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The Spin-Off That Parks And Recreation Fans Really Want To See

There are plenty of reasons that "Parks and Recreation" is such an enduring presence in the world of TV comedy: good writing, creative jokes, and a cast with perfect comedic timing are among them. But, for the most part, the popularity of this beloved sitcom comes down to its truly memorable characters. As such, fans of the series have wondered whether a spin-off focusing on one of the wonderfully whacky denizens of Pawnee, Indiana will ever materialize. It would make sense. Creators Greg Daniels and Michael Schur originally intended "Parks and Rec" as a spin-off of "The Office," and there has long been speculation that the two shows' shared format and sensibility might mean they take place in the same universe. If that universe has already been expanded once, then there's little keeping it from doing so again.

When it comes to who might headline a potential "Parks and Rec" spin-off, there are plenty of options. A show that follows Leslie and Ben's (Amy Poehler and Adam Scott) ascent through federal government and Washington politics would be interesting. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there's the possibility of watching Ron Swanson's (Nick Offerman) wings spread as superintendent of the Pawnee National Park. There's one character, though, that fans seem to think would make for a truly unique spin-off.

Fans want to see a Jean-Ralphio spin-off

That would be Jean-Ralphio Saperstein (Ben Schwartz) — best friend and co-conspirator to Tom (Aziz Ansari), spoiled scion of Dr. Lu Saperstein (Henry Winkler), and a man whose outlandish personality far outstrips his intelligence or abilities. Redditor u/markelmores took to the r/PandR subreddit to start a thread with the post: "10/10 would watch a spinoff mini-series about Jean-Ralphio." That proclamation sounded good to u/TeemKC, who wrote, "I always thought this. I'd so watch him and his sis ..." Meanwhile, u/habfan123 posted an elaborate summary of their idea for a Jean-Ralphio-centric spin-off in the vein of "Better Call Saul" that is actually a backdoor pilot for Netflix's "Space Force," where Schwartz plays a similar type of character.

Other fans disagreed. One comment, by u/CallOfTheWest, read, "Nah, he's best in small doses." While u/spaceman_sloth pointed out that Schwartz himself said on Rob Lowe's podcast "Literally!" that a full 30 minutes of Jean-Ralphio would be way too much. One Redditor proposed a compromise. "A Jean-Ralphio spin-off where the episodes are 5 minutes long would be perfect," wrote u/BuzzardRex. "Small glimpses into his life and happenings. Any more than 5 minutes would just turn into cringe."

As for a starting point for Jean-Ralphio's spin-off, there are options. When last we saw him in the "Parks and Rec" series finale, Jean-Ralphio had faked his own death so that he and sister Mona Lisa (Jenny Slate) could abscond with some life insurance money and start a casino in Tajikistan. That basically writes itself. There is, of course, the possibility of a "Stranger Things" cross-over, bolstered by the popular fan theory that Jean-Ralphio is the long-lost son of Steve Harrington (played by Schwartz lookalike Joe Keery). That theory was even given credence by Michael Shur himself (via Entertainment Weekly). Your move, showrunners.