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Newt Gingrich is the latest politician to earn a guest spot on Parks and Recreation. Unlike previous appearances by politicians like Vice President Joe Biden, though, this one was not planned.
The Indy Star reported that the show’s crew were filming the bachelor party for Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) in real-life Indianapolis at the St. Elmo Creek Hotel steakhouse.
Indiana Pacers players Roy Hibbert and Miles Plumlee were already planned to make an appearance, but when Gingrich walked into the restaurant, the show’s writers and producers knew they needed to work him into the show. It turns out that the former Republican presidential candidate was in town to meet with Gov. Mitch Daniels.
“It was a completely random chance,” show co-creator Mike Schur told the Star. “But you can’t pass up on an opportunity like that.”
According to USA Today, star Rob Lowe tweeted his excitement about Gingrich’s cameo, writing, “Latest surprise drop by on set: Speaker Newt Gingrich! So we made up a scene and put him in!! #AllHappeningInIndy.”
Latest surprise drop by on set: Speaker Newt Gingrich! So we made up a scene and put him in!!#AllHappeningInIndy
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) December 3, 2012
The rest of the show’s male cast, including Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari and Jim O’Heir, were all at the shoot. Amy Poehler, who plays Leslie Knope, was not at the shoot.
Biden and Senator John McCain have also appeared on the show when the production was filming scenes in Washington, DC.