Sunday, February 26, 2012

Parks and Recreation Family and friends

Family and friends of main characters.

Dave Sanderson
A balding man with red hair and a red goatee, wearing a black T-shirt, speaks into a microphone.
Stand-up comedian Louis C.K. guest starred as Pawnee police Sergeant Dave Sanderson.

Dave Sanderson (guest star Louis C.K.) is a former boyfriend of Leslie Knope and ex-police sergeant in Pawnee. Socially awkward, Dave always speaks in an extremely deadpan and technical tone of voice, but has a sweet personality despite his serious and sometimes gruff exterior. He first appears in "The Stakeout", where he arrested Tom after finding him suspiciously lingering in a parked van. Leslie angrily demanded that Dave set Tom free, and Dave immediately found Leslie attractive. He asked her on a date in "Beauty Pageant" and she accepted, although she initially hesitated when Dave failed to recognize photos of major female political figures hanging in Leslie's office. Nervous about the upcoming first date, Leslie became drunk in "Practice Date" and visited Dave's house in the middle of the night, acting foolish until Dave brought her home. Leslie was humiliated, but Dave comforted her the next day and they continued dating. In "Greg Pikitis", Dave helped Leslie monitor her arch-nemesis, high school student Greg Pikitis, on Halloween night and ultimately helped catch him in the middle of committing a prank. Dave made his final appearance in "Christmas Scandal", when he told Leslie he is in the United States Army Reserve and has been called for maintenance work in San Diego. He invited Leslie to move there with him, but she insisted she could not leave her home of Pawnee, so they amicably split up.

Derek and Ben

Derek (Blake Lee) is April Ludgate's bisexual ex-boyfriend, who himself also had a boyfriend named Ben (Josh Duvendeck) while dating her. Like April, both Derek and Ben are cynical and sarcastic, often mocking others around them. The two first appear together in "Pawnee Zoo", where April and they congratulate Leslie for organizing a publicity stunt that married two homosexual penguins at the local zoo. In "Sweetums", they begin to notice April is spending more time with Andy Dwyer, and they mock his personality, upsetting and embarrassing April. In "Galentine's Day", Ben and Derek attend a senior citizen dance party, where they mock the seniors. Tired of their constantly sarcastic behavior, and growing more romantically interested in Andy, April breaks up with them. Ben and Derek reappear again, in the episode "Andy and April's Fancy Party", making brief cameos as flower-men at Andy and April's wedding.

Dr. Harris

Dr. Harris (Cooper Thornton) is a doctor who works at the hospital with Ann Perkins. He has an extremely sarcastic personality and responds to everything in a deadpan manner. He first appeared in the first season finale "Rock Show", where he tended to Andy Dwyer, who broke his legs falling into a construction pit. He appeared again in "Greg Pikitis", where he attended Ann's Halloween party dressed as a doctor. When the party proves boring, Dr. Harris left early and took the bottle of wine he brought to Ann's party because no one drank it. Dr. Harris tended to Andy again in "Freddy Spaghetti", after Andy was struck by a car while riding his motorcycle. When Andy asked whether Dr. Harris can have him fully healed in the next 10 minutes, the doctor sarcastically responded, "Sure, I'll just advance medical science 30 years." He also appeared in the third season finale "Li'l Sebastian", where he treated Chris Traeger for a case of tendinitis. Chris responded to Dr. Harris' sarcasm by declaring him "literally the meanest doctor ever."

Jean-Ralphio Saperstein

Jean-Ralphio Saperstein (Ben Schwartz) is a cocky friend of Tom Haverford who, like Tom himself, fancies himself a pickup artist and baller, although he is looked upon with contempt by most people around him except Tom. He tries to dress stylishly, makes up and raps spontaneous rhymes and often speaks in slang terms such as variations of the suffix -izzle as popularized by rapper Snoop Dogg. Jean-Ralphio is first introduced in "The Set Up", when Tom brought him in for an interview to be Ron Swanson's new assistant; he was quickly rejected. Jean-Ralphio contributed $5,000 when Tom was seeking a $10,000 investment in the Snakehole Lounge nightclub. In the third season finale, "Li'l Sebastian", Tom quit his city hall job to form an entertainment company with Jean-Ralphio called Entertainment 720. The role of Jean-Ralphio was created specifically for Schwartz because the Parks and Recreation producers liked the actor so much.

Justin Anderson
A black-haired man wearing a black fedora, a black leather jacket and a green T-shirt.
Justin Theroux portrayed lawyer Justin Anderson, a love interest for Leslie Knope.

Justin Anderson (guest star Justin Theroux) is a lawyer and long-time friend of Ann who briefly dated Leslie. He is very charming, regularly travels around the world and has done many extravagant things, such as mountain climbing. He loves telling entertaining stories, and sometimes seems less interested in the people around him than he is in listening to and learning new stories. Justin and Ann never dated, but she seems to secretly harbor romantic feelings for him, something that caused difficulties between Ann and Andy when they were dating. Justin first appears in "The Set Up", when he provided legal advice to the parks and recreation department, and Leslie developed a romantic interest in him. She asks Ann to set them up, but she hesitated to do so, prompting Mark to accuse her of still having feelings for Justin. Ann finally sets up a date, and the two start dating regularly. Impressed by Justin's worldliness, Leslie was so determined to impress him with a house party that, in "Leslie's House", she abused her government power by recruiting town employees to provide entertainment. Justin made his final appearance in "Galentine's Day", when Justin and Leslie tried to find Frank Beckerson, the long-lost love of Leslie's mother Marlene, and reunite the two. Upon finding him, Leslie quickly realized Frank is too strange and tried to call the plan off, but Justin insisted on going through with it. After the evening ends disastrously, Ron points out to Leslie that Justin is a selfish person who only cares about getting more stories, so she breaks up with him. Tom, who strongly admired Justin's hipness and idolized him, became extremely disappointed by the break-up and reacted like a child whose parents are divorcing.


Lucy (Natalie Morales) is a bartender at the Snakehole Lounge and a former girlfriend of Tom Haverford. Lucy meets Tom in "The Master Plan" after he came to the bar to settle his tab from the night before, when he unsuccessfully attempted to pick up several girls by buying drinks for them. Rather than try to pick up Lucy like the other girls, he simply acts like himself, and the two end up hitting it off and started dating. Lucy is intelligent and funny, and she freely accepts Tom's immature and sometimes inappropriate personality. She jokingly claimed to be attracted to Tom because, "You're cute and you're small enough for me to throw you around." However, it eventually became clear to Lucy that Tom was not over his ex-wife Wendy, particularly due to how upset he got when Ron Swanson starts dating her. In "Time Capsule", Lucy broke up with Tom, but told him he should call her if he ever gets over Wendy. In "End of the World," Lucy attends Tom's "best party of all-time," the two have a good time, and she kisses Tom the next morning, hinting at the possibility of their relationship starting up again.

The Ludgate family

April Ludgate's parents, Larry and Rita (John Ellison Conlee and Terri Hoyos) are, in contrast to her sarcastic and apathetic personality, extremely enthusiastic and positive people, who affectionally call their daughter Zuzu. Rita is from Puerto Rico, which April sardonically claims is what makes her so "lively and colorful"; otherwise, however, Larry and Rita represent the archetypical Midwesterner couple. Their other daughter and April's younger sister, Natalie (Minni Jo Mazzola), is much more like April in personality: she is sullen, dismissive of others and seemingly uninterested in everything around her. The Ludgate family is first introduced in "94 Meetings", when Ron met them after coming to the Ludgate home to speak with April. Larry and Rita were extremely pleased to meet him, and April revealed Rita is a big fan of Ron's secret jazz saxophonist alter ego, Duke Silver. The family also attended April and Andy's surprise wedding ceremony in "Andy and April's Fancy Party", where they voiced their approval of the marriage. Natalie gave an unsentimental and indifferent speech about her sister during the reception, but the speech was still enough to reduce an emotional April to tears.

Marlene Griggs-Knope

Marlene Griggs-Knope (Pamela Reed) is Leslie's mother and a major political figure in Pawnee's school system. She is a shrewd and cunning politician who is willing to resort to unethical tactics to get her way. Although Leslie has very different standards, she nevertheless sees Marlene as a source of inspiration, and is extremely eager to impress her mother. Marlene has low expectations for her daughter's ability to succeed, but is ultimately supportive of her, as indicated in "Canvassing" when Marlene attended Leslie's public forum in support of her despite privately predicting it would be a "train wreck". In "The Banquet", Marlene encouraged Leslie to use scandalous information to blackmail a Pawnee zoning official into supporting Leslie's park project. In "The Bubble", Leslie secretly prepared her boyfriend Ben for a meeting with Marlene with the hopes her mother would be impressed with him. The plan backfired, however, when Marlene became attracted to Ben and made a pass at him.


Orin (Eric Isenhower) is the creepy and intense friend of April Ludgate. He seldom speaks and often stares at people and makes them feel awkward. He first appeared in "April and Andy's Fancy Party", where he made Ben feel uncomfortable; at one point Ben said to him, "No, Orin, I don't know how I'm going to die. Wait, are you asking me or telling me?" At that same party, Orin spoke to Chris, but Chris was so positive he overwhelmes Orin. Orin reappeared in an art show at "Jerry's Painting", where he stood silently and motionlessly next to his exhibition: a completely blank canvas. Orin was originally mentioned in a throw-away joke in "Time Capsule", but Parks and Recreation screenwriter Katie Dippold liked the idea of the character so much she worked him into her script for "Andy and April's Fancy Party".

Tammy "Tammy I" Swanson

Tammy Swanson (Patricia Clarkson) is the first ex-wife of Ron Swanson. Ron has been married to two women named Tammy, and he hates both of them. Tammy is an IRS agent who arrives at the end of the third season (although she is not shown to the audience until the fourth season premiere) to audit Ron. Both Ron and his second wife named Tammy panic at the news of her arrival, and Ron attempts to flee before deciding to return to face her.

Tammy "Tammy II" Swanson

Tammy Swanson (Megan Mullally) is the second ex-wife of Ron Swanson; Ron has been married to two women named Tammy, and he hates both of them. Tammy is a manipulative woman who uses sex as a weapon, and she constantly tries to make Ron miserable. However, the two maintain a strong sexual attraction to each other. Tammy is director of the Pawnee Library, which is widely considered a horrible place by Leslie Knope and the parks department employees. Tammy is introduced in "Ron and Tammy", when she approached Leslie in a friendly way under the guise that she wants to talk to Ron and work out her differences with him. Secretly, she was scheming for Ron to give her a lot Leslie wanted to turn into a park, so she can instead turn it into a library branch. Once she and Ron reconnected, the two fight loudly, but quickly began having sex and briefly reunited. Ron eventually realized he was being manipulated and, with Leslie's help, resisted Tammy's efforts. Tammy returns in "Ron & Tammy: Part Two", where she went on a date with Tom to make Ron jealous. Tammy and Ron ended up having a night of drunken sex and mayhem, which ended with the two of them getting re-married. However, when Tom tried to intervene and Tammy brutally beat him up, Ron remembered how horrible Tammy was and ended their marriage again. Tammy briefly appeared in the third season finale, "Li'l Sebastian", where she and Ron learned together that Ron's first wife, "Tammy 1", had arrived in town, which made Tammy flee in terror.

Mullally is the real-life wife of Nick Offerman, who plays Ron. Michael Schur conceived the idea for "Ron and Tammy", and asked Offerman whether he and Mullally would be opposed to her playing such a terrible character. Offerman was extremely responsive to the idea. Offerman and Mullally improvised many of their on-screen fights, as well as their unusual kissing and sexual encounters. During one scene in "Ron and Tammy", where the two characters run into a motel to have sex, Mullally removed her top and threw it into the air. Mullally improvised the move and did not tell the crew she planned to do it. Mullally's performance was well received by viewers, which made the Parks and Recreation producers feel more comfortable about using celebrity guest actors in later episodes.

Tamara "Tammy Zero" Swanson

In addition to both of his ex wives being named Tammy, Ron's mother (Paula Pell) is also named Tammy. She shares many personality traits with both Tammy I and Tammy II and utterly dominates Ron when present. She first appeared in the episode "Ron & Tammys".

Wendy Haverford

Wendy Haverford (Jama Williamson) started the season as the wife of Tom Haverford, although it is later revealed to be a green card marriage that amicably ends in a divorce. Wendy came to Pawnee from Canada and married Tom so she could remain in the country. Introduced in the first season finale "Rock Band", Wendy is an attractive, outgoing and wealthy pediatric surgeon, and the other characters are surprised she is married to Tom, who often brags about her attractiveness. Although Tom outwardly claims he is fine with the divorce, he secretly harbors romantic feelings for Wendy and wishes for the marriage to continue. When the parks department employees hold a contest in "Practice Date" about who can find out the biggest secret about the others, Ron learns about the green card marriage, but he keeps it a secret at Tom's request.

The divorce proceedings begin in "Tom's Divorce", and Tom continued to pretend he is alright with the arrangement. However, when Ron asked Tom whether he could ask Wendy out after the divorce, Tom was secretly heartbroken, despite giving Ron his blessing. In "Galentine's Day", Tom admitted to Wendy his true feelings for her, but she rejected him, prompting an angry Tom to sue her for alimony in an attempt to blackmail her into going out with him. This effort was short-lived, however, and Tom eventually apologized and the two parted on good terms. A horrified Tom learned in the second season finale, "Freddy Spaghetti", that Wendy and Ron are indeed dating. Although the pairing caused tension between Ron and Tom, Ron proved so happy in his relationship with Wendy that it allowed him to resist the temptations of his horrible ex-wife Tammy. In "Ron & Tammy: Part Two", Ron and Wendy broke up after she decided to move back to Canada to take care of her ailing parents

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