John Krasinski's 8 Best Episodes of The Office

NBCUniversal Media, LLC
NBCUniversal Media, LLC

John Krasinski can jump around in action movies all he wants, but everyone will always see him as lovable goofball Jim Halpert from The Office first, and everything else second. After nine seasons of playing the guy who gave the camera furtive looks, Krasinski made sure that Jim Halpert would be an enduring part of his legacy.

While we probably wouldn't appreciate Jim as much if he was our actual co-worker, he left enough genuinely perfect moments of comedy and drama to be one of the most memorable characters on the show. Here are the best of those moments.

1. "PILOT"

First impressions are everything, and Jim introduced himself to audiences in the best way possible. After American audiences quickly realized that Michael was an incompetent man-child and Dwight was a sycophantic sociopath, they needed someone like Jim to knock them down a peg with a stapler in Jell-O. The first prank and the hint of his future relationship with Pam was all it took to make him the endearing hero of Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch.

2. "PRODUCT RECALL"

"Product Recall" showed just about all sides of Jim inside of 22 minutes. One of the show's funniest cold opens (where he perfectly impersonated Dwight for the low, low price of $11) showed off Krasinski's comedic side, while his car ride with Andy demonstrated his sarcastic, fed-up attitude with his co-workers ("Lord, beer me strength."), and his subsequent sympathy after Andy realized he has been dating a high school girl gives the audience a view of his caring nature.

3. "WEIGHT LOSS"

Jim has always been quick-witted, but usually puts some thought into his more ambitious endeavors. That's why it was such a surprise when he randomly proposed to Pam at a gas station in the rain while she was studying in New York. The way he handled her dreams in general was admirable, and this was simply a logical culmination of his support for her.

4. "TRAVELING SALESMAN"

While the episode primarily focused on the Andy-Angela-Dwight love triangle, "Traveling Salesmen" also proved Jim's effectiveness as both an employee and a teammate. His unorthodox sales call with Dwight made them both look like marketing geniuses, and the fact that they could work together at all showed that their perpetual rivalry was built on a bedrock of genuine mutual respect.

5. "OFFICE OLYMPICS"

For the first season or so of The Office, Jim didn't seem to have much going for him at Dunder Mifflin; he was your run-of-the-mill, bored office drone. But then he was given an opportunity to make his workspace a little brighter and he took it, formally organizing and running the Office Olympics. It was clear how much true joy he was getting from the project and how pleased he was to be able to help Michael with it in the end.

6. "CUSTOMER SURVEY"

"Customer Survey" lives and dies on the improvised, three-minute bit where Michael tries to coach Dwight through a fake sales call with ​Jim, who is casually manipulating them as "Bill Buttlicker." Not only did this display Jim's capability to understand others on a fundamental level, but it was one of the series' single funniest moments.

7. "NIAGARA"

Jim and Pam's wedding was one of the moments the show had been building toward from the very beginning. Their wedding, with the forced music number, secret elopement on the Maid of the Mist, and the adorable ruining of the clothes was all saccharine. But the moment Jim messed up and revealed Pam's pregnancy was a welcome reminder that he wasn't quite a perfect spouse.

8. "A.A.R.M."

What can be said. The video that Jim had made for Pam in the series's penultimate episode was as heartbreaking and touching as television can get, and him finally giving the Christmas card to her, a plot line that writers had been sitting on for the better part of seven seasons, was a moment of much-needed closure for the show.

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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Good Gnews: Remembering The Great Space Coaster

Tubby Baxter and Gary Gnu in The Great Space Coaster.
Tubby Baxter and Gary Gnu in The Great Space Coaster.
YouTube

Tubby Baxter. Gary Gnu. Goriddle Gorilla. Speed Reader. For people of a certain age, these names probably tug on distant memories of a television series that blended live-action, puppetry, and animation. It was The Great Space Coaster, and it aired daily in syndication from 1981 to 1986. Earning both a Daytime Emmy and a Peabody Award for excellence in children’s programming, The Great Space Coaster fell somewhere in between Sesame Street and The Muppet Show—a series for kids who wanted a little more edge to their puppet performances.

Unlike most classic kid’s shows, fans have had a hard time locating footage of The Great Space Coaster. Even after five seasons and 250 episodes, no collections are available on home video. So what happened?

Get On Board

The Great Space Coaster was created by Kermit Love, who worked closely with Jim Henson on Sesame Street and created Big Bird, and Jim Martin, a master puppeteer who also collaborated with Henson. Produced by Sunbow Productions and sponsored by the Kellogg Company and toy manufacturer Hasbro, The Great Space Coaster took the same approach as Sesame Street of being educational entertainment. In fact, many of the puppeteers and writers were veterans of Sesame Street or The Muppet Show. Producers met with educators to determine subjects and content that could result in a positive cognitive or personal development goal for the audience, which was intended to be children from ages 6 to 11. There would be music, comedy, and cartoons, but all of it would be working toward a lesson on everything from claustrophobia to the hazards of being a litterbug.

The premise involved three teens—Danny (Chris Gifford), Roy (Ray Stephens), and Francine (Emily Bindiger)—who hitch a ride on a space vehicle piloted by a clown named Tubby Baxter. The crew would head for an asteroid populated by a variety of characters like Goriddle Gorilla (Kevin Clash). Roy carried a monitor that played La Linea, an animated segment from Italian creator Osvaldo Cavandoli that featured a figure at odds with his animator. The kids—all of whom looked a fair bit older than their purported teens—also sang in segments with original or cover songs.

The most memorable segment might have been the newscast with Gary Gnu, a stuffy puppet broadcaster who delivered the day’s top stories with his catchphrase: “No gnews is good gnews!” Aside from Gnu, there was Speed Reader (Ken Myles), a super-fast sprinter and reader who reviewed the books he breezed through. Often, the show would also have guest stars, including Mark Hamill, boxer “Sugar” Ray Leonard, and Henry Winkler.

All of it had a slightly irreverent tone, with humor that was more biting than most other kid’s programming of the era. The circus that Tubby Baxter ran away from was run by a character named M.T. Promises. Gnu had subversive takes on his news stories. Other characters weren’t always as well-intentioned as the residents of Sesame Street.

Off We Go

The Great Space Coaster was popular among viewers and critics. In 1982, it won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children’s Programming—Graphic Design and a Peabody Award in 1983. But after the show ceased production in 1986, it failed to have a second life in reruns or on video. Only one VHS tape, The Great Space Coaster Supershow, was ever released in the 1980s. And while fan sites like TheGreatSpaceCoaster.TV surfaced, it was difficult to compile a complete library of the series.

In 2012, Tanslin Media, which had acquired the rights to the show, explained why. Owing to the musical interludes, re-licensing songs would be prohibitively expensive—potentially far more than the company would make selling the program. Worse, the original episodes, which were recorded on 1-inch or 2-inch reel tapes, were in the process of degrading.

That same year, Jim Martin mounted an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to try and raise funds to begin salvaging episodes and digitizing them for preservation. That work has continued over the years, with Tanslin releasing episodes and clips online that don’t require expensive licensing agreements and fans uploading episodes from their original VHS recordings to YouTube.

There’s been no further word on digitizing efforts for the complete series, though Tanslin has reported that a future home video release isn’t out of the question. If that materializes, it’s likely Gary Gnu will be first to deliver the news.