PARKS AND RECREATION at PaleyFest: Live-Blog - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

PARKS AND RECREATION at PaleyFest: Live-Blog

March 21, 2019 by  


PARKS AND RECREATION — “100th Episode Celebration” — Pictured: (l-r) Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Retta, Michael Schur, Adam Scott, Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari, Jim O’Heir, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Lowe — (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

Nearly a decade after PARKS AND RECREATION debuted, the cast and showrunner reunited for a panel celebrating the show’s legacy at PaleyFest.

Follow along for a live-blog as Amy Poehler (Leslie Knope), Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson), Rashida Jones (Ann Perkins), Chris Pratt (Andy Dwyer), Adam Scott (Ben Wyatt), Aubrey Plaza (April Ludgate), Aziz Ansari (Tom Haverford), Rob Lowe (Chris Traeger), Retta (Donna Meagle), Jim O’Heir (Jerry Gergich), and Michael Schur (co-creator/showrunner) look back at the delightful series…

7:49: We’re kicking off with an intro to the event from Jay Jackson (who played Perd on the show), who does a bit in-character before introducing moderator Patton Oswalt.

7:52: We were treated to a nice montage of all of the characters’ first on-screen moments.

8:00: Plaza and Pratt are the first to come out, and both jokingly knock over Oswalt’s moderator chair. (A stagehand fixes it in between.) Ansari and Poehler leave the chair alone. Offerman picks it up and shakes it a bit before putting it back. Scott gently places it on the ground. And then the final gag is there is no chair for O’Heir.

8:04: “We thought we were getting canceled all the time,” Schur said. The creative team quickly realized they could build out the fictional town, but never thought they’d last seven seasons. He compares the show to THE SIMPSONS in that there were so many minor characters who could come in at any point.

8:07: “I think we all got a lot of freedom to play around and expand and dig around into [the show],” Poehler says. They got to play it “real” because of the documentary-style filming. Poehler stops speaking: “I’m totally overwhelmed,” she admits.

8:09: There is a (female) government official in Burbank who inspired Ron, Offerman said. She’s a Libertarian who hates the government. But Schur says Ron became Ron after taking a trip to Offerman’s real-life wood shed.

8:11: When Lowe left the show, Schur gave him the notes he took of their first meeting. (Lowe has it framed in his office.) On the notes Schur took? “Rob says ‘literally’ a lot.”

8:13: Scott was a fan of the show before he joined. He said it was surreal on his first day, which was actually shooting Ben’s first scene, as he was standing next to Rob Lowe (whom he was a bit starstruck by) and in the town he knew so well.

8:14: Pratt cites “Hunting Trip” as an in-show chemistry test for himself and Plaza, as everyone else was away on the hunting trip and the writers could see what was going on. Plaza says it was actually earlier: the season 1 finale when they were eating the cake and Andy was describing his band’s music.

8:18: Retta shows off her fantastic “Treat Yo Self” dress.

8:19: “I’ve been doing this a long time and it took me this long to get a catchphrase,” Lowe said.

8:20: “We all take a great deal of pride in Galentine’s Day,” Schur said. He was bummed out that it felt appropriated this year.

8:22: “If only we had Bobby Newport at the helm,” Poehler joked. She noted Leslie is kind of the “Spider-Man of public service.” She was a “person who fights for the underdog…that is her creed. I kind of do wish she was around.”

8:24: “Tom and Jean-Ralphio” would have been a part of Fyre Fest, Ansari said. And the college admissions scandal? “That’s some Eagleton shit.”

8:26: O’Heir recalled that one time Pratt felt too upset about insulting Jerry, and O’Heir had to reassure him it was fine.

8:27: The show had what was called “the fun run,” where they tried to finish the scene with five minutes left, and then they could run wild and do whatever they wanted with the scene. Sometimes it would stick, but other times it ended up in the blooper reel.

8:29: Schur credited Pratt with the improv of Andy looking up Leslie’s symptoms when she was sick.

8:30: Pratt shared he made a joke in an online video for the show’s promotion about Steven Spielberg calling him for JURASSIC PARK 4. “And five years later…” he pointed out.

8:33: “Sincerity and honestly and gooeyness is the opposite of coolness,” Schur recalled of what he learned from Greg Daniels. “We did a lot of it with Leslie and Ann…Greg and I pitched this as a show about female friendship.”

“I think the saddest I ever got was the episode where Chris and Ann were leaving, because of part it was the end of an era,” he continued. “[But Poehler and Jones’ real life friendship made it so we realized] let’s not overwrite this.”

“As Mike said, there is a Venn diagram of real person and character,” Jones said.  “Things like Leslie thinking Ann is the best most smartest, beautiful, rule-breaking moth, there is something that is so tender and sweet to me…she just bolsters her as a human being.”

After Jones joked some people would say Ann was just OK, Poehler retorted, “If I heard anyone talk about Ann like that…”

Schur said one of his favorite episodes is the season 3 episode Poehler wrote/directed. A lot of it was improved, to keep it natural.

8:42: “I was sweating,” Poehler said of filming the proposal scene. “I was so nervous.” Scott and Poehler were too nervous to hang out before they filmed that scene. The summer before it happened, they talked about how much they wanted the couple to get married.

8:44: “I still don’t get it,” Scott said of Lil Sebastian.

8:45: Schur credited Dean Holland, a long-time director with the show, for tackling a lot of the biggest episodes.

8:47: “I hear ‘Dammit Jerry’ all day,” O’Heir said. “I hear ‘Thanks for ruining the Harvest Festival.'”

8:49: “The day after the show ended” they bulldozed the set, Schur said. It’s a nature of the business, but Schur didn’t want to witness that. However, Offerman salvaged all of the doors from the set and made everyone canoe panels.

8:51: Could there be a revival or movie? “I think that…in the world we live in now, nothing is ever gone,” Schur said. “I would only say, I would think everyone on this stage would have to feel like there was a story that needs to be told…I felt the show had an argument to make, and the argument was about teamwork and friendship and being an optimist…I don’t feel we left anything on the table, really. Maybe this was a preventative measure, but we did jump into the year 2074 [in the finale]…there was nothing I loved more than working on the show.” He would never say never, “but I think we would only do it if there was something compelling to do it.”

“Because of what Mike just said, that’s why the show was so good,” Offerman added.

8:56: “The first time Ben Wyatt talked about GAME OF THRONES, I hadn’t actually seen it,” Scott said. But after mentioning it a couple of times on the show, he started watching it.

8:58: Poehler was driving by the recent LAUSD strikes and honked, as the signs asked for supporters to do. One of the teachers was holding a Leslie sign and geeked out. “Leslie was good for my mental and physical health,” Poehler said. “It did extend my life, I think.”

9:01: “My relationship with the FBI is legit,” Pratt said. The FBI puts care packages in his hotel rooms.

9:03: Plaza got O’Heir to film a video with her where he said “suck a d—“…he said he would do anything for her. When O’Heir joked he shared a large d— with his character, the cast pretended to be mortified.

9:09: And we’re done!


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