Will Ferrell to Guest Star on The Office
Producers of NBC’s The Office announced yesterday that they will create a 4-episode arch featuring oft-naked funnyman Will Ferrell. The guest spot reunites Ferrell with his Anchorman costar and more-often-clothed funnyman Steve Carell.
Executive producer Paul Lieberstein explains, “We found Steve Carell when he was nothing but a movie star and we turned him into a television star. We are proud to continue The Office‘s tradition of discovering famous talent, and we hope that once America gets a good look at Will, they’ll see what we see: tremendous raw sexuality."
While the second half of Lieberstein’s statement makes me vomit in my mouth, the first half makes me think.
Ferrell’s guest spot on The Office could be considered a lateral career move for someone who’s starred in a number of (somewhat) successful movies including Old School, Elf, Talladega Nights, and Blades of Glory. If he believes the assumption that television is less prestigious than movies, Ferrell could even consider the cameo beneath him.
It begs the question: is there ever value to taking a job that’s beneath you?
Let’s look at some scenarios using regular folks instead of movie stars.
Say you’re a marketing coordinator for a wildlife conservation society. If you work hard, stay late, and attend arduous meetings you’ll rise to the prestigious role of marketing manager. Or instead, you could go work with actual wildlife. You could spend your time tracking panthers or documenting the ways worms get intimate.
What would be the benefit of this less prestigious job? You would certainly experience less stress. Unless the panthers start tracking you back.
You can also learn new skills from lower prestige jobs. Let’s say you’re a funeral director and you trade it in for a position as an embalmer. Besides getting to work with your hands and meet new people, you’ll learn the useful art of embalming!
My point is: for those of you unsatisfied by your high-stress, decent-paying, ladder-climbing careers, the path of lower prestige might be worth it.
In Will Ferrell’s case, his descent into television will surely add at least one new item to his resume: punching Dwight Schrute in the face. Hopefully he’ll put it in the “Honors” section.