Toby Flenderson might be the buzzkill at Dunder Mufflin, but the actor who played him on The Office, Paul Lieberstein, would be interested in seeing what the character is up to in a reunion special.
Lieberstein told The Daily Beast this week he is interested in a reunion, although probably not one that would involve a full season like Will & Grace or Roseanne.
“I think a one-off special would be the way to go,” the writer and showrunner said. “Some event that brings everyone back together.”
Lieberstein not only played Toby on all nine seasons of The Office, but was also in the writers room. He wrote 16 episodes, directed seven and served as showrunner for Seasons 5-8. He also developed the spin-off The Farm, which NBC ultimately passed on.
Toby was Dunder Mifflin's human resources rep, and the subject of Michael Scott's hatred.
“I always felt a little different as Toby,” Lieberstein told The Daily Beast. “To me, it always felt like Toby was the parent of a three-year-old in Michael Scott, who’s constantly having tantrums. He’s just there to be patient, wait it out. Of course it impacts his day, but you can’t get too mad at your three-year-old, so you have to just internalize it.”
Considering the success of other revivals and the ongoing popularity of The Office, talk of the Dunder Mifflin crew getting back together has reached a fever pitch in recent months. When Steve Carell hosted Saturday Night Live in November, his monologue was crashed by Ed Helms, Ellie Kemper and Jenna Fischer, who all begged him to play Michael again. Then, earlier this month, Fischer and Helms joined Lieberstein, Rainn Wilson and other members of the supporting cast had a "family reunion" at executive producer Greg Daniels' home.
On the other hand, Carell told Collider he will not play Michael again under any circumstance, even though he has fond memories of the show.
"Ultimately, I think it’s maybe best to leave well enough alone and just let it exist as what it was," he said. "You’d literally have to have all of the same writers, the same producers, the same directors, and the same actors, and even with all of those components, it just wouldn’t be the same. So, no."
The Office ran from 2005 to 2013 on NBC and is available to stream in full on Netflix. Carell left the show at the end of Season 7 and only made a brief appearance in the finale.
Photo credit: NBC