Hey, hello, hi. Wanna have your brain melted a little bit? Mike Schur, showrunner of Parks & Rec and co-executive producer of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, made a brief appearance in a 2007 episode of The O.C. as a representative for an environmental agency called GEORGE that wanted to hire Summer because of her influential blog about sea otters. The evidence is right up there in that video.
As a longtime fan of both Schur’s work and television shows about wealthy California teenagers, I could not believe I didn’t know this until this week, when I stumbled across it in a post at Hitfix about Chris Pratt’s early work on television. Sayeth O.C. showrunner Josh Schwartz, who cast Pratt as a goofy hippie named Che in the show’s fourth and final season:
Rachel Bilson always talked about her favorite Chris joke where he would gather people on set and say “Okay, guys. Guess what movie is this from?” Beat. “Welcome to Jurassic Park…” It killed every time. On screen, the moment he played the didgeridoo, we knew he was gold. Thanks to Che, Summer became an environmental activist, and was recruited (on screen) to save the planet by none other than Mike Schur!
Okay, a few things:
- That’s a nice piece of business by Pratt.
- According to IMDB, Schur was a co-executive producer of The Office in 2007. If you’re wondering how a writer/producer on an NBC sitcom ended up with a small role in a primetime soap on Fox, there’s an explanation for that: Schur is married to J.J. Philbin, who was a writer/producer on The O.C., and wrote the episode in question, “The Case of the Franks.” She’s also the daughter of Regis Philbin. That has nothing to do with anything, really, but I feel like it’s important to remind people every now and then that Ken Tremendous from Fire Joe Morgan is Regis’s son-in-law.
- This was kind of an important moment in the show. Summer had just visited a psychic who told her she was meant to be with “George,” which was causing all sorts of soul-searching and trouble in her relationship with Seth. (Reminder: The O.C. was the greatest.) Enter Mike Schur as Paul, a representative for the Global Environmental Organization Regarding Greenhouse Emissions (GEORGE), the group Summer would eventually join and go on a cross-country educational bus tour with before returning to California to marry Seth.
Long story short: The Internet is fun.