Clockwise from left: Craig Blankenhorn/HBO; Patrick McElhenney/FX; FX Network
You know him best as laconically badass Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens on Justified, or perhaps as even more laconic lawman Seth Bullock on Deadwood, but Olyphant has an underrated funny streak he’s brought to several comedies over the years. Bask in the killer timing and delivery wrapped in very attractive packaging.
Sex and the City (Season 1, Episode 4) Carrie’s one-episode squeeze Sam the Twentysomething seems perpetually stoned, has a tongue stud, and lives in an apartment that one could be forgiven for mistaking for a sty. But his fantastically vivid dreams make the trouble worthwhile: "Oh! You were in [my] dream! You were like this beautiful unicorn woman with big glass eyes!" Followed by a made-up-on-the-spot song about said unicorn woman.
The Office (Season 7, Episodes 5 and 6) Ace salesman and consummate cool guy Danny Cordray causes a slight disturbance at Dunder Mifflin, first by beating the combined efforts of Jim, Dwight, and Michael during a sales call, then by joining the company. See, four years ago, Danny went on a couple dates with Pam but then never called her back, and so Jim and Pam get super passive-aggressive with him about the whole thing. Hostile work environment!
Archer (Season 4, Episode 2) Lucas Troy is perhaps the frattiest name ever, and Olyphant’s super-bro delivery lives up to that promise. Archer discovers his long-presumed-dead friend is alive, after which Lucas lures Archer up to a remote cabin in Vermont, and it all ends with a declaration of love (sort of). Fun fact: Justified writer Chris Provenzano scripted this episode.
The League (Season 4, Episode 3) Sushi chef Wesley’s hands, according to his master in Japan, make poetry of fish. Not good enough for Kevin and Ruxin, who make a beeline for the exit when they see their sushi chef is a white dude from Omaha. In fairness to Ruxin and Kevin, Wesley-san does pronounce his Nebraskan hometown "Oh-mah-ha," which is 100 percent a leaveable offense.
The Mindy Project (Season 2, Episode 7) Olyphant gets to play to his California roots as a way-too-old sk8r boi who takes Mindy out to a sketchy burrito joint for a date. It’s as if his Sex and the City character grew out his hair but never actually got around to growing up.