Mark Handler/Old Gold&Black
Mark Handler/Old Gold&Black

Wake Unsolved: The Carrell Conspiracy

On Friday, April 6, word quickly spread on campus that the ever-elusive Steve Carell, known by most for his infamous role of Michael Scott in The Office, would be touring Wake Forest with his daughter. As the day turned into night, some swore they saw him, while others outright refuted his presence. Almost a week out from his postulated visit, it is time to review the evidence: Was there truly a Steve Carell sighting on our campus?

Although the rumors of his plans to appear spread like wildfire, the origin is ultimately one of mystery. Who exposed his possible aim to discreetly discover the forest? Which tour guide’s sleuthing resulted in knowing he would visit in the afternoon? Sadly, it seems this question will always be lost to the unknown, answers only to be found deep within classified undergraduate admissions databases. Despite beginning with these questions, the evidence becomes much more compelling for his existence as the story progresses.

As expected, students began probing the campus with keen eyes. Friend groups divided up, eyeing crowds of high schoolers and their parents from the safety of picnic tables or, if dedicated enough, bushes. Beginning around 12 p.m., student’s sightings began flooding into social media and group chats.

“I was sitting in my HES class and I got a message from my friends who said that they saw him in the Pit,” one believer said. “I am honestly so jealous, I’m a bigger fan of The Office than they are. I totally would have had the guts to snap a picture too.”

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Other students swore they saw him hidden within a tour group in front of South Residence Hall, riding in a golf car near Johnson Residence Hall and even getting an exclusive look at the Business School. While possible glimpses and rational theories were adding up, his mythical status became more and more plausible. However, without photo evidence, can we really believe that he stepped foot onto our campus?

With all urban legends, the school quickly became split between these convinced believers and avid deniers. Specifically, those in positions of power quickly quashed the possibility of his visit. Almost as if they had something to hide, tour guides made fun of their friends for thinking Steve Carell would “actually” be here or made an official statement in their groupme chats that, “sadly,” it was all just rumors.

Clearly, the lore of Steve Carell shook the Wake Forest campus to its core. Ignited by the possibility of him showing his face, obsessives and fanatics will stand by the fact that they spotted him from a window on the fifth floor of Benson. Equally, the executive board of prospective student tours will continue, almost too casually, reminding classmates that “he never even planned on coming.” Ultimately, the Carell conspiracy will live in infamy on this campus … at least until the end of next week.

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