Make sure you tune in. Good ole Papa Joe is the comedic relief in the Obama Administration, as his portrayal in the Onion satire can attest. Some of the jokes are not goodnatured, especially among sore loser and unfunny conservatives. But apparently, he has a future in professional comedy:
[F]ellow Delaware native and “Parks and Recreation” star Aubrey Plaza soaked in her time filming with Biden in his offices at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near The White House in July, which was kept secret until after the election due to campaign equal-time rules.
Plaza gives him high marks for his table-turning performance, noting that politicking and acting have a lot in common.
“Whenever there is a cross-over, you realize how similar our jobs are. He was so funny, you’ll see. He is a great improvisor and has really good timing,” says Plaza, sneaking off the “Parks and Recreation” set earlier this week to talk to The News Journal about the very Delaware-y episode of her sitcom, now in its fifth season.
Biden has emerged as a bona fide national character — whether it’s in his official capacity, like his one-man show at the vice presidential debate filled with guffaws, stupefied looks and arm-waving, or in the world of political satire as an object of ridicule.
As a Delawarean in Hollywood, questions about Biden come up often in Plaza’s life. Outside of the Delaware bubble, she finds most people like Biden, although she admits his unconstrained personality is one of his defining features.
“I don’t know if goofy is the way to describe him, but he is a character. He’s definitely larger than life,” says Plaza.
“He’s loose and always ready to joke around,” she says. “He’s not uptight. A lot of people portray him like that and it’s pretty spot-on. He’s just loving life, you know?”
The secret filming of the scene featuring Biden and “Parks” star Amy Poehler came just days before Plaza returned to Delaware to attend a screening of her film “Safety Not Guaranteed” at The Grand as a benefit for the Wilmington Drama League. She told her immediate family, but had to keep her juicy First State secret largely to herself during the homecoming.
On set, Plaza says Biden knew she was from Wilmington and heaped special attention on her in front of the cast, surely an odd moment for Plaza who remembers riding her bike past Biden’s house as a kid.
“He completely treated me like we were old friends and he was so fun and charming,” says Plaza, 28, a Ursuline Academy graduate. “He told me old stories about Ursuline. We were just joking around about Wilmington stuff.”
And then Plaza made a point that struck a chord with me, and I think reveals why Biden is beloved in Delaware:
No matter how harsh the joke, Delawareans seem to take pride in their most famous (and most powerful) son. Delaware may be small, but it swells with a tight-knit pride. And those were the feelings running through Plaza — Delaware’s fastest rising Hollywood star — as she found herself in Washington, D.C., with the man himself.
“One of the coolest things about him and everyone in Delaware is this weird Delaware pride we all have,” she says. “I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s something in the chemicals leaking into the ground, but we’re all really psyched about being from Delaware and he’s the face of that.”
It’s true, when maybe not about the chemicals, but about the Delaware pride bit.