Pop culture must be in a Billy Joel state of mind. Last fall brought an extensive New Yorker profile, going behind the scenes of the piano-wielding pop/rock bard’s ongoing concerts at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Last week, Bonnaroo announced him as a headliner, just days after rap bon vivant Action Bronson revealed he’d gotten approval to use a Joel sample. Now, Joel has visited Pawnee, Indiana.
I won’t spoil the whole rest of the plot, but Leslie Knope sings Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” originally from 1989′s Storm Front, on the second of last night’s two Parks and Recreation episodes. Except where the former No. 1 hit famously lists historical events, Amy Poehler’s character uses the song’s breakneck pace for her own lyrics (example: “Freddie Krueger bought some pants, Oprah has a turtle farm”). In another twist, the tune was the selection of the show’s Jerry, whose wife has been played by Joel’s ex Christie Brinkley. Joel’s track comes back again at the end of the episode, with drunken saxophone.
Watch Leslie’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” below (via Vulture), and scroll down to see the full episode, which also features Willie Nelson‘s 1969 song “Buddy.” At the bottom of the post is Joel’s original video.