'Parks and Rec' Surprise! Bill Murray Is the Mayor of Pawnee

by Jackie Willis 4:50 AM PST, February 18, 2015
Photo: NBC

Parks and Recreation fans finally met Mayor Walter Gunderson on Tuesday night's show, and he was a familiar face.

Just days after Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special, Bill Murray joined SNL alum Amy Poehler's NBC comedy as the Pawnee politician whose identity has not been revealed until now.

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For those Parks and Rec fans paying attention, Murray's cameo has been hinted at in the past. Back in 2011, Poehler showed up on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and said she'd cast the funnyman as the mysterious mayor if he came at a good rate. "Bill Murray, if you’re listening, I will pay you $250 to do one episode of my show," she joked.

"There was no attempt really to lure him -- we just kept saying it out loud," Parks and Rec's executive producer Michael Schur told Entertainment Weekly. "Aubrey [Plaza] met him somewhere and said, 'You should be the mayor on our show,' and he was like, 'What are you talking about?'"

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But the cast didn't stop there. "Amy knew him a little bit and saw him somewhere and said the same thing. And then last year, Aubrey fell into his circle in the film world and started working really hard at hooking him," Schur explains. "Then Amy chimed in and Rashida [Jones] chimed in and at that point, I think honestly what happened is he started watching the show."

This will probably be the Ghostbusters star's last appearance on the sitcom as he's one of the people who has passes away on the "Two Funerals" episode (Ron Swanson's barber is the other).

Do you think Murray was right for the role of Mayor Walter Gunderson?

Check out some more SNL alums, including Poehler, talking about their big breaks on the weekend sketch show.