the office spin-off

The Office star Leslie David Baker is coming out of retirement — kind of. Baker, who played the indolent salesperson Stanley Hudson for all nine seasons of the beloved NBC sitcom, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a The Office spin-off of sorts. The Kickstarter project, called Uncle Stan: Coming Out of Retirement, cleverly avoids any words like “The Office,” “Stanley,” or “owned by NBC” but is very clearly a continuation of Baker’s beloved The Office character.

Baker teased a project on Instagram with a video in which he appears to be playing Stanley Hudson.

“Well, self, this is some kind of mess, huh? Interrupting my retirement from sitting around woodworking and dancing old disco,” Baker opines in the video. At the end of The Office, Stanley had retired to Florida, but returned to Scranton for the premiere of the documentary and Dwight’s wedding in the 2013 series finale. In the story for Baker’s Kickstarter project, it seems Stanley had comfortably settled back into retirement only to be interrupted again by a business-minded nephew, Lucky, per the description for Uncle Stan: Coming Out of Retirement.

“After several years of enjoying a relatively uneventful retirement lifestyle, Uncle Stan receives an urgent call for help from his favorite nephew, Lucky: a recent widower with two small children and a motorcycle repair/flower shop in Los Angeles. Soon Uncle Stan finds himself dishing out all the support and guidance he has to offer in his new California home,” the announcement reads.

Now Baker never explicitly says that he’s playing Stanley Hudson in this Kickstarter, though all the elements, and Baker’s curmudgeonly performance, point to the character. The vagueness of it all suggests that this is an unofficial project done on Baker’s own time, as the character still is the intellectual property of NBCUniversal. Baker is raising $300,000 for the project, but it’s unclear if those funds are going toward a charity, toward developing a series, or just to creating a couple episodes to attract attention. Or perhaps this is Baker’s way of nudging creator Greg Daniels toward the long-talked about The Office reunion, for which buzz has become stronger in recent months.

Daniels had told  The Hollywood Reporter in April 2020, “If we were going to revisit it, I would want to do it. But I am doing these two shows now, so in the near term I’m definitely doing that. I think when all these rumors started flying around it was when they rebooted Will & Grace. I think people were assuming that an Office reboot would be pretty much like that, getting the entire cast back together and just continuing where we left off.”

The Kickstarter to fund the potential series launched on Thursday, July 2 at 12:00 P.M. PST.

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