Tom Wopat in: The Office

as: Outside Sales Rep Gerhardt Brown

Though its later seasons saw a noticeable decline in quality, at its peak, The Office was among the best shows on television. (And could everyone stop with the “British version was better” BS-crap already?) The stellar core cast was the key to the show’s success, but some of the smaller, only-periodically-recurring characters did a lot for the show, as well. David Koechner’s boorish Todd Packer and Michael Schur’s Mose Schrute were among the most memorable of these minor characters, delivering memorable performances in the space of just a handful of appearances spread out over The Office’s nine seasons.

The show also hand a propensity for putting big guest stars in small, one-off parts. Will Ferrell, Idris Elba, Jim Carrey, and Warren Buffet all made cameo appearances on The Office. Who better to play a memorable minor character in three to seven episodes than the one and only Tom Wopat?

Plot Outline: Gary’s 3rd Appearance on the Show

Like Todd Packer, Wopat’s Gerhardt “Gary” Brown would be an outside sales rep with Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Unlike Packer, he wouldn’t be a sexist, racist, alcoholic a-hole. Instead, he’d be a total charmer, with good looks and a winning smile that makes him extremely successful in his career. Men, women, children, animals, the elderly—everyone loves Gary Brown! He’s one of those guys that could, as they say, sell ice to a polar bear.

In his previous appearances, Gary has proven to be much “cooler” than branch manager Michael Scott (Steve Carrell), as well as much more popular with Michael’s coworkers. Unsurprisingly, Michael is not a big fan of Gary. He even attempts to discredit his excellent salesmanship skills, saying that it’s easy to sell paper because everyone needs paper.

the office

Sensing an opportunity for a never-before-attempted office prank, Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) good-naturedly challenges Gary to try to sell Michael something he doesn’t need. Gary ups the stakes by suggesting it also be something completely impractical, something that Michael could never possibly use in normal circumstances.

It doesn’t take long before Gary has convinced Michael to purchase a modular office, despite the fact that the show is called The Office and the Dunder Mifflin crew works in a perfectly good office building, in which Michael has his own office. Determined to not look a fool, and to show that’s he’s in on the joke—which he 100 percent is not—Michael plants the modular office in the building’s parking lot and sets up shop there for a week.

At the end of the episode, after Michael’s week of self-imposed exile, Jim notes that it’s the most productive week the Scranton branch has ever had.

Photo credit: Kumar Appaiah via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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