- Gareth Keenan
Infobox character | name = Gareth Keenan
first = "Pilot"
last = "Christmas Special Pt. 2"
gender = Male
age = Late 20s/Early 30s
occupation = Assistant "to the" Regional Manager
Ricky Gervaisand Stephen Merchant
Gareth Keenan is a fictional paper salesman on
BBC's comedy"The Office". He is portrayed in the series by Mackenzie Crookas a gaunt, self-important "team leader" proud of his lieutenantstatus in the Territorial Armywho spends his days annoying his co-workers at Wernham Hogg with his steadfast enforcement of the rules and sucking up to boss David Brent, whom he views as a mate, though Brent often acts otherwise and corrects Keenan when he omits the "to the" in his job title: "Assistant "to the" Regional Manager". Keenan is, essentially, a humourless and pompous jobsworth. His counterpart on the U.S. series is Dwight Schrute.
Gareth flaunts his "team leader" status; despite deskmate
Tim Canterburypointing out that it's a meaningless job title entailing more responsibility for the same pay, he takes it very seriously. His attempts to throw his inflated sense of authority around the office rarely work, and it is clear that no one pays any attention to him. Tim plays endless pranks on Gareth, such as hiding his computer, putting his stapler in jelly (a prank that has been reprised in several other versions of The Office, including the US version), gluing his phone so that the receiver cannot be picked up (and then phoning him up) and playing on Gareth's naïveté by encouraging him to discuss warfare with language which could be interpreted as being homosexual in nature (e.g. 'the enemy has discovered your camp', 'taking a man from behind' or 'could you give a man a lethal blow?' could be interpreted in different ways) as well as (in the Christmas special) distracting Gareth while stealing his keys and then locking him in his office. Gareth says "He's done it again!", showing that Tim does this practical joke repeatedly.
Gareth has mentioned in one of the early episodes that his compact disc collection includes
George Michael, Queen and the Pet Shop Boys(all mentioned to disprove accusations of homophobia, pointing out "they're all bummers"). His favourite band is Mike and the Mechanics.
Wherever possible, Gareth points out how his military skills might come in useful in an office environment, such as how to kill a man with a single blow. Despite his experience in the
Territorial Army, however, he exhibits a petty, selfish nature and seems to be physically weak. It's quite probable Gareth inherited his love for the military life from his father, who was also involved in the army some years ago. Keenan also enjoys kung-fu films and he drives a Triumph TR3which he bought for £1,200 and restored. The vehicle is now believed (by Gareth) to be worth around £3,000.
Despite the tough-going personality he displays, Gareth also appears to actually be very vulnerable and anxious. For example when David announces he'll have to be leaving Wernham Hogg, Gareth shortly afterwards enters his office and breaks down, beginning to cry. On his website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/theoffice/gareth/) he reveals that he has a big interest in reading horoscopes and is very close to his mother, as well as his frustration with the male colleagues of his who have repeatedly posed as flirtatious females in a string of spurious e-mails delivered to the ever gullible Gareth.
Evidently, Gareth admires Brent and is eager to follow his lead. However, in the two episodes comprising the Christmas special he expresses strong disapproval of his former boss's relaxed, jocular approach to management. Frequently comparing the mundane events that take place at Wernham Hogg with equivalent situations likely to occur on the battlefield, Gareth stresses the need for a shrewd, austere style of leadership. When impugning Brent's injection of comedy into the workplace he ridiculously attempts to justify his argument by suggesting that "in a battle situation" soldiers would more likely be inspired by an decisive, uncompromising leader than one who offered them jokes before their advance towards the enemy.
Following Brent's departure, Gareth is made regional manager of the branch, although he still seems to command little respect - Tim's latest prank is to lock his boss in his office, requiring a desperate phone call to the receptionist's desk to secure his release. This is one of many pranks reprised in the American version of "The Office" and played on Gareth's counterpart,
On the social side, Gareth enjoys some success with women, often in the local nightclub "Chasers", although his attempts to woo female co-workers are rarely, if ever, successful. Generally, he is disliked in most quarters, due largely to his childish and usually irritating behaviour, as well as his perennial egotism. He does however have several close friends, some of whom include "Jimmy the Perv" (who lives up to his name by repeatedly paying
Dawn Tinsley£1 for kisses for Comic Relief, with increasing lasciviousness each time), 'The Oggmonster' (a very tall figure with astigmatism, played by "The Office" co-creator Stephen Merchant) and unseen character known only by his moniker of "Fish Fingers".
At one time it was thought that there would be a special episode where Gareth, Brent and his other fellow coworkers would feature in the American series of "The Office" on a possible business trip. However, this seems to have been turned down due to either the unavailability of the cast members or perhaps that the writers are hesitant to produce another episode after such a long while since the series ended. Fact|date=April 2007
*"You know the phrase softly softly catchy monkey? …I could catch a monkey - if I was starving I could. I’d make poison darts out of the poison off deadly frogs. One milligram of that poison can kill a monkey. Or a man. Prick yourself, you’ll be dead within a day. Or longer. Different frogs, different times."
*Gareth: "(Tim) put my stapler in a jelly again! That's the third time he's done it; it wasn't even funny the first time."
David: "Why's he done that?"
Gareth: "I once told him I don't like jelly. I don't trust the way it moves."
*"Will there ever be a boy born that can swim faster than a shark?"
*"He threw a kettle over a pub. What have you done?"
*"Me and David are very different people. He used humour where I use discipline."
*"If people were rude to me, I used to give them their milk last so it was warm." - cited to Tim as proof by Keenan that people do respect the milk monitor at school
*"That's one of the major arguments against letting homosexuals into the army. Will they be looking at the enemy, or will they be looking at me, going 'Oooooh, he looks tasty in his uniform'?"
*Gareth: "Get his wife to help."
Tim: "He doesn't have a wife."
Gareth: "All farmers have wives."
Tim: "Not this one, he's gay."
Gareth: "Well, then he shouldn't be allowed near animals should he?" - over-complicating a problem-solving puzzle involving a farmer who has to get a fox, a chicken, and a bag of grain across a river.
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/theoffice/gareth/ Gareth Keenan's Homepage]
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