19 Awesome Facts About “Parks And Recreation” You Probably Didn't Know

During San Diego Comic-Con, some of the cast of Parks and Recreation reunited for a panel in honor of the the show’s 10th anniversary.

The panel included Jay Jackson (Perd Hapley), Andy Forrest (Kyle, aka Andy’s shoeshine BFF), Colton Dunn (Brett from Animal Control), John Balma (Barney, aka Ben’s accounting BFF), and Kelly Washington (Allison Gliffert, aka Leslie’s protege).

Here’s all the cool stuff we learned:


Kyle, who was always at Andy’s shoeshine stand, was originally just written into one episode and was supposed to be the head of Water and Power. They ended up needing somebody at the stand a couple of episodes later, so they called him back.


Barney was originally only needed in one episode, too! But John Balma got called back to play the Barney that we all know and love (and feel bad for) about a year and a half later.


When people recognize John as Barney on the street, more often than not they come up and say, “Oh my god, we feel so sorry [for Barney].”


The first time Colton Dunn got recognized on the street for Parks and Recreation, a guy kept on looking at him and finally said, “Hey, man, do you work with animals?”


Many people know that Jay Jackson, who plays Perd Hapley, was originally a news reporter, but what you might not know is that casting for Parks and Recreation was specifically looking for a news reporter (not an actor) because they “wanted the sound of a real news reporter saying silly things.”


But they still had time for, what they called, “fun runs” where everyone got to do a little improv after the filming of a scene (like this Andy scene that made the final cut).


For example, Colton got to do a lot of improv with Amy Poehler during the bird scene in the “Emergency Response” episode, which resulted in the line, “Got it, kill them.”


In “Recall Leslie Knope,” Colton and Harris Wittels were on the call sheet for the parade scene, but they had no lines, so they decided to come up with some of their own to shout while on the float. They decided to chant “Legalize weed!” and it ended up in the show.


Another time Colton and Harris got to improvise together is when both their characters showed up for the same Animal Control interview for the job that they were both just fired from. Colton said the scene was “Bill and Ted level dumb” so they decided to just both shout “Wyld Stallyns!”…and, once again, it was kept in the show.


In the episode where Barney and all of the accountants are eating calzones and playing Cones of Dunshire, Barney was supposed to have the last line, but an extra shouted “I call Ledgerman!” and they ended up keeping it in the scene.


As you can imagine, the actors definitely broke character while filming. For example, Nick Offerman and Chris Pratt apparently couldn’t keep a straight face in the scene where Barney screams really loudly when he sees Ben.


According to Jay, Aziz Anzari would often make other actors break character on set because he was just so funny. There was one scene in Season 3 with Perd, Tom, and Ben that the three of them just couldn’t get through because Aziz kept on making a face that would make them break.


Colton had trouble getting through the scene where Tom meets the Animal Control guys for the first time because apparently Aziz had a hilarious facial reaction to Brett’s “how do you know my name?” line.


Aziz and Retta both kept cracking up after Jerry’s line during the hamburger cook-off scene when he tells Kyle to “stop being so pretentious.”


The iconic scene where Jean-Ralphio walks around the office with Barney and then gets immediately fired was filmed in three takes.


Chris Pratt can somehow contort his legs in a weird way that allows himself to fall backwards, and so they had him do it several times throughout the series.


Andy and Chris Pratt thought it would be funny if it was revealed that Kyle was actually Andy Dwyer’s father and that’s why he kept on coming back to the shoeshine stand.


And finally, according to Jay, there were a lot of tears and people crying during the Season 6 finale because everyone was emotional while filming the Unity Concert.