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NBC Insider Despicable Me

Steve Carell Reveals His Theory for Why The Office Is Still So Popular (EXCLUSIVE)

Michael Scott himself looks back on why folks still can't get enough of The Office.

By Stephanie Gomulka & Trent Moore

Steve Carell is busy enough fighting supervillains as Gru these days with Despicable Me 4 on the way,  but he’s never forgotten his iconic role in NBC’s beloved comedy The Office (now streaming on Peacock). With the show still as popular as ever, now more than a decade since it went off the air, Carell has opened up about why he thinks it continues to endure on streaming where new fans seem to clock in at Dunder Mifflin every day.

How to Watch

Watch every episode of The Office on Peacock.

NBC Insider chatted with Carell ahead of the release of Despicable Me 4, which brings back Carell’s Gru and all our favorite Minions on the big screen July 3, and asked him about The Office’s legacy and why the series is still as timely and resonant as when it first aired.

Despicable Me 4's Steve Carell on The Office's Enduring Popularity

Carell noted everyone seems to have a different take on The Office’s enduring popularity, but for him it comes down to the broad themes that make the show relatable for adults and kids alike.

RELATED: Everything to Know About the New Series Set in the Same Universe as The Office

“I think it’s funny how young people are when they first start watching The Office, which was always a surprise to me because I never thought it would be appealing to a younger audience. But I think part of it is that each of the characters is an archetype that can be translated to, like, people that they know in school, you know?,” Carell explained. “There's sort of the jock, there's kind of the cheerleader, the pretty one, there's the kind of the weirdo in the corner, but they're all people that you can identify with — whether you've ever worked in an office or whether you've just associated with these people in school.”

Steve Carell, wearing a black blazer and glasses, smiling and posing at an event.

Carell went on to say that, relatable as the characters may be, he still feels like it’s a “miraculous thing” just how much of a cultural touchstone the series has become since its 2005 premiere.

RELATED: Steve Carell Reveals Domhnall Gleeson Called Him to Ask About The Office: "He's Great"

“Those characters are somehow relatable to young and old,” he said. “And then you grow up and you pass your love of this show to your younger siblings and then they start to like it.”

With a new original series set within the same universe as The Office on the way to Peacock, Carell’s theory certainly seems to hold water. That new series will star Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars) and Sabrina Impacciatore (The White Lotus). Instead of a paper company, the show will be set at a dying historic Midwestern newspaper where the publisher turns to volunteer reporters to try and keep the doors open.

Rewatch The Office from the beginning on Peacock, and also check out the expanded SuperFan episodes that add in never-before-seen scenes and moments to every episode. Plus catch Carell on the big screen in Despicable Me 4, in theaters everywhere on July 3; get tickets now!