"Parks and Rec," of course, is the NBC sitcom that just last month featured veep Joe Biden playing himself. What a coincidence!
St. Elmo Steak House, which is in Indianapolis, does not open until 4 p.m., a restaurant marketing guy told ABC News on Tuesday. That was news to Gingrich's driver.
Anyway, while Gingrich mistook all the trucks and TV production equipment for lunchtime customers at a popular restaurant, the "Parks and Rec" writer-producers at the shoot sat down and slapped together a short scene in which Gingrich would play himself, ABC News was told.
You buying any of this?
"It was great fun," Gingrich told ABC News, explaining that he's "intrigued by American entertainment" and adding, like the old sitcom pro he is, that it's "always fun to do something like that."
In case ABC News had forgotten, he reminded it: "I had a small role on a Candice Bergen show many years back."
That "Candice Bergen show" was the controversial CBS sitcom "Murphy Brown" -- controversial because Brown, the Washington journalist played by Bergen, was an unwed mother. And back in '92, then-veep Dan Quayle condemned the fictitious character's made-for-TV unwed motherhood during one of those family-values debates to which Washington is prey.
In February of '96, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich played himself on the show, in a scene in which he confronted Brown backstage after she skewered him at a Washington "Presscapade" (think Gridiron) dinner.
"That was quite a speech," Gingrich told Brown in the episode.
"Oh, really?" Brown responded. "There were some people who thought that writing 'Newt' on a greased pig went a little too far."
Back then, Gingrich was not driving around looking for lunch -- he'd come to Los Angeles to attend Ronald Reagan's 85th birthday party. "Ever since I saw 'The Wind and the Lion,' I said [I'd] go to any length to be in the same room" with Bergen, gushed Gingrich after that taping -- explaining that lots of people liked the show but not its "ideology," then-Post writer Sharon Waxman reported at the time.