Parks and Recreation ended its acclaimed seven-season run on Tuesday night, and the cast – along with co-creator Michael Schur – dropped by Late Night With Seth Meyers to publicly mourn. But if the writers had followed the flash-forward finale pitch of Chris Pratt, who played dimwitted slacker Andy on the series, fans would have been grieving on a whole new level. In the above clip, Schur says the actor suggested ending the last episode with a line about how each of the characters died, "like the Six Feet Under finale." "When you saw April, it would be that she died of a broken heart," Pratt says. "And then you would see that Andy died because he was left in a hot car with the windows rolled up."
Retta, who played Donna Meagle, also reveals her unused pitch – that she would "have sex with Joe Manganiello." Later, Aziz Ansari talks about being the first cast member to sign on the series before there was even a script. "I met with Mike and Greg [Daniels], and I didn't know what the show was going to be," he says. "They just told me it would be a documentary-style thing. I just kinda signed up based on them. It really could have been anything."
In January, Schur talked to Rolling Stone about ending the series and the pressure of living up to the great finale episodes of all-time. "We watched a bunch of other shows' series finales in the writer's room — we'd have lunch and watch the Cheers finale, or the Sopranos finale," he said. "It's not like it's a magic formula, but my favorite finales had two things. One was that you could imagine what happened to the characters after the show ended — you could extrapolate in your brain, and imagine them still alive and wandering the earth. The other thing was that they were episodes of the show that felt like episodes of the show: I recognize those characters, they're talking the way that they usually talk and behaving the way that they usually behave."