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The Surprising Number Of SNL Cameos You Likely Forgot About On Parks & Recreation

Featuring an all-star ensemble cast led by Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation" aired for seven seasons before concluding its run in 2015. The mockumentary sitcom followed the lives of the employees who work at the Parks and Recreation Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Poehler brought her A-game to the role of Leslie Knope, whose love of the Pawnee community lies at the heart of the show: Using the improvisational comedy skills she honed as a longtime cast member on "Saturday Night Live," Poehler's portrayal embraces the sillier side of bureaucracy. 

Known for her spot-on impersonations of figures like Kelly Ripa, Dakota Fanning, and Hillary Clinton, Poehler made history on "SNL" by becoming the first female featured player to be promoted to full cast member in their first season on the show (via Glamour). Although Poehler made her exit from "SNL" in 2009, it's no secret that she made a lasting impression on her fellow cast members. In fact, several of Poehler's former castmates made cameos on "Parks and Recreation. Without further ado, here are the many "Saturday Night Live" cast members that appeared on "Parks and Recreation."

Andy Samberg as park ranger Carl Lorthner

Andy Samberg was a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" from 2005 until 2012 (via IMDb). He is perhaps best known for his performances in the show's digital shorts, including the ever-hilarious "Dick in a Box" sketch.

Samberg appeared in Season 2, Episode 19, "Park Safety," as a Pawnee park ranger named Carl Lorthner. Tom (Aziz Ansari) explains in a cutaway that Carl was transferred from a desk job to the park rangers because of his loud, obnoxious personality, which is immediately evident from the moment he steps on screen. Carl clashes with Leslie (Amy Poehler) over park security after Gerry (Jim O'Heir) claims he was mugged while filling hummingbird feeders. When Jerry reveals that he was lying, Carl threatens to reveal the truth, which forces Leslie to buy him off with a new golf cart.

Samberg went on to showcase his comedic talents as NYPD Detective Jake Peralta in "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

Jenny Slate as Mona-Lisa Saperstein

Jenny Slate appeared in 22 episodes of "Saturday Night Llive" between 2009 and 2010 (via IMDb). Slate is also known for her vocal talents, lending her voice to characters on animated series like "Bob's Burgers," "Big Mouth," "The Simpsons," and "Adventure Time." 

On "Parks and Rec," the actress plays Mona-Lisa Saperstein, the sister of Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz). She is first introduced in the Season 5, Episode 6, "Bailout" when Tom (Aziz Ansari) hires her to work at his new clothing store, Rent-A-Swag. Mona-Lisa shares her brother's over-the-top personality, wacky fashion sense, and lazy streak, even helping him to fake his own death for insurance money in the series finale, a venture that naturally goes awry. Tom and Mona-Lisa embark on a short-lived relationship that manages to annoy all of their friends before they ultimately part ways. Slate has a recognizable nasally timbre that she exaggerates on "Parks and Rec," a quality that comes in handy whenever she narrates an episode of "Drunk History."

Rachel Dratch as Roz Pinwheel

Rachel Dratch appears as Roz Pinwheel in Season 7, Episode 7 of "Parks and Rec." Titled "Donna and Joe," the episode follows the characters as they prepare for Donna (Retta) and Joe's (Keegan-Michael Key) wedding, as well as the repercussions of Ben (Adam Scott) receiving an offer to run for Congress. Roz is the nanny to Ben and Leslie's (Amy Poehler) triplets, a chaotic job that she does to the best of her ability (via IMDb). 

Dratch is one of the most underrated cast members on "SNL." Some of her best work on the comedy series comes from playing the title character in the "Debbie Downer" sketches. Debbie Downer is great because even though she can never seem to enjoy herself, she makes everyone around her uncomfortable by only pointing out negative things. One of the best of these sketches is "Debbie Downer: Disney World," which features Dratch, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler, Horatio Sanz, Fred Armisen, and host Lindsay Lohan (via IMDb) — because Dratch is so funny that none of the other actors can keep a straight face. You might also recognize Dratch from the various characters she portrays on "30 Rock," which was created by fellow "SNL" alum Tina Fey.

Fred Armisen as Raul

Fred Armisen is like a comedy chameleon. He pops up anywhere and everywhere, always playing the most random character possible. Armisen joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" in 2002, eventually departing as a series regular in 2013, although he frequently made cameos. Some of his best sketches are on "Weekend Update," where Armisen and Kristen Wiig play a colorful pair of songwriters named Garth and Kat. Garth and Kat are never prepared to sing their material, leading to a fun, ill-prepared singalong.

On "Parks and Recreation," Armisen plays Raul, a Venezuelan Parks and Recreation representative that Leslie invites to Pawnee. He appears in Season 2, Episode 5, titled "Sister City." Leslie and Raul passive aggressively attempt to one-up each other over the course of the visit, but Raul's funniest moment is when he explains all the reasons someone can supposedly be jailed in Venezuela. Armisen has been on some great shows over the years, including "Portlandia," "Big Mouth, "Documentary Now!," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," and "Our Flag Means Death" (via IMDb). 

Will Forte as Twilight enthusiast Kelly Larson

Nobody loves "Twilight" quite as much as Kelly Larson, a character that appears in Season 3, Episode 3, "Time Capsule" (via IMDb). Played by "Saturday Night Live" alum Will Forte, Kelly tries to convince Leslie to put a copy of the vampire romance novel in the Pawnee time capsule. When Leslie declines, Kelly handcuffs himself to a desk in her office to prove his seriousness. When Leslie's attempts to remove him from her office fail, she decides to just wait it out, but realizes that might take longer than she thinks when Kelly starts pulling food and supplies out of his backpack.

Will Forte was a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" from 2002 until 2012, appearing in over 150 episodes (via IMDb). Forte's best-known character from "Saturday Night Live" is MacGruber, a distractible special agent. The character was ultimately developed for a feature length film and a TV series (via IMDb).

Bill Murray as Mayor Gunderson

Bill Murray was on "Saturday Night Live" as a cast member from 1977 until 1980, although he has appeared in numerous episodes as a guest star since then. He served as the "Weekend Update" anchor during his final years as a regular cast member on the show (via IMDb). On "Parks and Rec," Murray portrays Pawnee's mayor in Season 7, Episode 11, titled "Two Funerals" (via IMDb). The episode actually chronicles the events of Mayor Gunderson's funeral, so Murray is lying in a coffin for most of the episode. However, Mayor Gunderson left a video to be played at his funeral, so viewers do get to see him in the flesh briefly. Mayor Gunderson doesn't seem all too concerned with his demise, or the fate of Pawnee, but his apathetic address is delivered in Murray's signature droll tone.

Along with his time on "Saturday Night Live," Murray is known for appearing in films like "Ghostusters," "Little Shop of Horrors," "Groundhog Day," "Space Jam," "Rushmore," and "Osmosis Jones." He's also been in several Wes Anderson films, including "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and "Isle of Dogs" (via IMDb).

Kyle Mooney as Keith

Comedian Kyle Mooney made his debut on "Saturday Night Live" in 2013 and he's still going strong. He has impersonated a wide array of public figures during his time there, including Criss Angel, Fred Astaire, Jeff Bezos, Bradley Cooper, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, Macklemore, Howie Mandel, and Pope Francis (via IMDb). After Andy Samberg's departure, Mooney has also helped to reinvigorate the show's digital shorts.

Mooney appears in Season 4, Episode 7 of "Parks and Recreation." Titled "The Treaty," the episode follows an argument between Ben (Adam Scott) and Leslie (Amy Poehler) that threatens to ruin Pawnee's model United Nations. Back at the office, Ron (Nick Offerman) interviews potential candidates to be Tom's (Aziz Ansari) replacement. One of these interviewees is Keith, a lazy and inattentive young man who seems like he wandered into the office on a whim. When Tom begins to describe a potential situation Keith would face on the job, Keith leaves abruptly, admitting to viewers that he didn't actually know what he was applying for.

Kyle Mooney has also lent his comedic talents to projects like "Bob's Burgers," "Rick and Morty," "Arrested Development," and "Drunk History" (via IMDb).

Horatio Sanz as himself

Blink and you'll miss Horatio Sanz's cameo on "Parks and Recreation." 

He briefly appears in the series finale. Season 7, Episode 12, titled "One Last Ride," wraps up the character's storylines and shows their lives in the future. The episode is jam-packed with heartfelt moments and last-minute jokes, giving the beloved characters a proper send-off. Sanz appears as himself in the episode, officiating Craig (Billy Eichner) and Typhoon's (Rodney To) wedding.

Between 1998 and 2011, Sanz appeared in over 150 episodes of "Saturday Night Live." It's only fitting that he appeared on "Parks and Rec," as he co-anchored "Weekend Update" with Amy Poehler for several episodes in 2005. During his tenure on the show, he impersonated celebrities like Elton John, Billy Joel, Rosie O'Donnell, and Gene Shalit (via IMDb). Although Sanz stopped appearing on "SNL" in 2006 due to budget cuts, he has guest starred in numerous episodes since (via The New York Times).

SNL writer Paula Pell as Ron's mom

Even though Paula Pell was not technically a cast member on "Saturday Night Live," she was a writer for the show from 1995 until 2013. Furthermore, Pell is an "SNL" legend, responsible for characters like Debbie Downer and Justin Timberlake's Omeletteville mascot. And even though she spent her time at the improv comedy series in the writers' room, Pell is no stranger to acting. 

Alongside Rachel Dratch, Pell reunited with Amy Poehler in the 2019 film "Wine Country." Pell also wrote several episodes of the series "30 Rock," as well as playing Paula, the wife of Pete Hornberger (Scott Adsit). Her acting credits include roles on "Big Mouth," Documentary Now!," "Inside Out," and "Bless the Harts" (via IMDb). And on "Parks and Rec," Pell portrays Ron Swanson's (Nick Offerman) mother, Tamara Swanson, in Season 4, Episode 2, titled "Ron and Tammys." The episode features Ron severely diluting his normally gruff attitude when he reunites with his ex, Tammy (Patricia Clarkson). His friends notice this significant change in personality, so they enlist the help of Ron's mom, also named Tammy, to help get him back to normal. It all comes to a head with an epic drinking contest between the Tammys and Leslie (Amy Poehler).