We’ve written before about the numerous links between Michael Schur’s current show, The Good Place, and his last one, Parks And Recreation—most notably, the theologically unsettling idea that endlessly cheerful bad ideas machine Jean-Ralphio Saperstein might exist in both universes. (Dude is going to LOVE The Bad Place, honestly.) But speaking of the plight of the affably idiotic, we’ve now got another such inter-show link, one bound together by the inextricable bonds of very stupid death.
Okay, so, people have known for a while that the safe that Manny Jacinto’s Darwin Award winner Jason manages to kill himself in during the show’s first season bore a familiar name on it, announcing itself as a product of the Swanson Safe Company. And while Parks’ beloved anti-government government officer Ron Swanson never explicitly got into the safe-making business on the show, we have to assume that, if he did, they would be very sturdy, and very difficult for morons to get back out of after locking themselves inside.
That would have been enough for Easter egg hounds, perhaps, but the brilliants minds behind the very good The Good Place: The Podcast took it a step further earlier this month. The show—hosted by recurring guest star (and consistent delight) Marc Evan Jackson, and featuring a rotating cast of people from in front of and behind the series’ cameras—frequently does fake ad breaks featuring products from the Good Place universe. The Swanson Safe Company was given its due on the recent “Ch. 21”, featuring Jason Mantzoukas and second assistant director Jeff Rosenberg, and the voice advocating for their quality safes (and annoyedly reading out a series of disclaimers inspired by Jason’s death) was none other than that of Ron himself, Nick Offerman.
Now, the ad-read doesn’t explicitly state that the reader in question was Ron, but his clear irritation at all the legal hand-holding he’s being required to do did have a very Swanson-esque vibe to it. (Good news, buddy: The glimpses we’ve seen of the show’s third season premiere suggest that these warnings will soon be retroactively erased.) You can check out the ad for yourself at the 35-minute mark of the podcast episode, and feel a little bit of joy at the idea that one beloved sitcom character helped bring another one into our lives. (By indirectly killing him, but still.)