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Facts From a TV Junkie: 'Parks and Recreation'

Hello all! Chances are if you're reading this it means you, much like myself, are addicted to TV. You just can't ever get enough of that small screen action! Well, I'm here to tell you that I feel your pain and would like to help you in your noble quest for TV knowledge, which is why I've taken it upon myself to create this fun, weekly feature. Every week, I will dig up new and interesting facts about a show and share them with you right here. So sit back, relax, and let the trivia madness commence!

This week, I thought it would be more than appropriate to pay our lovable Pawnee pals a visit over at 'Parks and Recreation.' Now that the show's gone on a temporary hiatus from our usual Thursday night line-up, there's only one way to quench our thirst for this waffle-loving, Rent-a-Swag wearing troupe that is LITERALLY the best current sitcom on television. (Yup, I went there). Come back to us, 'Parks and Rec' - we love you and we like you. But in the meantime, Treat Yo Self to all the fun facts below! Such as…

Did you know:

1. The show films over 60 hours of footage for each episode.

Parks and Recreation cast

That's right, you heard me. Not 60 hours in total — 60 hours PER EPISODE! That's a lot of extra stuff to eventually get whittled down to 22 minutes every week.. I feel like we're being robbed of some high-quality comedic humor. Someone send me that extra footage ASAP!

2. Nick Offerman possesses many of Ron Swanson's talents.

Nick Offerman as Duke Silver in Parks and Recreation

The actor is a skilled saxophone player in real life, much like his character's alter ego, Duke Silver. Offerman also has a side business as a furniture maker and even made an instructional woodworking DVD, which we should all immediately go out and buy purely on principle. I bet it's awesome.

3. The series was originally intended to be a direct spin-off of 'The Office.'

The Office poster

Great (Michael) Scott, can you believe it?! Actually this kinda makes complete sense even though I'd personally never really thought of it before now. The show was later re-designed to be its own original workplace story, however, it still decided to keep some very 'Office'-like traits, such as the "mockumentary" format.

4. Jim O'Heir, who plays Jerry, initially wanted to portray the character of Ron Swanson.

Jim O'Heir as Jerry getting caught on fire on Parks and Recreation

Typical Jerry, always making the wrong decisions. O'Heir is just too perfect in this part to be anyone else. Not stop messing around and get back to work, Jerry! (Or is it Terry now?)

5. Megan Mullally is married to Nick Offerman in real life.

Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman married on Parks and Recreation

Though the actress plays Ron's ex-wife, "Tammy Two," on the show, this hilarious duo have been happily married off-screen since 2003. I approve of this so, so much!

6. Octavia Spencer auditioned for the role of Donna Meagle.

Octavia Spencer

Though I'm sure this Academy Award winner would've made a hilarious Donna, it's just so hard to picture anyone other than the hilarious Retta Sirleaf in this role. Girl's comedic timing is spot on!

7. 'Welcome to the Family' star Mike O'Malley auditioned for the part of Ron Swanson.

Mike O'Malley

So did actors Matt Walsh and Thomas Lennon. And while I'm sure they're all talented in their own right, it's just absurd to think of Mr. Swanson being anyone else than who he is. Sorry dudes, but as Fact #2 proves, this role was quite literally made for Nick Offerman. Nuff said.

8. The exterior shots of Pawnee's City Hall is actually the City Hall for Pasadena, California.

Pasadena City Hall

Okay, so this might only be interesting to non-Californians and geography buffs, but it just felt like something Leslie Knope would find interesting, so of course I had to include it.

9. Aubrey Plaza based her character April Ludgate on her actual sister.

Aubrey Plaza as April on Parks and Recreation

The actress has admitted in the past that she uses her sister Natalie (which also happens to be the name of April's sister on the show) as a source of inspiration when playing her character. Who else now wants to be best friends with Plaza's sister?

10. Ellie Kemper auditioned for the role of Ann Perkins.

Ellie Kemper on The Office

If this had happened then it really would feel like an 'Office' spin-off, amirite? Kemper's great, but Rashida Jones owns this role. Perhaps the actress can step in as Leslie's new best friend when Jones departs from the show? Something tells me she'd absolutely love Galentine's Day.

11. Chris Pratt was only supposed to be a guest star.

Chris Pratt as Andy on Parks and Recreation

As you recall, Pratt's character, Andy, was initially written in as Ann's clueless (and somewhat dickish) boyfriend. The role was only supposed to be for 6 episodes and then he'd leave, but the character became so popular the writers decided to keep him on. And we're sure thankful they did.

12. Nick Offerman auditioned for the role of Michael Scott in 'The Office.'

Michael Scott and Ron Swanson

And while he didn't end up getting the part, it's because of this great audition that made Amy Poehler think of Offerman for a role on 'Parks and Rec.' She immediately wanted him to play Ron Swanson, though, when he did, he (along with Adam Scott) originally auditioned for the role of Mark Brendanawicz. What a small world we live in, folks, even in Hollywood. Everything seemed to work out for the best.

I hope you enjoyed this week's installment of Facts From a TV Junkie. Check back next week for another fix!

'Game of Thrones' < Previous | Next > Stay tuned!


Details
Person:
- Chris Pratt
- Aubrey Plaza
- Amy Poehler
- Nick Offerman
Show:
- Parks and Recreation
Network:
- NBC

Written by: Kelly Schremph
Oct 28th, 2013, 1:36 am

Images courtesy of NBC

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