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This Parks And Recreation Character Is One Of Kathryn Hahn's Best Guest Spots

Kathryn Hahn has found a phenomenal niche in the acting industry as a character actor who often plays smaller roles that are also usually the most memorable of whatever project she is in. More often than not, this results in her working for long periods of time on episodic television productions, as such projects seem to have a more amicable disposition toward comedic women. In recent years, her famous ability to imbue personality into anything she touches landed her the antagonistic role of Agatha Harkness on Marvel's first Disney+ series, "WandaVision," a part she'll be reprising now that Marvel has opted to develop a spin-off specifically about her character.

While she is occasionally at the top of the billing, Hahn is usually lending 110% to a guest spot. For example, consider her memorable voiceover work as Olivia Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus in "Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse" or her short stint as Eleanor in NBC's comedy police procedural "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." Though many of her appearances could be considered a highlight, perhaps her best guest-starring TV role is her work on another NBC comedy, "Parks And Recreation." Let's take a look at what made Kathryn Hahn's turn as Jennifer Barkley so memorable.

Jennifer Barkley is hilarious and cold-hearted

Jennifer Barkley is a recurring character on "Parks And Recreation" that first appeared in the Season 4 episode "Campaign Shake-Up," where she was introduced as a campaign manager for Leslie Knope's (Amy Poehler) political rival, Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd). From the start, it is clear that she is only around to aid such a small election because of a ludicrously wealthy benefactor, and she constantly discusses how her more high-profile work has allowed her to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle. Despite being notably snotty and above the trivial town of Pawnee, Indiana, Jennifer Barkley returns again and again, often as a begrudging mentor and ally for Leslie.

As a character, Jennifer Barkley is interesting because at no point does she suggest that her ambitions or desires align with those of the main cast. She'll sulk and moan if she's bored and insult literally anything that she deems mildly lesser. Essentially, there's a direct line of communication between her mouth and her first thought and Hahn plays it all so effortlessly that it's impossible to not feel joy when she reappears for another round of scathing insults.

In stark contrast to her character, Hahn herself had nothing but awe and reverence for the cast and crew of "Parks and Recreation" while speaking to AV Club. "It's crazy how good it is over there," she said of the set of the show. "It's such a beautifully well-run machine. They have dance parties at lunch. That was like nirvana. I'm in awe, and I turned into a pumpkin at midnight."