Ever wondered how the citizens of Pawnee, Indiana would be doing in quarantine? Well, Ben Schwartz can speak for at least one of them.
The actor and comedian played Jean-Ralphio Saperstein on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” for many years, and he knows exactly what the delightfully obnoxious co-founder of Entertainment 720, who famously got run over by a Lexus, would be doing right now.
“Okay, here, I wrote it down,” Schwartz told TheWrap in a Zoom interview with his “Middleditch & Schwartz” comedy-partner Thomas Middleditch, who together have a set of three improv comedy specials premiering April 21 on Netflix.
“I said he would throw a worldwide digital quarantine party from the safety of his computer, with a shared playlist and drinks delivered to your door — but the party goes so well that he gets excited and tells everybody to dance in the streets together, and by mistake makes everything 1,000 times worse,” Schwartz said.
He even went so far as to verify that answer with “Parks and Rec” co-creator Mike Schur.
“He said yes, that’s correct — and then he would fly to the Canary Islands and bill himself as one of the leading pandemic DJ innovators and open a club in an abandoned food processing plant.”
As for Saperstein’s mental and emotional health, Schwartz said he would be about as lost as the rest of us.
“Jean-Ralphio by himself would be very difficult,” he said. “He would crash everybody’s Zoom and be like, ‘It’s me!’ and try to make as many friends as possible. He could not be by himself.”
Middleditch, who is known for starring as tech wiz and Pied Piper startup founder Richard Hendricks on HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” also had an answer for what his most famous character would be doing in quarantine.
“Coding,” he said. “Easy. He’d be on the ‘puters, doing the bip-bop-boops, C++, Q-basic, whatever it is. Java.”
Then, at Schwartz’s behest, he sang us a song in character as Hendricks that went a little something like this: “I am Richard, coding day and night, I lo-o-o-ove my parents.”
“I think Richard would be perfectly at home,” he added. “He’d be like, ‘Finally, I can get some work done.”
Watch the video interview above.