When Joe Biden Did a Cameo as a Celebrity Crush On This Hit Comedy Show
When the show traveled to Washington, D.C., to film its season 5 premiere, which included appearances by senators Barbara Boxer, Olympia Snowe, and John McCain, Parks also got some screen time with Biden; in the show, the former Vice President plays himself. In a notable cameo appearance on the comedy series Parks and Recreation on NBC, President Joe Biden plays the crush of Amy Poehler's character, Leslie Knope. He made an appearance at the start of Leslie vs. April, which aired on November 15, 2012. During the epic episode, Leslie Knope, a city councilwoman who is engaged to Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), is taken to the White House by her fiance, a former Congressional campaign manager, to meet the then Vice-President, who has long been her biggest crush.
Given that Knope has said that her ideal partner must have the 'brains of George Clooney and the body of Joe Biden,' fans of the show were certainly extremely excited about this cameo. While the crew visited the country's capital to film sequences for the season's storylines, the scenes with Biden were specifically filmed in July in the rooms of the Vice President's ceremonial office. “Meeting Vice President Biden was a thrill for me and for Leslie,” Poehler had stated. “He was a good sport and a great improviser. The vice president maintained his composure while I harassed him and invaded his personal space. The nation of ‘Parks and Rec’ will be forever grateful,” she added.
"The biggest challenge of landing Biden’s cameo was keeping it a secret before Tuesday’s U.S. elections. Airing the episode prior to November 6 could have been equivalent to a campaign contribution to advertise a candidate," executive producer Michael Schur had told Entertainment Weekly. “Given that Eleanor Roosevelt and Bella Abzug are no longer with us, this is probably no. 1,” Schur added. “Leslie has a lot of female heroes that cross party lines. She has a lot of social figures that she considers heroes, but the funniest hero is Joe Biden."
Schur continued, "There’s an episode last season where she says, ‘Joe Biden is on my celebrity sex list — well, he is my celebrity sex list’… It was amazing to have her meet Olympia Snowe and Barbara Boxer because that meant something to her politically. But this transcends that. She’s meeting the man that she’s in love with on some deep level. It was a bigger deal to us in some ways that she meet Joe Biden than it was that she meet Barack Obama.”
The executive producer also stated, “His staff really loves the show, and he apparently had watched the show with his family, and his family liked it… The hardest part was keeping it secret for so long because there’s all these FEC rules and equal-time rules. We couldn’t air it before the election because it was the equivalent of a campaign contribution to advertise for one candidate.” “
They have a conversation where she does what you would imagine Leslie Knope would do when meeting Joe Biden, which is she loses control of herself a little bit,” Schur had revealed back then. “She gets really giggly and goofy around him.” Biden just so happened to be occupied in a meeting with President Barack Obama at the time the Parks crew set up in his office to film the scenario. “Obama got on Marine One and flew away, and Biden walked across the executive building, and we shot the scene,” Schur had shared. “It was really cool: You go this way and get on a helicopter that will take you to some incredibly important thing, and you come this way and shoot a scene with Amy Poehler.”
“He was very nice and charming,” stated Schur. “He was clearly a big fan of Amy. It was the day the Emmy nominations came out, and when he walked through the door, he congratulated her on her Emmy nomination… He said some very nice things about the show and talked about how the pro-public service message was meaningful.” The producer continued, “Since the beginning of the show, Joe Biden has been the No. 1 guy, so in terms of her achievements or personal milestones, we’ll have to go in a different direction. She’ll have to get her thrills elsewhere.”
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