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Photo: ‘Some Good News’/YouTube
Beloved The Office actor John Krasinski revived his YouTube show ‘Some Good News’ from its seven-month hiatus to spread Christmas cheer and to bring a little more joy into the end of 2020. The feel-good series returned with a special holiday episode this past Sunday night, highlighting the generosity and heartwarming stories of people all across the country.
“It’s that time of the year again when your heart feels a little warmer, and your gestures get a little bigger,” Krasinski said. “And everywhere you look, good news is all around you.”
Related article: Why did John Krasinski’s ‘Some Good News’ Succeed?
Some Good News Returns During a Tough Time
He went on to spotlight several stories of selfless acts of kindness, including a hospital who threw a COVID-safe wedding party for a girl undergoing cancer treatment, a man in Florida who helped local residents pay off their electric bills, and the customer who sparked the two-and-a-half-day chain at a Dairy Queen of over 900 people paying for the meals of those in the cars behind them. He also acknowledged the heroes who are frontline health workers, playing video clips of them dancing after receiving the vaccine.
Justin Timberlake and George Clooney additionally made brief yet comical cameos, with Clooney filling Brad Pitt’s prior role in the show’s recurring “weatherman” bit. “It’s good,” the actor reported of the weather from his backyard. “It looks pretty good.”
The biggest feel-good moment of the episode, however, was when Krasinski introduced Jay Abel, a widowed father from California.
“I think your story is my favorite story this holiday season. It’s like super-dad stuff,” he told the single dad of two, who had listed all of his special “nerdy” collector’s items on eBay, including comic books and other memorabilia, in order to be able to afford to buy Christmas gifts for his children.
Abel’s moving response certainly highlighted why he was featured on the show. “I’m just trying to be what I expect of a father. I’m not doing nothing special,” he told Krasinski. “I’m a collector, they’re my favorite stuff — but my children are more important than me.”
Krasinski told him that he himself had attempted to purchase all of the items listed, but was accused of being a catfish or spam account and was unable to complete the purchases. But luckily, the actor had a better solution to the dilemma that he and his guest were able to laugh about.
The Generosity of “Dwanta Claus”
Dressed in a Santa suit and wearing a hat that read “Dwanta,” Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson entered their video call, introducing himself as “Dwanta Claus.”
“I want you to take all of your stuff off of eBay because Dwanta Claus is going to take care of all of that stuff, man,” he said, before promising to buy all the items on Jay’s kids’ Christmas lists, such as the new Xbox Series X for his 11-year-old son and special dolls for his 8-year-old daughter.
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Abel had originally asked Dwayne Johnson to retweet the link to his eBay listings, and Johnson said that when he saw the tweet, he was moved and inspired to do something more. In collaboration with SGN’s host, he made this holiday season one that the single father would not forget, as he also invited the family to visit the D.C. Universe set in Los Angeles when it becomes safe to travel. He additionally gifted the avid comic book lover with the promise of his working script for the comic book movie Black Adam which he is currently filming, saying that it would be signed and leather-bound for him. This response was more than Abel could have ever imagined, as he was visibly overwhelmed by the generosity of the former pro-wrestler.
“Jay, you deserve it all, man,” Johnson said. “Your story is an inspiration, not only to myself, to Dwanta Claus, but certainly to John, certainly to everybody who hears your story. You inspire so many people because the truth is, you represent so many parents around the world who are going through this struggle this Christmas.”
Johnson then excitedly announced that through a partnership with FedEx, $5 million would be donated to the charity Toys for Tots for their holiday toy drive that gives presents to the children of families in need. The charity has run its annual toy drive for over 70 years and will continue with the immensely generous donation by FedEx.
“You are what the holidays are all about,” Krasinski said to Abel while emphasizing that his story was behind the inspiration for the donation. Johnson echoed his sentiments. “You embody the spirit … the true measure of a man, the true measure of a human being, truly is always what’s deep down in their heart and in their motto. And you my friend, are the measured stick and the guidelines. You inspire us.”
The Origin of ‘Some Good News’
After taking to Twitter to ask his fans and followers to send him “stories that have made you feel good this week or the things that just made you smile,” the outpouring of responses he received inspired him to start his YouTube show.
The series quickly became immensely popular, racking up millions of views on each episode, likely due to its kick-off with Krasinski’s former co-star Steve Carrell as the first guest on the show, but it continued to gain popularity through more celebrity features and it’s mood-boosting spirit, with its premise embodying the discussion of good news and good news only. He later featured the rest of the cast of The Office in a virtual reunion episode, as well as a Zoom call with the original cast of Hamilton, a virtual prom featuring Billie Eilish, the Jonas Brothers, and Chance the Rapper, a virtual potluck with Martha Stewart and Guy Fieri, and a graduation episode with Oprah, Steven Speilberg, Jon Stewart, and Malala. While viewers were undoubtedly excited about the celebrity appearances, and especially the reunions, many acknowledged that the most significant guests were the frontline workers and that Krasinski featured on the show, as he gave them another platform on which they were recognized and appreciated.
While the show’s concept has now been sold to ViacomCBS (in a somewhat controversially lucrative bidding war), due to Krasinski being unable to maintain the show himself because of prior commitments, it was a nice surprise to have the original creator and host bring back his acclaimed and heartwarming series for the holiday season and to ring in what he hopes will be a “much, much happier new year.”
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Christine Feeley is a writer for Hollywood Insider and as a fan of all things film and television, she is very passionate about gender equality within the entertainment industry as well as how it can be used to promote social change. She hopes to bring an enriched perspective to the world of entertainment through her alignment with Hollywood Insider’s mission to share meaningful and positive content with audiences.