In a sight that would make Michael Scott green with envy, Toby Flenderson finally got the love he deserved. Rather, the actor who fantastically brought him to life on The Office did. Paul Lieberstein received an ecstatic response from fans he encountered. See for yourself in the video a fan shared on Twitter below:
It is lovely to see fans take the time to appreciate Paul Lieberstein like this. He contributed heavily to making The Office what it was. As Toby, his looks into the camera and confessional interviews were always equal parts great and depressing.
Toby’s ability to hold Michael Scott accountable created a dynamic between them that was different than anyone else’s with the boss. As Dunder Mifflin’s HR rep, he was tasked with attempting to rein Michael in. Everyone else on The Office could respond to Michael in big ways, Toby was typically seen trying to keep it together.
The dynamic between Toby and Michael was crucial to the show. Michael’s antagonism against Paul Lieberstein’s character was uncharacteristic and hilarious. Just not to Toby himself.
It is impossible to forget Michael’s altered rendition of Supertramp’s “Goodbye Stranger,” which he changed to “Goodbye Toby.” All part of Toby’s going away episode. Of course, Toby’s legacy lives on, as does the theory that Toby was the Scranton Strangler all along. In fact, a YouTube video by The Office put together clips related to the theory.
Paul Lieberstein’s contribution on-screen as Toby is well-known. His terrific turn as the HR manager was not his sole contribution to the series, though. Lieberstein also wrote, directed, and executive produced episodes of The Office. He also served as showrunner for a time during its run. So, fans owe a lot to Lieberstein for making the magic happen.
It has been five years since the mockumentary-style sitcom went off the air. Wondering what Paul Lieberstein has been up to lately? Well, he executive produced the TV show Ghosted. The comedy ran for one season on Fox, and was cancelled earlier this year. The series starred Lieberstein’s Office co-star Craig Robinson.
Could its enduring legacy one day include it coming back to life someday via a revival or reboot? Never say never. If it were to happen, Paul Lieberstein’s Toby would be an essential force to have back. He played a crucial role in the chemistry of the cast, and it would not be the same without him.