Adam Scott on the Knope 2012 Campaign, What Ron Swanson Wears During Sex, and why Boston's Don't Look Back is Totally Kick Ass

There's no shortage of Adam Scott love around these parts, and this as season four of Parks and Recreation concludes, it seemed appropriate to check in with the star who plays Ben Wyatt, for his expert analysis on the season's big storyline: the Knope 2012 election campaign. As Leslie's campaign manager, boyfriend, right hand, confidant, and media consultant, Scott's character wore many hats this seasons. While everyone else was busy learning the intricacies of small-town politics, Wyatt brought particular insights from his days spent as a young mayor that were valuable to her platform and at times, her public image. For Scott, Parks and Recreation is his now his longest standing gig and his performance continues to feel honest and charming, where sappy PDA moments are constantly mixed with straight-man humor and logical thinking. GQ spoke with Scott about his role in the Knope 2012 campaign, getting drunk with Amy Poehler, what Ron Swanson wears during sex, and why Boston's Don't Look Back kicks ass.

GQ: The Knope election campaign is just winding down. How do you think it went?
Adam Scott: Well, you know, it had its ups and downs. I think that everyone learned a lot...democracy was served and... I'm trying not to give anything away. I think that democracy was held up high, and we let her shine in all her glory on broadcast television.

GQ: Lil Sebastian would be proud is what you're saying.
Adam Scott: Yes, most of all Lil Sebastian would be very, very proud.

GQ: Now what have you learned about being a campaign manager? Is this something you could do in real life?
Adam Scott: Lots of sleeves rolled up. A lot of forehead rubbing. A lot of rushing into rooms, carrying papers.

GQ: Yes, if you're going to be a campaign manager, you must have a shirt that can accommodate a good sleeve roll-up.
Adam Scott: Definitely need to roll the sleeves up, you definitely need to have some sort of folder...maybe manila, or leather-type thing. What do they call those things? They're leather, you keep a bunch of things in it, sometimes there's a calculator attached to the inside?

GQ: Trapper Keeper.
Adam Scott: No, not a Trapper Keeper. Are you as old as I am? A padfolio. With a lot of papers in it and you have to check on statistics. There's a lot to do. And if figured out how to fake all of it.

GQ: Real-life campaign managers have to be organized and be willing to get a little dirty. Ben is organized but not necessarily willing to get dirty.
Adam Scott: I think that was one of the interesting things that Mike [Scully] dove into this season. Ben and Leslie were learning about the dirtier side of politics vis a vis Jennifer Barkley, Kathyrn Hahn's character—Paul Rudd's campaign manager. We felt that our love for democracy, our town, our country was enough. But turns out you need more than that and they got caught in this web of dirty politics. Frank and the writers to be able to pull that off.

GQ: The story arc has been great this season. It gave the characters more depth this time around.
Adam Scott: Each season has a different set of challenges and you see new dimensions to all of them. This season had a lot of big hurdles, and one of the great thing about the show is the characters never stop evolving. It's not the same stories; they really are throwing new things at us all the time. To think about Aubrey [Plaza's] character and how she's changed over the season, and Chris [Pratt]—it's really interesting.

GQ: People like to note that you and Amy Poehler have a good on-screen chemistry. What's the secret these days?
Adam Scott: Even if it's a scene that doesn't involve kissing, we get sooo drunk before our scene. Even if it's a scene where we're just talking across the table. It started out as just a shot of tequila. Amy kept coming at me and saying, "Let's just do a shot of tequila" and I was just like, "Uh, okay." She's the lead of the show so I felt like I should. But then I started being like "lets drink a couple of beers with this scene with Nick Offerman but don't tell him." It started being this huge, weird thing. I probably shouldn't be talking to you about it.

GQ: Would you shotgun beers?
Adam Scott: Well yes, she has a beer bong that she keeps in her purse. It's really crazy. No, we're just friends and it's super-fun working together.

GQ: Well booze is good. You don't want to be doing any hard drugs, like crystal meth.
Adam Scott: That may be next season.

GQ: There's more romance between you and Leslie this season, even some PDA. Are you a romantic person in real life?

Adam Scott: I...think so. My wife and I have been married seven years, together a lot longer. I certainly love her...and...

GQ: I had written down something that said "ask about shitty mixtapes." Which they now put on USB flash drives I hear.
Adam Scott: I guess it was Valentines Day, I made a playlist for my wife that I was going to burn onto CD. Old school, like "here's a CD I burned" like it was 2002 and "aren't I funny and sweet." But I couldn't find a fucking CD to burn it on. I was looking through the house, I found a DVD with something already on it. It was just too much trouble. So a month and a half later, we were in the car and I played it for her on my phone. Way less romantic.

GQ: A lot of the characters on the show are paired off into couples. Do you guys on the set theorize about their sex lives?
Adam Scott: [Laughs] No, actually.

GQ: I feel like Ron's is hinted at occasionally. That he's a beast.
Adam Scott: Yeah, Ron's a monster in the sack. He probably wears that red sweater while he's doing it.

GQ: Are there differences in the way you play off Amy versus [Party Down's] Lizzy Caplan?

Adam Scott: I loved being able to work with Lizzy and working with Amy is terrific. They're both great in different ways, just like working with Nick or Ken Marino are equally pleasurable in different ways. Remind me to never use the word pleasurable ever again when I'm talking about anything. It makes it sound like Nick was rubbing my penis while we were doing a scene together.

GQ: So you're saying that he was not pleasuring you?
Adam Scott: I can neither confirm nor deny.

GQ: Maybe he was wearing the red sweater.
Adam Scott: Maybe. Again, I can't confirm or deny.

GQ: Ben and Chris Traeger [Rob Lowe] seem to have become distant this season. Ben's coming out on top and the eternal optimist is constantly losing. He could be a guy that murders a town.

Adam Scott: We had a couple of episodes where they added some depth to our friendship. Remember, we came in together and had been friends for a very long time. Road trips together, going through towns and cutting budgets and all that. I loved these scenes that Rob and I had together where he was prosecuting Amy in a way and I had to go in and we had a cool scene together where he was helping me get out of my funk when I was really depressed—making my calzones and stuff. Even though we didn't spend as much time together because our characters have different jobs, the time we did spend really added this depth. You could see the history between us.

GQ: On Marc Maron's WTF Cast, you recalled your days as a Deadhead. In your downtime, do you still listen to them?
Adam Scott: The records that I go back to are American Beauty and Workingman's Dead. Those are the two classics that I still listen to from time to time. Those are the classic records. And there's some live stuff from time to time. But I can't say that I listen to them on a regular basis but I still love the Grateful Dead. I love classic rock in general... I love Boston and Derek and the Dominos. I wouldn't put those two in the same category necessary. But I love a lot of that stuff from the '70s and '80s classic rock. Not as much like Def Leppard and Bon Jovi. That was when I was coming into my own musical taste and that was really popular. For me it was more U2 and R.E.M.

GQ: I'm trying to figure out what was on that Valentine's Day mix.
Adam Scott: Oh for my wife? I don't know if I could get away with putting Derek or Boston on that mix. That second Boston album, Don't Look Back, I think is really overlooked. Just recently I dug it out and it's pretty great. It's overlooked. That was right after the first record. What was that one in the late '80s? Third Stage. It's pretty good too. Don't Look Back is totally kick ass. Chuck Klosterman and I email each other sometimes, and right after I downloaded Don't Look Back, in an email he said "you know what's kind of great? Don't Look Back. I was like "I'm not shitting you, I'm just getting back into Don't Look Back." So we had some emails about Don't Look Back. We dissected it a little too much. It's extraordinary. Now I'm completely overhyping Don't Look Back. No one now would make a record like this unless they were kidding. There's no way to achieve this without irony now and the fact that this was made without a shred of it makes it even more extraordinary than when it was made.

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Retta on LNWJF

Rashida Jones on 'The Cleveland Show'

Not only is Rashida Jones busy starring on one of your favorite sitcoms, she's also making guest appearances on other top comedies in her downtime. On Sunday, May 20, she'll stop by the season finale of "The Cleveland Show" (in animated form, of course).

Zap2it has the exclusive first look at the "Parks and Recreation" star's "Cleveland Show" character, a misfit named Daisy who catches Cleveland Jr.'s eye in "All You Can Eat." The prom-themed episode sees Daisy and Cleveland Jr. decide to go to prom together as a gay couple -- until Cleveland Jr. has to break the news that he's actually a boy.

There's still no word on a renewal for "The Cleveland Show," although FOX just announced that "Family Guy" and "American Dad" will be back for more. The 2012-2013 lineup will be officially announced at the network's upfront presentation in New York City on Monday, May 14.

The "Cleveland Show" finale airs Sunday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. on FOX.

Dangerously Delicious Update from Aziz

On March 20th, I released my second standup special Dangerously Delicious for download/stream on azizansari.com for $5 (thanks to Louis CK for figuring out the Internet). Its been a great experience and I’m glad I did it. I wanted to give an update to answer some commonly asked questions.


Ideally I wanted to release MP3s directly at a low price the same way I did the video of special, but contractually I have a record deal with Comedy Central who put out Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, my first record. (And did a great job, I enjoyed working with them on that special and CD/DVD). Anyway, I owe them albums and decided to just release this with them as well. If you really want MP3s, you can get the album on iTunes and all that stuff starting May 20th. To be clear though, I’d rather you buy the video from me for the cheaper price of $5 and you can experience the audio only version by closing your eyes or looking away from your screen while you watch.


NOOOOOOOOOO!! Buried Alive is a totally different hour with no overlap. I worked really hard to have a new tour ready for this summer, so please rest assured its all material I haven’t released on any special. If you are interested in coming to see Buried Alive, tickets and tour dates are here.


Kind of. I edited a new version that’s about 20 minutes shorter (for commercials) and bleeped. Its significantly different than the uncensored, uncut one that you buy and own on azizansari.com for $5. This television version premieres on May 20th at 10 on COMEDY CENTRAL. I decided to do this for a few reasons.

First off, to get Emmy consideration a version of the special needs to air on television. Secondly, this version is so different from the real deal one you get from me, that I didn’t feel like its cheating anyone who bought it. Also people buy CDs/DVDs of specials for way more than $5 and versions of them air on Comedy Central so I thought people would understand that. I’m hoping it’ll get more people to hear about the special and check out the full version from me, which will in turn help me put out more content in this fashion (which people seem to like).


Maybe? Who knows what the landscape will be like in a few years when I release it. I have thoroughly enjoyed releasing Dangerously Delicious this way though and appreciate all the support.


We did a contest where the city with the most Facebook likes on the azizansari.com page would get a free show. New York City won. Details on the show soon, just trying to squeeze it in between tour dates.


“I’ll Make Love to You” with the home security technician played by the dude from Above the Rim.


Rob Lowe to Star in New Lifetime Original Movie 'Prosecuting Casey Anthony' - source
Entertainment 720's Roy Hibbert moves on with the Indiana Pacers to the next round of the NBA playoffs
Rashida Jones on Craig Ferguson on May 14 & 15
Adam Scott on Letterman May 15
“Aziz Ansari: Dangerously Delicious” extended and uncensored digital album will be released on May 20
“Aziz Ansari: Dangerously Delicious,” airing Sunday, May 20 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central source

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