Parks and Recreation is an excellent comedy show exploring the government work of the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. The unique and outrageous characters that populate its wacky world are a huge part of its success. While the main characters like Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson have become iconic, the many supporting characters are just as important.
From the other government employees to local celebrities to the unusual acquaintances, these colorful characters have helped make the show so memorable. They don’t always get the spotlight, but they are always entertaining. Here are the most underrated supporting characters in Parks and Recreation.
April is very unusual herself, but her friend Orin makes her look completely normal. He is a morose, often silent young man who seems only interested in making people feel as uncomfortable as possible. He is often seen standing silently with an expressionless look on his face, which proves to be very unsettling.
Orin’s intense creepiness and interest in the weirdest forms of “art” make him an interesting but off-putting character. He is perhaps underrated because we often only see people react to him, rather than him actually doing anything.
9 Lord Edgar Covington
When the Parks and Rec gain head to England on a trip, Ben takes the opportunity to meet with a charitable organization run by Lord Edgar Covington (Peter Serafinowicz). Ben takes Andy along, even though he’s worried about offending a British lord, but Covington and Andy prove to have a lot in common.
Covington is surprisingly immature, though very kind. Though he seems keen on helping out with the charity, he is more interested in playing with toys and watching trash blow in the wind. He’s an amusingly oblivious man with immense wealth at his disposal.
8 Ken Hotate
Pawnee seems to have a very dark and bloody history with the region. Because of that, Leslie and the gang have a lot of run-ins with Ken Hotate, the tribal elder of the Wamapoke tribe and the owner of the Wamapoke Casino.
Though a businessman, Ken cares about his tribe being treated with respect in Pawnee and often clashes with some of the big government activities. However, he is a kind and easy-going guy and seems to take a lot of joy in exploiting people’s ignorance about historical customs.
7 Sewage Joe
Some of the most entertaining characters on Parks and Rec are the ones who are the most vile. As his name implies, Sewage Joe is certainly one of Pawnee’s most unlikable citizens. As head of the sewage department, Leslie is forced to deal with Joe often and has to put up with his boorish behavior.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Joe thinks of himself as a ladies’ man. He is constantly trying to get girls to go out with him and invites them back to his van. He is obnoxious yet fun to watch.
6 Councilman Bill Dexhart
Much to Leslie’s frustration, Pawnee’s council is filled with a bunch of useless people that are a constant pain in her side. While Councilman Jamm gets most of the attention, Councilman Dexhart is hilarious, mostly due to his unending string of exploits and scandals.
Dexhart is first introduced when Leslie makes a joke about a scandal that happens to be true. From there, more and more stories come out and Dexhart admits to many more. The outrageous nature of his behavior makes him completely unpredictable.
5 Barney Varmn
Ben Wyatt might not be the smoothest member of the Parks and Rec gang, but he did manage to find a niche group that thinks of him as the coolest guy around. When Ben interviews for a job at one of Pawnee’s accounting firms, he meets Barney Varnmn. Barney seems like a very dull man himself, but he instantly takes to Ben’s accounting puns and math skills.
It is so funny watching this grown man basically fall in love with Ben. He hangs on his every word and beams with happiness whenever he sees Ben. That all makes it so much funnier when Ben continuously quits and breaks his heart.
4 Shauna Malwae-Tweep
Shauna Malwae-Tweep earns her spot on this list simply for her amazing and ridiculous name. Shauna is introduced early in the show as a local reporter and seems like a pretty normal person by Pawnee standards. However, the more we get to know her, the more we see she is kind of a mess.
Shauna seems to become romantically interested in every guy she meets and it rarely goes well for her. She is desperate to find love, but seems to have no idea the right way to go about it. As Leslie explains, she’s “a bit of a fixer-upper.”
3 Animal Control Guys
Few departments in the Pawnee government run smoothly, but the Animal Control department is particularly embarrassing. The entire department seems to consist of two guys, Harris and Brett. They are fun-loving friends who know nothing about animals or how to control them.
Part of what makes these two so funny is the way they seem to be having so much fun in any situation. Not even getting fired can ruin their high. While they might be reckless about where they leave their traps and they don’t know the difference between a cat and a possum, they are still a lovable duo.
2 Dennis Feinstein
Dennis Feinstein seems to be the man Tom Haverford would become if he had no soul. Feinstein is a local business mogul who crosses paths with the Parks and Rec gang on numerous occasions and is always a major annoyance.
Feinstein thinks his success gives him power over everyone else and he wields it with glee. That might not seem like an entertaining character, but he is so over-the-top in his villainy that it is complete fun. He is rude, cruel and might hunt human beings for sport. He’s one of a kind.
1 Perd Hapley
There are plenty of fun television personalities in Pawnee, like Joan Calamezzo, but Perd Hapley holds a special place in our hearts. He is a supposed journalist, but also has an endless string of local shows where he brings his unique style and “talent” to work.
Though he speaks with the confidence of a real newsman, Perd usually just repeats himself and makes redundant comments while seeming to have no clue what is going on. Despite his incompetence, his friendly and deadpan demeanor make him one of the most likeable characters on the show.
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