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Bizarre ‘Stranger Things’ Fan Theory About Steve’s Connection to ‘Parks and Recreation’ Confirmed!

That’s my boy? Stranger Things fans are likely to be delighted by the surprising way in which Ben Schwartz explains his Parks and Recreation character Jean-Ralphio Saperstein’s striking resemblance to the Netflix sci-fi series’ Steve Harrington (Joe Keery). Translation: Where’s Maury Povich when you need him?

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Since Stranger Things‘ July launch, some fans have wondered if perhaps there’s a way in which Steve — the protective boyfriend to Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) in the 1980s-set series — is related to Parks and Rec‘s sleazy entrepreneur. As it turns out, the two characters are indeed blood relatives — at least, according to a bit that Schwartz recorded for The Late Late Show‘s Wednesday, August 24, episode.

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“This is as much as I can tell you: Is Steve Harrington Jean-Ralphio’s real father? I’ll never tell,” the House of Lies alum, 34, said before nodding conspiratorially.

He then claimed that Nancy is Jean-Ralphio’s mom, and said that the Upside Down — the show’s alternate universe where most normal people don’t want to end up — would be no sweat for his character from the NBC sitcom that signed off after seven seasons in 2015.

Ben Schwartz as Jean-Ralphio in Parks and Rec and Joe Keery as Steve in Stranger Things
Ben Schwartz as Jean-Ralphio in ‘Parks and Recreation’ and Joe Keery as Steve in ‘Stranger Things’

“If I was to add to the theory, I would say that Jean-Ralphio probably spent 50 percent of his life in the Upside Down,” Schwartz said. “But he was like superchill — he was supercool in the Upside Down. Do you know what I mean? Like, he ran that s–t. He was super friends with the monster.”

Parks and Rec cocreator Michael Schur took to Twitter on August 24 to weigh in: “We will neither confirm nor deny that Steve is Jean-Ralphio’s real dad. But yes, Steve is definitely his real dad.”

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Watch the hilarious segment in the video above to hear Schwartz’s plan to appear on potential future seasons of Stranger Things.

The Late Late Show airs on CBS weeknights at 12:37 a.m. ET. Stranger Things is currently streaming on Netflix.

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