Last year, one of the internet's favorite fan theories revolved around Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz) from Parks and Recreation and Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) from Netflix's Stranger Things. The idea being that, in a surprisingly plausible turn of events, Steve is Jean-Ralphio's real father. Now, a brand new Visa commercial, of all things, plays heavily into this theory.
The video is for Visa's identity protection service and they brilliantly decided to bring in Ben Schwartz and Joe Keery for the ad. The two actors are no doubt doppelgangers and the video leans heavily on the idea that it would be easy for people to mix them up. For a Visa commercial, this is pretty hilarious. But it also fuels this bizarre Parks and Rec and Stranger Things fan theory, which was actually endorsed by Parks and Recreation creator Mike Schur via Twitter at one point.
"We will neither confirm nor deny that Steve is Jean-Ralphio's real dad. But yes, Steve is definitely his real dad."
This Visa ad, aside from the fan theory, is pretty fantastic. As it starts, Ben Schwartz and Joe Keery appear to be good buddies, walking around and being greeted by fans on the street. Unfortunately, the fans keep getting the pair mixed up, which leads to some natural hilarity. The video even brings Keery's mom into the fold, which leads to some great gags. This is a surprisingly great surprise for those who've missed Parks and Recreation and who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Stranger Things season 2.
The Visa ad mostly plays on the fact that the two actors look very similar, but it's really the fan theory that fuels this fire. In case you aren't familiar with the fan theory, it states that Steve and Nancy get together shortly after the events of Stranger Things season one. As a result, they hook up and conceive Jean-Ralphio. That means Steve from Stranger Things, not Dr. Saperstein (Henry Winkler) is Jean-Ralphio's real father. This video is unquestionably better with an understanding of this theory. Ben Schwartz and Joe Keery even appeared on The Late, Late Show With James Corden.
Parks and Recreation has been off the air for a little while now and Stranger Things fans have been dying for the release of the new season, which finally arrives on Netflix on October 27, just in time for Halloween. Even tough this video can't revive Parks and Rec and it can't make Stranger Things season 2 get here any faster, it certainly helps fill the gap. And it's just really funny on its own. Be sure to check out the video, courtesy of the Visa YouTube channel, for yourself below.