Best Local Girl Made Good

Ellie Kemper

Say what you will about the direction The Office took last season, but the show did itself a big favor by casting comedian Ellie Kemper. She joined a cast full of St. Louisans as the impossibly optimistic and sweet orphan Erin Hannon and handily turned a four-episode guest spot into a full-time gig. Kemper's turn as Dunder Mifflin's new secretary is a different take on the naiveté she played in her breakout Internet performance as "Blowjob Girl." In an office wracked with anxiety over mergers and dropping stock prices, Erin's blind hope is good for the workplace. Hell, with the economy still down, she's good for America. And people are noticing: The Burroughs grad will soon bring her charm to the big screen in Bridesmaids, an upcoming Judd Apatow film.

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