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Rumors that Steve Carell was touring UW-Madison blew up campus social media Monday
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Rumors that Steve Carell was touring UW-Madison blew up campus social media Monday

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Rumors on social media that Steve Carell was touring UW-Madison set the campus abuzz Monday afternoon, with some students reporting sightings and others searching the school grounds for the comedian.

One Twitter user tweeted a video that purported to show Carell, sporting a beard and wearing a ballcap and sunglasses, walking outside Strada at the Memorial Union. We couldn't confirm the video one way or the other, so you be the judge:

Another Badger Twitterazzi tweeted a photo allegedly showing Carell, but from far enough away to again make it impossible to confirm:

A comedian, actor, writer and director, Carell is best known for his portrayal of the incompetent-yet-loveable boss Michael Scott on the American version of "The Office" on NBC, which he starred in from 2005 to 2013 (when most UW freshmen were 13 years old), as well as feature films including "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," "Little Miss Sunshine," "Crazy, Stupid, Love" and the "Despicable Me" franchise.

The rumors set off a flurry of speculation about the reason for Carell's presence, the obligatory jokes and memes, as well as pleas for information about where fans could find him.

Real information was difficult to find amid all the speculation — the posts were split over whether Carell was visiting with a daughter or son, for example — but in the end the truth came out: The rumors were true. He was in Madison, as evidenced by real-looking photos of a real-looking Steve Carell:

The reason for the visit is open to speculation and is ultimately his business to share or not. But we will note that he and his wife, actress and writer Nancy Carell, have two children, the oldest of whom — his daughter — will soon turn 17.

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Nick Heynen was the online editor for the Wisconsin State Journal and managed the newspaper's social media accounts until 2018. A Maryland native transplanted to Wisconsin, he joined the paper in 2007 as data reporter.

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