Creed Bratton was almost written off The Office during show's second season
Imagine a world in which we were deprived of Creed dressing up as Joker or creedthoughts.gov. During the latest Office Ladies podcast, the character’s namesake — actor Creed Bratton — spilled to Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey that his character was almost axed from The Office during the season 2 episode “Halloween.”
“At the time, they told us, ‘One of you guys [Creed or Devon] have to go. We’re going to shoot you both and we’re going to see how it works out,'” Bratton recalls around the 9:45 mark. “I remember being a little nervous.”
The episode was written by executive producer Greg Daniels. The running plotline was that Michael (Steve Carell) had to fire someone on the staff by the end of October due to cutbacks. In typical Michael fashion, he waits until the last day to do something about it. Fischer says on the podcast that she spoke to Daniels about the episode. He said he wanted an episode to show a viewpoint of the work environment people rarely see: the boss having to deal with the fact that he has to let someone go.
“He was going to have to fire someone on the show,” Fischer says around the 8:30 mark. He couldn’t fire a series regular because of their contracts, and he wanted to avoid firing a recurring character like Angela. Greg Daniels had two options: background characters Creed or Devon.
Devon was played by Devon Abner, who in the episode in question was the one dressed as a hobo. Toward the end of the episode, Creed was the first to go into Michael’s office to get fired, but he convinces Michael that Devon is the worse worker. Devon is devasted by the news and invites everybody except for Michael, Creed, Dwight, and Angela to go with him to Poor Richard’s, the local bar. If you’ll recall, this is also when Devon smashes a pumpkin over Michael’s windshield.
Abner was not seen on the show again until he made an appearance in the series finale. He would go on to make guest appearances on shows like The League and American Crime Story.
Creed became a staple of absurdist comic relief throughout the show’s run. He is one of the several cast members that would serve as acting regional manager of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch.