Lieberstein, who plays Human Resources Director Toby Flenderson on The Office, became an accidental actor as part of an experiment by Daniels, who felt that the writers on the show would do a better job writing for the cast if they themselves experienced what it is like to be an actor with bit guest parts on the show. Lieberstein appeared in the second episode in a stint that was never meant to go further. But when then-NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly saw dailies from the episode, “he thought I was funny and wanted more of me,” Lieberstein said. With so many inside and outside Dunder Mifflin interviewing for Michael Scott’s job in the season finale, why didn’t Toby make a play? He actually did. “He was in the finale but didn’t make air,” Lieberstein said.
After graduating from college with economics degree, Lieberstein did an ill-fated stint as an auditor while writing spec scripts on the side. He landed his first writing job in 1991 on the Nickelodeon sitcom Clarissa Explains It All starring Melissa Joan Hart. Several sitcom gigs later, in 1998 Lieberstein joined the Fox animated series King of the Hill, co-created by Daniels, who subsequently recruited him for The Office right after the pilot. The two knew each other; Lieberstein is Daniels’ brother-in-law. (He is also brother-in-law to his Office co-star Angela Kinsey). With Daniels, Lieberstein has won two best series Emmy Awards, a best comedy series for The Office and best animated program for King of the Hill, both shared with the shows’ other producers. He is with CAA, 3 Arts and attorney Ken Richman.
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