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Among the numerous TV and film credits on J.K. Simmons' CV is a role in Starz's unfortunately short-lived comedy Party Down. Simmons will be reuniting Party Down's Adam Scott in another excellent TV comedy coming soon. The actor is set to appear in an episode of NBC's Parks and Recreation, where Scott plays Ben, the fiancé of leading lady Leslie Knope. And it just so happens that Simmons' role involves Ben.
EW says Simmons will appear in an episode that airs next month, playing the "slightly gruff mayor" of Partridge, Minnesota, "a post that Ben (Adam Scott) briefly held when he was 18, before being impeached for developing the ill-conceived Ice Town that bankrupted the burg." When Ben and Leslie visit the town, Ben is received with forgiveness. Michael Schur says the mayor throws a ceremony to let Ben know it's ok and things are just fine since his mistake two decades ago.
Simmons is a man with range, having played some memorable roles that demonstrate his knack for drama and comedy (Vern Schillinger in Oz and J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man, to name a couple). One thing he's always been good at is playing stern and intimidating men, which is why I'd love to see how his character plays off of Ben and Leslie. And why I'm already disappointed that it doesn't sound likely that he'll cross paths with Ron Swanson. Unless Ron goes along on the road trip. Just knowing that Simmons is going to be on the show makes me need to see him and Nick Offerman in a scene together.
Fans of Simmons will get to see him on Parks and Rec next month, and then starring in ABC's yet-to-air new comedy Family Tools, which is expected to premiere this May.