- “Parks and Recreation” had a star-studded cast and a long list of celebrity guest-stars.
- Actors like Kristen Bell, Paul Rudd, and Andy Samberg all appeared on episodes of the show.
- Political figures, including Michelle Obama and Joe Biden, also had guest-starring roles.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The show boasted a talented main cast of actors and also featured numerous celebrities and public figures in guest-starring roles.
Read on for a list of the best “Parks and Rec” celebrity guest stars.
Michelle Obama played herself on season six.
When Leslie visited California to consider a job for the National Parks Service on season six, Obama wished her well and stressed the importance of having passionate people in government positions.
Leslie nodded adamantly and replied, “I agree with you on all things throughout history until the end of times forever.”
Kristen Bell was Ingrid de Forest on the show.
Kristen Bell was perfectly terrible as Eagleton councilwoman Ingrid de Forest.
Ingrid often referenced Eagleton’s lavish and glamorous lifestyle by proudly stating that the town fills its public pools with bottled water and uses government money to buy HBO for everyone.
After the Eagleton-Pawnee merger, Ingrid replaced Leslie on the town council.
Jon Hamm played an incompetent employee.
Jon Hamm was introduced near the end of the show as Ed, a bumbling but enthusiastic National Parks employee.
After the show’s time jump on the final season, Leslie immediately fired Ed, saying, “You’re the most incompetent person I’ve ever worked with, and that includes Terry.”
Ed cheerfully accepted her order and waved goodbye to the office, thanking them for letting him work there for the three years that unfolded off-screen.
J.K. Simmons played a mean mayor.
J.K. Simmons appeared on season five as Mayor Stice, the mayor of Ben Wyatt’s hometown of Partridge, Minnesota.
Leslie and Ben went to the town to accept a key to the city as recognition for Ben’s past stint as a teenage mayor. But they soon realised that the town never forgave Ben for a failed sports complex that plunged Partridge into financial ruin.
Mayor Stice planned to humiliate Ben by presenting him with a key made of ice, but his plans go awry when Ben ends up in the hospital with kidney stones.
Patricia Clarkson played Ron’s first ex-wife.
Megan Mullally was terrific in the recurring role of Tammy Two, the fear-inducing ex-wife of Ron Swanson, but she met her match on season four when she was overshadowed by Tammy One, played by Patricia Clarkson.
Tammy One was monstrous enough to make Ron’s mustache tremble as she attempted to audit him for all he was worth.
Her chill changed the atmosphere of the entire office, leaving an impressed April to declare, “She’s the cold, distant mother I never had.”
Jonathan Banks acted as Ben’s father.
Fresh off of his turn as hired killer Mike Ehrmantraut on “Breaking Bad,” Jonathan Banks appeared on “Parks and Recreation” as Ben’s surly father.
At Ben and Leslie’s engagement party, he paraded his new girlfriend Ulani around in front of Ben’s mother and tempers started to flare.
Leslie tried to break the tension by offering a bowl of red vines, which prompted Banks to gruffly reply, “We’re a Twizzlers family.”
Andy Samberg briefly played a park ranger.
Before the comedian starred on NBC’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Andy Samberg appeared on an early season of “Parks and Recreation” as Carl Lorthner, a rather loud park ranger.
He took Leslie on a tour of the park to inspect problem areas and yelled about a log he found in the woods that had over 50 worms on it.
Heidi Klum played a Danish mayor on the show.
When Leslie went to London to receive a prestigious award she ran into a fellow honoree named Ulee Danssen, played by supermodel and businesswoman Heidi Klum.
Upon meeting the mayor from Silkeborg, Denmark, Leslie marveled at her “symmetrical” face and was surprised to find that Ulee’s town made a statue for her out of goat cheese.
This heightened Leslie’s own insecurity over Pawnee’s unpopular opinion of her, and she revealed that the closest thing she’d gotten to a statue was a pinata of her face filled with broccoli.
Patton Oswalt was a passionate local resident on one episode.
Comedian Patton Oswalt appeared on season five as Garth Blundin, a local resident who’s passionate about Pawnee’s history and decries Leslie for trying to remove its more archaic laws.
Garth challenged Leslie to live by the outdated laws of the Pawnee Charter, but Oswalt’s shining moment came as he began a citizen filibuster by outlining the plot of the seventh “Star Wars” film and connecting it to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
There is an official extended cut online of Oswalt’s filibuster that lasts for an impressive eight minutes of unedited monologuing about Boba Fett, infinity gems, and Hannibal Lecter.
Ginuwine played himself on three episodes.
R&B singer Ginuwine appeared as Donna’s cousin on the season-six finale.
Donna roped him into playing at the Pawnee/Eagleton Unity Concert by threatening to tell people about their bathtub days.
Ginuwine took the stage after The Decemberists and performed his hit “Pony” in memory of Pawnee’s late, great Lil’ Sebastian.
Bill Murray played a previous mayor of Pawnee.
Actor and comedian Bill Murray played Mayor Gunderson, a character mentioned throughout the show.
Mayor Gunderson served as the mayor of Pawnee for 39 consecutive years and appeared on screen in a pre-recorded message, looking back at his long term in office and revealing that he and court stenographer Ethel Beavers had been lovers for decades.
Paul Rudd played Leslie’s rival, Bobby Newport.
Paul Rudd had a reoccurring role as Bobby Newport, Leslie’s rival in the council election.
Dim-witted but affable, Bobby failed upward time and again, mostly due to nepotism and his family’s financial influence on the town. He won over voters with broad statements like, “I’m against crime and I’m not ashamed to admit it.”
Bobby was happier and more carefree than any real politician, and he was also relieved when the election was over and Leslie won.
President Joe Biden appeared as himself on the show.
Back when he was vice president of the US, President Joe Biden made two guest appearances on “Parks and Rec.”
His first cameo came on season five. On the episode, Ben surprised Leslie with a special engagement gift: A meeting with her political hero, Biden.
President Biden briefly returned on the series finale, as well.