Creed Bratton, the actor who played a character named after himself on the American version of the legendary television show “The Office,” is coming to Vienna’s Jammin’ Java on Tuesday, April 26 for a night of comedy and music. He spoke to the News-Press the day after he performed in Scranton, Penn., where Dunder Mifflin, the fictional paper company where “The Office’ took place, is located.
As soon as Bratton, a former frontman for the 60s and 70s group The Grass Roots, got on the phone with the News-Press he began joking, asking how the ticket sales were going and how the dressing rooms at the venue were. That sort of light-hearted spirit was clearly embodied in Bratton’s character on “The Office,” who seemed to have absolute absurdity underpinning his existence, but he created the character out of a big what if in his life.
“I created a character who asked ‘What would happen if Creed, the rock n’ roller from The Grass Roots, had stayed drinking and doing drugs and hadn’t cleaned up his act and gotten healthy,’” Bratton said. “So I had a scenario where he has a blackout period and he’s on a Greyhound bus and next thing you know he’s in a dumpster in Scranton. And Ed Trucks finds him and gives him a job in sales.”
Bratton said that the show’s writers took the character “to far greater heights,” which allowed him to have a ton of fun on the set of the show. “I would just get into him and just go nuts,” Bratton said. “Talk about chewing up the scenery. I had pieces of ottoman stuck to the back of my molars. I would be crawling up and down the scenery.”
One of his fellow actors on the show, B.J. Novak, who also wrote on the show, said that Bratton’s character on the show is exactly like the real-life person is, except Bratton’s fictional alter ego has a much darker side to him.
Bratton’s worlds converged on the 2013 series finale of “The Office,” when “All the Faces,” an original tune written by him, was used as the final song on the show. He said that he tells the story of what it was like to have his song featured on the show’s finale at his show at Jammin’ Java. He said that the show is a mix of stories, songs and flashes of him getting into character as his fictional alter ego.
The same year that “The Office” ended, Bratton released a record called Tell Me About It, which was an audio biography in three parts, with recently written songs and songs he wrote decades prior to the record’s release. “A lot of it had to do with sitting in the green room. I’d come on set, they’d call us from our trailers to work and there would be writers who would be busy and we wouldn’t start up right away,” Bratton said.
“So I would just grab my guitar and go to the green room and just sit there and the [production assistant] would tell me when they were ready.” Bratton said that songs would also come to him while he was on set during scenes where he’d have to be present despite not having lines because of how the show was shot. He offered songs like “Then I Think Of You” and “Matters Like This,” which aren’t on Tell Me About It, as examples of tunes that came to him on the set of “The Office.”
And although he has been away from the office of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company for a while now, the muse hasn’t left him. He said that he recorded five songs earlier this year in Los Angeles that he plans to either release as an EP or roll into an LP, though he was leaning toward releasing it as an EP.
• For more information about Creed Bratton, visit creedbratton.com.