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Schwartz Sets the Bar High

by Scott Agness

August 24, 2012

When Roy Hibbert announced Area 55 was coming back for a third season, he warned fans that it was going to be bigger and better than ever.

That includes auditions.

Area 55 is such a big deal, even Ben Schwartz of NBC’s hit sitcom, Parks & Recreation, wanted in. With the help of Big Roy, Schwartz submitted his audition video to be in the coveted Pacers section.


Hibbert first met Schwartz last year when he made an appearance on Parks and Recreation during the NBA offseason. During Roy’s appearance, the two quickly developed a friendship. Schwartz now follows the Pacers center career and the two regularly grab dinner whenever they are in the same city.

(For those not in-the-know, the NBC comedy focuses on public officials’ desire to make the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, just a little bit more fun. Ben Schwartz plays the character Jean-Ralphio, who is best buds with Tom Haverford (played by comedian Aziz Ansari.)

Hibbert, who is currently in Los Angeles working out with many of his Pacers teammates, stopped by the Parks & Recreation recently to visit with the crew.

Roy and Ben then got together on Wednesday night to record the 30-second video to set the bar high for Area 55 Season 3 Auditions. And who better to do that than the comedic actor and writer Schwartz?

After coming up with the kidnapping concept, being the true pros that they both are, it was quickly completed in three takes, ultimately deciding the first one was best.

Hibbert and Chelsea Peretti

Hibbert appeared on Parks & Recreation twice last year and has remained in touch with much of the cast. Last month, P&R writer Chelsea Peretti (pictured here with Roy) put on a comedy show in Bloomington and Roy showed up in support. Peretti thinks highly of Hibbert’s skills on the court and behind the camera.

"Roy is an exquisite actor with a natural and innate ability to grasp the nuance of every word, every syllable, every breath," Peretti told

Away from basketball, he’s just a regular guy that loves a good laugh (hint, hint).

Also of note: Former Pacers forward Detlef Schrempf (1989-1993) has also played a role in the show, making appearances in three different episodes.

If Schwartz—who also co-stars on the Showtime comedy "House of Lies" alongside Don Cheadle—can do it, so can you. Be creative, funny and most of all, show off your personality.

Fans have until today at 5 p.m. to submit a 30-second video proving to Roy that they belong in Area 55 and will bring enthusiasm to every game.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Scott Agness are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.