Parks and Recreation Won't Return Unless There's a Story That 'Needs to Be Told,' Says Mike Schur
The cast of Parks and Recreation, one of TV’s most beloved comedies, reunited at PaleyFest in Los Angeles on Thursday to celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary and rehash old stories, relive the best jokes, and, of course, answer whether a revival is a possibility in the near future.
The panel was moderated by Patton Oswalt, who memorably appeared on the NBC comedy, and featured show creator Michael Schur, stars Amy Poehler (Leslie Knope), Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson), Rashida Jones (Ann Perkins), Chris Pratt (Andy Dwyer), Adam Scott (Ben Wyatt), Aubrey Plaza (April Ludgate), Aziz Ansari (Tom Haverford), Rob Lowe (Chris Traeger), Retta (Donna Meagle), and Jim O’Heir (Jerry Gergich).
While the cast was more than happy to talk about the great times they had on the show, Poehler admitted that we’re in a current political climate where people are yearning for her character’s eternal optimism again.
“Someone asked me in the press line about ‘Do we need Leslie Knope now?’ She’s kind of like the Spider-Man of public service. It does feel a little bit like we’re looking up at the sky like, ‘Leslie, where are you?!'” the actress said. “I kind of do wish that she was around, but I don’t think that she could go around and get access to the White House.”
It’s uncanny how much the show managed to predict before signing off the air five years ago. Parks and Rec called the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series while Pratt predicted his own casting in Jurassic World half a decade before he ever stepped on that iconic soil. But there have also been some sadder real world events that feel like they could be straight out of the Parks and Rec universe — like Fyre Festival, the music festival that swindled hundreds of kids and an island of people out of thousands of dollars.
“That seems like something Mike and the writers would have come up with. Tom and Jean-Ralphio [definitely would have gone to Fyre Festival],” Ansari said. “The other day I was reading about the college admissions scandal and was like, ‘That’s some Eagleton sh–.'”
Despite these dark revelations, the Parks and Recreation family is glad they had the chance to create a universe so expansive because it created memories that are still retweeted by fans every day.
“We certainly didn’t know that we were going to get to expand it to the level that it expanded to. We thought we were going to get canceled immediately. … The dream was to just build [the universe] out and see the same people cycle through. We never thought that it would be on for seven years and we’d actually get to do that,” Schur said. “The fact that the show actually stayed on long enough for us to get to that point is a crazy fever dream.”
But could we see a return to Pawnee in the near future?
“I would only say that everyone on this stage and six other people would need to feel like there was a story that needed to be told,” Schur said of a possible revival of the comedy. “There’s nothing I loved more than working on this show. This felt like the most important thing that I would ever do. I would never, ever, ever say never …[but] I don’t want to do it just to do it.”
Don’t be too sad if there’s never a revival though. You can check in with your favorite Pawnee government employees whenever you want: Parks and Recreation is streaming on Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix.
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation