‘Parks and Recreation’ Filmed Double Endings For Its Campaign Storyline

by | March 7, 2012 at 8:02 AM | Parks & Recreation

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Will Leslie Knope be elected to the Pawnee city council? The producers of “Parks and Recreation” are so concerned about keeping the results of the election a secret that they filmed different endings to the fourth season finale. “We shot two endings, the show’s creator Michael Schur told the audience at Tuesday’s PaleyFest. “Partly to hedge our bets in case we change our minds and partly to throw snoopy snoopers off the scent.”

For the show’s star, Amy Poehler, filming the multiple endings was an emotional experience. “It was really touching and moving to do both the acceptance and the concession speeches. Concession and acceptance speeches are about the same until the end. They thank everybody and talk a lot and say congratulations to the other guy… Having to talk to the cast, which were all my friends, and say thank you for this election year. I couldn’t do it without you, cue the waterworks factory.”

According to Schur, who acknowledged that the panel was appropriately scheduled for Super Tuesday, the campaign was originally planned for season five. “Once we thought about it, we realized it lined up better with national events if… our election would run in the first part of year before people were exhausted.”

Poehler revealed that she wrote and directed the season’s twentieth episode.¬†”It was a huge opportunity for me,” said Poehler. “It was like a dream come true, like every moment on this show is, genuinely.”

Watch Amy Poehler Discuss “Drunk Leslie”:

“[The episode is] the big debate with Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd),” said Schur. “There’s also three other candidates in the race. There’s a guy named DeLaRosa. He’s a single issue [candidate]. His issue is animal rights. He thinks rats are as important as people. Then there’s another candidate who is a single issue gun nut, Fester Trimm, and playing the role is none other than the great Buddy Garrity from ‘Friday Night Lights,’ Brad Leland.”

In another episode, Ben Schwartz (“House of Lies”) will be back as John Raffio. “We have shot a scene with John Raffio,” said Schur. “We haven’t edited it yet, so I don’t know if he made the cut, but we did shoot it.” “Glee’sMike O’Malley will also guest star. “He appears in the second to last episode of the year,” said Schur. “He plays a guy who runs a van rental place [the Knope campaign] hires to bring senior citizens to vote. At the last second the Newport campaign comes in and they offer him twenty grand or something to just take the vans and park them somewhere.” Chris Pratt (Andy) also promised that if the show is picked up for a fifth season, he will persuade his wife, Anna Farris, to appear on the show.

Watch Leslie’s Battle for the Senior Citizen Vote: