29 'Parks And Rec' Facts: Everything You Need To Know About The Show | Kidadl


29 'Parks And Rec' Facts: Everything You Need To Know About The Show

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'Parks And Recreation' is a situational comedy show that aired on NBC from 2009 to 2015.

It is a satiric political comedy show that follows a mockumentary format. It was created by Michael Schur and Greg Daniels.

The series is centered around Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, who is a small bureaucrat in the fictional town of Pawnee in the state of Indiana. Leslie works in the Parks and Recreation department and has higher dreams of entering politics as a senator or Congresswoman someday.

The Parks and Rec department also follows the stories of Leslie's coworkers, including Ron Swanson, Tom Haverford, April Ludgate, Andy Dwyer, Garry Gergich, Donna Meagle, and Craig Middlebrooks. She is also joined by her best friend, Ann Perkins, who later joins the Pawnee administration as well.

Apart from that, Leslie is also supported by Ben Wyatt, who becomes her husband, and Chris Traeger, Ben's closest friend and coworker. The show follows a mockumentary format like another hit TV show, 'The Office', which was co-created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur. While it was nominated for a primetime Emmy award 14 times, it did not win any.

Keep scrolling if you want to find out more interesting 'Parks And Rec' facts!

The Storyline Of 'Parks And Rec'

The storyline of 'Parks And Rec' follows the main character Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, through her journey of joining politics and doing good for her town and country. As it follows Leslie through her journey in public service, it also follows her friends and coworkers Ann, Ron, Tom, Chris, April, Andy, and her coworker turned husband, Ben. 

In the first season, the show has fewer episodes compared to the rest. The show sets up the storyline and Leslie's character. Amy Poehler and Aziz Ansari, along with Aubrey Plaza, Rashida Jones, and Nick Offerman, were the main cast members.

Leslie, played by Amy Poehler, becomes concerned about a hole near Ann's house and tries to fix it.

In the second season, Leslie tries to work on fixing the hole, but in the end, the government of Pawnee is shut down due to a financial crisis.

In the third season, Leslie and her coworkers are working on the 'Harvest Festival' to bring in enough money to keep the Parks department from shutting down.

She is also approached by people who think that she has the capability to run for the city council.

Season four follows Leslie as she runs for the city council. Her opponent is Bobby Newport, and they have a tough fight, which Leslie ultimately wins.

In season five, Leslie gets married to Ben and also works hard for the benefit of Pawnee.

However, a recall campaign was launched against her, and she had to abdicate the city council position.

Season six saw Leslie becoming the head of the Midwest division of the National Parks Service. Ann and Chris leave Pawnee to go to Michigan. Ben becomes the city manager and establishes his office in the city hall.

In season seven, Leslie finally has turned the pit into Pawnee Commons.

She is also shown to rise in the ranks of American bureaucracy, ultimately winning the position of governor for two terms.

It is indicated that either Leslie or Ben become the president of the country by the end of the seven seasons.

Cast And Characters

The cast and characters of a comedy show often determine whether the show will be funny or not. Some of the roles, like Gary Gergich and April Ludgate, were written for their actors. Writers Michael Schur and Greg Daniels also developed the show after realizing that Amy Poehler could play the main character. 

The main character, Leslie Knope, was played by actress Amy Poehler who also won a Golden Globe award in 2014 for her portrayal. 

Leslie Knope started out as a mid-level bureaucrat in public service as Deputy Director of the Parks and Rec department but slowly rose to the rank of a city council member. 

Then, she becomes the head of the Midwest Parks Service and becomes a part of the U.S. Department of Interior. 

After that, it is shown that Leslie Knope also ran for the position of governor of Indiana and won for a two-year term.

Following that, the writers imply that either Leslie Knope or Ben Wyatt becomes the president of the United States of America.

Ann Perkins, played by Rashida, is a nurse and Leslie's best friend. She initially came into contact with Leslie when her boyfriend, Andy Dwyer, fell into the massive pit beside their house.

She asked Leslie to fix the pit in a city hall meeting. Over time, Ann blossoms into a lovable character who supports Leslie in all her political ambitions.

She also develops a close relationship with all of the Parks and Rec employees, including Ron Swanson. Ann moves out of Pawnee in the sixth season to be with the father of her baby, Chris Traeger.

Ben Wyatt, played by Adam Scott, was initially a city auditor who came to Pawnee for recommending budget cuts.

Even though Ben and Leslie start off by developing an antagonistic relationship, they soon develop mutual respect, which grows into deeper feelings.

Later in the show, Ben and Leslie get married and have three children together.

Ben is shown to be a huge nerd, and he also creates a famous board game named 'The Cones Of Dunshire'.

Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman, is a libertarian character who does not believe in the intervention of the government.

Therefore, Ron's sole motivation in life is to ensure as little as possible happens in the Parks and Rec department while he is the director. This puts him at odds with Leslie, who believes in the power of the government to do good in people's lives.

He is shown to be an emotionally closed-off man who values his privacy but loves to eat meat and do woodworking.

Chris Traeger, played by Rob Lowe, is a City Auditor who first arrives on the show in the third season. He later becomes the City Manager of Pawnee and becomes a close friend of Leslie.

Chris is a hilarious character who is extremely conscious about his fitness.

He is also perennially optimistic and keeps a smile on his face no matter how much he is struggling. His upbeat, perky behavior was appreciated by fans of the show.

April Ludgate, played by Aubrey Plaza, was initially an intern at the Parks and Rec department who became an employee as the show progressed.

She is an eccentric character who loves blood, gore, and violence and rarely smiles. She later marries the character Andy, played by Chris Pratt.

Andy Dwyer, played by Chris Pratt, was initially meant to be a secondary character in the show.

However, his portrayal caught the writers' attention, and Chris Pratt became a series regular. Andy falls into a pit beside Ann's house, which Ann brings up in the series premiere.

Andy is shown to be a goofy young man who does not have any care or responsibility in life. Later on, he stars in his own kids' show named 'Johnny Karate'.

Tom Haverford, played by Aziz Ansari, is Leslie's assistant in the show. He is a lavish character who loves to spend extravagantly on luxurious things.

He tries to get into several businesses during the show, including a restaurant that is actually successful.

Donna Meagle, played by Retta, is the administrative head of the Parks and Rec department.

She does not take her job very seriously but provides valuable support to Leslie and the other members.

She is related to the R&B musician Ginuwine on the show, who also makes appearances.

Gary Gergich, played by Jim O'Heir, is an old employee of the Parks and Rec department whom everybody else makes fun of.

Gary is also known by a number of names like Jerry and Larry as nobody else can seem to remember his real name.

Craig Middlebrooks, played by Billy Eichner, is an enthusiastic employee of the department who joined it after Eagleton merged with Pawnee. He is passionate about his job and becomes the director during the season finale.

Interesting parks and rec facts


Behind The Scenes Facts 

The show also has a number of amazing behind the scene facts. From shocking cameos by actual politicians to guest appearances by legendary comedy actors - the show's cast and writers had a number of funny anecdotes. All of these facts make 'Parks And Rec' one of the best sitcoms of all time.

Nick Offerman's character Ron Swanson was actually based on a female government official who Schur and Daniels met while researching for the show.

Andy Dwyer was not written to become one of the main characters of the show. However, the writers liked Pratt's portrayal so much that they promoted him to a series regular.

Music composers Gabby Moreno and Vincent Jones won the contest for being selected as the theme song of the show. They were also nominated for an Emmy award for the theme song.

Actor Adam Scott had initially auditioned to play Leslie Knope's love interest before the show premiered. However, he did not do well, and the casting directors eventually cast Paul Schneider in the role of Mark Brendanawicz.

The show has a number of fun cameos from a lot of famous people. In season two, Amy Poehler's husband, Will Arnett, had a cameo as an eccentric lab technician with whom she goes on a date.

Nick Offerman's real-life wife, Megan Mullaly, was also cast in the role of Tammy II - a hilarious recurring character who is Ron's ex-wife.

Ron's first wife, Tammy 1, was also played by iconic actress Patricia Clarkson. Other amazing cameos on the show included John Cena, Bill Murray, Jon Hamm, Patton Oswalt, J.K. Simmons, and Heidi Klum.

The show also had cameo appearances from real-life politicians and people involved in U.S. politics, including Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and John McCain.

One of the funniest lines in the series, according to writer Michael Schur, was actually improvised by Chris Pratt.

In the episode 'Flu Season' in season three, Andy Dwyer writes Leslie's flu symptoms on a computer and says to her, "...it says you could have network connectivity problems." Although the line was not in the script, the writers kept it because it was hilarious.

Amy Poehler suggested the time jump in the sixth season as she did not want to work with babies on the show.

Leslie and Ben were also expecting triplets during that time, and Amy suggested the time jump into the future.  

Actors like Paul Rudd, Ben Schwartz, Kristen Bell, Andy Samberg, and Kathryn Hahn were also recurring characters who popped up on the show during special episodes. 

Aubrey Plaza based the character of April Ludgate on her younger sister named Natalie.

In different interviews, Aubrey Plaza has mentioned that her younger sister gave her inspiration for playing April, who was quite closed off and disinterested in whatever went on around her.

The casting director told Schur that April was the "weirdest girl" she had ever met that made Schur want to meet her.



Why did Chris Pratt leave 'Parks And Rec'?

A: Chris Pratt took a small break from filming the show as he was then busy shooting the MCU film 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' that was released in 2015. The first episode of the sixth season, titled 'London' was actually shot in London as Pratt was also in London during that time for shooting the movie. The storyline followed his character Andy as he received a temporary job offer from Lord Edgar Covington (played by Peter Serafinowicz), and that would explain his absence from a major part of the rest of the season.

Did Nick Offerman really fall in 'Parks And Rec'?

A: In the episode 'Freddy Spaghetti', Nick Offerman's character Ron Swanson was running towards Leslie to warn her of Ben's plans to shut down the concert. While running, he accidentally slipped and fell. However, this fall was not scripted or accidental. Rather, Nick Offerman planned it and improvised it on set.

Why is 'Parks And Rec' Season 1 so bad?

A: According to some critics, 'Parks And Rec' Season 1 was not as good as the other seasons. However, fans would agree that in the first season, the show was simply setting up the plot in different places and introducing quirky characters, and it took some time to endear itself to the audience.

Where did they film 'Parks And Rec'?

A: 'Parks And Recreation' was filmed in southern California. The producers used Pasadena City Hall and the hallway scenes in the Pasadena city hall. The actual Parks department and the courtyard were set up in a studio, and the majority of the scenes were filmed there.

Why did Rashida Jones leave 'Parks And Rec'?

A: Rashida Jones left 'Parks And Rec' in order to focus more on her own personal goals and ambitions of working in movie production. She was interested in working on the production side, so she left the show to make time for that.

Why did Rob Lowe leave 'Parks And Rec'?

A: Rob Lowe left halfway through the sixth season as he wanted to explore other opportunities in terms of acting.

How old is Andy in 'Parks And Rec'?

A: In season 1, Andy Dwyer was 28 years old.

Why did Mark Brendanawicz leave 'Parks And Rec'?

A: The character Mark Brendanawicz, played by Paul Schneider, left 'Parks And Rec' as he got a better job offer at a private construction company. In reality, actor Paul Schneider left the show since he did not like where the writers were taking his character with respect to the story and plot development.

<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

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