No one at Dunder Mifflin ever understood Creed Bratton, or even knew where he was or what he was doing. Friday, however, he’ll be performing comedy live at Ohio State.
Bratton, a popular cast member from NBC’s five-time Emmy Award-winning show “The Office,” will headline the Big Spring Standup Show hosted by the Buckeye Standup Comedy Club and Delta Tau Delta fraternity. A variety of comedians from the club are scheduled to open for Bratton.
In addition to acting on all nine seasons of the hit NBC comedy that ended in 2013, Bratton — whose fictional character on the show has his real name — has acted in many films, including “Mask” and “Saving Lincoln.” Bratton also was a guitarist and vocalist for The Grass Roots, a popular 60s and 70s folk rock band whose hits include “Let’s Live for Today.”
After his tenure with The Grass Roots, Bratton said he continued to record numerous records with different bands and music industry insiders.
“I didn’t have any deals, I was just recording songs,” he said in an interview with The Lantern. “I had all these recordings I did in different genres. But when I came on ‘The Office,’ I realized I had now a platform to work out of. I had a name. So then I went and gathered all my tapes together, and I started putting them out.”
People have flocked to the music. YouTube videos of his song “All the Faces,” for example, have hundreds of thousands of views.
As part of a 12-city tour to support the release of his new album, “While the Young Punks Dance,” Bratton said he will perform both originals and songs by The Grass Roots on Friday. In between songs, he said he will tell stories and do “bits” from his television character.
Alex Lacey, president of Buckeye Standup and a fourth-year in biomedical science, said the club chose to partner with Bratton because they know he is an entertainer Ohio State students will come to watch due to the show’s popularity during its nine seasons and a second wind of popularity through Netflix.
“Many people in our generation grew up watching ‘The Office,’ and many more have discovered the show through Netflix,” he said.
Lacey said the multiple members of Buckeye Standup who will open for Bratton, performing short sets of their best material, are “hilarious in his her or own way.”
In general, Lacey said he enjoys stand-up because of the personal nature of the medium.
“Stand-up is special because, in my opinion, it’s the most intimate genre of comedic performance,” he said. “There’s no barrier between the performer and audience, which makes it more of a conversation. In stand-up comedy, the performer is also granted a huge breadth of artistic freedom, which leads to jokes about a wide variety of personal and cultural topics.”
Bratton said performing for college audiences is especially enjoyable because of their enthusiasm, which he attributed to a strong connection they feel to his television character.
“Some of these kids grew up with these characters, you know? And not only were they entertained, but all the characters on ‘The Office’ are like family to them,” he said. “So when they see me [on stage], I’m just this family member — I’m old, crazy Creed. But they’ll be surprised when I’m doing my songs and discuss things that I am not that guy.”
Formed in 2012, the Buckeye Standup Comedy Club started its spring feature show in 2016 with the goal of entertaining a significant number of students on campus, Lacey said. The show’s audience has increased in size each year. With Bratton performing, Lacey expects this year’s show to see its biggest turnout yet.
The Big Spring Show will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Independence Hall, Room 100. Admission is free with a BuckID.