The introduction of Stranger Things character Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) — a too-cool teen with an impeccable coif and initially jerky attitude — has prompted the question: Is Steve related to Parks and Recreation comedic superstar Jean-Ralphio? The actor Ben Schwartz appeared in a Late Late Show spot to solve the mystery.
“I’ll never tell,” he answered, before nodding obviously.
Schwartz, a huge fan of Stranger Things, theorized that the events of season 1 messed with Steve and Nancy emotionally and physically, leading to an atypical conception between “that scared, scared sperm, and that traumatized egg.” Then Jean-Ralphio Saperstein(-Harrington?) entered the world in a flashy way and immediately enacted a get-rich scheme.
“I assume that when Jean-Ralphio came out, he probably sang, and he had way too much hair,” he added. “He came out, and got run over by an ambulance to make money.”
Schwartz goes on to theorize that Jean-Ralphio and spent half his life in the Upside Down — the dark, parallel world where the monster resides in Stranger Things — before moving on to Parks and Recreation‘s fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana.
“He was super chill, super cool in the Upside Down. He ran that s—,” Schwartz said. “He was super friends with the monster. When he met the monster, it was like a little kid. By the time it was a full-blown monster, they had a dance together. The monster didn’t even open yet; it was a sprouted flower.”
Former Parks and Rec showrunner Mike Schur confirmed the theory in no uncertain terms:
See the video below.