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Artist Spotlight: Writing Staff of NBC’s Parks & Recreation

Each year, Bumbershoot extends far beyond the music lineup to bring festival-goers an array of entertainment options. Words & Ideas is Bumbershoot’s popular literary arts and lectures program that features conversations, performances, panel discussions, and readings. These programs explore the points where pop culture, new media, literature, theories, and trends intersect and explode into new cultural phenomena.

One of Bumbershoot’s most popular Words & Ideas programs, the Television Writers series, continues this year with the writing staff of NBC’s Parks & Recreation. This year’s featured writers include Alan Yang, Aisha Muharrar, David King, Joe Mande, Megan Amram, and Matt Murray. The staff showcase talent in far more realms than just writing for Parks & Rec. Representing the current movement of comedic writing, each staff member has their own Twitter handle, many reaching notoriety in their ability to quip out a joke in 140 characters or less.

Featured writer Megan Amram, whose previous credits include writing material for specials such as the Academy Awards and the MTV Movie Awards, actually got her start on Twitter. While working odd jobs trying to find success, Amram gained fame for her hilarious tweets, and eventually segued this talent into a professional career. Here are a few of her top tweets:

Parks & Recreation is an ensemble comedy series starring Amy Poehler as city councilwoman Leslie Knope, in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Knope got her start in the Parks Department of the city government, and works to make her quintessentially American town the best it can be. Her tireless love for Pawnee makes the show both hilarious and endearing, as viewers find themselves wishing they had a real-life friend in Leslie Knope.

Leslie’s office mates include Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), a fashion-obsessed wannabe player with numerous quotable catchphrases (such as calling appetizers “apps” and desserts “zerts”). Leslie’s boss, Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), hates the very government he works for, and sports one of the most impressive moustaches on primetime television. They are joined by an all-star cast that also includes Adam Scott as Leslie’s husband and former campaign manager, Ben Wyatt, as well as Rashida Jones as her best friend, Ann.

Since its premiere in 2009, the show has been critically acclaimed, receiving a Peabody Award for Excellence in Television Programming, an AFI honor as one of the Top 10 Television Shows of the Year, as well as Emmy nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. Additional accolades include Writers Guild Award and Producers Guild Award nominations.

Previous credits for the staff include writing for Saturday Night Live (Matt Murray), South Park (Alan Yang), Workaholics (David King), and Community (Matt Murray). You’ve seen the results of this staff in the writers’ room, now see them interact together in what promises to be an unexpected, hilarious panel. Join the Writing Staff of NBC’s Parks & Recreation at Bumbershoot on Sunday, September 1 and be sure to check out the show when it returns to NBC for its sixth season in the fall.