As part of the AV CLUB walkthrough of this season of Parks & Recreation, Michael Schur addressed where the character of Andy came from:
When I worked at Saturday Night Live, one of my bosses was Steve Higgins, who’s a producer on SNL and is now Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night announcer. Steve had several brothers, and Andy’s story is a little bit Steve’s story, which is that Steve and his brothers—all of whom are gigantic men—used to pound the crap out of each other. And even today, in their 40s and 50s, they still pound the crap out of each other. Steve used to come running into my office and scream at me—in a joking way—that I had to get out of my head, and would punch me on the arm so hard. He bruised me repeatedly. And he would take off his shirt, and tackle me to the ground, and talk like Robert Mitchum, and rub his naked belly in my face. It was completely and horribly abusive. It also probably made me laugh harder than any repeated action has ever made me laugh. I would laugh so hard, I would choke and not be able to breathe. It was so funny and so different—I grew up with two sisters, and I was the middle child, and I never had any of that real experience—and Steve Higgins introduced me to what it’s like to solve problems or discuss things with physical violence. [Laughs.] Andy’s whole worldview is based on Steve Higgins at some level.