Parks and Recreation may have said goodbye to Chris and Ann, but there’s one character who you’ll still have to begrudgingly deal with for the rest of the season…JERRY!
Jim O’Heir, the actor responsible for TV’s most unfortunate bureaucratic buffoon, called in to EW’s TV Editors Hour on Sirius XM to talk about the current season of Parks and chat about all things Garry-Jerry-Larry Gengurch-Gergich.
Reminiscing about the farewell fetes for Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones, O’Heir recalled, “We set up this surprise [for Rashida]. They actually used the chair from Game of Thrones, and we sat her down in it and we all had little numbers that we did for her, and then we presented her with roses. Me and Adam Scott did something that we’re going to do in the next episode that airs, but I injured my leg doing it.” So…should we anticipate a Ben and Jerry tap number? “You’re not far off, my friend.”
O’Heir revealed that the episode that airs following the Olympics is a Jerry-centric one, and teased a bromance brewing between Jerry and Ben. The rest of the season will apparently find the Parks team collaborating to raise money at a unity concert; meanwhile, something “shocking” will be revealed before the end of the season, and career options will possibly pull Leslie away from Pawnee. “We of course don’t want her to go, but in many ways, she kind of needs to leave because she’s amazing at what she does, and Pawnee has been rotten to her,” says O’Heir.
Most interestingly, O’Heir was candid about the other options that might have been for Jerry’s home life. As fans of Parks know, the perennially dumped-on character ended up having a beautiful wife at home—model Christie Brinkley. But what of the Jerry spouse that almost was?
“There were a couple ways to go with it,” reveals O’Heir. “Number one: never introduce her. We just hear about her, like Vera from Cheers. [Number two:] Amy had an idea where Jerry, because of all the abuse he takes at work, is such a tyrant at home. He’s married to this tiny little chain-smoking, terrified woman who’s like, ‘Oh my God, he’s home from work!’… But ultimately, Mike Schur and the writers agreed that the only way for a Jerry character to survive on a TV show is if he’s got some amazing stuff somewhere else, and that’s where they came up with the idea for a Christie Brinkley type.”
Damn it, Jerry.