Parks and Recreation stars Aubrey Plaza and Amy Poehler reprise their iconic sitcom roles for Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update segment.
When Aubrey Plaza hosted Saturday Night Live for her very first time, she and former co-star Amy Poehler gave Parks and Recreation fans a treat.
On Jan. 21 during SNL‘s “Weekend Update” segment, writer-anchor Colin Jost mentioned that “local governments are having trouble hiring new employees,” and brought out Plaza in character as Parks and Rec‘s April Ludgate. Plaza was not alone during the segment, however, and later introduced Poehler as her TV boss, Leslie Knope. For the majority of Parks and Rec, Leslie and April both work for Pawnee, Indiana’s Parks and Recreation Department, though the former behaves more enthusiastically towards her job than the latter.
Who Are Parks and Rec’s Leslie Knope and April Ludgate?
When she debuts in Parks and Recreation, April is an intern for the Parks Department and shows little regard for both her work and others, though she eventually develops into a more caring, hard-working government employee. During Weekend Update, Plaza brought back April’s careless personality while telling viewers how they can get involved in local government. “Drive a bus. You don’t have to be on time. Nobody cares,” Plaza said as April, later adding, “Or just be a dogcatcher and just say you couldn’t find any. Because when you work for local government, doing the bare minimum is doing your part.”
After Jost asked about people who “actually want to work hard,” Plaza differed to Leslie, and Poehler appeared onstage as the character. The actor is no stranger to SNL, and was a cast member of the sketch comedy series between 2001 and 2008 before she left to star as Leslie in Parks and Rec. Unlike April, Leslie started out as the Parks Department’s overly positive Deputy Director and worked her way up the government ladder throughout the series. Poehler’s Weekend Update appearance included Leslie’s character trait of idolizing influential women, having her tell a joke about a bus service for puppies where the punchline was “Rosa Barks,” a spin on civil rights activist Rosa Parks.
A Brief Recap of Parks and Rec’s Television History
Parks and Recreation premiered in 2009 and ran for seven seasons total through 2015. Plaza and Poehler’s SNL appearance is not the first time that the two have reprised their Parks and Rec roles since the series ended, however, being that the cast reunited virtually in 2020 to create a special episode during the COVID-19 lockdown. Along with Plaza and Poehler, the show delivered a number of other iconic performances throughout its run, such as actor Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson, Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer and Rob Lowe as Chris Traeger, among many others.
Parks and Recreation is now streaming on Peacock. As the name would imply, Saturday Night Live hosts new episodes on Saturdays, airing live on NBC.
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