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For its seventh and final season, NBC’s Parks and Recreation seems destined to make its last year feel as close to the six previous years as possible, despite taking place in the future. The quirky comedy is bringing back as many past characters as it can, and we can definitely expect to see Paul Rudd reprising his role of the bumbling buffoon and Sweetums heir Bobby Newport. I guess my thoughts on that are, you know, let’s just all have a good time!
Apparently this will be no mere bit cameo, as Rudd will return to Pawnee for two separate episodes in Season 7. So how will he figure into this new season after being gone for a couple of years? Executive producer Michael Schur told EW that “Ben needs to fill a certain position and he thinks that Bobby might be a good candidate.” That sounds about as far-fetched as anything else that happens on this show, as Ben knows damn well that Bobby is much more qualified when it comes to “being nice” than “anything else.” Perhaps the position Ben has in mind is Department Store Greeter.
Rudd first joined the series back in Season 4 as the manchild Bobby, in a plot that saw him running a bizarre and unsuccessful campaign for the City Council seat. Despite having the wonderful Kathryn Hahn as his campaign manager, Leslie wiped the floor with him for the position. We assume he spent large swaths of time thereafter eating nothing but Bobby Bars.
Rudd, whom Schur calls “the world’s nicest human being,” apparently filmed his Parks and Recreation scenes on the sly when he was still filming Peyton Reed’s upcoming Marvel tentpole Ant-Man. Something tells me he was wearing different clothes. No matter what his costume/outfit, I can’t wait to see Bobby Newport back on my TV.
Rudd isn’t the only actor reprising a role for Season 7. It was Schur’s intention to bring back as many characters as possible, and we can at least expect to see Chris (Rob Lowe), Anne (Rashida Jones), Ed (Jon Hamm), Tammy II (Megan Mullally) and Lucy (Natalie Morales). There are almost certainly more surprises to be had down the road.
Parks and Recreation will return for Season 7 starting Tuesday, January 13, with back-to-back episodes. It will continue airing doubled-up episodes until its series finale.