It was a laugh a minute from the moment the PaleyFest panel for NBC’s Parks and Recreation began last night at Beverly Hills’ Saban Theatre. The first 22 minutes, in fact, were especially hilarious, considering that the time was filled with a screening of this Thursday’s new episode of the comedy, titled “Lucky,” which was notable because it was written by series star Nick Offerman, who plays Ron Swanson.
The episode was focused largely around an interview that Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) was supposed to do with a scandal-obsessed host played — rather memorably — by Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes (see an EW exclusive clip of the episode now). And Donna (Retta) spends some gut-busting time with Jerry (Jim O’Heir).
But, on to the topic at hand: last night’s Parks and Recreation panel! Because Parks was added to the Paley line-up rather last-minute — a panel for The Office was canceled last week — several of the show’s cast members weren’t there. Poehler, Chris Pratt (Andy Dwyer), Retta, and O’Heir cleverly toted cardboard cutouts of their missing castmates — Rashida Jones, Adam Scott, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, and Rob Lowe — onto the stage as a gag. Poehler explained that they didn’t bring a cutout of Offerman because he was shooting a movie in nearby Burbank, Calif., and was going to try to make it, however last minute, to the theater. (Offerman, however, never did show up.) Producer and director Dean Holland, executive producer and writer Daniel Goor, and series creator Mike Schur also appeared on the stage.
There’s no need to bore you with a complete tick-tock of the night — plus, you’ll be able to watch a stream of the entire panel on Hulu after the PaleyFest is over on March 15. So here are 15 important takeaways — everything from the possibility of a season 5 and when Paul Rudd will return to whether Pratt’s wife, Anna Faris, will guest and why Retta loves Twilight (oh yes) — from the lovely evening:
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