83 minutes | Mar 28, 2023
S05E22 - Are You Better Off?
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode where we see the triumphant return of Bert Macklin, FBI! Founder's Week is a yearly celebration of all things Pawnee, and to prepare for the momentous day, Leslie brings her entire staff to Ron's cabin in the woods for a brainstorming session. As Leslie encourages everyone to focus and rid themselves of distractions, Tom is still dealing with the train wreck that is his girlfriend Mona-Lisa. Leslie hosts a Founder's Week public forum to help celebrate her first year in office as a Pawnee city councilwoman. To kick things off, Leslie posits the question, "Are you better off now than you were a year ago?" Immediately, however, there is hostility with Pawnee Restaurant Association spokeswoman Kathryn Pinewood speaking up against many of Leslie's changes which she feels restricts citizen's basic personal freedoms. (Or because the Restaurant Association was angry about the soda tax, so they are lashing out against Leslie for it.) Many more stand up against Leslie, and overall, the forum does not go well. Leslie finds the Founder's Week Parade to be a perfect distraction from the drama surrounding her humiliating forum. Meanwhile, while searching through the trash for his sweatshirt at Ron's cabin, Andy comes across a positive pregnancy test, which propels him to reassume his alter ego as Burt Macklin, FBI. There were five women at the cabin over the weekend, and Andy vows to figure out which one is pregnant. Andy confronts Ann first, but it's not her. She is a little annoyed that someone else got pregnant before her, though. Ann hops on board as Macklin's partner, and the two set out to find the woman behind the test. Andy and Ann rule out Donna and Leslie, leaving only Mona-Lisa ... Finally, business is booming at Rent-A-Swag, and a lawyer representing an anonymous client approaches Tom about buying the company. Tom reports back to his investors – Donna, April, Jerry, and Ron – about the opportunity, and Donna is all over the idea, but Ron thinks Tom should continue growing his business as he is clearly doing something right if he is being offered to sell. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Are there any Pawnee citizens that are pro-Leslie, or are they all against her? Is this actually Bert Macklin, or is he back from the dead as some sort of zombie-Macklin? Will Tom sell out? Will the parade go smoothly for Leslie, or will there be a twist? Will Special Agent Perkins make a good partner for Macklin, or is he truly a lone wolf? Who is the mystery client? How many Lerpisses are in this episode? Is Mona-Lisa pregnant, and if so, what has Tom done to humanity? Loyal viewers, this is it ... the Season 5 finale! Season 5 has been a non-stop action ride, and it's coming to a close here. Tune in to see how things turn out! Many thanks to our incredible sponsor, the one, the only, often imitated but never duplicated, JJ's Diner.
76 minutes | Mar 21, 2023
S05E21 - Swing Vote
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode where we are first introduced to the possibility of a Knope Recall! Ron has proposed the city cut its funding to the Pawnee Palms Public Putt-Putt (a.k.a. "the Pawnee Palms", a.k.a. "the PPPPP", a.k.a. "the Quintuple-P"). Leslie disagrees with Ron, and tries to make sure the city council votes against it. Unfortunately, the council is locked at 2–2, with Councilman Jamm as the proverbial "swing vote". To this end, Leslie invites Jamm to the Quintuple-P for a night of mini golf. Predicting this move, Ron meets them there, not to play, but just to remind Jamm how much taxpayer money is spent each year on this place. Leslie, on the other hand, panders to Jamm's juvenile side, supplies him with snow cones and balloons, and reminds him how fun the Quintuple-P is. Enjoying the attention, Jamm decides to make Ron and Leslie play 9 holes against each other, and whoever wins, gets Jamm's vote. Meanwhile, when Ben, April and Andy have a celebratory drink at Paladino's Bar, Andy is shocked to find out Mouse Rat is playing without him (under the name "Rat Mouse"), performing songs he wrote. When Andy confronts Burly and Chang, they explain they called him numerous times over a number of weeks to try and get him to come to rehearsals, but when he never showed or responded, they still really wanted to play so they continued on without him. In response to this betrayal, Andy comes to the conclusion that he is going to retire from music and performs one final solo swan song, that night, on stage, to bid farewell to his career. Finally, having grown tired of his crazy, uncontrollable, and sometimes dangerously unpredictable girlfriend Mona-Lisa, Tom finally acts like an adult ... and asks Ann to break up with Mona-Lisa for him. Ann reluctantly agrees, but this ends up backfiring ... I mean, sure, Mona-Lisa DOES break up with Tom, but then she conscripts Ann as her bestie, focusing her "laser beams of crazy" on her instead. Desperate to find a way out of this situation, Ann insists Tom help her, who resorts to kissing Ann in front of Mona-Lisa as a guise for ending the friendship. This only makes things worse as Mona-Lisa takes this as them asking her for a threesome. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Who will win the mini-golf contest, Leslie or Ron? Will this be Andy's final swan song? Will Ann and Tom be sucked into a threesome with Mona-Lisa, or can they escape with their sanity? Will Jamm honor the contest results, or will he vote however he wants? What will Andy do with his life after he retires from music? Is Mona-Lisa's breakup with Tom permanent, or just a temporary respite? If the Quintuple-P closes, what will happen to Mr. Fuzzy-Face the gorilla? Does Andy make good nachos or not? Exactly how crazy IS Mona-Lisa? Loyal podcast viewers, this is the penultimate episode - tune in and let's finish this season strong! Many thanks to our amazing sponsor and sister company LFP World Musik: creators of "Mouse Rat, The Deluxe Edition" and "KidzPOP Covers Mouse Rat!". Order them soon on LivefromPawnee.com or pick them up at Food and Stuff!
77 minutes | Mar 14, 2023
S05E20 - Jerry's Retirement
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode where our beloved Jerry Gergich retires! Ben has talked Leslie into taking a VERY rare day off and spending it with him. However, when they learn Jerry is retiring ... THAT DAY ... their plans are put on hold, as Leslie furiously works to send Jerry off on the right note. Leslie turns to the goals Jerry originally set for himself when he was first hired ... not that ambitious, but appropriate for him, such as eating in the private city council dining room. Unfortunately, that goal and many others prove to be out of reach for various reasons. As the day rolls on, Leslie becomes worried - above all, she doesn't want Jerry to leave this job with nothing, and go home to an empty life. Finally, Leslie decides that, while they can't name a building after him (one of his original goals), they CAN name the Parks and Rec conference room after him, and she does so with a custom plaque and cake before he says his goodbyes to everyone. Meanwhile, the fertility clinic got the results back from Chris' tests. During Ann and Chris' next visit, they tell them Chris is very healthy, and, that he can give a specimen whenever he's ready, including that day. However, with the concept of artificial insemination no longer just a distant thought, Chris and Ann start to get cold feet and decide to take a few days to think things over before rushing any decisions. Ann invites Chris over to her house so that they can discuss things. Reading the pamphlets, they become rather put off by the medical, emotionless verbiage. This leads them to reminisce about their relationship, and the good times they had ... especially the good times they "physically" had. Finally, when the gang discusses the ramifications of Jerry retiring, Ron shares his philosophical theory that, since nature abhors a vacuum, the office will naturally select someone to assume the role of "punching bag". This makes everyone a little nervous, especially Tom, who takes every precaution to make sure he doesn't become the "new Jerry". Unfortunately, when Tom has a series of verbal flubs during a meeting, his worst nightmare comes true - everybody piles on, gives him a new embarrassing nickname, and makes fun of him non-stop. It gets so bad that, out of desperation, he asks Ron to hire a new intern in the hopes that the mantle of punching bag will pass onto someone else. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Does the room-naming ceremony go smoothly, or does it get "Jerry'd" up somehow? Will Chris still decide to be the sperm donor for Ann? What nickname does the gang give to Tom? Can Leslie try anything else to soften the blow of retirement for Jerry? Is there still a spark between Ann and Chris, physical or otherwise? Can Tom pass on the "punching bag" mantle to Ron's new intern? Will we see Jerry again, or is this really goodbye? Will Ann and Chris consider approaching fertility from a more "natural" route? What else can be done to help Tom avoid the fate of "the new Jerry"? Loyal viewers, we're getting close to the end of Season 5, and it's been a non-stop roller coaster ride ... will it continue with this episode? Tune in and find out! Many thanks to our amazing sponsor, "Pawnee Diagnostic Imaging", or PDI.
80 minutes | Mar 7, 2023
S05E19 - Article Two
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode with special guest star Patton Oswalt! The City of Pawnee annually celebrates the great Pawnee tea dump of 1817, but due to how the old-timey script looks, "tea" looks like "ted", so each year the city dumps a man named "Ted" into Ramsett Lake. This year, the "Ted" thrown into the lake becomes very angry, and demands Leslie address the many, many outdated laws still active in Pawnee. To this end, at the next City Council Meeting, Leslie proposes the city purge many of its old and obscure laws. However, citizen Garth Blunden is overtly against changing the laws due to historical significance, and successfully filibusters the meeting to prevent further action. Leslie implores Garth to reconsider. Garth accuses Leslie of having no respect for tradition. Finally, they decide to settle things with a wager: whoever can survive the longest living primitively at the Pawnee Historical House gets to make the other back down from their agenda. Meanwhile, now that April has been promoted to Deputy Director of Animal Control, Chris requires her to complete the Chris Traeger Management Training Seminar, or "ka-tumps". April asks Ron to help get her out of the seminar, but when Chris learns Ron has ALSO never had any management training, it backfires, with Ron getting roped in as well. As one might expect, things do not go well: Chris is overtly cheery, Ron is stoic and grumpy, April is sarcastic and snarky. Ron and Chris completely disagree on the best motivational methods, so Chris challenges Ron to see whose method works best: encouragement/appreciation/smiles (Chris), or money/fear/hunger (Ron). Finally, Ann's custom holiday with Leslie, "Breakfast Day", is coming up, and she found a waffle maker from JJ's Diner on an online auction. Unfortunately, somebody is bidding against her ... and she discovers that someone is Ben, who is shopping for a present for HIS custom holiday with Leslie, "Waffle Day". The two of them battle it out, trying to win the waffle maker, but ultimately lose to the owner of the Pawnee Pawn Shop, who they then have to deal with. While all this is happening, both Ann and Ben come to the realization that they are EXHAUSTED trying to keep up with the thoughtful but never-ending custom holidays Leslie has come up with for both of them. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Who will win their competition, Leslie or Garth? Will Ron or Chris win the competition, and what side will April be on? Who will win the coveted JJ's waffle maker? Is Garth cheating, or is he just really good at old-timey gibberish? Can Ron and Chris find a suitable mindless worker drone for their test subject? Can Ann and Ben continue dealing with all these custom holidays? Can Leslie get all the chickens out from under her dress? Will April and Ron be able to keep their conductor hats from the seminar? Loyal podcast viewers, this is competition cranked up to 11, just like in Spinal Tap! Many thanks to our wonderful sponsor, "Ron's One Minute Seminars", or ROMS.
80 minutes | Feb 28, 2023
S05E18 - Animal Control
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode where we first visit the office of Dennis Feinstein! When Leslie and Chris visit Animal Control, they find a mis-managed department building and ineffective staff. After Chris accidentally steps on a coyote trap in the middle of the floor, he fires Harris and Brett, the stoners working there. Soon afterwards, Leslie begins discussions at a city council meeting regarding who they should hire as Director of Animal Control, but finds out the councilmen usually just take turns appointing department heads. This does not go over well with Leslie, who insists they all find suitable candidates and bring them in for consideration. This proves challenging, as the list of candidates is short (Harris and Brett even show up just hours after being fired). After throwing out numerous candidates of her own, and seeing what poor candidates the councilmen bring in, Leslie has an idea ... and surprises April by asking her to take the position. Meanwhile, Ben is in the process of getting more big companies to donate to the Sweetums Foundation, and he gets his chance after Tom organizes a meeting with Dennis Feinstein, Pawnee's premiere manufacturer of perfumes and colognes. It becomes clear quickly though that Feinstein is very shallow and has no compassion for anyone or anything. Ben feels uncomfortable with the situation, but could really use Feinstein's money to help needy people. Ben finds it difficult to discuss anything specific with Feinstein, as he rudely insults and rebuffs any attempts to come to a deal. Feinstein takes Ben, Tom and Andy Dwyer to the Pawnee Smokehouse where he continues to be rude and arrogant. Peeved at the way Feinstein is treating Ben and Tom, Andy loses his cool and calls Feinstein "a dick". Finally, after spending the night watching a movie with Diane and the kids, Ron catches whatever Zoe and Ivy had, becoming sick. Ron is determined to get past this in his own Swanson way, but Ann isn't having it, and manages to coerce Ron into going to the hospital, at this point he is examined by the curmudgeonly Dr. Harris, who tells him he has strep throat. Ann also offers the results of his blood tests, but Ron tells her he's not interested, takes Dr. Harris' prescription for penicillin, says "good day", and walks out. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Can Leslie maneuver April into getting the Animal Control job? Can Andy salvage the rest of their meeting with Dennis Feinstein? How does Ron's bloodwork look? Does April even WANT the Animal Control job? Will Ben manage to secure a donation from Dennis Feinstein? Will Ron be able to Swanson his way past this bout of illness? Is there another, better solution out there to the Animal Control situation? If Dennis Feinstein turns them down, are there any other donation paths to victory here? Are there any changes Ron needs to make to his life? Loyal viewers, with Harris, Brett, Dennis Feinstein, and Councilman Jamm to add to the hilarity, how can this episode go wrong? Many thanks to our wonderful sponsor, the Pawnee Restaurant Association.
85 minutes | Feb 21, 2023
S05E17 - Partridge
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode where we are introduced to Ben's sister, Stephanie Wyatt! Leslie and Ben head to his hometown of Partridge, Minnesota, where he was mayor at the age of 18, drove the city to 30% unemployment when he attempted to create a winter sports complex called "Ice Town,", and got impeached two months later. As a gesture of goodwill, all these years later, the town is offering Ben the key to the city, a distinction given to all city mayors. Ben is pleased that the city has finally gotten over the Ice Town debacle, and starts to feel at home again. Before the ceremony, they visit Ben's sister Stephanie at her home, where Ben practices his acceptance speech. Out of nowhere, Ben suddenly falls down in pain and is taken to the hospital, where it is revealed he has kidney stones. With Ben hopped up on morphine, the doctor insists he is unable to go anywhere, and needs to stay there. Trying to salvage things, Leslie plans to go to the ceremony on Ben's behalf to accept the key to the city. Meanwhile, Ron is being sued by Councilman Jamm for punching him in the face on the night of Leslie's wedding. He later meets with Jamm and his attorneys where Ron calls upon Andy, April, and Tom as witnesses. Although well intentioned, both April and Tom provide false statements about Ron to make him look better. Ron is not happy about this, ultimately asking them to recant their original testimonies and, instead, tell the truth, even though it will likely portray Ron in a bad light. Finally, now that Chris has officially agreed to be the sperm donor for Ann's baby, both of them are taking a lot of time trying to establish exactly how compatible they will be as parents. This starts with them both taking an online parenting quiz for compatibility, at the suggestion of Ann's doctor, Dr. Van Dyne. They do NOT do well, scoring only 58%. They then proceed to attempt a myriad of other approaches, including carrying around an egg for the day, carrying around a coffee cup for the day, and finally visiting Dr. Van Dyne to help them assess the situation. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Can Ben escape the hospital to be there at the ceremony? How damning will April and Tom's testimonies be? What does Dr. Van Dyne think of Chris and Ann's high level of incompatibility? Will the ceremony in Partridge go smoothly, or will there be hiccups? If he loses, will Ron be able to afford the court-ordered settlements? Is there a final test Chris and Ann can take to determine if the two of them co-parenting is at all viable? Does Ben regret not meeting the Partridge city mascot, Fred The Sled? Does Councilman Jamm win the day, or can April and Tom come up with a plan to help Ron? Will Ann have to start all over with her sperm donor search? Loyal podcast viewers, whether we're in Pawnee or Partridge, Season 5 has never failed to deliver ... so far. Can it continue? Tune in and find out with our review! In lieu of a commercial, Ron is doing a PSA "The More You Know" reviewing Seven Unknown Laws of Pawnee.
79 minutes | Feb 15, 2023
S05E16 - Bailout
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode where we are introduced to Jean-Ralphio's twin sister, Mona-Lisa Saperstein! Leslie is shocked to learn that the Pawnee Video Dome, owned by Dennis Lerpiss, is closing, not a big surprise since video stores are closing left and right, and the Video Dome doesn't even carry mainstream movies. However, Leslie is determined to keep the business afloat and petitions the city council to declare it as a historical landmark. This sends Ron into a tailspin - there's nothing he hates more than the government meddling in private matters. Ron shows up at the city council meeting to express his feelings, stating that this is nothing more than a thinly veiled government bailout. This causes things to get dicey as several other people speak out, some agreeing with Ron, some resentful that the Video Dome was getting a hand out at all, and some wanting a hand out of their own. Meanwhile, Chris has not yet given Ann an answer regarding the "will you be my sperm-donor" question she posed to him in the last episode. Talking with Ben, Chris voices his concerns - the thought of being a father excites him, but Chris is worried he's not qualified to be a parent. Ben suggests that Chris practice his parenting skills on Tom, who could clearly use the help. After some consideration, Chris decides to go with Ben's suggestion, and ends up giving Tom some "fatherly advice" regarding his issues at Rent-A-Swag with Mona-Lisa Saperstein. While all this is going on, Ann is completely on edge waiting to hear back from Chris about whether or not he'll be her sperm donor. In synchronicity to this, Tom's company, Rent-A-Swag, is in full swing and doing well. Due to the high demand, he is forced to hire an assistant. He brings on Mona-Lisa Saperstein, the twin sister of Jean-Ralphio. Mona-Lisa slacks off on the job, and in general, Tom lets her walk all over him. After witnessing this a few times, Ben urges Tom to fire Mona-Lisa immediately. Tom has to consider Ben's advice, in addition to the "fatherly advice" given by Chris. Finally, April begrudgingly comes to Ann, asking for a favor. She's applying to veterinary school, and she needs a letter of recommendation. Ann is thrilled to finally have the upper hand in her relationship with April; she agrees to write the letter under one condition ... April has to be her friend for one whole week and do everything she says. April has no choice but to agree to Ann's terms and takes part in Ann's parade of girly activities, like manicures and boy talk. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Does Leslie's historical landmark initiative pass, or will it get squashed? How does Chris suggest Tom handle the Mona-Lisa situation? Can April put up with all of this gross Perkins-love? Can the Video Dome be saved, or will it fade away like the Blockbusters around it? What will Chris finally decide with regards to being Ann's sperm donor? Will Tom take Chris' advice, or does he go rogue with his own plan? Will Ann write the letter of recommendation for April? Will there be any negative backlash from Leslie's plan? Is there any possible way Jerry could help Chris? At the end of the episode, does Mona-Lisa still work at Rent-A-Swag? Do Ann and April ever have a genuinely sweet moment? Loyal viewers, Season 5 is an unstoppable freight train approaching your station ... all aboard! Many thanks to our incredible sponsor, Strackwell Hardware.
83 minutes | Feb 7, 2023
S05E15 - Correspondents’ Lunch
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode where Nick Offerman has his directorial debut! Back from her Hawaiian honeymoon with Ben, Leslie prepares for her upcoming speech at the Pawnee Correspondents' Lunch, where every year the government and media get together to roast each other ... and Leslie is determined to give it to the Pawnee Sun tabloid with both barrels. At the luncheon, Leslie confronts Pawnee Sun reporter Kim Terlando and boasts about how she's going to kick ass and take names with her speech. However, Kim is called up on stage ahead of Leslie, and when she gives HER speech, it becomes clear she somehow stole all of Leslie's jokes, leaving Leslie with nothing to present. Leslie ends up bombing on stage, and even worse, is completely perplexed as to how Kim Terlando got hold of her notes. Meanwhile, still on her quest to have a baby, Ann has chosen Chris (who just broke up with Shauna Malwae-Tweep a week ago) as her potential sperm donor. Unfortunately, Chris does not yet know this, as Ann struggles to gain the courage to speak to him about it. After avoiding several interactions with him at City Hall (and venting to Ron about her insecurities), Ann once again tries to summon the nerve to talk to Chris at the Correspondents Luncheon. However, she becomes intimidated when she not only sees Shauna present at the luncheon, but witnesses Shauna and Chris engaging in pleasant small talk ... causing her to continue to vent to Ron. Finally, Ben begins his new job as President of the Sweetums Foundation. Jessica Wicks gives Ben his first assignment: pick a charity for the company to fund. Unfortunately, she only gives Ben a day to do so, and there are hundreds of charity applications to sift through. Desperate for help, he recruits Tom, April, and Andy to help him out. April encourages Andy to do this with them, as Andy has been depressed lately after failing to become a police officer. The team generates mixed results: Tom just cares about Sweetums' fancy lunches and luxurious perks, and April (true to her nature) doesn't care a whole lot about charity ... or helping out Ben. Andy, however, gives it his best try, and actually picks out an interesting after-school music program for at-risk children. Ben is impressed by Andy's choice, and likes the idea, but is still considering other choices as well. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... How did Kim Terlando get hold of Leslie's notes? Is Shauna Malwae-Tweep a genuine concern to Ann, or just a minor annoyance? What does Ben end up choosing as Sweetums' first charity? Can Leslie get her revenge on Kim Terlando? How does Ron handle Ann constantly venting to him? Will Andy ever snap out of his depression? Were Leslie's stolen jokes at least funny? Will Ann ever summon the courage to ask Chris to be her baby daddy? Are there any donations to "Tommy's Tummy Foundation"? Loyal podcast viewers, we've got new storylines, new careers ... things continue to barrel straight ahead in the little town of Pawnee, and we're all lucky enough to have a front row seat! Many thanks to our amazing sponsor, Pawnee Supersuites.
13 minutes | Feb 2, 2023
Pawnee Shorts: A Tribute to Leslie and Ben
We know you are a giant Parks and Recreation fan otherwise you wouldn’t be here! But just in case you got lost, this episode celebrates one of the best sitcom relationships in the history of ever: Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt. In their recent coverage of the Season 5 episode, ‘Leslie and Ben’, Mark and Allen covered the episode that finally made them husband and wife. Spoiler alert: the guys gave this landmark episode a score of 10 Llttle Sebastians - marking only the second time in five seasons that they’ve given a perfect score! So, make sure to listen to that episode first, and then come back here and check out our special tribute based on the article ‘Parks and Recreation: Leslie and Ben are the Best‘ by Matt Fowler published the day before the episode aired in 2013 on IGN.com. The article’s author and the guys both argue that Leslie and Ben are, if not the best, among the top few sitcom couples in the history of television. Why are they different? What makes them work? Check out this first ever special Pawnee Short and all will be revealed! Leslie and Ben, we love you and we like you! Enjoy!
87 minutes | Jan 31, 2023
S05E14 - Leslie and Ben
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode where we learn Leslie lost her father when she was 10 years old! When we last left our heroes, Leslie and Ben decided to get married that very night at the gala, giving them only 2 hours to get everything ready prior to the gala's 11pm finish. The gang gathers at Ann's place for an emergency strategy meeting, and the Pawnee Chapter of the Avengers once again Assembles, as they divide and conquer the tasks in front of them: Ann (wedding dress), Ron (walk Leslie down the aisle), Ben + Chris (wedding rings), April + Andy (marriage licenses), Tom (wedding officiant), Donna + Jerry (keep gala running smoothly). As time rolls on, we see the following happen ... Since Leslie needs her dress 3 months early, it is not ready, so Ann makes some last-minute changes ... Ben and Chris have no luck with finding suitable rings, so Ron attempts to use his woodworking skills to create two rings from a wall sconce ... April + Andy successfully locate the marriage licenses at City Hall, then go to Ethel Beavers' home to have her sign it ... Tom runs into a snag, since it takes 24 hours to get a minister certification, but it turns out Jerry is actually already ordained, so the two team-up to co-host the celebration. Everything seems to be going pretty well. The gala ends, they start the wedding, everything is awesome and wonderful, until ... the gang gets "Drunk Jammed", as a very inebriated Councilman Jeremy Jamm shows up at the gala, peeved at Leslie for stealing Lot 48, and sets out to ruin everything ... by any means possible. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Does Ron successfully create the rings? How many quotes from the movie "Hitch" will Tom use during the ceremony? What does Jamm do to try and ruin everything? Does Jamm succeed, or does the gang stop him, and if so, how so? Does Leslie really see a ghostly apparition of her beloved Li'l Sebastian? Will Leslie and Ben actually get married? Podcast viewers, we double dog dare you to watch this episode without a handkerchief - it's a good 'un. No, seriously! Curious exactly HOW good? Tune in and see! In lieu of a commercial, Mark and Allen have decided to air their first ever "Pawnee Short", covering the interesting (and weird) Lerpiss dynasty within the town of Pawnee, IN. Enjoy!
101 minutes | Jan 26, 2023
S05E13 - Emergency Response
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode where the future of Lot 48 is finally decided! Leslie and Councilman Jeremy Jamm are finally going head-to-head, pitching their proposals for Lot 48 to the Planning Committee. Despite Jamm plying them with fast food during the meeting, Leslie is told in private her Pawnee Commons project is MUCH better for the town, and that they can't approve it because it is short $50,000 ... but if she can come up with that money in the next week, they'll vote for her. To this end, Leslie and Ben plan a black tie gala fundraiser, the gang all work together, things seem to be going well ... until the day of the gala, Leslie finds out the surprise annual Emergency Preparedness drill is happening, and as appointed Pawnee Emergency Czar, she must go to the Command Center immediately. The chosen simulated disaster is avian flu, which Leslie loves, since it is simple, and she's already prepared for it. Leslie attempts to breeze through the proceedings, but just when it looks like they have triumphed, Councilman Jamm (who was supposed to deal with Transit Authorities) dropped the ball, causing the epidemic to spread instead of being contained. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang does their best to get things ready for the gala: Ben coordinates things at Lot 48, including delegating tables and chairs to Donna, as well as dealing with firemen using Lot 48 as a triage center for the drill; Tom travels around Pawnee, desperately looking for caterers willing to supply free food for the event; Ron decides to take Leslie's place on Pawnee Today to promote the gala, which proves challenging once it becomes clear Joan Callamezzo is INCREDIBLY hung over, finally passing out on the floor before the interview can really get started. Meanwhile, the day has finally come for Andy to take the Pawnee PD exam. Very excited (but nervous), he makes his way to the police station, accompanied by April, who gives him a good luck charm and helps him with last minute cramming. After anxiously waiting in the lobby for Andy to finish, April finally sees him come back to the lobby, excited and confident that he did really well on the written exam! A bit later, Andy is once again taken into the back office, this time for his personality exam. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Can Leslie help Pawnee survive the avian flu, or is the town going the way of the dodo? How did Andy really do on his written exam? Will Ron effectively promote the gala event? Can Tom find any caterers willing to provide food for free? Is Andy prepared to take the personality exam? Where in the world did Jerry go? Does Ben talk the firemen into moving the triage center? Will Andy truly become one of Pawnee's finest? Will the gala happen, or is it destined for doom? What is "The Knope Protocol"? What is the good luck charm April gives Andy? Loyal viewers, Season 5 is on a roll ... will it continue? Stay tuned to find out, dot dot dot ... Many thanks to our wonderful sponsor, Chez Chez La Rue.
79 minutes | Jan 18, 2023
S05E12 - Ann's Decision
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode where Ann wants to be a mother! Empowered by her newfound independence, Ann decides to date herself for a while instead of getting swept up in a new boyfriend's personality. Six weeks into the experiment, she comes to a realization: she's ready to be a mom. It's a big decision, but she tells Leslie she's ready to go to the sperm bank and look into having a child on her own. Leslie tries to be supportive, but is quietly convinced that Ann is making a huge mistake. At the sperm bank, they run into Sewage Joe, who claims to be a frequent donor, and his patronage is enough to scare Ann off. Leslie inadvertently helps Ann realize that her ideal sperm donor should be someone she knows. With a new wave of enthusiasm, Ann narrows it down to three potential sperm donors and brings them into the office, pretending she's interviewing them for a blog. Meanwhile, Ben tries to make headway on his task for the wedding: finding a caterer. He arranges a taste testing of the three best catering companies in Pawnee, and has invited his own personal panel of experts: Chris (the veggie lover), Ron (the meat lover), and Tom (the foodie who takes photos of food instead of eating it). Ben breaks the three-way tie with his own input, deciding on the caterer who served an appetizer of "mini calzones." The day after the taste testing, Chris, Ben and Ron are all completely crippled by horrible food poisoning, and they haven't even seen Tom yet - god knows what this is doing to that poor little bird-like man. Finally, while Leslie is busy with her councilwoman duties, April is tasked with her worst nightmare: leading a public forum for the Pawnee Commons every day that week. She decides the best way to survive the ordeal is to imitate Leslie; she even dons one of Leslie's famous pantsuits to tackle the task. But Leslie's chipper methods just aren't suitable for April, and the first meeting quickly spirals out of her control. April tries to persist, continuing to channel Leslie, but with little or no success. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Will Leslie try to take control of the situation? What ended up happening to Tom? How does April get along with the crazy Pawnee residents? Who are Ann's three potential sperm donors? Do they ever figure out the exact source of the food poisoning? Can April figure out how to effectively handle the public forum? Does Ann end up picking a winner? Who does Ben end up selecting as the wedding caterer? What is Andy's mistake that stresses out April, but provides great snacks? Loyal viewers, whip yourself up a tasty dish, tune your podcast dial, and come along on our journey! Have we ever let you down before? Many thanks to our fantastic sponsor, often imitated but never duplicated ... JJ's Diner.
82 minutes | Jan 10, 2023
S05E11 - Women in Garbage
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode where Ron says "I love you" to Diane! Realizing there is a criminal lack of women in their government, Leslie decides it is time to do something about it. She meets with Chris, and he wholeheartedly agrees, arranging a meeting to discuss a course of action. During the male dominated meeting, Leslie points out the number one offender of gender inequality is the sanitation department, who acknowledges there are no female garbage collectors, but points out the job is too physically demanding for the average woman. Rising to the challenge, Leslie and April gear up and work a route the next day. They start off well, working quickly and beating the average man's time! However, just as they are becoming confident, they end up getting an "unscheduled request" ... Meanwhile, back at the Parks Department, we see Ron with both of Diane's kids (Zoe and Ivy) in his office. He has apparently agreed to babysit them for the day, and appears to be a bit over his head. Ron even looks to Ann for help, but she is very awkward and not very good with kids. At day's end, Diane asks Ron to babysit again the next day, and while Ron puts on a brave smile, he's clearly worn and ragged. That's why, shortly into day two, he once again reluctantly recruits Ann's help, despite her seeming to have no connection with children. Surprisingly, Ann starts to have some success with Zoe and Ivy when she whips out her nurse's kit and they all play doctor with stuffed animals ... Finally, wanting to do everything in his power to bring in more business for Rent-A-Swag, Tom recruits Andy and Ben to teach him everything they know about basketball, since it seems to be all the kids (i.e. his clients) are talking about these days. To this end, they get on the court, where Andy and Ben start with the basics. However, it becomes very clear that Tom is hopeless. After some "questionable" training, Tom decides it would be a great idea to challenge a group of pre-teens to a basketball game. (This could only go poorly.) As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Why is April so gung-ho to help Leslie? Does Ann continue to have success with Zoe and Ivy? Can Tom, Ben, and Andy make a good showing playing basketball with the pre-teens? What is the unscheduled request Leslie and April have to deal with? Can Ron survive a second day of babysitting? Does Tom ever learn to "do basketball"? Can Leslie and April keep up their momentum? Will the stuffed animals all survive surgery? Will any of this craziness result in more business for Rent-A-Swag? Viewers, get yourself a tasty snack and strap in - this is gonna be a good'un! Many thanks to our incredible sponsor, Hanson's ... er ... PERKINS' Day Care.
5 minutes | Jan 1, 2023
Happy New Year 2023 from Live from Pawnee!
Join us for a message from the man, the myth, the legend...Ron [BEEP]ing Swanson himself! Recorded in the Swanson cabin (geo-location undisclosed), this is a Live from Pawnee exclusive to kick off your 2023 and put the continued dumpster fire that was 2022 in the rearview mirror! We hope you take a minute to listen , lookback briefly and look forward, with hope, to a better 2023! From Ron and all of us at Live from Pawnee and the LFP Worldwide Headquarters, we wish all of you, our viewers, a very Happy and Safe New Year!
87 minutes | Dec 7, 2022
S05E10 - Two Parties
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode that reveals where Jerry met his wife Gayle! Ann is preparing for Leslie's bachelorette party with what might be considered "typical" choices: dancing, Jell-O shots, strippers, anything that can be penis shaped WILL be penis shaped - you know, the usual. Unfortunately, despite Ann's diligent efforts, Leslie is not able to enjoy things when it is revealed that Councilman Jamm (in conjunction with Pawnee Restaurant Association spokeswoman Kathryn Pinewood) is moving forward with his plans to turn Lot 48 into a new Paunch Burger restaurant. Desperate to counter this unexpected move by Jamm, Leslie contrives a plan to litter the pit with what she hopes will pass as sacred Wamapoke artifacts, thus halting all construction on the lot. Unfortunately, she quickly realizes she's made a horrible mistake, confesses her mess to the girls, and recruits them to help her fix it. Meanwhile, Chris is preparing for Ben's bachelor party, which, at Ben's request, is going to be very low-key, essentially beer and board games. The guys gather at Ben's house to indulge him in a game of Settlers of Catan. When finished, Tom convinces the guys to visit Eagleton's hot new molecular mixology bar, Essence. While there, they chat and realize none of them got to experience their own bachelor party. In a moment of inspiration, Chris declares that tonight, everyone gets their own bachelor party experience, custom tailored to them, and whatever they want to do. While this seems great on paper, some of the requests get a little complex. Not only that, but poor Chris doesn't have a chance to have his moment in the spotlight, as he's never been married. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Does Leslie come clean to Ken Hotate? Can Chris pull off everyone's bachelor party requests? Will Councilman Jamm and Kathryn Pinewood get their Paunch Burger site? What do the guys do to show their appreciation to Chris? What is the "Gettysburg Undressed"? Is there actually a "wrong way" to consume alcohol? Loyal viewers, Season 5 so far as been a freight train of goodness ... will this episode continue the trend? Only one way to find out! Many thanks to our wonderful NEW sponsor, St. Elmo's Steak House!
87 minutes | Nov 24, 2022
S05E09 - Ron and Diane
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode that introduced us to not only Jerry's wife Gayle, but also his two other daughters, Miriam and Gladys! When Ron gets an award nomination from the Indiana Fine Woodworking Association for a chair he made, he actually looks forward to the event, and plans to take his girlfriend Diane. As Ron's "self-appointed emotional guardian", Leslie invites herself to support him. Ron and Diane arrive at the ceremony, and Leslie is very excited to finally meet Diane. As Ron inspects all the wood-working equipment like a kid in a candy store, Leslie attempts to get to know Diane, cheerfully peppering her with questions and conversation. After being with Diane for a while, Leslie thinks she's perfect for Ron, and happily tells him so. But just as Leslie is thinking how great things are going for Ron ... who should show up ... but she-who-must-not-be-named ... the being known as ... "Tammy 2". Clearly there to once again mess with him, Tammy beelines for Ron. Leslie ushers her away and warns her not to screw with tonight. Not only does Tammy ignore Leslie's warning, but she goes so far as to arrange a seat for herself at Ron, Diane, and Leslie's reserved table in order to further torment Ron. Meanwhile, Tom, April, Andy, and Donna are planning their annual, sacred December event: "Jerry Dinner". Anytime Jerry does something stupid, they put a dollar in a box, and spend the resulting money on a nice evening out (this year they collected over $500). When Ann learns what they're doing, she tells them how mean this is, but she's dismissed by the group. While en route to Jerry dinner, Donna has a change of heart, saying they should at least invite Jerry to go with them. She turns the car around, drives to Jerry's house ... where they find a large-scale Christmas party in progress, with Ann, Chris, and Ben in attendance. The four of them end up out in the cold, huddled outside a window, peering in at the festivities, and wondering why they weren't invited. Finally, since Leslie is going to Ron's event, Ben is flying solo that night, and takes the opportunity to make plans with Chris to hang out. They decide to both go to the Gergich Christmas Party, for which they both have invitations. During the party, Ben witnesses several things happen that, earlier in the year, would have likely had Chris facing another mental breakdown. However, Ben is pleasantly surprised to find Chris rather level-headed with no visible signs of distress. Chris even goes so far as to look at an old picture of Millicent Gergich, whom he previously dated, with nothing but smiles and good feelings. So far, so good ... As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Will Ron win an award for ... "chair"? Can these 4 "meanies" figure out why they never received an invitation from Jerry? Will Ben finally get to meet Jerry's wife Gayle? Will Diane end up winning Ron's heart? Does Ann have any sympathy for the "meanies"? Does Chris keep calm when Millicent shows up ... with her fiance? Will Tammy win an award for Ron's ... er ... wood? What penance must the "meanies" perform in order to get invited into the Gergich Christmas party? What fascinating fact does Chris learn about full-fat eggnog? Loyal podcast viewers, this one is not only a great episode, but a great CHRISTMAS episode! Don't believe us? Tune in and see for yourselves. We dare you. We double-dog-dare you. Many thanks to our wonderful sponsor, Cozy's Bar.
91 minutes | Nov 10, 2022
S05E08 - Pawnee Commons
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode that introduced us to a new April alter ego! After asking the public for park design submissions for Lot 48, Leslie receives only one decent submission ... from one Mr. Wreston St. James ... who lives ... in Eagleton. As you might expect, Leslie wants to reject him outright, but Ben convinces her to at least meet with Wreston before making a decision. They do so, in a beautiful Eagleton park (some of Wreston's handywork), and discover Wreston is very cheerful and enthusiastic. Ben loves him. Leslie hates him. Wreston assures them he's on the up and up, and that it's about the people - as it should be - but Leslie doesn't trust him for a second. After meeting with Wreston in City Hall, Leslie ends up being very rude to him. Taking Leslie aside, Ben insists she move past her hatred for Eagleton, apologize to Wreston, and agree to have him be the architect for the park on Lot 48. Meanwhile, Tom asks the gang to help him refurbish his new Rent-A-Swag store. Although it's a fixer-upper, the gang gets to it, and Tom initially impresses them with his cool, calm demeanor. He thanks them appreciatively, and compliments their hard work. At the end of a long day, with Rent-A-Swag's facelift finally complete ... it definitely looks better ... but still far from great. Tom thanks them one last time, but the gang start to see the cracks in his armor, as he gives them a pizza party with one small topping-less pizza, 2 cans of soda, and yells for them to turn off the lights to save electricity. Finally, Andy begins his new job as weekend security guard. However, he quickly gets bored and asks April to join him and keep him company. This starts a classic round of role playing, with Andy bringing out his crime-fighting alter ego, Burt Macklin, and April playing ... a new villain. While in the midst of their cat-and-mouse game, Andy and April come across a new player in the game ... a small, nervous boy named Joey, who got separated from his mother in City Hall. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Can Leslie manage to apologize to Wreston St. James? Will Rent-A-Swag ever get off the ground? Who is April's new alter ego, and can Macklin defeat her? Will Wreston double-cross Leslie and Ben? Can Tom avoid having a cheapskate meltdown? Is Joey actually a child spy, sent to derail Macklin's investigation? Why are there palm trees in Eagleton? Why is Chris working on a stairway to nowhere? Will this be Burt Macklin's final case? Podcast viewers, this one has a ton of important and interesting plot points - tune in to see how everything gets reconciled! Many thanks to our amazing sponsor, from Pawnee Public Radio, the new interview show "3Q's and an A" with Derry Murbles.
73 minutes | Oct 27, 2022
S05E07 - Leslie vs April
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode that was responsible for first casting then Vice-President Joe Biden! April practices her presentation with Leslie on her proposed dog park for Pawnee. However, the two clash heads after April suggests the dog park be located at Lot 48, a lot Leslie has been trying to create a park at, for four years. Leslie suggests April find a new location, but they are all clearly not suitable. Leslie tries desperately to distract April from her dog park agenda, but April stays the course, and informs Leslie she has the support of Councilman Jeremy Jamm to place her dog park at Lot 48, both angering and worrying Leslie. Meanwhile, Ben has just accepted a job at Barney Varmn's accounting firm, Tilton and Radomski Accounting. When Tom asks him to assist him with the accounting side of his new business venture, Rent-A-Swag, Ben agrees to help Tom, but only as a friend. Tom and Ben meet with several people throughout Pawnee, each time Ben pitching either Tom or his company. Unfortunately, each time Tom is turned down, while apropos of nothing, Ben's talents are recognized, with Ben receiving several job offers. Tom cannot believe Ben's luck, and is kind of upset Ben is getting all these opportunities, when he and Rent-A-Swag are not. Finally, Andy has asked his co-workers to steal things from his desk so he can practice for the police academy entrance exam, part of which will involve how to investigate a crime. When Andy comes in to work one morning and notices his laptop missing, he becomes excited and starts his investigation right away. Andy interrogates several members of the gang, finally getting to Chris, who tells Andy another computer was reported stolen, and he believes City Hall was actually robbed. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Can Councilman Jamm be trusted? How will Ben enjoy working at Tilton and Radomski Accounting? Will Chris and Andy find the computer thief? Will April and Leslie resolve their differences? Will Tom give up Rent-A-Swag? How does Chris end up trying to help out Andy? What one last thing does Ben do before he leaves Washington DC? Why does Andy keep taking his shirt off? What is ... the "Human Farm"? Loyal podcast viewers, we've said it before, and we'll say it again ... Season 5 shows no signs of slowing down! Tune in and see if you agree! Many thanks to our amazing sponsor, The Pawnee Police Department.
83 minutes | Oct 13, 2022
S05E06 - Ben's Parents
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode that introduces us to Ben's parents, Julia and Steve! Leslie and Ben announce their engagement to the gang and go through engagement party details with Ann, although Ben is nervous about his parents coming because they are divorced and hate each other. When Ben's parents arrive, all hell breaks loose. Ben's father, Steve Wyatt, brings his much younger girlfriend, Ulani, whom Ben's mother, Julia Wyatt, completely detests. The two waste no time taking shots at each other, and their catty behavior becomes completely unbearable. Leslie does her best to diffuse the situation, but Ulani's presence was something Leslie and Ben hadn't predicted. Finally, Leslie calls upon the thing she is sure will fix everything ... her masterpiece: the Knope-Wyatt Unity Quilt. Meanwhile, Tom and Jean-Ralphio are preparing to pitch Tom's idea, "Rent-A-Swag", to Ron, who is considering investing some start-up money. After a flashy, loud, ridiculous rehearsal in front of April and Andy, April convinces them they need to start over and tailor their pitch to Ron - simply, to the point, etc. At the engagement party, Ron learns Tom is partnering with Jean-Ralphio ... a fact that does not make him happy. Determined to make the pitch work for Ron, Tom prepares to pull an all-nighter, but Jean-Ralphio lazily implies he has no interest in the project, and instead wants to go clubbing. Finally, when Leslie and Ben's engagement was announced, Chris was very happy for them, yet disproportionately affected by this news. Later, at the engagement party, and feeling raw from his therapy sessions, Chris has an emotional breakdown, happy for his friends, but depressed because he's alone. Desperate to not let Chris' unexpected happy-sad outburst ruin the engagement party, Ann, April, and Andy try their best to comfort and contain the delirious, giggling, blubbering mess that is Chris Traeger. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Can Leslie convince Ben's parents to get along? Will Ron like Tom's business pitch? Can Champion, the 3-legged wonder dog, help Chris out of his funk? Will Leslie's mother, Marlene Griggs-Knope, make things better or worse? Can Tom be successful partnering with Jean-Ralphio again? Will Chris be able to get past this outburst and start clean? Does the Knope-Wyatt Unity Quilt save the day? What new idea does Jean-Ralphio come up with? Is Dave Matthews Band considered a "good" thing, or a "bad" thing? Podcast viewers, tune in for another great episode, and also to support Benslie! Hopefully they can make it past this. Many thanks to our incredible sponsor, Pawnee "What If".
86 minutes | Sep 29, 2022
S05E05 - Halloween Surprise
This week Mark and Allen break down the Episode that shows us the origin of Tom's "Rent-A-Swag" business idea! When Diane Lewis invites Ron to go trick or treating with her and her daughters, he initially declines, but an excited Andy wants to join them, and gets Ron to agree. That night, Ron and Andy go trick-or-treating with Diane and daughters Zoe and Ivy, but in the middle of it, Diane gets a call about some sort of "vice-principal emergency". Fortunately, Andy assures Diane (to her relief) that he and Ron will continue taking the girls trick-or-treating while she deals with the emergency. Unfortunately, Ron's attempts to provide direction and counsel for the young girls goes ... let's say poorly ... ruining their Halloween. Diane leaves Ron an angry voicemail, causing him to reflect that ... maybe ... he isn't ready for an entire family. Meanwhile, Leslie (with bestie Ann as support) is viewing houses in preparation for she and Ben to move in together when he returns from DC. In DC, Ben announces the campaign he's been working on is complete, and they have won! April leaves immediately because, why not, while Jennifer Barkley talks to Ben about what he's doing next, and offers him the opportunity to work on another campaign. When Ben relays this to Leslie, he promises that nothing is set in stone, and everything is still preliminary ... but Leslie still feels like everything is now topsy-turvy, the future is very uncertain, and has no idea what will happen with her and Ben. Finally, Chris announces to the gang that for Halloween, the City Manager's office will be throwing a scary movie night in the courtyard, specifically a screening of the 1986 horror camp classic, "Death Canoe 4: Murder at Blood Lake". Excited about just receiving a "Most Improved Patient" award from his therapist, Dr. Richard Nygard, Chris has become more introspective, and has decided to "face his fears", so to speak. For Chris, this means attending the scary movie night dressed up as his greatest fear. During the scary movie night, Leslie talks with Ann regarding Ben's situation, and Ann tries to cheer up Leslie by having them both scare Tom when he comes out of the bathroom. They do so, but instead surprise Jerry, apparently causing him to have a mild heart attack. Jerry is rushed to the hospital, where Ann confidently assures everyone Jerry will be fine, and Jerry is in a good mood, except a bit worried about the medical bills. To help out Jerry, Leslie arranges for the Parks Department to hold a garage-sale-slash-fundraiser to help pay hospital expenses. As always, we tackle the tough questions, such as ... Will Jerry really be okay? Can this be the end for Ron and Diane? Does Leslie end up leasing the house? What is Chris' greatest fear? What items does the gang bring to the fundraiser? Is there some sort of gift Ron can bring for the girls? Will Ben take the job in Florida? Why did Dr. Richard Nygard give Chris his "Most Improved Patient" award? What is the deal with Ann's "ex-boyfriend" boxes? Loyal podcast viewers, Season 5 seems to keep getting better and better ... will this episode continue the trend? Only one way to find out - tune in and see how we score it! Many thanks to our amazing sponsor, The Pawnee Mystery Closet.