“Oh my gosh! WOW! Oh, my gosh! Okay, So Hi! I’m Daniel!” the young man began. “Oh sh*t! Oh my god! So, um, to be fair to the show, you guys all seem so natural on the show, even when — you guys seem so chill, and I want to know, are you guys always like that, off-camera?!” he emoted while hopping about. “Oh my gosh! I’m right here! Oh my gosh!” Daniel said, beginning to foam over as he discovered his image was being projected on a giant screen over the cast, so that the show’s many fans in the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood could see him as he asked his question. “And, um, like, I want to know, you guys seem to embody the characters, and become your characters. Retta, are you always, ‘Oh, damn! Bitch!?” concluded Daniel, who was just another super-fan attending PaleyFest in the theater, but would likely have been Tasered had he come within three feet of the cast members outside the theater on Hollywood Blvd. Unless, of course, he’s an actor punking PaleyFest for JKL which has its studio just down the road.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about! I’m not like that OK? Shit! Fuck!” joked Retta, who plays Donna Meagle, the office manager at the Pawnee Indiana Parks and Recreation Department on the NBC comedy.
“All I’m asking is, Are you guys always like that?! Are you always like a klutz?!” Daniel continued – that question apparently was directed at Jim O’Heir, who fell out of his chair on cue.
“Yeah! So, that’s like my question. OK?!” Daniel concluded.
The cast, and show co-creator Mike Schur, stood and gave Daniel a standing ovation. Daniel began to hyperventilate and record the moment on his camera.
(Daniel wasn’t the only person overwhelmed by the occasion. Billy Eichner gushed that he was thrilled to be on the same stage where, at the Oscars, “John Travolta said ‘Adele Dazeem’!” At another point in the Q&A, the cast mulled the awesomeness of Seth MacFarlane’s Cosmos reboot, apropos of nothing.)
“So I flew here from Detroit, Michigan to see you guys and, but, so, I want to ask everyone if they think Parks And Recreation is an accurate depiction of Midwest life?” asked a female ticket-buyer. “This feels like a trap,” joked Schur. Show star Amy Poehler asked the woman if she thought the show was an accurate depiction. “I don’t know. I’ve never been to Indiana,” the woman answered. When pressed, she said she thought the sense of community “rings true,” and “maybe some of the worst aspects are true, but I’m not going to put Detroit down like that.”
Another, ticket buyer asked Poehler to compare herself to her Parks character, Leslie. “I love her exuberance. I’m a little lazier and more cynical and more checked out than she is,” Poehler said. “She tells everyone all the time what she’s feeling. What’s cool about her is there’s nothing cool about her.” Poehler hinted the Parks And Recreation season finale was “bonkers” and would include “a lot of change.”
When another member of the audience began his question by noting of the show, “It’s the tits,” Poehler scolded, “Don’t say ‘the tits’,” which seemed off, given that the phrase had been used in a Parks And Recreation script last year. Anyway, the guy apologized.
Poehler then called on another woman on the audience. “I can’t believe you acknowledged me!” the woman began. “You made my week! You are one of the most inspiring people I have ever not met! You are absolutely amazing! Bless you! You are an incredible role model for women everywhere!” The woman mentioned a passage in Tina Fey’s book, in which someone told Poehler she had done something unladylike, “and you said, ‘I don’t fucking care if you don’t like it’, and I’ve read that book like eight times and you are just an incredible role model and I can’t believe I’m looking at you!” the woman said.
“I really picked well with you,” Poehler deadpanned.
“You and your character inspire me — all of your characters do!” the woman continued to rave.
“I’m getting nervous now. Ask a question,” Poehler directed. The woman responded by asking all of the cast members how their characters inspire them.
“She gets laid,” Retta responded.
“What inspires me about Crazy Craig? asked Billy Eichner. “I’m not going to lie. It’s a tough question. I’ll say this: He’s not repressed. You won’t find him on ‘Downton Abbey’.”
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Chris Pratt said his character, Andy Dwyer is “maybe the stupidest man” that ever lived, but insisted, “knowledge is very dangerous.” Which, Patton Oswalt, who was moderating, decided was the perfect note on which to end this particular Q&A.