Three lucky U.S. senators were tapped to perform alongside Amy Poehler and Adam Scott during a taping of "Parks and Recreation" in D.C. last week. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, will all appear in an episode on Sept. 27.
The show's executive producer Morgan Sackett tells Yeas & Nays that each senator performed well. "They were all really good," he said. "One of the scenes, they knew their lines better than the actors." At one point, McCain, who has made cameos in "Wedding Crashers" and "24" and performed on "Saturday Night Live," tried out a little improv.
"McCain kind of went off script and made a joke that got a lot of laughs," Sackett said. Whether McCain's moment will make it out of the cutting floor remains to be seen.
McCain's "SNL" experience and relationship with Amy Poehler factored into his selection for "Parks and Rec." One of the show's producers knew Boxer though work he'd done at a fundraiser and reached out to her office, and in an across-the-aisle gesture, Boxer's office suggested Snowe for the third part. None of the senators are up for re-election this year, which was a requirement to be on the show. They all provided their own wardrobes, lending the show an authentically senatorial aesthetic.
Sackett says it wasn't a hard sell to convince the senators to come on the show, even though they weren't regular watchers. "I don't know that the senators knew much about their show," he said, "but all their staff did."