Elizabeth Entenman
Updated May 30, 2018
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When was the last time you binge-watched Parks and Recreation? Oh, you’re in the middle of doing it again right now? Same. Even with full DVRs and loaded Netflix queues, Parks and Rec is always worth another re-watch. And if you watch it and think, I bet these people had the most fun EVER making this show, well, you’re absolutely right. In her new memoir, So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know, Retta devotes an entire chapter to her time playing Donna Meagle. And yes, she says it was just as fun and funny as it looked. (But no, Ginuwine is not actually her cousin.)

Parks and Rec came along at a time when Retta really needed a job. She had booked a few roles here and there, but she hadn’t had her ~big break~ yet. And then, she got it — all without an agent, too. Retta also mentions that Octavia Spencer auditioned for the role of Donna right before she did (!), but that’s a story for another day.

At first, Retta was a little intimidated to be on set with such a star-studded (and not to mention effortlessly hilarious) cast. But she felt like part of the fam in no time. In her memoir, Retta explains why she’s grateful to each individual cast member from the show and shares so many behind-the-scenes stories. And yes, she can confirm that the Parks and Rec cast has a very active group text to this day.

Who was Retta’s Parks and Rec set BFF? Jim O’Heir, a.k.a. the lovable Jerry/Larry/Terry/Garry Gergich.

And their favorite bonding activity? Gossiping about everybody else. LOL. What we wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall in their trailer.

Retta grew so close with Jim that she would get sad every time the actors piled onto his character.

So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y’all Don’t Even Know is now available wherever books are sold.