Retired NBA player Detlef Schrempf recently shot an episode of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” written by star Amy Poehler.
Schrempf’s prior TV experience amounts to a guest spot on a German soap opera and a cameo appearance on “Married… with Children,” but executive producer Michael Schur says he held his own with the “Parks and Rec” cast.
“For a guy who literally never acted before in his life, he was really
funny,” Schur said at NBC’s summer press day on Monday (April 26).
Poehler explains the premise of the episode, which airs Thursday, May 6.
“It’s an all-night telethon,” she explains. “Leslie’s trying to raise money, and there’s a telethon that happens every year for diabetes research. Leslie has a four-hour block that she’s allowed to program, and she’s got a very important special guest lined up, ready to come, that Tom is in charge of.”
Instead of getting the special guest — Schrempf, who played for the Indiana Pacers in the late ’80s and early ’90s — to the telethon, Tom (Aziz Ansari) takes him out to a club. “He shows up eventually,” Poehler assures us. “But [the episode] is about Leslie trying to waste time and stay awake, and everyone from the parks department comes to help her.”
“She announces at the beginning of the episode that she stayed up all night the night before making T-shirts for everybody,” Schur says. “And Tom is like, ‘You stayed up all night the night before an all-night telethon?'”
Having worked on “Saturday Night Live,” Poehler knows that a guest star can often be hit-or-miss, but she says that Schrempf exceeded their expectations.
“We’re going to write a spin-off for him called ‘That’s So Detlef,’ so look forward to that,” Ansari adds.
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