MacGyver makes friends very fast
I haven't seen this show in a while, but I remember having the impression that people he would meet in a particular episode would consider him their greatest friend in no time at all basically. You'd think that kind of close bond would take a very long time to develop as opposed to the few hours or days that the episode took place over. That's why Mac was so great! You want evidence? Check out this scene from Season 3, episode 11:
Stranger: (approaching MacGyver) MACGYVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRR! Remember the good old days when I came up to you and said "MACGYVEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRR!?