Parks and Recreation’s Rob Lowe (actor/NFL fan) and Alan Yang (writer/director/Mouse Rat bassist) host the definitive podcast about the making of the beloved comedy series. With special guest appearances by cast and crew, Rob and Alan share their unique, behind-the-scenes
insights from in front of the camera and inside the writers’ room. It’s literally the best Parks and Rec podcast in the world. Go ahead, treat yo’ self!
Li'l Sebastian (S3E16)
Today Rob Lowe and Alan Yang have a huge show for a small horse when recapping the season three finale of Parks and Recreation. In "Li'l Sebastian" Leslie and the Parks Department organize a memorial for a departed friend. In this episode you'll find out how an awkward encounter in the writer's room caused one of the funniest jokes on the show, which character is like Colossus from The X-Men, why changing Tom's career trajectory was important, an update on Biff Yeager, and a huge bombshell is revealed by producer Greg! Come for the Parks and Rec trivia, stay for the AC/DC trivia! Got a question for the Pawnee Town Hall? Send us an email: ParksandRecollectionTownHall@gmail.com Or leave a 30-Second voicemail at: (310) 893-6992
Leslie announces Li'l Sebastian, Pawnee's beloved celebrity mini-horse, has died and the parks department will hold a memorial service for him. Tom suggests they hire Entertainment 720 for the event, a production company recently started by his friend Jean-Ralphio. Jean-Ralphio encourages Tom to come work with him at the company, but Tom isn’t sure if he wants to leave his city hall job. Meanwhile, the extremely health-conscious Chris finds out he has tendonitis, and takes the news so seriously that he questions his own mortality. Leslie and Ben continue their romance despite a no-dating policy at city hall, but they have difficulty keeping it a secret. Ron finds out and warns them that Chris will fire them if he learns about it.
As the city prepares for the memorial service, Leslie and Ben are caught making out by a maintenance worker named George (Biff Yeager), so they send him home with a gift certificate in exchange for his silence. What Leslie and Ben didn’t realize was that George had the propane for Li'l Sebastian's eternal flame, which results in later confusion behind the scenes, which they struggle to fix throughout the night. Jerry is sent to get propane for the flame but buys lighter fluid instead; this causes a huge fireball to shoot into the air when Ron lights it, which singes off most of his facial hair. Leslie and Ben are relieved, however, when the crowd applauds in the belief the fireball was staged. Entertainment 720's show also proves to be a hit with the crowd, which makes Tom further contemplate quitting his job.
At a party afterward, Andy receives praise for his Li'l Sebastian tribute song, "5,000 Candles in the Wind." April sells many Mouse Rat CDs at an inflated price, which spurs Andy to ask her to become the group's manager. Indirectly responsible for nearly killing Ron, Leslie and Ben agree to no more secret displays of affection at work. Ann, who previously dated Chris and had trouble getting over him, offers comfort to Chris for his depression. This makes him appear romantically interested in Ann once again. A conflicted Tom decides to resign and accept a job with Entertainment 720. Meanwhile, Ron is confronted by his evil ex-wife Tammy (Megan Mullally) at the party—but both Ron and Tammy are horrified to learn his other ex-wife, also named Tammy (whom he calls "Tammy 1") has also arrived in town.
Leslie is approached by scouts looking for potential candidates for elected office, which has always been one of her dreams. Impressed by the memorial service and the harvest festival Leslie previously organized, they believe she would be a good candidate for upcoming city council seats, or possibly the mayoral position. With the expected increased media attention on her personal life, the scouts ask whether Leslie has any secret scandals in her life. She denies any such scandals exist, thus omitting her secret relationship with Ben, and the scouts promise to contact her about preparing an electoral run.
The Bubble (S3E15)
The hilarity is popping in Pawnee, when Rob Lowe and Alan Yang discuss S3E15 of Parks and Recreation! In "The Bubble" Leslie's mom makes a pass at Ben, not knowing that he and Leslie are dating. On today's episode the team share how fun it is to have Chris interacting with all of the parks department, Greg gives insights on his first writing credit, and why it took so long to get Marlene back in an episode! All of this and some surprising data about opening credits. Got a question for the Pawnee Town Hall? Send us an email: ParksandRecollectionTownHall@gmail.com Or leave a 30-Second voicemail at: (310) 893-6992
The Parks Department welcomes Ann Perkins to her new office at Pawnee City Hall and fills it with balloons, much to the chagrin of her cranky officemate Stuart. Leslie and Ben are dating, but they are keeping their relationship a secret due to a no-dating policy at work. They are enjoying what Leslie calls "the bubble", or the beginning of a relationship when everything is simple and fun.
The Bubble is threatened when Ben has a meeting with Leslie's mother Marlene Griggs-Knope, a notoriously tough politician in the Pawnee school system, who wants Ben to approve the purchase of four new school buses despite a difficult budget season. Afraid of ruining the bubble, Leslie initially tells Ben she is not related to Marlene. Right before Ben's meeting, however, Leslie admits Marlene is her mother, making him nervous and causing him to capitulate to all of her demands during the meeting. Marlene considers Ben weak, so Leslie becomes determined to prove that he is a tough boss to impress Marlene.
Chris has enacted numerous changes to the Parks Department: he promotes Jerry to Public Relations Director, appoints April as everyone's assistant, places Tom Haverford on the nightmarish fourth floor with Andy as his temporary assistant, and makes Ron sit in the middle of a circular desk after the removal of his office, to force him to interact with people. Ron believes everything will eventually go back to normal as it has with past city managers that implemented changes. However, Donna is concerned that the overly-determined Chris will not do so and demands that Ron talk to him. On the fourth floor, Tom's attempts to charm some of the elderly women, including Ethel Beavers and Muriel into doing his work but fails miserably, as they ignore him and all adore Andy and April.
Leslie trains Ben for his next meeting with her mother. He impresses Marlene so much with his tough negotiation skills that she becomes flirtatious with him. An uncomfortable Ben tells Leslie they should tell her about their relationship, but Leslie does not want to lose the bubble. Fed up, Ben storms into Marlene's office and tells her that he is dating her daughter and asks her to keep it secret. Marlene laughs off the situation and tells Leslie that she approves of Ben.
Ron tells Chris the changes do not play to his staff's strengths and decides to compromise: if Chris returns everything to the way it was, he will remain at/in the desk for another week. Chris complies. Nevertheless, Tom is frustrated with the experience and begins to contemplate leaving his City Hall job to pursue his own entrepreneurial interests.
Road Trip (S3E14)
Grab your banjo and put on your seatbelts because today Rob Lowe and Alan Yang are watching S3E14 of Parks and Recreation! In "Road Trip" Chris sends Leslie and Ben on a trip to the capital while Tom's new game creates tension between April and Andy. In this episode you'll hear why the rare bonding moment between Ann and April was important, Mike Schur's love of Neutral Milk Hotel and hate for hot fruit, how RoLo's Banjo improv came to be, and why creating a mix CD is a true artform. All of this and a subtle lesson in mainland Mandarin! Got a question for the Pawnee Town Hall or do you eat Cheez-its with raisins? Send us an email: ParksandRecollectionTownHall@gmail.com Or leave a 30-Second voicemail at: (310) 893-6992
Leslie still harbors strong romantic feelings for Ben, but cannot date him due to Chris Traeger’s strict policy against workplace dating. Just as Ann suggests to Leslie that she should avoid being alone with Ben, Chris asks Leslie and Ben to drive to Indianapolis to pitch Pawnee as the next host of the Indiana Little League Baseball tournament. Leslie and Ann devise numerous boring conversation topics for the trip to prevent it from becoming romantic. After an awkward drive to Indianapolis, Leslie and Ben speak before the Little League Commission, which seems reluctant to choose Pawnee for the tournament. Ben delivers a heartfelt speech about the town, but also appears to be secretly speaking about his feelings for Leslie.
Meanwhile, Tom asks Andy, April, Jerry and Donna to participate in a new game show called Know Ya Boo, that he is hoping to pitch to networks; he admits that it is a rip-off of The Newlywed Game. It quickly becomes clear that Jerry and Donna know much more about each other than the recently married Andy and April. When April reveals her favorite band is Neutral Milk Hotel and not Andy's band Mouse Rat, Andy angrily leaves the game. April and Andy have a big fight which causes him to quit his music. April seeks advice from Ann because, although she dislikes her, Ann previously dated Andy for several years. Ann tells April she has to be supportive of Andy no matter how she feels. The next day, April brings the other members of Mouse Rat to city hall and surprises Andy by singing one of his songs. A thrilled Andy reconciles with April.
In a separate C Story, a young girl named Lauren (Alyssa Shafer) asks to interview Ron for her school's field trip assignment to city hall. Ron initially resists, but soon espouses his libertarian beliefs to her. He illustrates the concept of taxes by eating 40 percent of Lauren's lunch, to compare his actions to those of the government. She eagerly accepts his anti-government views. The next day, Lauren's furious mother reveals her daughter's assignment was "Why Government Matters", and that Lauren simply wrote "It doesn't". Ron apologizes, and later tells Lauren she should keep her views on government to herself until she gets older.
Ben’s speech clearly impresses both the judges and Leslie, and Pawnee is ultimately selected for the tournament. Leslie reluctantly accepts Ben's invitation to a celebratory dinner that night, where Ben brings up his feelings for her. She slips away to call Ann for advice, and Ann urges Leslie to act on her feelings. Just as Leslie decides to do so, she is surprised to find Chris has arrived at the dinner to congratulate the two personally. He insists they sleep at his home in Indianapolis, ruining their night. The next day, Leslie and Ben run into each other alone and Ben reveals Chris is out for the day. Ben then immediately kisses her, to which Leslie reciprocates, leaving her simultaneously delighted and nervous about their future.
The Fight (S3E13)
Pawnee is full of clearances and apologies when Rob Lowe and Alan Yang tackle S3E13. In The Fight Tom invites everyone to the Snakehole as he debuts a new drink, and Leslie encourages Ann to apply for a job with the city. On today's episode find out how front loading the B-story helped the slow burn of the A-story, why Janet Snakehole has a Mid-Atlantic accent, and which actors improvised their drunk talking heads. All of this and some interesting talk about agents! Got a question for the Pawnee Town Hall? Send us an email: ParksandRecollectionTownHall@gmail.com Or leave a 30-Second voicemail at: (310) 893-6992
Chris Traeger has fired Dennis Cooper, the former health department public relations director, who hung posters around city hall to publicly condemn his adulterous wife. Leslie suggests Ann replace him, but her ulterior motive is to spend more time with her friend. Although reluctant, Ann agrees to attend the job interview—and Leslie provides her with an overwhelming amount of reading material to prepare for it.
Tom encourages the parks department to attend the Snakehole Lounge, for the unveiling of his new alcoholic beverage, Snake Juice—He also requests that they use guerrilla marketing techniques via word of mouth promotion. April shows little interest in attending, until Andy suggests they make a game of it by role-playing as different people at the bar. April pretends to be Janet Snakehole, an aristocratic widow with a dark secret, while Andy poses as his frequent alter-ego, FBI agent Burt Macklin.
That night, at the Snakehole Lounge, Leslie is surprised and annoyed to find Ann partying on the dance floor instead of preparing for the job interview. Ann introduces Leslie to her latest boyfriend, local radio host "The Douche" (Nick Kroll). As Leslie and Ann become increasingly drunk from Snake Juice, Leslie insults Ann's current dating lifestyle. This prompts Ann to insult Leslie for moving too slow with Ben. The fight escalates throughout the night, and Leslie ultimately claims she always has to keep Ann motivated or Ann would not go anywhere. Both declare it best that Ann not work with Leslie after all and they storm off.
The Snake Juice proves delicious and popular with the rest of the parks department employees, all of whom become extremely drunk, with the exception of Donna who is on a juice cleanse. Chris arrives to warn Tom that using government employees to promote his own personal ventures is a breach of ethics. He tells a disappointed Tom that he must sell his shares of the Snakehole Lounge if he wants to keep his job.
The next morning, everyone who drank Snake Juice is extremely hungover except for Ron—and Tom sells his shares the next morning to Jean-Ralphio, but not before Ron tries to convince Chris to let Tom off the government “teat.” Leslie deeply regrets how she treated Ann. Ben visits Ann at her home and asks her to forgive Leslie. Ann, who also regrets the fight, is touched by Ben's gesture and reveals that Leslie likes him. Ann decides to attend the job interview, during which she and Leslie apologize to each other. After a second interview with Chris, Ann is given the job on a part-time basis so she can continue her work as a nurse. April tries to reprise her role of Janet Snakehole and have Andy reprise Burt Macklin, but a hungover Andy claims Burt is dead, but creates Kip Hackman, Burt Macklin's brother. He then vomits onto Kyle's shoes.
Call your friends and welcome them to Pawnee. Today Rob Lowe and Alan Yang are watching S3E12. In "Eagleton" Leslie is forced to deal with a former beloved colleague-turned bitter enemy when a neighboring town separates a shared park with a fence. On this episode find out how amazing it was to work with Nicole Holofcener, why a trash fight convinced Parker Posey to be in this episode, what in this script made Rashida cry, and why Alan never keeps ice cream in his home! Got a question for the Pawnee Town Hall? Send us an email: ParksandRecollectionTownHall@gmail.com Or leave a 30-Second voicemail at: (310) 893-6992
Eagleton, a more prosperous neighboring town of Pawnee, has erected a tall fence in the shared Lafayette Park to keep Pawnee residents at a distance. Leslie’s theory is that it’s the work of Lindsay Carlisle Shay (Parker Posey), The Eagleton equivalent of Leslie. Lindsay is a former Pawnee parks department employee and used to be Leslie's best friend. While dealing with the fence, Leslie also discovers Ron's upcoming birthday, a date he has kept secret for years. Leslie promises a horrified and annoyed Ron that she will throw a surprise party for him.
In the standard style of a disorderly public meeting, the citizens of Pawnee call for the fence to be removed. Leslie meets with Lindsay, who refuses to take the fence down and insults Pawnee in the process. Leslie, Tom, and Ben attend a catered Eagleton town meeting inside a country club to plead their case to its citizens. The people of Eagleton are wealthy and civil, but also incredibly condescending. Citing the poor maintenance of Pawnee's side of Lafayette Park, the Eagleton citizens would like the fence to stay up. Leslie reveals to Tom and Ben that she was offered the job of Eagleton parks director five years ago but turned it down. At the time, Leslie and Lindsay both promised to remain in Pawnee. However, Eagleton then offered Lindsay the job and she accepted, turning her back on Pawnee and worse… Leslie.
Ron becomes increasingly paranoid of Leslie's birthday party, especially after he overhears April and Andy discuss outrageous plans. When Ron learns what a huge party she threw for Ann’s birthday, he becomes so paranoid that he resorts to sleeping in his office to avoid any potential surprises at home. While this is happening, Leslie seeks revenge against Lindsay by getting her parks employees to throw garbage over the Eagleton side of the fence. When Lindsay arrives to stop it, the two get into a fight amid the garbage bags. The police arrive and arrest both women: Lindsay is jailed in Pawnee, while Leslie is jailed in Eagleton's pristine holding cell.
After Ann bails Leslie out of jail, she tells her that Lindsay built the fence to get a rise out of Leslie, because she is jealous that Leslie was offered the Eagleton job first. Ann suggests that Lindsay should be hit with a baseball bat, which gives Leslie the idea to turn Pawnee's side of Lafayette Park into a wiffle ball field, with the fence serving as the outfield wall. Lindsay is impressed by how fast Leslie turned the fence into something positive, and remembers why she and Leslie joined the parks department in the first place. With their relationship on the mend, the two agree to get a drink together.
Later, Leslie returns to the office to throw Ron's party: she takes him to an empty room with steak, whiskey and his favorite movies waiting for him, and reveals that April and Andy's duties were red herrings. Leslie explains she made a party that he would want and leaves a content Ron alone to enjoy his birthday.
Jerry's Painting (S3E11)
You never know when inspiration will strike while visiting Pawnee—and today Rob Lowe and Alan Yang are inspired by S3E11 of Parks and Recreation! In "Jerry's Painting" Chris deals with community uproar over Jerry's new painting, and Ben tries to help teach Andy and April responsibility after he moves in with them. On today's episode you'll hear why Ben couldn't just live alone, how it was important for Chris to deliver non-jokes in a humorous way, and how a misbehaving Leslie strengthened the character. All of this and a grammar lesson from Mario! Got a question for the Pawnee Town Hall? Send us an email: ParksandRecollectionTownHall@gmail.com Or leave a 30-Second voicemail at: (310) 893-6992
Leslie Knope feels powerless at work because a policy set by Chris Traeger, which forbids workplace romances, is preventing her from dating Ben Wyatt. Meanwhile, now that he is staying in Pawnee permanently, Ben decides to move out of the motel where he has been living. Andy Dwyer and April Ludgate offer him a spare room in their house, since their previous roommate moved out and left the house to them. Although the two have been living by themselves for only a week, the house is a complete mess with no everyday items like plates or utensils available. Ben decides to teach a reluctant Andy and April how to properly live like adults.
Meanwhile, the parks employees attend an art show exhibiting paintings that will later be hung in government buildings. Jerry displays his painting of the fictional topless centaur Greek goddess Diaphena, which looks exactly like Leslie. Jerry explains he subconsciously painted Leslie while thinking about powerful women. Instead of being embarrassed, Leslie feels empowered by the painting. Tom, however, is humiliated because a pot-bellied cherub in the painting shares his likeness. The next day, local conservative activist Marcia Langman (Darlene Hunt) compares the painting to bestiality, deems it unsuitable for a government setting and demands it be destroyed.
Leslie goes on the news program Ya Heard? With Perd! to rouse public support for the painting by portraying it as a depiction of a powerful woman. However, she is undermined when reporter Perd Hapley also has on adult film actress Brandi Maxxxx, who defends the painting by comparing it to pornography. Chris convenes a meeting of the Pawnee Public Arts Commission to rule on whether the painting is acceptable. Despite Leslie's eloquent defense, the commission fears the nudity is offensive and decides to destroy it instead of risking public backlash. Leslie retaliates by stealing the painting.
After cleaning up around the house, Ben gives Andy and April money to buy common household items. Although they almost waste their money on frivolous items, Andy insists they need to take Ben's advice. April admits she is afraid of growing up because she does not want them to lose their unique personalities, but Andy assures her they will not change.
Chris angrily demands Leslie bring the painting to city hall the next day to be destroyed. When Leslie reluctantly agrees to do so, Jerry expresses disappointment that she would give up so easily. Feeling empowered again, Leslie asks Jerry to quickly paint another, similar painting, only this time with Tom as the centaur. Leslie tells Marcia the new painting is the original one but painted over. With no more nudity in the painting, a frustrated Marcia gives up her quest to have the painting destroyed. Ben later confides to Andy he likes Leslie but is unable to ask her out because of Chris, but Andy tells him if they truly care about each other, then it will eventually happen.
Missing the show!
Please tell me the show will be back. I feel cheated if we end on season 3. Love this show. It’s a feel-good every time I listen. We miss you, Rob and Alan!!
I tried but I can’t
I was so excited when I heard about this podcast. I was fully prepared to binge listen to catch up like I have so many other podcasts, but I was completely disappointed. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by Office Ladies, but when I go for a rewatch podcast I actually expect to hear about the actual episode. So far, I’m struggling to make it past the first season. I think I’ve heard at most 20 seconds about each episode so far. There’s a speed read of the synopsis and then the rest of the episode is dedicated to so many random conversations, I’ve honestly ended up just zoning out every single time. Such a shame.
Where did they go?
It was such a good show!!!