At the end of season four we decided to move Ben to Washington for a chunk of episodes, and then we began to discuss reasons he would come back. We wanted him to succeed at the job — he’s a pretty capable guy — so we thought it was unreasonable for him to say, “Well, that was fun, running a Congressional campaign. Now it’s back to a much smaller job in Pawnee, Indiana!” Him realizing that his relationship with Leslie is the most important thing in his life made a lot of sense — the proposal was the simplest and cleanest (and most romantic) way for him to declare it.
When we committed to shipping Ben out for five episodes, we wanted to send someone with him, and April seemed like a fun choice. Both because it fits her very slow arc of maturing a little and trying to achieve more in her life, and because they are two characters who haven’t had a ton of scenes together. I loved them together. It was like a little show within a show: Ben Wyatt and his terrifying little sister, who begrudgingly came to like him. And it wasn’t that hard — I had practice from Season Three of The Office, moving Jim to Stamford, and we regularly have three or even four stories in an episode where the characters are divvied up.
As for how to keep them funny and interesting: as long as we keep coming up with good stories for them, and take their lives and careers in new directions, that will happen naturally. Because the characters are played by Adam Scott and Amy Poehler. Who are good at acting and comedy.
He will not work on the campaign in Florida. Episode 7 involves him contemplating a new job in Pawnee.