Parks and Recreation: Ben Schwartz to Return as Jean-Ralphio

If you were worried, Parks and Recreation fans, that we wouldn't be seeing the highly annoying, easy-to-hate Jean-Ralphio on the NBC politicomedy again, you can take a deep breath of relief. It was announced on Tuesday that Ben Schwartz will be reprising his role as Tom Haverford's (Aziz Ansari) full-of-himself best friend. 

There were some worries that Schwartz would be unable to return due to his starring role alongside Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell in Showtime's comedy series House of Lies, but Parks and Recreation creator Mike Schur recently told THR that "the world's worst human being" would be back for season 5 of the series. 

According to Schur, "Tom as the beginning of the season is struggling a bit because he hasn't had any good entrepreneurial ideas in a while and he's running short on cash and he strikes what could be the first ever actually legitimate business idea that he has ever had -- and he invites Jean-Ralphio into the mix to be his business partner again." Well, all of Tom's plans have pretty obvious fatal flaws, but this one's just glaring him right in the face. But it's not all about stunted progress for Tom. "There's an arc that starts around Episode 5 for Tom where he's trying to start a new business but he's grown up a bit and has learned from his mistakes in the past so it's about him trying to turn over a new leaf and take what he thinks is actually a good idea for once and turn it into a legitimate business," Schur says. 

And why is it legitimate? "[It] comes very naturally out of everything that you already know about Tom," Schur said. 

Schwartz's episode will air fifth in the season's lineup, although there's plenty of opportunity for his return later on. 

Prior to that episode, some of the show's cast members -- namely, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) -- will be headed to Washington, D.C., where they'll meet up and share a few laughs with former presidential candidate and senator John McCain. 

Parks and Recreation season 5 will premiere September 20 on NBC. 

- Parks and Recreation
- Ben Schwartz

Written by: mcpherson
Sep 11th, 2012, 1:09 pm

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