9:20 pm - 11/07/2012

Vice President Joe Biden (aka Leslie's to-do list) to guest on 'Parks and Recreation'

Next week’s episode of Parks and Recreation is going to have a VIP: the VP.

Joe Biden — yes, the very guy who was re-elected Vice President of the United States less than 24 hours ago — will guest-star in the Nov. 15 installment of Parks and Recreation, EW has learned. His cameo occurs at the beginning of the episode, in which former Congressional campaign manager Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) takes fiancée/City Councilwoman Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), to the White House to meet America’s No. 2, who is her No. 1 crush object. (As Leslie once noted, her ideal man has “the brains of George Clooney and the body of Joe Biden.”)

Parks scored camera time with Biden in July when the show traveled to Washington, D.C. to film its season 5 premiere, which featured appearances by Senators Barbara Boxer, Olympia Snowe, and John McCain. How big of a casting coup was Biden for NBC’s small-town government comedy? “Given that Eleanor Roosevelt and Bella Abzug are no longer with us, this is probably no. 1,” quips executive producer Michael Schur. “[Leslie] has a lot of female heroes that cross party lines. She has a lot of social figures that she considers heroes, but the funniest hero is Joe Biden. There’s an episode last season where she says, ‘Joe Biden is on my celebrity sex list — well, he is my celebrity sex list’… It was amazing to have her meet Olympia Snowe and Barbara Boxer because that meant something to her politically. But this transcends that. She’s meeting the man that she’s in love with on some deep level. It was a bigger deal to us in some ways that she meet Joe Biden than it was that she meet Barack Obama.” (Obama has revealed that he watches Parks with his family, by the way. “It’s a very amazing and weird thing to find out that the President watches your show,” notes Schur.)

Once the producers committed to shooting an episode in D.C., the process of landing Biden was “so much less difficult than we ever possibly imagined,” says Schur, noting: “His staff really loves the show, and he apparently had watched the show with his family and his family liked it.” He adds: “The hardest part was keeping it secret for so long because there’s all these FEC rules and equal-time rules. We couldn’t air it before the election because it was the equivalent of a campaign contribution to advertise for one candidate.”

The onscreen Biden-Knope summit was written in a way that would work regardless of the election’s outcome. “We did not in any way want the moment to be a political issue — we treated it in the writing and the execution like our main character was meeting her hero,” says Schur, noting that the writers did pen an addendum to the scene in the event of a loss or a “weird Florida disaster tie.” The meeting takes place in the Vice President’s Ceremonial Office, with Biden flanked by his real-life staff. “They have a conversation where she does what you would imagine Leslie Knope would do when meeting Joe Biden, which is she loses control of herself a little bit,” hints Schur. “She gets really giggly and goofy around him.”

When the Parks crew set up in his office to shoot the scene, Biden happened to be tied up in a meeting with… President Barack Obama. Then “Obama got on Marine One and flew away, and Biden walked across the executive building and we shot the scene,” says Schur. “It was really cool: You go this way and get on a helicopter that will take you to some incredibly important thing, and you come this way and shoot a scene with Amy Poehler.”

The Veep handled his scene like a pro, even ad-libbing a response to a crazy Leslie retort that made the final cut of the episode. “He was very nice and charming,” reports Schur. “He was clearly a big fan of Amy. It was the day the Emmy nominations came out and when he walked through the door he congratulated her on her Emmy nomination… He said some very nice things about the show and talked about how the pro-public service message was meaningful.”

While Schur & co. were thrilled to venture inside the White House, they aren’t plotting the next great political cameo right now: “Since the beginning of the show, Joe Biden has been the No. 1 guy, so in terms of her achievements or personal milestones we’ll have to go in a different direction,” he says. “She’ll have to get her thrills elsewhere.”

Check out the following video, which offers a tease of Leslie’s historic meeting with the Veep. Below that is a bonus montage that chronicles Leslie’s dreamy-eyed mentions of Joe Biden from previous episodes.



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fauxkaren 8th-Nov-2012 02:24 am (UTC)

inflixion 8th-Nov-2012 02:24 am (UTC)
reveeling 8th-Nov-2012 02:26 am (UTC)
Ugh i want their friendship
ladybozi 8th-Nov-2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
I know right? Luckily, I have my brother and we do this type of shit in grocery stores. lol
moneeypenny 8th-Nov-2012 05:34 pm (UTC)
I love leslie dancing.
tbh honest I love everything she does.
best friendship <3
executivehpfan 8th-Nov-2012 02:24 am (UTC)
I am so here for Uncle Joe.
anna_bea2 8th-Nov-2012 02:24 am (UTC)

cringinglove 8th-Nov-2012 02:24 am (UTC)
xoalli 8th-Nov-2012 02:24 am (UTC)
OMG, get my bb Barack on there and I will die.
annadraper 8th-Nov-2012 02:25 am (UTC)
point and laugh at glenn beck's latest drama queen act:

ediesedgwick 8th-Nov-2012 02:27 am (UTC)
Thank god, I picked up some spare farmland on my way home from the gym
ms_mmelissa 8th-Nov-2012 02:27 am (UTC)
This dude is still kicking around?

wauwy 8th-Nov-2012 02:29 am (UTC)
omw her boobs look amazing here
wauwy 8th-Nov-2012 02:29 am (UTC)
He just needs to have all his internal organs burst simultaneously tbh
owtfx 8th-Nov-2012 02:29 am (UTC)
oh hes still relevant?
raised_eyebrows 8th-Nov-2012 02:40 am (UTC)
He still has the chalkboard? Jesus.
saltireflower 8th-Nov-2012 04:01 am (UTC)
He has a lot of nerve insulting people who need FEMA. I'm not in the US but we were affected by Sandy as well and I understand what it must feel like for them. He's an asshole.
lokiyan 8th-Nov-2012 04:39 am (UTC)
YES PLEASE GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE EAST. I don't want to be near you.
ediesedgwick 8th-Nov-2012 02:25 am (UTC)
between Amy, Adam and Joe that room basically exploded with perfection
annadraper 8th-Nov-2012 02:26 am (UTC)

zharia 8th-Nov-2012 02:28 am (UTC)
how could people find paul ryan hotter than this man.
theblackwidow 8th-Nov-2012 02:59 am (UTC)
IDK I find Paul Ryan sexy as fuck because hate sex intrigues me.
yousaidlog 8th-Nov-2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
ljubavirakija 8th-Nov-2012 02:26 am (UTC)
this is amazing. what a get for p&r
ladysherlock 8th-Nov-2012 02:27 am (UTC)

Even though I like to pretend Selina Meyer is the Veep in the TV world (imagine how much more fun Homeland would be!)
ncc_gqmf 8th-Nov-2012 03:37 am (UTC)
This is the greatest headcanon ever.
lovefifteen 8th-Nov-2012 06:03 am (UTC)
i like to pretend Dan Egan eventually plans a coup and becomes dictator of America tbh
wauwy 8th-Nov-2012 02:27 am (UTC)
omg, uncle Joe? The HAW? (happy american warrior)
zharia 8th-Nov-2012 02:28 am (UTC)

owtfx 8th-Nov-2012 02:28 am (UTC)
okay_awesome 8th-Nov-2012 02:28 am (UTC)
How fucking awesome! Can't wait to watch the episode
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