Senator John McCain, Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate and Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope are seen in the episode "Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington" from the show Parks and Recreation.
Photo by Larry French/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

‘Parks and Recreation’ features slew of political guest stars

On Tuesday night, viewers of NBC’s popular sitcom about a group of local government employees, “Parks & Recreation,” were treated to surprise appearances from a slew of high-profile political guest stars.

The show stars comedian Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, an ambitious, highly enthusiastic government employee who worked in her local Pawnee Parks & Recreation department and now works for the National Park Service. Knope travels to Washington, D.C. with her friend and colleague April Ludgate, and hobnobs with several of DC’s most well-known real-life politicos as she pushes for for support for the National Parks Service. 

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In the episode, Knope meets with Senator Barbara Boxer, runs into Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and gets her autograph, and then later meets with Senators Cory Booker and Orrin Hatch, who say that they have a band together that plays Polynesian folk music. She also later bumps into Senator John McCain, who seems annoyed to run into her, and then has lunch with former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who offers her some wise leadership advice. Over waffles, Knope’s favorite food item, Albright tells Knope: “Sometimes you’re so focused and driven, you forget about people’s feelings.”

“Parks & Recreation” is currently in its seventh and final season on NBC. The popular sitcom features a cast of characters in the small town of Pawnee, Indiana who work at their local parks & recreation department. McCain, Vice President Joe Biden and first lady Michelle Obama have all previously appeared on the sitcom as themselves.

Many of the politicians who appeared on the show this excitedly tweeted behind-the-scenes photos of themselves with Poehler: