PaleyFest: Parks and Recreation Cast Discuss Casting, Creation & Fears

A parade of comedy tumbled on to the stage last night, at the the annual PaleyFest TV festival. As the cast and crew of the beloved comedy series Parks and Recreation, along with Patton Oswalt, attended a panel to discuss their show and their upcoming two part series finale, which airs on April 24th.

If you haven’t seen the show the series follows the absurd antics of an Indiana town’s public officials as they pursue sundry projects to make their city a better place.

The Parks and Recreation panel at the fest took place in the heart of Hollywood at the Dolby Theater, attended by twitter addict Retta, Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Michael Schur, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Billy Eichner, Adam Scott, Jim O’Heir and human muppet Ben Schwartz. All moderated by comedian Patton Oswalt.

The highlights from the panel have been transcribed for all you Parks and Rec fans out there, just below.

One of the main highlights of the evening was after Patton Oswalt malfunctioned on his question, saying “How did you assemble this show?” then asking “How did you put the show people on the show?”, Michael Schur went on to talk about how the show begun from the casting ground up saying “A lot of the credit goes to Alison, Nancy Perkins, they’re both amazing Alison Jones is probably the greatest casting director the comedy world has ever seen, Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared all of Judd Apatow’s movies its crazy. The two of them get a lot of credit, an additional giant amount of credit goes to Amy Poehler because it turns out when you have Amy Poehler in your tv show other people want to do your tv show. At the beginning we had Amy and Rashida and then we saw Aziz on Human Giant and before we knew what the show was we were like that guys funny, sign him up. I mean literally the way Greg Daniels and I approached it was lets just find the funniest people and we’ll tailor the roles to them and Aziz signed on before we could even pitch him an idea for a show, which is crazy. After that it was just like Alison and Nancy and us just kind of grinding away and you know in order for a show to last as long as this one you have to get super lucky with your cast and I cant like sometimes I think about the casting process and that that fact that this dude (Chris Pratt) was just hanging out no one was employing him, I mean what the hell. He was just like hanging out and he walked in, I mean look at him he looks like this and he does comedy.

One of the other highlights of the night was when Retta confessed her fear of Greg Daniels after filming the hunting trip episode where she was afraid she was not going to cry well enough saying “I was very scared of him. I’m still scared.”

The final highlights of the night, was when an audience member and avid series fan asked the cast what about their characters inspires them Billy Eichner responded saying “What inspires me about Crazy Craig? I’m not going to lie, it’s a tough question. I’ll say this, he’s not repressed. You won’t find him on ‘Downton Abbey’.


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James Rush is the Founding, News & Chief Editor for TFM.


Posted in Festivals, PaleyFest