Tomorrow night, NBC is airing back-to-back episodes of “Parks and Recreation” at 9 and 9:30 (“The Office” gets the week off), and they’re two of my favorite installments of the season. And yet the funniest part of either one isn’t going to air at all.
In the first episode, titled “Article Two,” Patton Oswalt guest stars as another Pawnee crackpot who gets upset at Leslie’s proposal to eliminate some of the more outdated/racist/sexist laws on the town charter. Taking advantage of the laws still on the books, he launches into a citizen filibuster discussing his proposal for the J.J. Abrams-directed “Star Wars” sequel, which somehow turns into a “Star Wars”/Marvel Comics mash-up halfway through.
In the episode itself, you hear a few lines of dialogue from it, but when the episode was filmed, “Parks” producer Dan Goor told Oswalt to just improvise something and they would edit it down as needed in the final cut. Oswald launched into an eight-minute rant that you can watch below. It’s remarkable for the absolutely hardcore nerditry of it, for Oswalt’s commitment to a bit that he knew would likely never air, and also for veteran improv comic Amy Poehler’s gift for interrupting at just the right moments and with just the right observations. It’s really remarkable. Enjoy, and I look forward to discussing both “Article Two” and “Jerry’s Scrapbook” with you after they air tomorrow night.