jim oheir

I am Jim O’Heir. You may know me as Garry / Jerry / Larry / Terry from PARKS & RECREATION, and my new role is as Lenny in MIDDLE MAN. AMA!

Hey Reddit! It’s good to be back. I think my last AMA was 2011, before it was cool!

I know most of you guys know me from PARKS & RECREATION which just had it’s series finale. If you’ve never seen the show, I’m an actor, I’ve been doing this for a lot of years. I’ve seen a lot, I’ve done a lot, I’ve got a lot of secrets, so ask me anything.

Shameless plug: My latest project is MIDDLE MAN, a very dark comedy that you can learn more about and support here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1060059835/middle-man/posts

I basically play the “anti-Jerry” in this movie.

In the meantime, though, I’m looking forward to your questions!! Proof: http://imgur.com/H92CzsU

What was it like to make out with Aubrey Plaza on national television? Is she a good kisser?

It was amazing. She leaned over to me before the last break and said “do you want to make out during the song”. It took about .2 seconds to say YES! It was great…I just hope I haven’t ruined her for other guys. πŸ˜‰

Who was the funniest person on set of Parks and Rec?

Everybody is funny but Chris Pratt is killer. He could break us up easily. He never did the same thing twice. I think he’s a bit of a comic genius.

When you check your email, do you go to AltaVista and type “please go to yahoo.com”?

Yes. Is there another way?

Did you cry at all when they called you by your real name in Parks and Rec at Donna’s wedding? For some reason that was insanely emotional for me because Gary’s character deserved it after all that time.

I didn’t cry then because I was saving it all up for the finally where I cried like a school girl. lol

What’s your favorite breakfast food? And would you like to enjoy some breakfast with me?

My favorite breakfast food is eggs. I love all kinds of eggs. And breakfast with you? Why not. Who’s buying?

Are there any moments that were cut involving Terry that you felt added to or expanded the character?

As far as scenes being cut, we shot so much more than people ever saw so we all lost scenes in every episode. I think the producers/writers have to make tough decision but ultimately it’s about keeping the story moving along. I’m sure there’s scenes I wish had made it in but I completely understand why they didn’t.

Still in deep denial that parks is over. What did you take home from the set?

Aubrey Plaza

Any word on what the box set of the whole series will look like or include? Maybe a stuffed Li’l Sebastian or a Pawnee parks guide?

I don’t know about the box set but I can’t wait to see it.

I was watching Friends a few days ago and saw you onto that and I was so shocked! How was that like acting and being on set for that show?

I loved doing an episode of Friends. What I realized was that after all those years they really were friends. I’ve worked a lot of shows where by the end the cast can barely tolerate each other. It was a gift on Parks that we all loved each other and I think they definitely had that on Friends too. A very warm and comfortable set.

What’s your favorite part of your new role as Denny in Middle Man?

BOOM! LOL LENNY Damnit! What I love about LENNY is that he’s the polar opposite of any character I’ve played so far. I think after seven seasons on Parks as Jerry I need to let people know I have other acting abilities. Lenny is the Anti Jerry/Garry.

Do you have a favouite memory of Harris Wittels?

My first memory of Harris was when I was reading Sarah Silverman’s book. There was a picture of a penis…it was Harris’s. I remember thinking that anyone who would be that bold to allow that is someone I could hang with. Harris was always funny but more importantly…he was always kind. He is and will be forever missed.

How often do random people walk up to you in public and say, ‘damnit, Jerry!’?

Awww…thanks for the kind words about Parks. As far as people coming up to me and saying ‘damnit, Jerry!’? E-V-E-R-Y-D-A-Y!!! And I love it. πŸ™‚

What was your reaction to Garry’s ending in the finale?

I couldn’t have been happier with Garry becoming the mayor….not just temporarily but for the rest of his life. Such an honor for the guy who was the schlameel and schlamazel of his office for 30 years.

I have to tell you that when I saw the script for the final episode I got chills. I feel that they gave me the perfect send off. Not only did Garry become mayor for the rest of his life but he lived to be 100…and his wife was still hot. Can’t complain about that.

What are some of the funniest moments that’s happened off screen? Have you had any Garry moments as Jim?

I (have) Garry/Jerry moments all the time. I recently dropped my glasses into my dogs poop as I was picking it up. That’s a total Jerry moment. lol

Is there anyone on the Parks and Rec set that caused you to burst out laughing mid-filming?

Did you see the outtake on YouTube where Pratt mentions the Kardashians? If not…you have to check it out. It will give you the answer to your question. lol

I heard somewhere that you originally auditioned for the role of Ron Swanson, and after 7 seasons it seems so weird to think of you, Tim O’Heir, or really anyone other than Nick Offerman playing Ron. So Kim, my question for you is if any other cast member on Parks and Rec were to play a different character, who would be the best fit in what role?

Yes. I did audition for Ron Swanson. Tons of people auditioned for that role. Luckily they saw something they liked and brought be back for Jerry. I can’t imagine ANYONE else playing Ron other than Nick. Just makes no sense.

I think it would be interesting to see Amy play a sexual role like Retta did. And Adam as Burt Macklin would make me laugh.

Were there ever any scenes you felt your poor character was treated too badly?

I was never bothered by how they treated my character. The writers gave Jerry such a wonderful home life that it made up for the trouble at work. I always say that when Jerry was in trouble his co workers always had his back. I think Jerry really loved them and felt they loved him back. There was once when Chris Pratt said “I feel terrible doing this to Jerry”. I was like…Go For It! lol

What are some of your favourite movies?

As far as favorites movies…I’ve got tons. But…Godfather is at the top of the list. πŸ™‚

Because Larry/Jerry/Gerry was teased all the time, did you know that your character was going to be the punching bag when you auditioned for the role?

I had no idea…and neither did the producers. It wasn’t until Season 2 when we shot an episode with Louis C.K. We did a story line where the cast had to find dirt on each other. It was revealed to me that my adoptive mother was a pot smoker…I didn’t know I was adopted. They knew right then and there that that’s who I would be. In many ways I think that one idea is what kept me on the show for seven seasons.

Besides middle man, do you have anything exciting coming up in your career?

I’ve guested on two shows since Parks ended…Hot In Cleveland and Austin and Ally. I’ve got a cowboy moving that I’ll be doing and I’m also going to be in a film called Halloweed that is pretty hysterical.

What was your favourite moment whilst filming Parks and Rec?

I loved doing the Fart Attack. I felt that the only way to make it funny was to play it very very real. With craziness going on around me I knew that it would be the best way to handle it. The problem was trying to keep it together when you have Aziz asking if I “ate farts for lunch”. lol

One of my favorite episodes is “Two Parties”, with the group Bachelor Party. Which of your Parks castmates would you choose to throw you a real life bachelor party and why?

I totally agree. Definitely one of my favorite episodes too. I would have to choose Pratt because it would be the craziest night of my life. With Chris you never know what’s going to happen next.

When are you going to pop the question to Aubrey?

I just bought the ring…just trying to get the nerve up to do it.

Since you clearly have a “colorful” sense of humor (which I love, by the way), was it tough suppressing that to play the more naive and wholesome Jerry?

HELL YES!!! Great question. Anyone who knows me will tell you that my sense of humor can be very dark. Absolutely the opposite of Jerry.

How different is it moving on to this new movie than working on a tv show?

Movies and TV are very different. There’s a lot of down time when making a film so I’ll be able to catch up on stuff. TV moves much quicker. Where in a film you might do two pages in a day….on a TV show you couldn’t easily do 8.

Are you guys all as close as you seem on the show?

We are all very close. If the show had continued I can guarantee that all of us would have been back. It was the warmest place for an actor to be with the kindest people. In front of the camera and behind.

What do you imagine Jerry and Gale’s sex life was like?


You’ve obviously spent years building upon Jerry/Garry/Larry’s reputation as one of television’s best bumbling buffoons (self-points for alliteration), so I’d like to know: Who are some of your favorite goofy sidekicks?

Great question. I love Don Knott’s from The Andy Griffith Show. You might be too young to remember him but he was brilliant. I love bumbling characters who are sweet. That’s what I loved most about what the writers did for Jerry…he was bumbling but ultimately sweet.

Did you have a scene that you absolutely hated shooting on P&R?

NEVER hated shooting Parks. Always loved it. The only days I hated were when I wasn’t scheduled to work.

What is the last thing you purchased online?W

I bought a book yesterday written by Marty Skovlund, Jr. Violence of Action. Marty’s a VET with some amazing stories. You should check it out. πŸ™‚

Was there ever a backstory to how/why Garry/Jerry/Etc. was married to Gayle?

It’s always a weird question to answer because unless I’m mistaken I am shockingly good looking. Am I wrong? I don’t think so. πŸ˜‰

Are you a fan of Kanye West?

Wow. Kanye? Can’t say that I am. He’s a little too much into himself for my taste. But, apparently tons of people like him so that’s great for him.

What’s your 6th (or so) most scandalous secret?

Let’s just say it involves Li’l Sebastian.

Why are you in a cold pool?

Because I’ll do anything for a bit. My nips are still at attention. lol

What is your favorite food?

So many favorites…but..love me some Italian, Indian, Pizza, Chinese…apparently most things. lol Unfortunately because of a childhood incident I don’t eat fish. YUCK!

How close are the personality of the characters on the show to the personality of the actors outside of the show?

I would say there’s some of us in all of our characters. The one closest to who he portrayed would be Nick. The writers took a lot from his own life and gave it to Ron. Nick is a brilliant craftsman with wood who also loves his booze and meat.

I wanted to know what it was like to work alongside creative actors such as Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Rob Lowe etc. Do they often improv or take liberties with the script, and is it hard to keep up?

It was always a pleasure to work with all of them. After every scene was finished we would do a fun run. That meant that we could improvise during the scene and see what we came up with. I think it’s one of the reasons we all stayed so close. It let us play together every day. Of course with improvisors like Amy it can be scary…there’s nobody faster.

At the end of a long, hard day, what do you do to Treat Yo’Self?

I love a good meal and awesome television. I’m one of those people who has always loved TV and not ashamed of it.

What would be your ideal role now that Parks and Rec is over? Do you want to be in another show or just do movies?

I’ve been a TV guy my whole life and would LOVE to do another series. I’ll be working on a film and that will be really exciting but I think there’s something about me that screams TV and I’m just fine with that.

So my question is: what was your favorite Jerry mishap? My personal favorites are falling into the river chasing a breakfast burrito and the fart attack.

You nailed my two favorites. I also loved when his pants split and he farted during the meeting. lol

What was your favourite line on the show that you improvised?

There was a line when Donna was getting her feet rubbed where I said “I’m next. I have a corn so big you could put butter on it”. That got a pretty big laugh.

What is your favorite line, phrase, word, etc that you say in Middle Man, if you are able to tell us?

The writer would kill me if I said it. It’s classic!

What are your favorite things to do when you’re just chilling out at home? Any hobbies?

Love my dogs and my yard. TV..books..golf

You always looked like you were having the time of your life playing Jerry/Garry/Larry/Terryand I always see you interacting with fans on Twitter. Was Jerry’s optimistic attitude inspired by your personal attitude or did Jerry’s attitude inspire you to be the same?

Thanks so much. I definitely try to be nice and kind but unlike Jerry I know I fail sometimes. I will always be appreciate of the fans who take time out of their day to talk with me. Sometimes there’s not enough time to respond but I always try to make time during the day to get to at least a few tweets.

How good/bad of a job would Mayor Gergich do as the mayor of Pawnee?

That’s such an awesome question. I’ve thought about it. He would be incredibly fair and open to his townspeople. I also think he could be manipulated easily so that would be interesting to see how it goes down.

How much of this last season of P&R was the universe apologizing to Garry for what he’d been through the rest of the seasons?

I love you use the term “universe apologizing to Garry”. That’s a great analogy. Now that I think about it that’s exactly what happened.

How would say Parks & Rec impacted your life?

It changed it completely. As an actor you’re always trying to get auditions and be seen. Parks has opened so many doors. Many times now I get offers to do work rather than audition. That’s such a wonderful thing after all these years. It’s also changed life financially which is awesome.

What is your favorite kind of ice cream?

I love vanilla ice cream with strawberry sauce on top. Or….any kind of ice cream. lol

What historical figure would you like to have lunch with?

I would love to have lunch with Jesus and get this whole thing straightened out.

What would you be if you weren’t an actor?

I’ve wondered that myself. I’m not sure there’s anything else that I would have succeeded at. Maybe sales of some sort. Also, I can type really fast so maybe I would have done something with that. Just thankful every day that it worked out.

How was your experience on ‘Friends’? Any cool anecdotes?

Great experience. David Schwimmer directed the episode so it was lots of laughs. I had worked with Matt LeBlanc many years earlier on a film called Ed so it was fun to catch up.

Did you ever get a chance to participate in ‘The Office’?

I wish I had. It’s one of my favorite shows.

If for one day Jerry/Larry/Terry/Garry was able to be mean or pull a prank on his fellow work proximity associates as revenge, what do you think he’d do for each of them?

As far as my work proximity associates I would like to prank Tom…but as Jerry I don’t know what I would do. Sad but true.

It sounds like your character in Middle Man will be the opposite of Jerry. We’re so used to seeing you as a loveable goofball, are you looking forward to showing us your dark side?

Great question. Can’t wait to show my dark side. I’ve played a few characters over the years where I’ve been dark and perhaps demented but never for the length of a feature. This will be a challenge.

Thanks for following on twitter. I always love chatting with the folks there.

What other TV shows would you like to guest star on?

Hmmm…so many. I love The Goldbergs…The Middle…How To Get Away With Murder…Better Call Saul… to be honest there’s too many to list. πŸ™‚

Throughout your career, which actor/actress impacted you the most?

I’m a fan of the old timers…Dick Van Dyke…Mary Tyler Moore…Bob Newhart…Carol Burnett…Carol O’Connor. I’m guessing you might not even be aware of these people. I’m old remember.

What is the secret for Gayle’s aging?

Gayle’s secret is that in real life she’s Christie Brinkley and she’s one of the most beautiful people on the planet!!!! πŸ™‚

I’m excited for Middle Man! I already am missing Parks and Recreation. What are you most excited for audiences to see in Middle Man?

I’m excited for people to get to see me do a very different type of role. As much as there’s comedy in this film it’s also very dark. By the end of the film I’m involved in an absolute bloodbath. It’s awesome!!!!

Is your real doctor distracted for the same reasons?

He’s been known to sit in absolute silence while contemplating what he’s just seen. πŸ˜‰