‘Parks and Recreation’: Joe Biden Improvised While Playing Himself

Politicians sometimes get to have fun and play themselves on television shows. Many of them were already fans of Parks and Recreation. The show got lucky by getting Joe Biden, who was vice president at the time, and apparently he improvised some of his lines.

Leslie Knope had a big crush on Joe Biden on ‘Parks and Recreation’

Vice President Joe Biden, Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on 'Parks and Recreation'
Vice President Joe Biden, Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on ‘Parks and Recreation’ | David Giesbrecht/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

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The funny show followed Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) as she worked in the park and recreation department in Pawnee, Indiana. Leslie was very optimistic and persistent despite the messiness of local government.

She also idolized real politicians. One of her inspirations is Madeleine Albright, who made a cameo on the show. Leslie took her out to get waffles and got advice. There is another episode where she got to meet First Lady Michelle Obama.

But one person who truly had her heart was Joe Biden. Leslie talked about her love for him before he made his appearance. She made it known that he’s #1 on her celebrity sex list. She also said her ideal man has the brain of George Clooney and the body of Joe Biden.

She met him thanks to Ben

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Leslie eventually falls in love with Ben (Adam Scott) instead of her celebrity crush. Ben leaves Pawnee and gets a job in Washington D.C. to run a congressional campaign for Congressman Murray (Adam J. Harrington). That distance hurt the couple’s relationship at times, but there was one big perk to it.

Leslie finally met Biden in the “Leslie vs. April.” The episode shows Ben and Leslie in Washington D.C. He surprises her by making an appointment to meet Biden. She looks completely starstruck and is very awkward.

Biden later plays a part in her story in the finale. Time flashes forward to 2025 and Leslie is asked to run for governor at his home. We later find out that either she or Ben has become president.

Biden improvised while acting

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The show’s creator, Michael Schur revealed how the show got the vice president to play himself to The New York Times. “When they floated it by him, he thought it was a great idea and was excited about it,” he said. “Then it was all about his schedule.”

They managed to find a time and the scene was shot in the ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The creator revealed Biden wasn’t afraid to go off script.

“The vice president was amazing,” he said. “He improvised a couple of things that we ended up using.” Poehler commented on his improve skills.

“He’s a great improviser,” the funny actor said. “Leslie kept harassing him and he took it all in stride.”

It’s pretty impressive that a professional like Poehler said he was great. There is a good chance Leslie would be celebrating since Biden is now president.