The Office’s Mike Schur Is Regrowing His Mose Schrute Neckbeard for Charity

The Office writer-producer Mike Schur, who also played beet farmer Dwight's (Rainn Wilson) cousin Moses 'Mose' Schrute on the fan-favorite NBC comedy, is growing out Mose's neckbeard to fundraise for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank during the coronavirus pandemic. The effort, which has already exceeded its original $150,000 goal with more than $173,000 raised since March 19, was organized by Schur, who is participating in his own "ritualized humiliation" by agreeing to perform certain tasks for every milestone reached: in addition to growing out his "nightmare" beard, Schur will eat a fruit pie — which he hates — while wearing the jersey of a rival baseball team.

"It's one of my favorite charities, I give them money every year, and then demand obviously soared through the roof," Schur explained to CNN. "So I had first said I'll match up to $50,000, and then about 30 seconds after I posted the fundraiser, we had like $10,000. And I sort of in an excited fit of optimism said, 'If get to $50,000 by tonight, I'll shave my head.' It's important to note how little I thought that through. It was a completely impulsive thing."

But when Schur's friends and Twitter followers got excited by the idea, the fundraiser hit Schur's first $50,000 goal in an hour.

The Office Mose Schrute Mike Schur
(Photo: NBC)

"Then it became, 'Well, if my ritualized humiliation raises more money for charity, who am I to judge?' So I just started growing out things that I thought would be humiliating and would help raise money," Schur said. "For example, I'm a Red Sox fan, and I said if we get to [$100,00] I'll wear a Derek Jeter jersey, which is my personal nightmare. And then I also hate fruit pie and I said I'll eat a fruit pie, and I just kept going, and it got up to $150,000 or something like that. So it was wonderful."

The final step was bringing back a piece of "ghoulish beet-farming weirdo" Mose, who appeared in all but two of the show's nine seasons.

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"A bunch of people wrote in and said, 'Instead of shaving your head, would you consider regrowing the Mose beard?' So again, not thinking any of this through, I put up that as a poll, 'Would you rather I shave my head or grow the neckbeard?' The neckbeard won, so now I'm five weeks into this nightmare," Schur said with a laugh. "Part of the reason I played Mose on the show because this is my natural beard growth, it's weird and ghoulish. Eventually when I actually make the video wearing the Derek Jeter jersey, eating a fruit pie, which I hate, I will shave the mustache and just have that. That's where we're headed."

Schur, who co-created Parks and Recreation, co-wrote the remotely filmed Parks and Recreation Reunion Special that aired on NBC Thursday, raising $3 million for Feeding America. All episodes of The Office are currently streaming on Netflix.

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