You've seen it all over the internet: that one half-serious fan theory that Steve Harrington is Jean-Ralphio's father. Yeah, that Steve Harrington, Nancy's boyfriend in Stranger Things as the father of Pawnee's most annoying man, Tom Haverford's right hand dude, Jean-Ralphio Saperstein. The evidence? The eerie physical resemblance, the fact that they both live in Indiana, the fact that Steve was kicking about in the '80s while Parks And Recreation is set in the present day and... well, that's about all the concrete evidence the internet needs to lose its sh*t. This theory might have easily remained the sort of thing you'd discuss from three beers on into an evening with a fellow Stranger Things nerd and muse over — but, luckily for us, James Corden wanted to investigate.
On Thursday's The Late Late Show With James Corden, the show brought the two actors who play the characters (Joe Keery and Ben Schwartz) to bring this theory to some sort of resolution so we can all sleep again at night. The conclusion? Well, as you'll see for yourself, Steve Harrington is totally, totally Jean Ralpio Saperstein's father. The parallels are uncanny: they both prefer TV to film, make their own clothes, and believe that dancing is the best form of exercise. Besides which — and I'm not sure this is proof of paternity so much as a psychic connection — their movements are totally in tandem.
Um, this is a beautiful theory, and all the bike riding and teaching Saperstein how to shoot hoops and shave has got me welling up. But there's one key issue here: would this mean Saperstein's mother is Nancy?
While Nancy and Steve hadn't been dating long when we last saw them at the end of Stranger Things Season 1, there were literally no other girls on the scene for Steve, and he seemed, if anything, overly-dedicated to Nancy. The thought that the plucky and moral Nancy might spawn — well, let's not mince our words — the biggest jerk in Pawnee is a frightening thought. Here's hoping that while Saperstein has been reunited with his father that his mother is basically anyone other than Nancy.
Images: CBS; The Late Late Show With James Corden/Youtube