How we made Parks and Recreation, by Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman and Mike Schur

Amy Poehler (performed Leslie Knope)

Mike Schur and I labored in combination at Saturday Evening Are living; he wrote Leslie with me in thoughts. She used to be this constructive, decided individual with little or no energy however large aspirations. She advanced through the years, however the concept of this one that used to be motivated via the hopeful spirit of the federal government worker, and how you can keep impressed once they stay getting knocked round – that used to be there from minute one.

It used to be like dressed in a swimsuit: after some time, you stretch it out or modify it to fit your needs. I’m now not as constantly enthusiastic as Leslie, however I actually associated with the power she were given from looking to make others be successful. She used to be a laugh to play as a result of on a daily basis you were given to turn up, inform everyone what to do and what sort of you liked them. The solid used to be that very uncommon example of everyone actually liking each and every different and putting out. We bonded in no time, and nonetheless see each and every different. We textual content each and every different and keep in each and every different’s lives.


The feminine friendship at the display is without doubt one of the issues I’m maximum pleased with, and it indisputably got here naturally as a result of Rashida Jones and I have been pals for a very long time. My feminine friendships are essential to me, and it used to be great to play a constant dating.

Nick Offerman and I are very equivalent in actual existence – we adore to giggle and paintings however we’re robust willed and powerful minded. Leslie and Ron are entire opposites. Nick talked very slowly and grew this large moustache to cover in the back of for seven years. It used to be a laugh to dance round that power.

It’s glorious that Leslie manner a large number of issues to such a lot of other people. It’s so cool to peer her used as a illustration of group, exhausting paintings and caring for each and every different. And it’s considered one of my proudest achievements that we had been in a position to finish the display eloquently, on our personal phrases. It’s indisputably ruined my enjoy in tv for ever – as a result of not anything will rather evaluate!

Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson)

I’ve been very blessed with hair in every single place my frame. For an actor it’s a really perfect toolbox – I will provide you with any iteration of facial hair. When Mike and I began growing Ron, we mentioned: “Let’s give him that kick-ass midwestern moustache.” We had no concept it might change into this sort of sensation.

I’d auditioned for the American model of The Place of work, particularly for Mike Schur who, unbeknownst to me, wrote my identify on a Submit-it and fixed it to his pc. A couple of years later, he remembered the Submit-it and mentioned: “I need this man on my new display.” NBC checked out me for one position and mentioned: “This man goes to must kiss Rashida Jones one day, and we don’t suppose Nick is visually in that class.” Mike mentioned: “OK, let’s solid him as Leslie Knope’s boss.”


It began with a gorgeous easy concept: a libertarian who hated executive, running as director of parks and sport. Ron used to be according to an actual individual the writers had met. They concept it used to be actually humorous that the top of division used to be looking to deliver down the federal government via maintaining issues inactive. That still served as a ravishing foil to the ebullience of Leslie. It evolved into Ron’s love of outdated American tropes akin to pink meat, the nice outdoor, looking, fishing and woodwork; mixed along with his unusual relationships along with his ex-wives. They created quite a lot of fodder.

Apart from Amy, we had been all usually unknown, a host of misfit toys in the end in a position to polish with all of our idiosyncrasies. We had been all instantly attempting to give protection to ourselves from Aubrey Plaza, who performed intern April. It used to be transparent from the get-go that she used to be treacherous.

From begin to end I used to be in hog heaven. Mike is an unbelievable mind with a compassionate middle – and being on a workforce with Amy Poehler as its co-captain, it used to be Christmas each week.

Mike Schur, co-creator

Greg Daniels had tailored The Place of work for US TV and NBC sought after him to create a brand new display – no matter he sought after. He requested me to paintings with him and I agreed as a result of I’m now not a moron. We had been pondering of Parks and Game as a comedic West Wing. If the stakes of that display had been Russia and the USA going through off, this used to be going to be concerning the girls and boys football groups reserving the similar box and having to barter a truce.

Steve Carell used to be The Place of work; we knew our primary personality needed to be any person with the similar prowess. I’d labored with Amy on Saturday Evening Are living and knew she used to be a kind of other people. NBC mentioned they’d release the display after the Superbowl, however Amy used to be because of give delivery the week we needed to shoot the pilot. It was transparent no person else may do it, so we made the loopy choice to surrender the post-Superbowl spot. We felt Amy gave us the most efficient likelihood for the display to paintings. Taking a look again, it used to be the precise transfer.

The team … from left, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Nick Offerman, Amy Poehler, Rob Lowe, Aziz Ansari, Retta, Jim O’Heir and Rashida Jones.

The workforce … from left, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Nick Offerman, Amy Poehler, Rob Lowe, Aziz Ansari, Retta, Jim O’Inheritor and Rashida Jones. : NBC/Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar

With Leslie Knope we had a imaginative and prescient of a surprisingly good, constructive and forward-thinking girl who believed in her soul that the venture of native executive used to be to lend a hand other people. We didn’t do a really perfect task in the beginning. As a substitute of coming off as a sensible, pushed individual and not using a political acumen, Leslie got here off as a buffoon. Amy would improvise and used to be so humorous that it impressed the opposite characters. We had been blowing it as a result of we had been writing her as a stuffy flesh presser and now not a three-d human being.

At the start it used to be tough. I had a habitual rigidity nightmare that I used to be going to smash Amy’s occupation. My happiness used to be according to whether or not the actors had been higher or worse off than if that they had by no means executed the display. There used to be a second overdue in season two after I felt like everybody used to be now at an advantage. I may in the end chill out.

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