The NBC comedy Parks and Recreation aired from 2009 to 2015 and starred Amy Poehler, Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt
In 2009, following the massive success of sitcoms like 30 Rock and The Office, NBC premiered Parks and Recreation, a mockumentary series that followed the chronically underfunded and underperforming Parks and Recreation Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Illinois.
The show attracted massive talent, including Saturday Night Live alum Amy Poehler and former The Office cast member Rashida Jones. Everwood star Chris Pratt also signed on and soon became one of Hollywood’s leading men.
Since the show ended in 2015, several cast members went on to find lasting success: Adam Scott stars in an Emmy-winning series on Apple TV+, while Aubrey Plaza appeared in season 2 of HBO's hit show The White Lotus.
In August 2023, a few Parks and Rec alums even reunited to support the SAG-AFTRA strike. Plaza and Scott joined Nick Offerman, Ben Schwartz, Sam Elliott, Jim O'Heir, Retta and Allison Becker on the picket line outside of Amazon Studios, where they posed with the show's miniature horse Lil' Sebastien.
Here's where the cast of Parks and Recreation is now.
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope
Amy Poehler starred as Leslie Knope, a paper-pushing bureaucrat at the Parks and Recreation Department in her hometown of Pawnee.
Before starring in Parks and Recreation, Poehler had already established herself as a comedian after being a cast member on SNL from 2001 to 2008.
During her time on Parks and Rec, Poehler’s fame continued to grow; she voice-acted in the animated movies Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) and Inside Out (2015) and starred in Sisters (2015). After the show ended, Poehler reteamed with her costar Nick Offerman to host the reality competition series Making It, which featured skilled craftspeople trying to create the best handmade projects. The show ran from 2018 to 2021.
Poehler has also been working behind the camera as a director and producer. She has worked on notable titles like Broad City and Russian Doll. In 2022, she directed and produced the Emmy-winning documentary Lucy and Desi, which chronicled the life and relationship of comedians Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
That same year, at the premiere of Russian Doll’s second season, Poehler told PEOPLE that she was open to doing a Parks and Rec reboot, saying, “Anytime anybody gives me the word, and I'm down.”
Off-screen, Poehler was married to fellow actor Will Arnett from 2003 to 2016. The couple met when Arnett went to see one of her improv shows in New York City in 1996. During their time together, the couple had two children, sons Archie and Abel.
Next up, Poehler will reprise her role in the upcoming Inside Out 2, premiering in June 2024. She'll also star alongside other comedic powerhouses like Megan Mullally, Andy Richter and Chelsea Peretti in the comedy First Time Female Director, debuting on Roku in 2024.
Rashida Jones as Ann Perkins
Rashida Jones played Ann Perkins, a nurse who, thanks to a giant pit that people keep falling into, gradually becomes more involved in local government — more specifically, the Parks and Recreation Department.
Before joining the cast of Parks and Rec, Jones was already a recognizable face due to her previous television work. She had a recurring role in Boston Public (2000-2002) and starred as Karen Filippelli on The Office from (2006-2009; 2011).
While appearing on Parks and Rec, she had some other notable performances, including The Social Network (2010) and The Muppets (2011). Jones also held a voice role on the Hulu animated comedy The Awesomes (2013-2015).
After the Parks and Rec finale, Jones was cast in films like The Grinch (2018) and Spies in Disguise (2019), as well as the film On the Rocks (2020), in which she starred opposite Bill Murray.
Jones’ next project will be the upcoming Apple TV+ mystery series Sunny, about a woman living in Japan who must investigate her husband’s disappearance with the help of an AI companion. This new show comes on the heels of her work on the Apple TV+ dystopian drama Silo.
Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford
Aziz Ansari played Tom Haverford, a disinterested and underachieving city employee under Leslie’s watch.
Parks and Recreation was one of Ansari’s first major roles. He was previously best known for his short-lived sketch comedy series on MTV, Human Giant, which aired from 2007 to 2008.
During his seven seasons on Parks and Rec, Ansari took on numerous other projects, holding recurring roles in series like Bob’s Burgers, The League and Adventure Time. He also gained fame as a stand-up comedian, landing his first major special on Comedy Central in 2010. He has since released four more specials on Netflix.
In 2015, just a few months after Parks and Rec aired its finale episode, Ansari created, produced and starred in Master of None — a hit Netflix comedy that aired three seasons and earned the actor an Emmy for outstanding writing and a Golden Globe for best actor in a TV series.
In 2022, Ansari reportedly married Serena Skov Campbell.
Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson
Nick Offerman played Ron Swanson, a libertarian government employee who believes in “small government” and therefore wants the Parks and Recreation Department to be as small, underfunded and useless as possible.
Parks and Recreation was one of Offerman’s first major roles. Beforehand, he had appeared in films like City of Angels (1998) and Sin City (2005) but held minor roles in them. During his time on Parks and Rec, Offerman’s career began to boom. He landed numerous stand-up specials and starred in movies like 21 Jump Street (2012), We’re the Millers (2013) and The Lego Movie (2014).
After the series concluded, he joined costar Poehler in hosting Making It and had a role in Hulu’s Emmy-nominated miniseries Pam & Tommy (2022). Offerman also starred in the now-memorable third episode of The Last of Us (2023), in which he played a reclusive survivalist during the zombie apocalypse who ends up falling in love with a stranger (Murray Bartlett).
When appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Offerman admitted that he almost turned down the role until his wife Megan Mullally forced him to take it. "I didn't have time on the calendar to say 'yes' to this job,” Offerman said. “And my incredible goddess of a wife read [the script] — and she said 'You're going to Calgary, buddy. Have fun! You have to do this.' "
Offerman and Mullally have been married since 2003 and have appeared in numerous projects together. Offerman held a guest spot in Mullally’s Will & Grace, and she, in turn, guest-starred in Parks and Rec as his on-screen ex-wife, Tammy Swanson.
The actor is also open to a Parks and Rec reboot, telling PEOPLE in 2020, “The last we saw him [his character, Ron Swanson], he took a job as a park ranger, so I imagine he’s befriended some bears and is teaching them to play Liverpool rummy.”
In the meantime, fans can catch Offerman in the upcoming film Dumb Money, which will chronicle the Wall Street chaos that ensued after GameStop’s stocks skyrocketed thanks to Reddit users. Joining Offerman in the cast are Pete Davidson, Shailene Woodley and Seth Rogen.
Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate
Aubrey Plaza played April Ludgate, a disinterested intern who ends up becoming Ron’s assistant, thanks to her aloof demeanor and subpar work ethic.
Before starring on Parks and Rec, Plaza’s first major TV appearance was a guest spot on an episode of 30 Rock (2006), in which she also played an intern. She's also starred in hits like Dirty Grandpa (2016), Child’s Play (2019) and the second season of The White Lotus (2022), which earned her a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actress in a limited series.
That same year, Plaza told Digital Spy that, while she loved the reputation she developed from Parks and Rec, she often felt like she was being typecast as someone weird or awkward.
She said, “I feel like there was a time when I was on Parks and Rec and right after where it was a little bit hard to get myself out of that box and show people like no, that's not all I can do, you've just been seeing me do it for seven years. It was my job.”
In her personal life, Plaza married director and screenwriter Jeff Baena in 2021 after dating for 10 years. They’ve collaborated on numerous films, including Life After Beth (2014) and The Little Hours (2017).
Next up, Plaza will star in Megalopolis, the highly anticipated ensemble film from director Francis Ford Coppola. Plaza will be joined in the cast by over a dozen stars, including Dustin Hoffman, Adam Driver and Laurence Fishburne, among many others.
Plaza will also make her stage debut in the Off-Broadway revival of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea in November 2023. "couldnt be in better hands for my first time on stage… and timing couldn’t be stranger," she wrote on Instagram. "oh well here we go. 10 weeks only. this fall in the west village."
Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer
Chris Pratt played Andy Dwyer, a dimwitted slacker who ends up working at the Parks and Recreation Department despite being unqualified and uninterested.
Before starring in Parks and Recreation, Pratt had already held a leading role in the WB drama Everwood, which ran for four seasons (2002-2006). After that, he landed a recurring role in season 4 of The O.C. in 2006.
During his time on Parks and Rec, Pratt transitioned from a TV star to a Hollywood leading man. He had roles in movies like Moneyball (2011) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012) before skyrocketing to fame, thanks to his work in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
In January 2015, Pratt appeared on Ellen a few weeks before the Parks and Rec finale, telling the host, “I feel a little sad, it’s been seven amazing seasons.”
The actor also added that he didn’t originally have a starring role in the show. “I was just a guest star that came on for six episodes,” Pratt said, “and then they ended up keeping me on and putting me in every episode all seven seasons.”
Later in 2015, Pratt became part of another massive franchise, Jurassic World. Since then, both Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy have produced two sequels each. In 2023, Pratt voiced Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which became the second highest-grossing animated movie of all time (behind Frozen II), earning more than $1.3 billion at the global box office.
From 2009 to 2018, Pratt was married to actress Anna Faris, and they had a son, Jack, in 2012. Pratt later married Katherine Schwarzenegger in 2019 (making Arnold Schwarzenegger his father-in-law), and the couple have two daughters: Lyla Maria, born in 2020, and Eloise Christina, born in 2022.
Pratt’s next project will be reprising his role as James Reece in season 2 of the Amazon Prime military drama The Terminal List. He’s also set to voice Garfield in the 2024 film adaptation of the classic comic.
Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt
Adam Scott played Ben Wyatt, an awkward city official who’s running away from his past life in Minnesota where, at just 18 years old, he became mayor of a small town and had a disastrous term.
Before joining Parks and Rec at the end of season 2 and becoming a series regular the next season, Scott starred in the STARZ comedy Party Down, which premiered in 2009. Scott learned the series might not get renewed for a third season, so when the opportunity to join Parks and Rec presented itself, he took it.
He recalled the moment to Entertainment Weekly, saying, “We were waiting to hear whether we would get a season 3 for Party Down, and the wait became longer and longer ... Then the Parks and Rec opportunity comes up, so I needed to try and find out if there's a chance that Party Down's going to get picked up.”
Scott reached out to an executive at STARZ to see if he should take the role and was told, “If you have an opportunity in front of you, you should take it.”
After Parks and Rec ended, Scott landed a recurring role on The Good Place in 2016 before starring in the popular HBO show Big Little Lies (2017-2019). In 2022, he had a leading role in and served as producer for the Apple TV+ drama Severance, which earned the actor an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination for outstanding lead actor.
Off-screen, Scott has been married to his wife, producer Naomi Scott, since 2005. The couple have two children: son Graham and daughter Frankie.
Rob Lowe as Chris Traeger
Rob Lowe portrayed Chris Traeger, an auditor from the state who comes in to help the city of Pawnee with its crippling budget issues. He’s known for his over-the-top positivity and healthy lifestyle.
Long before joining Parks and Rec, Lowe had already been a well-known Hollywood actor for decades, starring in films like The Outsiders (1983) and St. Elmo’s Fire (1985), and holding a lead role in the political drama The West Wing (1999-2003; 2006).
A few months after Parks and Rec ended, Lowe spoke with PEOPLE about when fans can expect a reunion, saying, “You’ve never met a group of actors who are more busy. The reunions are going to be many decades off.”
Lowe then joined the cast of Marcia Gay Harden’s hospital drama Code Black (2016-2018) and currently stars on the Fox drama 9-1-1: Lone Star (2020-present).
Most recently, Rob and his son John Owen created and starred in the Netflix series Unstable (2023), which has been renewed for a second season.
Lowe told Men’s Health in 2023 how great it was working with his son on the project, saying, "Neither one of us could have made this show without the other. I couldn't have gone off and said, ‘Hey, I wanna do a father-son show,’ without John Owen."
Next up, Lowe is set to return in new seasons of both 9-1-1: Lone Star and Unstable.
Retta as Donna Meagle
Marietta Sirleaf, better known as Retta, played Donna Meagle, the Parks and Recreation Department’s office manager. Like much of the staff, she’s completely uninterested in her job.
Before joining Parks and Rec, Retta was already an accomplished stand-up comedian. After the series concluded, she continued performing and also joined the cast of the dramedy Good Girls (2018-2021). Since 2022, she’s been the host of the HGTV series Ugliest House in America.
Her next project will be starring in Hit Man, a film based on the true story of a Texas cop who moonlights as a hitman. Retta will star opposite Glen Powell.
Retta is also the niece of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was the president of Liberia from 2006 to 2018 and the first elected female head of state in Africa, per The Washington Post. In 2011, Sirleaf won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Jim O’Heir as Jerry Gergich
Jim O’Heir played Jerry Gergich, a longtime employee of the Parks and Rec department who, like most of the other employees, focuses on his home life more than putting in a hard day’s work at the office.
Starring in Parks and Rec remains O’Heir’s biggest role to date. Before joining the show, he held guest spots on series like ER (1996) and Ally McBeal (1999). Since the show’s finale, he has appeared in other shows like Call Me Kat (2021) and Better Call Saul (2022).
In 2018, O’Heir sat down with PEOPLE and shared his thoughts about his Parks and Rec costars, saying, “Nick [Offerman], I don’t know what he’s saying all the time because he speaks in words that are just too smart for me. Aubrey [Plaza] is just scary. Amy [Poehler] is pretty much loving.”
He also revealed that Pratt had a tendency to share spoilers for his upcoming movies. “I got some good stuff about Avengers,” O’Heir said. “And then I saw it and I went, ‘Yeah, he told me that would happen.' ”
O’Heir will be seen next in the upcoming biopic Bosco, telling the true story of Quawntay "Bosco" Adams, who was sentenced to 35 years in a maximum-security prison for attempted possession of marijuana and ended up escaping.
He is also the co-host of the Parks and Rec fan podcast Parks and Recollection.
Ben Schwartz as Jean-Ralphio Saperstein
Ben Schwartz played Jean-Ralphio Saperstein, a wannabe ladies' man who never quite lives up to his ego.
Speaking with Collider in 2020, the actor said he would be "over the moon" if given the chance to reprise his role in the comedy.
"That would be the most fun ever," he said. "I think that show is such a positive show. Leslie Knope is such a positive character that what a fun thing to have in today’s era ... to have such a positive, female, wonderful character, driven by all these friends around her. It would be awesome.”
Schwartz’s role in Parks and Rec was the first major one of his career, but since then, he’s starred in numerous movies and TV shows. He appeared in Netflix’s Space Force (2020-2022) and season 2 of the Kevin Hart action parody Die Hart (2023).
Schwartz is also a notable voice actor, having led the cast of the DuckTales reboot (2017-2021) and voicing Sonic in the Sonic the Hedgehog films. Next up, Schwartz will reprise his role as the Blue Blur in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 in 2024.
Jay Jackson as Perd Hapley
Jay Jackson played Perd Hapley, a local TV journalist who chronicles the often-tumultuous endeavors of the Parks and Recreation Department.
Having worked as an actual news reporter for 22 years, Jackson has played a news anchor or reporter in almost every role of his career, according to NPR.
Some of his other notable roles as a reporter were in Dexter (2007), Scandal (2012-2018), Supergirl (2015-2016) and American Crime Story (2021). Most recently, he played a reporter in the Netflix true crime anthology series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story in 2022.
Natalie Morales as Lucy
Natalie Morales played Lucy, Tom’s on-again, off-again love interest.
Before joining the comedy series, Morales’ first major role was starring in season 1 of White Collar in 2009. After Parks and Rec ended, she continued to land recurring roles in series like The Grinder (2015-2016), Santa Clarita Diet (2017-2019) and Dead to Me (2020-2022).
In 2017, Morales publicly came out as queer, telling Larry King, “If someone that I happen to see on TV, you know, that was in my home every night as a friend on television, if someone said, you know, ‘I’m queer,’ or ‘I’m bi,’ or ‘I’m gay,’ it would have made it a little bit easier for me to not feel as alone.”
Currently, Morales voices Betty — who is now openly queer — in the new Rugrats reboot on Paramount+. The show premiered its second season in 2023.
Mo Collins as Joan Callamezzo
Mo Collins played Joan Callamezzo, the host of the local TV series Pawnee Today. She’s always hounding the Parks and Rec department hoping for a good scandal to expose and exploit.
Before joining the cast of Parks and Rec, Collins earned recognition for starring in the sketch series Mad TV (1998-2016). For most of her career, she has been known as a comedic actress, holding recurring roles in F is for Family (2015-2021) and Lady Dynamite (2016-2017). Her most recent role as Sarah Rabinowitz in Fear the Walking Dead (2018-2023) showed her in a dramatic part.
Since 2013, she’s been married to fellow actor Alex Skuby, who was able to act alongside her in an episode of Fear the Walking Dead in 2021.
Jon Glaser as Councilman Jeremy Jamm
Jon Glaser played Councilman Jeremy Jamm, a rich orthodontist who takes his role on city council way too seriously, often getting lost in his own ego.
Before becoming Pawnee’s worst city council member, Glaser was a writer on Late Night with Conan O’Brien from 1998 to 2003 and served as a skit performer on the show until 2008, ultimately working on a total of 443 episodes.
After his time on Parks and Rec, Glaser took on recurring roles in Girls (2013-2017) and Inside Amy Schumer (2015-2022). From 2016 to 2019, he also had his own show on TruTV, Jon Glaser Loves Gear. Next up, Glaser will star in the Freevee comedy series Dinner with the Parents alongside Carol Kane.
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