Leslie Knope Finally Meets Her Great Political Crush: Joe Biden

Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 8 2012 11:01 AM

Leslie Knope Will Meet Joe Biden Next Week

Amy Poehler and Joe Biden on the set ofParks and Recreation

David Giesbrecht/NBC

If you’re a Parks and Recreation fan, you know that Leslie Knope, the lead character played by Amy Poehler, has a thing for Joe Biden. Many of us are fond of Biden, of course, but Knope takes her fondness a bit further: “My ideal man needs to have the brains of George Clooney, with the body of Joe Biden,” she has said. Now Pawnee’s beloved city councilor will have a chance to live out one of her dreams: Newly re-elected Vice President Joe Biden will be stopping by the hit sitcom on next week’s episode.

The scene was secretly filmed back in July, in Biden's ceremonial office in Washington, D.C. Due to “equal time” rules, which require TV and radio stations to give the same amount of coverage to opposing political candidates, everyone surrounding the production had to keep extremely hush-hush. If word got out, they might have been forced to write in an appearance with the Republican VP candidate (who, at the time of filming, had not yet been chosen). And Biden’s cameo could not air until after the campaign season was over. They filmed two versions of the scene (or “scenelet,” as executive producer Michael Schur calls it) in case Biden and Obama lost on Tuesday (though it involved a “very, very slight adjustment,” according to Schur).


The charismatic Biden—a fan of the show, he says—was completely game for the cameo, and by all accounts, quite a performer. “The vice president was amazing,” Schur says. “He improvised a couple of things that we ended up using.” “He’s a great improviser,” Poehler concurs. “Leslie kept harassing him and he took it all in stride.” Of course, if you watched the vice presidential debate last month, you probably find this as unsurprising as we do.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.


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