Joe Biden will appear as himself in next week’s new episode of Parks and Recreation on NBC, per the New York Times. The kicker is the scene was filmed long before the Presidential Election wrapped and Obama and Biden won a second term in office.
Biden’s appearance on the comedy came to be through a combination of circumstance, luck, and hard work. Fans of the show already know that the show’s central Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) has a fascination with Mr. Biden. This idolization of the Vice President began as a single joke, then became a running joke that has popped up from time to time throughout the show’s duration. Biden’s forthcoming cameo naturally fits within the show’s context without any fudging involved.
Luckily for Michael Schur, Parks and Recreation’s executive producer, the stars aligned in a way that allowed Mr. Biden to shoot the cameo. First, Mr. Biden and his camp had to be interested in the idea – which they were. In fact, Mr. Biden admits that he and his family watch the show as fans.
Second, scheduling had to be just right for Mr. Biden to be available. An episode was already scheduled to be filmed in Washington in July, offering the only chance Schur had to get Biden in front of the camera. He managed to do so in Mr. Biden’s ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
The real trick was keeping the cameo a secret. At the time it was filmed, Representative Paul Ryan had not been officially named the Republican vice-presidential nominee. If word leaked out of Biden’s cameo, or “scenelet” Schur calls it, there would have been pressure to film an additional scene for Ryan as to not show any favoritism toward one party or the other.
Schur knew of the potential for Romney and Ryan to win the Election to he filmed an alternate version of the Biden cameo with one tiny tweak that demonstrates some disappointment without outright saying he lost. For right now, Schur is keeping that alternate dialogue under the vest.
Biden’s Parks and Recreation cameo could be the Vice President’s first step toward a 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Four years may seem like a long way’s away, but don’t underestimate how down-to-earth this cameo will make Biden appear to future voters.
Tune in for the Parks and Recreation Joe Biden cameo on Thursday, November 15 at 9:30/8:30c.
Source: New York Times