Randall Park Completely Forgot About His Bit Part On The Office

Randall Park has a knack for perfectly delivering even the smallest throwaway gag. Sure, he was funny on "Fresh Off the Boat," but his obsession with card tricks as the MCU's Jimmy Woo is hilarious, memorable, and endearing all at the same time. But let's not be like Park and forget his most meme-worthy role: a brief stint as Steve, or "Asian Jim," in "The Office."

In the final season of "The Office," Park made a brief but momentous appearance by aiding in one of Jim Halpert's many infamous pranks on Dwight Schrute. Steve was to stand in for Jim (John Krasinski), perfectly mimicking his daily routine. As was usually the case with Jim's pranks, the goal was to annoy Dwight (Rainn Wilson) — in this case, by insisting that Steve was the real Jim all along. The schtick was short but hilarious, especially as Dwight continually attempts to expose Steve as a fraud, only for it to become clear that Jim coached him well. But even though the joke has been seared into thousands of viewers' brains, it evidently wasn't memorable enough for Park himself to remember being part of it

Without context, fans became alarming

While it's usually flattering for a celebrity to be recognized by a (respectful) fan, Park felt far from flattered when "The Office" fans tried to get his attention. In an interview with Conan O'Brien in 2020, the actor revealed that his involvement on the show was so brief that he completely forgot about it, which led to tensions when fans began to address him as "Asian Jim" out in public. Park explained:

"I was in and out [of filming] in an hour, and I thought that was really fun, and then I just kind of completely forgot about it. And then several years later, I'm walking down the street, and this car drives by and a guy yells "Asian Jim" and drives off. And I'm thinking, "Is this some racist thing that I don't know about?" ... I thought it was a hate crime because I had forgotten about my appearance on "The Office." You know, people [would] be walking up to me like, "What's up, Asian Jim?" and I'd be like "f*** you.""

Given how many roles that the actor has played, it's no surprise that Park has forgotten about some of his smaller parts. At the same time though, being recognized for such a memorable role is almost inevitable, especially since Park wouldn't star in major projects like "The Interview" or "Fresh Off the Boat" until later on).

From forgettable to social media trend

To be fair, a lot of Park's confusion also probably came from the fact that his character in "The Office" has been dubbed "Asian Jim," even though his name is explicitly stated as Steve. Admittedly, Steve's name is only briefly used once (and during a talking head with Pam, rather than in the midst of the action), so it's understandable that fans would forget it. Plus, "Asian Jim" is a relatively fitting description of the character — even Park used the name to refer to his character while talking with O'Brien. At the same time, calling an Asian-American man "Asian Jim" with no context would obviously be thoroughly confusing, whereas calling him "Steve" might be confusing at worst.

Luckily, Park had definitely caught on to the character that fans are referencing, even acknowledging that viewers have made fan-edits of clips from "The Office" that feature Steve. The videos are then posted to social media, frequently with the #JimmyWoo hashtag — a space that fan edits of Park's various on-screen roles have been dominating. With so much fan attention, it's unlikely that the actor will be forgetting about most of his on-screen roles anytime soon.