Former House Speaker and Lunar-colony enthusiast Newt Gingrich will guest star in an upcoming episode of Parks and Recreation on NBC. Gingrich will be the latest in a recent flurry of political heavy-hitters to appear on the show. Other recent guests include Olympia Snowe, Barbara Boxer, and Senator John McCain. Even Vice President Joe Biden and his dazzling choppers have graced Parks and Recreation with their presence of late.
What is it about Parks and Recreation that wins over American politicians with such apparent ease? Is it the charming optimism of Amy’s Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope? Or is it the ragtag coterie of hilarious co-stars like Chris Pratt and BUST cover girl Aubrey Plaza? Perhaps it all comes down to the undeniable magnetism of Nick Offerman’s epic mustache?
Maybe the reason that real-life politicians can get behind this show with such gusto is that it portrays small town government officials as interested, active entities. Even if the trials and tribulations of Leslie Knope and the crew are ultimately trivial matters, the people of Pawnee truly care about their community and neighbors. Their passions and preoccupations, though teensy in the grand scheme of things, are tended to with sincere effort and perseverance.
These qualities are tough to scoff at, especially in the current political environment where sincerity and passion are often trumped by ire and finger-wagging. Parks and Recreation may be one of the only bipartisan points of agreement to date! Leslie Knope for House Speaker? If only.
Photos biography.com; NBC.com