Amy Poehler, Adam Scott and Mike Schur took part in a conference call to talk about the major episode that was Parks and Recreation “Halloween Surprise.”

The Vibe on Set for the Proposal

Amy: “When I read that scene I cried because I was so happy that I… had my job. (Laughs) … It’s very rare, as an actor, that you know it’s gonna be great. So when we were shooting the scene I was really excited that we were getting to do it. …And I was really happy for Leslie. I think the mood on set was a really kinda joyous one. It was a kind of sweet scene, but Adam and I were really happy to have such a well written scene to get to do…”
Adam: “I feel the same way. I also felt like this was a really big deal for all of us. We, of course, are well aware that these are fictional characters we are playing on television, but we also want them to happy and all right. We all care about them. I can say, speaking for myself, that I care about them quite deeply. …I was maybe a little nervous about it but happy to be able to do it. And happy for the characters. … We wanted it to be special for the fans.”

How Long was the Proposal in the Works?

Schur said when they were shooting the season 5 premiere in Washington D.C. he was writing the proposal scene. “What we realized was we wanted Ben to do a good job in Washington and what that meant was that he was gonna get an opportunity to keep going with that job… ” So it became an issue of what would make Ben come back to Pawnee. And the reason was Leslie. That was and is his priority.

Adam Scott added that when Ben and April had met the candidate they were working for it wasn’t very inspired. “So the work they’d been doing there compared with Pawnee and the relationships Ben and April have there, and the immediate results they seem from ahrd work in a place like Pawnee… it makes the whole idea of going back there a lot more attractive (for Ben) as well.”

A Fart Attack is Serious
Mike: “We probably spent, in terms of man hours, we probably spent 10-12 hours working on the farts. The sound, the volume, he style. There was a lot of time in the edit bay… there were three different fart overlays that we looked at. We ended up going with version 3 which is a hybrid of versions 1 and 2. It was a very intensive work session. it’s a very important moment in the life of a show. You only get to do a fart attack once so we wanted to get it right. There’s like a billion dollar industry that’s just fart sound effects. There’s so much to choose from. there’s a lot of things to consider.”
Amy: “If you’re ever in Louisiana, you should check out the fart library. It’s beautiful down there.”

Will there be a Wedding for Season 5?
Mike: “Part of the shows DNA is to not telegraph where we’re going. There’s a certain kin of playbook… and we try to do things that are surprising. and its’ very hard to do in this day and age. The moment that anybody does anything it’s leaked onto the internet. … I would like to believe that the path we’re choosing to take will be satisfying and also surprising to people.”

Amy: “You know that no matter what Leslie will involve and include everyone in her plans.  This engagement will be everybody’s engagement.”
Adam: “America’s engagement.”
Amy: “Everyone’s reacting and included in different ways.”

Will the Show Change Now?

Mike: “Yes. Starting next week its a hour long medical drama.” What he then elaborated on was soul mates. “It became pretty clear, pretty quickly, that they were soul mates.” They had wanted Leslie to date lots of people and learn about herself, having a series of interesting relationships. “Then Adam Scott showed up and it all went to Hell because we realized these  two characters were good for each other. So we followed that and it made sense. So, I don’t think them getting engaged or married changes much. It’s (just) official now.”

Amy and Adam Love the Fans

While saying how much they love their fans, a little story surfaced. Adam said he snooped around before the episode aired and said people were anticipating a proposal speaking in code. He liked that no one was trying to spoil it or spread it online as a spoiler.

Ben Wyatt’s Proposal

Amy: “I loved that the scene is about everything to come. It’s an empty room which can be depressing in some respects for some people but in this context it was all about possibility. That room was empty and open and ready to be filled with … the future. And it was really cool that Dean Holland and Mike Schur picked that it happened in front of the fireplace of the empty room. It was warm but … I just loved that Leslie looked around to see what was around her and there was just this big empty room which was basically what happens when you think about committing to someone. The future seems really wide and open and clean.”

Was that the Only Proposal “Idea?

Mike joked that the original idea included Ben singing “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones next to a white tiger.
Adam: “Which I was lobbying for.”
Amy said they couldn’t get the rights to the sing, and Mike concurred. But then Adam said, “I told you I had a firm connection” to a tiger guy.
Mike: “I told you that showing me online pictures of Segfried and Roy doesn’t mean you have a firm connection.”

Photo: NBC

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