John Krasinski, best known for playing Jim Halpert on NBC’s The Office, is back behind a desk and talking into a camera — this time, in a video on his new YouTube channel dedicated to sharing good news.
The show is exactly what it sounds like: Krasinski will talk about a few heartwarming, good stories that people might be looking for right now while stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are stories about the support cities around the world have shown health care workers from their own apartments, clapping and cheering out their windows. There are stories about a homeowner making a delivery driver’s day by leaving gifts on the porch. There are even stories about a man who purchased 100 lobsters in Maine to help a local fisherman. It’s an adorable video, made all the cuter by Krasinski’s sincerity.
“I’m John Krasinski, and if it isn’t clear yet, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing,” he says.
But since this is John Krasinski, there are a few guest appearances that make it a little more than a regular vlog. Krasinski is joined halfway in by Steve Carell, who played opposite him in The Office. The show just celebrated its 15-year-anniversary, and the two spoke a little about being on the series together, the lasting success it’s had, and their favorite scenes.
Then, toward the end of the video, Krasinski talks to a teenager who went viral over the weekend. Courtney “Coco” Johnson returned home from her last chemotherapy treatment last week and was surprised by a group of her friends welcoming her back — from a safe social distance.
“I wrote to your mom and told her that I cried for a very long time after watching that, just pure joy,” Krasinski tells her. “You guys rock for sharing that with the rest of the world.”
Krasinski isn’t the first celebrity to turn to YouTube during the pandemic, but he is one of the first to do so just for fun. Late-night comedians like Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert have uploaded daily “mini” versions of their shows from home. Like the late-night hosts, Krasinski’s tech setup isn’t superb by any stretch of the imagination. The artwork is drawn by his daughters, there’s no microphone for Krasinski to speak into, and it kind of looks like he’s filming with a low-grade webcam.
“I’m John Krasinski, and if it isn’t clear yet, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.”
That only adds to the appeal of the video. This isn’t a big production designed to garner millions of subscribers and land top sponsorships. Although, at the time of this writing, Krasinski’s channel has more than 335,000 subscribers. His video also landed at the top of YouTube’s Trending page and amassed more than 3.1 million views.
Krasinski is vlogging because that’s a way for him to connect with people. Like Meyers, Fallon, Kimmel, and Colbert, creating maintains a sense of normalcy for otherwise extremely busy people, and uploading helps distract people who are stuck at home from what’s happening. In many ways, Krasinski is the quintessential YouTuber: someone with the time, audience, and desire to make videos, directly from his home and without a big production team.
It’s unclear how often Krasinski will vlog, but he ends the first episode teasing that new episodes will be uploaded to the channel. The only thing missing is a sign-off from The Office actor asking people to like and subscribe.