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Amy Poehler says Obama inspired ‘Parks’

Poehler said presidential campaign buzzwords like “hope” and “change” are explored in the upcoming comedy.
/ Source: Access Hollywood

Amy Poehler’s new NBC comedy series, “Parks And Recreation,” has been shrouded in secrecy. But now, the former “SNL” star revealed to GQ magazine that President Obama has helped shape the mockumentary style comedy.

“I play Leslie Knope, the head of the parks department in a small town — and her dream is to build a new park. When Obama says, ‘Okay America, let’s get to work!’ Leslie is the one who responds, ‘Great! I have all these big ideas!’” the actress told the mag. “Government shows are usually about people making huge decisions super quickly — ya know, those big walk-and-talk shots down the halls of the White House. We wanted to explore the small ways in which people try to make a difference and fail — in a mockumentary style, like ‘The Office.’”

Poehler said presidential campaign buzzwords like “hope” and “change” are explored in the upcoming comedy.

“There’s something to be said for banging up against an administration keeping you down, but it’s about how ‘hope’ translates into actual change. (Our producers) Mike Schur and Greg Daniels did research for the show and met with some city planners. To me, there’s a lot of interesting stuff to be mined, character-wise, from the people that get in the way of that, or don’t want to change, or talk a lot about it but have no idea how,” Poehler continued.

She added, “So I think the plan is to have the show on for 18 years and then at the very end we build a park. (Deadpan pause.) That would be amazing!”

Poehler also laid to rest any idea that “Parks And Recreation” was connected to another hit NBC series.

“It has nothing to do with ‘The Office’ other than style. Our world seems a lot bigger to me than theirs, actually. But that could just be because I’m shorter than (Steve) Carell,” she said with a laugh.

“Parks And Recreation” debuts on NBC on April 9.