The Good Place has a lot of mysteries. The one we are about to discuss is a very small one, but important nonetheless. On The Good Place, there is a portrait in Michael's (Ted Danson) office. It is sometimes heavily featured in the show, so much so that I noticed. A whole Reddit thread noticed, too. And the show addressed it, loosely, in the first episode.
"Every religion guessed about five percent [right], except for Doug Forcett," Michael tells Eleanor (Kristen Bell) in the first episode. He gestures to the portrait. Forcett, according to Michael, was a stoner whose guess about "the good place" was 92% right. He's famous in heaven because of an excellent weed-infused theory.
So, the character in the portrait is Doug Forcett. The person in the portrait is Noah Garfinkel, a writer and comedian who lives in Los Angeles. He also writes for New Girl, which debuts its final season tonight.
How did he end up in a portrait in The Good Place? Funny you ask. (Understandably, he did not respond to my request for comment. NBC did, though, just to confirm that Garfinkel is in the photo.) Garfinkel, whom you can peep below in his Good Place portrait, is a comedian who used to perform with Joe Mande, a producer of The Good Place. You may remember Joe Mande as the comedian who convinced a small portion of the internet that he was a spokesperson for La Croix. Mande and Garfinkel performed together at UCB in the show "Totally J/K." They also, most importantly, once appeared on The Pete Holmes Show, where they presented a "list of nothing."
An example of something nothing-y: Marky Market, a store that only sells Mark Wahlberg merchandise. Mande wrote and produced for Parks and Recreation and Master Of None. Garfinkel wrote for Kroll Show and New Girl, as well as Comedy Central's President Show. None of this really matters except that Mande, a nihilistic comedian, picked a photo of his good friend to feature on the show — heavily. Which can only mean one thing. Eventually, Garfinkel will show up on The Good Place. I mean, New Girl's over. What else is he going to do?