Report: HBO Comedy Stars Approached To Join 'The Office'

With Steve Carell gearing up to leave Dunder Mifflin behind, a host of new faces are reportedly in the running to join “The Office” – possibly as the new boss.

According to Entertainment Weekly, producers of the NBC comedy have reached out to Danny McBride and Rhys Darby, to see if they are interested in becoming a part of the show during the 2010-2011 season.

Both men are known for their work on HBO comedies. Danny stars in “Eastbound & Down,” playing Kenny Powers, a former professional athlete desperately trying to reclaim his glory days, while serving as a high school educator. Rhys, meanwhile, played Murray Hewitt, the band’s manager on “Flight of the Conchords.”

Meanwhile, a host of columnists including James Poniewozik of Time and Michael Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly, suggested that Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy nominee Michael Emerson from “Lost” is worth considering for the role.

“I saw it mentioned… Sometimes I look at Google alerts and I saw that people were talking about that and I thought, ‘That’s just some rabid fan of mine trying to start something,’” Michael told AccessHollywood.com of the online chatter. “I didn’t take it seriously. I’m sure there are much bigger and more experienced names in a pool for a job like that.”

AH Nation Poll: Who do you think should step in as “The Office” boss? Click HERE to vote!

Michael admitted he’s always found the show intriguing, going back to the original British version, which starred Ricky Gervais as the UK prototype of Steve’s character Michael Scott – David Brent.

“It was so penetrating, particularly the English one, that sometimes I found it hard to watch,” he said. “It made me so uncomfortable in a brilliant way. It’s brilliant when a thing can get under your skin like that. Sometimes I think, ‘Oh no! No! No!’ I have to turn away; I have to pause it now; I can’t take it any more (laughs).”

While Michael admitted there would be pressure for anyone asked to take over running Dunder Mifflin, if he were approached, the actor said he’d give it some thought.

“Well a person would have to consider such a thing. That’s something that’s really huge, but by the same token it carries a huge weight of expectation with it and it would be very daunting,” he said. “I would think any actor would have to think long and hard about taking that gig because the potential for embarrassment or unflattering comparison to Steve Carell would — that could be tough. Who wants to follow that act?”

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.