'Parks and Recreation' Creator: Newt Gingrich Cameo 'Was Completely Random'

Mike Schur says he wrote the ex-GOP presidential candidate into the NBC comedy after the politico happened to walk into an Indianapolis restaurant during filming.
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Newt Gingrich is pulling a Joe Biden by making a cameo on NBC's Parks and Recreation -- but unlike with the Vice President, there was no pre-planning involved. 

On the spur of the moment Monday, the ex- GOP presidential candidate and House speaker was written into Parks and Rec after walking into Indianapolis' St. Elmo Steak House while the comedy filmed scenes on location at the restaurant.

"It was a completely random chance. But you can’t pass up on an opportunity like that," series co-creator Mike Schur told the Indianapolis Star.

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And so Schur and the episode's writer-director weaved Gingrich -- in town to meet with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels -- into the storyline, which in this particular episode, revolved around a bachelor party for Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), who's getting married to Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), mayor of fictional Pawnee, Indiana.

Poehler was not present at St. Elmo, although Scott was joined by actors Nick Offerman (none other than Ron Swanson), Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe, Chris Pratt and Jim O'Heir. Indiana Pacers' players Roy Hibbert and Miles Plumlee filmed planned cameos.

"I love, ironically, that we had to come to Indianapolis to have Speaker Gingrich," Lowe told the Star. "No, we didn’t have him in Washington. We have him at St. Elmo’s."

Twitter: @ErinLCarlson

Email: erin.carlson@thr.com