The cast of Parks and Recreation reunited for a special Zoom style episode on April 30.
The Amy Poehler led sitcom, which originally ran from 2009-2015, aired a special reunion episode on NBC to raise money for Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund. I mean, who better to raise $2.8 million for charity than Leslie Knope and the Pawnee Parks Department?
The episode consisted of “Gryzzl calls” (which I would 100% use over Zoom) between the main cast, who stayed in character the whole time, giving fans major nostalgia. Of course, Poehler’s character Leslie Knope was the one to initiate the calls to check in on her friends and see how they’re doing in quarantine. Joining Poehler and reprising their roles were, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, Retta and Ben Schwartz. Guest stars included Mo Collins, Paul Rudd, Jon Glaser, Megan Mullally and Jay Jackson.
While the entire episode was filmed from the castmember’s homes, the 30-minute episode featured Leslie and Ben on an episode of Ya’ Herd With Perd, a Tammy-two appearance and, of course, a rendition of “5,000 Candles in the Wind” by Andy Dwyer himself.
Fans loved the one-time episode and took to Twitter to share their excitement.
— Elizabeth Hyndman (@edhyndman) May 1, 2020
— Melissa Siegler (@Marie2Melissa) May 1, 2020
— danny devito (@knopekbell) May 1, 2020
— cate (@bensIesIie) May 1, 2020
Feeding America is a nonprofit organization with a nationwide network of food banks. Their mission is to “feed America’s hungry” and “engage our country in the fight to end hunger.” The special concluded by directing viewers to the Feeding America website, as well as The National Institute of Mental Health. According to Variety, NBCUniversal, the Parks and Rec writers, producers, cast and sponsors State Farm and Subaru of America matched donations up to $500,000. Plus, contributions are still being accepted!
Scott, who played Ben Wyatt, told Variety, “I never thought we would do this because of the particular brand of ending it had. Jumping into the future is a reunion-proof ending in a lot of ways. But when Mike [Schur, co-creator] sent the email, it just, at least in my mind, felt like, ‘Of course.’ This is essentially the only circumstance that would call for a Parks reunion, I think: to help people out. It makes emotional sense, and creative sense as well.”
You can stream the special on the NBC app, Hulu, YouTube and VOD services right now!