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Way Back When: Rashida Jones

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Rashida Jones ran away with our hearts as Karen, Jim’s love interest on ‘The Office,’ and she’s been holding our hearts hostage ever since with roles in ‘I Love You, Man,’ and ‘Parks and Recreation.’ But before that, she’d been a fixture on television in one form or another for years. In today’s Way Back When, we take a look at some of Jones’ lesser-known roles.

Gap Commercials

Remember when Gap used to have those commercials where people stood in white backgrounds, wearing conservative outfits and unemotionally singing the lyrics to old pop songs? Oh man, that was a time. Rashida Jones was featured in two of those commercials, both below — one featuring a Madonna tune (catch her at the :17 mark) and the other featuring the classic hippie tune “Mellow Yellow” (she’s at :25). The first commercial puts everyone in dorky, puffy vests and ends with “everybody in vests,” like it’s some bold declaration passed down from a khaki-wearing dictator. The second one is selling… We have no idea. Blue button-up shirts? The Gap is a scary cult. Let’s never go there again.

‘Freaks and Geeks’

In 2000, Jones played Karen Scarfolli on Paul Feig’s sadly short-lived series ‘Freaks and Geeks.’ Karen is a friend of Kim Kelly (Busy Phillips), and her boyfriend just dumped her, so she’s having a really, really bad day and taking it out on everyone, including — and especially — the adorably dorky Sam, who tragically mistakes Karen’s locker for his own in this clip from the episode “Kim Kelly is My Friend.” It is seriously such a shame that this show was cancelled, and doubly sad because we never got another Karen appearance after this. She can rock a Journey shirt like no one’s business.

‘Now You Know’

Jeff Anderson, who you might recognize as Randal from Kevin Smith’s ‘Clerks’ films, made his directorial debut with the film ‘Now You Know,’ starring Rashida Jones and Jeremy Sisto as a couple who break off their engagement on the eve of the bachelor party and then try to sort things out with their seemingly unhelpful friends. You can view the pretty raunchy trailer for the film below, and maybe you’ll understand why you’ve never heard of it.

‘Chappelle’s Show’

Jones appeared on a couple of sketches from the short-lived ‘Chappelle’s Show,’ the brainchild of comedian Dave Chappelle. In “Love Contract,” Chappelle illustrates a new legal service for those about to engage in casual sex inspired by men like basketball star Kobe Bryant (who gets a hilarious shout-out) getting sued by women after casual hook-ups. In this sketch, Chappelle tries to get Jones to come to an agreement and sign a contract before they engage in sex:

‘Little Black Book’

The 2004 rom-com ‘Little Black Book’ starred Jones as Brittany Murphy’s gynecologist — only Murphy doesn’t know she’s made a gynecologist appointment. She thinks she’s going to the podiatrist for warts on her feet. Let’s pause for a moment and relish in this plot point — we’re to believe that this competent woman is dumb enough to not know she’s at the gyno’s office instead of the foot doctor? How do you not notice all the reproductive wall art in a place like that? Anyway, enjoy watching Rashida Jones take off Brittany Murphy’s underwear, and sorry, no one gets naked.

NEXT: Emma Stone Before She Was Famous

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