Bill Murray makes surprise ‘Parks And Recreation’ guest appearance

Murray appears as Mayor Gunderson, a character previously mentioned but never seen on screen before

Bill Murray made a surprise appearance in the latest episode of Parks And Recreation, which premiered on US network NBC last night (February 17).

Murray appeared as Mayor Gunderson, a character sporadically mentioned on Parks And Recreation in the past but never seen on screen before. Viewers were introduced to the revered Pawnee politician at his funeral, with Murray first being glimpsed lying in an open casket. Murray’s Mayor then delivered a video message to mourners at his memorial service.

Discussing the actor’s unexpected guest appearance with Entertainment Weekly, the show’s co-creator Michael Schur revealed that Murray was given about 30 different options to read for Mayor Gunderson’s video message. “He did every single one of them, one after another, and then he improvised two complete ones by himself,” Schur said. “The one in the show is one that he used a tiny bit of what we had written and then it’s an improv from Bill Murray, which is so cool.”

Schur also praised Murray’s behaviour on set, saying: “He was just the most delightful person. Not only was he incredibly complimentary of the show, he went around to every one of the actors and told them how great they were and cited specific episodes and moments. He hung out on the set for three hours, watching us shoot the show.”

The seventh and final season of Parks And Recreation draws to a close next Tuesday (February 24) with a special double episode. The cult sitcom debuted in 2009 and follows the goings on at the parks department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Amy Poehler stars as super-enthusiastic bureaucrat Leslie Knope, flanked by an ensemble cast that includes Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, Adam Scott and Chris Pratt, who has gone on to find greater fame as the star of Guardians Of The Galaxy and this year’s Jurassic World.