No, this is not a bunch of a malarkey — Vice President Joe Biden really did appear on this week’s episode of Parks and Recreation.
Guest-starring as none other than himself, Biden’s cameo was a dazzling little gem in NBC’s coveted Thursday night lineup. Throughout the series, protagonist Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) hasn’t been shy about her crippling crush on the veep. And it’s not just his foreign policy skills that make her giddy — it’s also his dashing good looks. (She once revealed that her ideal man would have “the brains of George Clooney in the body of Joe Biden.”) So, as an engagement present, Knope’s fiancée Ben Wyatt (played by Adam Scott) arranged a little meet-and-greet session with Biden while the newly-betrothed pair were in D.C.
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As if that weren’t enough to overwhelm a small-town councilwoman, it was Biden who made the first move. “You must be Leslie Knope,” Biden said, flashing his pearly grin at the star-struck Knope, who works for the local government in her native (fictional) Pawnee, Indiana. “You’re — my name just came out of your mouth,” she stammered between breathless giggles.
Though some say you shouldn’t meet your heroes, it’s was a beautiful moment. The Parks and Rec crew filmed the scene back in July, but kept it under strict secrecy pending the presidential election, the New York Times reports. Considerations were made to possibly slot in Paul Ryan had the Republicans won the election.
But Biden’s bit got to stay. And according to executive producer Michael Schur, the veep showed off some real acting chops during filming. “The vice president was amazing,” Schur told the Times. “He improvised a couple of things that we ended up using.”
It probably helped that Biden’s apparently a big fan of the show and often watches it with his family. (For the record, the Obama clan apparently enjoys it quite a bit too.)
As Biden’s scene — which kicks off the episode — comes to a close, Knope leans in close to a secret service agent. “You don’t let anything happen to him, you understand me?” she warns. “He is precious cargo.”