We're pretty confident when we declare Joe Biden's guest spot on Thursday night's episode of Parks and Recreation the most anticipated cameo by a politician on a television show of all time.
Biden's appearance would have had a longer buildup if it wasn't for people who care about a level playing field in unimportant things like federal elections. The show was warned that if word of Biden's cameo got out before election day they would have to, in the interest of fairness, orchestrate a cameo for Paul Ryan too:
“It was all very byzantine and complicated,” Mr. Schur said. “There seem to be all kinds of specific rules, which I never fully understood. But we decided to err on the side of caution.”
Instead, we only just found out about Biden's appearance last week.
Leslie Knope's love of for the Vice President has been a running joke on the show. In last week's episode she included his face on a unity quilt for (SPOILER ALERT?) her new-husband Ben Wyatt's family. That cameo can be seen here, as a single GIF:
This week's cameo was much more elaborate. It was also the show's cold open, the scene that leads the episode and sets the tone for everything that follows.
Leslie and Ben are vacationing in Washington and he's organized a special engagement present for her: a meeting with Joe "The Body" Biden. When he surprises her, the shock of being confronted by one of her heroes wipes the smile right off her face:
Ben held his composure and shared a nice manly handshake with Joe:
Leslie had a little bit more trouble. She started off in staring in disbelief (above), before going into hysterics, and then denying it was even happening. "My name just came out of your mouth... This isn't happening. This isn't real," she said:
Joe thinks he's there to congratulate her on all the hard work she's doing for her community in Pawnee, Indiana. Leslie thinks he's there to ask her to replace Hillary as Secretary of State:
When Leslie thanks Joe, she turns the tables on him a little. The normally-touchy Biden gets trapped in the star-struck clutches of Leslie Knope. She even sneaks a sniff:
Joe doesn't really know what to think:
Although that seems to be his stock reaction to everything. This was Joe walking on stage for the first time on election night:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.