Family Guy||Single episode; voice only|
|2006–2013||The Office||Andy Bernard|