The cast of Parks and Recreation reunited on Thursday night for a special social distance episode amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and judging from the fan reaction on Twitter it was everything they wanted the special to be…and more.
In the episode, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) is trying to stay in touch with all of her friends from the Pawnee, Indiana Parks & Recreation Department while she self-isolated in Washington D.C. as a Department of the Interior employee.
As Leslie checked in with Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), her husband Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), her bestie Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones), and former co-workers Tom Havelford (Aziz Ansari), Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt), April Ludgate Dwyer (Aubrey Plaza), Donna Meager (Retta), Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) and Garry/Jerry Gergich (Jim O’Heir), many of the other famous personalities from the Parks and Recreation universe joined in via local Pawnee programming.
Joan Callamezzo (Mo Collins) appeared in the At Home with Joan segment to speak with Leslie and Ben. Perfume magnate Dennis Feinstein (Jason Mantzoukas) advertised a new cologne called “Miracle Cure,” Dr. Jeremy Jamm (Jon Glaser) promoted his possibly illegal dentistry delivery service, Jean-Ralphio Saperstein (Ben Schwartz) celebrated his new cash windfall after getting run over by a Porsche, and Pawnee news anchor Perd Hapley (Jay Jackson) hosted his show Ya’ Herd with Perd.
Andy Dwyer also showed up as Johnny Karate in the episode to entertain the kids. And, to cheer Leslie up, Ron Swanson gathered all of her friends for a video conference call so they could sing 5,000 Candles in the Wind, the special tribute song for Lil Sebastian.
Offerman also took advantage of being in quarantine with his wife Megan Mullally, as she made a surprise appearance as Tammy Two. And, Paul Rudd appeared in the cold open as Bobby Newport.
I can't decide what my favorite part of the Parks and Rec Special was, Jean Ralphio's "I'm so very sad," or Tammy 2, or Garry crying as a poop emoji.
— Dianna "As a Minnesotan" Anderson 🏳️🌈 (@diannaeanderson) May 1, 2020
As the half-hour episode aired live on NBC, Twitter erupted with multiple trending terms based on the Parks and Recreation special. One fan wrote: “The #ParksAndRecSpecial is like a warm hug from an old friend. Hearing Leslie Knope’s voice of reason and seeing the gang is just what I needed.”
Another delighted fan tweeted in all caps: “I NEEDED THIS. WE ALL NEEDED THIS. @parksandrecnbc IS MY ALL TIME FAVORITE SHOW AND THIS JUST LIFTED MY SPIRITS! @nbc WE NEED MORE SEASONS! PLEASE?!#ParksAndRecreation #ParksAndRecSpecial.”
So far, the Parks and Recreation Special has raised $2.8 million dollars for Feeding America.