Joe Biden, 'Parks and Recreation' Guest Star, is Democrats' New Pop Culture Icon
The party continues for Joe Biden.
Just two days after being re-elected as Vice President of the United States, Biden will make a guest appearance on NBC's Parks and Recreation. The cameo -- which was filmed this summer when the cast shot scenes in Washington -- will involve an opening segment in which Biden meets Amy Poehler's hyperactive, civic-obsessed city councilwoman Leslie Knope.
It will be a big moment for Knope; though Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi are her political role models, Biden -- and Biden alone -- comprises her celebrity sex list.
"Vice President Biden is both Leslie's political hero and her number-one celebrity crush, so meeting him is obviously a huge moment for her," Mike Schur, the show's EP, said in a statement. "We looked at a number of actors to OK the role of 'Vice President Joe Biden,' and ultimately, Joe Biden himself gave the best audition."
Though his debut will last only a minute, it is just the most recent example of Biden's growing pop culture ubiquity -- a very different kind than that of his boss, President Obama, who has galvanized celebrities like no commander-in-chief before him.
While Saturday Night Live was gifted eight years of caricature-friendly George W. Bush in the White House, and a 2008 election that featured Tina Fey spoofing Sarah Palin in a political-pop culture milestone, Obama, with his cool and calm demeanor, has provided more difficult to lampoon. Enter Biden, who while a long-time senator and authority on foreign relations, is also an affable, muscle-car loving man with an ease and candor that not infrequently results in verbal gaffes.
Jason Sudeikis has played Biden on the sketch comedy show as a fun-loving everyman who is quick to challenge a political rival to a fight or make an outrageous boast, as was the case in the recent SNL episode mocking the vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan.
Similarly, the satirical newspaper The Onion has made a beer-drinking, spontaneously topless Biden its go-to character, photoshopping him as a mullet-wearing, working class guy's guy stuck in the past (see: "Biden Says Life Better Than It Was 4 Years Ago But Nothing Can Touch Summer Of '87.")
The newspaper even had its parody "Diamond" Joe Biden take over its political Twitter feed during the VP debate. A few weeks ago, Biden read the Top 10 list on Late Show with David Letterman, while earlier in the year, when he announced his support for gay marriage without Obama's blessing, Conan O'Brien presented a supercut of out-of-context misspeaks called Joe Biden's Lousy Campaign Slogans."
The perception isn't lost on the White House, either; in his acceptance speech after re-election, Obama called Biden "America's Happy Warrior." Even amid all the night's historic events, the term immediately began trending on Twitter.