Gareth Keenan

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Gareth Keenan

Name Gareth Keenan
Job Assistant to the Regional Manager, Wernham Hogg
First Episode Series 1, Episode 1
Last Episode Christmas Special, Part 2
Episode count 14
Portrayed by Mackenzie Crook

Gareth Keenan is a fictional paper salesman on the BBC sitcom The Office. He is portrayed in the series by Mackenzie Crook as a gaunt, self-important 'team leader' proud of his lieutenant status in the Territorial Army who spends his days annoying Wernam-Hogg coworkers 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.

Keenan flaunts his 'team leader' status; despite deskmate Tim Canterbury pointing out that it's a meaningless job title entailing more responsibility for the same pay, he takes it very seriously. However, 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. Canterbury plays endless pranks on Keenan such as hiding his computer, putting his stapler in jelly and playing on Keenan's naivety by encouraging him to discuss warfare with metaphors that could be misinterpreted as being homosexual in nature.

Wherever possible, Keenan 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 looks physically weak. Keenan enjoys kung-fu movies and he drives a Triumph TR3 which he bought for £1,200 and restored. The vehicle is now believed (by Gareth) to be worth in the region of £3,000.

Following Brent's departure, Keenan is made regional manager of the branch, although he still seems to command little respect - Canterbury's latest prank is to lock his boss in his office, requiring a desperate phone call to the receptionist's desk for Keenan to secure his release. This is one of many pranks reprised in the American version of The Office and played on Keenan's counterpart, Dwight Schrute.

On the social side, Keenan enjoys some success with women, often in the local nightclub 'Chasers', although his attempts to woo women with whom he works are rarely successful. He has several close friends, '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 Ogmonster' (a very tall figure with astigmatism played by The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant) and 'Fish Fingers'. Keenan refers to his friends as his 'crew', a possible suggestion that they too were in the Territorial Army.

Memorable quotes

  • Gareth: "Tim's put my stapler in jelly again!"
    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?"
  • "If people were rude to me, I used to give them their milk last so it was warm." - cited to Canterbury 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 explaining why homosexuals should not be allowed in the army
  • 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.
Series 1 Episodes:
Downsize | Work Experience | The Quiz | Training | New Girl | Judgement
Series 2 Episodes:
Merger | Appraisals | Party | Motivation | Charity | Interview
Christmas: Part 1 | Part 2 | "The Office Values" and "Realising Potential"
Main Characters:
David Brent | Tim Canterbury | Gareth Keenan | Dawn Tinsley
Secondary Characters:
Anne | Keith Bishop | Donna | Chris Finch | Neil Godwin | Ricky Howard |
Lee | Malcolm | "Oggy" | Rachel | Karen Roper |
Jennifer Taylor-Clarke
Minor Characters:
Alex | Ben | Book of Native American Wisdom | Brenda | Carol | Fish Fingers | Stuart Foot |
Glynn | Gobbler | Jamie | Jeff | Jimmy the Perv | Joan | Oliver | Rowan | Sanj | Simon | Sheila |
Paul Shepherd | Tony | Trudy