January 03, 2012
One of the most joyous basketball-related moments of the lockout was when Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert had a cameo on the fantastic NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation." It's a great show, and Hibbert played his straight-man role well. It was hard to come away from the episode without hoping he'd appear again soon.
At the time, it seemed likely that the show's braintrust had picked Hibbert because he happens to play for the team closest to the fictional Pawnee, Ind. However, it appears that Hibbert pushed hard to get a spot on the series. He discussed that story and more with Eric Koreen of the National Post (via PBT):
NP How did the role come about?
RH My fiancée and myself watch this show called The Good Wife. I read somewhere that Derrick Rose was supposed to be on an episode, but I guess after a game he came back and was tired. The network, CBS, sent out a limo and had a flight already set up for him. But he missed the limo, missed the flight, overslept. I started thinking to myself, 'What TV show do I watch that I want to be on?" I watch Parks and Rec. It's set in a fictitious city in Indiana. I called my agent. He called [Saturday Night Live creator] Lorne Michaels. And we went from there.
NP Did you have a good time on set?
RH I had a great time. I was only in three scenes. But I was there for 10-11 hours. It was so fun. Hopefully I can go back. [...]
NP There was a bit of a lockout joke in your first appearance. Were you worried about that?
RH I didn't even know. Half of the stuff that they said wasn't even on the script. They just went off the top of their heads. They're such great comedians that they decided to roll with it. I was laughing half of the time I was there.
NP Who's your favourite character on the show?
RH I'd have to say Ben Schwartz, who plays Jean-Ralphio. He's a close friend of mine now, too. We talk all the time. I go see his comedy shows whenever I can in L.A. I like him a lot.
Hibbert added that he's an avid fan of the show, and that he did two episodes and hopes to come back for a third. But the meat of the interview is the revelation that Hibbert has hipper taste in TV than reigning MVP Derrick Rose. No offense to "The Good Wife," which I hear is very good, but it's tough to top "Parks and Rec" for Internet buzz.
On the other hand, I'm not sure he made the right move mentioning the fantastic Ben Schwartz as his favorite actor on the show. If he'd said Aziz Ansari, he might've scored an invitation to his next star-studded trip to Japan.