With its winning mix of ’80s nostalgia and wonderful characters, Netflix’s Stranger Things has become one of the breakout TV hits of the summer. The show’s mysterious qualities has also spawned a number of fan theories, but perhaps the most delightfully weird of them all has been the connection some viewers have made between the character Steve (played by Joe Keery) and Parks & Recreation would-be Lothario Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz).
First posited by Uproxx’s Jason Nawara, the theory goes that that Jean-Ralphio is actually Steve’s son. Sure, the only “evidence” linking these two characters together is that they both hail from Indiana and that Keery and Schwartz look a lot alike, but it’s hard to resist wanting this father-son connection to become canon. Well, it turns out that Schwartz is an enthusiastic supporter of this theory and thinks it’s “air-tight logic.”
— Ben Schwartz (@rejectedjokes) August 10, 2016
It gets even better. Schwartz appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden this week and was asked point-blank about the theory. Not only did Schwartz confirm it (because apparently the guy who played Jean-Ralphio has the power to confirm theories to TV shows he’s not even a part of — who are we to argue?), he even has some additional thoughts on how Jean-Ralphio’s childhood was shaped by the Upside Down:
“If I was to add to this theory, I’d say that Jean-Ralphio probably lived 50 percent of his life in The Upside Down, but he was, like, super chill, super cool in The Upside Down. You know what I mean? Like, he ran that sh*t. He was super friends with the monster, when he met the monster he was like a little kid, so like, by the time it was a full-blown monster they had like a dance together.”
We already know a second season of Stranger Things is already in the planning stages (although Netflix has not confirmed anything yet) and apparently Schwartz thinks it’s a guarantee that he’ll be in it.
“I’m assuming there’s a 100 percent chance of me being on Stranger Things seasons 2 through 100.”
Okay, so the chances of Schwartz actually appearing as Jean-Ralphio in Stranger Things season two are … well, it’s just not going to happen, but if the Duffer brothers cast Schwartz in a bit part and make a sly reference to this theory, it would be the next best thing!