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    May 1, 2020

    Here's What The "Parks And Recreation" Characters Are Up To During The COVID-19 Pandemic

    Feels so good to see them again!

    The Parks and Recreation one-off special finally arrived! It feels so good to see all these familiar faces again!

    NBC / Via

    In case you didn't get a chance to watch but want to know spoilers anyway, here's what your favorite Pawneeans have been up to:

    Leslie Knope:


    She's now Head of the Department of the Interior, so she's doing a lot. Leslie shut down every park in her jurisdiction and volunteered for several committees to help people during the pandemic. Oh, and yes, she did create those committees! But Leslie's got too much going on to relax, so she said she's only getting two hours of sleep instead of her "usual four." She's fine, by the way, but put oatmeal on her fingernails thinking it was nail polish.

    Leslie eventually admitted to Ron that she's "not so great" because she feels guilty that she can't check in more, oblivious to the fact that she's checking in on her friends too often.

    Bobby Newport:


    Bobby's the first character to come onscreen, sporting a Knope 2012 jacket that I really want to cop. Turns out he's spending the pandemic in Switzerland at his family's private fox-hunting estate.

    Bobby breaks the fourth wall by reading a message sent by Leslie Knope about the Parks and Recreation cast deciding to do a one-time special "to raise money for people hurt by the coronas." Apparently Bobby missed the memo that there's a pandemic and asks someone off-camera what Leslie's talking about.

    Ben Wyatt:


    There's nothing I wanted more than to see Ben Wyatt wearing his Letters To Cleo shirt, and I lost my shit when I saw it. Of course, that shirt means Ben's not handling quarantine well, so Leslie's obviously concerned. "How are you is the question. I know that shirt, it worries me," said Leslie, video chatting on Gryzzl (the Parks and Rec version of Zoom).

    Ben also claimed the "most incredible thing happened."

    "So today I'm cleaning the house and I get dizzy from the cleaning supplies, and then I homeschool the kids, but they don't learn anything because of the dizziness. But then, I had the most amazing idea: do you remember THIS GUY?"


    Yup, he brought back the clay guy! Not only that, but he also had the game Cones of Dunshire! So yeah, we lost him. He's going to make a claymation movie about Cones of Dunshire. Well, at least he's being creative while quarantined.

    Ron Swanson:


    Ron would rather have everyone take a picture of themselves holding the latest newspaper to prove they're okay instead of having Leslie and others checking in on him. When Leslie mentioned wanting to take care of people's mental health, Ron held up a bottle of whiskey and said, "This is the only mental health I need." At least he's having fun.

    He also shared that he's in his cabin and goes up there to "hunt meat so I don't have to go to the grocery store." He's built up around a 12-year supply of venison jerky, so he's thriving in isolation.

    April Ludgate:


    Words cannot describe her outfit. There's a bikini top on her head, swim goggles around her neck...I don't know what's going on.

    "Andy and I put all of our stuff in garbage bags, and every day I put on the first five things I pull out," she explained to Ron. April also has taken up playing the drums. She's good!

    Andy Dwyer:


    Oh, Andy...he locked himself in the shed and can't get out. What a convenient way to not have to film April and Andy in the same room! I know what you're wondering — why can't April get him out? Well, according to Andy, "Burt Macklin does not need anyone to help him escape a measly shed." But yeah, Andy's been stuck in the shed for two days — and he's hungry.

    It looks like Andy — err, Burt Macklin — eventually made it out of the shed, because he later appeared as Johnny Karate showing off his moves in the living room. Leslie asked him to don the persona during her interview with Perd Hapley, giving the children of Pawnee a special message: "Johnny Karate wants you to know you must stay strong and be nice to your parents."

    Ann Perkins:


    Chris explained that Ann has gone back to work as a nurse, so they're not quarantined together out of caution. "She is isolating in the east part of the house, and the kids and I are in the northwest," he said. Ann also mentioned she's helping with out-patient care, so she's not on the front lines. "Gotta do what we can," said Ann.

    Chris Traeger:


    According to Ann, he's donating blood three times a week. Chris said the CDC asked him to donate because he's "extremely healthy. My red blood cells are so big, you can see them with the naked eye."

    Tom Haverford:


    Tom's using his time quarantined to come up with entrepreneurial ideas, like double-breasted pajamas, protective masks with other people's teeth printed on them ("Stay safe and look fresh as hell, with Timothée Chalamet's smile!"), teeny tiny iPads for each finger, and lasagna that's also toilet paper. So yeah, things are totally normal for him.

    Donna Meagle:


    Her husband Joe is teaching from home and she's amazed by how he can handle it. "The man is a saint, the job is impossible, and every teacher deserves a brand-new Mercedes after all this." PREACH! We don't get to know much about what's up with her, but Donna's — well, Retta's — closet is incredible! She's definitely been treating herself!



    After everyone refused to call Jerry, Tom tricked Leslie into having a video chat with him, accompanied by Donna. "Some people really fought me when I had to cancel the annual Pawnee Popsicle Lick 'n Pass," said Garry, who is now mayor of Pawnee. It should also be no surprise that he had some video chatting mishaps and gave himself a dog filter. When turning it off didn't work, he gave himself a Juggalo filter. It's a look! But he saved the best filter for last: the poop emoji.

    Joan Callamezzo:


    The host of Pawnee Today is back! Joan interviews Leslie and Ben while surrounded by her many creepy dolls, and she starts singing mid-interview. It's the chaotic energy we needed. When Leslie asks if Joan has any friends who can check in on her in times of need, Joan proudly counts her dolls as her friends. "Every night, I do a show for them called Joan on Joan for Joan."

    Dennis Feinstein:


    I was not expecting to see Jason Mantzoukas pop up in the special as Dennis Feinstein, but I'm so glad he did! Of course, he's promoting a brand-new scent that repels "any and all viruses." It's called Miracle Cure and it's "proven to kill anything it comes in contact with." Sounds legit.

    Perd Hapley:


    The Ya Heard? With Perd! newscaster's back, too! He gets to interview Leslie and Ben and looks very sharp, even though he's working from home.

    Jeremy Jamm:


    Is it really a Parks and Rec reunion episode without Leslie's nemesis? This time, he doesn't get to interact with the other characters, but instead has his own ad for Jamm Orthodontics where he only wore a silk robe. He showed off the mohawk he gave himself while quarantined and promoted his home dental delivery service. If you give him your credit card, he'll drop off a bunch of needles, gauze pads, drills, and walk you through your root canal. Good deal.

    Jean-Ralphio Saperstein:


    Jean-Ralphio is back, baby! He got run over by a Porsche and used the money from the lawsuit to buy a sweet pad and commercial time. So what's the ad for? Jean-Ralphio is bored AF! He's giving out his phone number so anyone can call because he's that bored! Oh, and he's banned from Cameo for doing his videos naked. Love it!

    Tammy 2:


    Guess who broke into Ron's cabin! Apparently, Tammy 2 wanted to join Ron and Diane in bed.

    Li'l Sebastian:

    View this video on YouTube


    Okay, so Li'l Sebastian's still in horsey heaven, but he's with the Pawneeans in spirit. Andy breaks out the guitar to sing the Mouse Rat original "5,000 Candles in the Wind" and the Park and Rec gang sings along.

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