PaleyFest: 'Parks and Rec' Cast Talks 'Biggest Yet' Season Finale and Planning for the End
The stars were tickled by their anticipation of this year's finale episode, which Amy Poehler promised, "ends with a lot of change."
Spirits were high and wine was pouring at Los Angeles' Dolby Theatre for Tuesday night's PaleyFest panel with the cast of NBC's Parks and Recreation. Moderated, fittingly, by Patton Oswalt whose guest appearance on the show and Star Wars filibuster scene went viral, the show's creator Mike Schur joined Amy Poehler, donning a glass of wine, along with Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Jim O'Heir, Retta and Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt. Ben Schwartz and new addition to Pawnee, Billy Eichner, joined the talk, too, which had the cast recalling favorite moments and cracking up not only the audience but each other.
Poehler opened the panel by saying how overwhelmed she was at the turnout, shouting up to the audience in the upper tiers. "It's become a bigger, special thing. And all the people here own a piece of it," she told the cheering crowd. "I'm gonna cry!" she added.
The excitement for the hour-long season six finale was in the air, which Poehler described to The Hollywood Reporter as insane. "It's the biggest yet, with the highest production values, the most cameos and a lot of surprises," she said. "A lot of shit happens. Like, a lot." O'Heir agreed, noting "it changes things, and opens up a lot of possibilities for next season," while Eichner called the episode a "Parks and Rec circus."
Poehler said she and Schur have discussed when the curtain will close on Pawnee, and they have an idea of what it might look like. "I don't even think about the end, but it's coming," she told the audience.
Whatever is in store for the finale and beyond, the cast also spent time taking a look back on previous seasons. Below are the highlights:
1. Nick Offerman basically is Ron Swanson
Every scene of Ron working in his wood shop was shot in Offerman's wood shop because he really does have one. The boxes that are given to the now-departed characters of Chris (Rob Lowe) and Ann (Rashida Jones) were made by the actor, and he gifted them to both Lowe and Jones upon their leaving the show.
2. Ron and Leslie have made out
Although it'll likely never be seen, every season Poehler revealed that she and Offerman do a make-out session for the gag reel, though it never even makes it in there, either. "We never put it on the air because it's super disturbing," Schur joked.
3. Retta is terrified of Greg Daniels
In the hunting trip episode, Retta was worried she wasn't going to cry well enough in a scene for Greg Daniels who directed the episode. "I was very scared of him. Still scared," she said.
4. Jim O'Heir gets picked on just like Jerry/Gary/Larry
Upon unveiling after a table read that O'Heir and Retta had made the opening credits, the intro was played for them, except instead of O'Heir's photo, it was a blank box with a question mark inside it.
4. Nick Offerman's favorite guest star
"I'll take Megan Mullally," he said of his wife who plays Ron's ex-wife, Tammy. "In about 45 minutes," he then added, to uproarious applause. As for Poehler's favorite? "We did a little thing with Michelle Obama," she teased.
6. Amy Poehler hates the phrase "the tits"
When an audience member proclaimed, "This is the tits!" before asking his question, Poehler made sure he knew never to say that phrase again. This came after another audience member, who was so overwhelmed and excited, he earned a panel-wide standing ovation for his non-question rambling question. Talk about a filibuster. Patton Oswalt was made proud.