Newt Gingrich Visits ‘Parks and Recreation’

A happy accident brings former Republican presidential candidate to NBC sitcom

Weeks after Leslie Knope met Vice President Biden on "Parks and Recreation," Newt Gingrich is coming to the show — though almost entirely by accident.

Getty ImagesThis week, "Parks," set in fictional Pawnee, Ind., was filming an episode at Indianapolis' St. Elmo Steak House. (The joke there: "Parks" star Rob Lowe starred in "St. Elmo's Fire.") The show had already scheduled cameos by the Indiana Pacers’ Roy Hibbert and Miles Plumlee, but Gingrich made an unexpected appearance, the Indiana Star reported.

The former House Speaker and Republican presidential candidate arrived at the restaurant for a planned meeting with Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, but found that "Parks" had taken over the location for filming. After a quick rewrite, he was incorporated into the script.

“It was a completely random chance,” "Parks" co-creator Mike Schur told the Star. “But you can’t pass up on an opportunity like that.”

Lowe noted the irony of catching Gingrich in Indiana after recently going to Biden to film Biden and Sens. John McCain, Barbara Boxer and Olympia Snowe.

"No, we didn’t have him in Washington," Lowe said. "We have him at St. Elmo’s.”