HOLLYWOOD - Aziz Ansari found a warm welcome March 21 at a "Parks and Recreation" reunion thrown by PaleyFest.
Sitting before a rapturous audience of "Parks" superfans at the Dolby Theater, the comedian was joined by co-stars Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman, Rob Lowe, Retta, Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza, Jim O'Heir and Adam Scott.
The mood was light. At the beginning of the Q&A, which was packed with fans and moderated by "Parks" guest star Patton Oswalt, Poehler got tears in her eyes before the sold-out event. "I'm totally overwhelmed," she admitted while sitting on stage.
Ansari quickly provided an assist. "We thought it'd be like 40 people. Is like, Katt Williams coming later?" he cracked, to laughter.
The evening was a rare public outing for Ansari, who has laid low since a #MeToo allegation was made against him in early 2018, stepping out only recently in select comedy clubs. On Thursday night the comedian took the stage in a navy suit, sitting between Jones and Pratt.
Later, when Oswalt asked what the "Parks" cast took from their characters into their future projects ("rollerblading," cracked Pratt), Ansari said it was the show's focus on positivity and teamwork that stuck with him.
"It made me realize how much I internalized those ideas in my life after 'Parks,' " said Ansari, who has since co-created the Netflix show "Master of None" with "Parks" writer Alan Yang. "We really tried to capture what we took from the 'Parks' experience. And it’s really true. If you follow those things you can make (great shows) with great people."
Oswalt went on to muse that Ansari’s constantly scheming character Tom Haverford (who launched a bogus company called Entertainment 720 on "Parks") could have easily been responsible for the now infamous disaster known as Fyre Fest.
"The Fyre Festival was literally run by Entertainment 720," said Ansari.
"Tom and Jean Ralphio, they could’ve gotten Ja Rule," cracked "Parks" creator Michael Schur.
And more recently, "the college admissions scandal – and I was like, that was some Eagleton (crap)," joked Ansari.
So, could there ever be a "Parks and Recreation" movie? Schur didn't quite rule it out.
"I think that in the world we live in now nothing is ever gone. Everything comes back and is cycled through again. (But) I think we all…would have to feel like there's a story that needed to be told,” said Schur, who has since moved on to creating NBC's "The Good Place."
He joked that on Thursday night's reunion stage "literally everyone has a veto. If one single person says no we wouldn't do it."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Aziz Ansari gets a warm 'Parks' welcome in Hollywood in rare public outing