Jerry’s Parks and Recreation Primer

Get hooked on the show in 40 minutes with picks from Jim O’Heir

Get hooked on the show in 40 minutes with picks from Jim O’Heir

Photo: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Getting into a new show can be tough. You don’t know if it’s okay to skip a weak season, Netflix might not have it and people suggest, like, ten whole episodes for you to watch. Here at Maxim, we’re all about efficiency, so we asked Parks and Recreation’s Jim O’Heir for just two episode suggestions for newbies to the show. Check out the streamlined episode guide below, but don’t blame us if you’re not sold. This is Jerry Gergich after all.

“The Hunting Trip”

Season two, there’s an episode called “The Hunting Trip.” It was written by Dan Gore and directed by Greg Daniels and it shows all of us together, having a great time. It’s the first time we as a group went out into the world together. Now the only tough part is that we didn’t have Adam Scott or Rob Lowe on the show back then. But it’s a great episode to jump off and take a look at who we are. There’s a lot of love in this show, there’s a lot of caring for the characters, even though my character gets put upon a lot. Ultimately, they have my back and I think the episode “The Hunting Trip” really shows how much care there is for each other.

“Harvest Festival”

“The Harvest Festival” is amazing. It was the end of season three and we were all trying to put a harvest festival together. Everyone was involved, Adam [Scott] did some amazing work in that one, Rob [Lowe] was involved, it was all of us.

Photo: Danny Feld/NBC | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

On the Season Four Finale’s Two Endings

It had been going back and forth until just a few weeks before we shot it. Mike Schur, who’s our executive producer and co-creator, literally did not know where it was going to go. Of course the main concern was if [Leslie] wins, can she still be part of the parks department? As a selfish actor, dammit, I want her to be part of the parks department. That keeps me employed. But also the show, it’s called Parks and Recreation, so it would be weird if she wasn’t part of it. So after doing a lot of investigation, they found out that, yes, legally, these council positions are just part-time. But then when it came time to shoot, we realized they can make the choice later. In my opinion, they already knew they wanted her to win, but we had a room full of 200 extras and with tweeting and Facebook and everything, you have to watch what you do. So we shot both endings so nobody would really know what the scenario was. I can tell you as we were shooting it, I knew which ending we were going with and I loved it.

On Jerry’s Many Talents

Well I think that you forgot the main one that the doctor mentioned. Let’s be honest! Some would call it a talent! I don’t know if you remember the episode “The Telethon” but I’m playing piano just beautifully and Leslie goes, “Ugh, we’ve had enough of that.” What I love is they can appreciate nothing. They have labelled me as the office loser and so they just can’t see past what’s right in front of their eyes. But Jerry is multi-talented. I have a feeling you’ll see one or two more amazing things this season that nobody knew Jerry could do, but of course I can’t say what that is.

Photo: Tyler Golden/NBC | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

On Casting His Wife and Two Other Daughters

Well you probably heard, it’s all over the Internet, but Angelina Jolie is fighting hard for the role of my wife. I don’t know if I see us as a couple. We’ve all joked about which way it should go. On one hand, it could be just some gorgeous knockout because I obviously produced Millicent, she’s beautiful, so I could have this knockout wife. But there’s also something Amy came up with that I thought was really funny. She said, “What if she’s just this nervous little skinny chain smoker because maybe at home Jerry’s a bit of a tyrant? That’s where he puts his stuff out there. That’s where he takes out his crap on other people.” So I don’t know. I’m a huge fan of comedians, so a dream TV wife would be Tina Fey, or even someone much older than me, like Mary Tyler Moore. What weird craziness that would be. I just love brilliant, smart women.

On His Not-So-Secret Love of Barry Manilow and Showtunes

First of all, I regret the day I ever confessed that, because it’s followed me. But it is true. I don’t think there’s a Manilow song I couldn’t sing. Well, I could sing them all badly, but I know all the words. I’m a little obsessed with the Broadway play Wicked and there’s a song called “Defying Gravity” and I would say I play it conservatively 15 times a week in my car. And believe me, that’s a huge embarrassment, but it is what it is.

On Whether Jerry Is Also a Wicked Fan

Oh hell yeah! That is totally a Jerry thing. [Laughs] Yeah, Jerry is into anything not normal for his age and gender and all that kind of stuff. Mike Schur once said in an interview, someone asked him, “Is everybody sort of like their characters?” And he said, which I was happy to hear him say, “The only one who isn’t is Jim O’Heir.” And I thought, “Well, he’s pretty much right.” [Laughs] There’s a few things about me that are very Jerry-esque.