Before becoming the hilarious “World’s Best Boss” on NBC’s The OfficeSteve Carell ‘84 was a DJ, hockey goalie, History major, and theater minor at Denison. Carell recently stopped by SmartLessa podcast hosted by Jason Bateman (Ozark, Arrested Development)Will Arnett (Bojack Horseman, Arrested Development)and Sean Hayes (Will & Grace) that features a new celebrity guest each week and recounted some memories from his time at Denison. Steve Carell is a household name, known most for playing the loveable yet laughable Michael Scott on NBC’s The Office or voicing the nefarious Gru in the Despicable Me series, but he was first a Denison student. Carell reflected about being a DJ for Denison’s student radio station, The Doobie, on the podcast. Carell recalled having the 5-7am shift during his first year as a student intern on the Doobie and even picking up a DJ nickname for himself: “Sapphire Steve”. When asked how he acquired such a name, he said, “I was interning under this guy who called himself Diamond Doug” and that the joke simply evolved from there. Even during his college days, Carell was always looking to make the people around him laugh, whether he was on stage with his fellow members of the Burpee’s Seedy Theatrical Company or just picking up his shift on The Doobie. When asked by SmartLess what different genres of music he played during his time as “Sapphire Steve”, the Doobie DJ, Carell replied, “mostly ‘Stairway to Heaven’” and was met with instant bouts of laughter from the podcast’s hosts.

Abby Jump ‘25, a DJ and member of the executive board of The Doobie shared that, “[DJs] have to do ID’s every hour we’re on the air” and that “you can sometimes play ones that have been saved to the board”. She said, “there’s a little recording of him being like, “Hey, this is Steve Carell and you’re listening to the Doobie” that he recorded during his visit for the 40th anniversary Burpee’s improv show.

When Carell wasn’t in the Doobie office, he could be found on the ice, in the classroom, or in the theater working on a production. Believe it or not, Michael Scott’s remarkable ice skating skills in The Office’s episode Threat Level Midnight weren’t staged. Steve Carell stated on the podcast that he was a goalie for the Big Red hockey team throughout his four years at Denison. He and Will Arnett bonded over their mutual love for hockey, and remarked about how much the game has changed over the years. Carell told SmartLess that because of Denison’s small size, he was able to “dabble in everything”, allowing him to be a History major, theater minor, DJ for the Doobie, and DU men’s hockey team goalie all at once. Carell told the story of how as a theater minor, he directed a melodrama and cast the DU men’s hockey team as the characters, many of whom had no previous experience on stage. He said the experience was, “one of the funniest things” as he looked back on his fond memories he made at Denison.

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