Long long ago, in a far off land, long before The Soup and Community, there was a young man named Joel McHale who had a cameo on an episode of that gem from our childhoods, Bill Nye The Science Guy. Actually, it was Seattle in 1998, but that’s still pretty faraway and long ago, if you ask me.
Joel starred in a segment in Episode 93 called ‘Fluids’, which takes place in a courtroom. Actually, let me be more specific, because Bill Nye is awesome: it’s called “The People’s Quart” and it’s an education on the differences in behavior of fluids versus liquids. Joel plays a lawyer because of course he does, and since he never gives his name, I’m gonna assume this is the earliest known appearance of Jeff Winger, an assumption supported by the fact that Jeff loses this case and is found to have (probably) drunk his opponent’s hot chocolate while she was out of the room. As opposed to it rising out of the container by itself and floating around the room. Come on Jeff, are you trying to get disbarred? Let’s be reasonable.
Joel would’ve been…I think 27 in this video, but looks pretty much exactly like he does today, with that same gangling walk that comes from being a 6’4″ gangler. But the real lesson behind this video is the following: Bill Nye is cooler than you could ever hope to be, and he proved it by discovering Joel McHale before any of us could fall in love with him on The Soup during our tortured adolescence.